From the town of Flatwoods, of Braxton County, West Virginia, comes the mysterious tale of a burning craft which fell from the sky, and a mysterious being. The account began in the afternoon of September 12, 1952 when Sheriff Robert Carr and his Deputy Burnell Long received a call from witnesses who had seen the fiery object as it crashed into the earth. The unknown object had crashed on the Elk River, south of Gassaway. The natural assumption was that an airplane had faltered, and fallen from the skies. Not long afterward, a second unusual sighting was made by some school buddies at the Flatwoods School. Shortly before nightfall, four boys playing football saw something fall on a hill not far from the school playground.
The boys, at first frightened, succumbed to their youthful curiosity, and headed for the sight, which was on the property of one Bailey Fisher. They proceeded up the hill, stopping at the house of Kathleen May, excitedly telling her of what they had seen. Kathleen and her two sons joined the search party. Reaching the top of the hill, Mrs. May remarked that, …the night was foggy and there was a mist in the evening air." "… the air had a metallic smell which burned our eyes and noses." A dog was reported to have ran ahead of the group only to return with his tail between his legs, frightened by something.
Topping the hill, they could see a "glowing, hissing" object about 10 feet in diameter, about 100 yards away. Now completely dark, the night was shattered by two lights, about a foot apart. One of the boys had a flashlight, and when he turned it on the two distant lights, a creature ten foot tall appeared.."… a bright red face, bright green clothing, a head which resembled the ace of spades, and clothing which, from the waist down, hung in great folds". Suddenly, the creature began to "float" toward them, sending the group running back down the hill to the May house, where they quickly called the Sheriff.
The boys also called some of their schoolmates, and when the Sheriff arrived, the scene of the event was full of locals, who had to see the creature for themselves. Reporter A. Lee Stewart, of the "Braxton Democrat," began interviewing witnesses of the unusual event. He would later state that all of the observers were extremely frightened by what they had encountered. Stewart, accompanied by one of Kathleen May's sons, made their way back to where the creature had been spotted. Approaching the sight, Stewart was overwhelmed by an odd smell, but saw nothing unusual. Returning to the exact spot the next morning, Stewart could observe "skid marks" where some object had been.
Sheriff Carr believed that the group had actually seen a meteor, or comet come to earth. Reaching the top of the hill, they had seen some local animal's eyes shining through the dark, which they mistook as a monster. This explanation, though plausible, did not explain all of the eyewitness reports. The night of the monster, and the next night brought new revelations of unusual things. A resident of Birch River testified that he had seen a "bright, orange" object circling overhead the Flatwoods area. A woman and her mother stated that they also had seen the tall creature, about eleven miles from the spot of the first sighting. Well known investigator John Keel would make observations from the Flatwood incident also. Keel found one more couple, who had observed the monster, and had also seen unusual objects over the area. The case was also investigated by naturalist Ivan Sanderson, who took soil samples, and eye witness reports. His findings were not made public. The 1952 events of Flatwoods remain a mystery.
Flatwoods, West Virginia
Click for video
An independent filmmaker in Los Angeles says he would gladly handle a movie about the Flatwoods Monster — provided someone can put up sufficient financial backing for the project.
It was back on Sept. 12, 1952, that the 12-foot metallic oddity, emitting a sulfuric odor, horrified a gaggle of children and adults on a summer evening, after a fiery streak was spotted in the sky along a steep hillside in Braxton County.
A legend was born, unleashing torrents of speculation and inspiring a book by Frank Feschino, a star player in a Sept. 7-8 gathering in Charleston devoted to unidentified flying objects.
Using their own funds, Thomas Dickens and his partner, David Burke, are completing a feature-length film titled “Alien Gray Zone-X,” due to be released no later than next summer.
“This could be a great motion picture that could be done that could basically compete with Hollywood films,” Dickens says of a possible Flatwoods movie.
Dickens spoke glowingly of “Alien Gray Zone-X,” using such superlatives as “amazing” and “groundbreaking” to describe it.
“And that’s not just because of the special effects, but there’s a lot of human drama to it,” he said.
“There’s a love story and a lot of great fight sequences that use stunt people trained in fighting. There’s a message to it. Most films, and I don’t want to give away our ending, kill the aliens, but ours is different.”
Given the funds, Dickens would do the same for the Flatwoods Monster.
“I would love to do this movie,” he said. “My partner is interested. However, at this time, we don’t have the budget to do it.”
If he ever gets such a project launched, Dickens wants to work with Feschino as a part of his team for technical advice.
Feschino believes the monster was a space alien, part of a contingent engaged in a fiery sky battle with U.S. Air Force jets off the Atlantic Coast. The author also is convinced that UFOs continue to buzz the Braxton County area, since it is on a direct flight line to the White House and the regional terrain affords ample space in which to conceal craft.
“Basically, we would do everything,” Dickens said. “Write the script. Do pre-production. Design the creatures. Based on a true story, we would use the best research and witnesses to get the idea what this creature would look like. But we have to get a budget. We would be able to do the entire film.”
