Sunday, February 19, 2012

Point Pleasant West Virginia

The Legend Trippers Journal
Point Pleasant West Virginia
Chad Lewis and Noah Voss on Legend Trip.
Autumn in the states brings many a mundane thing. For the avid legend tripper it also harkens the utmost forbidding foe of atmosphere building weather. Visions of dark and stormy nights. Full of jagged lightning bolts silent as they are sudden. With each lightning strike the the unusually thick and eerily low lying fog is illuminated revealing dancing dead leaves. The disorienting flashes cast many a devious looking shadow, but only for an instant. The shadows appearing in a new location with each burst leaving your thoughts running away from sanity to imagine what if. As if by design a crack of thunder snaps you back to what is in front of you. Brings you back to reality or drown out our screams for help in the night? This last trip we had plenty of dark nights in the middle of nowhere and even a stormy day or two. Unfortunately for us the two never joined forces to give us that perfect trifecta of terror. 

Fortunately we were adventuring through areas rich in their own terror filled history. There were deserted coves hiding the Lake Monster of Lake Erie. The hope of coming face to face in the pitch black woods of Pennsylvania with whatever was piloting the Acorn of Kecksburg. Maybe rolling away for good at two gravity hills. Of course there's always the chance of being tormented for the rest of our short days and long nights by the Mothman of Point Pleasant. 

Mothman, that’s the one for this journal entry. I’ve read the book, watched the movie and followed the work of John A. Keel since I was able. To say the least I was a fan. We were looking forward to checking out the Point Pleasant area ever since we had realized we would be in the West Virginia area. It’s nothing for the legend tripper to opt for a small four state rerouting of your entire 18 hour drive back to the homestead just to hit the rolling hills and open valleys that the Mothman once laid claim to. It wasn’t so long ago that nearly everyone in the smaller town was reportedly seeing a large black winged monster. Point Pleasant has a classic two block main street that is no more than a few doors deep. Some of the same townsfolk that still walk the street saw it everywhere. In the sky swooping down to torment their cars, at the TNT factory, and reportedly even in some of the towns people’s dreams. After a mere six hours in the truck Chad Lewis author and co-author of around nine different books, myself a weary traveler of 20 states this year alone, and Terry Fisk co-founder of Unexplained Research LLC, author, and guru of past life experiences arrive in Point Pleasant. The first thing we are all taken by is the size of the town. Not a large town, but notably larger than we had all been visualizing, most likely thanks to the movie. This was a semi impromptu stop on our legend trip only having realized we could hit this area a few days earlier. For this reason we opt for some recon to find where our limited time is best spent. It doesn’t take long and we find ourselves parking on a main street that could be in most any town in America whose population is under 10,000. A short walk reveals several statue plaques, one museum, and around a dozen super friendly locals that all leave us much more informed than we were only a mere 45 minutes earlier. With two different maps in hand we head out for the old abandoned TNT factory. 

Statue on Main Street Point Pleasant, WV
I won't lie. I may have almost been giddy. I can’t help but feel a little like I’m in the middle of a Scooby Doo episode as we wind down an ever narrowing road. We head towards the old abandoned factory on the edge of town. As the vegetation slowly creeps in, onto and over the country road our map tells us we have arrived. After turning around several times and backtracking to the location we were told “you know you’re there when we see the spray painted dead deer.” What turns out to be super faded graffiti on a metal beam that actually says “dead deer” and not a rotting corps, we know we have arrived. Grabbing some gear, camera, gloves, and whip in case I’m forced to go mono e mono with Mothman we quickly spread out into the thick woods. The going our own way, is really starting to seem like a plan I’m not in the loop on during these legend trips. To be fair it could just as easily be that everyone is excited and full of anticipation and as a result we all un-empathetically take off and spread out doing our own thing. Honestly it does add to the mystique of the adventure,. This is probably as a result of the potential danger in losing sight of your fellow adventurers in a completely new location, coupled with the unusual and unsafe history that they seem to always have. 

I stumble upon a trail. I pause here and there to take some video footage and still pictures. Then, I hear an unusual sound. I freeze in place straining my ears and eyes, demanding more from them. At first I can’t quite place it as my senses heighten. My heart speeds a bit with hope of encountering something truly unexplained. I start to move again, discerning an echoing, booming sound. Maybe, yes there, that was a voice. Not a normal conversation on the phone voice, but a distorted and muffled one. I think of course to Chad and Terry who I haven’t seen for long enough. Continuing to move forward the sound becomes slightly less distorted as a dark silhouette in the woods starts to form before me. Larger than myself and covered in vegetation. 

As I move closer it becomes apparent that I have found a bunker. They are common to this area that by nature had to store ingredients and final products that were extremely explosive. Here I meet back up with the cause of the unusual noises, Chad and Terry. Moving past the large rusted metal door I nervously notice a large pile of metal containers as I think to myself "I wonder what I’m breathing in right now." The small entry gives way to an expansive cement room with a small hole in the top center. I as everyone else whoever dares this far can’t resist speaking aloud. The reverberation of sound waves is similar to standing in any modern day rotunda, though the environment and history of this location along with the potential health concerns create an entirely unique experience. Further exploration of the woods revealed numerous other similar bunker like structures. For us there was too much to explore and not enough time. We headed out as quickly as we found our way there. Stopping at a few other documented sighting locations along the way. The fair grounds, the Mothman car chase that the last time I heard it had the car being chased over 100 mph, and of course the Silver bridge where many people lost their lives when it collapsed. We have appointments to keep back in Wisconsin, and bills to pay. With a good 12 hours left to drive that day we point the vehicle in the direction of home. As we head out of town our conversation meanders forward to the next time we are in Point Pleasant. We all hope it is sooner than later. 
Noah Voss investigates Point Pleasant West Virginia

Ahh yes, the potential for great peril was there all through our adventure. This last trip through nine different states and dozens of paranormal hotspots left me only wanting and waiting for the next call to hit the road. 

Until next time, remember, adventures come to the adventuresome!
Noah Voss (Bio)

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