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What The Recent Chicago Mothman Sightings Mean For The Future (And Theories About What The Mothman Really Is)

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Who Is The Mothman & What The Recent Chicago Mothman Sightings Mean

What (or who) is the Mothman? That's what many people are asking themselves after reports have been flooding out of Chicago of sightings of what they call "The Mothman." The Mothman has been described in many different ways, but the majority who have allegedly come to face-to-face with it described it as a tall, winged creature with glowing red eyes. 

Reports of this terrifying Mothman creature were first reported 50 years ago, in Clendenin, West Virginia.

According to this article from The Portalist, on November 12, 1966, in Clendenin, West Virginia, five gravediggers claimed to see a human-like figure soaring just above them in the autumn trees. Then three days later in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, two couples both spotted a "white-winged, human-sized creature with fiery eyes" standing in front of their car headlights.

Mothman sightings and theories eventually became so widespread that it warranted a 2002 Hollywood film starring Richard Gere.

There were reportedly at least 55 sightings of the so-called Mothman in the Chicago area in 2017. One of those reports comes from John Amitrano, a security guard who lives in Chicago, who shared his story with Vice about his alleged Mothman sighting. "I saw a plane flying, but also something moving really awkwardly under it," Amitrano explained to Vice. "It didn't look like a bat so much as what illustrations of pterodactyls look like, with the slenderness of its head and its wing shape. I know what birds and what bats look like. This thing didn't have any feathers or fur, and it didn't fly like anything I've ever seen.”

Those who believe in the paranormal will be quick to tell you that Mothman sightings precede huge disasters. There's no telling what the 2017 Mothman sightings in Chicago mean for us just yet, but here's a look back at detail about the original Mothman and past sightings.

1. The Mothman Prophecies documented the original Point Pleasant Mothman sightings.

Written by John Keel, the novel was eventually turned into a film by the same name in 2002 starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney. The novel describes Keel's investigation into alleged sightings in of the Mothman in West Virginia. Keel's novel also reveals receiving strange phone calls with reports of mutilated pets and culminates with the December 15, 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge, which at the time was one of the worst disasters in U.S. history. Mothman sightings allegedly ceased after the bridge collapse.

RELATED: Why Some People Are More Likely To See Ghosts And Other Paranormal Presences

2. There were at least four sightings of the Mothman after horrific disasters.

After four major disasters, including the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001, the 1986 nuclear explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, the recent swine flu outbreak in Mexico, and the 2007 Interstate 35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis, there were reported sightings of the Mothman at each tragic event shortly before they occurred.

3. Is the Mothman real?

"So many things could be different factors for why there's such a big uptick in the sighting,” Dr. David Gallo, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, told Vice about the Mothman sightings. “There's a phenomenon where there's basically some real witnessed experience, but if there are holes or gaps in that original experience, sometimes the mind is unable to fill in the gaps.” Gallo warned readers, "if something is suggested to them subsequently as a plausible scenario—like a Mothman or whatever—that person might be inclined to fill in the gaps with that.”

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4. There are a museum and statue dedicated to the Mothman in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

Point Pleasant has a grand statue of the winged, red-eyed creature, along with a Mothman Museum which is literally described as "The World's Only Mothman Museum" on its website. The website also explains why you should pay the museum a visit: 

See the largest collection of props and memorabilia from the movie "The Mothman Prophecies" — in the town where the Mothman sightings and encounters actually occurred. Read rare historical documents from the Mothman eyewitnesses themselves, documenting what they experienced that fateful night on November 15, 1966. See rare historical press clippings and photographs of the Silver Bridge disaster. Learn more about the historical figureheads of the Mothman legacy like John Keel, Mary Hyre, & the Scarberry & Mallete eyewitnesses. There is plenty here to be discovered. Research and uncover the truth for yourself.  

They even offer a 24/7 live Mothman cam (AKA Mothcam) where you can watch people from all over the world visit the Mothman statue.

5. The Chicago Mothman sightings are documented on a website.

Lon Strickler, who describes himself as a "Fortean researcher" (one who studies and investigates the unexplained) has been compiling all of the Chicago sightings on his website Phantoms and Monsters. He's also written a book, Mothman Dynasty, which looks at all the Mothman sightings since the late 1970's. The site not only has a link to every Mothman sighting in Chicago, but it also has a map which pinpoints where each sighting took place. 

Some things truly can't be explained — like Bigfoot or the Mothman — but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that other beings may be among us.

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Brittany White is a 26-year-old Journalism Major from Orlando, Florida who has been interning for YourTango since early 2016.

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