December 29, 2012 by kittynh
Joe Nickell solved the mystery of Mothman, a supposed paranormal creature with wings that frightened the people of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Mothman the supposed creature appeared in 1966-67. The myth of Mothman started in 1975 with the publication of a book and then the inevitable movie in 2002.
Mothman was simply an owl. Either a barn owl or a barred owl.
I live in a very rural area, and one thing I especially enjoy in summer is sleeping with the window open and listening to the different owl hoots. You can identify an owl by the hoot.
Owls are also not the shy creatures we imagine. Owls will sometimes swoop down to scare off cats, dogs and even humans, especially when they have young. They are territorial, as are many birds.
Mothman was an owl and imagination.
Joe found the combination of owl and imagination to be possible solution for more than one alien mystery.
I was reminded of Joe’s owls when I came across this story in the old children’s book “The Weirdest People in the World” by C.B. Colby. (Sterling publishing, 1965). While the book is filled with myths and lore of buried treasure (and oddly not very many weird people at all), this story caught my attention. A bird was the answer to a mystery that occurred long before Mothman.
Joe’s Mothman solution was the inspiration for one of the stories from my book, “Fairy Tales, Fairly Told”. (also available on Kindle). Noah Whippie, the illustrator shows how Chicken Little confused the wise owl for an alien.