The Mothman Indrid Cold – The Grinning Man

 

The Mothman Indrid Cold

About a decade ago I was introduced to the Mothman Indrid Cold in a Richard Gere film named The Mothman Prophecies. I don’t normally rely on Hollywood as a source of research but…

The film absolutely captivated me and I have spent many hours researching the subject ever since. Let’s take a closer look at the case of Indrid Cold and the Point Pleasant West Virginia Mothman…

Woodrow Derenberger

A salesman for a sewing machine company named Woodrow Derenberger was on his way home one night to Mineral Wells in West Virginia. He had been away working in Ohio and was heading home along Highway I-77.

As he was reaching Parkersburg a strange car flew past him at an extraordinary speed. The car was like no other car he had seen before – he claimed it had a ‘kerosene lamp chimney’ spouting out of it’s top and it traveled a few inches off the road.

Woodrow Derenberger
Woodrow Derenberger ( left ) Being Interviewed

Without warning the car suddenly pulled in front of him and jerked itself sideways making Derenberger slam on the brakes. Suddenly a grinning man in a dark suit got out of the strange car and started to walk towards Derenberger’s truck.

As the man approached the truck his car suddenly took of into the air on autopilot floating about 40 feet off the ground. The man continued walking until he reached the right side window of Derenberger’s truck.

Indrid Cold

Once at the window he somehow connected with Derenberger telepathically. He asked him to wind down the window and informed him that he meant no harm.

Indrid Cold
Indrid Cold

The grinning man asked what he was called so Derenberger told him his full name. The man then responded by saying his name was Cold. As they were conversing telepathically Derenberger noticed that Cold was transfixed by the distant light of Parkersburg.

He then asked Derenberger what the lights represented and Derenberger informed him that they were from the city of Parkersburg. Cold followed this with strange questions about the people that live in Parkersburg and Derenberger informed him that mostly business went on there – the people lived outside the city.

After the strange questions had finished Cold seemed very satisfied with what he had learned. He turned to Derenberger and said…

“It’s been nice talking to you Mr. Derenberger. We will be seeing you again”

With this he turned and walked away from the truck and his strange levitating car returned to the road level. The door opened, Cold jumped back in and the car sped off at an unreal speed into the distance.

Strange Happenings

Many people have claimed to have met Indrid Cold and wherever he ends up disaster and strange phenomenon seems to follow. Many of these witnesses believe that the Grinning Man is actually one of the Men in Black linked to UFO sightings.

The Point Pleasant West Virginia Mothman

Ten days after the Derenberger incident strange things began happening in that very same region. It all started on November 12, 1966, near Clendenin when a group of five grave diggers were at work in the cemetery.

Their work was disrupted when a strange brown colored humanoid took to the skies from a nearby line of trees. This being then proceeded to fly close over their heads.

The men had no idea what they had just witnessed but they all claimed the creature was no bird – it was more like a man with wings.

The Point Pleasant West Virginia Mothman

Then on evening of Nov 15, 1966, Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette were in the process of driving past an area of town known as ‘the TNT area’. They noticed two huge red eyes caught in the car’s headlights and as they got closer they realized these eyes belonged to a seven foot creature with wings.

They naturally panicked and sped off as fast as they could leaving the creature standing there with it’s wings tucked in behind it’s back.

As they got further down the road they slowed back down and started discussing what they had seen. All of a sudden they spotted the same creature on a hill near the road – this time it decided to give chase!

They managed to get into Point Pleasant and file a report with the sheriff about the strange creature. Apparently they were not the only ones to have witnessed this strange being that night…

Newell Partridge

A building contractor named Newell Partridge was watching TV in his home at about 10:30 pm that same night. His enjoyment was interupted by a strange pattern that suddenly appeared on his television screen.

As he got up to take a closer look at the TV screen he was shocked to hear a frightening scream come from outside his home. His dog was out on the front porch barking his head off so Partridge grabbed his torch and went outside to join his hound.

The MothmanWhen he got outside he noticed that his dog was concentrating his barking at the barn near the house. He quickly shone the flashlight in the barn’s direction and was horrified to see two bright red eyes shining back at him.

The dog took off at once and started to chase this strange red-eyed being across the farmland. Partridge ran back inside to grab his gun but once he got indoors the fear hit him – he was far to scared to return back outside and aid his dog’s pursuit.

