The story of the Flatwoods Monster, aka the Braxton County Monster, is much like any cryptid. A sighting becomes a story becomes a legend.
This particular legend began in 1952 in the small town of Flatwoods, West Virginia when brothers Edward and Fred May and their friend, Tommy, saw an object blazing across the sky before it landed in a neighboring field. Naturally, they ran home to find their mother.
What? It was 1952, and they were good kids.
Mrs. May, the three boys, and a couple other young men the woman recruited went together to investigate what the boys had seen. They would later report that their dog ran ahead of them only to return with his tail tucked between his legs. As they reached the top of a small hill, they noticed a burning spherical object to their right and were immediately struck by a rancid smell which burned their nose and made their eyes water.
To the left of the object, they spotted two shining lights. Training their flashlights on the two glowing orbs and they were horrified by what they saw so much so that it stayed with them the rest of their lives.
Though their stories became somewhat contradictory, the general consensus was that the creature was between 7 and 10 feet tall. Its head was large, round and red covered by a large hood-like shape. The equally large, armless body was colorless, though later was described as green. When the creature suddenly emitted a loud hissing sound and moved toward them, they fled.
Mrs. May called the local sheriff and the man in charge of the local newspaper. Sheriff Robert Carr and one of his deputies traveled to the site, but could find no evidence of what the woman and children had seen except for a lingering pungent odor.
Naturally the next morning’s paper ran with the story of the sighting and soon gave the creature its name: The Flatwoods Monster.
Years later, another couple was interviewed who said that on the night following the original sighting they saw a similar creature who approached their stalled car before moving back into the woods, and according which sources you research, there were a host of others, as well.
Investigators would later attribute the sightings to everything from mustard gas to barn owls, and the sighting did coincide with several meteors that fell in the general area.
And yet, the stories have endured and become a part of popular culture.
How you ask??
In the anime series Sgt. Frog, an alien modeled after the Flatwoods Monster appears in an episode titled “Fake It ‘Til You Make It”. As a matter of fact, the Japanese seem to have taken to this particular cryptid’s appearance with similar creatures appearing in video games like Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Tomadachi Life. and Amagon.
Musician Argyle Goolsby used the Flatwoods Monster and its tale as the inspiration for his song, “The Being.”
Most recently, production company Small Town Monsters have created a documentary called The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear. The film delves into the history of the monster and speaks to the last two remaining witnesses in an attempt to set the record straight about their experience.
Though no one has seen the Flatwoods Monster in decades, the locals held a Green Monster festival up until 2006, The story, though watered down today, is still told in the area, and one hast to wonder what exactly happened on that long ago night.