Monday, May 01, 2006

"The Mothman at Wal-Mart, What a Concept"

Mothman Drawing
Hollywood meets West Virginia once again

By Dave Peyton
Charleston Daily Mail

     "We Are Marshall" isn't the only movie being filmed in West Virginia this spring. How about another movie -- a documentary -- based on the legend of the Mothman?

Let's face it. The story of the Mothman of Point Pleasant and environs has legs. Although the primary sightings of the winged creature took place 40 years ago, the story is better known today than it was at the time Mason County residents claimed the creature terrified them.

There have been books written about the Mothman. A major motion picture -- "The Mothman Chronicles" -- debuted in 2002.

And now Red Line Studios, a production company based in Brooklyn, N.Y., has come to Point Pleasant for about three weeks to interview local folks about the creature and how it might be connected to the UFO sightings that took place about the same time as the 1966 sightings, the collapse of the Silver Bridge in December 1967, and the curse of an Indian chief named Cornstalk.

Matthew Pellowski, producer and director of the film, bought his staff to Point Pleasant to produce what he believes will be a 90-minute film.

After it's in the can, about six months from now, Pellowski says he will attempt to sell it to a cable channel such as HBO or the Discovery Channel.

But, he said, the real money could come from producing a DVD and selling it through retail outlets such as Wal-Mart.

The Mothman at Wal-Mart. What a concept.

Pellowski came to last September's Mothman Festival, an annual Point Pleasant event that grows every year. The festival is planned and executed by Jeff Wamsley, who also started a Mothman Museum in the town and maintains Web sites devoted to the story of the Mothman.

Pellowski said his purpose in being in Point Pleasant is to get a film record of those who saw the creature and remember related events.

The director interviewed me last Thursday evening while I sat in front of Point Pleasant's Iron Gate Restaurant.

I was a cub reporter at the Huntington newspaper at the time, and while I never had a close encounter with the creature, I reported on a gaggle of UFO sightings that took place in the area about the same time.

There were so many sightings of unidentified flying objects in late 1966 that the editors established a UFO desk to handle all the calls, primarily from Mason and Putnam counties. Most of the people who called were average citizens, who were not known for eccentricities.

Many of them began their phone conversations by saying something like "I want you to know I am a God-fearing churchgoer and I don't lie. But what I just saw nearly scared me to death."

Are the sightings of the UFOs and the Mothman related? And are they related to the reported curse that Cornstalk, a legendary Indian chief, cast on the region before he was killed by whites more than 200 years ago?

And are all of these events connected to the collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967, about 13 months after Mothman appeared?

Pellowski's documentary may not answer those questions to everyone's satisfaction. But there's no doubt it will add to the legendary status of the Mothman and the place he reportedly terrorized 40 years ago.

More . . .

See Also: Mothman: Myth or Reality?


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