I grew up in Gallipolis, across the Ohio River from Point Pleasant. In high school I found an old scrapbook of my mother’s with several dozen clippings on the Mothman: I was fascinated that something “neat” had happened so close to the sleepy little town I loved, and I was hooked. I had to know more! It didn’t take long for me to find “The Mothman Prophecies” and read it cover to cover.
I lost interest somewhat when I began to date and do the things high school kids do. However, when I returned from a seven-year tour in the United States Navy I rediscovered my interest in the Mothman. I decided that I would use the skills the Navy had taught me to try and disprove the Mothman stories. My logic being that if I tried, seriously and diligently, to disprove the stories, and failed, then I would have strengthened their credibility.
My new hobby took me into the woods and “hollers” around the TNT area and to the homes of what witnesses who were alive and willing to talk about what they’d seen. While I found a great many points of interest in my investigation among them some interesting questions focusing on an Active Naval base in Point Pleasant which seems to have no official purpose or staff. I was not prepared for what I encountered along a creek bank north of Bethel Church Road.
I was walking the creek bank trying to run down some tips provided to me by an acquaintance at a UFO investigation group who I considered a marginal flake, but which seemed to have some credibility in the form of “what are these guys really up to” venue.
As I walked the creek I heard something large break through the brush ahead of me and I froze. Logic told me that it was at worse a large dog or even a stray cow, as it is very little in the way of predators in Mason county. Still, I’ve been a hunter since my teenage years and I knew well that the WV DNR had been actively repopulating absent native species: it was wholly possible that I was about to become face to face with something which might consider my lunch.
What I saw emerge from the brush was a large brownish-white creature. It’s fur looked dirty and matted as if the animal did very little in the line of self-grooming. I can’t be sure if I was looking at a dirty white animal or a brownish animal with a white undercoat. It was late in the fall so it makes sense that it might be putting on a winter coat. The creature moved on all fours as it breached the brush line and knelt to drink from the creek. It’s front limbs, the only limbs I saw clearly, ended in what was markedly paw-like “hands”. Its head was long and pointed, like a canine, and it had largish horns; not antlers but single point horns.
I shrunk back into the brush and watched, afraid to stay and afraid to run. It drank for a few minutes, then cross the creek and continued on across toward Sandhill Road. When I was sure it was gone, I turned and ran as fast as I could back toward the pond where I’d parked.
The one thing that sticks out in my mind about this encounter most clearly is the way it smelled. It smelled like sulfur. Now, don’t think I’m screaming fire and brimstone here, I’m not. One of the biggest problems with the TNT area is the pollution from the manufacturing activities that went on there. The worst of this is the Red Water runoff generated by the production of gunpowder. The area was a navy ammunition plant at one time and made gunpowder. Red Water, the cause to this date of the brownish-red foam seen in many of the run-off ponds, has a sulfur content that should concern anyone exposed to it. It makes sense that anything living in this area should absorb some measure of that scent if they are drinking from these water sources.