Ep. 20: Batpig: The Mothman

A creature born of radioactivity scared the bejesus out of two couples in 1966 on a dark road at midnight. Or was it a gigantic bird? Or Batpig? More likely it was the antihero of Point Pleasant: Mothman! Come listen to Emma tell Shannon about the feathered man bird and all of his "cousins" around the world.

Ep. 20: Batpig: The Mothman

Speaker A: Hello.
Speaker B: Hello.
Speaker A: I'm Emma.
Speaker B: I'm Shannon, and welcome to this podcast doesn't exist.
Speaker A: I try not to give myself the pause.
Speaker B: I felt it, but it was shorter. Was like, what? But I didn't.
Speaker A: Yeah, well, thank you for not jumping in. I would have let you anyway.
Speaker B: It's true. But, uh, I'm okay. I'm over here observing.
Speaker A: Observing?
Speaker B: Yes. Like you're doing double Dutch, and I'm like, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to watch you, though.
Speaker A: Did you ever have the jump rope competition at school? Like a school sanctioned event?
Speaker B: I don't know if it was.
Speaker A: I just remember distinctly in, like, maybe 7th grade, there was, like a jump rope competition, and there were people from other schools who came to our gym to show us how they were doing it or whatever. And I don't know. This is a weird recovered memory.
Speaker B: I don't have anything to offer you, but I will say thank you to you because our audience can now mark off childhood story on their bingo card. If you haven't downloaded it yet, you should go to our Instagram. If this podcast doesn't exist, check our link in bio and you can get a lovely little bingo card to play along. We hope you have a cup of something warm and comforting. Or maybe you're listening to this at.
Speaker A: Night and you're having a little nightcap.
Speaker B: Or just drink some water. Everybody drink water.
Speaker A: It's important. Or you're a Rhode Islander and you're having iced coffee in the middle of winter, uh, high.
Speaker B: In a fancy mug. Uh I love him. I do, too.
Speaker A: Jane Boston talk. All right. Do you want to guess what today is?
Speaker B: I only know it's encrypted.
Speaker A: Let's start with maybe because this is what I wrote in my notes.
Speaker B: Batman.
Speaker A: But make encrypted.
Speaker B: Mothman. My brain went bat pig, but that's not a thing. Clearly, I'm a Marvel fan. Not a DC fan.
Speaker A: Back pig.
Speaker B: I think what my brain did. Do you remember when the Simpsons movie was coming out?
Speaker A: Spider pigs.
Speaker B: I don't know. Tell me about Mothman.
Speaker A: I want to tell you about that pig, but I can't.
Speaker B: Nobody can. He's that good. Oh, no. I broke Emma guys and completely derailed me. I'm sorry. We can't even blame it on the fact that it's early or late in the day. No, moderate 04:00.
Speaker A: Well, it's almost five now.
Speaker B: Wow.
Speaker A: We did really well today. That we're in, like, the middle of the day. All right, so mothman. Yes, we are talking about Mothman. So, on a chilly night in November 119,060 Googles, two couples out driving in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, were surprised to find a gigantic creature described as a man with wings that dove at their car and chased them down the road. Was this a large bird on a rampage or a creature born of radioactivity?
Speaker B: Oh.
Speaker A: So let's talk about the inciting incident. So tuesday, November 15, 1966. Steven Millette, Roger Scarberry, and their wives were driving around midnight down the road in an area of Point Pleasant referred to as the TNT area because there is a power plant. Okay. Um, they're all driving in Rogers, uh, Chevy. They were passing the old power plant near the National Guard armory buildings when they all saw what looked like a man standing in their car headlights. He just suddenly appeared. The man, however, had wings. It moved toward their car and chased them down the road, flying behind them as they tried to speed away. They all said it had red eyes when the car lights caught its face, and it flew about 100 miles an hour, eventually overtaking the car and flying past them. They made it to downtown Point Pleasant, but then they went back to see if it was still there.
Speaker B: Um, you're asking for bad things.
Speaker A: I think in their minds, what they were doing is like, is that really what we just saw is midnight. What happened? Let's just go back and see. Sure, whatever.
Speaker B: I'm not doing that. This never happens to us. I'm like, no, absolutely not. If you want to go back, I'll be like, Emma, get out of the car. I will call Jimmy and inform him that you are making a dumb decision.
Speaker A: And that he can find your dead body in that field right there.
Speaker B: Yeah. Sorry.
Speaker A: Basically. So they turned around and the creature was still there, as if it was waiting for them. That's what they said.
Speaker B: Can I tell you, on first blush, this is giving me intense, ScoobyDoo villain vibes.
Speaker A: I like that. Yes, I like that a lot. I love Scuba Do. Just side note, I love Scuba. Do.
Speaker B: The record, so shall note.
