GALLIPOLIS – The legendary Mothman will rise again.
Well, at least tales of the mythical – or not so mythical – creature will be related Friday, June 28 at Bossard Memorial Library in Gallipolis.
Paranormal documentary producer Seth Breedlove and local Mothman aficionado Jeff Wamsley are teaming up to offer the program for area folks interested in the lore of the beast that terrorized Mason, Gallia, and Meigs counties in the mid to late 1960s – and some say still does to this day. The presentation is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Friday. Admission is free and the talk is open to the general public.
Breedlove, who lives in Wadsworth, Ohio, operates the production company Small Town Monsters, which, according to its Facebook page, is “dedicated to documenting Small Town America’s strange tales and occurrences.” The company’s first production, “Minerva Monster,” was released in 2015.
“I’ve been fascinated by (cryptids and the paranormal) for about the last decade or so,” said Breedlove, who originally released “Small Town Monsters” in book form before moving into documentary film production. “Obviously, it’s all sort of filtered through that small-town lens. Mostly because I grew up in a small town, I was fascinated by how rural communities can be affected by a local legend; something that isn’t taken very seriously by other people. It can almost become a tourist boom if towns know how to capitalize on it.”
Two of the 11 films the company has released have been dedicated to the Mothman legend: “The Mothman of Point Pleasant” (2017) and “Terror in the Skies” (2019). Breedlove said the final installment of the Mothman trilogy, “The Mothman Legacy,” is scheduled for release in 2020.
“We wanted to do something about the Mothman that did offer some new information about the case,” Breedlove said regarding the 2017 film. “There’s a large chunk of that movie that is relatively unknown or had not been put out there in a way that tied all the pieces together in the way we did. I think probably my favorite bit of information that wasn’t out there before was the Chief Cornstalk curse being basically the invention of a play from the 1930s, rather than an actual historical event. I was glad that we were able to bust what was pretty much a myth that people had accepted as historical fact. It was a play that invented the curse.”
Breedlove said he credits Wamsley for encouraging his production team to move forward with the Mothman documentary.
“Jeff’s amazing,” Breedlove said. “There wouldn’t even be a ‘Mothman of Point Pleasant’ movie without Jeff because I was very leery of doing it. I actually went and had a meeting with Jeff before I even officially decided to do the movie. Jeff was very insistent that there was stuff we could do with that story that hadn’t been done before and that he would be very giving of his own research material. Jeff actually supplied us with those original audio tape interviews with some of the original witnesses. He gave us the footage of the Silver Bridge clean up that was taken the week of the actual bridge collapse. I don’t think without Jeff the film would be in existence.”
Wamsley, the founder and director of the Mothman Museum and the annual Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, said the enduring mystery of Mothman keeps people interested in the folklore.
“The Mothman story has lasted over 50 years mainly because the story is an open book that has never really been solved,” he said. “Multiple witnesses and a weird turn of events like the men in black and Silver Bridge disaster all culminated into a huge unsolved mystery that is timeless.”
The interest in the Mothman legend and his knowledge of the lore keeps Wamsley busy fielding requests for information from a wide range of people.
“I get emails and calls almost daily from investigators, writers, TV shows, etc.,” he said. “I have never claimed to be any type of Mothman expert; I just happened to amass a huge collection of archives at the Mothman museum and I also knew some of the original witnesses who confided in me their experiences.”
Wamsley noted that people regularly contact him to share their own encounters with the Mothman.
“I do get eyewitness reports and sightings frequently, many from all over the world,” he said. “It’s difficult to confirm or validate all of the reports I receive, but they are all interesting bits of information. People are still here in Point Pleasant always looking for the Mothman.”
Following Friday’s presentation at the Bossard Memorial Library, Breedlove will make an appearance Saturday at the Mothman Museum in downtown Point Pleasant. From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday he’ll host a launch party for the third Mothman film. Breedlove said he’ll autograph posters and DVDs for visitors during the launch party.
For information about Small Town Monsters, visit the website www.smalltownmonsters.com. Like Small Town Monsters on Facebook.
For information about the Mothman Museum, visit www.mothmanmuseum.com.
Like The Mothman Museum on Facebook.
E.A. Carter is a freelance journalist and photographer, and an armchair monster hunter. Contact him at [email protected]