In West Virginia folklore, the Flatwoods Monster, also known as the Braxton County Monster or the Phantom of Flatwoods, is an entity reported to have been sighted in the town of Flatwoods in Braxton County, West Virginia, United States, on September 12, 1952. Stories of the creature are an example of a purported close encounter of the third kind.
Sub grouping: unidentified extraterrestrial
Braxton County Monster
Phantom of Flatwoods
Country: United States
Region: Flatwoods, West Virginia
Location of Flatwoods, West Virginia
Various descriptions of the entity exist. Most describe it as being at least 7 feet (2.1 m) tall, with a black body and a dark, glowing face. Witnesses described the creature’s head as elongated, shaped like a sideways diamond, and as having non-human eyes; a large, circular cowling appeared behind the head. The creature’s body was described as “inhumanly-shaped” and clad in a dark, pleated skirt-like exoskeleton, later described as a shadow.
Some accounts record that the creature appeared to have “no visible arms” due to its incredible speed, while others reported long, stringy arms, protruding from the front of its body, with long, claw-like fingers.The creature is referred to as the “Lizard Monster” on the March 10, 2010, episode of MonsterQuest. Some witnesses reported seeing a large, pulsating red ball of light that hovered above or rested on the ground. Ufologists believe that it may have been a powered craft that the entity had piloted.
A newspaper clipping of the story of the Flatwoods Monster
At 7:15 p.m. on September 12, 1952, two brothers, Edward and Fred May, and their friend Tommy Hyer (ages 13, 12, and 10 respectively) witnessed a bright object cross the sky, coming to rest on land belonging to local farmer G. Bailey Fisher. Upon witnessing the object, the boys went to the home of the May brothers’ mother, Kathleen May, where they told the story of having seen a UFO crash land in the hills. From there, Mrs. May, accompanied by the three boys, local children Neil Nunley and Ronnie Shaver , and 17-year-old West Virginia National Guardsman Eugene Lemon, traveled to the Fisher farm in an effort to locate whatever it was that the boys had seen.
Lemon’s dog ran ahead out of sight and suddenly began barking, and moments later ran back to the group with its tail between its legs. After traveling about 0.25 miles (402 m) the group reached the top of a hill, where they reportedly saw a large pulsating “ball of fire” about 50 feet (15 m) to their right. They also detected a pungent mist that made their eyes and noses burn. Lemon then noticed two small lights over to the left of the object, underneath a nearby oaktree and directed his flashlight towards them, revealing the creature, which May reported as bounding towards them. Other sources[which?]describe it as emitting a shrill hissing noise before gliding towards them, changing direction and then heading off towards the red light. At this point the group fled in panic.
Upon returning home, Mrs. May contacted local Sheriff Robert Carr and Mr. A. Lee Stewert, co-owner of the Braxton Democrat, a local newspaper. Stewert conducted a number of interviews and returned to the site with Lemon later that night, where he reported that “there was a sickening, burnt, metallic odor still prevailing”. Sheriff Carr and his deputy Burnell Long searched the area separately, but reported finding no trace of the encounter other than the smell. Early the next morning, Stewert visited the site of the encounter for a second time and discovered two elongated tracks in the mud, as well as traces of a thick black liquid. He immediately reported them as being possible signs of a saucerlanding, based on the premise that the area had not been subjected to vehicle traffic for at least a year. It was later revealed that the tracks were likely to have been those of a 1942 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by local Max Lockard, who had gone to the site to look for the creature some hours prior to Stewert’s discovery.
After the event, Mr. William and Donna Smith, investigators associated with Civilian Saucer Investigation, LA, obtained a number of accounts from witnesses who claimed to have experienced a similar or related phenomena. These accounts included the story of a mother and her 21-year-old-daughter, who claimed to have encountered a creature with the same appearance and odor a week prior to the September 12 incident. The encounter reportedly affected the daughter so badly that she was confined to Clarksburg Hospital for three weeks. They also gathered a statement from the mother of Eugene Lemon, in which she said that, at the approximate time of the crash, her house had been violently shaken and her radio had cut out for 45 minutes, and a report from the director of the local Board of Education in which he claimed to have seen a flying saucer taking off at 6:30 a.m. on September 13 (the morning after the creature was sighted).
