Mothman Museum and Bethesda teaming up to unveil “Fallout 76” merch at Mothman Fest

September 13, 2018 GMT

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. - With the release of the Mountain-State-themed video game, “Fallout 76,” two months away Bethesda Game Studios is getting some hype stirred up this weekend.Officials from the famed video game studio (which has produced such hits as Fallout and Elder Scrolls), plan to be at the 17th annual Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant this weekend to celebrate the release of some special shirts and merch.Jeff Wamsley, the founder of Mothman Festival and the owner and operator of the world’s only Mothman Museum, 400 Main St., said the Museum will be unveiling a line of new Mothman/Mothman Museum/Fallout 76 T-shirts, that they have created under an an exclusive licensing deal with Bethesda.A Mothman Museum/Fallout 76 poster will also be among the exclusive merch along with the T-shirts that include a “Nuke Cola,” a “Celebrate Reclaimation Day,” as well as a “Fallout 76,” and “Mothman,” and “Mothman Museum” T-shirts.All of the “Fallout 76” gear will be available at the Museum during the Mothman Festival that runs 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday along Main Street in downtown Point Pleasant. Representatives from Bethesda, which is based in Maryland, have also said they are going to appear at the fest, most likely on Saturday, Wamsley, said but maybe Sunday too.Wamsley said the collaboration wheels were set in motion back in June when one of the game designers for Bethesda wore a “Mothman” T-shirt from their Museum during an interview in which he was describing how the new “Fallout 76” video game was going to be set in West Virginia.“Fallout” is a post-apocalyptic video game with an atompunk style based on the culture and style of the American 1950s.Touted as “the largest, most dynamic world ever created in the legendary Fallout universe, “Fallout 76” which will launch on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on Nov. 14, caused a frenzy among regional video game players back in June when the official game play trailer released - and while “Country Roads” played in the background - showcased such iconic West Virginia sites as Huntington’s historic amusement park Camden Park, the gold-domed State Capitol, the west entrance of The Greenbrier, the New River Gorge Bridge and Woodburn Hall at WVU in Morgantown.“I literally just stumbled across a couple Google alerts where one of the game designers had a Mothman shirt on that he had bought from us and so after it was hinted that we were going to be in the game I contacted him he put me in contact with the right people at Bethesda,” Wamsley said Thursday. “That spurred the talk about licensing some merchandise with some exclusive designs with Fallout 76 on the back, and we are going to carry three or four regular Fallout T-shirts as well as the poster of the Mothman Museum. ... They totally haven’t come out on what role we have in the game but I think it seems like it is pretty significant.“Wamsley said already video game fans have created additional buzz for this year’s fest. When Bethesda/Fallout shared the fact that they would be at Mothman Fest there were more than 18,000 likes on their Mothman Festival poster on their page.Wamsley, a former local record store owner who helped found the festival fresh in the wake of revived interest due to “The Mothman Prophecies,” a 2002 film based on the 1975 book of the same name by John Keel, said that he thinks the interest will help bring even more gamers to the festival whose core is based around the Mason County mysteries.The festival provides a brisk business using the undertow of its rich reservoir of mysterious stories of Mothman, Men in Black and UFOs that occurred November 1966 and December 1967 in Point Pleasant and the surrounding areas.The fest has grown into a wild and original recipe mix of a paranormal conference, a comic con, and a fall street fest.“This is a whole other demographic,” Wamsley said of bringing in gamers. “It kind of landed in our laps and we weren’t expecting it.They said they are going to come to the festival and do some handouts, not sure if they will be both days but they are going to try to be there most of the day on Saturday.“One person Wamsley said is not invited to the Festival is Florence. He said everything is a go right now, but they have already had to move part of the festival in Point Pleasant’s beautiful riverfront park, back onto the street because of high water on the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. The bands will now be playing on First Street neat the River Museum.“It looks now like maybe we are going to get a little bit Monday and Tuesday,” Wamsley said of the weather. “We have been pretty lucky so far and we will keep our fingers crossed.” There is also a good number of events inside. Mothman Festival, now in its 17th year kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday with a special “Appalachian Monster Night” screening at the State Theater of three “Small Town Monsters,” documentaries. Seth Breedlove, director, will be there to talk to the audience about these films that include one on the Mothman and one on the Flatwoods Monster.Inside at the State Theater, are guest speakers from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday speaking on everything from Mothman and Men in Black to big foot, ET, ghosts and more.There’s also weather permitting hayrides and tours of the TNT area (where Mothman was sighted), as well as food and merch vendors, the open Mothman Museum, cosplay by Ghostbusters of WV and Ohio, and the Star Wars 501st Legion.Wamsley said he thinks the event, like the Fallout 76 event this summer at Camden Park, will keep raising the interest locally and in the region for this unique opportunity - a regionally stamped landscape and storylines for one of the most famous video game series on the market.“We haven’t even started selling anything yet and we’ve had a lot of emails and feedback so I think it is going to be a big seller and we will have it all on the website after this weekend,” Wamsley said. “I think ‘Fallout 76’ is going to be great for the state in general, for us and the Greenbrier and the Capitol, for WVU and for Camden Park.“Go online at https://www.mothmanfestival.com/ for more info. Here’s a look at the entertainment and the speakers’ schedule.Speakers Schedule at the State Theater


Saturday, Sept. 15 11 a.m. - Joey and Tonya Madia, “Ghostesses, Portals, and MIBs: Our Haunted Life So Far”Noon - Robert Robinson, “Florida Skunk Ape”1 p.m. - Steve Ward, “John Keel: Ultraterrestrails and the Mothman”2 p.m. - Nick Redfern, “Men in Black: New Revelations”3 p.m. - Chad Lewis and Kevin Lee Nelson, “The Van Meter Visitor-5 Nights of Terror”4 p.m.- Lyle Blackburn and Ken Gerhard, “Investigating Cryptid Reports”5 p.m. - Colin Schneider, “The Paranormal and Roads”6 p.m. - Fred Saluga, “North America 1966-67..UFOS, Mothman and Other High Strangeness7 p.m. - American Monster Tour “Oklahoma Demon Flyer” ScreeningA sneak peek at the first installment of American Monster Tour, an independent documentary series which features cryptid investigators Lyle Blackburn and Ken Gerhard as they explore amazing legends and startling encounters with mysterious creatures across the American landscape......45 minutes followed by a Q&A.Sunday, Sept. 16Noon - Doug Waller and the Southeastern Society for Bigfoot “Sightings, Research & News”1 p.m. - Craig Hesson (local historian) “The Battle of Point Pleasant”2 p.m. - Kim Poeppey, “Dogman, Bigfoot and Photographic Evidence of Portals”3 p.m.- Allison Jornlin, “Chicago Mothman: Separating Fact from Fiction” Entertainment Saturday, Sept. 15 11 a.m. - Dangerous Cookies12:30 p.m. - Stephanie and Mark IV2 p.m. - Riverside Cloggers3:30 p.m. - Flatrock Revival5 p.m. - Two River Junction6:30 - 5:426 p.m. - Maggie Sunday, Sept. 16Noon - Band of Brothers1:30 p.m. - Dragon’s Eye 2 p.m. - Fish Fisher (in front of the Post Office)3 p.m. - Creek Don’t Rise ​