Mary Hyre was one of the first, and one of the most persistent, to cover Mothman and other strangeness in Point Pleasant. In her column, “Where The Waters Mingle,” in the Athens, Ohio Messenger, she regularly reported the latest sightings and speculations.
The following is the columnfrom the Athens, Ohio Messengers on Sunday, January 29th 1967:
Today we read much about persons seeing strange objects in the sky throughout the world, but it isn't a new thing for Mason County.
Area residents have been excited before by unsolved reports of unusual sightings.
According to reports in newspaper on Oct. 10, 1931, there was a lot of excitement at Gallipolis Ferry; and as far as I have found out, it took place on the Poplar Grove Farm. At that time I lived on the next farm, but I guess I wasn't old enough to remember the account.
The first sighting was supposed to have been by Harold Mackinzie, who was at the river on the Ohio shore in Gallipolis. He called to friends to see if they wanted to see a "dirigible."
The group assembled, and Mrs. Robert Henkle, according to the newspaper account, saw the object through the field glasses of Mrs. Claude Parker. They reported that it seemed to buckle and fall. Others who saw it said four persons jumped from parachutes.
It was also reported that if seemed like there was smoke surrounding the object, but it could have been a cloud they saw, according to the account.
The late Dr. Charles Holzer Sr., owner of the airport at Gallipolis, sent out a plane to look for the wreckage of the craft but did not find anything. The account also says that the people reported seeing the blimp fall after white spots were seen drifting from it. People from both Gallipolis and Point Pleasant reported sighting the strange object in the sky.
It was also reported that most blimps carried water ballast and that it might have been found necessary to lighten the ship quickly by dropping the ballast.
Herbert Burdette, who now resides in Leon, was sheriff of Mason County at that time. He, along with State Trooper H. E. Pomeroy, headed a searched party which checked the area but found nothing.
A later newspaper account says that the solution to the mystery shrouding the reported fallen blimp Oct. 10 was believed to be that Henkle and the others saw an army of blackbirds.
Rolfe Lee, Gallipolis Ferry, said Friday night that he recalled the incident and that he thought that starlings were confused for a blimp. He said that he saw hundreds of them in a flock as large as an airplane. Their wings on the underside were light colored so that when they turned a certain way they were invisible, and therefore, everyone thought they had disappeared, he said.
No further developments resulted from this sighting of something strange in the sky, and all hoped it was just the birds having fun. But if it wasn't the birds, I doubt if we will ever really know just what it was. No aircraft was ever reported missing.