The True Story Behind The Legendary Mothman Said To Terrorize West Virginia

As legend has it, the flying Mothman mortified countless Point Pleasant residents in the late 1960s. And when a bridge collapsed, the creature was blamed for the deaths of 46 people.

On November 12, 1966, in Clendenin, West Virginia, a group of gravediggers working in a cemetery spotted something strange.

They glanced up from their work as something huge soared over their heads. It was a massive figure that was moving rapidly from tree to tree. The gravediggers would later describe this figure as a “brown human being.”

This was the first reported sighting of what would come to be known as the Mothman, an elusive creature that remains as mysterious as it was on the night that a few frightened witnesses first laid eyes on it.

Just three days after the gravediggers’ initial report, in nearby Point Pleasant, West Virginia, two couples noticed a white-winged creature about six or seven feet tall standing in front of the car that they were all sitting in.

Eyewitnesses Roger Scarberry and Steve Mallett told the local paperThe Point Pleasant Register, that the beast had bright red eyes about six inches apart, a wingspan of 10 feet, and the apparent urge to avoid the bright headlights of the car.

According to the witnesses, this creature was able to fly at incredible speeds — perhaps as fast as 100 miles per hour. All of them agreed that the beast was a clumsy runner on the ground.

They knew this only because it allegedly chased their vehicle to the outskirts of town in the air, then scuttled into a nearby field and disappeared.

Knowing how absurd this must have sounded to a local paper in a small, Appalachian community in the 1960s, Scarberry insisted that the apparition couldn’t have been a figment of his imagination.

He assured the paper, “If I had seen it while by myself, I wouldn’t have said anything, but there were four of us who saw it.”

At first, reporters were skeptical. In the papers, they called the Mothman a bird and a mysterious creature. However, they did print Mallett’s description: “It was like a man with wings.”

But more and more sightings were reported in the Point Pleasant area over the next year as the legend of the Mothman took shape.

The Gettysburg Times reported eight additional sightings in the short span of three days after the first claims. This included two volunteer firefighters, who said they saw “a very large bird with large red eyes.”

Newell Partridge, a resident of Salem, West Virginia, claimed that he saw strange patterns appearing on his television screen one night, followed by a mysterious sound just outside of his home.

Shining a flashlight toward the direction of the noise, Partridge supposedly witnessed two red eyes resembling bicycle reflectors looking back at him.

This anecdote remains a popular one in the Mothman mythos, especially since it allegedly led to the disappearance of Partridge’s dog. To this day, some still believe that the fearsome beast took his beloved pet.

What Is The Mothman Really?

Dr. Robert L. Smith, an associate professor of wildlife biology at West Virginia University, dismissed the notion that a flying monster was staking out the town. Instead, he attributed the sightings to a sandhill crane, which stands almost as tall as the average man and has bright red flesh around its eyes.

This explanation was compelling, especially given the number of early reports that had described the creature as “bird-like.”

Some people hypothesized that this crane was deformed, especially if it resided in the “TNT area” — a name that locals gave to a series of nearby bunkers that were once used for manufacturing munitions during World War II. It has been suggested that these bunkers have leaked toxic materials into the neighboring wildlife preserve, possibly affecting nearby animals.

Another theory suggests that the creation of the Mothman was the work of one very committed prankster who went so far as to hide in the abandoned World War II munitions plant, where some of the sightings occurred.

This theory posits that when the national press ran with the Mothman story, people who lived in Point Pleasant began to panic. Locals became convinced they were seeing the Mothman in birds and other large animals — even long after the prankster had given up on the joke.

It’s worth noting that the Mothman legend bears a resemblance to several demon archetypes found among those who have experienced sleep paralysis, which may suggest that the visions are nothing more than the embodiment of typical human fears, pulled from the depths of the unconscious and grafted onto real-life animal sightings when people panic.

And then there are the paranormal explanations, a morass of complicated theories that weave together aliens, UFOs, and precognition. These theories paint the Mothman as either a harbinger of doom or, more sinisterly, its cause — a legend that has its roots in the tragedy that befell Point Pleasant shortly after the Mothman arrived.

