"The Mothman" is the second short in the mini-series True Terror With George Takei, a series of The Terror shorts narrated by George Takei, focused on real-life terrors. As with the other installments in the series save the premiere, it was released by AMC on YouTube on October 1, 2019. However, subscribers to the premium streaming service AMC Premiere were granted access on August 7, 2019.
It covers events in the town of Point Pleasant, Virginia, as a bridge collapses at sunset, resulting in 37 vehicles plunging into the water and over 40 deaths. Residents speak of a bat-like creature appearing over the bridge in the days leading up to its collapse.
In 1966 and 1967, rural West Virginia was plagued by a series of sightings of "a large flying man with ten-foot wings" and red glowing eyes. Local folklore dubbed the creature the "Mothman.” Was the Mothman a harbinger of doom, or a warning from the future?
On December 15, 1967, it is a quiet day in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. At sunset, the silver bridge leading into Ohio collapses, plunging 37 vehicles into the river. There are 44 bodies pulled out and two more are never found. Eerily, witnesses claim to have seen a large, bat-like object appearing over the bridge in the days leading up to its collapse. Since then, the collapse has been shrouded in mystery and myth. The name of the monster believed to responsible still strikes fear today: the Mothman.
The tale begins on a cold, clear night in November 1966. Just before midnight, two couples stopped at the abandoned site of a TNT factory, one reported to be haunted. As they exit, they see something on a roof - a human-sized moth-like figure which then pursues their cars. They report their sightings to the police, but at first the sheriff's department refuses to believe them. However, when they search the factory the next day, they hear strange murmurs in the surrounding woods and unexplained static distorts their radios.
Residents dismiss the sighting as simply a hallucination or the witnesses letting their imagination get carried away with something that was only a bird. The sightings, however, continue, making repeated news reports. Residents organize search parties with rifles as social events. Cars line up for miles and the stories even get national attention. The creature is eventually named the "Mothman" by an editor of an Ohio newspaper. Police have no leads, despite over a hundred eyewitness reports. However, after the bridge collapse, the Mothman is never seen again in Point Pleasant, but there are many sightings reported around the globe, and always before a disaster strikes.
Prior to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, workers reported seeing a black, bird-like creature hovering by the power plant. In Minnesota, such a creature was reported before the collapse of the I-35 Bridge. To some, this suggests that the Mothman is a monster hell-bent on destruction, but others see a different motive. Such a sighting in Fryburg, Germany may have prevented a disaster. Miners saw a headless winged creature with red eyes at the entrance of a mine. They evacuated immediately. An hour later, the mine collapsed. In 2017, 55 people reported seeing the Mothman in Chicago. In 2019, some still worry it may have been trying to warn them of something yet to come.