After encountering the creature, several members of the September 12 group reported suffering from similar symptoms, which persisted for some time and which they attributed to having been exposed to the mist emitted by the creature. The symptoms included irritation of the nose and swelling of the throat. Lemon suffered from vomiting and convulsions throughout the night, and had difficulties with his throat for several weeks afterward. A doctor who treated several of the witnesses is reported to have described their symptoms as being similar to victims of mustard gas, though such symptoms are also commonly found in sufferers of hysteria, which can be brought on by exposure to a traumatic or shocking event.
After examining the case 48 years after the event, Joe Nickell of the paranormal investigation group Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), then known as CSICOP, concluded in 2000 that the bright light in the sky reported by the witnesses on September 12 was most likely a meteor, that the pulsating red light was likely an aircraft navigation/hazard beacon, and that the creature described by witnesses closely resembled an owl. Nickell claimed that the latter two of which were distorted by the heightened state of anxiety felt by the witnesses after having observed the former. Nickell’s conclusions are shared by a number of other investigators, including those of the Air Force. Skeptics have also proposed misidentified owl sightings as explanations for the Mothman and the Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter .
The night of the September 12 sighting, a meteor had been observed across three states—Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia—and had been mistakenly reported as a flaming aircraft crashing into the side of a hill at Elk River, approximately 11 miles (18 km) southwest of the location of the Flatwoods sighting. Three flashing red aircraft beacons were also visible from the area of the sightings, possibly accounting for the pulsating red light seen by the witnesses and for the red tint on the face of the creature.
A barn owl, seen with “claw-like hands” and a face shaped “like the Ace of Spades”
Nickell concluded that the shape, movement, and sounds reported by witnesses were also consistent with the silhouette, flight pattern, and call of a startled barn owl perched on a tree limb, leading researchers to conclude that foliage beneath the owl may have created the illusion of the lower portions of the creature (described as being a pleated green skirt). Researchers also concluded that the witnesses’ inability to agree on whether the creature had arms, combined with Kathleen May’s report of it having “small, claw-like hands” which “extended in front of it”, also matched the description of a barn owl with its talons gripping a tree branch.
Alternative explanations included those put forward by the local media: that the September 12 group had witnessed the impact of a meteor which resulted in a man-shaped cloud of vapor, and those of Kathleen May and her sons (recorded some time after the incident); that they had seen some kind of covert government aircraft.
References in popular culture
Flatwoods held an annual festival to celebrate the “Green Monster”. The three-day festival included a weekend of live music, the Green Monster museum and trips to the site of the original sighting. The last year the festival took place was in 2006.
The final boss at the end of the videogame Amagon
A creature resembling the description of the Flatwoods monster appears as the final boss of the 1988 NES videogame Amagon and as the stage 02 boss of the videogame Space Harrier II. Other videogame aliens with a similar appearance are “Gimme” in the Wii U game The Wonderful 101, the aliens referred to as “Them” in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, the Space World boss in Tumblepop, the Hayokonton in Wild Arms, enemies in the Las Vegas level of Ninja Baseball Batman. The player is capable of conjuring a version of the monster in the Scribblenauts game series.
The Flatwoods Monster appears in the “Mystery” apartment look in Tomodachi Life. The monster is shown in chapter 218 of the anime Shinryaku! Ika Musume, where one character uses its picture to scare another.
The Flatwoods Monster is the subject of Argyle Goolsby and the Roving Midnight’s song “The Being”.
The monster inspired the Braxton County CVB to create a series of oversized chairs in the likeness of the monster placed in Braxton County. The Braxton County Monster Chair project started in 2014.
Ulaz settled back in his chair, projected screen in front of him as he took notes. On the other side of a glass wall, the Champion ducked and rolled, avoiding the striking tendrils of a Drivnui beast.
Two movements out, and the Champion was recovering quickly. His fever had broken, and exercise such as this was returning him to his previous strength and reaction times. He was learning to adjust for the weight of his prosthetic, though his balance was still affected at times.
He had not yet discovered it’s additional abilities.