Dickens hopes to attend the September summit at the Capitol Theater in downtown Charleston, coming less than a week shy of the 55th anniversary of the Monster’s appearance. This also is the 60th anniversary of the Roswell incident.
Promoter Larry Bailey is promising attendees “hard evidence” to show UFOs are piloted by extra-terrestrials.
If a Flatwoods Monster film were made, Dickens said, he would envision some scenes on site, provided landowners are willing to grant access, including a depiction of what Feschino feels were aerial warfare between alien craft and U.S. jets.
In fact, that is the theme of Feschino’s latest book, “Shoot Them Down.”
Richard Gere starred in “The Mothman Prophecies,” a film dedicated to a moth-like creature said to roam an abandoned plateau near Point Pleasant in the area of an abandoned TNT site left over from World War II.
Unlike Mothman, a precursor to the 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge that claimed 46 lives, no violence has been linked to the Flatwoods Monster.
A 17-year veteran of the film industry, Dickens says he strives to compete with Hollywood productions in quality.
“We don’t want to make anything that looks low-budget,” he said.
“We use people who look very professional. We use people that look like they have universal appeal.”
Bailey says he has attracted so much interest to his UFO gathering that he might expand it by adding a Sunday matinee, since the Capitol Theater has a seating capacity of only 660. As things stand now, Friday’s show runs from 6 to 10 p.m. with Saturday billed from 3 to 7 p.m.
An art contest supervised by Heritage Towers will reward children for the best depictions of UFOs or aliens.
Besides Feschino and Flatwoods eyewitness Freddie May, the two-day event will feature lectures by world-renowned UFO expert Stanton Freidman, who says the government has engaged in a cover-up since the 1947 incident in Roswell, where many believe the Air Force concealed the bodies of aliens after their craft crashed in the New Mexico desert.
Since the first Register-Herald story was published about the gathering, Bailey said he has been besieged by media outlets across the nation, including live radio remotes in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Calif., Brownwood, Texas, Bridgeport, Conn., and Lincoln, Neb.
“We’re getting contacts from everywhere,” he said.
Eventually, the summit could evolve into an annual event, rivaling that of Roswell, now a mecca for UFO believers, Bailey says.
Skeptics are welcome, but they could find themselves hard put to counter Freidman, a nuclear physicist who has appeared on a number of cable television networks, the promoter says.
“Stanton has won two debates,” Bailey said. “They were with people that were scoffing or trying to tell everyone the UFOs were just meteors. He has some hard evidence that he uncovered under the Freedom of Information Act. That’s some of our hard evidence.”
You can find more information at Flatwoods Monster
Click for video
In the video above, Stanton Friedman describes his experience with Meeting Frank Feschino, Jr. and learning about the Flatwoods Monster case.
July 25th, 2007
Author Says UFO-Air Force Dogfight Ended in Flatwoods
Sci-fi buffs flocked to a fantasy film in 1984 bearing a title prediction that 2010 would be the year earthlings make contact with aliens.
Actually, contact has come, and it was less than friendly, says one UFO researcher.
Three decades earlier, in fact, back in 1952, just five years after the famed Roswell, New Mexico incident, the American military engaged a convoy of alien aircraft with orders to destroy them in a pitched air battle right off the Atlantic Coast, says Frank Feschino, author of "The Flatwoods Monster,'' a phenomenon that rocked a tiny West Virginia town that year.
An illustrator and writer, Feschino has produced a follow-up book, this one titled "Shoot Them Down,'' an effort produced after years of painstaking research of the U.S. Air Force's once-classified files on unidentified flying saucers and digesting countless magazine articles on the matter.
His years of exhaustive study have convinced Feschino that American jet fighters did indeed make contact -- at the point of their guns.
"Shoot Them Down'' draws its name from orders Feschino says President Truman gave military commanders while an American public was growing increasingly jittery over coast-to-coast UFO sightings.
Two years earlier, Truman had remarked at a news conference, "I can assure you that flying saucers, given that they exist, are not constructed by any power on earth.''
"There are tons of documents right there, intelligence reports, talking about pilots chasing these things, going after them,'' Feschino said, citing the once-hidden reports on the Air Force's so-called Project Blue Book.
"That's when it hit the fan, and the government stepped up. That is when they had to simmer the whole country down. The whole country was in an uproar. Everybody was panicking. The job of the government is to keep things under control, and they couldn't let the country panic.''
UFOs were buzzing the entire country that year, "and a good chunk of them were over military installations, and power plants, like Oak Ridge,'' the author says.
Feschino pulls his theory largely from the writings of Air Force Capt. Edward Ruppelt, a decorated World War II veteran, recalled to duty when hostilities erupted in Korea.
Roswell might stand out as the mother of all UFO stories, but 1952 was the most prolific year by far for aircraft sightings -- by one account, some 30,000 alone in the United States, many of them reported in local newspapers around the country.
