What may well have been the most notorious of all
"scares" involving reptilian beings, involved a combined
"invasion" of pterodactylin-hominoid "Mothmen" and "Men
In Black". These creatures have been referred to as Mothmen, Winged Dracos,
and Winged Serpents, depending on the source involved. They reportedly
terrorized a particular area in West Virginia, according to John A. Keel, in the
mid-1960's. Keel is convinced that these malevolent entities were
involved in the tragic "silver bridge" disaster in which several UFO
witnesses perished, based on certain strange circumstances surrounding the
event. In his book 'THE MOTHMEN PROPHECIES' (Signet Books., N.Y.) Keel
reveals the following:
"The moment I met Mrs. Hyre's niece Connie
Carpenter in 1966, I knew she was telling the truth because her eyes were
reddened, watery, and almost swollen shut. I had seen these symptoms many times
in my treks around the country investigating UFO reports. Witnesses who were
unlucky enough to have a close encounter with an unidentified flying object,
usually a dazzlingly brilliant aerial light, are exposed to actinic
rays...ultraviolet rays...which can cause 'eyeburn,' medically known as KLIEG
CONJUNCTIVITIS. These are the same kind of rays that tan your hide at the beach.
If you lie in the bright sun without protecting your eyes you can get
conjunctivitis. Whatever they are, UFOs radiate intense actinic rays. There are
now thousands of cases in which witnesses suffered eye-burns and temporary eye
damage...even temporary blindness ... after viewing a strange flying light in
the night sky.
"...What puzzled me about Connie's case,
however, was that she had not seen a splendid luminous flying saucer. She had
seen a giant 'winged man' in broad daylight.
"According to her story, Connie, a shy,
sensitive eighteen- year-old, was driving home from church at 10:30 A.M. on
Sunday, November 27, 1966, when, as she passed the deserted greens of Mason
County Golf Course outside New Haven, West Virginia, she suddenly saw a huge
gray figure. It was shaped like a man, she said, but much larger. It was at
least SEVEN FEET TALL and very broad. The thing that attracted her attention was
not its size but its eyes. IT HAD, SHE SAID, LARGE, ROUND, FIERCELY GLOWING RED
EYES THAT FOCUSED ON HER WITH HYPNOTIC EFFECT.
"`It's a wonder I didn't run off the road
and have a wreck,' she commented later.
"As she slowed, her eyes fixed on the
apparition, a pair of wings unfolded from its back. They seemed to have a span
of about ten feet. It was definitely not an ordinary bird but a MAN-SHAPED THING
which rose slowly off the ground, straight up like a helicopter, silently. Its
wings did not flap in flight. It headed straight toward Connie's car, its
horrible eyes fixed to her face, then it swooped low over her head as she shoved
the accelerator to the floor-boards in utter hysteria.
"OVER ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE WOULD SEE THIS
BIZARRE CREATURE THAT WINTER.
"Connie's conjunctivitis lasted over two
weeks, apparently caused by those glowing red eyes. At the time of my first
visit to Point Pleasant in 1966 I did not relate the winged weirdo to flying
saucers. Later events not only proved that a relationship existed, but that
relationship also is a vital clue to the whole mystery.
"Max's Kansas City is a famous watering hole
for New York's hip crowd. In the summer of 1967 an oddball character wandered
into that restaurant noted for its oddball clientele. He was tall and awkward,
dressed in an ill-fitting black suit that seemed out of style. His chin came to
a sharp point and his eyes bulged slightly like 'thyroid eyes.' He sat down in a
booth and gestured to the waitress with his long, tapering fingers.
"`Something to eat,' he mumbled. The
waitress handed him a menu. He stared at it uncomprehendingly, apparently unable
to read. 'Food,' he said almost pleadingly.
"`How about a steak?' she offered.
"She brought him a steak with all the
trimmings. He stared at it for a long moment and then picked up his knife and
fork, glancing around at the other diners. It was obvious he did not know how to
handle the implements! The waitress watched him as he fumbled helplessly.
Finally she showed him how to cut the steak and spear it with the fork. He sawed
away at the meat. Clearly he really was hungry.
"`Where are you from?' she asked gently.
"`Not from here.'
"Boy, another put-on artist, she thought to
herself. The other waitresses gathered in a corner and watched him as he fumbled
with his food, a stranger in a strange land.
"A large white car with a faulty muffler
wheezed and rattled up the back street in New Haven, West Virginia, where Connie
Carpenter lived, and Jack Brown knocked at her door.
"`I'm a -- a friend of Mary Hyre's.'
"His strange demeanor and disjointed
questions distressed her and disturbed her husband, Keith, and her brother
Larry. It quickly became obvious that he was not particularly interested in
Connie's sighting of the man-bird the year before. He seemed more concerned with
Mrs. Hyre and my own relationship with her (we were professional friends,
"`What do you think -- if -- what would Mary
Hyre do -- if someone told her to stop writing about UFOs?' he asked.
