A giant floating green creature seven to seventeen foot tall, depending on what description you hear! Glowing eyes and illuminated red head and a cowl shaped like an ace of spades? Does this sound like one of those stories you roll your eyes at and say. “Yeh right!” Well you should know that this story was taken very seriously and in 1952 it placed Braxton County West Virginia and the small town of Flatwoods on the UFO map. The story begins shortly after 7 pm on September 12, 1952 when a group of three children Edward May, Fred May and Tommy Hyer spot a fiery object crashing to earth on a near by hill. The boys thinking it must be a meteorite decide to go investigate. The May boys drop by their home to tell their mother Kathleen. Along with Eugene Lemon (a National Guardsmen) and two other children, Neil Nunley and Ronnie Shaver and one of the boys dog, ( some claim it was a neighborhood dog), decide to go in search of the fiery visitor.
They arrive on the Fisher Farm where the object had descended, allegedly the dog went ahead of them and came running back toward them. Lemon reported seeing a red pulsing light at the top of the hill and pointing his flashlight in that direction revealed what he said looked like a tall humanoid form with a round red face surrounded bay a pointy hood-like shape. This shape has since been integrated into the creature by pop-art and is now looked at mostly as a cowl. The creature was said to have been ten feet tall, dark green or black body with eyes that emitted a greenish-orange light. Lemon claims he dropped the light as the creature began to hiss and spew out what some called a noxious mist as it moved toward them. This sent the group scurrying down the hill and back to the house to report the incident to call the police.
Local law enforcement arrived on the scene as they were already in the area looking for a downed aircraft. They reported they saw nothing and smelled nothing. The next day the area would be investigated again , this time by a local reported who found what he said were “skid marks' or what some interpreted as tracks as well as an “odd gummy substance”. The story was carried country wide and was taken seriously by UFO research groups of the day. Skeptics claim the object the boys had seen was a meteor and the “creature” was nothing more that a common owl and the lights were just aircraft warning lights on towers. However it is hard to imagine that a National Guardsmen could not easily identify this if it were the case.
The case was investigated by the USAF and was apparently taken very seriously, it was also investigated by a local Flying Saucer enthusiast named Gray Barker who would go on to become somewhat of a local legend for his investigative work on the Mothman of Point Pleasant and his book “They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers”. Today the Flatwoods Monster, Braxton County Monster, Green Phantom etc is well known. It even has its own local museum. Today visitors can drop by and see the largest collection of material dedicated to the monster at the “Flatwoods Monster Museum”.
Thanks to pop culture “Braxie” as it has come to be called has made an enormous comeback. It has been seen world wide in video games, on posters and T-Shirts by Indie artists. Recently it has been featured in the game “Fallout 76” and now the second episode of History Chanel's drama series “Project Blue Book” seem poised to elevate the Flatwoods Monster into the upper ranks of UFO incidents like Roswell and Kecksburg. We can be certain that Braxie, whatever it may have been has indeed made a huge mark on history and on the small town where it was said to have come crashing down on that autumn evening in 1952.
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