TheMothMan Wikia

The following is an article from The Athens Messenger on Sunday, March 30th 1975 titled "Mason 'Mothman Prophecies' Author Keel Deicates Book to the Late Mary Hyre":

John Keel, Widely-known writer of books and articles about objects and people believed to be from outer space has dedicated his newest book to the late Mary Hyre, who for many years was chief of The Messengers's news bureau in Point Pleasant and the majority of his book "The Mothman Prophecies" is centered in Mason County.

Mrs Hyre became a close friend of Keel during his research for his book calls the investigation of ultraterrestrials". Those who worked with Mrs Hyre were well aware of her interest in unidentified flying objects and in reports of people from unknown planets. She frequently wrote of sightings in the Meigs-Gallia-Mason area, interviewing persons who had witnessed unexplained objects and she maintained a large file on her information.

Keel became acquainted with Mrs Hyre during his many trips to Point Pleasant and in his book she is frequently quoted.

The author tells the story of what he calls the "Mothman" and what many termed the "Mason County Monster" when it was repeatedly sighted in what is known as the TNT area between Point Pleasant and Mason. That area which was an ordnance works in World War II and is now the Mason County fairgrounds, was the scene of sightings and searches for the monster. As was the wide stretches of the Chief Cornstalk Preserve also mentioned by Keel.

Keel even hints strongly that the Silver Bridge disaster of Dec 15. 1967 may have been the result of visitors from outer space [..That is not accurate to what Keel says..] who reportedly were seen by at least one person on the bridge. The press release asks of the Silver Bridge tragedy "Was this terrible tragedy related to the eerie manifestation the eerie manifestations which preceded it? Keel, an experienced investigator of UFOs and paranormal events, believes that the signs were unmistakable. 'Something unnatural was stalking the hills of West Virginia.' He writes. 'A dark force was closing over the town'"

He spends much time quoting persons who saw the "Mothman" or "Mason County Monster" starting with the Nov 15. 1966 experience of Mr and Mrs Roger Scarberry and Mr and Mrs Steve Mallette. apparently the fist to see something unusual and frightening in the TNT area the object has been described as a gigantic bird of tremendous speed that could keep pace with a speeding auto.

Keel quotes George Johnson. Who was then Mason County sheriff and his deputy Millard Halstead as to their interviews with the many who reported seeing the "Monster" and their personal observations.

He also tells of "deeply tanned men" who posed as "census takers" who visited Mason County home at night and who made many visit to Mrs Hyre's office across Second Street from the Mason County Courthouse.

Keel and Mrs Hyre became close friends. He invited her to New York where she appeared on radio and television shows with him as they recounted sightings they had witnessed together.

He aptly describes her as being the person ho "If you want to find out anything about the area or the people, ask Mary Hyre."

Mrs. Hyre, in her column "Where the Waters Mingle" frequently wrote of UFOs and her feelings about them and in conversations with her associates she often confided things she had seen or been told but which she had not reported because they could not be confirmed or seem really "too far out" to be believed.

She died Feb 15. 1970 and shortly after that Keel donated his latest book at the time "UFOS: Operation Trojan Horse" to the Mason County Library in Mrs Hyre's memory.

His newest stories of the ultraterrestrials are published by Saturday Review Press and are packed in 270 pages of stories from New England to Oregon but centered in Mason County.

And on the fly leaf it says: "Dedicated to Mary Hyre and the people of West Virginia".