IS THE MOTHMAN HOMELESS? (The Curse of Chief Cornstalk)

by S.M. Belekurov

The Mothman may be homeless. This celebrity monster was not a victim of the sub-prime housing market, but possibly of a much older concern. The Curse of Chief Cornstalk. On May 17th, 2010 around 1:13 am an explosion rocked the “TNT area” once thought to be the home of the creature. Witness Adam Frazier described the event saying “it was so bright it turned night to day” and that he “didn’t hear an explosion, but  I saw the light.”

The official story is that some of the munitions stored in the grass-covered igloos ignited causing the explosion. No cause has yet been determined.

Gary Sharp of the “Division of Natural Resources” highlighted the damage “The steel doors were thrown off and the ceiling is made of 6 inch concrete that lifted up and then caved in, the blast was pretty extensive.” So is this just another dark co-incidence? A foreseeable consequence after 40 years of storing explosives? Or something more? Before deciding this we must get into the strange history of the Mothman’s stomping grounds.

In the late 1700’s Chief Cornstalk was a leader of the Shawnee people of the region. He had his share of scrapes with the early colonial settlers but had made a tentative peace in his later years.

His unjust death occurred in November of 1777 when the Chief learned a rogue band of Shawnee were planning an attack on some near-by colonists. The Chief and his son Elinipsico rode to warn the settlers of Point Pleasant.
Unfortunately, after the pair arrived news came of the attack that had resulted in the death of a prominent American solider. The settlers exacted revenge by killing the Shawnee Chief and his son. With his dying breath the Chief uttered this curse.
“I came to your fort as your friend and you murdered me. You have murdered by my side, my young son…..For this may the Curse of the Great Spirit  rest upon this land. May it be blighted by nature. May it even be blighted in its hopes. May the strength of its people be paralyzed by the stain of our blood.”
The executed Chief was buried near the bend of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. This region has sustained many “accidents” that do have the feel of a curse. Here is a short list of the most significant.
December, 6th 1907 – Worst coal mine disaster in American history 310 killed in neighboring Monongah, WV.
June 1944 – Tornado kills 150 people in the tri-state region
December 5th, 1967 – Collapse of the Silver Bridge into Ohio river 46 casualties (Point Pleasant)
August 1968 – 35 people died when a plane crashed near Kanawha airport.
November 4th, 1970 – Plane crashes into Mountains of nearby Huntington, WV.
March 2nd, 1976 – Mason County jail exploded as a man with a suitcase full of explosives visited his wife who had killed his infant daughter. Both Mr. and Mrs. Sisk and 3 agents of Law Enforcement lost their lives.
January 1978 – A freight train carrying chemical toxins derailed contaminating the water supply of Point Pleasant ruining all the local wells.
April 1978 – 51 laborers were killed in the neighboring town of St.Mary’s when a scaffold collapsed at the Willow Island Power Plant.
672 deaths in tragic accidents in a span of 75 years. And then things get weird. The 1966-67, 13 month flap in West Virginia was and still is one of the most prominent cases of high strangeness in our field. Over 100 witnesses encountered the winged creature in the 13 months preceding the Silver Bridge tragedy. At least 7 of these encounters involved the “TNT area”, more than any other single locale.
Originally designated as the “Mclintoc Wildlife Refuge”(fittingly enough as a bird sanctuary) the area was converted into a WWII munitions dump. It’s subterranean tunnels, earth covered igloos and seclusion made it an excellent dump site. It also doubled as a popular spot for intrepid teens to do what it is teens do. And this was were the Mothman flap began in earnest.
Across the world winged creatures of enormous size have been reported for centuries. There seem to be 3 primary creatures sighted in this category.

1) A huge bird (sometimes considered to be a pterodactyl or Thunderbird)
2) A humanoid creature with wings (the classic Mothman)
3) A Man with wings and often a mechanical apparatus on his chest (ala Future-Man)

In one of the more dramatic and well-known encounters 4 teenagers were pursued from the TNT area by the creature in their car, at speeds topping 100 mph. The group reported their sighting to the Mason County sheriff and a Deputy Millard Halstead followed the group who he knew “all of their lives”  and whom “he took seriously”. Arriving at the TNT area the police radio in his car “emitted a strange sound like a speeded-up phonographic record”*. The creature was not seen but the next day a press conference was held in the county courthouse and local reporter and beloved spitfire Mary Hyre entered the fray.