"`She'd probably tell them to drop dead.'
"Most of the questions were stupid, even
unintelligible. After a rambling conversation he drove off into the night in his
noisy car. Connie called her aunt immediately, puzzled and upset by the visit.
He was such a very odd man, she noted, and he wouldn't speak at all if you
weren't looking directly into his dark, hypnotic eyes. Connie, Keith and Larry
not only noticed his long-fingered hands, but there was also something very
peculiar about his ears. They couldn't say exactly what. But there was
"Another kind of Man in Black haunted
Brooklyn, New York, in 1877-80. He had wings and performed aerial
acrobatics over the heads of the crowds of sunbathers at Coney Island. A Mr. W.
H. Smith first reported these strange flights in a letter to the NEW YORK SUN,
September 18, 1877. The creature was not a bird, but a 'winged human(oid) form.'
"This flying 'man' became a local sensation
and, according to the NEW YORK TIMES, September 12, 1880, 'many reputable
persons' saw him as he was 'engaged in flying toward New Jersey.' He maneuvered
at an altitude of about one thousand feet, sporting 'BATS WINGS' and making
swimming-like movements. Witnesses claimed to have seen his face clearly. He
'WORE A CRUEL AND DETERMINED EXPRESSION.' The entire figure was black, standing
out sharply against the clear blue sky...
"North American Indians have extensive
legends about the Thunderbird, a huge bird said to carry off children and old
people. It was accompanied by loud noises, hums, buzzes and, apparently rumbles
from the infrasonic and ultrasonic levels. Known as PIASA to the Indians of the
Dakotas, it was supposed to have terrifying red eyes and a long tail... a
monstrous demon with... bat's wings, and a body closely in human form.
"...In May 1961, a New York pilot was buzzed
by a 'damned big bird, bigger than an eagle. For a moment I doubted my sanity
because it looked more like a pterodactyl out of the prehistoric past.' The
thing had swooped at his plane as he cruised up the Hudson River valley.
"Far away, in the Ohio River valley, another
startled pair had an even more breathtaking experience. A woman prominent in
civic affairs in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, was driving on Route 2 along the
Ohio River with her elderly father. As they passed through a sector on the edge
of the park known as the Chief Cornstalk Hunting Grounds, a tall manlike figure
suddenly appeared on the road in front of them.
"`I slowed down,' she told me years later,
'and as we got closer we could see that it was much larger than a man. A big
gray figure. It stood in the middle of the road. 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 ... disappeared out of sight in
seconds. We were both terrified. I stepped on the gas and raced out of there.
"...A businessman in Arlington, Virginia,
wrote to me recently, describing an experience he and three friends had in the
winter of 1969. They were at a farm near Haymarket when they heard a strange
rushing sound near a small lake. Intrigued, they set out with flashlights and a
couple of dogs to investigate. Suddenly the dogs howled, turned tail, and ran.
There, standing by a tree was a huge dark shadow between eight and twelve feet
tall. The quartet scurried back to their car, turned on their lights, and swung
toward the shadow. 'All we saw,' he reported, 'was this huge thing with large
red-orange eyeballs and wing-like arms. We couldn't get out of there fast
Keel goes on to relate the experience of Woodrow Derenberger, who experienced a weird encounter on November 4th (1966?) while
driving on Route 7 outside of Parkersburg "when he suddenly felt a tingling
sensation in his forehead." Then thoughts from a being that identified
itself as Indrid Cold from the planet 'Lanulos' "began to spring full-blown
in his mind." According to Keel:
"Two weeks later, though Woody wasn't aware
of it at the time, two salesmen visited Mineral Wells and went from house to
house with their wares. They weren't very interested in making sales. At one
house they offered bibles. At another, hardware. At a third they were 'Mormon
missionaries from Salem, Oregon' (a UFO wave was taking place in Salem at that
time). One man was tall, blond, and looked like a Scandinavian. His partner was
short and slight, with pointed features and a dark olive complexion. They asked
questions about Woody and were particularly interested in opinions on the
validity of his alleged contact..."
"High explosives were manufactured in Point
Pleasant during World War II. Seven miles outside of town part of the 2,500-acre
McClintic Wildlife Station, an animal preserve and bird sanctuary, was ripped
up. MILES OF UNDERGROUND TUNNELS WERE DUG, linking camouflaged buildings and
factories. One hundred 'igloos' were scattered across the fields and woods --
huge concrete domes with heavy steel doors where the finished explosives could
be safely stored. Dirt and grass covered the domes so from the air the whole
area had a harmless, pastoral appearance. A few scattered buildings linked by
improvised dirt roads with no suggestion of all the activity going on below
ground. It looked like nothing more than what it was supposed to be, a haven for
birds and animals in the Ohio River valley.
