One theory suggests that the Mothman legend may have been intentionally exploited to divert attention from a tragic event: the collapse of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, in December 1967.
Spanning the Ohio River, the bridge served as a vital connection between Point Pleasant and Gallipolis, Ohio. During evening rush hour, the bridge's structural failure, caused by a defective eyebar, led to its catastrophic collapse, plunging numerous vehicles — some carrying young couples — into the icy waters below.
The heart-wrenching tragedy garnered immediate attention from the national press, propelling the story to the forefront of public awareness and sparking discussions about bridge safety standards across the country.
The reported Mothman sightings reportedly began approximately 13 months before the bridge collapsed. Some theorize that certain individuals or groups may have capitalized on the sightings to generate interest, tourism and revenue for the area, effectively drawing attention away from the devastating bridge collapse.