Mothman Producer Dies

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 20th, 2006

Lisa McIntosh Barry Conrad

Executive producer Barry Conrad (above, right) and his producer partner Lisa McIntosh (above, left) have been working on their documentary project about the Flatwoods Monster, Kelly Creatures, and Mothman for over five years. Their production company has completed several documentaries that have been broadcast on the Biography, A&E, Discovery, Sci-Fi and TLC channels.


When the crew visited me in Portland, Maine, on April 19, 2002, they were here to interview and tape me about Mothman, my book on the topic, and the then just-released Richard Gere The Mothman Prophecies movie. They did this, intriguingly, in a live production event in front of my University of Southern Maine documentary film class. They were very professional, and it served as an educational situation on many levels.

Barry Conrad has kept in touch, down through the years, to give me news on the progress of their project. Unfortunately, Barry’s update today was shocking:

I regret to inform you that Lisa McIntosh, my girlfiend & associate producer of the documentary “Mothman: Man, Myth or Monster?”, as part of my Monsters of the UFO project, died of a rare cancer called multiple myeloma on July 25, 2006. Strangely enough, she began having fainting spells while in Point Pleasant during our visit in September 2004. She was only 42 years old. Doctors said it was a textbook case, extremely unusual that this type of cancer would affect someone as young as she was. Only 1 out of approximately 200,000 people contract this disease. She will be greatly missed.


Lisa McIntosh was involved with the field production of the project (as illustrated above in the Point Pleasant newspaper), setting up interviews with many eyewitnesses, connected with these cases, including Lonnie Lankford & Elmer Sutton, Jr. (Kelly) and Kathleen May, Gary Harris, others (Flatwoods). The Mothman segment contains several of the original people that encountered the creature in 1966, during the McIntosh-produced filmmaking in September 2004.

Flatwoods Monster

The mystery death of people associated with Mothman films and investigations is a topic that I have documented for some time, including authoring an article about it and maintaining the list online. The August 2004 issue of Fortean Times went on sale in London, with distribution to the USA, late in July. It contained the first publication of the article “The Mothman Death Curse.”

July has not been a kind month for those who have experienced these strangely Mothman-related deaths. After the publication of my article, on July 30, 2004, Jennifer Barrett-Pellington, 42, wife of The Mothman Prophecies director Mark Pellington, died after a never-identified “brief illness,” in Los Angeles. She was involved in costume design, and received a “thank you” credit on The Mothman Prophecies. On July 16, 2005, Mark Chorvinsky, 51, editor of Strange Magazine of Rockville, Maryland , died after his relatively quiet battle with cancer. Three investigations of Chorvinsky’s overlapped with Mothman mysteries – his interest in the missing Thunderbird photograph, his debunking of the Owlman reports of Tony “Doc” Shiels, and his interviews with people who sighted what Chorvinsky called the “Potomac Mothman.”

Now comes word of the death of this young 42-year-old producer, Lisa McIntosh dying this summer. Our thoughts and sympathy to Barry Conrad, and Ms. McIntosh’s family.

Mothman Prophecies

Richard Gere and Laura Linney appear in a scene from The Mothman Prophecies.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

18 Responses to “Mothman Producer Dies”

  1. RicardoNascimento responds:

    Hey Loren,

    That really is tragic news, my thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Conrad with my condolences for his loss.

    With this curse now, Loren. Do you feel that you may be at risk yourself because of your involvement with your own work investigating the mothman? And, if so, have you considered seeking aid from shaman or someone with experience in cleansing and protection against spirits?

    The mothman seems to be a supernatural entity with “mysterious” powers, I would say it may be wise to speak to a shaman for some advice.

    Of course, you may have already done this, and I may be out of line to suggest it on the forum but I thought I would mention it just the same.

  2. MrInspector responds:

    First off, condolences to the McIntosh and Conrad families and thier friends.

    But I really got to ask Mr. Coleman here, if that growing list of names makes you nervous? I mean, you have covered The Mothman a few times here and in paper. Do you get extra check-ups and the like?