That night Newell Partridge became so frightened he slept with his loaded gun propped up against the foot of his bed. He woke up the next morning and scanned the local area for his dog but there was no sign of him.

After a few days of searching for his dog he picked up the local newspaper and came across reports of similar encounters to the one he had experienced. When He got to the report filed by the two couples at the ‘TNT area’ his heart sank.

In their report they claim to have seen a large dog laying by the side of the road as they entered the city limits of Point Pleasant. Newell Partridge never saw his dog again…

The Conference

A press conference was arranged for the 16th of November where the Scarberrys and the Mallettes gave their accounts of what had happened at the TNT plant.

They were joined at the conference by Deputy Halstead who told onlookers that he had known the couples all their life and he believed them. They had never before been in any trouble and they had no reason to lie.

A wildlife biologist named Dr. Robert L. Smith turned up at the conference and told the waiting media that the submitted descriptions of the creature sounded a lot like that of a Sandhill Crane.

Sandhill Crane Migration
Sandhill Crane Migration

This American crane could reach heights of up to 6 foot and boasted a wingspan of at least 7 foot. The bird is also known to have very distinguished eyes with a deep red coloring surrounding them.

He concluded that this creature sighting was nothing more than one of these Sandhill Cranes being blown out of its migration route by really bad weather.

The press conference started to spread through various media outlets across the country and then the world – before long the creature had picked up the nickname of ‘The Mothman’.

The TNT Plant

The TNT Plant seemed to become the center of the Mothman’s attentions over the next few months with numerous sightings reported. It was a huge location made up of concrete buildings and woodland areas.

Locals believed the Mothman was using the maze of tunnels under the TNT Plant to come and go as he pleased. A lot of the land covered by the plant was pretty much inaccessible so the Mothman could have stayed hidden with very little effort at all.

There were a few houses in the region that surrounded the TNT plant and one of these was the home of the Thomas family. On the night of November the 16th the family noticed a strange glowing light levitating above the plant.

About an hour later Marcella Bennett decided to visit the Thomas household with her young daughter. When she pulled up and got out of the car she turned to see a huge grey humanoid with red eyes get up from the ground. It had been laying down when she arrived but decided to rise when she got out of the car.

Image of The Mothman

In her panic Marcella Bennett forgot she was carrying her young daughter and actually dropped her by accident. She quickly scrambled about, picked up her daughter and made a dash for the Thomas’s house.

When inside the house they quickly locked all the windows and doors. A minute later the red eyed creature made it to their porch and started to peer in through various windows.

They were all so petrified they quickly contacted the local police station for help. By the time the police arrived on the scene there was no sign of this mysterious red-eyed visitor.

Marcella Bennett could not forget the ordeal and spent months afterwards suffering from severe mental health issues. So was constantly tormented by strange nightmares and she later admitted to investigators that the creature had not finished with her – he had visited her home on various occasions.

She also claimed she was haunted by the sounds of a woman screaming somewhere near the the edge of Point Pleasant…

Point Pleasant

Strange happenings continued in the area for nearly a year after the first sighting of the Mothman. Many would come to believe that the sightings of Mothman, as well as UFO sightings, encounters with men in black and Woodrow Derenberger’s meeting with Indred Cold were all connected.

Paranormal investigators and monster hunters from all over the country descended upon point pleasant over this period. The most famous of these was an author John Keel who ended up writing the 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies.

Point Pleasant (foreground) at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers
Point Pleasant (foreground) at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio Rivers

Disaster struck on the evening of December 15, 1967 when the Point Pleasant bridge to Ohio collapsed into the sea. The tragedy took place in the middle of the local rush hour which meant the bridge was full of traffic on it’s way home.

Many cars disappeared into the Ohio river taking the lives of 46 people. For some reason the collapse of the bridge signaled the end of the local Mothman sightings, but the strange happenings were far from over…

Mary Hyre

Mary Hyre was the Point Pleasant reporter for the local newspaper The Messenger. A few days after the bridge disaster she was swamped with calls from locals claiming they had seen UFO lights in the sky before, during and after the bridge collapsed.

One night in January she was stuck in her office working late when a short and peculiar man walked in. His eyes were very strange – almost inhuman and they were covered by extremely thick spectacles.

Men in BlackHis hair was very dark and long cut into a sort of strange bowl shaped style. When he spoke he had a very strange, low voice that sort of stuttered – at first she thought he suffered from some sort of speech impediment.

