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Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Six: Case File No. 34-294

various Mothman art displayed at the Mothman Museum

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Where We Left Off:

More evidence of a bobcat in our neighborhood was captured by the trail cam.


As with our most current case files, this one is all owed to unusual activity caught on the trail camera in the dark of night when none of us would be outside. The camera often picks up blurry illuminated orbs, presumably insects caught in the night mode of the lens functions. I’ve gone through a lot of the photos and there are two weird types: orbs that stay in the same place (disappear and return); and orbs that move.

During the daylight hours, I have watched Gus stare into the woods. I can’t see whatever he’s observing. He’s been able to pounce on the ground alerting me to activity under the soil, but I haven’t noticed him staring at the sky. He only looks when a bird swoops by (and those I can see too).

As I note about these orbs, I’m not using the word “orbs” the way it’s typically used to mean a specific type of spirit or the presence of spirits. I mean these are orb-shaped, circular, and glowing.

What I could determine about this sighting of circular glowing objects was that it was a pair of them moving in perfect synchronicity. In the images, you can also see the commonly captured glowing orbs in the brush at the edge of the woods. Across the roadway from those lower glowing objects are a utility pole, a lamp post, and beyond those, a parked BBQ food truck.

Though the camera had to switch to night mode, it wasn’t the middle of the night. It was the season of darkness where the sunset early. Commuters left in the dark and returned in the even darker conditions. This darkness effects humans and the other living creatures. Also be aware that extra lighting such as festive lights can effect the animals as well. Migrating birds need natural cycles of the sun and darkness. The chipmunks go into their winter dens for hibernation. The bears are rarely out of their dens. Yet, the deer creatures are still out strong. They look for food to keep on some fat for the winter.

What other creatures are out there in the late autumn darkness?

In a previous case file, we showed how the Jersey Devil-Deer cryptid hybrids are still out during this season, but they have inventive ways of being camouflaged as mundane deer. Surely, these beasts aren’t the only ones out there protected by the cloak of pitch black sky.

Small towns around the world have their own spooky monster legends. This town is no exception. Back in 2021, the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency investigated our local cryptid, the Mantisoid or Mantis Man. There’s so little information on that cryptid, we don’t know if they’re around in the cooler weather of November. They seem more likely to be active in warm weather.

We gathered in the office to examine the photos from the trail camera. I turned on YouTube to play some birds on the TV.

“What about a bird?” Gus said. “We know there are different kinds of large birds here.”

Oliver added on. “Yes, like Great Horned Owls, Eastern Screech Owls, Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, hawks and our friendly vultures.”

“Do you two really think bird eyes are that bright and glowing around 6:20PM?” I didn’t mean to sound so incredulous. I’m sure two moving dots are more likely to be a bird than a monster, but since when do the cat detectives go to the easiest answer first?

Gus ignored my question and posed his own. “What about an airplane? The air traffic has increased a lot. I’m still traumatized from when the fighter jets came here!”

“Unfortunately,” I said, “I don’t set the trail cam for video—only still images. I don’t know if we could have had video and audio. That would definitely narrow the list. But look closely at what we have. The pair of illuminated orbs appear; move to the west; then disappear.”

We had five photos that showed the travel pattern of the lights. We weren’t getting any closer to answers. Were they light bulbs after all or the reflection of eyes?

The legend of the Mothman from West Virginia spread. It began in 1966, also in the dark days of November. The peculiar thing about the Mothman is how many other unexplained weird shit happened after that first sighting. There were a lot of UFOs, for example. There was also the terrifying “Grinning Man” named Indrid Cold. And the local people aren’t sure if it was a curse by a Native Chief Keigh-tugh-gua after the Battle of Point Pleasant. Everything that went bad in the town of Point Pleasant after 1777 was attributed to the curse.

But is the Mothman intentionally malicious?

All accounts say people were chased by this beast with glowing eyes and unbelievably large wings and legs. Being followed or heck, even tasted, by an animal doesn’t mean it’s trying to kill you. If you are delicious enough and the animal is hungry, that’s probably what will happen.

Think about another famously large beast, the Great White Shark. It approaches divers and surfers. It may knock them around. It may even take a bite. But why? The animals have no other way of discerning what humans are. Other than a snorkeler in Hawaii being “eaten” by a shark (no body found) this year, humans generally are not on the menu. Maybe the Mothman was only curious.

animated show with Mothman

Do We Have a Mothman Here?

Believe it or not, I reached out to our famous publication Weird NJ to ask them if there have been Mothman sightings in the Garden State. With this case being smack in the middle of the holidays, I don’t expect an answer right away.

Case Findings:

Gus, Oliver, and I could not agree on what the camera caught. Keep your eyes open for the unexpected. Be careful when driving. And, as long as you’re in a safe spot, take a moment to look up at the sky.

Case Status: Open


You can watch the full Mothman documentary for free on YouTube.

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