Chapter 5


Though many questions linger regarding the incredible Point Pleasant events of 1966-1968, the one that most bothers me is why, given the undeniable amount of activity, these are not mentioned in the greater volume of published UFO/Paranormal literature.

   Is this due to simple denial of unpleasant events, or to something else?

   In a very real way, what happened ruined (and ended, given the Silver Bridge collapse) many lives.  This is beyond argument.  While the official take on the bridge catastrophe (failure of the 13th eye-bar, a cracked metal disc on the Ohio side) sounds correct, there might be more to this.

   I have visited the Silver Bridge Memorial on the Ohio side, which features an eye-bar replica embedded in concrete (the memorial on the West Virginia side is a plaque placed where the bridge once stood).  It is easy to see that, if even one failed, the entire span was doomed.  The bridge, constructed in the 1920s, was not in good shape.  Locals described it as shaky, bobbing up and down (which, granted, most of these type bridges do), and feared the structure was not equal to the newly heavy traffic of the 1960s.

   Sadly, they were right. . . .

   The collapse instigated new safety-inspection laws, a damned good idea.  Too little too late.

   Anyone well-versed in the matter will recall reading of a woman on the Ohio side reporting having seen two men climbing on the superstructure not long before its fall.  These men appeared to be wearing thick-soled shoes (an oft-repeated detail in many Men in Black encounters).  Even without the extremely cold weather, why would anyone so endanger himself?  It’s frankly suicidal, which doesn’t mean I doubt the witness.

   Though I hate saying as much, this stinks of an attempt to establish the appearance of human sabotage.  Why?  The wreckage was gathered in a field in nearby Henderson, WV, a process John Keel describes as brutally hard.  Surely it must have been, given that divers were brought in to search for bodies (two were never found), and to assist enormous cranes and barges necessary to raise the rubble.

   Anyone curious about this bleak operation can view actual film footage at the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant.  There isn’t much, but what exists is haunting enough.  The sort of imagery—akin to 9/11—you might not want to see twice.

   The tragedy occurred on 15 December 1967.  The context within which this happened makes it even worse.  This is why I give high marks to director Mark Pellington (whose wife died not long after the The Mothman Prophecies movie premiered) who, despite numerous critics, managed to capture the chilling, incomprehensible chaos in a very human, emotionally-charged way.

   As someone who has driven, and walked, much of Point Pleasant, the TNT area, and surrounding environs, I can claim there is a vast difference between reading about the events and conversing, and sharing meals, with those forever haunted by the bridge collapse and paranormal phenomena.

   Some will not speak of it; some are hostile toward the annual (since 2002) Mothman Festival, yet in my experience most locals see the fest as catharsis, a way to talk about what might look crazy to outsiders.

   I’m not the first to notice how the festival has infused Point Pleasant with both much-needed commerce and a renewed sense of community.  No one causes trouble, a usual hazard at such activities.  The beauty and simple humanity of Jeff Wamsley’s and Caroline Harris’ genesis of the fest is their understanding of it as healing.  Caroline lost immediate family on the bridge, and runs the Harris Steak House.  Should you plan a visit (the fest takes place in mid-September) I urge you to dine there.

   The following information I owe entirely to Andrew Colvin, Mothman experiencer and gifted author/investigator/film-maker.  Aside from his brilliant DVD documentary, The Mothman’s Photographer (2004), Colvin has published, at this writing, three books covering the phenomenon in dense, painstaking detail.  He is the most informed regarding all things Mothman.  In fact, if even 10-percent of what he claims is real, the Point Pleasant chaos needs to be retooled.

   I consider Colvin as important as John Keel, Jim Keith, and Carl Jung.  He combines anthropology, history, theology, conspiracy theory, esoterica of Masonic symbolism, philosophy, the occult, and how these varied disciplines thread the Mothman/UFO/Paranormal/MIB phenomena.  Such insight is refreshing.

   Colvin (for good or ill) ties together military intelligence, industrial concerns such as I.G. Farben, Union Carbide, General Motors and others, as well as such near-to-Point Pleasant operations as Defense Logistics Agency (hinted at, though not named, by John Keel in The Mothman Prophecies) and even the possible origin of “Indrid Cold,” who might have been practicing industrial espionage in the Ohio Valley undercover as a UFO entity.

   This sheds new light on the role of the “Greek-looking” MIB who menaced many.  It is conceivable they were Cold War spies gathering industrial intelligence.  Anyone reporting these absurd, frightening men would be discredited.

   The Ohio Valley was active with cold-fusion studies, new-metals technology, and nuclear experiments.

   In the next chapter I will delve further into this.


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