The Silver Bridge Collapse

On December 15, 1967, just over a year after the first Mothman sighting, traffic was bad on the Silver Bridge. Originally built in 1928 to connect Point Pleasant, West Virginia, to Gallipolis, Ohio, the bridge was packed with cars.

This placed a strain on the bridge, which had been built in a time when cars were lighter. The Model T had weighed just 1,500 pounds — a modest sum compared to the 1967 average for a car: 4,000 pounds.

The bridge’s engineers hadn’t been particularly imaginative, nor had they been especially cautious, while creating this structure. The bridge’s design featured very little redundancy, meaning that if one part failed, there was almost nothing in place to prevent other parts from failing as well.

And on that cold December day, that was exactly what happened.

Without warning, a single eyebar near the top of the bridge on the Ohio side cracked. The chain snapped, and the bridge, its careful equilibrium disturbed, fell to pieces, plunging cars and pedestrians into the icy water of the Ohio River below.

Forty-six people died, either by drowning or being crushed by the wreckage.

Following the Mothman sightings, the bridge collapse was the second terrible and bizarre thing to put Point Pleasant on the map in a year’s time. So it didn’t take long for some to connect the two.

In 1975, author John Keel conflated the Mothman sightings and the bridge disaster while creating his book The Mothman Prophecies. He also incorporated UFO activity. His story took hold, and the town soon became iconic among conspiracy theorists, ufologists, and fans of the paranormal.

The Legacy Of The Mothman

Point Pleasant’s fame as the home of the Mothman legend hasn’t waned in recent decades. In 2002, a movie based on Keel’s book rekindled interest in the Mothman.

In the Mothman Prophecies film, Richard Gere plays a reporter whose wife seems to have witnessed the Mothman shortly before her death. He finds himself inexplicably in Point Pleasant several years later with no clue how he got there — and he’s not the only one having trouble explaining himself.

As several locals experience premonitions of distant disasters, there’s talk of visitations from a mysterious figure called the Mothman.

The film — a supernatural horror and mystery — offers no conclusions, communicating instead an eerie feeling of disjointedness that was both panned and praised by critics. Most notably, the film popularized the image of the Mothman as a harbinger of doom.

The idea that visitations from the Mothman predicted disaster led some believers to make ties to the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, the Mexican swine flu outbreak of 2009, and the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.

As for sightings of the actual Mothman, they’ve mostly declined since the late 1960s. But every so often, a sighting emerges. In 2016, a man who’d just moved to Point Pleasant spotted a mysterious creature jumping from tree to tree. He claimed to local reporters that he was unaware of the local legend of the Mothman — until he allegedly spotted the beast himself.

Whether these sightings are real or not, the Mothman can still be seen in Point Pleasant today in the form of a historical museum, and also in the form of a 12-foot-tall chrome-polished statue, complete with massive steel wings and ruby-red eyes.

Furthermore, a festival commemorating the Mothman’s visits has taken place annually for years — a fun celebration that attracts locals and tourists alike. Every September, the festivities celebrate one of America’s strangest local legends that still has people scratching their heads to this day.


The Mystery Of The Lost Cosmonauts

In 1961, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. However, some conspiracy theorists speculate that the Soviets reached the cosmos on an earlier mission but covered it up because they lost cosmonauts.

Luckily for everyone who didn’t want to see the human race destroyed in an ocean of nuclear fire, the Cold War never turned hot. Instead, the rivalry between the Soviet Union and the West was basically just a contest to see which side could demonstrate the superiority of their system to the rest of the world. And sometimes, it wasn’t even limited to Earth, as both sides raced to see who could put humans into space first.

The Space Race, as the period between 1955-1972 came to be known, saw both the Soviet Union and the U.S. pushing their scientific resources to the limit as they tried to determine whether communism or democracy was better equipped for blasting people into orbit. For a while, it looked like the answer might actually be communism. In 1957, the Soviets launched the first satellite into orbit, and in 1961, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space.

These victories in the Space Race sent the U.S. into a panic as they feared they might actually lose the contest to the Soviets. But the apparent success of the Soviet program was hiding a few dark secrets.

