TheMothMan Wikia


Mary Hyre of The Athens Messenger, kept regular correspondence with author John Keel during the events of the Mothman 1966-67 wave.

Read more : March - June 1967 Mary Hyre's Letters To John Keel

A Letter from Mary Hyre - Sunday, July 2nd 1967

Note: The New York article is Writer Attends UFO conclave 7/2/67. "Jennie" may have been Ginny Carew whom John was dating that year.

Sunday Evening

Dear John:

Well it has been a rainy day here today. I slept until noon and then my phone has never stopped ringing since that time, after people read the story about the Miss Venus... They really liked it and many wanted to know if there were anything else that I could write about it.

The family who lives in the big two-story hose beside me say that [they] see this thing that the kids [...] said opened up like a flower and closed, only it closed slowly, but I think the plane had something to do with it disappearing that night. They said they also seen three in a straight row Friday night and was an unusual color of blue. Mabel and Parkie said they too seen three in a row Friday, but didn't have any blue lights.

It looks as if we are in for another rash of sightings, I sure hope one stays long enough for someone to see it good or take them a ride. I really enjoyed my self in New York and thanks for everything. Be sure to tell Jennie that I enjoyed meeting her and that she was very sweet. Your friend Myron was so nice he and I had a ball while we were at the restaurant talking with him.

Myron said he and his wife were coming to West Virginia this summer for a vacation and would stop and see me. I am sure he thought I was crazy... I would say something silly and he['d] say well I never heard that one before, if he followed my tracks he might hear a lot of crazy things, which is all in a days work.

I am sending you a clipping of Friday's article of which I told you on the phone that happened near Athens at Amesville which is about 12 miles from Athens. Also of Miss Venus I hope I did it ok as I said in my article that I didn't believe it nor did the others, but it was strictly her story. I did goof on not making it clear that was not on the program, but since they take it either way I don't think I should write another story, because It didn't matter that much, because I heard every word of what she said on the program and don't think that it is that important.

I cannot say [...] you are wrong or you are suppose to read between the lines.. I always do something wrong. This man from Boston who made a tape of the "Moth Man" said that West Virginia should send me out to promote the state, because I really believed the state was ok and complimented me on my attire... guess he thought I should be bare footed.

The day I came home I had a flat tire coming home from Charleston, Mabel and my sister came after me in my car.. I bought four new ones. I will not drive on bad tires. I came home and had a dinner meeting at 6:30 p.m. a school board meeting at 7:30 p.m. and got out of the office at 2a.m. The next day I went home at 2 p.m. and took a nap. Friday night the city council had a meeting starting at midnight and it was over at 2 a.m. and when I drove in my driveway the state police pulled [in] and sat there and talked for an hour so I really had a bad week after I came home.

Mabel said that Roger and Linda swear that the monster has been on their roof the past three nights. Linda even claims that she sees it[s] red eyes and has been a nervous wreck according to Mabel. I really don't know what to think of this deal, if they really see something or just think they do. Brenda and Chester also went to housekeeping, so the Mcdaniel's are alone and said if you come back they have two bedrooms and the basement where you can have your choice and work in peace and quiet.

Maybe you could get some writing done if you were where it was peaceful.. sometimes I think if the phone don't stop ringing and people don't stay out of the office I will scream. It sure is hard to write when the phone rings all the time.

Well I shall keep you informed as to what happens.



A Letter from Mary Hyre - Sunday, July 9th 1967

Note: John marked the envelope “Helicopters", clippings filed elsewhere.

Sunday Night

Dear John:

Well it is another Sunday night and seems that is about the only time I found to write. It has been a busy week with so many night meetings and they stay half of the night and I had to go to Columbus this week with a girl friend of mine to see her father who is in the hospital there dying with cancer.

I sure heard a weird story today, a Marshall University student claims that a ufo landed at Camden Park that is located in Huntington and took him for a ride and they really gave him a physical examination and injections and made him have sexual relations with a pretty girl twice. He further claims that he went immediately to a hospital on his return to earth and was examined and the doctors verified that he had been given injections and also looked as if he may have also had blood taken from him.

Of course this could be a lie, but a girl who lives in Point Pleasant and is a student at Marshall says the boy told her, she didn't remember his name, but is to get it for me this week, it seems that the Marshall University students have been very interested in this research and he might be telling the truth.

