Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

How do you come up with a theory as to what exactly happened that year in Point Pleasant? Well if the Internet is anything to go by you simply go to the random “Crazy Theory” generator, you spin the wheel, and you take your chance. It's the way I came up with my theory for Mothman. Mothman is a.... Mechanical..... Deity.

Well, it could happen I guess.

See that's the problem. Without any physical evidence what so ever we're stuck with witness testimony from back in the day. Which is kind of fraught with peril seeing as it's been proven, almost as far back as 1932, that eye witnesses can be exceedingly unreliable (Gee note: Back in 1932 a bunch of legal know it alls got together in London and invited members of the public to join them in an experiment. The good folks that signed up were then treated to a spectacle of, er, watching paint dry. Quite literally. Three weeks later they were contacted and asked what colour the paint was. Of those that responded, only roughly 40% gave the correct answer.)

So really anyone can make a half decent stab at a Mothman theory if they work hard enough. Trust me in researching this (Gee note: I say “research”, I mean drinking a glass of wine and typing “Mothman” in to a search engine in between looking up funny pictures of cats in bomber jackets) I've read everything from “it's obviously just a misidentified lesser spotted sponge weasel” to “it's obviously Satan in corporeal form”.

With that in mind, I've tried to narrow down the field and go for my top three Mothman theories. So strike up the band, and put the dog to bed, because we here at "I saw Elvis" are having ourselves a countdown. Here we go pop pickers.

Number 3 (up 2 places)

The amazingly crazy Native American theory.

Chief Cornstalk was a chief of the Shawnee tribe. That's not important. He was killed by colonists in a mistaken bid for revenge for the death of an American soldier. That's not really important either. What's important, apparently, is what happens to the old boy's bones.

Initially they were buried at Fort Randolph. Then they were discovered in 1840 and, for reasons that were probably sound as a pound at the time, were moved to Mason County Courthouse. When the Courthouse was torn down in 1954 Cornstalk's remains were moved to..... wait for it.... Point Pleasant.

So could Mothman simply be the narked off spirit of a fairly well respected Native Ameican?

Well not really. Two obvious questions remain. Number one, why would an angry Native American wait until the third move of his remains before kicking off? And even then why wait twelve years? (Gee note: Ooo, if them white folk don't change thier ways soon I'm going to flap all over them.)

Secondly, if you're going to get revenge against someone, shouldn't it be against the people who were actually responsible for your demise? I'm just saying, scaring the hell out of the people in Point Pleasant just seems kind of, well, petty.

Number 2 (down 1 place)

The not so amazingly crazy Sand Crane theory.

A Sand Crane is a big old bird. That's basically the selling point of this theory. It's a big bird with a big wing span that may or may not have been in the area at the time of The Mothman sightings. It can grow to six feet tall according to Wikipedia and has a vibrant red grouping of feathers around it's eyes.

Which all sounds very convincing. Except, and brace yourself for this, but Wikipedia is slightly out. Cranes don't really grow to six feet in height. In fact, if you find one over four feet tall you've found a freak. It's wing span is admittedly a good six feet in length. But then a Tundra Swan has a six foot wingspan and, having lived by Swans all my life, a six foot wingspan is about as threatening as a drunken cocker spaniel. Because just like a drunken cocker spaniel, it sounds scary but turns out to be rather pathetic when you finally see it.

All that being said, if Mothman is a “real” animal this is the one to plump for if only for the eyes. The red feathers around the eyes of a Crane are quite striking. And could be, if seen in the right light and if one had drunk enough tequila, viewed as glowing spheres.

Number 1 (New Entry)

Mechanical Deity

Screw it, why not?

Because none of the theories I've come across add up. And that's part of the essence, the beauty if you will, of the entire Mothman incident. No matter how many times you play it through in your head there's not one single thing about what happened that year in Point Pleasant that can be rationalised.

And, to be honest with you, I wouldn't have it any other way.

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