He was only interested in one subject – he wanted more information on the people that had reported seeing the strange lights in the sky. He also seemed interested in getting directions to Welsh, West Virginia.

As he talked to Mary he was edging closer and closer to her – she became very afraid and called her boss into the office with her.

As they continued to talk the strange character the phone rang and Mary answered it. The small man then noticed her pen lying on the office desk and picked it up to examine it further.

He seemed to have a look of amazement on his face as he examined the pen – it was if he had never encountered one before. All of a sudden he quickly scanned around the room, pocketed the pen and ran out of the building.

This was not the last Mary Hyre would see of this strange character as a few weeks later she spotted him crossing the road near her office location. When he recognized her he panicked and made a dash for a large black Sedan that suddenly appeared. He jumped into the back seat of the car and it sped off into the distance.

There were reports of this strange man visiting the homes of several of the witnesses that had reported seeing the lights in the sky. He claimed to be a member of the press from Cambridge, Ohio, but when questioned he seemed to know nothing about the area or it’s inhabitants.

Some locals believe this man was Indrid Cold returning to the area whilst others believe he was one of the men in black that worked beneath Cold. The truth of the matter is that we will never know for sure – he has not reappeared since.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Mothman Indrid Cold please leave them in the comment section below.

46 comments on “The Mothman Indrid Cold – The Grinning Man

  1. Very nicely written, a few spelling errors. Other than that I loved the detail! Thanks for the post! Always wanted to look into this!

    1. Wow thanks Stephanie – it’s great to hear from people who appreciate/enjoy our work! Now I’ve got to go back over it all again and figure out the spots of bad grammar I missed LOL. Thanks for stopping by! ( and if you have the time drop us a line and point out where you noticed the mistakes 🙂 )

      1. Really??? All the previous person had to do was to pick out grammatical errors…. Whatever!!
        It was a nicely written article and very informative. I live just a couple of hours away from Point Pleasant. Very interesting. I’ve driven through there once, but never stopped. I think I need to make a road trip!!
        Many thanks for the information. Great job!!

        1. Ha I know – I never claimed to be Shakespeare…but you’re always going to get the grammar police popping up from time to time! Glad to hear you enjoyed the article (I’ll be leaving the grammar errors there for spite LOL) 🙂

  2. One of my favorite mysteries. It gives me chills just reading about it again! Aftet watching the movie I was in awe when I googled it and realized this strange tale was based on a true story. It really can’t get any more creepy/weird than that. I love it!!

      1. Love the site and I live in Wv near this area and have heard about this all my life. One error I noticed is when you are talking about the bridge collapse you say into the sea instead of the river. Great work keep it up.

        1. Hey Lee, glad you enjoyed the article!
          Yeah that’s probably a typo from one of us there – we’ll just call it ‘water’ yeah!!!
          Hope to see you here again soon 🙂

  3. Its kinda sad that grammar errors is all some people took away from your posts after reading them. Honestly, its like they think grammar errors gives less credence to your passion concerning such subject matter. Anyway……. well done, my interest has been peaked and I want to know more.

    1. LOL I know Mike – I’m a website owner, I never claimed to be Shakespeare! Still, grammar trolls are everywhere these days – one wonders why they haven’t got anything better to do with their time?
      I’ve actually gone through this article a number of times now and I can’t really spot any glaring mistakes – perhaps it’s just my lazy mind not picking up on things 🙂

  4. Just watched the movie for the first time and immediately googled when it was over. First link I clicked. I cant remember the last time I read this much text, willingly. Maybe it’s just my lazy mind. Good stuff tho 👌

    1. Great stuff Onlly,
      It’s a great movie isn’t it? Glad you enjoyed the article so much – we tend to attract a lot of visitors to this piece of content 🙂

  5. My 3 yr old daughter has been telling my mum, her grandmother, that “mummy sees the moth man” “mummy sees the moth man coming”. I haven’t seen the moth man at all, yet, but i had never heard of the moth man till this and just googled it today coming across this page. I live in Australia but. I don’t know why ive commented but i just felt as though sharing this might help me understand.

    1. Hey there Hayley, sorry for the delayed response!

      Thanks for sharing this with us – very interesting stuff! Hopefully one of our readers will be able to help you dig a bit deeper. You are not the only person out there to have encountered subjects relating to him ( Mr. Cold has fascinated me for many years now and I keep on encountering more and more people who have new views on him ).

