Most cryptozoology enthusiasts are familiar with Mothman— the humanoid beast said to be a herald of impending doom. But did you know that Russia is home to a nearly identical creature?
On April 26th, 1986 a horrific nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl Power Plant. Reactor Number 4 became catastrophically unstable after employees performed a simulative power outage safety test. A disastrous series of events unfolded which caused an uncontrollable chain reaction. Colossal amounts of energy were released causing the activator core to explode. For nine days, fire consumed the devastated structure and spewed out astronomical levels of radioactive contaminants. Humanity felt the dire implications of a fission calamity. Dozens of first responders agonizingly perished from radiation exposure, cancer rates skyrocketed and babies were born with appalling birth defects. Pripyat, a once-thriving city, had become an uninhabitable toxic wasteland and would remain so for the next twenty-thousand years.
Some believe residents had been pre-warned of the dreadful fallout. In the weeks preceding Chernobyl’s cataclysmic incident, a series of anomalous episodes took place. Locals who lived in close proximity to the eventual ‘exclusion zone’ repeatedly encountered a mysterious creature. Witnesses described its appearance as resembling a giant mutilated headless man with piercing red eyes. Petrified onlookers dubbed the curious aerial fiend The Blackbird of Chernobyl. Those who happened upon the sinister entity suffered from haunting nightmares and menacing phone calls. Citizens began to live in constant crippling fear that they may be the next victim to behold this nefarious figure. An abysmal winged monster was terrorizing the formerly quaint town.
For those of you who are unaware, ‘Down the Chupacabra Hole’ is a play on Alice in Wonderland’s magical imagery. After all, the concept of entering a previously hidden word where things aren’t quite what they seem rings true for conspiracy theorists. For nearly two years, I have envisioned a chupacabra-white rabbit hybrid greeting readers who stumble upon my little corner of the internet. I am happy to announce we finally have our official mascot!Thank you to the wonderful Gazoo Shop who created such incredible artwork for DTCH. They specialize in animations, photography, graphic design and video production. If you’re a fan of enigmatic undiscovered species, you’ll love Gazoo’s other illustrations.
In the world of cryptozoology, Mothman is one of the most mysterious and intriguing creatures. Many described him as an enormous humanoid with massive wings and large red eyes. Although it’s been over fifty years since the first sighting the legend remains just as strong to this day. Recently the unknown entity has had a resurgence of popularity after a number of sightings have been reported out of Chicago. Many wonder that if such a being exists then what exactly is it? Theories range from a misidentified barn own to a paranormal entity or even an extraterrestrial visitor.
The first of numerous sightings began on November 12th, 1966 in the small town of Clendenin, West Virginia. On a crisp autumnal night five gravediggers witnessed a man-like figure ascend from a nearby tree. Three days later Roger and Linda Scarberry were out driving with another couple. While traveling down an isolated road known as “TNT Area” they witnessed a seven-foot tall flying creature with glowing red eyes. When Mr. Scarberry sped off the being flew alongside the vehicle before taking off into the darkness. The group immediately went to the authorities. Each person was privately interviewed and all four people had identical stories and matching recollections of the events that had transpired. According to the Deputy who spoke with the group, their eyes were filled with a terror that couldn’t be faked.
The Silver Bridge Tragedy
Just one year after the gravedigger’s encounter occurred, Point Pleasant was struck by tragedy. The Silver Bridge, a main route into the small town, collapsed unexpectedly during rush-hour traffic for unknown reasons. Forty-six people sadly lost their lives after crashing into the river. That morning various locals saw a strange creature perched atop the bridge. Some believe that this entity was trying to warn of the impending doom while others feel that Mothman was responsible for the disaster.
Mary Hyre was a news reporter for the local paper and wrote and column called “Where the Waters Mingle”. She was also very close with author John Keel, author of “The Mothman Prophecies” which would later become inspiration for the highly fictionalized Hollywood film. Hyre felt that her involvement with The Mothman investigation drew interest from the Men in Black. Her first encounter occurred in 1967 when she was working a late night at the office. A man entered the room who she described as having “large hypnotic eyes and not dressed for the weather”. Oddly, the stranger said nothing and simply placed a pen on her desk before exiting the building. After this experience the perplexing stranger began to follow her.
Soon Hyre had yet another run-in. While walking to her car a different man came towards her and instructed her to stop researching the Mothman topic or there would be consequences. Local townspeople also reported being approached by these men who claimed to be friends of Hyre. They wanted to obtain information about their UFO sightings and other paranormal events. On February 15th, 1970 Hyre died suddenly at the age of 54. She believed that the creature was a prophetic figure that had come to warn of upcoming catastrophes.
Many other individuals who researched Mothman had strange and untimely deaths. One such person is Fred Fried who was at the time working on a documentary about the relation of UFOs and Mothman. He died of a heart attack at the age of 53 and his film was never released. Donald North, a Point Pleasant native, witnessed the entity in the same spot as the Scarberrys. Not long after, he died as a result of a car accident. Jim Keith was a conspiracy writer who was studying the connection between Mothman, the CIA and the MIB. During a routine knee surgery Keith died on the operating table at the age of 50. Before this procedure he had said: “I have this feeling that if they put me under I’m not coming back”. To date there are 84 mysterious deaths that appear to be connected to Mothman.
There are a multitude of explanations when it comes to this enigmatic being. Since a number of sightings occurred in the TNT Area some speculate that the region itself may in fact be responsible. During WWII the location was utilized for weapon manufacturing. After the war ended these explosives were stored in bunkers and the 8,000 acres of land were turned into a wildlife conservatory. It wasn’t discovered until the 1980s that the land had been contaminated by explosives byproducts. Given the severity of the situation the TNT Area was added to a federal list of hazardous waste sites. Some theorize that this chemical concoction seepage contributed to the evolution of a mutilated subspecies.
Others wonder if there is a UFO/ alien link to the Mothman. In John Keel’sbook he states that eyewitness reports describe glowing orbs, energy fields and lost time. If this is the case it would also explain the Men in Black’s involvement. There are those who feel that creature is paranormal in nature given its ominous warning of approaching death. People who encounter this being describe it having telepathic abilities. Skeptics are convinced that it’s merely an urban legend or an elaborate hoax. However, if this were the case one has to wonder if a person would be capable of such trickery for over five decades.
Until the truth is disclosed everything is ultimately speculation. Perhaps with today’s available technologies there is a better chance of capturing hard evidence. What do you think about Mothman? Share your thoughts in the comments!