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This world will go on for it's written that way.
This world will go on for it's written that way.
[[File:Braxton Citizens News Nov 3 1998.jpg|centre|thumb|832x832px]]
''Braxton Citizens News, November 3rd 1998'''''<nowiki/>'''
''Braxton Citizens News, November 3rd 1998'''''
'''John Gibson Newspaper Collection ('''
'''John Gibson Newspaper Collection ('''

Revision as of 03:11, May 14, 2020

The following is a Braxton Citizens News article from Tuesday, November 3rd 1998 titled "The Phantom of Flatwoods"

Editors note: The tales of the Braxton County Monster have fascinated young and old alike for more than fort years. The interest was rekindled recently when a camp locally known as the Green Monster Shack was destroyed by fire. The following is an account formulated by Judy Davis and used by her when she was a teacher at Flatwoods Elementary School. The folk lore lesson included drawings and other activities that not only told the story of the now world famous UFO sighting but taught geography and other circular activates. We are reproducing the story here for your enjoyment.

Just before dark four boys were playing football on the playground of Flatwoods School. These were local boys and they often played at the school in the evenings. Today would be special because what was seen this evening would cause people to talk for many years to come. The date was September 12, 1952.

What the boys saw was described as a "shooting star" that fell to earth on the top of the hill adjacent to the playground. The place where it landed was known as the Bailey Fisher property. As children are prone to do, they decided to check it out. On the way up the hill, they stopped at the Kathleen May home and Mrs. May plus her two sons accompanied the group up the hill.

When they got to the top, Mrs. May noticed that "the night was foggy and there was a mist in the evening air." She also said that "the air had a metallic smell which burned their eyes and noses."

About the length of a football field away, they all saw an object that was glowing and hissing. Walking closer to check out the "star", they noted that it was about 10 feet around.

A few feet away from this glowing object, they saw two lights, much like the glow of flashlights about 12 inches apart. One of the boys had a flashlight and when he turned it on the object, a huge creature with "a bright red face, bright green clothing, a head which resembled the ace of spades and clothing from the waist down hung in great folds" was seen.

As the creature seemed to be floating on air towards them, the group all ran from the hill back to the May home to call the sheriff.

The sheriff, Robert Carr, and Deputy Burnell Long were investigating a report of a burning object thought to be a downed airplane below Gasssaway on the Elk River. By the time they got to the Flatwoods scene much evidence was destroyed by who had head the story and had gone to see the "monster" for themselves.

Newspapers sent special reports to cover the story. Many investigators also came and took soil samples. One well known scientist, Ivan Sanderson, and his assistant, Eddie Schoenenberger, came from New York City. Mr. Sanderson was known for his studies of odd and unusual happenings. With Mr. Schoenenberger, he made a detailed study of the land and soil. Pictures were taken, some of them from airplanes. Mrs. May and the boys were all questioned many times about what they had seen and the stories were always the same.

With all the attention given to this sighting, one would think that a report would have been definite. However, it was never revealed what was found from the scientific tests and the investigation.

Today highway markers at the town limits read "Flatwoods, Home of the Flatwoods Monster". A few local people remain who remember the night a "monster" landed. Their stories vary. Unidentified Flying Objects, (UFO's) have been reported many times in the United States but belief in them is shaky. More people are skeptics than believers.

Much has been written about the "monster" including a ballad which was composed by a radio announcer, Don Lamb. The song was sung by Cindy Cov on local radio stations titled "The Phantom of Flatwoods", it still makes a hit with school children who wonder what was on the hill of Flatwoods that night of September 12th 1952.

(* Interests remain. The author and others have been interviewed by TV stations and a documentary is currently being put together by researches from a Florida University.)

"The Pantom of Flatwoods"

(tune: Sweet Betsy from Pike)

One evening in Flatwoods, a mother and her boys

Saw a great light and heard a great noise

They ran to the hill, didn't know what they feared

It was there in the dark that the Phantom appeared.


The Phantom of Flatwoods, from the Moon or from Mars

Maybe from God and not from the stars

Please tell us why you fly o'er our trees

The end of the world or an omen of peace?

The size of the phantom was a sight to behold

Green eyes and red face, so the story was told

It floated on the air with fingers of flame

And it went with a hiss just as quick as it came.


The people were frightened and started to pray

They were living in hopes of another new day

This story has no end but goes on to say

This world will go on for it's written that way.

Braxton Citizens News Nov 3 1998

Braxton Citizens News, November 3rd 1998

John Gibson Newspaper Collection (
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