Anomalous Apparitions

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The Flatwoods Monster 1952 (WV)

Witness(es): Eddie May, Freddie May, A. Kathleen May, Neil Nunley, Ronnie Shaver and Eugene Lemon

Date: Friday, September 12th 195

Location: Flatwoods, West Virginia

AKA: The Braxton County Monster, The Green Monster, Baxxie

Investigator(s): Ivan Sanderson, Gray Barker

Story: On Friday, September 12th 1952 at about 7PM, two young brothers by the names of Eddie May (Age 13) and Freddie May (Age 12) were playing football with their friend Tommy Hyer (Age 10) when they witnessed a bright object cross the sky. The object appeared to come to rest on land belonging to local farmer George Bailey Fisher. Upon witnessing the object, the boys told their mother, A. Kathleen May (Age 32), who was a former school teacher that operated a local beauty parlor. She was visiting her parents, the Lemons, at the time.

From there, Mrs. May was accompanied by the three boys along with West Virginia National Guardsman Eugene Lemon (Age 17) and local children including Neil Nunley (Age 14) and Ronnie Shaver (Age 10). This search party of sorts traveled to the Fisher farm in an effort to locate whatever it was that the boys had seen. There was allegedly a foul odor in the air, though this detail seems to have been exaggerated over time by those retelling the story. The team brought with them on this trip a local dog which, contrary to popular rumor, lived for many years after this with no sickness.

By view of flashlight, they are said to have seen something strange and glowing which stood 10 to 12ft tall. The witnesses disagreed on whether it was green or a shiny metallic that reflected the nearby foliage. It’s ambiguous if the figure was animate or not. Mrs. May reportedly saw claw-like arms though the others all dispute this detail. The figure had a bright red pointed cowling in the shape of the ace of spades with two circular light sources. The group fled in panic.

A call was then made by Mrs. May to the Braxton County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Robert L. Carr and Deputy J. Burnell Long were at the time investigating a mysterious report of a crashed airplane near Gassaway along the Elk River near Sugar Creek which turned up nothing. Meanwhile curious locals explored the Fisher farm, including Max Junior Lockard (Age 25) and his friends who drove to the sighting location in his 1942 Chevrolet truck. Mr. Asa Lee Stewart Jr of the Braxton Democrat newspaper conducted interviews with the witnesses and checked out the site as well.

Sheriff Carr and Deputy Long later arrived on the scene to investigated the farm area. Nothing noteworthy was reportedly found other than oil and tire tracks from Lockard’s vehicle. They were able to determine the figure’s height by measuring a branch on the tree it stood near. Local news media reported on the story with several newspaper articles, many of which embellished and exaggerated the details of the case.

In September 1952, a week after the encounter, Braxton county local Gray Barker arrived in the area to investigate alongside Fortean researcher Ivan Sanderson. Barker then wrote an article about the case for FATE magazine.

On Friday, September 19th 1952 at 8:30PM, Kathleen May, Eugene Lemon and Lee Stewart Jr appeared on the New York TV show “We The People” hosted on WNBW to talk about the sighting. During this TV appearance the famous sketch was drawn by a sketch artist based on Kathleen’s description and the name “The Green Monster” was given to what they saw.

Description: 10-12ft tall glowing figure, either green in coloration or a shiny metallic reflecting nearby foliage, unsure if animate or not, possible claw-like according to one witness and a bright red pointed cowling in the shape of an ace of spades with two circular light sources.

Source(s): “Baxton Co. Residents Faint, Become Ill After Run-In With Weird 10-Foot Monster” Charleston Daily Mail-9/14/1952, “‘Monster’ Held Illusion Created By Meteor’s Gas” Charleston Gazette-9/23/1952, “The Monster And The Saucer” by Gray Barker -FATE Magazine (1953), They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers (1956) by Gray Barker, Mothman and other curious encounters (2002) by Loren Coleman Ch1, The Flatwoods Monster (2013) by George Dudding, Flatwoods Monster: Legacy of Fear (2018) Documentary by Small Town Monsters

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⦁ Loveland Frogmen 1955 (OH)

Witness(es): Carlos Flannigan, Robert Hunnicutt

Date: 1955 (C.F.) and March 1955 at about 4AM (R.H.)

Location: Loveland, Ohio

AKA: Gnomen, Loveland Frogs

Investigator(s): Leonard H. Stringfield

– C.F. Sighting (1955) –


In 1955, Carlos Flannigan reportedly witnessed four small man-shaped figures about 3ft tall standing under a bridge in Loveland Ohio. He told this to police and an armed guard was stationed under the bridge.