In 1960, a Soviet rocket ignited on the launching pad, killing at least 78 of the ground crew. In 1961, just before Gagarin’s space flight, a Soviet cosmonaut was killed when a devastating fire erupted inside an oxygen-rich training capsule.

In 1967, another cosmonaut was killed when the parachute on his space capsule failed to open. Gagarin himself would die a year later while training in a fighter jet, adding another name to the long list of fatalities associated with the Soviet space program.

But there have long been allegations that these publically known fatalities are only a small part of the total number of people who died. In fact, some have even argued that a number of cosmonauts were lost in space.

In 1960, science-fiction author Robert Heinlein reported that while traveling in the USSR, he met Red Army cadets who told him that there had recently been a manned space launch. This launch capsule, the Korabl-Sputnik 1, experienced a mechanical failure when the guidance system steered it in the wrong direction. This made retrieval of the capsule impossible, and the Korabl-Sputnik 1 was stranded in orbit around the Earth.

The Soviets officially claimed the launch was an unmanned test flight, but according to Heinlein, there might have been a cosmonaut inside. To lend some evidence to Heinlein’s theory, two Italian amateur radio operators allegedly picked up a number of radio transmissions that they claimed were from doomed Soviet space launches.

Achille and Giovanni Judica-Cordiglia, a pair of brothers from Turin, claimed that they began monitoring Soviet space program transmissions in 1957, and that these transmissions prove Yuri Gagarin wasn’t actually the first man in space.

In November of 1960, the brothers claimed to pick up an S.O.S. transmission in Morse code coming from a Soviet spacecraft. Based on the transmissions, they determined that the craft was moving away from Earth instead of orbiting it, which meant that the Soviets had accidentally launched their cosmonauts deep into space. The brothers eventually made nine such recordings they claimed were emergency transmissions from Soviet cosmonauts being launched away from Earth.

In one of the recordings, a woman’s voice can be heard saying in Russian that she can see flames and asking mission control if her ship is about to explode. If the recordings are real, then it means that the first woman in Space was actually launched by the Soviets, and apparently died there. And if you believe other rumors, then Soviet cosmonauts were also technically the first on the Moon after a group of cosmonauts volunteered to be launched directly into it in the Soviet Luna Probe.

The Soviets denied all of these allegations, and while they were always eager to cover up any embarrassing incidents behind the Iron Curtain, there are a few good reasons to believe them in this case. For instance, the Luna Probes had no room to fit the cosmonauts who supposedly asked to be fired into the Moon’s surface. The Korabl-Sputnik 1 had no re-entry shield, which suggests that there were never any plans for the capsule to survive the trip.

The Judica-Cordiglia recordings are widely dismissed as forgeries these days. In his biography, Gagarin suggested that most of the lost cosmonaut theories could be explained by accidents that happened in low orbit, not actually in space.

Even in declassified Soviet documents about the space program, there’s no mention of any missing cosmonauts. So, most of the evidence suggests that the story of the lost cosmonauts is probably just another of the many myths of the Cold War.

Check out this video for the full story, various theories and the actual audio the brother’s recorded of the supposed lost cosmonauts!

The Mystery Of The 1942 Battle Of Los Angeles

On the evening of February 24, 1942, an anti-aircraft barrage of more than 1,440 rounds is launched at what is initially thought to be a Japanese aerial attack on the City of Angels. Five civilians die – three from traffic accidents spawned by the chaos and two from heart attacks.

What, if anything, is being fired upon remains a mystery. Theories include weather balloons, UFOs, birds, or just jitters by Angelenos with Pearl Harbor still a fresh memory and, even fresher, a Japanese submarine torpedoing a Santa Barbara oil field on February 23.