Speaker A: Yeah. Thank you. So they found the creature again. He was still standing where they left him, as if he was waiting for them. And then it took off running through a field just at the gate of a farm on Route 62. They heard what sounded like wing flapping and watched the creature rise straight up in the air, quote, like a helicopter. So, uh like, jump.
Speaker B: Okay.
Speaker A: When the men and their wives reported this experience the next day, the reporter for the Point Pleasant Register noted that they were, quote, dead serious when they told the story and seemed pale and sleep deprived. The sheriff and police went to the TNT area to look around and see if there was any evidence of the creature during the day, but they found nothing. Well done. Right. The men who had seen it had speculated that maybe the thing was living inside the power plant, possibly in one of the boilers, which I just loved that. They were like, this is real.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: That's where he lives. Yeah, that's it. He's got to live in the power plant. He's got to be from the power plant.
Speaker B: Whenever something odd happens, our brains are quick to point to things we don't understand. Yeah, I don't understand uh, stuff happens in power, comes out great.
Speaker A: Yes. Something radioactive is happening in there, I'm sure. But I don't know.
Speaker B: So that's where ScoobyDoo villain would hide out?
Speaker A: Absolutely. They also told the reporter they were planning to go look for it again that night. Although Scarberry noted he wanted to go during the day, but he wasn't sure about encountering it at night again. Basically, Mollett was like, yeah, we're going to go. We're going to go again tonight. See if we can find it. And Scarbury was like, no.
Speaker B: He's like, can we not also, could we take a nap?
Speaker A: Right.
Speaker B: I'm very tired.
Speaker A: I'm very tired. So three days after the initial incident on November 18, it was reported in the Williamson Daily News that eight more people had seen the creature. Mollette and Scarbury claim to have seen four in Mason County, the same county as Point Pleasant. In particular, there was a sighting the previous Saturday, which would have been before the TNT area sighting. Kenneth Duncan, a grave digger from Canala County, one county over from Point Pleasant, claimed that while he and four other men were digging, he saw a brown, man shaped thing, quote, buzz past him. So moving very quickly, he saw it for about a minute, both in the sky and in the surrounding trees. And the other four didn't see it.
Speaker B: And was this during the day?
Speaker A: Yes.
Speaker B: Okay. For some reason, my brain had grave diggers. No, uh, the only grave diggers that dig at night are like, bad ones that are heel bodies. Grave diggers are like people. Normally people. But it would happen during the day. Yeah.
Speaker A: No, it was during the day. He described it, um, as a huge birdlike thing with red reflective eyes and a wingspan of something like 10ft. Another report within the same article was from a man 100 miles north of Point Pleasant who claimed the creature took off with his dog. Newell Partridge, a contractor, was watching television when he said that the television started, quote, acting like a generator. I'm not quite sure what that means, but I read another space that it said that he claimed it was buzzing. So maybe it was just making some funky noise. Also remember, this is 1966. This is only like, maybe 15 years after, probably more like ten. That TVs were really a thing that people had in their homes all that often, so maybe something was up with it. But that's just me being speculative. His German shepherd banned it, began barking up a storm to something that was outside. So Partridge shined a flashlight into the field just beyond his front door, and the light rested on two red eyes. The dog became defensive and went after whatever it was. But Bandit never came back, which is so sad. This incident happened 90 minutes before the TNT area encounter.
Speaker B: So that's a fast moss.
Speaker A: Yes. The Mason County Sheriff, George Johnson, said he wasn't discounting these stories but believed that it was nothing more than a, quote, freak shite poke, kind of large heron. Yeah, they're, uh, just like really tall, long birds. Those are the initial sightings. And these were, uh, just the sightings in the newspaper reports on my initial search. And then I found Mothman Wiki.
Speaker B: Oh, boy. Hold on. Let me buckle in.
Speaker A: Yes, seriously, buckle into that 1965 Chevy. Because Motoman Wiki is so detailed. Someone out there in the universe, probably multiple someone's out there in the universe have taken so much care and time, not just putting this together, but also fact checking.
Speaker B: A lot of it.
Speaker A: Like, there is a great amount of it that is just speculation. No sources whatsoever. But then there's pieces of it that is like, this is from this story, but it doesn't correlate with this that we hear in all of these other things. And this is the first time that this shows up. So it's most likely incorrect, all that kind of stuff.
Speaker B: So.
