Season 1: Episode 4

Mothman and Friends

Hosts:

Zoe

Mike

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Episode Transcript

Stories of Strangeness Episode 4 Transcript

Mike: 00:00:28 Hello, and welcome to episode four of Stories of Strangeness. I’m Mike. Hello. And this is Zoe

Zoe: 00:00:36 Hello.

Mike: 00:00:38 This week is a Zoe episode. So what are you going to do for us this week Zoe?

Zoe: 00:00:42 You know what I’m going to do.

Mike: 00:00:43 Yup.

Zoe: 00:00:44 Mothman and friends. Love it. So much.

Mike: 00:00:50 Yup. Yup. We’re trying to pitch the rights for a Saturday morning TV show, cartoon, sitcom – anything we don’t care.

We just, yeah.

Zoe: 00:00:58 Actually, in my research, I found that Mothman has already been in Marvel.

Mike: 00:01:02 Wow.

Zoe: 00:01:03 Yeah,

Mike: 00:01:04 Ok.

Zoe: 00:01:04 I haven’t been,

Mike: 00:01:05 Is that gonna be in the presentation?

Zoe: 00:01:06 No, unfortunately not, but I was quite surprised, by his inclusion.

Mike: 00:01:12 Incredible. OK.

Zoe: 00:01:13 You know, if people want to go off and have a look, he, he fought the Hulk. So that could be its you know, it’s quite exciting.

Mike: 00:01:20 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:01:20 So here we are, again, this time for an episode of Mothman and friends, which actually I need to address because in the pilot I said, I would be covering Wendigos and the Flatwoods monster.

But after researching the Flatwoods monster for a bit, I actually realized that it was not the monster that I was looking for. Now, let me explain: The cryptids I’m covering in this episode are all featured in Fallout 76, and it turns out that I’ve never met the Flatwoods monster in 76. I was actually thinking of the Grafton monster, but we’ll get to him and his weird tooth-like glory in a little bit. Just a side note – West Virginia, it seems is absolutely crawling with cryptids. But first: Mothman.

The first official sighting took place on the 12th of November in 1966. Five men were digging graves in Clendenin in West Virginia. I probably pronounced that wrong, sorry. They reported seeing a larger than life, man-like figure flying low over them, from some trees, but that was it for that one. The most famous sighting happened just outside of Point Pleasant West Virginia on the 15th of November, 1966. Two local couples, Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette were traveling along route 62 near the old World War II munitions area, just North of Point Pleasant, when they saw a large grayish humanoid figure with wings. Standing at around seven feet tall with a wingspan of around 10 feet, the couples were rightly scared. They returned to town and after they talked it over amongst themselves, they decided to drive back out to see if they could find what they had seen.

They did not expect the being to be waiting on the side of the road for them, but it was. The fear returned and they turned around and headed back to town, but the creature followed. They stated that they were traveling at speeds that reached a hundred miles an hour, but the creature easily kept pace with them, only disappearing when they approached the city limits. This time, there was no talking. They went straight to the local sheriff, George Johnson and his deputy Miller Hallsted did to report what had happened. The following day, Linda Scarbary reportedly had a nervous breakdown. So, what did they see? A humanoid figure, reports range from seven to 10 feet tall with a wingspan of 10 to 15 feet.

Other witnesses claim that he can seem headless, with his red eyes glowing from the chest area. And although he is mostly seen flying or hovering in the air, he has also been seen on the ground, with a walk reminiscent of a penguin with his wings folded behind him. These two sightings were the first of supposedly hundreds of sightings between the 12th of November, 1966 and the 15th of December, 1967.

But even though most reports claim, there were hundreds of accounts, and even more witnesses that didn’t want come forward, we are hard pushed to find actual names and quotes. We do know that sightings stopped in December 1967, with the tragedy that is the collapse of the Silver bridge at Point Pleasant. The bridge collapsed during rush hour, and 46 people died. After this, sightings stopped.

And that led many to believe that the Mothman was either a portent for the disaster, or may have even caused it. So this disaster, and the sighting of Mothman have defined the town and left it ever changed, but not all for the bad. The first Mothman festival took place in 2002 to coincide with the release of the film, The Mothman Prophecies. The statute to Mothman was unveiled the following year, and in 2005, the Mothman museum opened. There’s also a Mothman diner, which has been open for around 50 years. The festival now attracts around 10-12,000 people to the town and includes local tours, guest speakers, and apparently a pancaking eating competition. As I’ve heard that the moth man is quite partial to a pancake. So who knows?

So what is he? Is he even a he? Some say an alien, as at the time of his visits, many UFOs were reportedly cited in the area too. Some, say a cryptid. Some say he was a mutation, caused by toxic waste and radiation from the munitions site North of the town, but a mutation of what? It has also been argued that it could simply have been a Sandhill crane that had got lost during migration.

These are large birds with large wingspans and they also have red rings around their eyes. Others have simply said mass hysteria. Real or not though, he is now one of the most famous cryptids in history.

So I know I said I wasn’t going to include the Flatwoods monster, but I just want to give another shout out to a town that’s making the most of it. Flatwoods is about a hundred miles East of Point Pleasant, and on the 12th of September in 1952, Brothers Edward and Fred May and their friend Tommy Hyer, saw a bright light in the sky that looked to be crash-landing on a piece of land owned by a local farmer.