Regardless of cause, air raid sirens first blare at 7:18 p.m. Thousands of air raid wardens go to their posts throughout Los Angeles County. That alert is lifted at 10:23 p.m. Tensions ease. Then, after midnight, all hell breaks loose. From “Chapter 8: Air Defense of the Western Hemisphere” by William Goss, The Army Air Forces in World War II, Vol. 1 published in 1983:

“Radars picked up an unidentified target 120 miles west of Los Angeles. Antiaircraft batteries were alerted at 2:15 am and were put on Green Alert—ready to fire—a few minutes later. The (Army Air Force) kept its pursuit planes on the ground, preferring to await indications of the scale and direction of any attack before committing its limited fighter force. Radars tracked the approaching target to within a few miles of the coast, and at 2:21 am the regional controller ordered a blackout. Thereafter the information center was flooded with reports of ‘enemy planes,’ even though the mysterious object tracked in from sea seems to have vanished. At 2:43 am, planes were reported near Long Beach, and a few minutes later a coast artillery colonel spotted ‘about 25 planes at 12,000 feet’ over Los Angeles. At 3:06 am a balloon carrying a red flare was seen over Santa Monica and four batteries of anti-aircraft artillery opened fire, whereupon ‘the air over Los Angeles erupted like a volcano.’ From this point on reports were hopelessly at variance.”

Not the least at variance are the media reports. According to the Los Angeles Herald Examiner a witness puts the number of planes at 50. Three are shot down over the ocean. A battery near Vermont Ave. takes out another. “Air Battles Rages Over Los Angeles” is the headline of the Examiner’s “War Extra.” The normally more staid Los Angeles Times says:

“Roaring out of a brilliant moonlit western sky, foreign aircraft flying both in large formation and singly flew over Southern California early today and drew heavy barrages of anti-aircraft fire – the first ever to sound over United States continental soil against an enemy invader.”

In Washington D.C., Navy Secretary Frank Knox says: “As far as I know the whole raid was a false alarm and could be attributed to jittery nerves.” Secretary of War Henry Stimson says 15 unidentified aircraft were over Los Angeles  — possibly commercial aircraft operated by the enemy from secret fields in California or Mexico or light planes launched from Japanese submarines. Their goal is to determine the location of anti-aircraft defense or damage civilian morale, Stimson says.

“Probably much of the confusion came from the fact that anti-aircraft shell bursts, caught by the searchlights, were themselves mistaken for enemy planes. In any case, the next three hours produced some of the most imaginative reporting of the war: “swarms” of planes (or, sometimes, balloons) of all possible sizes, numbering from one to several hundred, traveling at altitudes which ranged from a few thousand feet to more than 20,000 and flying at speeds which were said to have varied from “very slow” to over 200 miles per hour, were observed to parade across the skies. These mysterious forces dropped no bombs and, despite the fact that 1,440 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition were directed against them, suffered no losses.”

After the war, Japan says it has no planes in the area at the time of the “raid.” The Army Air Forces in World War II, Vol. 1 posits weather balloons as the most likely explanation. A photo from the Los Angeles Times has been used to “prove” it is an extraterrestrial craft. Another explanation appears in an article attributed to the veteran Los Angeles newsman Matt Weinstock in which he interviews a man who says he served in one of the anti-aircraft batteries:

“Early in the war things were pretty scary and the Army was setting up coastal defenses. At one of the new radar stations near Santa Monica, the crew tried in vain to arrange for some planes to fly by so that they could test the system. As no one could spare the planes at the time, they hit upon a novel way to test the radar. One of the guys bought a bag of nickel balloons and then filled them with hydrogen, attached metal wires, and let them go. Catching the offshore breeze, the balloons had the desired effect of showing up on the screens, proving the equipment was working. But after traveling a good distance offshore and to the south, the nightly onshore breeze started to push the balloons back towards the coastal cities. The coastal radar’s picked up the metal wires and the searchlights swung automatically on the targets, looking on the screens as aircraft heading for the city. The ACK-ACK started firing and the rest was history.”

The Mystery Of The Dyatlov Pass Incident

In January of 1959, ten hikers, all but one students at the Urals Polytechnic Institute in Sverdlovsk, began a hike into the Ural Mountains. They were led by Igor Dyatlov. All ten were experienced hikers. They planned a three week trip with a return planned for February 12th. One hiker, Yuri Yudin, left early in the trip, on January 28th, due to a flare up of sciatica. He had made it to the final leg of the trip getting out to the Ural mountains by sled, but had to ride back on the sled to return home. By this time, he’d already taken two train rides, a bus ride, and then the sled ride with the other hikers to get to the place where they would begin their treacherous journey through the mountains in the winter. He was disappointed to leave, but this decision would ultimately save his life.

