September 27, 2022


You cannot tell how much of the bridge is still ahead of you because the other side is obscured by heavy mist and darkness. You hope you are close because you cannot shake the feeling that something is wrong. You do not know what, but you are overwhelmed by the feeling that you are all in danger. 

There is movement in the mist. For a heartbeat, you think it might be the gentle sway of trees on the opposite side of the bridge. But the movement gets closer, settles into sweeping circles. It must be a bird, you realize as it swoops closer. A very big bird. With big, red, glowing eyes. It flies low over the bridge and you realize that it is not only the size but the shape of a man, with broad insect-like wings. As it glides silently past, the bridge suddenly lurches. 

Roll for initiative. It’s time to face the Mothman. 

The Mothman has shown up a few times around the US, with the earliest and most famous sightings centered around Point Pleasant, West Virginia. For a year, locals reported seeing a six foot tall creature flying and lurking around. These sightings culminated in the collapse of the Silver Bridge, a disaster that was the town’s final brush with the Mothman and a disaster that killed 46 people. Since then, the Mothman has been spotted in Mexico City just before a huge earthquake, around Fukushima just before the nuclear power plant meltdown, and most recently, around O’Hare airport. There are no reports of the Mothman attacking anyone, so this cryptid has established a reputation as a harbinger. Bad things happen when the Mothman shows up. 

So, how do you fight a thing like that? Do you fight a thing like that? 

The key to surviving a Mothman encounter might have less to do with fighting capability and more to do with luck. Basically, you need to have more good luck than the Mothman brings bad luck. Survival skills to help get through the inevitable disaster the Mothman will leave in his wake probably couldn’t hurt, either. 
Of course, you could always try fighting the Mothman. No one’s tried it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not possible. The Mothman is almost always seen flying, so ranged weapons will be your best bet. There’s no knowing if the Mothman is an actual, physical creature or an unkillable supernatural being, so might as well sling some arrows at that big bastard and find out. Cross your fingers and hope that if it is killable, downing it will also spare you from whatever disaster its presence is foretelling. 

Dex Dylan is the founder and acting president of the International Society of Astrocryptozoology. For decades, Dex has scoured the skies and seas (and sometimes the land, but honestly it’s so crowded) for hints of unusual life forms, and has done extensive research into the possible existence of chupacabras on Mars.

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