Strange Encounters

Mystery of the Flatwoods Monster

Flatwoods Monster
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  madmarv00

So this all started on September 12, 1952 in a small town in West Virginia called Flatwoods. Now keep in mind this was a very small town, population of only 300 people!

The Flatwoods Monster Encounter

Three boys from this little quaint town were messing around one day and witnessed something extremely bizarre. They noticed a slow moving, red looking sphere just as it sailed around a nearby hill. It appeared to hover for a bit and then dropped behind another hill that was in view. As they looked closer, they could see a bright glow emanating from behind the small hill almost as if the object had landed. As they approached to investigate the strange phenomena, they were joined by a local woman named Kathleen May, her two young sons, their friend Tommy Hyer and a local 17 year old named Eugene Lemon and his dog. So their party now consisted of 8 folks and a dog. This is a pretty good bunch of witnesses if you ask me.


Of course like dogs will do, it ran ahead to investigate and went out of sight for a minute. Then all the sudden they could hear the dog barking like crazy until it burst out from behind the hill running with it’s tail tucked behind. Then out of no where a awful smelling mist was covering the ground, it was so bad the groups eyes began to water. Lemon and Neil Nunley were they ones in front of the pack so they arrived at the top of the hill first. When they looked down they witnessed something they probably wish they could forget. It was a big ball of fire and was sitting about fifty feet to the right of them. Some of the other observers said this thing was as big as a house!


As they gazed to the left of them, they saw these two small lights. Then Kathleen suggested shining a flashlight on them. So when Lemon did just that, they couldn’t believe what the light had shown them. There stood a hideous looking monster that had a head shaped like an Ace of Spades. At least this is how some of the witnesses described it to look. It appeared to have some sort of a hood and inside it was nothing but blackness. All except for the two bright gleaming lights protruding from what appeared to be eyes. But what was so strange, is that none of them could really make out any arms or legs.


As they continued to gaze in amazement, the creature began to move toward them in a gliding motion, almost as if it were floating. As it came closer into view, they could see this thing was about six feet tall. Just as it was about to reach the search party it turned on a dime and started heading toward that huge ball of fire down the hill. Supposedly all this happened in just a matter of seconds, but seemed like forever to the group.


The Flatwoods Monster Interview

Of course it didn’t take long before the Braxton Democrat newspaper caught wind of the incident and wanted to interview the group. A. Lee Stewart Jr. was the one doing the interview and according to him, most of the witnesses were barely able to speak at all. Some of them were actually seeking first aid and it was quite apparent that something had frightened them terribly.


It wasn’t long before Stewart was able to talk Lemon into taking him back to the scene where all this had happened. Once they arrived, instantly Stewart noticed a foul smelling odor that was coming from the grass. The smell was very irritating to his nose and eyes. The next morning Stewart returned by himself to the scene where he discovered what he believed to be skid marks going down the hill and they stopped at an area that had the grass flattened similar to that of a crop circle.


Other Sightings in the Flatwoods Area

Quickly the press gave this incident a nickname, they called it the “Flatwoods Monster” and this was not a secluded incident at all. There were actually several other sightings of flying objects in the area. A man by the name of Bailey Frame of nearby Birch River described a bright orange ball that was circling over the area that the monster had been reported. Apparently the object was in the area for about fifteen minutes until it shot toward the Sutton airport where the sightings continued.


About a week prior to the Flatwoods incident, a Weston woman and her mother said they witnessed a similar creature while on their way to church. What’s compelling is that they also reported a foul smelling odor at the time. This sighting had such an impact on the younger woman that she had to be hospitalized. It’s not certain if this account is fact and it never made the papers. It was actually uncovered by two investigators that were associated with the Los Angeles based Civilian Saucer Investigation. Now this sounds serious to me if these guys were involved. But of course the only natural thing to follow would be a cover-up story!


A few years later in the 1960s there was another interview with a couple that had witnessed a similar event supposedly the night after that original encounter in Flatwoods. They described it as a 10 foot high creature emitting a sulfur like odor. They said it approached their mysteriously stalled car just before it returned to the woods, the same place it came from. They also reported that just a few minutes after the creature approached, there was a large glowing sphere that shot up into the sky from behind the tree line.


The Conclusion

Of course the skeptics have to get their say in all this. Many of them believe that May and the group had encountered a meteor and an owl. Awww, now come on, really? This may of also been an encounter with ball lightning or some other natural phenomena. According to the non-believers, the groups hysteria is what caused them to see anything other than that. Even though the group was interviewed separately and all had a consistent story, the skeptics will not change their views.


In the early 1990s, Kathleen May was once again interviewed and spoke of two men that had approached her after the incident. She said they were posing as journalists, then they acknowledged they were government investigators. Could these be what some call The Men in Black? It is well known that the U.S. Air Force had dispatched two plain clothes investigators to the Flatwoods scene. Of course they concluded the same, that imagination fueled by fear is what concocted the whole thing.

So what do you think about all this? Was what happened in Flatwoods WV all a hoax? Was it nothing more than 8 people imagining the same thing at the same time? Or could this of been a UFO encounter from another world….we may never know. But one thing is for sure, someone is not telling the whole story.

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5 thoughts on “Mystery of the Flatwoods Monster
  1. well strange things happen but this sounds real strange. u sure they were not on drugs?

    1. Well I’m not certain of their habits, but I’m sure that was definitely considered a possibility when the story came out.

  2. this is the first I’ve heard of this one but I’m going to look into it a lot more.

    1. Yes Robert it’s not a very well known story, but it was taken quite seriously during it’s time. There was quite a big controversy over whether or not this was a real encounter or if it was just mass anxiety or a hoax.

      But I think there was little doubt that the group at least believed in their minds they had seen something very frightening. I guess we will never know for sure, but an interesting story none the less.

      thanks for commenting and if you find any more interesting information on the subject, feel free to update us in the comments.

  3. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

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