The boys ran and got their mum, Kathleen May, and also 17 year old national guardsman, Eugene Lemon, and followed by some local kids, they went to investigate. As it was now dark, they searched by torchlight, and as they reached the top of the hill, they saw pulsing red lights, and the torch fell upon a creature. For a moment, they saw a manlike figure, with a round red face, surrounded by a pointy hood-like shape. Kathleen added, that it had small claw-like hands and a head that resembled the ace of spades. They only saw it for a moment, as when they saw the creature, it hissed and Lemon dropped the torch and ran.

Afterwards, it was said that there was actually a meteor shower that night to explain the light in the sky, the pulsing red lights could have been the aircraft beacons that were visible in the area at night, and the creature possibly just an owl in a tree, with the claw-like hands, actually being feet.

They have spade-shaped faces and hissed when threatened. Regardless of this, the sighting has inspired yet another festival, which lasts three days, and a museum. There is a monster trail to follow, with monster shaped chairs to have your photos taken in. So even though at the time, this one was pretty much explained away, this monster lives on,

And now it’s time for my favorite, the Grafton monster. Grafton is about 150 miles North, East of Point Pleasant and around 70 miles North of Flatwoods, and our first sighting of the Grafton monster took place on the 16th of July, 1964. At 11:00 PM, Robert Cockrell, a reporter from the Grafton Sentinel was traveling home.

He rounded a bend and he saw a huge whitish mass on the side of the road, and after a moment, he realized that it was actually a creature of some kind. A huge hulking creature with no visible head. It stood block-like at around seven foot tall and almost as wide, with pale whitish gray skin, slick like a seal. Terrified, Cockrell sped home.

Once there, he called two friends and they returned to the scene to look for the monster. They found no physical evidence that anything had been there, but did note that the grass was crushed in the area that the beast supposedly stood. After searching for a while, the group called it a night and decided to head home. It was then that they heard a low whistling sound coming from the woods from the direction of the river.

It seemed to follow them and they left very quickly. Obviously being a reporter, Cockrell wrote an article for the paper, and things went a bit mad. Large groups went out to hunt the monster – large groups of armed hunters. Over 20 sightings were reported that day, and the following day, another article was released – I believe to try and calm the mob – saying that actually, the sighting had been a large cart covered with a sheet being pulled along the roadside, and the whole thing was a mistake! I’m not sure who decides to take their cart out for a walk at 11:00 PM, but each to their own! But this didn’t put people off, and it’s still as popular today as it ever was. Now I do have another little random fact about Grafton: The modern day U.S. celebration of Mother’s day started there in 1908, when a local woman held a memorial for her own mother.

Anyway, on to our last beastie – and this one is the darkest, I think. I didn’t know a lot about Wendigos when I started researching, and it turns out the stories that I had heard previously, were actually more modern day interpretations. So, Wendigos – their story is rooted in First Nation, Algonquin, folklore. I hope I pronounced that correctly! Spreading down the East coast of Canada to the Northern forests of Nova Scotia and across to Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Wendigo is a loathsome creature, humanesque in appearance, but it was once a man taken over by a malevolent spirit. It is consumed by greed and gluttony its craving for human flesh is never satisfied, and it prowls the forests in search of victims.

Some tribes believe it can grow to giant proportions, as it will grow the size of its last meal, meaning that it is always hungry and never full. Glutinous, and starving in turn, it’s skeletal appearance is disturbing, no matter what size it grows to. Ash gray skin pulled tight over protruding bones; lips tattered,and bloody, and its dark eyes sunken deep into its eye sockets. Truly a thing of nightmares.

But, you could consider it’s actually real. Okay, maybe not actually in the creepy monster sense of the word, but the story behind the monster, kind of? The original story tells of a man trading his soul, for size and strength, to defeat enemies threatening his tribe, to keep them safe. So sacrificing himself, he was able to win the battle.

Once the fight was over, his tribe actually banished him, and he was cursed with cannibalistic desires. So essentially the story warns against excess and greed, no matter what the reason. It’s a First Nation fairytale, in like a traditional sense – a warning. So how was it real? Well, Wendigo psychosis is supposedly a cultural bound syndrome that includes the symptoms: Craving human flesh, and the fear of becoming a cannibal; And cases are way more popular than you would like to think.

But there is actually an argument that it doesn’t exist, and it is actually a result of poor mental health, fear and desperation. So I’m going to give you an example. Swift Runner was a Plains Cree from Alberta. In 1878, the winter was bitter, and after his eldest son died, he went on to kill and eat his wife, and their remaining five children.

His home was 25 miles away from an emergency food store. So it was deemed that his cannibalism was not an act of desperation, as food was apparently, “So close.” He was diagnosed with Wendigo psychosis, later confessed, and was executed. But I want to think about that. So 25 miles, even with a pack of dogs is a fair distance in wintry conditions.

It would have taken days. And then there’s the amount of food needed for two adults and six children. Could it be that they were desperate, and that maybe he didn’t butcher his family, but ate them through necessity, and then driven mad by the realization of what he had done, he confessed, knowing his fate. Or could he have been mentally unstable? It seems a little unfair.

Ok, so I just want to do a little bit of a round up. The Mothman : I think they must have seen something. I don’t think that could have been mass hysteria. I don’t know what they saw, but there must’ve been something because a lot of people saw it.

The Grafton monster: I’m not so sure about, but I just love the idea of this huge white tooth-like molar, stomping around whistling from the woods. I don’t know. The Wendigo, I think is really sad. I think that the story has real roots into mental health and not understanding it in the past. I think that if things are drummed into you for so long, if you then even consider it, you start to question everything about yourself.

