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Mothman photograph


Vital statistics

Kind Paranormal
Country North America
South America
See below
First documented sighting circa 1850's
Latest documented sighting 2009
Other names Owlman
Black Bird of Chernobyl
Freiburg Shrieker

Scientific information

Recognized by science? No
Proposed species name
Major investigators John Keel

Popular Culture

Episodes featured in
Pop culture references

The Mothman, also known by a variety of other names worldwide, is a paranormal cryptid most famously sighted around Point Pleasant, West Virginia, North America before the collapse of the Silver Bridge.

For the sake of Concision, sightings of the Owlman and similar cryptids are here considered to be Mothman sightings.

Etymology and other namesEdit

Physical appearanceEdit


The Mothman's "personality" appears to be conflicted. Although it appeared before major disasters, and is considered to be an omen, warning of said disasters, it also elicits intense fear from witnesses, occasionally scarring them for life, and has one more than one occasion been reported to kill dogs.

List of sightingsEdit

circa 1850'sEdit

The earliest documented encounter with Mothman may have occured as early as the mid-1850's, during the Crimean War[1].

During a six-day battle on March 14th, a band of five Russian soldiers crept towards the centre of the battlefield, planning an ambush just after midnight. According to the sole survivor of the group, the skies suddenly blackened and a headless, crow-like creature appeared above the men.

The men lost their bearings and fled back to their own camp, where the Russians, mistaking them for Turks, opened fire on them; only one man survived.

According to other sources, the men actually were Turks, and the animal was actually a swarm of bats.




In September 1978, at a mine in Freiburg, Germany, a group of twenty-one miners arrived in the morning to find a dark figure in the entrance to the mine. When they approached it, it unfurled its wings and let out "a sound like fifty people screaming" or "a train in peril trying to break at the sight of a twisted rail".

Opting to stay outside the mine and work on other tasks, the workers were soon disturbed by a large explosion in the mine itself. The entity's presence had prevented them from entering the mine, and thus saved their lives.

However, just six out of the twenty-one workers apparently saved by the monster were still working at the mine only six months later. Two of those men, who had pledged to detail the indisputable facts of the case for the rest of the world, perished suddenly, broke and destitute. Others were plagued by psychiatric problems[2].


In 1986, Frank Shaw - a NASA archivist at Houston’s Johnson Space Centre - returned to his car after his shift when he was confronted by a gargoyle-like figure perched on one of the nearby buildings, staring at him. Shaw was frozen in fear until it unfurled its wings, making a crackling noise. At this point, he got into his car and fled home.

Unable to forget the encounter, Shaw eventually told his superiors, who revealed that a number of similar sightings had occured at the center. Two German shepards at the centre had also been mutilated and killed.

Soon, Arizona NASA officials interrogated Shaw, and informed him that it would be in his family's best interest if he kept quiet about the encounter. The sighting was not revealed until 2004, when Desiree Shaw relayed it to author Nick Redfern[3].

Later sightingsEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

Further cryptozoological readingEdit