Speaker A: I find it fascinating. It's just so deep. I got so close to getting super deep into it. And I just realized towards the middle of like I was, um, so close to going over the edge. And I realized I couldn't give you all of the information that Mothman Wiki could give. So don't worry, Mothman Wiki, it's in the show notes. Go and search through it for yourself. So much fun. But I'm going to give you some of my favorite sightings from Moffman Wiki. So in the 1970 book Strange Creatures from Time and Space by John Keel, he outlines quite a few other sightings, including one from West Virginia. Woman uh, in. She doesn't necessarily remember what year, but she was driving with her elderly father down Route Two near the Ohio River, which is where Point Pleasant sits. It's right on the edge of the Ohio River. As they passed the chief cornstock hunting grounds park, a man suddenly appeared in front of their car, similar to the first incident. She said the following. So this is just her quote. She said, I slowed. And as we got closer, we could see that it was much larger than a man, a big gray figure. Then a pair of wings unfolded from its back, and they practically filled the whole road. It almost looked like a small airplane. Then it took off, straight up, disappearing, uh, out of sight in seconds. We were both terrified. I stepped on the gas and raced out of there. We talked it over and decided not to tell anybody about it. Who would believe us anyway? Interesting, the correlation between what they saw versus what Mole and Scarborough saw. And, uh, Linda, um, Scarborough, Roger's wife, claimed that she had seen the creature multiple times after their initial encounter, including one night that December when she looked out their bedroom window and saw it sitting on their slanted trailer roof. It's just sitting there with its wings around it like a blanket. And she said, quote, I had figured out that it didn't want to hurt me. End quote.
Speaker B: Well, that's reassuring, right? I guess. How did you figure that out? Besides just wishful thinking, probably.
Speaker A: But she initially wanted to try and communicate with it, eventually deciding against it.
Speaker B: But, like, that would be you.
Speaker A: Yeah.
Speaker B: You'd be like that's fair. He keeps following us. It wants to be our friend.
Speaker A: Maybe it needs something. Maybe it wants to tell us something.
Speaker B: Give him some goldfish. Jimmy and I would be like, Absolutely not.
Speaker A: Well, you would say you don't need another creature to take care of. Like that chipmunk that I desperately want to stick around.
Speaker B: No, uh, I love that chipmunk.
Speaker A: He's cute. All right. In The Monk following their initial sighting, the scarberries had multiple moments of what seemed like poltergeist activity. Strange noises in the house that sounded like a sped up record, lights flickering on and off, and the heavy scent of cigar smoke. One evening, around midnight, linda, her aunt, and her infant daughter were all sleeping in Linda's room. Linda woke up and saw the shadowy outline of a man standing in the room. The kitchen light illuminated him enough to see. She said he had on a black and white checkered shirt, black pants, and that his black hair was in a crew cut. He stared at her with his dark eyes on the blinking. Linda said she could not move, that she was almost numb, which sounds like sleep paralysis a little bit. The man took out a cigarette from his shirt pocket and lit it. The light reflecting off of the crucifix that hung over the child's bed, it caught his eye, and both he and Linda turned to look. So she's not in sleep paralysis. She can move.
Speaker B: Mhm.
Speaker A: When she turned back, he was gone. Because, of course, when Linda's aunt later woke up, she said she had dreamed the same thing in that same room. The doors of the house were still locked, and there was no sign of an intruder ever coming in. So weird poltergeisty activity. Potentially. Men in black stuff going on. If you have any desire to read through the rabbit hole of doom that is The Mothman wiki. The link is in the show notes, please do it. You should do it, too. But these poltergeist and ghost activities are not necessarily Mothman himself, it seems. But he does tend to be the harbinger of bad tidings or a premonition of disaster and maybe allow some things to linger around.
Speaker B: What?
Speaker A: So, um, let's talk about the Silver Bridge collapse, okay? Do you need to buckle in further?
Speaker B: No, I want, um, to be able to exit the vehicle when my car falls in the water.
Speaker A: Fair enough. So, on December 15, 1967, a year after the first reported sightings of the Mothman, the bridge over the Ohio River that connected to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, with Gallipolis, Ohio collapsed at around 05:00 p.m.. Around rush hour, sending 64 people in their cars into the freezing river. 46 died in the disaster.
Speaker B: Oh, no.
Speaker A: Insane amount of people. Recovery of the vehicles and their passengers lasted months.
Speaker B: Can I interject?
Speaker A: Of course.
Speaker B: I saw a tick talk, uh, from a nine one, uh, one operator who was sharing some tips. If you ever are going to go into the water in your car, you should try and roll down the window as soon as possible. You should unseat belt yourself. You won't be able to open the door until, uh, the pressure equalizes. And do not climb to the back of the car, because that's how you get it. Yeah. You think that's where you want to go because that's where the air pocket is, because the front of your car sinks first because of the engine. But don't do that because you won't make it. Just a little morbid safety for you.
Speaker A: No, that's very much appreciated. Thank you.
Speaker B: You got it.
Speaker A: The reason that the almost 40 year old bridge collapsed was a three millimeter crack in one of the eyebars that held it up over the river. Oh. 3 mm. Isn't that insane?
Speaker B: And that's why neither you nor I is an engineer. That is too much.
Speaker A: There's so much pressure. A similar bridge a county over, was right after this collapse. Um, they shut down in order to do better checks of it, and eventually it was determined that it would have collapsed fairly soon, too. And so they destroyed it and built another one up to code.
Speaker B: Okay.
Speaker A: That's at least good.
Speaker B: Small silver lining.