– R.H. Sighting (March 1955) –

On a night in March 1955, at about 4AM, Robert Hunnicutt was driving through Branch Hill towards Loveland Ohio. He saw what looked like three men kneeling at the right side of the road by the light of his vehicle’s headlights. He stopped his car and got out to get a better look. The 3ft tall bipedal figures he saw had frog-like faces, lopsided chests, long slender arms and were standing about 4ft apart. They were grey in coloration including tight garments stretched over their bodies which bulged out at the shoulder area. The legs and feet were obscured by foliage. Their faces were smooth with long thin frog-like lips, no eyebrows and an indistinct nose. The tops of their heads had horizontal row-like rolls that seemed painted on like a plastic doll’s hair.

The figure in the center was standing closest to the witness and had it’s arms upraised about a foot above it’s head. The being was holding what appeared to be a dark chain or stick which emitted white and blue sparks that jumped from one hand to the other. The small man-like figures motioned towards him as if to tell him not to come closer. Robert stood there for about three minutes before heading off to the office of Police Chief John Fritz. John Fritz drove to the area and investigated, armed with a gun and a camera. He made about five passes but saw nothing. The sightings were then investigated by UFO researcher Leonard Stringfield who released details on the case overtime in his printed works.

Source(s): Inside Saucer Post 3-0 Blue (1957) by Leonard Stringfield Pg 66, Situation Red: The UFO Siege (1977) by Leonard Stringfield, Gray Barker’s Book of Monsters Vol 1 by Tony Breeden (2020)(Names of Witnesses)

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⦁ Kentucky Goblins 1955 (KY)

Witness(es): Eight adults and three children – The Lankford Family, The Sutton Family, Billy Ray Taylor and his wife.

Date: Sunday, August 21st 1955

Location: Sutton Farm between Kelly and Hopskinville, Kentucky

AKA: The Kelly-Hopkinsville Goblins, The Hopkinsville Goblins, The Little Green Men, The Kelly Green Men

Story: On the night of Sunday August 21st 1955, Billy Ray Taylor and his wife were staying with the Sutton and Lankford family at the Sutton’s farmhouse. Billy Ray went to the backyard to get a drink from the well of water when he saw a silver flying saucer shooting flames of every color which then went down into a ravine.

He went back into the house and told the Sutton and Lankford family including his friend Elmer “Lucky” Sutton. An hour later at about 8PM, Elmer and Billy reportedly saw something which appeared to be a 3-and-a-half ft tall glowing man with large pupil-less eyes moving along the shadows towards the farmhouse. The creature was a silver and metallic in coloration had large pointed ears, no noses and long thin arms with talon-like claws which it held over it’s head.

Billy went for his .22 rifle and Elmer grabbed his 20 gauge shotgun. They fired at the creatures from a distance of about 20ft. When hit, one of the small creatures flipped over and ran away into the darkness. The two men then went inside, only for one of the little men to appear in the window. They shot at the entity through the window screen and it once again disappeared into the shadows. By this time the rest of the house was alerted to the commotion.

When Billy Ray exited through the screen door into the backyard, a clawed hand on the roofing above grabbed him by the hair. Alene Sutton pulled Billy away and back inside the farmhouse. Elmer rushed into the backyard and shot at the creatures that were on the roof causing them to strangely float off onto the ground. Another little man then appeared in a tree near the house and another ran out in front of Elmer. The creatures reportedly seemed to glow brighter when shot or yelled at. The families continued shooting at the advancing creatures for several hours before eventually abandoning the farmhouse at 11PM and driving to the police station in Hopkinsville.

Police and reporters investigated the Sutton farm at around 11:30PM without finding anything. After the crowd of people had the left, at about 2:30AM the Sutton, Lankford and Taylor families were once again frightened by a glowing claw-like hand outside their window. Elmer once again shot at the creatures which finally disappeared around dawn.
Description: Several 3.5ft tall glowing creatures with large pupil-less eyes, large pointy ears, no noses, long thin arms, talon-like claws and immunity to gunshots.

Source(s): Close Encounters At Kelly And Others (1978) by Isabel Davis & Ted Bloecher of the Center for UFO Studies, Mysterious America (1983) by Loren Coleman Ch17 Pg185-190

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⦁ Apple Devils 1960 (WV)

Witness(es)/Dates: Local farmers & orchard owners (1960), a group of campers (Summer 1960), Doc Priestly (October 1960), Charles Stover (Friday, December 30th 1960)

Location: Around the Monongahela Forest WV (Marlinton WV, near Davis WV, and Hickory Flats WV)

AKA: Apple Pickers, The Apple Devil

Investigator(s): John Lutz & Lou Corbin, John Keel, Loren Coleman

– Apple Devils 1960 –

In 1960, upright walking creatures covered in dark hair were reportedly seen by local farmers and orchard owners in the town of Marlinton, West Virginia. The hairy humanoids became known as “Apple Devils” or “Apple Pickers”.

