The unexplained origin of the Flatwoods Monster and how it terrified the nation

The story of the Flatwoods Monster begins on September 12 of 1952, with brothers Edward and Fred May, along with their friend Tommy Hyer. At about 7:15pm, right around dusk, they claimed to see a large bright object fly across the sky and land on the property of a local farmer by the name of G. Bailey Fisher. As any kid would do, they ran home and told their mother, who recruited a small crew of locals and a West Virginia Guardsman to go investigate the Fisher farm.

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This is when things get really exciting.

According to Eugene Lemon, the WV Guardsman that accompanied them, the crew saw a pulsing, red light at the top of a hill. History.com has a recap of the account:

Lemon screamed and fell backward, the news account said, “when he saw a 10-foot monster with a blood-red body and a green face that seemed to glow.” It may have had claws for hands. It was hard to tell because of the dense mist.

The boys’ mother, Kathleen May, had her own version and described the figure as having “small, claw-like hands,” clothing-like folds, and a “heads that reenbled the ace of spades.”

Reactions varied. The Newspaper publisher claimed that the group was the most terrified group of people he’d ever seen. The police laughed off the reports as hysteria, which is understandable given the panic-prone climate of the post-WWII 1950’s. Life Magazine’s bombshell article, “Have we visitors from space?” had planted seeds in the minds of the public, and they were ready to hear the story of the May brothers.
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More than 66 years later, the May brother stand by their story, although they have stopped talking to reporters. The tiny town of around 300 has embraced its legend, embracing the tourists that come and happily selling them bumper stickers, shot glasses, and 12-inch figurines of a green monster.
Did they see something? Who knows. But the legend of the Flatwoods Monster isn’t dying down any time soon.