Jul 20, 2022 I Nick Redfern

When Monsters, Aliens and Robots Combine: And in Very Strange Ways

When it comes to the UFO phenomenon, at times things can get very strange. In fact, more than strange. I would even say beyond strange. The fact is that some researchers of the UFO mystery have suggested there is a link between robots, cyborgs and flesh-and-blood creatures. All meshed together. Let's have a look at this strange situation. In his book, The Day After Roswell, Colonel Philip J. Corso made some sensational and controversial claims about the so-called real nature of the bodies found in the wreckage outside of Roswell, New Mexico in early July 1947. The unusual bodies found within the wreckage of the craft, Corso claimed, were genetically created beings designed to withstand the rigors of space flight [italics mine], but they were not the actual creators of the UFO itself. Right up until the time of his death in 1998, Corso speculated on the distinct possibility that the U.S. Government might still have no real idea of who constructed the craft, or who genetically engineered the bodies found aboard. Notably, Corso gave much consideration to the idea that the Roswell UFO was a form of time machine, possibly even one designed and built by the denizens of the Earth of a distant future, rather than by the people of a faraway solar-system. Personally, I don't buy into Corso's story, but he certainly muddled the story of Roswell - something that may actually have been the plan.

(Nick Redfern) Roswell: Robots, aliens, disinformation or a combination of all?

Now, we get to a famous alien monster that surfaced in the woods of West Virginia on the night of September 12, 1952. It just might have been part-robot and part-flesh. It became known as "The Flatwoods Monster." 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.

(Nick Redfern) Many thanks to my good friend Denise Rector, who very generously let me use her photo above

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.

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 creature was long gone by the time anyone else was on the scene. Robot? Real-life Six Million Dollar Man? Possibly.

Now, let's take a look at a classic case from October 1973 that ties in with those cases above. The night of October 10, 1973 was one that Calvin Parker and Charles Hickson would not forget. And it all began in a perfectly normal, relaxed fashion. Forty-two-year-old Hickson and Parker – who was nineteen - worked together and often spent time fishing on Mississippi’s Pascagoula River. It was around 9:00 p.m. on a dark and fateful night when their world came tumbling down around them. For a while the fish were biting. It would, however, not be long before the two men would find themselves reeled in. “Hauled in” might be a better piece of terminology. As they sat on the banks of the river, the two could not fail to see that there was an odd, blue, flickering light in the distance – odd in the sense that it seemed to be following the contours of the river, but slightly above it. Both Hickson and Parker stared at it, trying to figure out what on Earth it was. Earth may very well have had nothing to do with it. They wondered: helicopter? But, there was no noise. An aircraft? Way too low and slow. Someone’s idea of a joke? If only. 

 (Nick Redfern) Hanging out with Calvin Parker

When the strange whatever-it-was got closer, a stark realization quickly hit both men: this was like nothing they had ever seen before. It was a fairly small craft, oval in design, and illuminated – almost glowing. And a vomit-inducing, deep droning sound suddenly enveloped them. Things seemed strange, unreal, dream-like, as the pair tried to scramble away. No such luck: in seconds both Parker and Hickson were rendered almost unable to move. Suddenly, the craft came very close – perilously so – and a doorway opened. The two men stared in confused horror as three entities of a bizarre appearance levitated through the doorway, and, for a few seconds, were suspended in the air – staring directly at the two freaked-out fishermen. Things went from bad to worse: the creatures - which were basically humanoid, had strange faces that resembled tightly-fitting masks and which had three pen-like protrusions stick out of their heads. As for their hands, they were crab-like hands; Hickson would later correct this by referring to them as “lobster”-like. The creatures maneuvered in the direction of the men. In his disoriented state, Hickson could only stare at the things as they got closer and closer. Parker, however, hyperventilating to an extreme degree, keeled over into a dead faint.

 Parker started to come around, but found himself unable to move. Hickson too was hit by sudden paralysis. The aliens lunged forward, grabbed both men, and steered the pair to the craft. They were taken on-board and subjected to the usual fear-inducing experiments of the kind which the Greys are notoriously known for. In this case, the pair was placed onto table-like structures – after which a device that was described as a “big eye” hovered over the immobile men, seemingly scrutinizing them from head to toe. And, when the procedure was over, they were dropped back on the bank. Now, they knew how the average fish felt on a Saturday night. It didn’t take long for the pair to gain their wits back – it was as if whatever it was that had rendered them immobile was not long-lasting. Finally, the two were able to scramble up the bank, get in their vehicle, and race to the Sheriff’s office. The story surfaced in rollercoaster-style. The media was soon on the trail of the pair. So was the military. Were those creepy creatures highly evolved robots? Aliens? A bit of both? Perhaps, the answer is: a bit of both. Now, finally...

Sometimes a monster is described as being so incredibly strange that we can do very little beyond than relate the facts – chiefly because the available facts are so strange and near-unfathomable, in terms of what they might represent. A perfect example of just such a uniquely weird case dates back to the 1950s. In terms of the location, all we know for sure is that it was somewhere in the vicinity of Falls City, Richardson County, Nebraska. As for the witness, we know him only as “John Hanks,” an admitted pseudonym that the man in question chose to use to protect his real identity. When you read the details of his experience, you will undoubtedly realize why the man was determined to protect his real name from prying, inquiring eyes. It’s a case that was carefully investigated by one of the world’s foremost experts on bizarre, flying beasts, Ken Gerhard. Even Ken, for all the cases of flying anomalies he has investigated, finds the entire affair baffling – which is saying something!

It was late one night, at some point in the latter part of 1956, said Hanks, when he came face to face with a true giant; a creature in excess of nine feet in height, one that was humanoid in shape, but which most certainly could never be termed a member of the human race. That much, at least, we can ascertain from Hanks’ description. Ken says, with a great deal of justification, that “[Hanks’] description of the creature sounds reminiscent of something out of an H.P. Lovecraft story.”  Ken is not wrong in suggesting that Hanks’ monster would have found itself right at home in the pages of one of the legendary horror maestro’s novels. In fact, Ken is right on target. Hanks’ nightmarish thing had a pair of fifteen-foot-wide wings that, rather oddly, appeared to be made of bright, shining, aluminum! Not only that, the wings appeared to be strapped to the creature; almost grafted onto its body in definitive cyborg-style [italics mine]. If that was not nearly strange enough, the robot-birdman displayed numerous, multi-colored lights that spanned the entire undersides of both wings. Whether for illumination, display, or something else, Hanks didn’t know. Even stranger still, if such a thing is possible, the winged man-thing had a “panel” attached to its chest and which, Hanks assumed, was some kind of control mechanism that allowed the creature to land, take-off, and soar the heavens above.

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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