Flatwoods Monster Picture

The Flatwoods Monster – West Virginia

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The Flatwoods Monster, who is also known as the Braxton County Monster or the Phantom of Flatwoods, is a mysterious cryptid that is associated with a reported UFO sighting that was reported on 12 September 1952 in Flatwoods, West Virginia.

Cryptid Name:Flatwoods Monster / Phantom of Flatwoods / Braxton County Monster
Location:Flatwoods, West Virginia, USA
Map of where the Flatwoods Monster is found
Category:Supernatural Cryptid
Description:Tall humanoid with a head shaped like the ace of spades, glowing red eyes, and a metallic body.
Size:Between 7-10 feet / 2.1-3 meters tall.
Behavior/Characteristics:Often associated with a UFO sighting, it is generally considered a menacing or frightening presence.
Habitat/Environment:Linked to UFO sightings in Flatwoods.
Evidence:Limited physical evidence; mainly anecdotal accounts and eyewitness reports.
Sightings and Encounters:The most famous sighting occurred on September 12, 1952, in Flatwoods, West Virginia, in connection with a reported UFO sighting.
Skepticism/Explanations:Some skeptics argue that the creature may have been a result of misidentification, such as an owl or other natural phenomena, or a product of mass hysteria. The connection to the UFO sighting has also been subject to debate, with some suggesting that the two events were unrelated.

What Does The Flatwoods Monster Look Like?

Flatwoods Monster Picture
Artist’s Impression of the Flatwoods Monster

The Flatwoods Monster is described as a tall humanoid creature that stands between 7-10 feet / 2.1-3 meters tall.

It appeared to be wearing some type of hood that made its head take the shape of the ace of spades and its face is described as being red with small eyes that glowed.

The witnesses said that it was wearing dark green clothing and had an overwhelming metallic smell. They also said that the creature floated or glided towards them.

The Flatwoods Monster Legend

The legend of the Flatwoods Monster was born on 12 September 1952 in the early evening when a group of boys and a woman by the name of Kathleen May saw a bright, fiery object streak across the sky and then fall to the ground.

They went to investigate and reported seeing a pulsing light where the object had crashed. Kathleen May pointed her flashlight in the direction of the pulsing light and that was when the group saw the Flatwoods Monster.

Picture of the Flatwoods Monster vistors chair
Chair on the lawn by the town hall welcomes visitors to Flatwoods
Source: Don Woods

The witnesses said that the creature made a hissing noise and then began to float towards them. They said that it had a nauseating metallic smell. Terrified the group ran away and when the site was later investigated the terrible metallic odor could still be smelt and there were marks where the UFO had supposedly landed.

According to an article written in the Skeptical Enquirer, other witnesses also reported seeing strange lights in the sky that night.

In his article, Barker noted that “numerous people in a 20-mile radius saw the illuminated objects in the sky at the same time,” evidently seeing different objects or a single one “making a circuit of the area.” Barker believed the Flatwoods incident was consistent with other reports of “flying saucers or similar craft and that “such a vehicle landed on the hillside, either from necessity or to make observations”.

Gray Barker

Possible Explanations & Theories For The Flatwoods Monster Sighting

The Flatwoods Monster and the related UFO sighting sparked massive media attention and it became one of the most famous UFO-related incidents in the United States during the 1950s. However, skeptics have suggested that the incident can be explained.

According to another article written in the Skeptical Enquirer, other witnesses reported seeing a meteor that night.

Johnny Lockard, 95, told me that virtually everyone who had seen the alleged flying saucer in 1952 recognized it for what it was: a meteor. He, his daughter Betty Jean, and her husband, Bill Sumpter said that the fireball had been seen on a relatively horizontal trajectory in various states. In fact, according to a former local newspaper editor, “There is no doubt that a meteor of considerable proportion flashed across the heavens that Friday night since it was visible in a least three states – Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Skeptical Enquirer

As for the Flatwoods Monster itself, many people say that the creature could simply have been a barn owl that scared the witnesses. Barn owls have bright eyes that in certain lighting conditions can appear quite eerie. They also note that barn owls have a heart-shaped facial disk which could possibly be misinterpreted as a spade-shaped head, especially in the dark.

Picture showing how an owl could have been mistaken for the Flatwoods Monster
Picture Comparing A Barn Owl To The Flatwoods Monster Description
Source: Joe Nickell / Skeptical Inquirer

It is however important to note that neither of these theories can explain things like the metallic smell or the physical evidence left by the UFO.

Flatwoods Monster Museum

The Flatwoods Monster Museum is a one-of-a-kind museum that is found in downtown Sutton on Main Street. It is a treasure trove of information on the Flatwoods Monster sighting with historical articles, artifacts, memorabilia, books, etc., and is definitely worth the visit if you are in the area!

Flatwoods Monster Convention

The First Annual Flatwoods Monster convention was held on 9 September 2023 in Flatwoods, West Virginia. It featured guest speakers, podcasters, vendors, costume contests, and other activities related to the Flatwoods Monster.


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