Speaker A: Yeah. So there were reports, however, from those who survived the collapse or watched the horrific event that moments before Mothman was seen on the bridge. Was he a warning to those who would cross, or was he the cause of the collapse? No clue, just speculation. All of the actual reports are verified. I saw it.
Speaker B: What does he want?
Speaker A: It's a good question. I have no clue. But here's the bridge, just to show you. Obviously, there's a new bridge in its place. It's called the Silver Memorial, um, Bridge, or something along those lines. So some other disasters where a mothman appears and they're all around the world. So either Mothman or a mothman like creature has been spotted.
Speaker B: He's got cousins just like big mhm Bird. Oh, my gosh. Yeah, that's what I just was thinking. If you don't know what we're talking about, you should go look up Big Bird. Or, like, um, Stephanie Street on Twitter, big Bird was calling out all, um, his cousins from around the world. I love the one that's like, he looks scary and he's actually nice.
Speaker A: All right, so we're going to talk about the Chernobyl explosion.
Speaker B: Oh, what? Took a turn?
Speaker A: Yeah.
Speaker B: So.
Speaker A: On April 26. 1986. The Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Soviet Union had an explosion during a routine systems test of a reactor the nearby town of Pripyat was the base for the first responders. But it soon also had too much radioactivity for safe occupation and was abandoned during the time that it was used. However. Residents claimed that there was an unusual black creature that flew over them. Large and imposing. And plant workers had seen the same blackbird of Chernobyl in the days leading up to the disaster. There have also been sightings of the blackbird of Chernobyl after the fact, after Pripyat was abandoned. After Chernobyl uh, was abandoned, you will see a huge black thing in the sky just hovering above Chernobyl. He also appeared on 911. So there were reports on September 11, 2001, during the horrific attack on Twin Towers in New York City, um, that a black humanoid figure in flight was seen, with some claiming that they could make out his face, red eyes, and all through the smoke and debris. There are also claims that up to five days before the attack, uh, there was a cranelike creature flying in the vicinity of the towers, which is not normal for New York. Makes another appearance with another bridge. On August 1, 2007, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the I 35 West Bridge collapsed, killing 13 and injuring 145 up to a month before. People claim to have seen a dark manlike figure with wings appearing near the bridge, just like the other one, just kind of appearing. No one's really catching him doing anything. It's just showing up. And lastly, on August 10 of 2009, residents of Chihuahua, Mexico, started to notice a creature described as, quote, tall and hairy, with expansive wings and bloodshot eyes. A student claimed that he had been chased for 15 minutes by the creature. These sightings coincided with a rise in swine flu cases in the area. This is not necessarily a singular disaster like the others were, but it's kind of spooky and it's timing in the idea that right after he appears and then disappears, the swine food cases rose. In more recent years, Mothman has made appearances that still can't quite be explained. So in November of 2016, a man was driving along State Route Two when he saw something jumping from tree to tree. He pulled over and grabbed his phone to take some pictures as it flew from one tree to the next. He wouldn't disclose his name to the media, but adamantly insisted that the photos hadn't been retouched or doctored. So these are the photos that he took? Yeah.
Speaker B: Mhm.
Speaker A: Mothman has also been seen in Chicago and for a while now, starting in 2011, sightings of a dark, slender flying figure have surfaced on and off. And in 2017, the rate of the sightings increased heavily. Don't know why. 2017 was the year of the Mothman, but apparently it was. In total, there were 55 sightings of a flying humanoid creature in the city of Chicago in 2017.
Speaker B: Can I put out a request for a year of the Mothman?
Speaker A: Merch like a Chinese zodiac kind of situation.
Speaker B: I don't, uh, know. I'm just picturing, like, 2017, year of the month. I don't know, almost like what's the one movie, 2001, uh, where it's like the big graphics that have the shadow on the font. I don't know what I mean. But the image in your mind is very clear. That's my vote for putting on the merch this episode.
Speaker A: Fair enough.
Speaker B: Because we've been slacking instantly, I think.
Speaker A: Because we think we're funny.
Speaker B: No, the end of story. We are funny.
Speaker A: Yes, you're right. All right, so one set sighting was on a summer night in 2017 when security officer John Amitrono went outside and saw something unusual in the sky. He said, again, another chunk of, quote quote, I saw a plane flying, but also something moving really awkwardly under it. It didn't look like a bat so much as the illustrations of pterodactyls look like with the slenderness of its head and its winged shape. I know what birds look like and what bats look like. This thing didn't have any feathers or fur, and it didn't fly like anything I've ever seen. It flew in a strange, swooping motion, undulating up and down, uh, kind of like a little mhm weight. John was mad mhm that he had left his phone charging inside the club he was working at, texting his girlfriend and friends about what he had seen, and lamenting that he hadn't had the chance to take a picture. Fair enough. Most of the sightings were of the thing in flight, though some claim to see it sitting on fence posts or on top of buildings, just staring. A few claim to have been swooped down on by the creature, but no one was able to take a photo of it because it all happened pretty fast. Most recently, a postal service worker claimed to have seen the creature at the Chicago O'Hare Airport one night on her way home from work in September of 2020. So this is not all that long ago at all. Around 11:00 p.m.. She was walking to her car to go home from her shift at the sorting facility when she saw something standing at the end of the parking lot. She at first thought it was a large person in a long coat, but when she went to unlock her car and her car lights came on, the light caused the person standing about 20ft from the headlights to turn and look directly at her. She saw that this was not a person, but a red eyed, seven foot tall creature with wings folded around it, which spread as it turned to look at her.