There are records of the hikers up through February 1st. That day, the hike started late and only managed to cover 2.5 miles, which could have been the burden of excess gear carried after Yudin’s departure and low visibility due to the weather. At some point, the hikers dropped off excess gear at a camp base before continuing up Kholat Syakhi (Dead Mountain to the native Mansi people). They set up camp on the slope of the mountain, possibly because they did not want to lose the ground that they’d covered and because they were losing daylight. However, experienced hikers in the area have said it was an odd place to set up camp. They had dinner around 6-7pm and seemed to be in good spirits based on their personal and trip journals.

And then… nothing.

They did not arrive back by February 12th, though no one was immediately concerned. It was treacherous terrain. They could have been slowed down. Families, however, became worried when they had not heard anything by February 20th and a search party was sent the following day. Rescuers came across their tent a few days later, but the scene left everyone with more questions than answers.

What happened to the hikers?

Last week, the mysteries we covered were simple. Two were questions of authenticity, and one that focused on why. The Dyatlov Pass Incident, however, has all the earmarks of a true mystery.

The tent was the first thing to be found. It was facing north-south, with the entrance facing south and the north part covered with 15-20 cm of snow. The snow appeared to come from the blowing wind and not a sudden avalanche. The individual who found the tent claims he found a flashlight on the tent, but this was laying on top of 10 cm of snow. The tent had been cut from the inside and the entrance/exit was still fastened closed. The hikers had to have escaped the tent through the cuts made on the side. Most of the belongings of the hikers were found inside the tent.

Next, they found footprints leading downhill, though they were of people in socks or bare feet. There was the remains of a small fire under a cedar tree, with branches broken up to 5 meters up the tree.

The first body was found under the tree, close to the remains of the fire. Identified as Doroshenko, he had burns on his head and foot, minor cuts and bruises, dried blood on his face, and a gray foam substance on his cheeks, indicated a pulmonary edema. His cause of death was determined to be hypothermia. Just nearby was the body of Krivonishchenko, who had similar minor cuts and bruises and was missing the tip of his nose. He had burns on his hands and a chunk of his knuckle was missing. It was later found in his mouth. His cause of death was hypothermia. Igor Dyatlov, the leader of the group (for whom the pass would later be named), was found 300m up the slope back towards the tent. He had minor cuts and bruises, a missing tooth, and blood on his lips. His cause of death was hypothermia. His watch had stopped at 5:31 AM. Kolmogorova was found face down, 630m up the hill from the cedar tree, closest to the tent. She had minor cuts and bruises and a large blunt force bruise of unknown origin. Her cause of death was hypothermia.

Slobodin wasn’t found until March 5th, between Kolmogorova and Dyatlov on the hill. He was wearing one boot, had similar minor wounds, and a fractured the skull. The fractured skull, however, was not serious enough to cause death. His cause of death was determined to be hypothermia.

The last four hikers were not found until two months later, when the area began to thaw. They were found in a 6ft ravine. Kolevatov was found to have died of hypothermia, but had a broken nose and was missing his eyes and the soft tissue around them, likely from animal predation. His clothes were found at a later time to have traces of radioactivity. He and Zolotaryov, the one non-student member and the most experienced hiker of the group, were embraced, likely trying to preserve body heat. He died from a crushed chest and had pen and paper in hand, but was never able to write his message. Thibeaux-Brignolle was nearby died from an impact to his skull. And Dubinina died of a crushing injury to her chest and her eyes, tongue, and soft tissue was missing. She had blood in her stomach and radioactivity on her clothes (found later). The region itself was also said to have signs of radioactivity, though I could only find confirmation of the clothing. I wasn’t able to determine how they originally discovered there was radiation.

(You can find a more thorough review of death and injury here, but the page contains images of dead bodies.)

So, what happened? As you can imagine, the theories range from mundane to ludicrous. The sheer amount of theories cannot be truly managed here, but there are a few categories of theory.