And it must have been really, really hard in those days. I mean, for them to say 25 miles isn’t far is ridiculous, but I don’t know. What do you think.

Mike: 00:14:18 I’m almost speechless. So the Wendigo bit where there was some guy who ate his wife and five of his children after one of his other children died,

Zoe: 00:14:28 It was winter, apparently they were basically snowed in. This happened an awful lot. There are so many different little reports of First Nations people going into this, this sort of psychosis state. Now, there were even people who claim to be Wendigo, hunters, who would… cause it was almost like a, almost like a faith belief.

If they saw someone, they thought looked like they were getting greedy or gluttonous, they would start to think, “Oh my goodness, they’re being taken over by the Wendigo.” One, one guy. I think his name was Jerome or Jeremy something. He actually boasted that he was a Wendigo Hunter and had killed 14 Wendigos.

Mike: 00:15:19 Wow.

Zoe: 00:15:20 And he, in the end, it was when he actually, he killed a woman who was showing signs of turning, who haven’t actually done anything;

Mike: 00:15:27 Right. Okay.

Zoe: 00:15:28 But he was then…

Mike: 00:15:29 She’d had a couple of extra biscuits, at tea or something.

Zoe: 00:15:31 Yeah, exactly. That’s it: Took a second slice of cake or whatever, and that was it. So he was actually tried. And it was him, and I think his brother, and they were put in jail. One, I believe hung himself, and the other one died of consumption before they could actually be officially charged with murder, but they believed they were…

Mike: 00:15:53 They were doing the right thing,

they were

Zoe: 00:15:54 doing the right thing. But essentially they were themselves, actually probably worse.

Mike: 00:16:00 Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there’s so many tales throughout history of people becoming kind of zealots against something and innocent people end up dying, like

Zoe: 00:16:10 It is almost like a forerunner for, the witch trials.

Mike: 00:16:14 I was going to say for Matthew Hopkins and the Salem witch trials and things like that. Yeah.

Zoe: 00:16:19 It’s very much that kind of, it’s belief again, isn’t it?

Mike: 00:16:24 It’s the kind of nip it in the bud attitude, isn’t it? It’s like if we kill them now, they won’t turn, but it’s like…

Zoe: 00:16:29 Was it Vanilla Sky? Is that… you remember, the Tom cruise film?

Mike: 00:16:31 Never seen it.

Zoe: 00:16:32 Was it? No, it’s not Vanilla Skies. It’s. It’s the one, basically he plays a cop who has to, they have like a machine that tell- no, they have a person that tells the future.

Mike: 00:16:44 Minority Report.

Zoe: 00:16:45 That’s the one. So yes, he’s a bit like Minority Report, in that you kill someone, or you arrest someone before they commit the crime. But then if, again, it’s like they haven’t committed the crime, there’s that whole thing of is time linear and set?

Mike: 00:16:56 Yeah. I mean, we were incensed watching something the other night where they tried to arrest a woman for shoplifting… it was the Simpsons! I just remembered, it was the Simpsons!

Zoe: 00:17:03 Well, I was going to say Marge Simpson, got arrested for shoplifting.

Mike: 00:17:06 Marge…for shoplifting and we were both incensed, because she hadn’t left the shop, so therefore she couldn’t have been shoplifting.

Zoe: 00:17:11 Yeah because she hadn’t left the property!

Mike: 00:17:13 She hadn’t left the premises!

Zoe: 00:17:13 She still has a chance to turn around and go, “Ooh! just found this!”

Mike: 00:17:16 Unless, unless American law is very much different in that respect to British law, but unless you leave the premises, you can’t be charged with a crime, cause you haven’t done anything at that point.

Zoe: 00:17:24 Yeah, so poor Marge!

Mike: 00:17:25 So we were incensed at that! So imagine we’d feel about, you know, people in our lovely little city getting bumped off for being Wendigos, and we weren’t sure if they were or not. Yeah, that was, that was pretty horrific.

Zoe: 00:17:36 I didn’t realize it was so deeply seated in, The mental health kind of mental wellbeing, psychosis thing.I just thought, Hey, it’s just another creepy cryptid crawling around in the woods trying to…

Mike: 00:17:47 But the fact that there is actually a Wendigo psychosis, a specific…

Zoe: 00:17:51 Yeah. Yeah, because it’s, it’s such a very strict and I mean, it’s not so much now, now that the Western civilization, I don’t, even, if we can call it … Basically, we came along and have just kind of watered it all down, and it’s not as widespread now, but back then, like it’s almost… Also, it was not just people that could be seen as the Wendigo spirit. Cause it was like this malevolent spirit that took over people, like the gold rush.

Mike: 00:18:25 Right. Okay, yeah.

Zoe: 00:18:25 That was almost seen as almost like a, Wendigo force, because it would, it would entice people to, you know, the greed and the gluttony of wanting all of that gold!

Mike: 00:18:35 They would be taken over by their impulses, and lusts.

Zoe: 00:18:39 Exactly. So, yeah, it’s almost like, you know, the seven deadly sins, First Nation style, its…

Mike: 00:18:46 One thing I thought was conspicuous by its absence was you didn’t mention Indred Cold at all, in any of this.

Zoe: 00:18:53 Because, I got really angry because you know, when you first find out about something, you find out a little bit, and then the more you look at something, the more you find out.

