Monster Monday: Mothman and the Silver Bridge
On December 15th, 1967, the Mothman phenomenon culminated in the collapse of the Silver Bridge, which spanned the Ohio River between Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and Gallipolis, Ohio. 46 people died when the bridge collapsed during rush hour. The bridge’s catastrophic failure was officially found to be due to a faulty eyebar in the suspension chain, but some feel that perhaps the eerie flying humanoid haunting the area might be connected in some way, especially since no recorded sightings exist of the creature following the collapse.
Author John Keel claims to have received prophetic messages from an unknown entity while investigating the unusual events leading up to the disaster; even going so far as to prepare for a widespread blackout based on these weird warnings. Keel was horrified to learn of the Silver Bridge tragedy that occurred around the same time as the portended blackout, which itself never came to pass.
The tragedy at the Silver Bridge is, to date, the only recorded disaster to be associated with Mothman wherein the creature was sighted prior to the unfortunate event; although folkloric accounts exist saying that Mothman was present at many historic disasters. According to cryptozoologist, researcher, and author Loren Coleman, these later stories are based on events taken from fictional sources, such as The Mothman Prophecies feature film, that have made their way into the Mothman's mythology.
“The Chernobyl story, the Galveston Hurricane-Mothman tie-in, and other examples given in the 2002 movie were pure fiction […] right after the movie was released, various websites posted the Chernobyl/Mothman reports as factual. But there is not one thread of evidence that any winged weirdies were witnessed before the Chernobyl accident. It is a bit of movie fiction that has, unfortunately, moved into pseudo-factoid cryptozoology," says Coleman.