FOUL PLAY

One of the possibilities of a more mundane nature is that the camp was met with foul play. One theory posits some of the hikers were double agents, transporting radioactive samples and searching for CIA agents reportedly in the area. However, something went wrong and the CIA agents attacked. However, it seems very unlikely. If they were transporting radioactive samples, why were only their clothes radioactive? And the theory points the finger at Zolotaryov, Kolevatov, and Krivonishchenko as being the spies. But only Kolevatov of the group had radioactive clothes. The other was Dubinina. Why did they cut themselves out of their tent? Why did six of them die of hypothermia? It explains very little.

Another theory claims they were mistaken for fugitives from the gulags or witnesses to something they shouldn’t have seen. The primary piece of evidence for this is that the region had gulags and Yuri Yudin, the survivor, claimed a piece of clothing was here that did not belong to anyone in the group. The piece of clothing was widely used among soldiers in the 40s and later among gulag prisoners. It later disappeared from the evidence room. This theory explains very little and the fact that Zolotaryov, a WWII veteran, had joined the group last minute is an easy explanation for how this piece of clothing got there. It is unlikely Yudin had a photographic memory of his compatriot’s clothing items, especially if they were underclothes.

The indigenous people of the region, the Mansi, attacked the group, one theory says. However, they were an easy scapegoat and they would have no reason to. The area was not special to the Mansi. And all the belongings were left behind, so it wasn’t robbery.

Another was an altercation between the hikers, but that explains very little. Why would everyone have died? Why did most of them die of hypothermia? Why did all of them leave the tent? There is also no evidence they had ill will towards each other.

SUPERNATURAL

There are two things about the Dyatlov Pass Incident that really stoke the fires of those who believe in a supernatural explanation: the signs of radiation and an image from Thibeaux-Brignolles’s camera. The yeti attack theory is given weight by local legends among the Mansi people of such a creature, but doesn’t explain much of the other parts. Why did most die of hypothermia? Why was the most severe injuries crushing injuries, not slash marks or bite marks? Why did they cut out of their tent instead of the yeti ripping into it? There are many things wrong with this theory. Why did they stop to build a fire?

As far as UFOs, this one is extremely popular. A UFO scared them from their tent and is the cause for the radiation. I still don’t understand the explanation of the fire, the broken cedar branches, hypothermia, etc. Part of the intrigue comes from Lev Ivanov, the man in charge of the investigation at the time, making claims in the early 1990s about forest treetops being burned and being forced to take out the pictures Mansi hunters had given of flying spheres. Ivanov was paid for the interview where he gave this information. He was also a proponent of freak ball lightning in 1959. And the man that forced Ivanov to take out the mentions of the UFOs was obsessed with UFOs.

NATURE

Nature is the most likely culprit here. An avalanche is unlikely, due to the slope of the mountain they were on, the small amount of snow found on the tent, and this not being an avalanche prone area. The footprints would have been wiped away, the group would not have been able to outrun an avalanche either. The most likely scenario: katabatic wind.

Katabatic means “descending” wind. It is also called gravity wind. It is a phenomenon occurs over ice sheets or cooled mountain areas, including the topography of the Dyatlov Pass area. This hurricane-force wind can reach up to 81 meters/second and happen suddenly, without warning like a storm. This phenomenon often occurs at night. One such wind killed skiers in Sweden in 1978, when a wind erupted out of a calm day at 20 meters/second. They abandoned their camp, most died of exposure, and their bodies were found with minor injuries. The bodies were found at intervals that led away from a hastily-constructed snow shelter. The difference here is that one person survived.

In 2019, Swedish adventurers and local guides followed the path of the hikers to replicate the exact trip of the hikers. They went out at the same time of year, followed the same path, with the same supplies. They experienced extreme and unpredictable changes in weather. The Swedish adventurers then came up with the katabatic wind theory. This is supported by situational evidence.