So many people have been telling me that they see things and are reliable people who don't want to mention anything about it. My sister-in-law was telling me Saturday night that Friday evening just before dark she was traveling up route 7 on the Ohio side near Gallipolis close to the Ohio river and there were six helicopter flying almost on the water in a formation. I really do not know why there would be six of them in this area, if there is a group touring the rivers for inspection they usually give us a release on something like that or we'd see it in the Huntington paper.

I am sending you some clippings. You may have one of the pictures, but just in case you don't have [it, I] will send it along. I sure did have a response to the Miss Venus story all good and people loved it and had many, many call wanting to know if I had written everything about it and if not, please write another one. While some said it was way out and didn't believe she was from Venus they still loved the story.

Jesse Herrald was in to see me this week and raised hell because we didn't invite him to the ufo convention... he said he would have loved to attend it. He claims, and this is off the record, that the government has a secret plane that is being tested that is what people are seeing.. he says he knows it for a fact, but I think he was just talking .. he may be in a position to know that, but if he did he would not of told me.

He also told me that he has a lot of tapes recorded for you, but would not tell what was on the tapes. He said maybe you wouldn't want them, but if you did you could let me know and tell him.

He also said that Lewis Summers has seen a lot, but I haven't talked with him.. sometimes Lou will tell what he knows and other times he wont. I do know that the people in that area have seen a lot. Parkie said that it was a hush job at Kaiser and if anyone sees anything it doesn't go very far.

Parkie said that he worked with Derenberger's (Don't think I have it spelled right) brother and he believes every word his brother tells him, I mean Derenberger's brother believes everything his brother tells.

Parkie said he doubted it all now.. he said they made Derenberger move from Mineral Wells and where he is living now the people told him he had to walk straight or he would have to move, this could all be a lie.

Mabel and Parkie and I saw three in one night the other night and they were not airplanes in fact it was sorta frightening... while writing this letter I have been talking with a doctor for my sister, Fay, her little girl Mary Ann is sick and the doctor gave me a prescription on the phone and I am always afraid I will get it wrong.

Perhaps I will have to go to the doctor myself tonight. I did some manual labor today of which I am not supposed to do, but I can stand the dirt so long and then I have to start and clean of course. I done the worst there was, scrubbing, but it will do no good.. This morning a woman called me real early to give me a story that didn't amount to damn. I could have killed her, but in this business you have to like it.

I shall keep you posted on what is happening in this area or if they come after me.

As ever,



A Letter from Mary Hyre - Friday, July 21st 1967

Friday Morning

Dear John:

It has been like fall weather here this week, rain and cool, but I like it that way. I went to Columbus last weekend and it was good to get away. Sales went to Huntington one day this week so I have been on the go for a change.

Sending you a clipping of a sighting of a red light and also of a turkey vulture of which I am sure they are a rare thing in this area or at least I never have seen one or have anyone else.

I didn't say so in my story, but the boys said that a very large bird, or what ever it was, flew over the area and they heard a shot, but if someone killed it there was two because later they saw another one.

I guess we have a little bit of everything in this area. I didn't see the picture of it but Lewis Summer has a picture of it. I haven't been able to get the man['s] name who says he was taken [for] a ride in Huntington.. the girl who told it is also a student at Marshall and she hasn't been home since she told it, but will try again this weekend. I have seen all kinds of strange lights in the sky and also the next door neighbor and she said that her television has been acting up.. she said the screen turns white and no picture and nothing comes saying that there is picture difficulties, when this happens they always tell you it isn't your set it is the station.

She said she went outside to see if she could see anything, but could see nothing, but since it occurs in the daytime perhaps they are not visible in the day. She has seen a lot and told me that she has never heard a sound from anything she has spotted.

It seems that every one that is seen is near my house, perhaps they have been seen other places and I don't hear of it, but they must like the area there, or it could be that it is near the power lines.

Connie is in the hospital, she has had a cough for several days and cannot keep any medicine down so they put her in to give her some fluids. Linda and Roger seem to be getting along ok since they moved to [be by] themselves.. I guess it['s] better that they have responsibilities of their own. Parkie is on vacation and I haven't seen them this week, I think they went to see her father who is ill, he lives in Fairmont.

Since reading your letter I have wondered if you could be in any kind of danger, I am sure you will watch very closely for a danger signal but do be careful. If you see Viv Venus again tell me.

I would love to hear from her. I will never get this letter written, I have had three long distance calls since I started in addition to the local calls.

Belva says she still sees objects just what they are I don't know. Guess you have been running like mad as usual?