    Do you suppose that’s why these articles get so few comments, relatively speaking?

  3. maceman444 responds:

    I learned about Mothman from this site and have researched it and have read your article that you mention. I have to say I find the story of Mothman and Point Pleasant very interesting and also very frightening, because of what this post and your article is about. All these mysterious deaths that are linked to the stories of Mothman and that cursed (Cornstalker Curse) little town are truly amazing and can’t just be a coincidence. I know one thing I’ll be sure to stay away from Point Pleasant. I have a question Mr. Coleman why is the “Flatwoods Monster” pictured in this post? Also my condolences to Mr. Conrad and Miss McIntosh’s family.

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    I’ll try to answer various questions in this one comment response:

    No, I am not afraid of the Mothman Curse touching me. I have always gone in the direction of mysteries, not away from them. Why would I change my approach now?

    I’m not sure what the basis of the “coincidences” of the deaths are. I started observing them, felt they outnumbered the relative number often associated with the so-called “Poltergeist movie curse” (which only numbers four), and decided someone should document them for Mothman. So I did. I was struck by how many presented themselves, without me having to dig too deeply at all.

    Several, as you can see by looking at the list linked in the posting, are of people related to the Mothman witnesses, researchers, and filmmakers. This seems to be the case, somewhat, for the McIntosh and Pellington deaths.

    Why the Flatwoods Monster image from the 1950s? If you read the news above closely, you will see that Ms. McIntosh was involved with that part of the documentary too. It is a compelling image.

  5. fredfacker responds:

    My first thought is this is probably all just coincidence. However, I’d be interested to see if the population of the Point Pleasant area has displayed higher than normal cancer rates over the last 40 years. There might even be a toxin or virus (as some cancers are caused be viruses) that are localized to historic Mothman sites.

    OR, this was all coincidence, and these illnesses were hereditary and would have happened whether these people had ever investigated the Mothman or not.

    My condolences to the friends and family.

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    Oh yes…

    “Do you suppose that’s why these articles get so few comments, relatively speaking?”

    People are afraid to talk about death. I never have been.

    Globally, I think death can be a good measure of other mysteries and some insights on people’s deaths often have me pondering other avenues of thought.

    Individually, death is a milestone. It serves as a moment to pause and appreciate the life of someone that has had an impact, one way or the other.

    When deaths crosses the path of or collides with cryptozoology, I often want to remember and/or wish to celebrate the person who has influenced the science and passed away. People are too soon forgotten, unless they are a celebrity and I thinking speaking of someone at their death, no matter whom they were, honors them.

    Of course, I also have a special interest in psychology and death, so for me the overlaps here are natural and not unusal ones.

    For others, who more strictly define cryptozoology, they are surprised by my interest in this subject, and may find that I would even talk about this on Cryptomundo troublesome.

    However, I think the tent is better if it is bigger, so as to allow all kinds of ideas inside. The more creative the possibilities, the more possible that some overlooked answers will be revealed.

  7. fredfacker responds:

    I did some quick research and Point Pleasant is definitely not the most toxin-free place to visit. Apparently the West Virginia Ordinance Works facility caused some contamination in Mason County. That was supposedly cleaned up and cleared un 1995, but by being “cleaned up” toxins are only reduced to what are deemed as “safe” levels. The Kanawha River is also polluted and has signs posted warning people not to eat carp, catfish or striped bass, and not to eat more than one meal a month of any other fish caught from the river.

    If someone was already genetically predisposed to cancer, Point Pleasant toxins might certainly set it off. But, it would take some SERIOUS testing to prove any connection.

  8. sschaper responds:

    Or a priest. However, a geiger counter, or test of the water supply might be in order.

  9. RockerEm responds:

    The Mothman Prophecies is my favorite movie of all time. It’s sooo thrilling and so convincing. As a searcher of the other side and strange creatures, I indeed watch this movie at least twice a month. I’m sorry to hear about her death. Truth seekers are always a tragic loss since we need them so much in the kind of world we all live in today.

