by Andrew Arnett

In 1967, John Keel was elbow deep into his investigation of the Mothman at Point Pleasant, WV, when he caught wind of strange happenings out in Mount Misery, Long Island. What did this sleepy hamlet have to offer Keel, a paranormal investigator who was hot on the trail of the biggest story of his life, and of his time?

Turns out quite a lot. So many bizarre happenings in fact, that Keel would go on to dedicate an entire chapter to Mount Misery in his seminal work, The Mothman Prophecies: A True Story.

I had read The Mothman Prophecies many moons ago and saw the movie of the same name before that. I thought the movie, starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney, an underrated gem. I hold it in high esteem. It captures the eerie claustrophobic atmosphere that surrounds much of the paranormal, similar to what X-Files did on TV.

I had forgotten that Mount Misery played a part in Keel’s book. As I was boning up on the research for our investigation at Mount Misery, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I would be walking in the footsteps of a giant, in a manner of speaking. What Keel discovered at the location however, blew the lid off of the rudimentary ghost tales that already inhabited the area. These discoveries would include UFO sightings, Men in Black visitations, phantom Indians and a run-in with a beast not unlike the Mothman itself.

Keel’s contact in Mount Misery was Miss Jaye P. Paro, a radio host for station WBAB in Babylon, New York. On her show, Paro discussed the historic and psychic lore of the region, as well as reported on the numerous UFO sightings over Mount Misery. Through Paro, Keel met several UFO contactees and witnesses, including one woman named Jane, who lived near Mount Misery.

Old Country Road, L.I. (2020). Photo by Andrew Arnett

Jane related to Keel a weird incident that occurred to her and her boyfriend Richard, as they drove near Mount Misery. Richard was driving when he started to feel ill. He pulled over to the side of the road and slumped over the wheel unconscious. Jane was scared but was then overwhelmed with a brilliant beam of light that shot out of the woods “like a floodlight,” rendering her momentarily paralyzed.

The next thing they remembered was that they were driving along Old Country Road, at the base of Mount Misery.

“How did we get here?” Richard asked. “What happened?”

“Let’s go home,” Jane insisted.

A number of days later, Jane received a phone call. A strange metallic voice told her, “Listen carefully, I cannot hear you,” then instructed her to go to the local library and look up a certain book on Indian history. The next morning, she went to the library. There was no one there, except for the librarian, who was “dressed in an old-fashioned suit like something out of the 1940s, with a long skirt, broad shoulders, and flat old-looking shoes.”

As if expecting her, the librarian pulled out a book from beneath the desk. It was the same book she was instructed to read. Jane opened to page 42, as she was told to do by the mysterious caller. As she read, the print on the page began to oscillate smaller and larger. Then it changed into the following message:

Good morning, friend. you have been selected for many reasons. One is that you are advanced in autosuggestion. Through this science we will make contact. I have messages concerning Earth and its people. The time is set. Fear not … I am a friend. For reasons best known to ourselves you must make your contacts known to one reliable person. To break this code is to break contact. Proof shall be given. Notes must be kept of the suggestion state. Be in peace. [signed] A Pal.’

The Mothman Prophecies: A True Story

After she read that, the message disappeared, and the original text returned. She left the library and became ill, vomiting several times for the next two days. She decided to contact Paro with her story, who in turn told her to get in touch with Keel.

Keel took an immediate interest in the story. He saw similarities between that, and the strange disturbances at Point Pleasant. Keel also noted that he was in touch with a contactee who was in communication with a being known as “Apholes,” a name very similar to “A Pal” from Jane’s experience.

Sweet Hollow Road, L.I. (2020). Photo by Andrew Arnett

More strangeness ensued. One morning, as Jane was walking along the road, a new and shiny black Cadillac pulled up next to her. The driver was an olive-skinned man wearing wraparound sunglasses and dressed in a well-cut, expensive looking suit of shiny grey material not unlike silk.

The man got out and shook Jane’s hand. His hands were “as cold as ice.” “Do you know who I am?” he said. “I am Apol.”

Apol then gave her a piece of paper with a small metal disc inside, instructing her to “Wear this always, so they will know who you are.”

“Who are they?” she asked.

“They are good people,” he answered.

Later on, when Keel met up with Jane, something unusual happened. Keel explains:

I went out to Mount Misery and hypnotized Jane. She was a good subject and after performing various tests to assure myself that she was really in a deep trance, I began to ask her subtle questions about Apol and his friends. To my utter amazement, the impossible happened. The control was taken away from me. I couldn’t direct the session. Instead, I found myself talking directly to Apol through Jane.

The Mothman Prophecies: A True Story

There was a mysterious connection between Point Pleasant and Mount Misery, but what was it? Keel muses, “Woodrow Derenberger found a new world with Cold, Klinnel, Ardo, and company. Now Jane was moving among twilight presences; Mr. Apol, Lia (the name of his female companion), and several others . . .”

In light of my current investigations into Mount Misery, it behooves me to revisit the world of the Mothman Prophecies, in hopes of finding more clues. The book delves into alleged sightings of the Mothman, encounters with Men in Black, and a strange character named Indrid Cold. All of this however, is centered around the very real collapse of the Silver Bridge into the Ohio River on the cold night of December 15, 1967.

December 15? I had to look at the calendar. As I am writing this to you now, it is December 15, 2020, exactly 53 years to the day since that tragedy occurred. A shudder just went through my spine. There have been a cluster f#ck of coincidences ever since I started my investigation into Mount Misery. This one is the latest. But what does it portend?