The Mason County Fair is the week on August 7th and this is always a hard week for me, think I shall take a week vacation following the fair week and maybe I will have some time for looking around and seeing what is going on. I most always stay home one week of my vacation and leave the other week to go somewhere.

Hope you have found out something that will clue you in on just what is happening.

As ever,

Mary H.


A Letter from Mary Hyre - Saturday, August 5th 1967

Saturday Morning

Dear John:

I haven't heard from you for so long, I thought perhaps the little green men have taken you for a ride and haven't brought you back. Well someone is always reporting seeing something strange and its hard to keep up with all the sightings.

I finally went back down to Gallipolis ferry the other night and strange things can still be seen there. I think they have a hiding place there and also in the northern part of the county back in the Letart area and nearby where the man whom we went to see said one came down in his yard.

[The] girl that works at Pleasant Valley hospital was always saying to me "gee I wish could see one". The other night she called me and said "Well it was just like you said it would be, suddenly one would appear". She said that this one was just above the tree tops on a hill and was like a big round ball of fire and moved slowly over the trees.

This area is rather close to the area where the girl from Washington seen the one I told you about. I have been busy this past week and will really have a week next week... have school board and council meeting the first two nights and the fair the rest of the week and by that time I will be seeing little green men and hoping they pick me up.

People have been complaining about their television sets having interference and nothing said about it being in the station.

I have been real upset this week, my sister has had headache for sometime and she thought it was her eyes and went to an eye specialist the other day and he said all test indicated that she has a brain tumor. I think you met her once in the office. She is different than my sister, Fay, she is one that cannot [...] take anything and everything is a major problem and crosses all bridges before she gets there, now she is afraid to get to a specialist and find out for sure.. if [it] had been Fay or I, we would have gone right on that day and at least started the tests.

I hate to think of her having this type of operation since she is so afraid which makes it much worse.. I went through enough with her when she had a minor operation and in child birth. She has been one that has caused me so much worry anyway and now she married just recently and really acting like she has some sense for a change and now this happens. When the saucer stops for me I shall stop and get you. Sending a clipping of a small story.

As ever,



A Letter from Mary Hyre - Thursday, August 31st 1967

Note: Dan is filmmaker Dan Drasin featured in Keel's Mothman Prophecies.

Thursday Night

Dear John:

Well it is honeymoon weather here tonight. I think the temperature is in the 40' it would be a good night to go out and look for ufo's if you could keep warm. I seen a strange light the other night and it followed me home. [...] This has happened before in about the same location but at different hour of the night. Perhaps I will make all kinds of mistake[s] in writing this letter. I have been giving instruction to sports writers for the area high schools tonight and I don't know a darn thing about sports, but still I have to see that all the boys get the statistics and half way put them together and then I write them. I hate sports anyway.

Scotty has been very sick the past week, but is better at this time, for a while I was afraid he was having a heart attack, but guess it was something else, that is all I need.

A girl called me last night and said she had seen this strange object lighted in the sky and it moved very slowly across the sky so I guess the ufo's are still here and I think the "moth man" also is here.

I told Dan that I felt that one of these days before long we will hear more from these strange creatures again. Maybe the odd strange feeling I have about it will not become a reality but I sure do feel that something will happen. I am sure that Dan left here thinking I am a nut, but many things have happened in my life a long time before the moth man ever came to Point Pleasant.

I have some of the craziest dreams about you and a ufo I just hope they bring you back when they take you.. In my dreams you are always leaving with one and there is always two men one each side of you in this thing. Maybe I am just hoping that you will be lucky enough to be taken for a ride in one, because you have worked so hard on every angle of this darn thing.

I shall let you hear at once should any thing unusual happen in this area.

As ever,



A Letter from Mary Hyre - Wednesday, November 1st 1967

Note: Mrs. Thomas is Virginia Thomas (sister of Mothman witness Marcella Bennett), Virginia's story is told in chapter 18 of Strange Creatures From Time And Space and The Mothman Prophecies.

Wednesday Morning

Dear John :

Well it sure is a rainy day here, but we have been having very beautiful weather, but it is time for winter now.

Mabel said she talked with you last night and you have been having a lot of excitement around your area ......It seems that someone spots something just about every day here, but I have written about lights so many times it is getting to be an old story, every once in a while I have something different and write a story.

I am sending you a clipping of a day time sightings, but others have told me they see bright objects in the sky during the day that are not planes. I feel that the "Moth Man" is back if he ever left this area.