They supposedly ran very fast, had a foul odor and left behind torn down fences, broken branches and the apple trees stripped of fruit. John Lutz of WFBR Radio and his boss Lou Corbin reportedly investigated the creatures in 1960.

– Davis WV Sighting (Summer 1960) –

In summer 1960, a group of young men were camping near Davis WV, at the edge of the Monongahela Forest when they saw an 8ft tall monster covered in long shaggy hair with large far apart eyes like balls of fire. The creature poked one of the campers in the ribs and then just stared at them before shuffling away into the forest.

The next morning, the men left early. They found footprints which they were too afraid to follow. The story was sent to author John Keel by one of the supposed witnesses in a letter dated January 7th 1961. Others supposedly had seen the same fiery eyed creature around Parson WV that same summer in 1960.

– Doc Priestly Sighting (October 1960) –

In October 1960, W. C. “Doc” Priestly was driving along through the Monongahela forest near Marlinton West Virginia when suddenly his vehicle stalled. Beside the road he saw a large humanoid monster with long hair standing up on end. When the bus ahead of Priestly backed up, the creature’s hair dropped down and it ran off into the forest. Doc’s car then started back up and he drove away. Priestly later told his story to the Charleston WV Daily Mail on January 5th 1961.

– Charles Stover Sighting (December 30th 1960) –

On Friday December 30th 1960 at around 11PM, Charles Stover was driving a bakery truck near Hickory Flats West Virginia when he saw a 6ft tall hair covered monster standing by the road which he almost hit. Stover stopped his truck to see the large creature staring at him.

He quickly drove away to a nearby truck stop and told his story to a group of men there who armed themselves and went back with him to the location. They discovered unusual markings on a ground and saw that large rocks had been turned over. Strange cries from the wilderness had supposedly been heard by locals in the area for weeks.

Source(s): Strange Creatures From Time And Space (1970) by John Keel Pg 120-122 #60-62, Mothman and other curious encounters (2002) by Loren Coleman Pg21/Ch1

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⦁ The Grafton Monster 1964 (WV)

Witness(es): Robert Cockrell

Date: Tuesday, June 16th 1964 at about 11PM

Location: Grafton, West Virginia

AKA: The Headless Horror

Investigator(s): Gray Barker

Story: On Tuesday June 16th 1964 at around 11PM, a young journalist named Robert Cockrell was driving home at about 50MPH on Riverside Drive along the Tygart river. When he reportedly saw a huge white thing standing on the right side of road in a cleared off section of grass near the river bank. He said the creature seemed to have seal-like skin and no discernible head. It was 7 to 9ft tall and 4ft wide.

Robert got two of his friends to accompany him back to the sighting location. They searched along the riverbank for over an hour but found nothing. The grass where the creature had been seen was supposedly mashed down. They then heard a strange low whistling noise coming from the direction of the river, which seemed to follow them, though they couldn’t see what was making the sound.

Word soon spread and it became a Monster-Hunting sensation. Robert told his news editor and a small story was released in The Grafton Sentinel on June 18th. Crowds of people went to the sighting area with weaponry and searched everywhere for The Grafton Monster. Over 20 of these searchers said they saw the creature, including at the nearby stone quarry.

Each of these supposed witnesses was questioned individually by Robert Crockrell. One teen even suggested that the monster might be an escaped polar bear. Police Officers also searched the area but found nothing.

The newspaper then put out a second article on June 19th in which they dismissed the creature as a wildly imaginative story or a trick of the eye. They suggested that it could have been something else that took on a weird shape in the darkness.

The excitement eventually died down but Cockrell continued his investigation. He allegedly found other sightings along the Tygart River and into Morgantown which matched the creature’s description and took place before his encounter. However he never published the details of his research.

He contacted Clarksburg researcher Gray Barker and exchanged correspondence with him about the case. Barker wrote up a rough draft article about the monster which was later rediscovered in 1995 by Mark Hall in The Gray Barker Archive.

Description: White seal-skinned creature with no discernible head, 7-9ft tall, 4ft wide standing near the riverbank. Low whistling sound heard in the area afterwards.