So my first experience of the Mothman was the Mothman Prophecies film.

Mike: 00:19:09 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:19:13 And in that, they insinuate that Indred Cold is linked to the Mothman, and it’s not in any way, shape or farm they are – farm? Any way, shape or form. They are two separate entities. Indred Cold is also called the smiling man. He would often turn up in a snazzy green plastic-looking suit, and grin at people from various places.

Mike: 00:19:36 He’s wearing a shell suit from the future.

Zoe: 00:19:38 Literally, yes. It’s creepy as! I mean, in the same place, approximately around the same time, but you’re also looking at, something I didn’t mention within the Mothman, sort of, story is that apparently the men in black were about as well, trying to tell people not to talk about Mothman.

Mike: 00:19:57 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:19:57 There were people that said, “Yeah, he was an alien,” there were a lot of sightings and it’s like there’s a whole lot going on in Point Pleasant.

Mike: 00:20:07 Yeah, there was cause, I remember from my reading of it, the men in black, it’s not your kind of Will Smith and

Zoe: 00:20:13 Tommy,

Mike: 00:20:13 Tommy Lee Jones, and what’s his face who played Thor – Chris Hemsworth and

Zoe: 00:20:18 Valkyrie.

Mike: 00:20:19 Yeah, Tessa Thompson?

But yeah, the men in black in that kind of instance, it was bald guys like,

Zoe: 00:20:29 No facial hair at all.

Mike: 00:20:30 Nothing, like kind of alopecia type baldness, where there was literally nothing, no eyebrows, nothing – black suit, sunglasses, black hat. And apparently they often spoke in a way that was either too fast or too slow, or just slightly out of sync with what they were thinking, kind of thing.

Zoe: 00:20:48 But, if I was to ask you, ” Who came to see you yesterday?”

Mike: 00:20:53 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:20:54 You would say, “Oh, it was a guy. He was about so tall. He had brown hair, he had facial hair, he had this, he had that.” But when you take,

Both: 00:21:04 All that away

Mike: 00:21:05 With no distinguishing features.

Zoe: 00:21:06 And you say, “It was a, I think it was a man?”

Mike: 00:21:09 Yeah

Zoe: 00:21:09 “He was wearing a suit and glasses, and so was the other one, and so was the other one, and so was the other one.” You make them completely…

Mike: 00:21:16 Uniform.

Zoe: 00:21:17 Yeah. Yeah, no one’s ever going to know is that, I mean, that guy could then grow his hair back, grow a ‘tash and go into that same place and go, “Alright love!”

Mike: 00:21:23 Well, this is the thing though. If it was a guy, cause there is, there is some kind of stuff on men in black that suggests that they might be visitors from…

Zoe: 00:21:32 Visitors…

Mike: 00:21:33 …elsewhere or something like that.

Zoe: 00:21:35 I even saw something where they thought they were possibly robots.

Mike: 00:21:38 Yeah. Because of their odd behavior.

Zoe: 00:21:40 Because they had to go and charge themselves. Or they said something about, they needed to replenish.

(In accent:) “Sir, are you aware you’re leaking coolant at an alarming rate?”

Mike: 00:21:50 If you don’t watch Futurama, you won’t get that, but, anyway. So yeah, so the whole thing with the Mothman prophecies though, was, it is really mixed up. The film is a great, terrible movie. Its one I love to watch, but it’s, it’s not good. It’s not good. Really. It’s not very good.

Zoe: 00:22:12 I haven’t seen in a really long time.

Mike: 00:22:15 It’s not that great.

Zoe: 00:22:15 It’s sitting beside me on the sofa. I didn’t watch it for research because I didn’t want it to…

Mike: 00:22:21 Taint,

Zoe: 00:22:22 taint what I had read.

Mike: 00:22:24 But no, it, it veers wildly from the book and the book, like you say it does, sort of, read…

My face has just gone very, Hurrrrr.

Yeah, it does read like an investigative, investigative journalist. Investigative. Yeah. Investigative journalist’s report on UFO sightings, but the whole idea with the prophecies that were the prophecies came from Indred Cold.

Zoe: 00:22:47 Which makes no sense if he’s not the Mothman!

Mike: 00:22:50 And in theory one has nothing to do with the other.

Zoe: 00:22:53 So what, and that is what annoyed me.

Mike: 00:22:56 Yeah. As far as I remember at no point in any report in that, cause I did read the book many years ago, cover to cover and, and sort of sat and read through it all. But at no point, do I remember anything saying that the prophecies came from Mothman? So why it was called the moth man prophecies, I really don’t know.

Zoe: 00:23:15 Do you think it was possibly to sell a book?

Mike: 00:23:18 Yeah, it could be. Yeah, of course. Yeah.

Zoe: 00:23:20 I mean, look, look at Point Pleasant now because I am, like, astounded. So they’ve got, a diner.

Mike: 00:23:28 A pancake eating competition!

Zoe: 00:23:29 Amazing. I wonder if they actually come out in this shape of Mothman with like little berries for eyes.

Mike: 00:23:34 Can you imagine that? It was like, you know, go to Loch Ness and they have a haggis in competition by the side of the loch.

Zoe: 00:23:39 They might do!

Mike: 00:23:40 Yeah. If they don’t, you can have that one actually. I won’t even charge you for that idea.

Zoe: 00:23:44 We should totally go! Or we should go up there…

Mike: 00:23:45 Set up a little haggis eating stall.