"After the war most of the explosives were
carted away. The factories were dismantled. THE ENTRANCES AND EXITS OF THE
TUNNELS WERE PLUGGED WITH THICK CONCRETE SLABS. Some of the igloos were given to
the Mason County government as possible storage vaults. They still stand empty.
Others were sold to the Trojan-U.S. Powder Co. and the LFC Chemical Co. Some
were leased to American Cyanamid.
"...At 11:30 P.M. on the night of November
15, 1966, two young couples from Point Pleasant, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Scarberry
and Mr. and Mrs. Steve Mallette, were driving through the TNT area in the
Scarberry's 1957 Chevy. They were looking for friends but no one seemed to be
out that night. All of the twisting back roads were deserted. The few homes
scattered among the igloos were dark.
"Roger, then a strapping blond
eighteen-year-old, was driving. They aimlessly made the circuit of the roads
around the igloos, returning to the old generator plant near the unlocked gate.
As they pulled alongside the plant, Linda Scarberry gasped. They all looked into
the blackness and saw two bright red circles. They were about two inches in
diameter and six inches apart. Roger slammed on his brakes.
"`What is it?' Mary Mallette, a strikingly
attractive brunette, cried from the back seat.
"The lights bobbed away from the building
and the startled foursome saw they were attached to some huge animal.
"`IT WAS SHAPED LIKE A MAN BUT BIGGER,'
Roger said later. 'MAYBE SIX AND A HALF OR SEVEN FEET TALL. AND IT HAD BIG WINGS
FOLDED AGAINST ITS BACK.'
"`But it was those eyes that got us,' Linda
declared. 'It had two big eyes like automobile reflectors.'
"`They were hypnotic,' Roger continued. 'For
a minute we could only stare at it. I couldn't take my eyes off it.'
"It was grayish in color and walked on
sturdy manlike legs. IT TURNED SLOWLY AND SHUFFLED TOWARD THE DOOR OF THE
GENERATOR PLANT WHICH WAS AJAR AND HANGING ON ITS HINGES.
"`Let's get out of here!' Steve yelled.
"Roger stepped on the gas and they shot
through the gates, spun onto the exit road, and headed for Route 62..."
"At 7:15 A.M. on November 25, a young shoe
salesman named Thomas Ury was driving along Route 62 just north of the TNT area
when he noticed a tall, gray manlike figure standing in a field by the road.
'Suddenly it spread a pair of wings,' Ury said, 'and took off straight up, like
"'It veered over my convertible and began
going in circles three telephone poles high.'
"He stepped on the gas as the creature
zoomed down over his vehicle. 'It kept flying right over my car even though I
was doing seventy-five.'
"Mr. Ury sped into Point Pleasant and went
straight to the sheriff's office thoroughly panicked. 'I never saw anything like
it,' he confided to Mrs. Hyre later. 'I was so scared I just couldn't go to work
that day. The thing had a wingspan every bit of ten feet. It could be a bird,
but I certainly never saw one like it. I was afraid it was going to come right
down right on top of me.'
"The old familiar symptom, unreasonable
terror, took hold of him. 'I've never had that feeling before. A weird kind of
fear,' he said. 'That fear gripped you and held you. Somehow, the best way to
explain it would be to say that the whole thing just wasn't right. I know that
may not make sense, but that's the only way I can put into words what I
John Keel related still other incidents of
encounters with these fearful pterodactylin hominoids...
"`Look at that crazy character coming
downwind in that plane,' Eddie Adkins commented. He and four other men were
standing on the field of the Gallipolis, Ohio, airport, just across the river
from Point Pleasant on Sunday, December 4, 1966.
"At 3 P.M. that afternoon a large winged
form came cruising majestically along the Ohio River, just behind the airport.
The pilots later estimated that it was about three hundred feet in the air and
was traveling about seventy miles an hour. As it drew closer they realized it
was not a plane but was some kind of enormous bird with an unusually long neck.
It seemed to be turning its head from side to side as if it were taking in the
scenery (Note: Scientists believe that saurian-reptilian pterodactyls used their
heads and neck as a 'rudder' while in flight, moving them from side to side,
constantly readjusting in order to remain aloft - Branton). The wings were not
"`MY GOD! IT'S SOMETHING PREHISTORIC!' one
of the men cried.
"Everett Wedge grabbed his camera and
sprinted to his small plane. By the time he was airborne the giant creature had
vanished somewhere down river."