She was the local authority collecting reports not only of Mothman but of the near nightly UFO’s. And following the UFO’s was, of course, the ultra enigmatic, Jello drinking Men-In-Black whom she personally encountered on several occasions. In seeming response to the barrage of UFO’s, homes throughout the area that were never “paranormally active” had sudden outbreaks of Poltergeist like activity. In several of the cases the almost always present teenage catalyst was suspiciously absent. This paranormal activity may have been the result of  a “psychological spillover” effect.
Since this classic case we have seen other regions come under investigation that also defy contemporary theories. Multiple creatures or phenomena manifesting within a “window” area. The Skinwalker Ranch with its invisible cryptids, death squad of orbs and interdimensional rips in the skies above the ranch. Contact Ranch with its controlled Bigfoots, disappearing trees and the mechanical voice from an unknown source. Mystery Farm X with its Poltergeist activity, firework watching Bigfoot and Camel headed entity. Not to mention the mysteries of the San Luis Valley, the disturbing allegations surrounding Dulce, NM and the persistent strangeness of the Yakima Reservation.
All these cases seem to follow a new model where an underlying intelligence evolves with our perceptions. Each supernatural event/entity reinforces the belief (Moth-Mania in this case)in the persisting strangeness which in turn aids in the manifestation process. An interactive intelligence with its own agenda. Was the Chief’s curse an element in the high strangeness that has plagued this desolate corned of West Virginia? We don’t know. But we would do well to observe the wise words of John Keel “When it comes to the paranormal world, nothing is what it seems to be.”

About John Keel: Recently John Keel passed away. Since he was madly influential in my investigative research and writing style, I wanted to drop a few lines of dedication.
John Keel possessed a uniquely singular mind, which is a true rarity these days. He did the research of an unpaid intern, had the personal insight of a professor and the observational skills of an anthropologist. His insatiable curiosity reflects the human experience, searching for answers to the mysteries of existence, reality and the bottomless well of the mind.
Keel always left you with the impression that he knew much more than he would say, and his insight was so subtle that you could almost believe that you drew the inference on your own. We would do well to follow Keel’s example, shining the torch of knowledge into the dark corners of our minds and beyond.
About the Author: S.M. Belekurov is a Field Investigator, Paranormal Profiler, and author of “2012:The Paranormal Cookbook(Convergence of Reality and the Supernatural)”  He is a contributing writer to “Paranormal Underground” magazine,,,,  and is an APA charter member (Cryptozoology).




2 thoughts on “IS THE MOTHMAN HOMELESS? (The Curse of Chief Cornstalk)

  1. The world has always needed oddities and strange ocurrences in order to survive our mundane lives.Growing up in Gallipolis, Ohio in the 60’s , I was surrounded by such things. My father was a journalist in the area and also interviewed the original young couples the next day after the “sighting” of Birdman, as we called him during that time. He found their account to be implausible, not because of it’s strange creature, but because of their behavior. He recounted that they were still “three sheets to the wind” still the next morning when he spoke with them. My father and myself also spent a late night in the TNT area with camera in hand to capture such a monster, but no “luck.
    WVU in Morgantown sent an ornithologist , who gave the theory of a sandhill crane. He stated the area was a wildlife marsh and supportive of the sanhill crane.The cranes are known to be have large wingspans and have classic red feathers above the eyes.They are similar to the Great Blue Herons. These “facts” were dismissed because people wanted to believe the unexplainable “Birdman” and not a plausaible truth.During the mid to late 1960’s the UFO phenomenon was very popular and this creature story was our own “15 minutes of fame”.Sadly it has overstayed it’s 15 min. and needs to be pulled from the stage. . . .Sincerely William Thomas

  2. interesting stuff William but Birdman is consistently reported through out world and history (Owlman, Mothman, angels as winged humanoid etc) and different types of creature, i.e., “Bigbird”, “Flying Man” and “Monster/Mothman para entity” and the more interesting part (for me) is that a whole bouquet of para activity was recorded (MIB, UFO ,poltergeist,bridge-walkers, grinning man ghost, crash that never happened etc). I appreciate your response and you have some valid points.

    Be safe


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