Celebrating History: The Flatwoods Monster Incident

The Story of the Flatwoods Monster

The Sighting

The Flatwood Monster actually has a couple names. He also goes by the Braxton County Monster or the Phantom of Flatwoods. Whatever you call him, it is a very intriguing story.

Braxton Monster Drawing By Tim Bertelink – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48996223

So the story goes… back on Sept. 12, in 1952 at about 7:15 pm, a couple of brothers and a friend, 13 year old Edward and 12 year old Fred May, and their 10 year old friend Tommy Hyer, were outside playing when they saw a bright object fly through the the sky and land on the property of farmer G. Bailey Fisher.

The boys ran home to tell the brother’s mom what they had seen. The brothers the mom, a couple of friends and a dog all went together up the hill to see what it was that landed there. A 17-year-old Gene Lemon, who was also a National Guard, led the way with his flashlight.

When they got to the top of the hill they shined their flashlight into the trees and saw what they described as a “spade shaped” head, with glowing greenish orange eyes staring back at them. They said it was about 10 feet tall and had a pleaded skirt like body. One of the witnesses said the creature had claw like hands. They said the face was red and the body was bright green and the skirt was looked metallic. They reported a pungent odor and said they all felt nauseous after seeing it. It glided at them, and out of fear Gene dropped the flashlight and they all ran back home. For the next couple hours they all threw up and a couple of them fainted.

Reporting the Flatwood Monster Sighting

Newspaper clipping of the Flatwood Monster Sighting https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56450134

They reported this incident to the State Police who brushed it off as hysteria. A. Lee Stewart, co-publisher of the Braxton County Democrat, returned to the sight within an hour with the National Guard, Lemon, to investigate further. The bad odor was still present and they reported “heat waves” in the air. There was also “skid marks” on the ground and a gooey substance left there. There were also broken and singed branches on the trees in the area.

This story made local news and soon the National news picked up this story. The small town of Braxton, with less then 300 residents was soon one of the top news story across the nation.

Flatwood Monster Makes the Town Famous

Welcome Sign at Flatwoods, West Virginia

Even though the Flatwood Monster has not been seen again since that fateful night on September 12th, in 1952, the monster and his legend lives on. There is now a museum dedicated to the monster named, The Flatwood Monster Museum. Local shops sell Braxton Monster memorabilia. A restaurant sells the Braxton Monster Burger, which is a double cheeseburger. The town even welcomes you in with a “Welcome to Flatwoods / Home of the Green Monster” sign on the route leading into the town. And best of all, is the chairs made in the shape of the Braxton Monster that you can sit in and take pictures.

There is also a documentary you can watch, although when I just tried it said it was unavailable for now. It is called, The Flatwood Monster, A Legacy of Fear.

Other companies have profited off the Flatwood Monster too. There are many video games with the Flatwood Monster in it, such as The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Space Harrier II, Amagon, Strikers 1945, Fallout 76 and as an Easter egg in Everybody’s Golf 4. Not to mention the History Channel’s series. Project Blue Book’s second episode is entitled “The Flatwoods Monster“, and is based on the Flatwoods sighting.

The Cover-Up

So of course with every sighting of something unexplained comes the “cover-up” of the story.

With the Flatwood Monster story, the Airforce decided after their investigation that all of the people who reported seeing this creature, were actually just looking at an owl perched in a tree that must of flown towards them. the body shape must of just been foliage that made the creature look like it was 10 feet tall when it was probably just an owl perched on a branch. We haven’t found an explanation yet for the stinky smell, the skid marks left behind or the goo.

The light in the sky they reported seeing earlier was likely a meteor as one was reported to have been witnessed across three states, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

What Do You Think?

So tell us what you think. Here are some questions to ponder.

  • Do you think that an actual monster, alien or some other type of creature was seen by the group?
  • Do you think that it was a meteor that was seen streaking across three state’s skies, or was it a UFO?
  • Do you think that an owl perched in a tree can be mistaken for a ten foot creature gliding towards you with glowing eyes?
  • What was the goo left behind next to the unexplained skid marks?
  • Can high anxiety cause your mind to make things worse/bigger then what they actually are? And would it cause all witnesses to see the same thing?
  • Is it wrong for a town to profit off an experience like this or is it good for them for boosting their economy and having some fun from a scary incident?

What became of the Witnesses

Since researching this story, I wondered what might of happened to all the witnesses. From what I have found, the May brothers gave over 1,000 interviews to different reporters before calling it quits. Who could blame them? It would be exhausting to tell the same story over and over, especially when they know they are being doubted by many. Having such a traumatic experience then not only being questioned about it, but being doubted would be take it’s toll on anyone. I’d love to talk to them about this, as a believer, but understand just wanting to put it all behind you. In the trailer to their documentary, The Flatwood Monster, A Legacy of Fear. one of the brother said, he wish it had never happened. It must of taken it’s toll. We wish all involved well.

Sources for Article: Wiki, History

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