The Chupacabra, the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, the Yeti and Mothman: what do they all have in common? Well, I’ll tell you. They have all been seen on multiple occasions by equally multiple witnesses. But, what about strange creatures that have only ever been seen once – and never again? There are a number of such cases that are worth taking a look at. Flatwoods, West Virginia, is situated in Braxton County and is a town of less than three hundred people. It dates back to the latter part of the 19th century and makes for a pleasant visit. The landscape is wooded and hilly, and provides a captivating picture. For such a tiny town, though, Flatwoods has become famous: it was the location of one of the most legendary of all UFO encounters of the 1950s. September 12, 1952 was the night on which something bizarre, out of this world, and beastly paid Flatwoods a menacing visit that they have still never forgotten, decades on.
The expert on the story is Frank C. Feschino, Jr. His extensive research into the case led him to write an excellent book on the subject: The Braxton County Monster. He says that on the night when the town was destined to forever become famous, a strange, bright object fell from the sky in a hilly area in town. Feschino expands: “A group of schoolboys saw the object maneuver across the sky and seemingly fall to Earth.” He asks: “Was it a meteor, plane or anything they could explain? The boys and two adults headed off to look for the object. Soon a twelve-foot tall being from the downed craft terrified these innocent people. This being became known as ‘The Flatwoods Monster,’ or ‘The Braxton County Monster.'” The thing did not hang around. It was a one-time event and a one-time creature, too.
In the very early hours of one particularly fateful morning in the hot and sticky summer of 1969, six petrified residents of the Texan city of Fort Worth raced for the safety of their local police-station and related a controversial and amazing story. John Reichart, his wife, and two other couples were parked at Lake Worth – and, yes, it was indeed at the stroke of midnight – when a truly vile and monstrous-looking creature came storming out of the thick branches of a large, nearby tree. Reportedly covered in a coat that seemed to be comprised of both scales and fur, it slammed with a crashing bang onto the hood of the Reichart’s car and even tried to grab hold of the not-surprisingly-terrified Mrs. Reichart, before racing off into the pitch-black night and the camouflage of the dense, surrounding trees.
The solitary evidence of its dark and foreboding presence was a deep, foot-and-a-half-long scratch along the side of the Reichart’s vehicle. The creature became known as the Goat-Man. And, although more than a few people claimed to have seen the creature, only one person saw something really strange and unique. That man was Allen Plaster, who was a dress-shop owner. Plaster’s picture of the beast displayed a giant, white-hued beast with a torso that appeared to be constructed out of dozens of cotton-balls, and atop which sat a truly tiny head. Even though more reports surfaced in that crazy summer, Plaster’s monster was never seen again.
In 2001, English cryptozoologist Dr. Karl Shuker heard a fascinating story from explorer Bill Gibbons, who spent a great deal of time investigating reports of the Congo’s most famous monster, the long-necked Mokele M’Bembe. The story dates back to 1938 and the experiences of a pair of explorers, Reginald and Margurite Lloyd. While negotiating a jungle pathway in the heart of the Belgian Congo, they saw something very strange step out in front of them. Their first thoughts were: was it a small crouching person, or a similarly crouched monkey? To their eternal horror, it quickly became clear it was neither. What it actually was, was a gigantic spider, one that had legs which spanned four-feet! Reginald Lloyd, realizing the enormity of the situation – never mind the enormity of the creature – quickly reached for his camera. Unfortunately, the beast raced across the track and vanished into the undergrowth before he could capture what would, most assuredly, have been a priceless picture. The pair was in doubt about what they had encountered, however: a truly giant, eight-legged monstrosity.
And, finally: it was between September and December 1988 that the town of Rhayader in mid-Wales was hit by a spate of mysterious deaths of sheep. Although several farms were targeted by the stealthy predator – and always under cover of darkness – it was the Bodalog Farm, owned by the Pugh family that suffered most of all. Over the course of several weeks, they lost close to forty sheep to the deadly intruder. Oddest of all: the sheep were not eaten, whether in whole or in part. The only evidence of the attacks were deep, penetrating bites to the sternum. One local claimed to have seen a large, black-colored, snake-like animal surfacing briefly out of the River Wye early one morning. The monster was only seen once, and it wasn’t long before the terror was over. The events of 1988 have never been repeated.