Zoe: 00:23:47 Well, no, we can just go there and go, “We’re here for the festival !” And they’d be like “What?” I’m like, “You’re missing a trick mate, come on!”

Mike: 00:23:52 Yeah. Yeah. Festival starts now. Get your tickets. 10 quid. Yeah, the flatwoods monster: “Head like the ace of spades?”

Zoe: 00:24:00 Yeah. Now I, when I’ve seen pictures of this, cause someone did draw a picture, they did it with the pointed bit at the top. And so the little bumps were at the bottom, so the ace of spades upside down in my book, but if you turn it the right way round, an owl’s face is very heart-shaped.

Mike: 00:24:17 Is, is very similar to that, yeah.

Zoe: 00:24:18 And I was like, okay! So I think you literally have seen an owl on a bush. You’re all a bunch of scared kids apart from the mum who was probably just like, “What am I doing in a field?”

Mike: 00:24:29 Cause was it, the Sandhill crane that you showed me the photo of? That looks like a person in an outfit?

Zoe: 00:24:34 Oh no, that’s the Harpy owl – no, a

Both: 00:24:36 Harpy Eagle.

Mike: 00:24:37 That’s it!

Zoe: 00:24:38 No, no, the Sandhill, crane is a lot smaller. That was what they thought the Mothman was.

Mike: 00:24:44 Sandhill cranes, generally not about seven feet tall. I wouldn’t have thought.

Zoe: 00:24:48 They are approximately five… four or five feet tall. So they, you know, they are pretty big, but they’re quite slender, that’s the only thing.

But I suppose if one was a bit ruffled, you never know, he might have been a bit of a mutation in, he could have been a mutated Sandhill crane from the munitions site, you know, gone a bit like Swamp Thing with his eyes glowing.

Mike: 00:25:12 Cause there was a bit about, yeah, the toxic waste from the munitions dump. And I was like, we’re getting into Marvel comic territory here.

Zoe: 00:25:20 Oh, my goodness. Swamp thing is about here.

Mike: 00:25:22 It’s crazy. What was the other thing I was going to say? Yeah, you didn’t mention any of the recent sightings, which I thought you might do. Cause I sent you links!

Zoe: 00:25:30 Yes you did. But I was trying to keep it very much to the area. Now I know I went a little bit out of the way with Wendigo, because although the Wendigo is included in 76, it’s not from there, although there has been supposed sightings

Mike: 00:25:48 In that area.

Zoe: 00:25:49 In, but I mean, it seems like they’ve seen everything and his dog, around there, cause there’s actually Snarly Yow’s around there as well.

Mike: 00:25:57 There’s what?

Zoe: 00:25:57 Snarly Yow’s, which are dogs, demon, dogs.

Mike: 00:26:01 Oh, ok.

Zoe: 00:26:02 Yeah. Something I didn’t touch on, because I haven’t seen them much in 76, and I thought I’ve already done a demon dog.

Mike: 00:26:07 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:26:08 This season.

Mike: 00:26:09 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:26:09 So there’s everything around those forests and woods in West Virginia.

Mike: 00:26:14 Yeah. And then the Grafton monster, which

Zoe: 00:26:16 I love it.

Mike: 00:26:17 Always makes me chuckle a little bit, because there’s a shopping center near where we live called the Grafton Center, so I’m going to be constantly looking for a large tooth. Wandering around.

Zoe: 00:26:25 I mean, I keep saying tooth, it’s because it’s like a Molar, basically it’s that big kind of crown, kind of lumpy shouldery bit because it’s got no,

Mike: 00:26:33 It’s got no head.

Zoe: 00:26:34 discernable head.

Mike: 00:26:35 Yeah, and it’s about as wide as it is tall.

Zoe: 00:26:36 Some say it could just be like, it’s hunched over. And it’s just this big block, like thing. And I’m just like, yeah, for some reason that just resonates with me for

Mike: 00:26:44 But somebody thought it was a cart with a sheet pulled over it, which…

Zoe: 00:26:50 I can kind of get it, but also…

Mike: 00:26:52 I get where they’re coming from, but I think you would know the difference between a large lumbering creature and a cart with a sheet over it, but I…

Zoe: 00:27:00 Well this is it, the thing is, when he first saw it. He… cause there’s a lot of quarries around there.

Mike: 00:27:06 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:27:06 Grafton is actually a really interesting place because it’s a mining town, but it was also very early on in like the railroad. So the buildings there look like big city buildings, but it’s a very tiny place. In the middle of nowhere.

Mike: 00:27:22 Right, okay. So it got developed because it was on the railroad.

Zoe: 00:27:27 There were quite a lot of quarries in the area. So I’m kind of getting this feeling of like, he’s like a rock troll or something he’s like this

Mike: 00:27:34 Mmmm – Rock Golem!

Zoe: 00:27:35 Marble rock Golem. Yeah.

Mike: 00:27:38 Maybe it was just like a marble statue that somebody had chipped the head off and gone, “Oh bugger it.”

Zoe: 00:27:43 What stuck on the back of their cart and was just wheeling it along the side of the road?

Mike: 00:27:46 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:27:46 That’d be quite heavy though.

Mike: 00:27:48 But like I said, they’re just, they’re just made that one little chip that the head came off and they were like, “Well, this looks like nothing now!” So

Zoe: 00:27:56 Yeah. But I think something that heavy that would at least… cause they said there was no evidence of it being there, which means there was also no evidence of wheel tracks. So when they said it was a cart, they were also lying.

