Apr 22, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Strange Creatures That Only Surfaced Once In A Lifetime

The Grey Aliens. The Space Brothers. The Nessies. Bigfoot. And, the Dogmen. They have all been seen time and time again. But, what about those strange creatures that have only ever put in a single, solitary appearance? Well, that's the theme of today's article. We'll begin with the almost legendary Flatwoods Monster of 1952. 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. 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.

Nick Redfern: Many thanks to my good friend, Denise Rector, for the Flatwoods Monster sign photo

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. 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 violently ill, feeling nauseous and even outright vomiting. 

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 strange - and unique - creature was long gone by the time anyone else was on the scene. Now, let's move on to 1973.

On the night of October 10, 1973, two men – Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker – were fishing on the banks of Mississippi’s Pascagoula River. All was going fine. That is, until approximately 9:00 p.m. rolled around. That’s when all hell broke loose. Yet, it all began relatively calmly. It didn’t stay that way, however. As they fished, Parker and Hickson suddenly noticed a light in the distance. Not only that, it was following the river and appeared to be coming in their direction. Which was not necessarily a good thing. As the light got closer, they could see it in its full glory: the light was actually a brightly lit, somewhat egg-shaped craft, from which came a deep, throbbing hum. Such was the intensity of the hum, it provoked intense nausea in both men. Confusion, and a sense of distinct unreality, quickly followed. The pair watched in horror and amazement as what was described as a “hatch” opened and a trio of very strange-looking creatures exited the hovering object. Even stranger, and much more unnerving, the three things floated from the craft, across the waters of the river, and towards Hickson and Parker. 

(Nick Redfern) Hanging out with Calvin Parker in 2018

The aliens were not of the famous large-headed, black-eyed, and dwarfish kind, however. They weren’t even of the benevolent-looking, so-called “Space Brothers” variety of the 1950s. Nope, this particular breed of E.T. was described later by the shocked and undeniably traumatized men as being humanoid, and with faces that appeared to be almost masked, and heads from which three carrot-style points protruded. On top of that, they had large crab-like or lobster-like claws. Then matters got even worse: when the things from another world were practically on top of terrified Parker and Hickson, both men were rendered into a state of paralysis. Whether due to some technology of the aliens, or provoked by overwhelming fear, remains unknown. Maybe it was a combination of both. Suddenly, the entities seized the pair, who were manhandled onto the UFO. Like most abductees, Hickson and Parker were quickly reduced to the equivalents of lab rats. When the trauma-filled encounter was over, the pair was dumped back on the edge of the river. Such lobster-like creatures have never been see again.

Kelly was, and still is, a small, rural town situated just short of ten miles from Hopkinsville. Now, let's take a look at its place in history. The date: August 15, 1955. It all went down at the farmhouse of the Sutton family, who had visitors in from Pennsylvania: Billy Ray Taylor and his wife. It was roughly 7.00 p.m. when Billy Ray left the farmhouse to fetch water from the family’s well. And what a big mistake that was. In mere minutes, Billy Ray was back, minus the water. Terrified Billy Ray told the Suttons and his wife that as he headed towards the well he saw a significantly sized, illuminated, circular-shaped object come to rest in a nearby gully. As the group tried to figure out what on earth (or off it…) was going on, they mused upon the possibilities of shooting stars, meteorites, and good old leg-pulling. By all accounts, it was none of those. In just a few minutes, the Suttons’ dog began to bark, growl, and snarl in aggressive, uncontrollable fashion – after which it raced for cover underneath the porch. Clearly, something strange was going down. Exactly how strange, soon became very apparent.

