Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Mothman in Chicago



Source of image: http://www.cryptozoo.ru/news/letajushhie_monstry/1-0-50


This is a momentous blog post!

I have co-blogged with others before, but never with my own brother.
That's right. Two! Two Nichols men. All for the price of one.

Michael entered the blogosphere back in May with Forest Dweller Thoughts. There he examines the many spiritual and cultural facets of the human experience, mostly through an academic lens. In this, the first of what I hope will be a series of posts co-blogged with him, we consider a most serious matter.

Mothman.

I've blogged before about how my interest in the paranormal started at quite a young age. It all started for me with books on UFOs and cryptids from the children's section of the library. Invariably, Michael would read the books I brought home and vice versa, thus cementing our own shared interests in the subjects. We read plenty of accounts of creatures, weirdness, and things that go bump in the night that subsequently kept us up at night, fearing those said same bumps. One of those narratives invovled an unknown creature called "Mothman." It immediately captured our imaginations.

In 1966 in the West Virginia dorp of Point Pleasant, a blizzard of bizarre occurrences took place. There were UFO sightings, eerie synchronicities, psychic phenomena, and encounters with strange entities. One of these entities was called "Mothman."

On November 15th, 1966, two teenage couples were driving at night by what was then known as "the TNT area" outside of Point Pleasant. The region earned this name due to the presence of an old World War II munitions plant and dump. On that lonely road, the couples claimed (and still claim to this day) that they saw a black, humanoid creature with wings and eyes that glowed red when hit with the beams of their car's headlights. It swooped down and followed their car, giving them all quite a fright. They reported the incident to police and the story made its way into the press. The media dubbed the creature "Mothman" partly due to the purported shape of the wings and because Batman starring Adam West was a big hit on TV at the time.

Sightings of Mothman continued in tandem with all of the other paranormal activity already mentioned. This attracted the attention of writer and researcher, John Keel. He spent a fair amount of time in Point Pleasant, talking to witnesses and doing investigations. The product of this research was his landmark book, The Mothman Prophecies. Both Michael and I first encountered this text in...of all places...our high school library I recommend this book for a number of reasons. If you have interest in the paranormal, Keel's theories are challenging and worthy of deep consideration (the idea of the "superspectrum" is one I've steadily grown to see as a fitting explanation for instances of the truly bizarre.) If you are not, then the book is entertaining in and of itself as Keel is a sharp writer. The man lived the paranormal and his portrayal of the entity Indrid Cold will stay with you.

So why are Michael and I writing about Mothman now?

For one, a somewhat bizarre synchronicity not unlike the kind described in The Mothman Prophecies. happened with us. I contacted Michael to see if he would be interested in a co-blogged Mothman post. When I asked, he replied that he just happened to have been re-reading The Mothman Prophecies. Coincidence? Synchronicity? Paranormal weirdness? I'll let you decide.

Why did I ask him about Mothman? Well, turns out Mothman has been sighted where I live: the greater Chicago area.

Since April, there have been 21 sightings of the creature...or something similar to it...all across the region. It's been seen near the Adler Planetarium, the Willis Tower (Sears Tower, for you out of towners), and in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood. It's also been sighted in the outlying Chicagoland area, such as Hegewisch Park. The witnesses have described it as an enormous bat or owl, alternatively as a man in a suit or...as the name would imply...a cross between a moth and a man. What seems to be a consistent feature are the glowing red eyes that seem to "look right through you" as described by one Chicago woman who claimed to encounter the being while walking her dog in the park. This all seems to parallel what was seen in Point Pleasant.

"People say it moves its head and its legs. It acts like it's living. If it was a suit it would need some kind of jet pack. It's got some propulsion to it. It flaps its wings and accelerates," said paranormal researcher, Len Strickler to the Chicago Tribune.

Here is a map of the most recent sightings via the site, The Mothman Wikia:




These sightings might not bode well for Chicago.

You see, Mothman's appearance is said to be a harbinger of disaster. In the case of Point Pleasant, it was the December 1967 collapse of the Silver Springs Bridge. Keel describes this bridge's collapse into the Ohio River and the ensuing deaths of 35 people in macabre detail (wrapped Christmas presents floating in the water.) Sightings of a Mothman-like creature are rumored to have occurred in Chernobyl in the days leading up to the nuclear disaster. There are even those who claimed to have seen Mothman flitting between the towers of the World Trade Center on the night before 9/11. What does this mean for Chicago?

Well let's see. Highest tax rate in the nation, highest murder rate in the nation, godawful traffic, an impending economic collapse, people moving out of Illinois in droves....I'd say Mothman might be a little too late.

So what is Mothman? Keel suspected it is a "superspectrum" being that shares the Earth with us. Others believe it to be interdimensional or extraterrestrial in nature. Joe Nickell offers a bit more down-to-earth explanation: maybe the reason a few witnesses think it looked like an owl is because it actually was an owl. Mothman may even speak to the deeper spiritual nature of humanity as reflected in myths such as the Garuda. For an in-depth exploration of that subject, please head over to Michael's blog right now.

In the meantime, this will all certainly be on my mind. I walk my dogs. Sometimes at night. Often in a park.

I'll keep you updated.


Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

2 comments:

  1. On FB, Adam said: "Woah! And I used to read my dad's books on the strange and paranormal. LOVED that stuff growing up!"

    ReplyDelete
  2. On FB, Toni said: "I watched/read the Mothman Prophecies in high school and didn't sleep for a week 😂"

    ReplyDelete