Speaker B: Terrifying.
Speaker A: Honestly, I don't think I'd be tall. Shannon just did her very best Mothman impression, and it was glorious.
Speaker B: Alas, I'm not 7ft tall, nor do my eyes glow red, but it was brilliant. Do you think there are Mothman cos players out there?
Speaker A: Absolutely.
Speaker B: Are they on the Wiki?
Speaker A: If they are. I didn't see them, but we can definitely find them.
Speaker B: Oh, boy.
Speaker A: So it turned to look at, uh, her, and then it came closer within any feet of her clicking and chirping extremely fast before taking off into the sky. Sorry, I'm trying to get through this very quickly before you start.
Speaker B: I mean, it's still light outside, so it's okay.
Speaker A: Yeah, of course. She screamed and drove into her car, locking her doors and turning on all of the lights in her car. Like, she turned on all of the cabin lights and all of her headlights and everything.
Speaker B: That's going to save you. Ten foot wingspan, giant mouse.
Speaker A: She shot through the parking lot and down the road until she got home. When she relayed all of this to her husband, who was also a postal employee of the same facility, he told her of the multiple sightings that others had had in the same area. Like, if you were my husband, she's not telling me this stuff.
Speaker B: She goes home, she's like, Jen, you'll never believe what happened. And he's like, oh, yeah, we see him. He's around. What? You didn't tell me what? I missed that on the orientation tour.
Speaker A: And there over on your right will be Mr. Mothman.
Speaker B: Don't worry, don't make eye contact, but it's fine. Don't make any seven movements. Don't put out a large lantern. He'll get distracted.
Speaker A: When asked if she had seen where it had gone, she said, I didn't care to stick around and find out.
Speaker B: Correct. Good answer. Honestly.
Speaker A: Overall, the attempts to identify what this creature in Chicago was has been futile. Although NPR put together a short nine minute feature on these Chicago sightings, encouraging people to investigate at their own risk. At the end of the article, they wrote and I'm reading this whole disclaimer because just excellent writing disclaimer we are not responsible for any laws that are broken in the pursuit of Mothman, nor are we responsible for the factualness of any of the information contained herein. The following information should not be used as an excuse to trespass on private property or ensnare your hairier relatives with a comically large butterfly net.
Speaker B: Somebody in the legal department was having a fun day. I just appreciated it.
Speaker A: All right, so, uh, is Mothman really a cryptid creature or is he something else? So following Scarborough and Mollett's claims of the Mothman around the power plant as well as the sighting of him near Chernobyl, some have speculated that the creature is the result of radioactivity messing with either a human or a bird or possibly boast to create a hybrid with a predator's drive. So creepy. Radioactive baby with wings. Most mhm, however, tend to try and debunk the sightings with the claim that Mothman is in fact a bird. Well, Mason County Sheriff George Johnson thought that it was simply a, quote, freak shite poke, which every time I see it, I want to say something else. Terrorizing west virginians is a good guess. The more likely culprit is the Sandhill crane, though native to northern North America. So like the lower middle of Canada through Nebraska here in the States, the color and the signature red eyes and forehead may explain the sightings of the alleged mothman. The thought is that the bird lost its way during a migration and was trying to make the best of the situation in the winter months. So here is our sand hill crane. He's normal looking bird, but he's got a red forehead and a gray body.
Speaker B: But he's not 7ft tall.
Speaker A: No, that is an issue. As far as size goes, this is where it gets a little sketchy. So their wingspan can be up to 7ft long, but they usually stand about 3ft in height. They're not all that big. They're big, right? But they're not enormous.
Speaker B: Well, and even if the victims is not the right word, but the witnesses there you go. Are like, me, I'm very bad with spatial, uh, sort of things. I can't look at something and be like, oh, yeah, that's about like four and a half feet tall. I use references of other, like, oh, that person is taller than your average refrigerator. You know what I mean?
Speaker A: Tom King. That's for you.
Speaker B: Refrigerator. Um, yeah, he is too high up there. But anyway, even if they were, like me, bad with spatial comparisons and you're in a stressful moment, I feel like it's a large jump to be like, the thing was actually 3ft tall and you said seven. You know what I mean? I feel like that's too much of a disparity to be like, oh, it's just stress and they kind of miscalculate it.