  1. After a tiring day of hiking, the tent was pitched hastily with standing skis and was not angled on the gradient as it should have been.
  2. A gale-force wind swept down the gradient of the mountain, threatening to rip apart their tent, and they cut their way out of the tent for speed and shoveled snow on top of the tent to hold it down in the strong winds, using what they had – their bare hands.
  3. They left a flashlight on top of their tent as they evacuated to act as a beacon to guide them back to camp.
  4. They went down the slope to seek shelter in the trees and lower elevation from the winds on the mountain. They were buffeted by debris lifted by the strong winds.
  5. The three found on the slope died where they fell as they descended the mountain without shoes in light clothing: Slobodin, Kolmogora, and Dyatlov.
  6. Doroshenko, a notoriously brave man, and Krivonishchenko took responsibility for constructing a fire, with Doroshenko climbing the cedar tree to break off branches for the fire. The other four were to build shelters in the ravine to shield them from the winds. The wicked winds would explain the burns or collapsing into the fire as they succumbed to hypothermia. Krivonishchenko’s knuckle injury was from biting it to stay conscious.
  7. The remaining four members went into the ravine and huddled together in a snow shelter. But the snow shelter collapsed onto them, crushing the last four members. Dubinina had been crawling into the shelter when it collapsed on all of them. Soft tissue decomposition happens naturally, particularly in water. The individuals in the ravine had been in water and refroze during melting and freezing periods.

What of the radioactivity? Kolevatov was a student of nuclear physics and he could have come into contact with radioactive materials. Dubinina was an engineering and ecnomics major. There was also the fact that it was 2 months later before the bodies with radioactive traces were found. And there were several possibilities for contamination. Only beta particles were found, and they are used in product testing to determine the thickness of an item and these particles can be transferred to said item. Perhaps this was done on the clothes or on the tarp the students were carried in. The radioactivity appears to be little more than a red herring, leading people away from the most logical conclusion.

As is usually the case with mysteries.

Learn more about the Dyatlov Pass incident by watching this video now

The CIA says “alien autopsy” video is REAL!

The debate over the existence of extraterrestrial life was settled when the CIA authenticated the most famous piece of UAP evidence, the Alien Autopsy film. During the US government UFO disclosure over the past several weeks. Supposedly filmed days after the “Roswell incident.” The film provide an interesting insight into alleged extraterrestrial life.

5 Mysterious Youtube Channels for Videos on Unexplained Mysteries, Strange Stories, Scary Stories, History & Facts

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Indrid Cold | The Smiling Man

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The Terrifying Story Of The Possession of Clara Germana Cele

Most people are familiar with the movie “The Exorcism” and perhaps you are familiar with the story that inspired the movie itself. But the story of Clara Germana Cele has been seemingly forgotten in the over 100 years since it happened. I believe, though this is speculation, that this story also played quite the role in The “Exorcist” movie.

Clara was born in South Africa in either 1889 or 1890, and we don’t know much about her life before she reached the age of 16. What we do know is that she attended St. Michael’s Mission in Umzinto in the region of Natal, South Africa and that she had been adopted by the Mission at the age of 4 due to being an orphan. But she was always seen as a well behaved and good child.

What is tragic, and puzzling, was what happened on her 16th birthday. She began to cry out for help and was erratic and confused. Her words were as follows, “Get the priest! I have to confess something. Get him quickly! I’m afraid Satan will kill me before I have a chance to confess!” Father Erasmus came to hear her confession where she told him she had made a pact with Satan.

Even before this, most at first noticed the drastic change in the young girl. Some think she may have been a rebellious teenager or overly curious but really, we’ve never found out why a young Christian schoolgirl decided to do such a thing. Supposedly, many of the locals overheard her making said pact and word spread quickly.

After the pact, it didn’t take long for the consequences to manifest themselves. Her mental health rapidly deteriorated. She became angry, unstable, and regularly began to spout blasphemies and vulgar things at random. She also often acted like an animal around her family with hissing and barking and aggression. But she also demonstrated the ability to speak in languages she had absolutely no knowledge of. A nun claimed that Clara could understand any languages pushed on her such as Polish or German. This was also observed by others than just the nun. The nuns and priests tried to pray for her and give her religious items, but Clara was just not responsive. It seemed that only the demons possessing her were in charge.

But this went beyond merely speaking in tongues. She also allegedly began to manifest the ability to read people’s minds and showed immense knowledge of secrets of both strangers and those close to her. Almost as if she could see their sins… It goes without saying that it should not be possible.

