On September 12, 1952 in Flatwoods of Braxton County West Virginia, two boys spotted something that would change the lives of several people in the small community, and would leave a lasting impression on the paranormal community for years afterward. It’s a classic paranormal tale the likes of which is the very stuff science fiction is made of, but the story itself is riddled with controversy and strange synchronous events that are generally overlooked when the story is told.
For those who are unfamiliar with the story, we’ll start as with any good exploration into the paranormal with the story itself. It all began when three boys, Edward and Fred May along with their friend Tommy Hyer spotted a fireball streak across the sky and set down somewhere near or on G. Bailey Fisher’s farm.
As they ran inside to tell their mother (Kathleen May) they speculated that it must have been an unidentified flying object, and together with three other boys, including Gene Lemon of the National Guard they went out to the sight of the mysterious object crash. When they arrived at the sight Lemon’s dog caught wind of something and sprinted ahead.
When they reached the top of the hill they shone their flashlights came first upon the dog running back to them with its tail dragging between its legs, then they saw a creature fifteen feet tall towering above them hovering several feet off the ground. It had a red face and a spade-shaped collar behind its head. Its eyes glowed with a mysterious red energy. It suddenly made a sound that could have been interpreted as a screech and approached them, hovering quickly toward them. The entire assembled group ran to safety, but were effected by a mysterious illness that may have been related to the pungent smell that caused their eyes and noses to burn at the time. Lemon was the worst effected, having trouble even weeks after the incident was over.
Later, as the incident was investigated it was classified a close encounter of the third kind and included other reports of witnesses who saw a massive craft possibly the size of a house, and could have easily accommodated the creature on its mysterious journey. But what was the Flatwoods monster? It certainly doesn’t seem to fit into the same paradigm of the short three foot tall Grey aliens that abduct humans and seem to have an interest in human genetics. This creature instead seemed to want merely to intimidate the locals of the planet and get them to leave it alone, or perhaps to get them out of harms way of the toxic substance leaking from its wrecked vehicle.
As with most cases of the time, the creature quickly departed out of sight before any authorities could be summoned to the scene. It appears almost as though a quantum force of the universe interferes before cases such as this can be confirmed, though the initial encounters seem quite prolific. But what could it have been? And more importantly what could have made it disappear so suddenly and thoroughly?