Speaker A: Yeah. Or like distance and perspective or whatever.
Speaker B: Yeah.
Speaker A: So the way that these cranes fly as, um, well, doesn't seem to be close to the claims of the mothman in flight. So the claims have those long necks outstretched with their long bill leading the way. So it looks nothing like a head on shoulders that could resemble a man in the sky. So, with particular sightings, there seem to be a few holes in the alleged encounters for both the Silver Bridge and the I 35 west collapses. There are no solid reasons to believe it was mothman rather than a large bird. No one was close enough to make out any identifying features, so the speculation just became whipped into a frenzy of cryptid hope. The same goes for the Chicago sightings, as there was no mention of the red eyes in any of the sightings in the case, uh, of the 2016 sighting and pictures. Skeptics have proposed that the photo is not of mothman, but of an owl with snake snack, which, trailing behind the bird, creates the illusion of legs in the twilight. So I want you to look at this again.
Speaker B: A snake's head.
Speaker A: A snake snack. Look at that again and try and break it up into. Owl with a snake in its town.
Speaker B: That's a thick snake. Right.
Speaker A: But you can kind of see where they're going with it, right?
Speaker B: Yeah, definitely. In the two photos. Uh, I definitely see that. Looks like an owl. Yeah, but the one with the legs, quote, unquote, it's a thick snake. It's a thick snake. Someone's pet boa constrictor got snapped from an alleyway. Who's keeping their bow constrictor in an alley? Well, he got out.
Speaker A: Oh, I see.
Speaker B: Snakes could figure out how to open doors.
Speaker A: No, it freaks me out. I love snakes, but I would never want a large one. I would want can you tell, you little baby garden snakes. I can just smell you. Shannon is not approved.
Speaker B: Only if you put him in cute little hats.
Speaker A: I absolutely will.
Speaker B: Okay. And he's not in the guest room?
Speaker A: No, he won't be in your room. Don't worry.
Speaker B: Okay.
Speaker A: As far as Chernobyl claims go, these didn't appear until after, uh, the 2002 movie the Mothman Prophecies, starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney. And based on the book of the same name by John Keel. The movie mentions this or I can't continue. She is losing her mind.
Speaker B: Sorry. Richard Gear. Yes.
Speaker A: He plays reporting.
Speaker B: He gave them the old razzled dazzle. All right. Okay. This movie came out, they were in it. What happened next?
Speaker A: So this movie mentions this blackbird of Chernobyl in its legend of the cryptid. And so most of these claims can be determined false because no one has ever mentioned that before this movie. So it's possible that people brought it into their own folklore of Mothman and its claims.
Speaker B: Can I just say, Chernobyl, while it was not a middle school fascination, it falls in the same category.
Speaker A: Yes.
Speaker B: When you see the drone footage flying through the town and through the factory, because obviously people can't really go, but they can fly the drone, I'm like, terrifying fascinating. Absolutely. To know everything.
Speaker A: Any kind of abandoned space that still has the stuff in it, like it was just like people up and left. Yeah. I think it's in North Carolina. It's the, um, wizard of Oz amusement park. And it's completely overrun with all of the vegetation and everything. But there's still a yellow brick road, and I think you can now reserve to go to it and wander through it. And I really want to do it. I would find that fascinating.
Speaker B: If we go during the daytime, I'm down.
Speaker A: Okay. Yes. All right.
Speaker B: We'll do that postcoded road trip.
Speaker A: Yes, absolutely. We're going to have to write down a lot of stuff for our postcoded road trip.
Speaker B: Well, some of them may not be through the road. That take a very long fairy to the world care museum.
Speaker A: That's true in popular culture as well as a movie starring Mothman, he's become somewhat of a celebrity in point, um, pleasant.
Speaker B: Um, makes sense.
Speaker A: Ever since deciding in 1000 966, the legend of the creature persisted throughout the town, returning in full force when the man captured those pictures in 2016. But by then, the town already had its antihero solidified. In 2002, the annual Mothman Festival began unveiling the twelve foot statue of their namesake in the center of town. A year later, in 2005, the Mockman Museum and Research Center opened across from the statue, and nearly everything in the town revolves around their claim to fame and research center. I know. I love it. I love that so much. So the festival is held every third weekend in September excepting 2020, when they had to cancel due to covid 19. There's also a camera fixed on the statue so you can watch it on a live, uh, feed whenever you want, which I don't know why you would, but so here's the statue. Isn't it weird? Those eyes are reflective, too, so that anytime you take a flash photo, it reflects or if it's at night and you shine a light on it, it reflects.
Speaker B: He and the blue horse from Denver. We're in a club together. His wings are very pretty in the statue.
Speaker A: He seems to have cornrows as hair. And he also has that's no gender whatsoever, which I appreciate because we don't.
Speaker B: Know clue not a person that sounds like a Pokemon.
Speaker A: Okay, well, that needs to be on our all right.