Mrs. Thomas claims she seen it again and a bunch of teenagers about two weeks ago said that they too seen and heard something when they were on top of an old house in the tnt area. Of course it has been about a year now and perhaps it will make it annual appearance. I have talked to Dan a few times and I'm never sure just how much you want me to tell him or the others he is working with.

I wish you would let me know if you think it best to tell them when I see things....... Somehow I feel that perhaps what I see myself I had better keep it a secret, because there might be a pattern forming if I am smart enough to figure it out. [...] [I] think there are contactees right here in Point Pleasant.

If I ever figure it out [I] will send you a note. I have never heard another word from the Henderson's and cannot understand why, unless they are contactees and feel that they didn't accomplish anything when they talked with me.

I had a strange call the other night from a man asking me a lot of questions. He said he was just interested in ufo. He said his name was Ralph Manchin or something like that and said he was from a town in New Jersey, but he could have been anyone and from god knows where. I didn't tell him very much other than there was sightings here and that I was busy, and was, the boss was here.. I haven't told anyone he called, because I think the person was right in this area although he may have been from some place else, I feel it is wise not to talk with an unknown person on the phone. He did ask me when he could see me if he ever had the privilege of coming to Point Pleasant, I told him he could find me at the office or at home and it has been a few days now and I haven't heard any more, I might be fooled and suddenly he will appear..

Do not tell this to anyone. Oh well may it will be solved some day if I ever live that long. The Thomas and Bennett women either are having illusions or really are seeing something and if what they say are true, they are most certainly involved.

I haven't talked with them, only what Mabel has told me. They seem to only want to talk with only certain people although I haven't ask[ed] [...] to talk with them. Well have to go to a luncheon, but will keep you informed

As ever,



A Letter from Mary Hyre - Saturday, November 25th 1967

Saturday Morning

Dear John:

Well do not be surprised that I am writing a letter in the morning. It is one of those dull days, but I have to stay until noon to see if the funeral homes call.

Dan called last night and ask a lot of questions, but I told him you would inform him on details when you arrived back in New York. Of course I don't think that he feels that we tell him everything. I told him that I thought you knew a few things that were confidential, but that you had done this research and I felt that is the way it should be, I hope I didn't do wrong by telling him that.

Dan said that he talked for a long time Friday night with Henderson and that Henderson seemed to be very upset. He said that Henderson said that the dog goes to sleep and cannot be awakened at that time and that is when they feel that someone is in the house.

My sister, Fay said she hoped we were not disappointed that she acted so doppy while we were there, but she said that she had fallen asleep and when we came and while we were there she felt liked she had taken something that made her feel that way. I sure hope that she wasn't under some kind of a spell by the little people.

She has had several visions and some have come true. She said she started to tell one and it was one that she never had told me and said that she didn't know why she didn't tell you while you were here. This thing becomes more confusing daily.

Sorry that your last night here had to end the way it did, but maybe it was all in the plot for us. Hope you didn't take cold being out in the rain and cold night. The thing that amazed me was that I didn't get frightened, ordinarily I would not have stayed there one minute on that lonely road by myself. Perhaps I was given a super boost, but please ask the magic ball to keep me off of lonely roads while it is raining, as I said you didn't say how my car would stall. Can you find out if that is the way it was to happen?

Yours truly,



A Letter from Mary Hyre - Sunday, November 26th 1967

Note: Keel marked the envelope “Checkered shirt", more info in chapter 14 of Strange Creatures From Time And Space.

Point Pleasant, W.Va

Sunday Evening

Dear John:

Well I told you things would break when you left, Saturday night they were going everywhere. I really don't think they were ever so many in one night and some were pretty low. I saw the same thing that you and I saw in the tnt that night it sure must have a mission here. I have so many calls about seeing so many strange lights turning different colors and it was very clear here Saturday night, but you could tell the ufo's from the stars, because they were moving.

I went to take my niece and another girl home about 10 p.m. and they saw the lights and said, before I said anything, that there were two and that they were very low and changed colors and I let them described them to me ..... I said to Sharon if you travel with me you may see a lot of strange things and she said you know something last Easter as she and her mother were traveling on Route 17 they saw this big thing just clipping the tree tops on the hill as the traveled along.

