Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Flatwoods Monster

In September of 1952 an unusual object came to rest on a hill in West Virginia. The events of that night have come to be known as the Braxton County Monster and the Phantom of Flatwoods, or the Flatwoods Monster. The monster was described as being a large pulsating red ball of light that hovered above or rested upon the ground. Some believe that it may have been a powered craft that was piloted by the second entity, that was at least 10 feet tall and that it had a red face which appeared to glow from within, and a green body.
Witnesses described the creature's head as having bulging, non-human eyes and as either being shaped like a heart/an Ace of Spades, or as having a large heart/Ace of Spades shaped Cowling behind it. The creature's body was described as being man-shaped and clad in a dark pleated skirt; later described as being green. Some accounts record that the creature had no visible arms, while others describe it as having short stubby arms; ending in long claw-like fingers, which protruded from the front of its body.
Whatever it was it scared the dickens out of the witnesses and made them sick.

Here is an account of the event:
At 7:15 pm, on the night of September 12, 1952 two brothers, Edward and Fred May, and their friend Tommy Hyer (ages 13, 12, and 10) witnessed a bright object cross the sky. The object appeared to come to rest on land belonging to local farmer G. Bailey Fisher.

Upon witnessing the object, the boys went to the home of the May brothers' mother, Kathleen May, where they reported seeing a UFO crash land in the hills. From there, Mrs. May accompanied by the three boys, local children Neil Nunley and Ronnie Shaver, and 17 year old West Virginia National Guardsman Eugene 'Gene' Lemon, traveled to the Fisher farm in an effort to locate whatever it was that the boys had seen.

After traveling about ¼ of a mile the group reached the top of a hill, where they reportedly saw a large pulsating "ball of fire" about 50 feet to their right. They also detected a pungent mist that made their eyes and nose burn. Lemon then noticed two small lights over to the left of the object; underneath a nearby oak tree, and directed his flashlight towards them, revealing the creature, which is reported to have emitted a shrill hissing noise and to have begun to glide towards them before changing direction and heading off towards the red light. At this point the group fled.

Upon returning home Mrs. May contacted local Sheriff Robert Carr, and Mr. A. Lee Stewert; co-owner of the Braxton Democrat, a local newspaper. Stewert conducted a number of interviews and returned to the site with Lemon later that night where he reported that "there was a sickening, burnt, metallic odor still prevailing". Sheriff Carr and his deputy Burnell Long searched the area separately, but reported finding no trace of the encounter.

Early the next morning; on Saturday September 13, Mr. A Lee Stewart visited the site of the encounter for a second time and discovered two elongated tracks in the mud, as well as traces of a thick black liquid. He immediately reported them as being possible signs of a saucer landing based on the premise that the area had not been subjected to vehicle traffic for at least a year. It would later be revealed that the tracks most likely belonged to a 1942 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by local Max Lockard; who had gone to the site to look for the creature some hours prior to Stewert's discovery.

After the event, Mr. William and Donna Smith; investigators associated with Civilian Saucer Investigation, LA, obtained a number of accounts from witnesses who claimed to have experienced a similar or related phenomena. These accounts included the story of a mother and her 21 year-old-daughter, who claimed to have encountered a creature with the same appearance and odor a week prior to the September 12 incident; the encounter reportedly affected the daughter so badly that she was confined to Clarksburg Hospital for three weeks. A statement from the mother of Eugene Lemon, in which she said that, at the approximate time of the crash, her house had been violently shaken and her radio had cut out for 45 minutes, and a report from the director of the local Board of Education in which he claimed to have seen a flying saucer taking off at 6:30 on the morning of September 13 (the morning after the creature was sighted).

After encountering the creature, several members of the September 12 group reported being overcome with similar symptoms which persisted for some time, which they attributed to having been exposed to the mist emitted by the creature. The symptoms included irritation of the nose and swelling of the throat. Lemon was reportedly the worst affected. He suffered from vomiting and convulsions throughout the night, and had difficulties with his throat for several weeks afterwards.

A doctor who treated several of the witnesses is reported to have described their symptoms as being similar to victims of mustard gas, though such symptoms are also commonly found in sufferers of hysteria, which can be brought on by exposure to a traumatic or shocking event. (Wiki)

The town of Flatwoods holds an annual one day Monster Day Festival that takes place in the Flatwoods Outlet parking lot. A Braxton County Monster Museum is operated near the town of Flatwoods, and local gas stations sell Monster-related artifacts.

The following is a video of Stanton Friedman (ufologist) who visited the Flatwoods area, Here is his impression of the event...

The Flatwood Monster, like all monsters has it's place in cryptozoology and ufology. What happened on that hill is anyones guess, but to date no one has been able to completely refute the described events.
Comments welcome.

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