The first sighting of something strange around Point Pleasant, West Virginia that got "Mothman" into the news was a sighting that occurred on November 15, 1966.
Roger and Linda Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette were joyriding through the TNT area. Explosives had been manufactured there during WWII. The two couples were driving down the mazes of dirt roads when the spotted a strange figure. They all said it had blood-red, glowing eyes; that's what got their attention in the first place.
The thing didn't seem to notice the four people, and just walked off towards the generator plant. They didn't care where it was headed; Roger turned around and sped out of there. But their encounter wasn't over yet.
As they were leaving, they saw the thing standing on a hill by the road. They said it was 6 feet tall and had wings "like an angel." "It was about six and a half to seven feet tall, and its wings were folded against its back."
The creature's torso looked like a human's, but it had no arms and its face was hard to distinguish; it may have been headless. It walked around clumsily, like a penguin, and had a ten foot wingspan. The creature took off and followed the car. "We were driving 100 miles per hour," Roger said. "And that bird kept up with us, without flapping its wings." The witnesses said it did make a noise, and it sounded like a "squeak" of a huge mouse.
Both of the women in the car were now crying, and the monster followed the four people all the way into Point Pleasant, still "squeaking." At the town limits, the Mothman turned around and they did not see it again.
The couples stopped at a drive in and called the police. Officers came and they told them their story. The officers went to the TNT area, but did not find anything unusual. They did have some scary experiences, though. The couples were there when an officer said he saw shadows circling the old power plant. Deputy Sheriff Mallard Halstead saw a cloud of dust kick up from a coal yard not far away, and he thought the Mothman may have caused it. Steve Mallette, Roger Scarberry, and the deputies returned the Wednesday during the daylight hours and saw something fly up into a boiler when they kicked a door open. No one saw it long enough to determine what it was.
Linda Scarberry was so shaken by the encounter that she had to be taken to the hospital. After that, she and Roger moved back in with her parents.
Hundreds of people flocked to the TNT area after the Scarberry/Mallette sighting, hoping to get a glimpse of Mothman. Marcella Bennett, her daughter Tina, and her brother, Raymond Wamsley, and his wife saw the Mothman. They saw lights in the sky at first, but they dismissed them off as a plane.
They approached the Thomas residence in the area to see Ralph Thomas, only to realize he was not home. Marcella decided to get back in the car and wait until Raymond left, and saw something strange when she reached for the door handle.
She described it as gray, 6 feet tall, and it had feathers. She said it looked like a man, but had wings. It had a bird's head and just stood there. "It looked like he was relaxing," she said. "To me it didn't look like it was of this world."
More on Mothman sightings from Nov. 1966 to Dec. 1967 can be found in my book, Cryptid U.S.: Tales of Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and More from Across America.