  6. Hi Chris,
    Very nice article!… I too am captured by this entity and have seen this movie several times. I lived in Pennsylvania in the 1960s. In 1965 I was six years old and remember seeing what looked like a very large bright white object falling from the sky. No one else in my family saw this object. I was so shuck up to see this large falling object that I ran to the house, but my mother dismissed it as a falling metereor. I know today that it was a reported UFO that crashed in Kecksburg, Pennsylvania in 1965. The reason I bring this up is that it’s around the same years in time of events… My mother got married in 1965 and they took their honeymoon somewhere in this region. I recall my mother talking about some very strange men they encountered in their hotel. I guess they were “the black suits” as I hear them called today… She said they were very unordinary and seemed to be investigating something.

  7. About the Man In Black who asked Mary Hyre where “Welsh, West Virginia” is. There is no “Welsh”. West Virginia. However, there is a Welch, West Virginia. I am originally from Welch. I was very young when this happened, but at the time I heard about the Man In Black who had asked about our town…and I was scared to death. I was certain that something was going to happen in our town….

  8. I’ve followed the Mothman stories for years now,and I must admit that I’m STILL wondering just exactly what went on in West Va.all those years ago! I lived in upstate N.Y. @ the time & was in my senior year of high school when the incidents occurred, & can well remember how scared a lot of us were that he just might decide to venture further northward some day! I enjoyed this article very much!

  9. There are vintage stories of Mothman being in the Uk. there was quite a bit of stuff about him being in and around Folkestone Kent in the 1930’s.

  10. Wow, this article is great! After watching the movie I was fascinated with the Mothman. I’ve seen a few good documentaries about it but this article has things in it that I never knew about! People have differing theories about if the Mothman is a bad omen or a messenger to warn people. I lean more toward the messenger, trying to warn people of upcoming disasters, but I don’t think he’s bad, maybe not good either, maybe he just……is? You know what I mean? People say he was seen around the Twin Towers just before 9/11. The sad thing is Point Plesant never seemed to recover from that disaster or the Mothman sightings. Apparently economically it doesn’t do so well now and some people still feel very down and depressed there. I saw that in one of the documentaries I watched.

    1. Hi Kellie,

      I had heard something about the Twin Towers sighting when I penned this article – I’ll have to remember to research it and get it up here in an article! Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  11. I lived in southern West Virginia in the early 1970s, probably a couple hours from Pt. Pleasant, much less as the crow flies. We kids in the neighborhood played a game like hide and seek at night in the summers, though it was a team game we called Indian Trapper. One bright moonlit night while hiding Beneath a tree I heard something and looked up and saw a giant bird silhouetted by the moon gliding just above the treetop. Were I to guess I would say it was 10 or 12 feet long with a wingspan of 15 to 20 feet. It’s head was shaped like a pteradactyl’s. It seemed to be descending toward a nearby river. Never told anyone about it and don’t think I thought of it again for more than 30 years. I then started researching it and learned that at that time there were numerous such sightings reported in the area of Southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia. A very credible one was in Clendennin, the community in this account. They were referred to as Thunderbirds. I would think there would have to be some connection to these events.

    1. I’d say there would definitely be some sort of connection in these events Andy. Could I ask why you didn’t tell anyone about the incident? Have you told anyone else about the incident (other than us?).

      Great comment Andy – fascinating, thank you for sharing it with us!

      1. I don’t know why I never mentioned, but when I found all of my childhood friends on Facebook, none recalled my ever having mentioned it.

        What was weird, though, was that I never thought about it for over 30 years, and when I did I was traveling South on I77 from Cleveland. I had just crossed the Ohio River bridge into West Virginia when the memory was recovered. It was near, I think, where Derenberger had his encounter with Indrid Cold.

        1. Great stuff – thanks for adding this to our article Andy. Our readers will love to read your account! A really interesting addition to the article!