John Keel personally investigated the TNT area
and claimed that in one area an irrational "fear" gripped him. He
would step out of the large circle and the sensation would cease. He again
entered it and soon the induced atmosphere of fear and terror would almost
overcome him until he was forced to leave it. Could this have been the site of
an underground lair? Remember, the entire area is honeycombed with tunnels which
have for years been sealed off to the public. Keel related other accounts of
encounters where witnesses saw these pterodactylin 'mothmen', one of which
entered one of the old buildings that led to the tunnels. Investigators followed
the creature into the dome but the winged reptile seemed to have vanished.
Keel related other incidents involving the 'Men
In Black' (who seemed to have a definite connection with the so-called 'mothmen')
Referring to the investigations of a fellow researcher by the name of Dan Drisin,
"...During his second visit to Point
Pleasant Dan uncovered some Mothman witnesses I had missed. And he also came
across some more baffling Men-In-Black-type reports. People up in the back hills
has been seeing mysterious unmarked panel trucks which sometimes parked for
hours in remote spots. There seemed to be several of these trucks in the area
and the rumor was that they belonged to the air force. Men in neat coveralls
were seen monkeying with telephone and power lines but no one questioned them.
"A woman living alone on an isolated island
north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, had two curious encounters with
the same kind of beings. She had moved to a tiny one-room cabin on Keats Island
in October 1967 and was soon seeing UFO lights nightly. On January 29, 1968,
following a close sighting of 'a long dark body with dim red and yellow lights
at both ends,' she was surprised by two visitors. Both wore 'neat, dark
coveralls' and claimed to be employees of the hydroelectric company. They
offered to help her put up a stovepipe. The younger of the two climbed on the
roof of her cabin while the other handed him the pipes. 'I could hear the man on
the ground directing him and the one on the roof would answer, "Yes,
"After the pipe was installed, the pair
joined her for tea. They seemed 'a little stiff.' When they left she wondered
how they had known she was there because 'the cabin couldn't be seen from the
road (and) the stove was out when they arrived, so there was no smoke from the
"On May 2, she again encountered two men.
'One was the 'boss' Hydro man in his neat coveralls,' she reported (CANADIAN UFO
REPORT, #13, 1972-73). 'The other was different, younger and about 19-20. As I
entered the path, the boss man indicated with his hand for the young man to get
behind him. They got well off the path and waited for me, the young man a little
behind his boss. The fellow stared at me as if I were some kind of freak...'
"This time she didn't invite them for tea.
One odd thing she noticed during both meetings was their slow, careful way of
walking. They looked at their feet and stepped uncertainly.
"The next day a jeep came along the road,
containing four men inspecting lines... 'carelessly dressed, workaday men, none
in coveralls. The boss wasn't obviously so. They expressed no surprise at seeing
me there, no concern or any particular interest. I told them two of their men
had already been around the day before, inspecting the lines. They assured me
yesterday's men weren't Hydro men, that somebody had been "pulling my
"Somebody was also pulling a lot of legs in
cosmopolitan Long Island. In West Virginia I had heard some stories about three
men who looked 'like Indians' and were accompanied by a fourth man, more
normal-looking and very shabbily dressed in contrast to the other three. So I
was nonplused when I heard identical descriptions from people on Long Island.
"An elderly woman who lived alone in a house
near the summit of Mount Misery, the highest point on Long Island, had received
a visit from this quartet in early April 1967, immediately after a severe
"`They had high cheekbones and very red
faces, like a bad sunburn,' she told me. 'They were very polite but they said my
land belonged to their tribe and they were going to get it back. What frightened
me was their feet. They didn't have a car...they must have walked up that muddy
hill...but their shoes were spotlessly clean. There was no trace of mud or water
where they walked in my house.'
"That same week another visitor came to
Mount Misery. This was a woman with striking white hair who claimed to represent
a local newspaper. She carried a book 'like a big ledger' and asked the witness
a number of personal questions about her family background. When I later checked
with the newspaper I found they employed no one of that description.
"The local Mount Misery expert was Miss Jane
P. Paro, a radio personality then with station WBAB in Babylon, New York. Miss
Paro is a dark-haired, dark-eyed young lady with a soft, haunting voice. At that
time she conducted an interview show, largely devoted to the historical psychic
lore of the region. Soon after she reported some UFO sightings around Mount
Misery she began to receive all manner of crank calls, both at the station and
on her UNLISTED home phone. METALLIC VOICES ordered her to meet them on 'the
Mount' (she didn't go).
"...Mount Misery is a heavily wooded hill
with a few narrow dirt roads slicing through it and a number of large mansions
set back among the trees. The late Henry Stimson, secretary of war during World
War II, maintained a lavish estate on the summit. For decades the Mount was
known as a haunted place, THE SITE OF A NUMBER OF MYSTERIOUS DEATHS AND
DISAPPEARANCES. In the spring of 1967, young couples necking on the back roads
began to see low- flying UFOs, particularly around a field that was used as a
junkyard for old cars. Others claimed to see a giant hairy monster with gleaming