I ask[ed] her what it looked like so she said it looked like a big gray wooden house and was a big as my house and they watched for a long time, it traveled very slow. She said it didn't have any wings nor did it have any sound. She said you couldn't tell it from a house, they had never told me this and [I] do not know why unless they were told not to.

I ask[ed] her mother what they seen coming from Winfield and she told me the same thing that Sharon had told me. She said it was not an airplane and looked weird to be gliding along so close by. I ask[ed] her why she never told me and she said I don't why .... They always tell me everything and both have been with me when [I] seen strange lights. Do you suppose there is someone [that] can keep people from telling these things. This puzzles me and [I'm] sure that they didn't make it up because she didn't know what Sharon had told me.

Perhaps there are a lot of people who see things and never tell them or have a lapse of memory about them. Mabel said that Tom Carrol told Parkie that he locked the doors [...] and went to bed as he had worked all night and his wife works in the day time and when he got up the kitchen door was open and he was sure that he locked the door. He said he thought he would look in the garage and man with a checkered shirt ran from the garage.

I ask Mabel if any of you had told Tom about the shirt deal and she said that he did not know anything about it. She said he was real upset and doesn't know what to do about it. I don't know if [he] said what the man looked like.. He wanted it kept very quiet. He said since this has happened, [It] feels like someone is in the house part of the time with him and that something awful was happening to him.

You said you didn't think much of what he had to say when you talked with him and maybe this is just a bunch of nonsense he's telling.. ..Has there been any article written about the men in checkered shirts? If so he may have read it.... It could be in magazines and [I] didn't see because I never get time to read like I should.

I think it would take a staff of people to track down all the leads that one hears in this area as well as other places but I do feel if anything breaks any [time] soon it will be here, maybe I am wrong, but I feel that too much has been sighted and something will go wrong sooner or later and we will find out something.

Thanksgiving night Belva called and said that she seen this thing and it was very close and stayed for a long time and she got Juhu out of bed and he too seen it. She said about 7 a.m. the next morning she thought she would see if she could still see it and right where it was seen was a big patch of what looked like a big white puffy cloud.. That is getting to be very prominent and I have never told her about the cloud bit either and am sure you didn't tell her.

Well I shall keep you posted on the latest happenings. Roger has disappeared, he left home Saturday morning and until now Sunday night he hasn't been seen or heard of. Linda still hasn't [had] her baby, but has worried over him all night and day. Connie hasn't had her baby either, guess they are awaiting moth man to deliver them.

As ever,



A Letter from Mary Hyre - Sunday, December 10th 1967

Note: Hyre's last letter before The Silver Bridge Collapse, John marked the envelope “tape drop", Mary enclosed a tape sample.

Sunday Evening

Dear John:

Well I promised to send you that stuff that fell from the plane or what ever, but it seems I have been busy this week and never did get around to it. Well it has rained here all day and still raining tonight.

Well nearly every night people call and say you should see this thing in the sky and they seem to come closer all the time. This one man told me he was out on Route 2 and 87 and this thing bigger than an airplane came right at him about dusk and it first had two lights on it then it changed to one light. He said it looked like it had an oblong windows in the front. He said there wasn't any sound and it about frightened him to death.

Other people have been reporting this two light bit and the thing come[s] right at them but everyone gets afraid and take[s] off... Perhaps I think I would stay and see what it is. I really think that I am too curious not to stay and see what it is because it comes at the car and doesn't do anything. I don't really think that it would hurt me.

The piece of gray material I have enclosed was about 14 or 15 inches long and the glue on the one side was real sticky, but I had to put that part together to keep it from sticking to the letter. Some youngsters found the silvery stuff, but the police haven't gone back over the hill to get some of it as it's in the top of a very tall tree, but they promised me they will go.

I really do not think that it came from a commercial plane, this woman really doesn't know just what it was, said it looked like a big passenger plane and was flying very low. It was up at the coast guard depot on Route 17. One followed Maxine and I the other night and then it disappeared after it done a lot of tricks. I told Maxine it seems that some nights they are playing games with us, we may change our mind when they come after us.

Do you know a R.J Jua nillo, Sunnyvale, Calif.? He wrote the chief of police a letter and said he was preparing a manuscript on the ufo controversy and that he had become aware of unusual observations in this area and would like for him to send him thing[s] that had happened here. Chief Pyles gave me the letters, but I haven't answered it, [I] thought [I] had better ask you first.

I shall keep you informed and hope you are feeling better. It worried me at the time about you getting so wet, but there wasn't much we could do.

As ever,