On Saturday April 24th, Jewel Staite officially abandons her firefly for a moth in SyFy’s new original feature, Mothman. According to the official description, the film is about the legendary West Virginia monster who returns to exact revenge on five childhood friends who covered up an accidental killing.
So, a mothman, huh? I’ve definitely heard of the creature through the X-Files fifth season episode, “Detour,” and again in the 2002 film, The Mothman Prophecies starring Richard Gere. The Mothman has been reportedly seen in the Charleston and Point Pleasant areas of West Virginia from November 1966 through to December 1967. Yet the first sighting came much earlier in the 1960’s when a woman was driving along Route 2 near the Ohio River. As she neared the Chief Cornstalk Hunting Grounds, a large man-shaped figure stepped onto the road directly in her path. As the woman slowed her car, the figure spread two large wings and flew away! The driver never reported the incident because she reasoned – not unexpectedly – that no one would believe her anyway!
While Cornstalk car woman had the first sighting, the incident which received first publicity was one in 1965. A woman living near the Ohio River related how her son had told her one day of seeing “an angel” outside. She thought nothing more of it until about a year later when she thought the creature must have been the illusive mothman.
There are several theories about the Mothman. John Keel, author and professional journalist who has been fascinated by the paranormal since he was 12, wrote the book The Mothman Prophecies. He claimed the Mothman was related to parapsychological events in the area, including UFO activity. Some people say the legend sprang from a mis-identification; the Sandhill Crane was somewhat of a major problem in the surrounding West Virginia regions during the late 1960’s. Others speculate sightings of the supposed mothman are people confusing large birds like the Barn Owl, the Snowy Owl or the albino owl with the legend.
Regardless, Jewel Staite is set to tackle the fictional version of the mythic creature on Saturday, so tune your sets to the SyFy Channel at 9 PM ET/PT!