Intent on making sure they were in control of the situation, Elmer Sutton and Billy Ray Taylor armed themselves with shotguns and headed out into the darkness. In no time, they were confronted by something terrifying: a small, silvery, creature – in the region of three feet tall – that was scurrying towards them with its long, ape-like, arms held high in the air. Sutton did what most folk might do when confronted by a strange, goblin-like thing after sunset: he blasted the beast with his shotgun. To the consternation of both men, the gun had no effect, aside from causing the creature to do a quick and impressive backflip, after which it disappeared into the darkness – for a while. Rather wisely, Elmer and Billy Ray raced for the safety of the farmhouse and locked the doors behind them. In mere moments, the same creature – or, at least, a very similar one – was seen peering and leering through one of the windows. Elmer’s son, J.C., took a shot at it. The only damage was to the window. The small beast scurried away at lightning speed. The curiously named Lucky Sutton, along with Billy Ray, took a tentative walk outside to see if they could see the creature – or creatures. That was a very bad move: as they prowled around the property, a clawed hand came down from the roof and seized Billy Ray’s hair and head.

Terrified Billy Ray pulled away, screaming, to see the goblin charge across the roof. To their horror, a second creature was seen staring at them from the branch of a nearby tree. A second shoot-out achieved nothing, aside from the remarkably weird sight of the creatures floating – rather than leaping or falling – to the ground and then racing into the darkness. The tumultuous events continued throughout the night, with guns firing, and the wizened little beasts seemingly doing their very best to create as much havoc and mayhem as was conceivably possible. Realizing that the situation might very well go on all night, the group decided there was only one option available to them: they had to flee the farmhouse, which they did in two cars, making their speedy way to the sheriff’s office in nearby Hopkinsville. The sheer, collective state of fear into which the Suttons and the Taylors had been plunged, pretty much immediately convinced the sheriff that whatever had happened, it was no drunken prank. The mystery was never solved. And here's another one-off mystery:

Midway through November 1963, one of the most chilling and eerie of all monster/alien encounters on record occurred in the dark and shadowy environment of Sandling Park, Hythe, Kent, England. It was an encounter that, in terms of the description of the creature, provokes Mothman-style imagery – even though the latter, famous creature did not hit the headlines in and around Point Pleasant, West Virginia until the mid-1960s onwards. Although Sandling Park was certainly shrouded in overwhelming darkness at the time of the beastly event, it was hardly the sort of place where one would expect to encounter nothing less than a fully-fledged monster. Amazingly, however, and according to a group of terrified witnesses, that is exactly what happened. John Flaxton, aged seventeen on the night that all hell broke loose, was accompanied by three friends, including eighteen-year old Mervyn Hutchinson. As they walked along a lane running by the park – after returning from a local Friday night dance – the group of friends became aware of a bright object moving overhead, which they at first took to be nothing stranger than a star. How very wrong they turned out to be. 

The teenagers were amazed, and more than a bit scared, by the object’s presence, as they watched it hover and then drop out of sight behind a group of trees. The boys decided to leave the area with haste, but the light soon loomed into view again. It hovered around ten feet from the ground, and at an approximate distance of two hundred feet, then once again went out of sight. “It was a bright and gold oval,” one of the boys reported. “And when we moved, it moved. When we stopped, it stopped.” That was not necessarily a good sign! Suddenly, the boys heard the snapping of twigs from a nearby thicket, and out from the wooded area shuffled a creature of horrendous appearance. “It was the size of a human,” reported Mervyn Hutchinson. “But it didn’t seem to have any head. There were wings on its back, like bat wings.” The group fled, perhaps understandably not wanting to hang around and see what developed next. Matters didn’t end there, however. Five night later, one Keith Croucher saw an unusual object float across a nearby soccer field. Forty-eight-hours after that, one John McGoldrick, accompanied by a friend, checked out the location and stumbled upon unusual impressions in the ground, which gave every indication that something solid and significant had landed there.

Neil Arnold, a researcher of paranormal and monstrous phenomena who lives in the county of Kent, has this to say about the matter: “Local UFO experts believed that the case was nothing more than a misinterpretation of natural phenomena, but Flaxton recalled: ‘I felt cold all over.’” And, as Arnold, a good friend to me, also notes: “Three giant footprints were also found in the vicinity which were said to have measured two-feet long and nine inches across. On 11 December, various newspaper reporters accompanied McGoldrick to the area and found that the woods were illuminated by an eerie, glowing light. No-one investigated any further and the case faded as mysteriously as it had emerged.” To this date, the saga of the Mothman-type thing of Hythe, Kent remains precisely that: a mystery. 

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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