Another strike, and this time it impacted. But the Champion was ready, gripping the long, skinny limb and using it as a lead to pull the beast closer. It slapped at him with one of its other four tendrils, but the Champion took the blow with a grunt and kept going until he could strike the beast’s vulnerable head.
After several hits, the Drivnui finally gave a whimpering cry and went limp. Probably not dead, not yet, but soon. Haggar had plans to use it for one of her quintessence experiments.
Ulaz was simply glad he had nothing to do with that. Useful as the information could be, he had no desire to watch Haggar’s more creative tortures. This one was bad enough.
Slowly, the Champion stood, rolling his shoulders. Ulaz was just noting ‘still showing decreased strength and agility’ when he suddenly turned, eyes snapping onto the glass.
He seemed to be looking right at Ulaz. Impossible. The wall was pure black to his eyesight. Ulaz had made sure of that.
Even so, he stalked over to the glass and put his hand on it. Ulaz paused, finger on the button that would call the guards. But he was…
Mother of All, Ulaz was curious about this alien.
The Champion continued to stare, as if he could see right into Ulaz. Through him, into the heart of him, in a way the Druids had never managed. To know the core of him.
Then he drew back and smacked his hand on the glass. For the first time, it hummed, mechanics glowing and coming to life. The Champion barely seemed to notice, just drawing back and striking again.
This time, cracks formed.
Ulaz looked into the Champion’s eyes, and he saw rage, fury, frustration.
He also saw indignation, mourning, pain.
For the first time, Ulaz looked at the Champion and saw Shiro.
It didn’t stop him from calling the guards. But Ulaz sat in his quarters after, staring at the drive he would send through Thance to the Blade of Marmora, and for the first time considered a question that he knew the answer to.
For those who enjoyed “Map of the World,”… A small continuation.
“What did you do?”
And Mummy Holmes narrows her eyes at her youngest, who is sitting in his chair projecting an air of innocent bafflement that she doesn’t buy for a minute.
While he may be a talented actor- like his brother- he has never been able to fool her, and she intends to keep it that way.
Besides, the only reason a man asks for access to a valuable family heirloom- particularly one which dates back to the period of the Tudors, and which nobody, theoretically speaking, actually knows the Holmes family own- is if he’s done something to his other half.
Something relationship destroying.
Something even sweet Molly Hooper would get annoyed about-
In short, the sort of something which Alexandra has no doubt her son is capable of, given that he takes after her.
On my previous fanfiction, there has been a sudden occurrence of 56 notes… WHERE DID YOU PEOPLE SUDDENLY APPEAR FROM?! I mean, I’m fine with it bUT HOLY CRAP
Flug was used to being alone in his lab, he had everything to work for in that lab, his life, his food, his sleep, his emotions, his friends. He enjoyed being in the lab late at night to catch some glimpses of the stars through his curtain covered windows, drawing them back and tying them to one another to see more clearly.
To take breaks and take little naps, he’d watch them twinkle through the windows despite being late already on a project. It was fairly calming to him, kept him from going fully crazy and insane like the demon he sold his life to.
Sometimes, the big blue bear, 5.0.5., would crowd around him and curl up beside him, allowing himself to be used as an arm rest or pillow. The two were like servants to Black Hat, proving Demencia to just be annoying and useless in Black Hat’s eyes.
But in his lab, Demencia turned out to be big help sometimes. If Flug had gotten seriously injured from his work habits and projects, she’d help him fix the wounds without the alarm from Black Hat.
She’d also keep him company whenever he was close to falling asleep, her annoying words usually keeping him awake to work longer on the project. Or when he fell asleep by the window, drowsily watching the stars, she’d wake him up by shouting that Black Hat would be angry if he didn’t get to work soon.
But he had bad memories in the lab too, memories like terrible wet dreams of his boss that he never would mention to A N Y B O D Y.
He’s been beaten to a pulp in that lab before for being a whole hour late for an auction with the project. He had been harassed by Demencia for his crush on their boss so many times. Including the tiem where she spoke out loud enough for the boss to hear, “I CAN’T BELIEVE THERE’S SOMEONE ELSE WHO LIKES HIM!”