  12. The Mothman Prophecies Movie…
    In this movie the entity they all encounter is called Indrid Cold.
    This bugged me so I took the time to figure it out.
    I used numerology and the kabbalah, here is what I found out.
    I=9 N=14 D=4 R=19 I=9 D=4 , C=3 O=15 L=12 D=4 , so that ad’s up to Indrid= 59 and Cold= 34 , now 5+9=14 which is equal to 1+4=5. which means Indrid numerical value is 5. Now for Cold , 34 is 3+4 = 7 so Cold numerical value is 7 . The total value of Indrid Cold = 12 which is 5+7=12. the end result numerically of Indrid Cold is 1+2=3 , so 3 is the final numerical value of Indrid Cold. Now that also has meaning and here it is: 3 = the Sephiroth of Binah which is Manifestation and understand. It also means Time, Space and Matter. So Indrid Cold really means that this entity has manifested with understanding and is not part of time space or matter as we understand it. I find it nearly impossible to believe that the writers of this movie understood this and put it in the movie by design. It means something, what I honestly have not as yet figured out but I am certain it means something greater than the movie itself., although it is a Great movie and I enjoyed watching it!

    1. Hi Abraham,

      Yes the movie based it’s plot on actual events – there have been numerous reports on the ‘entity’ named Indrid Cold over the years. I love the research you have put together here – wonderfully interesting results. How long did it take you to come up with all this?

      1. If you read John Keel’s book you’ll realize that the movie has little to do with the actual facts and some characters have been changed. The policewoman in the movie did not exist in the accounts narrated by John. Lots of UFO and MIB sightings in the area center the book. Nothing about it is mentioned in the movie. An important character in Keel’s recounts of facts is Mary Hire who was a reporter, not a policewoman, but not mentioned in the movie nor her several encounters with MIBs at the office. Yes, it was not only one MIB visit, several others came to her office, etc etc etc. Nothing like the book.

        1. No the film was clearly a fabrication on the subject – even the director admitted that (they bumped it up for Hollywood purposes!). The director was/is a fan of Keel’s book but he realized it needed a bit of a shine to work on-screen.

  13. Straight up not playing, I saw this grinning man when I was a child (young enough to be holding my mother’s hand while walking)..I’m a lifelong resident of Charleston, WV born in 1969. This encounter occurred at the old Stone & Thomas & US Postal service on Dickenson St. Charleston, WV in the mid-70’s. I remember staring at this bizarre looking man walking toward us & being freaked out & my mom ushering me along in a hurry, brushing it off or telling me not to stare or something to that affect. Abnormally tall; trench coat; some bright color somewhere in his wardrobe; red, yellow or green or a combo with a strange gait or stride & that freakin scary, wide, cheek-to-cheek smile that did not move or change. When we passed on the sidewalk he turned his head & looked at me in a quick passing second. I was enthralled. My mom was pulling me along while I was still “rubber-necking” at this strange man we just saw. I saw him again another time around here after that-can’t remember when-but remember realizing I had forgotten about my previous encounter & thinking to myself, I’ve seen that strange man before. If that isn’t enough, I’ve also seen that other man more than once which the existing drawings depict as the shorter man in a trench coat with the dark brown bowl hair cut, but that was a decade later in the mid-eighties. Prior to my encounters, I remember my parents reflecting on the Silver Bridge collapse when I was young & remember being horrified overhearing the discussion & a feeling of dread overcome me. I can’t help but wonder if just the mere utterance of my parents conversation is connected to my encounters. Almost embarrassed to attest to them, lest someone else think I’m a complete fruit loop, but I’m a believer of these historic claims.

    1. Hey Jules,

      Thanks so much for that – a truly enthralling read and something I’m positive the rest of our visitors will enjoying reading. How old were you the last time you encountered this man? (approx).

      1. I was approximately somewhere between the ages of 4 & 8 which would have been between 1973 & 1977 when I saw the grinning man for the first time & between the ages of 15 & 18, from 1984 to 1987, when I saw him the second time & the other character separately with the bowl hair cut. I never saw a physical picture of what I recall as the grinning man & the bowl hair cut man until my late 30’s, early 40’s when I googled info after watching The Mothman Prophecies & it brought it all back to the forefront again. I WILL NEVER FORGET IT. I know what I saw was not part of our normal realm. Although it completely freaks me out & I’m leery of even invoking thought & speech regarding the subject, I remain fascinated at the same time. Yes, I believe I saw that Indrid Cold character at least twice in my lifetime, & once was enough to leave a lasting impression I won’t soon forget.

        1. That is pretty awesome Jules – thanks so much for sharing this with us. It’s actually one of my favorite topics that we’ve covered on the site. So many people have contacted us…
          Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us (a lot of people end up on this article daily and will appreciate you providing this!)

    1. Not that I know of Pedro – but there is a lot of misinformation out there on this subject. It took us a while to research for this article. We’ve included all we could gather from solid sources…

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