A tall, reptilian monster has been seen dozens of times near the town of Flatwoods, West Virginia, and is one of the more bizarre entities investigated by cryptozoologists and UFOlogists.
Is the Flatwoods Monster an unknown creature, or an extraterrestrial being?
Every year in the town of Flatwoods, Braxton County, in the U.S. state of West Virginia, the town folk celebrate, over the period of a 3-day weekend, the "Green Monster Festival". Live music is played and the local museum conducts trips to a site where in 1952 a number of witnesses made the first recorded modern sighting of what has been called "The Flatwoods Monster". Dozens of sightings of this entity have been made since this original encounter, one being made eerily on the same night by two other eyewitnesses hours later.
The Flatwoods Monster is one of the more bizarre beings that are reported and investigated by both cryptozoologists and ufologists. Descriptions all point to something perhaps extraterrestrial in origin, or something of a hybrid-human nature, a creature (or creatures) that defy rational explanation and are hard to be put down to just mis-identification of something natural, like a local animal.
On September 12th, 1952, a group of young boys were outside playing in a schoolyard on dusk when they witnessed a fireball streaking across the West Virginian sky, which landed on a nearby property. The boys all ran off in different directions, but Fred May and his brother Eddie ran to their home nearby and reported a UFO crash to their mother Kathleen. It is here that the story becomes a bit confusing, as it is said in one account that the family were visited by police and a National Guardsman was to join the Mays in the search, in other accounts a 17 year old cousin was to accompany the family.
Whatever version is true, Kathleen Mays and her two sons, as well as apparently 2-3 other people, travelled by foot to the property to investigate the crash, and it is here that a dog, the pet of the Mays family, ran ahead in the process of climbing a hill and returned, frightened and refusing to tread further.
The group reached the top of the hill, where it is claimed they were met with smoke and a strange smell that made their eyes and noses burn. Seeing a "ball of fire" to their right, they shone a flashlight on it and to the left of the object appeared something monstrous and something so bizarre that even today many question whether the group actually saw what they reported to the world later.
They described to police and investigators a hovering object that soon approached them, metallic and resembling a rocket or tube, and then saw a green reptilian head with dark eyes at the top of it, and it seemed that the creature was actually in the rocket or wearing it, as only its top quarters could be seen. It had two long arms with two fingers on each, with scaly skin and a strange spade shaped hood, like from a deck of cards, was seen behind it.
It emitted a hissing sound and a gas that made many of them, as they fled in panic, vomit. A strange black oily substance was found on their clothes, and many for weeks afterwards found they exhibited the same symptoms of an illness attributed to the toxin the being had emitted, which included irritation of the skin and throat, convulsions and vomiting.
A police search was conducted later that night, and also the next day, where it is said that a similar black oil-like substance was found on trees and on the ground at the site.
Many of the group that encountered the entity are said to have suffered from illnesses all their lives, and it is said that they all were, at some stage, diagnosed with either throat or lung cancer. Kathleen Mays is said to have died of throat cancer, with many believing the encounter to have had a lasting effect on members of the group.
However, this was not to be an isolated incident, as just a few hours later, in the early morning of September 13th, a young couple and their infant child were driving through Braxton County. Their car was travelling along a dirt road near a wooded area when the car suddenly went dead. Inspecting the engine, the man found nothing wrong and then noticed a glowing light off in the woods. He began to walk towards it and started to experience a feeling of low voltage electricity charge through his body.
Overcome by a strange sulphur-like odour, the family then saw a reptilian creature hovering in a strange tube like device approaching them through tall grass. The creature, estimated at 7-9 feet tall, slowly circled the family car, with its terrified passengers inside, and touched the hood of the car with its two fingers, burning through the paint.
In the sixty-one years since this initial encounter dozens of encounters with amazingly similar creatures, and sometimes more than one creature have been seen together. The general description does not change, however in some cases the creature/s are missing the bizarre spade-shaped appendage or covering, with many considering this to maybe be some kind of apparel worn when in stealth or attack mode. Small inconsistencies in description do occur, especially in regards to the description of the creatures eyes and colour.
The local, remote area of wooded forest and steep mountains sit on top of one of the largest deposits of coal and natural gas ,and it is because of this fact that many sceptics view the events of those incidents, as well as many of the recent eyewitness reports, as nothing more than hallucinations being made due to these gases being released through the surface.
There are also many who consider this case,as well as the cases of Mothman and the Kelly-Hopkinsville Goblins, as nothimg more than mass hysteria caused by mis-identification of perhaps an abnormally large specimen/s of bird life, possibly an owl or eagle.
It has to be noted that on the night of September 12th, 1952, a meteor had been seen by many over three states including West Virginia, and three flashing red aircraft beacons could be seen from the location of the sighting.
Many believe this to be a relatively modern phenomenon, however creatures of a similar description have been reported since the 1500's by Native Americans inhabiting the West Virginian area, who told Spanish explorers tales of "flying men" that terrified locals by shooting out electrical charges and were accompanied by balls of light.
Many Ufologists consider The Flatwoods Monster an extra-terrestrial race of beings that have been here for centuries, some cryptozoologists however consider it to be some kind of strange cryptid creature perhaps mis-identified with alien-like abilities.