Mike: 00:28:08 Well, yeah, in theory.

Zoe: 00:28:11 It was, I think literally just to calm everyone down because you’ve literally got teams and teams of… kids, adults, just going crazy with guns because they’ve got nothing else to do in this tiny little town.

And they suddenly realize, Oh, you know, all these people running around in the woods, shooting at things.

Mike: 00:28:28 And isn’t it always interesting that it’s like the first response to anything like this is get the guns and shoot it. It might be completely benign. It might’ve been asking the way to the nearest diner for some pancakes, you know.

Zoe: 00:28:40 Yeah. He’s like, I’m lost. I’m looking for my mate Mothman. He really makes really good pancakes.

Mike: 00:28:44 Have you seen my mate? He’s also got eyes in his chest, but his are red, and he’s dark, and got big wings.

Zoe: 00:28:50 And he’s got wings. He flies. I can’t fly. So I’ve gotta, you know, go on foot.

Mike: 00:28:54 Yeah,

Zoe: 00:28:55 It’s a fair way, but I’ll make it.

Mike: 00:28:56 And unfortunately, due to a slight language barrier, all they got was like grunting and snarling. And were like, Oh my God, run away!

Zoe: 00:29:02 No, he whistles. He was like a giant Clanger.

Mike: 00:29:08 Nice.

Zoe: 00:29:08 Yeah. I feel like, he’s like the uncle Fester of the Clanger world.

Mike: 00:29:12 Yeah. Yeah. It’s a bit of an odd one. Yeah, definitely weird. But yeah, it’s just, it, it strikes me as odd that, people say, you know, why haven’t aliens visited if they do exist.

Zoe: 00:29:22 Because we shoot. We shoot at everything!

Mike: 00:29:23 And again, you know, there’s yeah. You know, maybe, maybe they have maybe they haven’t or whatever, but yeah, maybe, maybe they’re like up there going, “Last time we went down there, somebody took a pot shot at Carl and he’s never been right since he still limps!” You know? it’s like the story of the, Oh, goodness. The Kentucky goblins, I can’t remember the name of the actual town. But basically the little goblins that terrorized the farm one evening and they shot at them as well. And it’s like, I get it. They’re kind of weird creatures running around near your house. And you’re probably quite scared, but you know,

Zoe: 00:30:00 But, I’m sorry…

Mike: 00:30:00 Way too quick for the trigger.

Zoe: 00:30:01 But lots of other cultures have. Little people like fairies, Pixies, goblins, imps, and things…

Mike: 00:30:08 A good chunk of Iceland still believes in little people.

Zoe: 00:30:10 Do they shoot at them? No, a lot of them, they actually,

Mike: 00:30:13 Well no, they don’t really have guns in Iceland.

Zoe: 00:30:14 They leave, exactly. But they leave offerings. Like, you know, the Irish leave out milk.

Mike: 00:30:18 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:30:18 For the little folk.

Mike: 00:30:19 For the leprechauns and the like. Cornish leave out stuff for the Pixies and

Zoe: 00:30:23 Exactly!

Mike: 00:30:25 We kind of, we, we try and make friends over here, but America seems to have this thing, and apologies, but you do – where it’s

Both: 00:30:31 shoot first

Mike: 00:30:32 ask questions later. Yeah. Which, you know, doesn’t really make first contact an option. I mean, if there are aliens up there, I would be looking down going, “Well, there’s a lot of people in America, but bugger that, they seem to shoot at everything. We’ll maybe try … Holland.”

Zoe: 00:30:51 Amsterdam.

Mike: 00:30:52 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:30:53 Yeah.

Mike: 00:30:53 They seem pretty chill there.

Zoe: 00:30:54 They’re quite chill there and no one will believe anything they say.

Mike: 00:31:00 Yeah, that is a good point actually. Maybe not Holland, maybe Laos, I dunno,

Zoe: 00:31:06 I dunno!

Mike: 00:31:07 Somewhere.

I think that a lot of the kind of native American legends, are actually kind of terrifying. There’s a lot of native American lore around the Skinwalker ranch thing as well,

Zoe: 00:31:17 Which I know you are absolutely gagging to get into.

Mike: 00:31:20 Yeah. Yeah. I know. I know. It’s not even next episode. It’s not just the one after that before I’m doing Skinwalker ranch. Yeah, yeah. Over a month. Anyway, but yeah, but the, a lot of the native American legends are pretty terrifying, really one way or another.

Zoe: 00:31:38 I think that they, they are like, what would essentially be our like, Grimm fairytales of keeping everybody in check, telling you the things you shouldn’t shouldn’t do. You shouldn’t be greedy. You shouldn’t, you know,

Mike: 00:31:52 Yeah, it’s,

Zoe: 00:31:53 Don’t go wandering off into the woods either.

Mike: 00:31:55 Yeah. Don’t don’t eat, witches gingerbread houses and things like that. No, I get what you’re saying. I get that it could be kind of, it could stem from cautionary tales, you know, “Oh if you get greedy, you could turn into a Wendigo and we don’t want that!” And that kind of thing, but there always seems to be more evidence for native American folktales, actually having some basis in truth than say Grimms fairytales or whatever. Yeah. You know, those kinds of things. And that’s the bit that I find terrifying, I think is that there is this slim chance that actually, you know what, these aren’t really folktales. These are just tales.

