Jan 18, 2019 I Nick Redfern

Project Blue Book: “The Flatwoods Monster” Reviewed

Well, I just got finished watching the latest episode of the new History Channel show, Project Blue Book. The episode's title: "The Flatwoods Monster." If you know your UFO history, you'll know the story. If you don't, here's a summary from me from me on the strange matter: On the night of September 12, 1952, something terrifying descended upon the small, West Virginian town of Flatwoods. Precisely what it was remains a mystery to this very day. All that can be said for sure is that it was hideous, fear-inducing and downright monstrous. It has, appropriately, become known as the Flatwoods Monster. Situated in Braxton County and dominated by a mountainous, forested landscape, Flatwoods is a distinctly small town – that much is apparent from the fact that, today, its population is less than four hundred. Back in 1952, it was even less. On the night in question, however, the town found its population briefly added to by one visitor from…well…no-one really knows where.

It all began as the sun was setting on what was a warm, still, September evening. A group of boys from Flatwoods were playing football in the town’s schoolyard when they were frozen to the spot by the sight of a brightly lit, fiery object that shot overhead, provoking amazement and wonder in the process. All that the boys could be sure of was that the object appeared to be either egg-shaped or circular. Its color fluctuated from orange to fiery red. As the stunned children watched in awe, they saw the object begin to descend - at a high rate of speed, no less – and then appear to come down on one of Flatwood’s largest hilltops. Not surprisingly, being kids, they saw this as a big adventure looming large. The result: they, with a woman named Kathleen May and a recent U.S. Army recruit, Eugene Lemon, headed off for the scene of all the action. It wasn’t long before the group reached the hill in question – and with nightfall rapidly closing in.

Elk River WV map 570x314
Braxton County (Wikipedia)

The first thing the group noticed, as they reached the darkened peak, was something brightly lit within the trees. What it was, no-one had a clue. But, it clearly wasn’t the lights of a farmhouse, truck, or car. Suddenly, the air was filled with a sickening odor – not unlike that of devilish brimstone. That was not a good sign. To their credit, however, they pushed on, determined to figure out the true nature of the source behind the lights. They soon found out: as the air became filled with a strange, sizzling sound, nothing less than a pair of self-illuminated red eyes could be seen getting ever closer. Kathleen May had the presence of mind to bring a flashlight with her and she quickly focused it on the eyes. In doing so, she also lit up the abominable creature that possessed those fiery eyes.

Looming before the now-hysterical band of intrepid souls was an approximately ten-feet-tall, floating monster, which appeared to be humanoid in shape, and which had a large black cowling behind its head – that gave the entire head a kind of “Ace of Spades” appearance - and that was possibly even cloaked. Maybe. Oddly, its lower half was ice-cream cone-shaped and had wires and cables running from it. This issue of the cone-shaped lower portion led flying saucer sleuths to later suggest the monster my actually have been encased within some kind of remotely piloted vehicle.

As the creature then turned its attention to the group, and wildly fired laser-like beams from its eyes, the brave band was suddenly brave no more. They didn’t wait to see what might happen next. One and all fled, screaming – possibly for their lives. Mrs. May breathlessly shouted to the boys to follow her to her home, which they all did. On arrival, and possibly as a result of exposure to the noxious odor that hung around the hill, several of the boys became ill, feeling nauseous and even outright vomiting.

Braxton County Courthouse West Virginia 570x486
Braxton County Courthouse

Kathleen May quickly and shakily called the local police, who, rather intriguingly, were busy responding to reports of what was described as an “airplane crash” in the area. It turns out that no such crashed aircraft was ever found – something which suggests the “airplane” and the brightly lit UFO that descended upon the high hill that night were one and the very same. As a result of the fact that Flatwoods was, and still is, a very small town, word soon got out about what had happened. Local media were quickly on the scene, and even the U.S. Air Force sat up and took notice. Despite intense investigations by the press and the military, the mystery of the Flatwoods Monster was never solved – the creature was long gone by the time anyone else was on the scene. It is, however, decidedly interesting to note that Flatwoods is only around 125 miles from the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where, from 1966 to 1967, yet another red-eyed monster was seen. Its famous name is Mothman. All of which brings us back to Project Blue Book and tonight's episode.

In the show, the Flatwoods Monster of West Virginia is portrayed nothing like the Flatwoods Monster, which is a relatively minor issue of little consequence. The people of Flatwoods, however,  are presented as distrusting, gun-toting characters ready to blast the U.S. military with significant amounts of lead, which, in reality, did not happen. No one in town put a gun in the face of a U.S. military officer. Also, we see one of the characters jump, or get pushed, out of a window to her death. I've heard of TV companies being inspired by real events, but this is getting ridiculous. I wonder what the good people of Flatwoods are - tonight - thinking about the townsfolk who came before them and who have been portrayed in such a trigger-happy fashion. That's my main gripe: the show-makers seem intent on making real people look bad. See my previous article here at Mysterious Universe, for example, in which I explain how, in episode 1, the creators of the show portrayed a WWII hero - pilot George Gorman - as someone who had descended into mental illness and who needed to be shot up with meds to keep him under control, something else which did not happen; not even in the slightest.

On the plus side, the chick on chick action is getting closer to fruition (despite a slight hiccup that set things back a bit), so I'll have to keep watching...

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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