The Flatwoods Monster
There’s no shortage of urban legends and hoaxes concerning unidentified flying objects and little green men. But few stories feature a monster as strange as that reported by Kathleen May, her sons Edward and Fred, and their friend Tommy Hyer in Braxton County, West Virginia in 1952.
"We saw this fiery object go overhead and seem to come down in the hills. We started out to look for it. It was just about dusk. As we were going up the hill, we saw lights flashing on and off and got a horrible odor. It smelled like sulphur and really sort of made you sick.
“I saw a pair of eyes near a tree and threw my flashlight on them. I thought it was an opossum. Then there stood this — thing. I screamed and fell over backwards. A boy standing near me jumped over me and took off down the hill with the rest of them behind him. I got up and took off, too. Nothing could make me go back up there.”
The witnesses would go on to describe a “10 to 12-foot tall monster with a face of fiery red, protruding eyes, a green body and a spade-like tail.” Several of the witnesses were reportedly overcome with a strange sickness shortly after the encounter.
So what was the monster? Probably a mixture of barn owl and hysteria.