Speaker B: They have speakers, and festival also implies their snacks. So I'm down.
Speaker A: There are pie eating contests. There are cookies in the shape of Mothman as well as having, uh, Mothman on them. There used to be I don't think it's still around, but there used to be the Mothman Diner. It's no longer around because the owner passed away. Um, but she was so deep into all this Mothman stuff, like she was one of the founders of the Hipster.
Speaker B: 20 somethings of Mount Pleasant. Why did you not work to save the diner?
Speaker A: Right, but I really want to go. It's basically just a ton of food and live bands and talking about Mothman. People dressed up as Mothman gathering around get pictures with so definitely Go. Though he is often placed in conjunction with men in Black, UFOs and other supernatural sightings or beings, mothman seems to hold his own, thanks to his hometown. Also, side note because this is incredible, in June of 2020, a petition was started to replace all Confederate statues with ones of Mothman. To date, the petition has over 20 signatures. Isn't that incredible?
Speaker B: Wow.
Speaker A: I want that so badly.
Speaker B: That's up there with I forgot what year it was. But there was, um, definitely a whitehouse dot gov petition for the US. Government to build a Death Star. Yes, I remember that from Star Wars. And they got enough signatures that they.
Speaker A: Had to acknowledge it.
Speaker B: They had to release an official statement that was like, we have received your petition. We can't for national security reasons or whatever. Uh, somebody was having a good day in that office, too. I'm sorry. Can't believe this is my job today.
Speaker A: Yes, so if you'd like to sign that. That petition is also in our show notes. It's still ongoing. All right, so here's my opinion on Mothman. Though it might be possible that it might be a sandhill crane or a large owl wreaking havoc, it does not explain all of it. And there might be a more likely culprit on the loose. And my vote is a shoebill stork. Though native to Africa, this bird seems to carry all of the characteristics of the mothman, kind of including the eyes, because they're really big and they're really freaky looking. So these birds are about four and a half feet on average tall, so not that much taller than a sandhill crane, but they have really large features and very muscular looking legs, which is terrifying. When they fly, their wingspan reaches up to eight and a half, um, feet, and they fly with their necks retracted, uh, meaning it ends up looking more like the head of a human than a bird. And silhouette. They are also a bird of prey who dive for their meals, which include very large snakes. And I did not include this photo, but there is a photo of this shoebill store with an actual anaconda in its, uh, mouth. So this is what it looks like. True dinosaur. It's a dinosaur. It's basically a pterodactyl.
Speaker B: Is that my cousin? Look at those calves.
Speaker A: I know, right? Absolutely terrifying. So the main issues with this include its eyes aren't strikingly red. It lives in Africa, and the sound it makes is not a clicking or a clattering or anything that anyone's ever described. It actually moves like a cow.
Speaker B: I'm sorry, what?
Speaker A: It's just like a low rumble. It just goes.
Speaker B: Terrifying. It's like a small airplane with really thick legs coming at you.
Speaker A: Yeah, but I like the idea of a prehistoric looking thing just having a grand old time somewhere it doesn't belong, scaring the bejesus out of everybody.
Speaker B: Stop having exotic pets.
Speaker A: Seriously.
Speaker B: That's when stuff like this happens. No, absolutely.
Speaker A: I agree with that statement. Don't have exotic pets. Wild animals are wild. Lastly, he was named Mothman from the popular TV series at the time, Batman, because one of the comic book villains was the Killer Moth, and they just complained. It made it mock.
Speaker B: Man, comics are so funny, man.
Speaker A: Yes.
Speaker B: The heroes that didn't make the cut to the final movies, they were like.
Speaker A: I am the Killer Mock. No, I'm sorry. We can't continue.
Speaker B: We just can't.
Speaker A: Sorry. Um, yeah. Can't continue. So I kind of blew through that. So I apologize. This is a shorter episode than usual, but so good. I needed to get all of this out because this was honestly the most fun to dream.
Speaker B: I feel like we were due for a little light hearted oh, yeah.
Speaker A: Situation.
Speaker B: The last couple were maybe a little dirt.
Speaker A: I want to go there.
Speaker B: That's pretty close.
Speaker A: It really is close.
Speaker B: We could road trip. Let's see. I mean, nothing's open right now, but that's true. Also, it's cold right now, so we wouldn't want to but maybe when it's a little warmer, we could do an outdoor walk around situation.
Speaker A: I would love that. I just really want to go and see the map I'm looking up to see how far we plus it is.
Speaker B: For us, which is surprising that I.
Speaker A: Didn'T do this earlier.
Speaker B: That's okay. Uh, but, yeah, we should make a list. We got the World Carrot Museum and the Vine House over in the UK. I want to go to that museum in Bogota to look at all.
Speaker A: Absolutely. Uh, so it's about 5 hours and 58 minutes.
Speaker B: Oh, really? Farthest edge of what yeah, that's true. But, hey, we could get through Hamilton at least twice.