Craft ranged from discs to round balls to elongated, cigar-shaped ships, the Port Orange, Fla., resident said.
"Capt. Ruppelt was dropping clues throughout his book,'' Feschino said. "And that's the premise of my book. During that time of 1952 we had the highest amount of sightings.''
In a book he wrote, Ruppelt said "other assorted historians have pointed out that normally the UFOs are peaceful,'' but he alluded to a chase in which one of two pilots engaging unidentified aircraft perished.
"They just weren't ready to be observed closely,'' he wrote.
"If the Air Force hadn't slapped down the security lid, these writers might not have reached this conclusion (about peaceful aliens). There have been other and more lurid duels of death. That's what everybody missed.''
Feschino flatly says the Air Force took on alien aircraft just off the coast with orders to destroy them in a move to pacify a public growing ever restless over bizarre sightings. In the battle, apparently one craft hobbled back inland, resting on a knoll in a West Virginia community known as Flatwoods. And it was there on Sept. 12 a group of boys, accompanied by some adults, scampered up the hillside and saw a metallic, 12-foot object emitting a sulfuric odor. Locals dubbed it "the Flatwoods Monster.''
"I have no idea who they were,'' Feschino said.
Based on his interviews with some 200 residents of Flatwoods, however, the author believes the aliens remain interested in rural West Virginia.
"There are people in West Virginia who have been seeing UFOs for the past 50 years, and there are key locations where they are being seen -- Wheeling, Huntington, and quite a few south of Charleston, around Cabin Creek, even down in the Beckley area,'' he said.
The Legend of the Flatwoods Monster - A Narrative
The legend was born after a reported sighting of an alien creature in the hills of Braxton County. Some dismissed it as a hoax, but those who were actually there at the time have a different perspective. The event has had a profound impact. As a result of it, Flatwoods would earn the nickname "Home of the Green Monster." The frightening tale would be told time and again by those who witnessed the event, and friends and neighbors would speak of it in whispers. The story would live on, passed down through the generations and becoming part of the oral folklore that is so unique to our mountain culture and heritage.
I was five years old when I first learned about the Flatwoods Monster, also known as the Braxton County Monster, the Phantom of Flatwoods, or simply the Green Monster. It was an experience that was burned forever into my mind.
During the early 1950's, my family and I lived in Summersville, and I loved to go on fishing trips with my dad and other relatives. On one of these fishing expeditions late one summer, we spent most of the morning fishing up and down the Elk River, just above Sutton, in Braxton County. Tired and hungry, we retreated to a local restaurant for lunch. This restaurant was located at the "Y" intersection of routes 4 and 19, about half-a-mile south of downtown Sutton. We were seated in a booth near the window, and had just finished ordering our food. We were making small talk with the waitress when she looked at me and commented, "You'd better look out, or that monster will get you."
Why would someone offer that kind of "helpful" advice to a five-year-old kid? Her words, nonetheless, had the desired effect, and I felt the blood drain from my face in terror. I looked to my father for reassurance, or a conspiratorial wink, or a smile indicating that the waitress was kidding. But there were none!
An uncomfortable silence fell over the afternoon dining crowd, and the room took on the stale air of a funeral parlor. In quiet, hushed tones, conversations slowly resumed. My young ears picked up bits and pieces of dialogue laced with words such as "fireball," "spaceship," "red eyes," and "10-feet tall." My heart thumped painfully against my thin chest when I heard the phrase, "Eat you alive!"
Apparently, the fear in my heart was communicated clearly on my face. A burly gentleman leaned around our booth and commented, "Don't worry about the monster getting you, kid. You'll smell it before it gets near enough to grab you." The diners around us erupted into gales of hearty laughter that reverberated around the room for a good two minutes. I looked questioningly at my father, still hoping for some form of reassurance, and he began to explain.
Recently, some people in the nearby community of Flatwoods had an unusual experience, he said. A fireball, it seems, had fallen from the sky. A few residents witnessed this phenomenon and had gone to investigate. When they got there, they discovered a hideous monstrosity with fiery red eyes. Some of the search team reportedly were overwhelmed by a highly noxious odor and ran for their lives. My father finished by saying that he wouldn't let the monster get me.
I felt a little better, but my once-strong interest in bass fishing was now completely overshadowed by a nagging fear of monsters. My thoughts strayed, and I felt a desperate urge to retreat across the mountain to the safety and comfort of home.
That episode in the restaurant left an impression on me so intense, that still today I am repulsed and fascinated by the Green Monster.
The Flatwoods Monster - Braxton County, WV - Sept. 1952
This site is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Hotlinking of P&M Network images and copyrighted material
is strictly forbidden unless permission is obtained.
Send us an email
Go to Phantoms and Monsters - NetworkBlogs and sign up
Click here for this week's entertaining podcast
Add 'Beyond The Edge' Radio to your playlist!