It was enough for Flug to shove her away and put duct tape on her mouth and strap her to his recent project; an electric chair. Then, Black Hat applauded him for the effort, but now, Black Hat ignored it and carried out whatever he was doing previously.
It was as though Black Hat was tiring of constantly seeing Dr. Flug’s masked face. It even saddened Flug enough to consider digging through his memories for his old happiness in high school like his boss had instructed him NOT to do.
And after remembering certain happy memories, having a girlfriend in sophomore from earning medals by being a straight A student all of his education life in science and attending, maybe winning science fairs. All those happy memories made him weep at night, when he stared at those stars.
He missed those days, the days of accomplishing so much in such little time. He wasn’t sure which era of his life he liked more though, both were actually similar.
From the bullies in highschool who wanted his homework for science to a demon bully wanting his science projects to sell for self-worth. From the girls who annoyed him with their teasing to Demencia, his own creation who tortured him endlessly about every move he made and every word he said.
He couldn’t decide. He never would be able to actually. Both eras of his life were full of expression, fear, joy, happiness, accomplishments, and exhilarating events. All of it was around his favorite subject too;science.
1 ¼" x 3’ oak dowel (oak is a hard wood and considered safer than poplar for supporting weight. Also, I had mine cut to 3’)
3/8" x 16’ braided polypropylene (get this by the foot)
2 yards of plain canvas
80mm stainless steel spring snap link (holds up to 220 lbs)
3/16" stainless steel quick link (holds up to 660 lbs)
black fabric paint (my acrylic paint is fabric friendly)
drill and 3/8" drill bit
iron and ironing board
Step One: Fold your two yards of canvas in half and lay flat with the fold on the left as shown. Measure in about 7" from the top right edge and mark. I cut mine about 12" in, and it was a bit too much, so I’m suggesting 7". Using a yard stick or ruler, draw a line from that top mark to the bottom right corner, and cut through both pieces. Open your canvas.
Step Two: Fold your top edge down ½" and iron flat. Then fold it in again ½" and iron flat. Pin and stitch the bottom of the fold as shown above. Repeat with the long bottom edge.
Step Three: Flip your canvas 90 degrees to the left so that the longest edge is on the right. You’re going to create pockets for the rope to slide through on each side. Fold each corner in about 1 ½" and iron flat. Then fold the unhemmed top edge in ½" and iron flat.
Step Four: Fold again 1 ½" and iron flat.
Step Five: Stitch two lines along the bottom folded edge as shown. Reinforce your beginning and ending with back stitches. Repeat with other side.
Step Six: Make a mark 2" and 4" in from both ends of your dowel, and drill through. Sand your rough edges and stain if you’d like. I chose to leave mine natural.
Step Seven: Place your canvas on a large sheet of cardboard, and paint your design on one side. Let it dry, and then paint a design on the other side (optional). If you’re using printed fabric, be sure it’s upholstery weight or outdoor fabric to ensure its strength.
Step Eight: Tie a knot at one end of your 16’ rope so that there is about 3" of a tail. Melt the end so it won’t fray. Thread it down through the outer hole of your oak dowel and up from the widest corner of one side of your canvas seat to the narrow corner of the top. Then tie a knot about 3’ from your first knot, and thread it up into the oak dowel. Continue to thread it down into the hole 4" from the other edge, and measure 3’ from the loose end, and tie a loose knot. Thread it down through the other canvas pocket and back up through the last hole before tying a knot with a 3" tail. If your two sides aren’t even, adjust your knots before pulling them tight.
Step Nine: Find the center of the rope above your dowel, and tie a knot with about 8"-10" of room above it. Attach your spring link, and then your quick link, and finally hang it on a hook screwed safely into a ceiling beam or large tree branch. Be sure to adjust all of your knots to make sure the seat sits evenly. Test it out by hanging on it before sitting in it to make sure everything is secure.
A soft, round pillow in the bottom of the seat can be added for extra cushioning for smaller sitters. Height can be adjusted depending on the height of your ceiling. Our porch ceiling is lower than the inside of our house, so you can add another loop of knotted rope, or just cut your rope to be about 2’-4’ longer depending on the height of your ceiling. I hope your chair gets as much use as ours is getting!