Zoe: 00:32:30 Do you think it could be that they were so much more in tune with the land, that these random creatures were about and less kind of, you know, obviously we went over there, forests were pushed back, land was changed and destroyed, and things were moved and, you know,

Mike: 00:32:48 Yeah, to a greater extent, I mean, you know, a lot of the plains that were are no longer, but you would think then if anything, you’d hear more, more stories of white people being attacked by Wendigos because we are, not in tune with the land. Because we are not in harmony with it.

Zoe: 00:33:02 Maybe they just think we are already Wendigos because we are just so greedy.

Mike: 00:33:06 Greedy monsters. Yeah.

Zoe: 00:33:07 They’re like, “Oh my goodness. Those greedy monsters scare me!”

Mike: 00:33:10 Yeah. Well, that’s, that’s fair enough to be honest. What else have I got? So some discrepancies in the size of the moth man, somewhere between seven and 10 feet tall.

Zoe: 00:33:20 Basically there were a few different,

Mike: 00:33:22 It doesn’t sound a lot, but three feet on a person is, is a lot of difference.

Zoe: 00:33:27 I think what you have to take into account, that, from a distance, if something’s in the air, if you’ve got nothing next to it, behind it, in front of it.

Mike: 00:33:33 Yeah.

Both: 00:33:33 It’s difficult to gauge sizes. Yeah.

Zoe: 00:33:36 So unless it’s standing, like next to a tree that you know, is a certain height.

Mike: 00:33:39 Is a certain height or it happens to stand next to a road sign or something.

Zoe: 00:33:43 Yeah, that kind of thing. So I think that can be, I kind of give them that, you know, the 10 to 15 foot wingspan kind of is in ratio with the height, like, you know, it is an odd one. But yeah, with regards to the more recent Mothman sightings, like I said, I was trying to keep it to the area of Fallout 76. Also, I don’t think they hold up. Really. The most recent one, where the guy didn’t give his name. He wouldn’t do any interviews. He just gave over two photos There was no way of, again, it was a really bad photo and there was no way of gauging size. And a lot of people said, well, that basically looks like an owl or something with a snake in its mouth.

Mike: 00:34:24 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:34:24 Cause you couldn’t even see trees. It was zoomed in, so much, it’s like the old UFO photos where someone’s thrown a Frisbee, taken a photo of it and all you’ve got is Frisbee and sky, so there’s no gauge of size.

Mike: 00:34:37 Yeah.

Zoe: 00:34:38 And I was just like, you know, in this day and age with the technology that we have available, it’s really unusual for someone not to have a phone in their pocket that has a really good camera on that should be able to catch something better than that.

Mike: 00:34:52 Yes and no. I mean, I’ve got a phone with a really good camera on it and I’ve taken photos of the cathedral near our house at night and they come out really grainy and not that great. It depends on the amount of light available.

Zoe: 00:35:02 Can you tell it’s a cathedral though?

Mike: 00:35:04 Some of them, no!

Zoe: 00:35:06 Holy cow!

Mike: 00:35:07 Not really.

Zoe: 00:35:08 Does it look like the Grafton Monster?

Mike: 00:35:09 Yeah, a little bit.

But no, I mean that, that particular one is interesting in that. A lot of times when people come forward with this stuff, they’re accused of profiteering. You know, you’re only doing this to make money off it and blah, blah, blah. And that’s why it’s a hoax or whatever. And they chalk that one up. This guy kind of goes, “Yeah, I took these photos, there’s… I think it was something weird!” And then just disappears off, doesn’t want to do interviews and stuff. And kind of people are like, “Oh, well, he obviously can’t be real. Cause he didn’t want to do interviews and stuff!” So it doesn’t seem like people can win with this kind of stuff. If you’ve ended up with a photo of a cryptid.

Zoe: 00:35:44 What happened was with these photos, a reporter went and actually they, “Well, we can’t interview him. We’ll interview the lady who owns the diner.” The Mothman diner, and she’s like, “Oh, I’ve owned this diner,” Cause this was back in 2016, I believe,

Mike: 00:35:58 Right.

Zoe: 00:35:58 “I’ve owned this diner for 48 years, and you know, I’ve never seen Mothman myself, but I’ve spoken to so many people who say they’ve seen him. I totally believe!” – ‘course you do love!

Mike: 00:36:07 Yeah, you’re making a fast buck off it!

Zoe: 00:36:08 Because if you say, I didn’t believe in Mothman, people would turn around and go, “Well, you’re a hypocrit!” Even though you make his favourite pancakes!

Mike: 00:36:13 Yeah, you can’t really run the Mothman diner…

Zoe: 00:36:16 Because you know the pancakes are coming from there, don’t ya? And she’s charging ’em probably $10 a head, but, and also, just randomly, I think it was the, Smith’s just a couple on the street who had come to visit Point Pleasant. They were like, “Oh, what do you think to these photos?” And I’m like, who are these people? You literally just plucked them off the street. They’re not experts in anything. And they’re like, “Well, I really want to believe. Yeah. Cause like, you know…”

Mike: 00:36:40 I also really love the idea of a moth man museum. Let’s let’s make a museum to something that, hasn’t been proven to exist.

Zoe: 00:36:47 It was really interesting because basically is, is, they have all of the original police reports, all of the original sketches, all of the original newspaper articles, all the original accounts, but then it becomes the souvenir shop. So it’s more essentially it’s the Mothman souvenir shop. Yeah.