  10. Rabbit responds:


    There may not be anything to the apparent deaths of so many who have been involved with the Mothman story, but the rabbit has an intuitive feeling that there just might be too.

    Some kinds of entity are incredibly all pervasive and I tend to agree with the earlier posters. You sir would do well to seek out a native Indian shaman and just go through whatever protection or other ceremonies he might advise on. I am sure that you will be in contact with the right people already due to your work with bigfoot. The people who would be most effective would be those who come from as near as possible to the location of the original mothman events.

    “There is FAR more in heaven and earth….” and having myself come into contact with many things which do not fit the usual paradigm I am open to anything which has not been definatively disproven. You should be too. Which means, treat the potential for danger seriously. This is something which appears to be forming a pattern and it is not disproven. Therefore it cannot but be an advantage to protect oneself.

    Now it may even be true as some suggest that this is why people are wary of even commenting on Mothman stories. I for one would be wary oif becoming overly interested in the subject at this point I can tell you.

  11. Observer responds:

    Mr. Coleman, would you not consider yourself to be a researcher of this phenomenon? Or could anyone ‘caught’ discussing this become a victim?

    A report last week listed the cancer rate in WV as being lower than the national average. But I dare say, the rate in our river towns may be higher, although I have not looked at any statistics.

    Someone mentioned water testing… Worth noting, communities on both sides of the Ohio river from Parkersburg to Mason county, WV (Pt. Pleasant) have tested positive for levels of the chemical, C8, a known carciniogen. The source being Washington, WV near Parkersburg. Some residents are advised not to drink the water, and some communities are supplied free bottled water. (C8 turned up in the bottled water as well) Mass blood testing and health monitoring has been undertaken over the past few years. No telling about the toxic stew in Pt. Pleasant, I doubt any C8 test wells were drilled at the TNT site.

    Could Chief Cornstalk have given up ‘his reward’ for the chance to come back and make good on the curse, inadvertantly becoming The Mothman in the process? However, I too see a similarity in the Flatwoods monster and Mothman. And just what about Mr. Derenberger and Indrid Cold?

  12. aaha responds:

    Very, very sad.

  13. kittenz responds:

    Carl Sagan died from multiple myeloma too.
    I’m pretty sure that he never investigated the mothman.

  14. Loren Coleman responds:

    Sadly, after a difficult fight with myelodysplasia, Carl Sagan died of pneumonia at the young age of 62 on December 20, 1996, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.

    His last book published before his death is his personalized skeptical attack against pseudoscience, including swings at the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot. (I am not sure if he discusses Mothman or any Keelian ideas in that book.)

    The name of the book is Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Some have written that this volume is Sagan’s epitaph.

    I make no association between any certain type of death, terminal illness, or disease, and the so-called “Mothman Death Curse.”

  15. kittenz responds:

    Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is a great book, but as an epitaph to Sagan, I prefer Billions and Billions, his final book, which was published posthumously.

    Sagan was a brilliant man. He was careful never to ridicule another’s beliefs, even though he did not share those beliefs. He did say that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. He also advocated not buying any stories about spectacular happenings or creatures unless they could pass scientific scrutiny.

  16. ratz061 responds:

    A sad loss. SHE WILL BE MISSED.

    I have a [?] regarding the bridge that collapsed just before Christmas, and the Moth-man flap. Has the cause of the bridges falure ever been determined? I have never seen any reference to this anywhere. I am certain an investigation was conducted. Was it a structural engineering failure, or what?

  17. MrInspector responds:

    Wikipedia- Silver Bridge
    Gives the offical explanation as, “…due to a small defect, of a single eye-bar in a suspension chain as the cause of the collapse.”

  18. Carl Hendershot responds:

    It is heart breaking. Only learning of this now is a shock. She will be missed and always loved in the hearts and minds of those who she has entertained and befriended.

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