Over the course of the next year, local residents reported UFOs and more sightings of the mysterious figure, which the media dubbed “The Mothman.” John Keel, a researcher of the unexplained, visited the town and conducted interviews with the eye-witnesses. The results of his investigation—along with his own theories about UFOs, Men in Black, etc.—became the basis of his book The Mothman Prophecies (1975), which was turned into a movie in 2002. By this point, the film bore little resemblance to the original sighting, with the Mothman transformed into an omen portending death. As Dixon notes, the character of the Mothman changed and deviated further with each step of its legend, from the original eyewitness accounts, to the police, to the media representations of the story, to Keel’s interpretation via his theoretical perspective, to the motion picture.
|The Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, WV|
[photo by Jimmy Emerson under Creative Commons]./td>
FOR FURTHER READING
Deborah Dixon. “A Benevolent and Sceptical Inquiry: Exploring ‘Fortean Geographies’ with the Mothman.” Cultural Geographies 2007, 14(2): 189–210.