Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mothman Phone Home (Greg Bishop)

John Keel's Mothman Prophecies is a classic of fortean and UFO literature. If you don't think so, we can step outside.

Keel weaves the strange events of 1966-67 in Point Pleasant, West Virginia into a chilling tale which ended in a predicted disaster. Mothman was seen by over 100 witnesses, who usually described the entity as a six foot tall humanoid with a wingspan of ten feet, While no head was ever reported, witnesses said that it had two glowing red "eyes" between its shoulders. Like the legendary Springheel Jack, it only appeared at night and often chased people right to their doorsteps. It would also chase cars, never seeming to lose interest even if the terrified witnesses drove at over 100 mph. UFOs were also observed by many residents.

On the face of it, "Mothman" is a case that seems unlikely to represent extraterrestrial visitation: the creature appears more like a fever-induced apparition than an alien from another world.

Nevertheless, UFO activity plays a quiet but important role in the events at Point Pleasant, challenging "nuts and bolts" researchers with an unwelcome paradox. Are the UFOs somehow more real than the entity itself (in which case we might be able to attribute Mothman to a projection or ET misinformation campaign)? Is it the other way around? Or are both phenomena equally liminal, a testament to Keel's proposed "superspectrum"?

"The Mothman Prophecies" is a disturbing plunge that some "serious" ufologists would prefer you didn't take. Don't let them stop you.


W.M. Bear said...


Greg Bishop said...

Expanding on that idea, maybe the area itself produced a thoughtform, using the people there to give it visible existence.

Anonymous said...

I find the idea of a tulpa difficult to accept - unless it was created by the same external intelligence that created the high strangeness experienced by Keel. In my view, the high strangeness certainly appears to imply the existence of an external intelligence. But who knows?

Anonymous said...

Erm...I meant NON-HUMAN intelligence, not external intelligence. Whoops!

W.M. Bear said...

Or how's this for a conspiracy theory? Suppose the Mothman thoughtform was NOT created either unconsciously by the residents of the area where it appeared (certainly a possibilty though) or by some nonhuman intelligence. It's known that governments (both the old Soviets and the U.S.) have done extensive experinmentation (or just "mucked around") using psychics and the paranormal. The successful remote-viewing experinments at Stanford, initially undertaken with government funding, are just one example. It's also known that one of the projects assigned to rinpoches-in-trainig in Tibetan Buddhism is to create a tulpa which is "solid" enough to be perceived by other people. Put these two factors together....

In a lighter vein, there's even a wonderful Dr. Seuss treatment of the subject, in which a brother and sister (home alone, of course) create a kind of tulpa called a "Glunk" which they then can't get rid of. ("You can't unthunk a Glunk.") Sort of "The Cat in the Hat" on acid.

Anonymous said...

I've thought similar theories that w.m. bear shared; I'm of the opinion Mothman was some kind of convulted government experiment; mind control, technology, all that good stuff.

(But then, there is all that spooky supernatural folklore surrounding the place going way back . . .)

Whatever paranormal "other" type forces may have been (or are) present in the area, the government had a lot to do with with what we know as Mothman.

(speculation only of course,)

Mac said...

(But then, there is all that spooky supernatural folklore surrounding the place going way back . . .)

What better place for an experiment? The stage is set. Lights, camera, action!

Anonymous said...

Yes, they had a great foundation for their fiendish little deeds!

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