Mothman is the descriptive name given to a West Virginia cryptid said to be a grayish-brown 7-foot tall half-human half-bird with enormous wings that resembled those of a moth and glowing red eyes that terrified those who saw it. The creature did not have a discernible head; its frightening eyes were located near its “shoulders.” Its wings did not flap or move, although it could reach racing speed; it had two human-like legs, and it occasionally emitted a shriek, reportedly similar to a woman screaming.
Mothman is a legendary creature reportedly seen in the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia from 15 November 1966 to 15 December 1967. The first newspaper report was published in the Point Pleasant Register dated 16 November 1966, entitled "Couples See Man-Sized Bird...Creature...Something". There were no Mothman reports in the immediate aftermath of the December 15, 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge and the death of 46 people, giving rise to legends that the Mothman sightings and the bridge collapse were connected.
Several hypotheses propose that the Mothman creature was really just a case of misidentification. One theory is that the creature may have been a sandhill crane, a bird that can be up to 6 feet tall with a 10-foot wingspan that glides thought the air with its wings still for long distances and can emit a loud cry. Others suggest that Mothman could really have been a type of large owl; a large bird that had mutated due to the effects of the toxic waste dump created by the now off-limits West Virginia Ordnance Works; or even a huge turkey vulture.