But it gets worse, the presence of blessed objects seemed to drive her insane and for a crazed 16-year-old girl, she should not have been able to manhandle the nuns and beat them up. This is also common in Demonic possessions, strength beyond what the body can normally exert. The nuns also were horrified by her cries which were supposedly extremely bestial and unlike the girl. As one Nun wrote, “No animal had ever made such sounds. Neither the lions of East Africa nor the angry bulls. At times, it sounded like a veritable herd of wild beasts orchestrated by Satan had formed a hellish choir. No animal had ever made such sounds. Neither the lions of East Africa nor the angry bulls. At times, it sounded like a veritable herd of wild beasts orchestrated by Satan had formed a hellish choir.”

Father Erasmus, the one who heard her confession and who had been called initially thought this was merely the consequences of a young mind rebelling against authority. So for 6 months later in August 1906. Two nuns found her curled up and much of her room ransacked and her bedframe ruined. She explained she had thrown away all of her crucifixes, rosaries, and other holy items. She was now vulnerable. She also began to attack the nuns and threw things around the room. She also allegedly said something close to the following to presumably the demon or demons possessing her, “You betrayed me! You promised me glory, but now you torture me.”

Several nuns and older sisters were made to watch over her. Many still believed her claims were false and for attention. According to one book, it was during this that she questioned the faith the nuns had in God and it turned into a very violent event. Clara reportedly beat several of them severely, tore off their clothes, and left a few of them unconscious. It was after this that the people at the Mission began to test her.

Her skin also reportedly burned when in contact with holy water even when Clara had moments of lucidity. Fire also apparently transfigured out of nothing around her, burning her room but not herself. Many of the people began to congregate around Clara to try and get rid of the demons and to help her, but she revealed the impure thoughts of those around her and the congregations quickly left. She also spoke about Father Erasmus’ travel to Rome at the time and knew details the Priest couldn’t even remember well.

It was during Erasmus’ travel to Rome that a younger priest took over the congregation and attempted to perform an exorcism on Clara. But she taunted him and revealed impure thoughts and he eventually cracked emotionally and slapped the girl. She proceeded to rip part of his vestments and beat him and choke him afterwards. She then sat in a corner and wept as the priest fled the scene. Clara was then put in a private room.

Many of the doors around the Mission including Clara’s began to shake and be beat upon with tremendous force like that of thunder and one priest even patrolled the hallways with a gun. Clara mocked him and told him the demon inside of her only took pleasure in the ordeal.

One can only imagine the horror it must have been to see demons defile and use such a young girl. But her foolishness had clearly played a part…

It was around this time she also began to physically change. Her neck would stretch and extend so harshly that visible bumps would form from the damage to her body. She also began to got to the ground and wiggle around like a snake and even bit a nun severely who was knelt praying for her. This left puncture wounds like that of a snake bite..

Finally, an exorcism was arranged for Clara with Reverend Mansueti who by this time was the director of St. Michael’s Mission and Father Erasmus, her personal confessor. The exorcism began in the morning and went on until noon then was again carried on with at 3pm and carried on until night. Clara began the exorcism by ripping off one of the priest’s collar and attempting to strangle him with it. But the priest continued un-phased.

Well over 100 people were said to have witnessed the event, specifically when Clara began to levitate.

She allegedly levitated both horizontally and vertically and her strange animalistic noises were heard by all. They put her through extreme pressure trying to exorcise the demon and finally, after hours the following day, the demon agreed to leave after levitating her 6 feet in the air and dropping her. Though the exorcism seemed to have worked.

What is truly mind boggling is that after all of that, she made another pact with Satan in 1907. She had to be exorcised a second time which was again, a success and not many details are known about it except for the room apparently being filled with a truly foul smell after the demon left.

Many still believe this was just a case of mental illness, but as far as all the sources indicate, she lived a normal life after the exorcisms. Had she been just mentally ill, this never would have happened, and she would have lived the same way for the rest of her life. Likely she would have ended up in a sanitorium or asylum. Sadly, she died of heart failure at the age of 22 in 1912. There have been speculations about whether the pacts shortened her life, but such ideas are just conjecture as far as we know.

What do you think? Was Clara Germane Cele truly possessed by a demon or even multiple demons? Or was it just a lie and bad behavior from a mentally ill orphan? I’ll leave that to you to decide.]

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