I like nothing better than to discuss and trade theories on crypto-zoology, UFOs, and all aspects of the unexplained with other curious minds. One of my new co-workers is a sharp, eccentric, funny guy who, like yours truly, is interested in the weird and the arcane. The other day at lunch, he and I were mulling over tales of a number of strange phenomena and our discussions harkened me back to some of the better books I have read on this type of subject. There exists for me, no tastier food for thought.
One of the weirdest, most unexplainable (in ordinary terms)cases of strange sightings, is the puzzle of West Virginia's Mothman. The late paranormal investigator, John A. Keel wrote the ultimate account of the happenings, a classic documentary of weirdness, from which a major motion picture was eventually developed: The Mothman Prophecies.
This book chronicles decades of sightings of a seven foot tall, brownish-gray being with leathery, bat-like wings and blazing, red eyes, reported by average folk in and around the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. As if being terrorized by a giant, demonic bat-man wasn't enough, at around the same time, these simple, church-going, working-class people also experienced multiple UFO sightings, as well as visits from the notorious "Men-In-Black", those odd-looking, humanoid types in rumpled, ill-fitting, three-piece suits, well known to those familiar with UFO lore, who ring the doorbell after you report that you've seen something strange. Various and sundry giant birds, Sasquatch creatures and other bizarre things also popped up along the dark roads of West Virginia in those days and still do from time to time.
To my mind, the best and most thought-provoking thing about Keel's master-work, with its exhaustive research and scrupulous regard for detail, is the theory he puts forth to "explain" this unexplainable wave of weirdness that has held a community in its' grip for decades.
Rather than being distinct, separate, strange phenomena, Mr. Keel seemed to think that all this weirdness is, in fact, the same thing...or at least, it emanates from the same source. He stopped short of postulating exactly what he thinks it is, or who (or what, exactly) is behind it all, but he hinted that it may be the fault of a lapse of the veil that separates the dimensions. He suggested that we are not being visited by the denizens of far-flung galaxies, in other words; they are here among us already, and always have been, along with big-foot, wolfmen, ghosts and yes, mothmen...we just don't perceive them except under special conditions. Those conditions were surely present in the hills of West Virginia in the late nineteen sixties, and in many other places throughout our world, before and since.
Having read extensively on spirituality, metaphysics, and a bit about quantum physics, I have come to understand that our visible, material world is far from the only "reality" that there is. I find these accounts fascinating and I never tire of hearing or reading about them; one person can hallucinate, one person might be crazy, drunk or lying, but dozens of otherwise reliable, sane and honest people seeing the same something that can't possibly be real? How is that possible?
John A. Keel passed from this reality on July 3rd of last year, but he leaves a legacy of intelligent, matter-of-fact investigations into the unknown, along with his paranormal classic, The Mothman Prophecies.