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UFO Case Report:

The Flatwoods Monster

Date: September 12, 1952
Location: Flatwoods, West Virginia, United States

Just before dark on September 12, 1952, at Flatwoods, WV, some young school boys saw a fiery UFO streak across the sky and apparently land on a nearby hilltop. Rushing to the site, and gathering a few others along the way, they saw a pulsating red light, encountered a nauseating mist, and turned a flashlight on a pair of shining eyes, revealing a huge creature. As it hissed and glided at them, the group panicked and fled. The next day investigators discovered skid marks and an oil-like substance that presumably came from the UFO.

Kathleen May, one of the key witnesses, holding the drawing made by an artist for "We the People" TV show, aired on September 19, 1952.

On the left, four of the Flatwoods boys who witnessed the 'monster.' Left to right: Tommy Hyer, Freddie May, Edison May (front), and Neil Nunley (rear). Eleven-year-old Freddie May drew a picture (right) of the Flatwoods Monster shortly after the incident.

This depiction (shown here as a composite with background terrain) of the Flatwoods Monster was drawn by a New York TV show staff artist and broadcast on national television during Mrs. Kathleen May's live appearance on "We The People" on September 19, 1952.

Classification & Features

Type of Case/Report: MajorCase
Hynek Classification: CE3
# of Witnesses: Multiple
Special Features/Characteristics: Humanoid/Occupant, Children, Animal Reaction, Physical Trace, Landing, Group Sighting, Witness Photo

More Articles on this Case

Flatwoods Monster Website

Frank Feschino, Jr

Website of investigator Frank Feschino. While Feschino researched The Braxton County Monster, he uncovered information no one could have imagined. He traveled all over the country, interviewing witnesses and poring over countless government documents, books and old newspaper articles. Includes many photographs, artwork, and information about Feschino's book.

Flatwoods Monster: Eye Witnesses

Flatwoods Monster Website, Frank Feschino

Photographs and information about the witnesses of the Flatwoods Monster event.

Flatwoods Monster: Newspaper Clippings

Frank Feschino, Flatwoods Monster website

Original newspaper clippings about the Flatwoods Monster event.

The Flatwoods Monster

Frank Edwards, from "Stranger Than Science" (1959)

Those who saw the thing were terrified. Those who investigated were convinced that it had been there. But what it was and where it came from constitute the mystery of the Flatwoods monster. R

Print / Other References

Frank C. Feschino, Jr. "The Braxton County Monster: The Cover-Up of the Flatwoods Monster Revealed". Quarrier Press, 2004.

Full Report / Article

Source: Subversive Element
[go to original source]

On September 12, 1952, a small group of boys spotted a pulsating, reddish sphere float around a hill, hover briefly and then drop behind the crest of another in the small town of Flatwoods, West Virginia (population 300). From the far side of the hill a bright glow shone, as if from a landed object. On their way to see what had landed the boys were joined by others that had witnessed the flying spectacle, including beautician Kathleen May, her two sons and their friend Tommy Hyer, seventeen-year-old Eugeen Lemon and his dog. The dog ran ahead of the group and was briefly out of sight as it ran around the hill. Suddenly it was heard barking furiously and then came running back, fleeing with its tail between its legs, apparently in fear. A foul smelling mist covered the ground making the searchers eyes water. The two leading the group, Lemon and Neil Nunley, got to the top of the hill first and observed a "big ball of fire" fifty feet to their right. Others in the group said it was the size of a house.

To the groups left, on the hilltop just under the branches of a large oak tree, were two small, blue lights. At Mrs. May's suggestion, Lemon pointed his flashlight in their direction. To everybody's horror, the flashlight highlighted a grotesque looking creature with a head shaped like the "ace of spades," as several of the witnesses independently described it. Inside the head was a circular "window," dark except for the two lights from which pale blue beams extended straight ahead. In their quick observation of the being, they could see nothing that resembled arms or legs. The creature, which seemed to be over six feet tall, moved towards the witnesses. It seemed to be gliding rather than walking. Seconds later, it changed direction and began heading for the glowing sphere from which it apparently had come from.

All of this took place in the matter of a few moments, during which time Lemon fainted. The others dragged him with them as they ran from the scene. When interviewed about a half an hour later, by A. Lee Stewart Jr., a reporter for the Braxton Democrat, the witnesses were barely able to speak. Some sought first aid. Stewart felt that there was no question that they had seen something that had badly frightened them.Soon afterwards, after Lemon had recovered, Stewart and Lemon went to the spot where they had seen the creature and the strange craft. Stewart also noted that there was an acrid odor in the air that irritated his nose and throat. He returned alone to the site first thing the next morning. He found "skid marks" going down the hill towards a large area of recently matted grass, which seemed to indicated that a large object had rested there.

The encounter, which the newspapers quickly dubbed "The Flatwoods Monster" sighting. It took place during a flurry of sightings of unusual flying objects in the region. Bailey Frame, a resident of nearby Birch River, reported seeing a bright orange ball circling over the area where the monster was spotted. It was visible for around fifteen minutes before veering off towards the airport at Sutton, where the object was also reported. According to an account, one week before the Flatwoods event, a Weston woman and her mother encountered the same or similar creature. The younger woman was so frightened that she needed hospitilization after the event. Both also reported the noxious odor.

Years later, writer John Keel interviewed a couple who claimed that on the evening following the original sighting, and ten to fifteen miles to the southwest of it, they encountered a ten foot tall creature emitting a foul odor. It approached their stalled car then returned to the woods. Moments later, a luminous, pulsating sphere arose from the trees and ascended into the sky.

Many skeptics have claimed that what May and her companions had seen a meteor and an owl, and had mistaken these for the strange things that they reported. Nonetheless, when interviewed shortly after the incident, the witnesses told a story that investigators found strikingly consistent. When interviewed in the early part of the 1990's, Kathleen May Horner recalled that two men, first identifying themselves as reporters, then acknowledging they were employees of the government, interviewed her. This is not hard to believe; it is a fact that the U.S. Air Force dispatched two plainclothes investigators to the scene. Like the skeptics, they laid the incident down to hysteria inflamed by an owl and a meteor.

Case ID: 535 edit: 535

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