Our journey has taken us into the past before. We have seen the graves of famous gunslingers. We have walked in the forests of the ancient Redwoods. We’ve slept just outside of buildings so old that they had collapsed under the weight of history.
So, where to now?
Hold on to your butts.
“Just one drop of your blood contains billions of strands of DNA, the building blocks of life. A DNA strands like me is a blueprint for building a living thing.” – Mr. DNA, Jurassic Park
So, where does one find ancient mosquitoes that have been trained in the old ways as bloodthirsty assassins and DNA traps?
No, really. Have you seen the amount of mosquitoes that Michigan has? It’s like a mini-vampire breeding ground. There could be all kinds of things being transmitted by their mutant mosquitoes…DNA, malaria, the ridiculous stupidity it takes to come up with plans to abduct and murder their governor. Sorry Michiganders, but if the mitten fits…
Welcome to Jurassic P… er. Prehistoric Forest Amusement Park. Abandoned.
Located about 25 miles from Ann Arbor, the Prehistoric Forest was first opened back in 1963, and was quite the attraction for its time. Life-sized fiberglass dinosaurs where just the tip of the tail for this amusement park. There were cavemen, waterfalls, an active man-made volcano, a Safari train, and fossil digging pits.
As with so many old roadside attractions, Prehistoric Forest fell victim to the interstate that routed traffic away from memory making roadtrips and into the fast lane. Attendance dwindled in the ‘80’s, but Prehistoric Forest managed to limp along until 2002, when it closed it’s gates for good.
The park is private property, and there are plenty of signs letting you know that. Immediately upon our arrival, a police officer arrived to give us the stink eye and let us know that we can take pictures, but not to trespass. There is one large dinosaur visible from the parking lot, and a few fake trees and cacti scattered around.
Taking a sneaky peak into the forest, you can find the king of dinosaurs, Mr. T-Rex. In a sick twist of fate, time has only made short-arm jokes more painful for him.
Rumor is that the owner of the Prehistoric Forest still has big dreams of re-opening the amusement park. I think that ship has probably sailed, but perhaps…if they spared no expense.
As it sits, the property is just going the way of the dinosaur. I do hope the prehistoric decay is left to be enjoyed by those that are eager to hear stories of the past whispering through the trees and flimsy fences.
Just a reminder for those that want to visit abandoned places…take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but…nothing!
Roger and Linda Scarberry stole a quick kiss while Steve and Mary Mallette walked away from them and around the corner of the old TNT bunker. The two young couples were on a double date that had led them out of the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia towards some old military storage bunkers that were closed up after the end of the second World War.
It was a cold night. Winter chewed at their jackets as they explored the bunker area in the dark. Linda caught up with Mary, their soft giggles broke through the oppressive darkness.
The girls spun around to look behind them, as Roger gasped loudly. He was pointing over the top of one of the bunker doors, into the tall trees. There, all four of them saw piercing red eyes staring at them from the heights of the forest.
Terror seeped in as the two couples watched a creature separate itself from the shadow of night. It emerged standing like a man, but unfathomably tall with shoulders so broad it seemed to lean forward under the weight. Then it’s shoulders began to ripple, the muscles tightening as a wing unfolded on each side of its back.
Roger, Linda, Mary, and Steve started towards Steve’s black 1957 Chevy. They all slid across the leather seats, while keeping an eye on the creature in the trees. Linda later recalled seeing the creature’s leg muscles and tendons flexing as it lept from the tree into the dark night.
Flinging gravel behind the Chevy, Steve pushed the gas pedal to the floor. The back country roads were not made for high speed endeavors, but Steve pushed the limits of his courage and his car.
Mary, looking out the back window, screamed, breaking the silence of panic.
The creature was behind the car, flying through the darkness after them. The Chevy was pushing 100 MPH, but the monster was keeping pace.
Shining in the headlights of the Chevy, the Welcome to Point Pleasant sign came into view. Steve kept his foot on the gas as he drove passed the sign. The giant monster cut off to the right, and perched on the sign, its eyes glowing red and angry as the Chevy drove through town and out of sight.