Mike: 00:37:11 Cause I kind of had an idea of you walking in and there’s just like a, an, A4 sheet of paper with a drawing of the Mothman on it and go, “Well, this is what we think he might look like. Um… I hope you enjoyed your visit!”

Zoe: 00:37:23 There’s some toenail clippings, a bit of feather… his glasses – that’s what he’s looking for. They’re red tinted. He needs them for reading and he’s blind as a bat now!

Mike: 00:37:33 Yeah, well, yeah.

Zoe: 00:37:35 Yeah. And again, I was sort of thinking, why did they call him Mothman? Because there’s not a lot of evidence to say he looks anything like a moth. And then I was thinking about it, it’s like, well, Batman – it’s already taken. So they needed another flying at night thing and it turns out there’s also an owl man down in Cornwall or Dorset some way down there, but I think he was actually a bit later

Mike: 00:37:59 There’s an Owlboy game.

Zoe: 00:38:01 I’m sorry, what?

Mike: 00:38:02 An Owlboy game.

Zoe: 00:38:03 Right.

Mike: 00:38:04 A game you can buy called Owlboy. Just while we’re on the subject of things that are called other things.

Zoe: 00:38:09 Are you pushing that? What?

Mike: 00:38:10 Well, you were saying about Batman and all the rest of it.

Zoe: 00:38:14 I think they were just, they were looking for something what flies at night and I’m thinking, I don’t know lots of stuff?

Mike: 00:38:20 Yeah. Insects.

Zoe: 00:38:23 But then I guess,

Mike: 00:38:24 But he doesn’t look like an insect, cause he’s a humanoid with large wings. And like you say, their probably first thought was Batman, but the thing is you say 1966, I guess probably Batman was around then.

I don’t know Batman well enough to say, but I would think he probably was, he was probably like late fifties or something like that. You’re going to look it up now, aren’t you?

Zoe: 00:38:44 I am. Cause actually it was something I meant to do. Wow. Batman’s first appearance: 30th of March, 1939.

Mike: 00:38:54 Wow. Batman is old!

Zoe: 00:38:57 He is well old! He’s older than my dad! He’s like 80-odd He’s 81.

Mike: 00:39:02 Wow. Good going Bats. Well done.

Zoe: 00:39:07 Looking good!

Mike: 00:39:07 So we have any review, and this one is from Laurax112. Which I think I know who it is.

Zoe: 00:39:16 I think I do too.

Mike: 00:39:17 “Five star friends. This is my first ever podcast review and the only podcast worthy of the time it takes to do more than just click those stars. Well done Zoe and Mike. An excellent mix of ‘Nope!’ And, ‘What the hell?’ stories read in voices so soothing, that they keep you calm all the way through the bizarre and interesting tales on offer. Love it.”

Well, we love you too.

Zoe: 00:39:43 Love you!

Mike: 00:39:43 Thank you for that.

And, also want to give a little shout out to Suse, whose birthday it is today, as we record this, happy birthday Suse!

Zoe: 00:39:51 It’s Thursday today, and you won’t hear this until Monday, but we are thinking of you.

Mike: 00:39:56 But happy birthday. Yep.

Zoe: 00:39:58 So you can find us on Facebook:

Mike: 00:40:02 facebook.com/storiesofstrangeness.

Zoe: 00:40:05 You can find us on Instagram:

Mike: 00:40:08 @storiesofstrangeness

Zoe: 00:40:09 and on Twitter:

Mike: 00:40:11 @sostrangepod.

Zoe: 00:40:13 And we also have a red bubble account where you can look at some lovely merch.

Mike: 00:40:20 Check the show notes for the link.

Zoe: 00:40:22 You can email us because we are always eager to hear all of your stories.

Mike: 00:40:26 Yeah. Tell us about the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you.

Zoe: 00:40:31 Mine was meeting Mike.

Mike: 00:40:32 Yeah, mine was meeting Mike as well. That’s weird.

Zoe: 00:40:35 Hmm. Must be true.

Mike: 00:40:36 Yeah, you can email us at storiesofstrangers@gmail.com. We also have a website, at storiesofstrangeness.com, where we post transcripts for each episode, that you can read. Blog posts about things that we’ve done, including the artwork for each episode and things like that.

Zoe: 00:40:54 And they can also sign up for

Mike: 00:40:57 Email updates.

Zoe: 00:40:59 Yeah! So you can keep up.

Mike: 00:41:00 We’re going to be sending out two email updates a month, on our off weeks. So whenever there isn’t a show that will be an email update, just telling you what we’ve been up to and what’s to come.

Zoe: 00:41:13 So that’s it from us today. I hope you have enjoyed this little insight.

If you have ever been to any of these places or, you know, any really interesting stories about any of these creatures – please let us know

Mike: 00:41:27 If you’ve ever eaten five members of your family…

Zoe: 00:41:30 Oh, that’s horrible, love!

Mike: 00:41:31 Please let the authorities know and don’t talk to us because we can’t help. And you really do need to speak to authorities.

Zoe: 00:41:38 Yeah.

Mike: 00:41:43 So I think that’s about it for this week.

Zoe: 00:41:46 I think it really needs to be the end now.

Mike: 00:41:47 Yeah! Try not to be involved in cannibalism and we’ll speak to you next time.

Zoe: 00:41:51 Love you!

Mike: 00:41:52 Bye.

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