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…
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.
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.
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.
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 told 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.
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 ‘entity’ 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.
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 entity that night…
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 originate from outside his home. His dog was out on the front porch barking wildly, so Partridge grabbed his torch and went outside to join his hound.
When he got outside he noticed that his dog was concentrating his barking towards 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 creature 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…
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.
This American crane can 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 colouring 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 raise up from the ground. It had been laying down when she arrived but decided to rise when she got out of the car.
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…
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 Indrid 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 the author John Keel who ended up writing the 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies.
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 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.
His 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 recognised 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.