"Mutant monster or figment of some overheated imaginations? What is this strange creature terrorizing West Virginia? Some call it the Mothman!" - Opening Narration
On Season 13 Episode 26 of the Unsolved Mysteries television show, a 7 or 8 minutes long segment is featured which details the West Virginia legend of the Mothman. The episode premiered on July 29th 2002 on Spike TV.
Throughout the segment footage of the abandoned TNT area and Power Plant are shown as well Newspaper articles about the Mothman and an artist sketch of the creature. Mothman witnesses from 1966 are brought
on to tell their stories. Authors Jeff Wamsley and Donnie Sergent Jr. also feature in the episode as well as their book, Mothman: The Facts Behind The Legend. Near the end they show footage and images from the Silver Bridge Collapse.
Unsolved Mysteries begins it's section on the Mothman by showing quick clips of Mothman Witnesses Marcella Bennett and Tom Ury as well as visuals of dramatic recreations. Author Jeff Wamsley, who would later establish the Mothman Museum, appears in the program and says "I personally think that there was something up there that scared the wits out of most of the people who came face to face with it." Then, after a brief description of the creature, they begin to focus on the Scarberry and Mallette sighting from November 15th 1966 and explain The TNT Area to the audience.
Author Jeff Wamsley's comments are used along side the narration to tell the story. A recreation is shown as visual representation. A car full of teenagers is seen driving into an area near an abandoned building. The creature is represented by a vague shadowy figure recreated by practical effects and then the car drives off with the camera acting as the monster chasing them. The teens in the back seat frantically turn around to see out the back window.
The narration then moves on to the Marcella Bennett sighting from November 16th 1966. Marcella is featured once more to tell her story with an accompanying visual representation. She says "The creature looked like a man but it was over six foot tall and it had feathers". The recreation shows a woman carrying a small child in front of a house. She looks up as a dark shadow goes over her, the camera once again acting as the Mothman. She runs into the house and the creature is once again presented through practical effects as it moves across the front porch and looms in the window. Wings and feathers can be seen on the figure in the darkness.
Tom Ury then tells the story of his sighting from November 25th 1966. He says "It was a bird, a huge bird, that proceeded to circle my car". The recreation simply shows a man driving along a road and looking up through his windshield. A reflection in the glass shows a dark shape overhead.
- Scarberry and Mallette's Mothman Sighting (Nov 15th 1966)
- Marcella Bennett's Mothman Sighting (Nov 16th 1966)
- Tom Ury's Mothman Sighting (Nov 25th 1966)
Explanations Given / Ect. :
The episodes then discuss the Sand Hill crane explanation from the local newspapers at the time of 1966 and 67. Unsolved Mysteries also mentions the idea of Mothman as a mutation from the pollution of the TNT Area.
The strange animal mutilations and the Men In Black reports are also brought up in the segment. Marcella Bennett says "Residents of Point Pleasant would go out on farms and find their animals dead and maybe just the blood out or the heart gone, someone had removed the heart of the animal".
Then author Jeff Wamsley says "The Men In Black were strange out of town visitors who seemed to want to pretty much just quiet everything down. They would show up at people doorsteps and show up at their house at night."
On the subject of the local bridge disaster of December 15th 1967, the narrator says "After nearly a year of Mothman sightings, The Silver Bridge leading out of town suddenly collapsed." The narration also mentions the Mothman Prophecies film which was released, earlier that year, in January of 2002.
In author Donnie Sergent Jr.'s interview for the show he says "The Mothman has always been there and it will always be there. It's a local legend and now it's a worldwide legend. It will never fade away".The Mothman segment of the episode ends by saying "The Mothman is now more famous than ever. He has scared a lot of people, real or not".
Sources: Unsolved Mysteries Season 13 Episode 26 (2002) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unsolved_Mysteries_episodes#Spike_TV