Speaker A: We could also potentially stop in Pittsburgh and then go back down. I mean, it's not all that close. It'd probably add an extra hour and a half, 2 hours to go.
Speaker B: But if we're making a road trip, we might as well yeah. Road trip it out. For those of you who may not be aware, emma and I follow a very strict car trip road trip protocol.
Speaker A: Yes, we do.
Speaker B: When we listen to, uh, musicals, in particular, Hamilton. What is the subtitle of Hamilton? Like an American musical? We have certain roles that are our primary roles and then secondary ones. So if two of my characters are in a song together, and I don't feel like trying to sing both of them, emma will step in.
Speaker A: Yes, I will.
Speaker B: But if my secondary character is alone in a song, I would sing it. And we're a little intense. Emma has a note, um, on her phone, um, very particular. That's from 2016 or 17, isn't it?
Speaker A: Yeah, because it was from our first road trip down to Lynchburg after our graduation. Uh, yeah.
Speaker B: So, uh, yeah, that's just a little fun fact about us. If you're in a car with us and we're listening to a musical, unless it's an ensemble number, don't try to sing every part.
Speaker A: Sincerely, do not try to sing every part. It makes me so angry. There are duets for a reason. There are different voices for a reason. Just sing the part that you are supposed to sing. If it is a duet.
Speaker B: This feels very pointed.
Speaker A: I'm sorry. There was a moment when we were going back from one of the shows that we were in, and I wasn't driving you. You were in your own car. But I was driving someone else back, and they did that, and it really bothered me. You know who this is?
Speaker B: This is not the call out episode. We already did that.
Speaker A: I'm not calling them out, but they did that, and it was as if they were trying, um, to impress me somehow, and it just made me angrier because in my mind. I was like, this is the way that we bond. This is the way that we will become good friends, is that I have my part, you have your part, and then we harmonize on the parts that we match. And then we were like, oh, we work so well together. Don't sing every part.
Speaker B: Right? It's like, there's a reason that I'm dropping out every other line.
Speaker A: Right. I'm not just choosing it's not like.
Speaker B: I don't forgot the words. No. Well, my friends, this is so fun. Emma a little creepy. I know, but I didn't cry.
Speaker A: She did ask me. She did text me and say, is this one creepy this week? And I said no.
Speaker B: I was like, what's the vibe?
Speaker A: That's what it was. I said it was goofy and, like, cryptid related, but I didn't remember how much doom and gloom there was in the beginning, and I'm so sorry.
Speaker B: It's okay.
Speaker A: It just seems to be the trend of mine that they end up being doom and gloomy.
Speaker B: I turned out to be very, like, national charity, national treasure in the name Jonesy eldorado. Anyway, thank you for listening, friends. You can, um, send us an email with your road trip specifications. What songs? How do you break down the singing? Do you sing at all? Are you a podcast person? Are you listening to us in a car right now? What are you oh, my gosh. How meta. Also, what length of a journey qualifies as a road trip?
Speaker A: Because I feel like there's a.
Speaker B: Get out of my, uh, brain. I'm just going to say that you know what I mean. Like, when you and I give a little ride, like us, when we go to get food in 30 minutes, that's not a road trip. Even though we might sing, but it's.
Speaker A: Not a road trip. Anyway, I understand.
Speaker B: Have you gone to visit the mothman statue?
Speaker A: If you have? Like, our friend Haley actually went to Summerton Beach, uh, where the tummy shoot case was started, and yet they won't send me the photo for good reason.
Speaker B: For good reason. But I'm like, now I want to.
Speaker A: See have you been there?
Speaker B: Have you been to push it? Yeah. Here's me being a romantic, but also a scenic get photos with you on.
Speaker A: A trip, like, just, uh, by yourself.
Speaker B: And with any friends, significant others that you might be with, because then you will have a photo of you experiencing that alone if the need arises.
Speaker A: You don't need to cut anybody out of your photos.
Speaker B: Look, I feel like we've all been there.
Speaker A: Yes, we've all been there.
Speaker B: But anyway, if you have related photos to any episode, stories, suggestions, you can email us. This podcast doesn't exist@gmail.com. We can't wait to hear from you.
Speaker A: Please. We love hearing from you. Uh, guys, and I will say we are not reading them just yet. We're waiting to have enough episode, and then we're going to be surprised by your wonderful pros and your amazing stories. Um, so send us your best.
Speaker B: It's going to be a wild ride because we don't pre read anymore.
Speaker A: No pronunciations are going to suck, but that's okay.
Speaker B: Well, they kind of do it already, but that's just me. All right. Well, Emma.
Speaker A: Yes.
Speaker B: Thank you for sharing. You're welcome.
Speaker A: Thank you for listening, friends.
Speaker B: Thank you for listening.
Speaker A: And remember this, um, podcast.
Speaker B: You came at me like a mouse man in the night. You're welcome. Goodnight. Bye. We love you. Bye. Um.