The two young couples stopped at Tiny’s Diner in town and whispered over french fries about what they had seen, and who they should tell. Knowing that their story sounded like a science fiction tale, they faced possible ridicule and went to the sheriffs office that night to make a statement.
Soon people of all of stature and standing in the Point Pleasant community would see the glowing red eyes, and the 10-foot wingspan of the Mothman. And that was just the beginning. The next thirteen months were filled with weirdness, followed by the impossible…topped with a whole lot of WTF.
Weirdness, Impossible and WTF
Mothman Sightings: After the original sighting of the Mothman, more and more people in the community were reporting similar incidents. Hundreds of townspeople got wind of the story, and invaded the TNT area to see what they could see. Footprints were found in the area that were described as “two horseshoes put together, but smooth.”
Over the next thirteen months, the Mothman was seen perched on landmarks, like the Silver Bridge that crossed the Ohio River, or on city limit signs as you entered Point Pleasant. An omen of things to come, or a town on the brink of mass hysteria?
Poltergeist Activity: Roger and Linda Scarberry would go on to report poltergeist activity in their home after their original sighting of the mothman. Linda claimed she saw the bird-beast pacing their roof one night, inside the city limits. Linda would go on to give multiple interviews to various different kinds of newspapers, magazines, and television programs. Roger Scarberry and Steve and Mary Mallette refused to participate in any interviews that didn’t involve the local authorities.
UFO’s and Strange Lights: UFO sightings started being reported shortly after the first Mothman sighting. Groups of lights would float through the air, performing intricate routines in the sky like synchronized swimming in the stars. A few people reported serious eye burn and eye injuries after watching the light shows. A few even reported permanent damage to their retina’s, leaving them at least partially blinded for life.
Dreams and Visions: Report after report of strange dreams and visions started pouring in after the calendar flipped to 1967. Visions of UFO’s, aliens, ghosts, the Mothman, tragedies, and turmoil; there seemed to be no topic off the table when it came to dreams and visions from the paranormal.
Phone Calls: Many Point Pleasant residents reported that they began receiving phone calls at exactly the same time every evening. One of the reports came from the Fire Chief, a serious and honest man that no one questioned the word of. He would receive phone calls daily. Most of the time it would only be static, but if he stayed on the line the static would start to sound like words being whispered from the other end of the line. He attempted to record a few of the phone calls, but when he listened to the recordings later, there was just a high pitched screeching sound…just feedback from the world of sci-fi.
Men In Black: Once the stories of the mothman reached international status, Point Pleasant residents started reporting receiving visitors from…the government? The reports were of men wearing basic black suits, hats, and sunglasses. If asked to describe one of the visitors, townspeople would just give generic descriptions that could pass for most any man in America at that time. Some stated their faces were just plain, so plain it was hard to remember a feature. Eye color, brow shape, cheekbones; their memories were void of anything that would distinguish one of the men in black from any of the other men in black.
Ingrid Cold: The name Ingrid Cold came up in multiple interviews with multiple townsfolk. One local farmer stated that a disc spacecraft landed in the middle of the road, and a nice looking, but plain, gentlemen confronted him in his farm truck. The stranger walked to his truck window and introduced himself as Ingrid Cold. He made small talk of the local happenings, and told the farmer that he could answer any questions that the people of Point Pleasant may have. The man from the disc went on to tell the farmer that he would contact him again in the future. Another person reported to have received a phone call from a man claiming to be Ingrid Cold. Ingrid had told them that something was coming, and then hung up. Other’s saw Ingrid Cold in their dreams or visions; a premonition of weirdness.
The Silver Bridge: On December 15, 1967, exactly thirteen months to the day of the first Mothman sighting, hundreds of residents of Point Pleasant were crossing the Silver Bridge into town from Ohio. It was 5:00 P.M., and many people were commuting from work, or headed home from Christmas shopping. On this cold, winter evening a single eyebar on the bridge fractured, creating a domino effect of vehicles falling into the depths of the Ohio River.
After weeks of diving, emergency responders and search crews were able to locate most of the missing from the bridge collapse.
As the eye-witnesses and survivors were interviewed it became known that as the bridge had started shaking that fateful evening, multiple people saw a large bird-like creature standing atop the Silver Bridge; it’s wings spread out, and eyes glowing red.