Source(s): “Teen-Age Monster Hunting Parties Latest Activity On Grafton Scene” The Grafton Sentinel June 18th 1964, “‘Monster’ Result of Spring Fever, Wild Imagination” The Grafton Sentinel June 19th 1964, Robert Cockrell and Gray Barker’s July 1964 Letters from the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library, Monsters of West Virginia (2012) by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Ch1, The Grafton Monster (2019) by George Dudding

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⦁ Indrid Cold 1966 (WV)

Witness(es): Woodrow Derenberger

Date: Wednesday, November 2nd 1966, about 7:25PM

Location: Intersection of Interstate 77 and Route 47, Parkersburg WV

AKA: Cold

Investigator(s): John Keel, Gray Barker

Story: On Wednesday November 2nd 1966, Woodrow Derenberger, a salesman for a sewing machine company, was driving from Marietta Ohio in a red panel truck to his home in Mineral Wells WV. He claimed that at about 7:25PM, on the intersection of Interstate 77 and Route 47, a strange dark gray 30 to 35ft long craft hovering about 8 to 10 inches off the ground passed him and swerved in front of his truck, blocking the road and forcing him to a stop. The craft reportedly had no windows or lights in it, was charcoal in coloration and glistened when hit by Derenberger’s headlights.

A figure, appearing to be a normal human being, is said to have then stepped out of a door on the side of the craft and approached the right hand side of his truck. Derenberger claimed that the unknown man telepathically told him to roll down his rain streaked window and had a conversation with him without ever speaking aloud. The craft reportedly lifted up into the air and hovered about 50 to 75ft over the road during this conversation.

Woodrow said that this man smiled politely and asked him many questions such as who he was and where he lived. Woodrow said that he was frightened but answered the questions verbally. The man is said to have told Mr. Derenberger not to be afraid and that he was a “searcher” named “Cold”. The man also said that cities, like Parkersburg, are called “gatherings” where he comes from.

Cold was wearing a dark blue zippered overcoat made of a glossy or shiny reflective material with a darker blue buttoned shirt underneath and navy blue pants. He had a full head of dark brown hair which was combed back. His skin was deeply tanned and he looked to be about 35 to 40 years of age. He stood with his arms crossed for the entire conversation.

Cold supposedly uttered the phrase “we will be seeing you again” before leaving. Woodrow reported that the craft came back down and that Cold stepped inside. The hand of someone already inside then supposedly closed the side hinged door and the craft took off.

Description:

Object: Dark gray and black charcoal coloration, 30-35ft long, glistened in the light, no lights or windows, blocked the road, side hinged door, hovered at all times at varying heights, 8-10in off the ground at first, then 50-75ft during conversation.

Figure: Appeared to be a normal looking person, full head of dark brown hair combed back, deeply tanned skin, looked about age 35-40, wore dark blue zippered overcoat made of glossy or shiny reflective material with a darker blue buttoned shirt underneath and navy blue pants, stood with his arms crossed, smiled politely, spoke only telepathically.

Source(s): WTAP-TV Interview broadcast Nov3rd-1966, Strange Creatures From Time And Space (1970) by John Keel Ch14, Visitors From Lanulos (1971) By Woodrow Derenberger, The Mothman Prophecies (1975) by John Keel Ch5

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⦁ The Mothman 1966-67 (WV)

See The Mothman Archive (1966-67) – A List of Mothman Sightings!

Sighting(s): Over 40 known sightings

Date: November 1st 1966 – December 1967 (13 Months)

Location: West Virginia (Centered in Pt Pleasant/Mason County)

AKA: The Bird, The UFO Bird, The American Garuda,
The Angel of Pt Pleasant

Investigator(s): John Keel & Mary Hyre

Story: On November 15th 1966, two teenage couples reportedly saw a man-sized bird-like creature in The TNT Area near Pt Pleasant WV, they reported this to police, it was printed in the local papers and even became an international story. The sightings continued in the months that followed and prior sightings in the area also came to light which dated back to at least November 1st 1966. On December 1966 Fortean author John Keel came to the town of Pt Pleasant and began his work investigating with the help of local reporter Mary Hyre of The Athens Messenger.

Together they documented stories of the bird-like creature which came to be known as “Mothman” by the newspapers as well as sightings of UFOs and encounters with Men In Black. The strange events continued until December of 1967 when the town’s Silver Bridge tragically collapsed, from there the legend went mostly silent for a while. Keel published a chapter on the Mothman in his book Strange Creatures From Time And Space in 1970 and released his famous book The Mothman Prophecies in 1975.

Source(s): Where The Waters Mingle; News Column (1966-67) by Mary Hyre, Strange Creatures From Time And Space (1970) by John Keel, The Mothman Prophecies (1975) by John Keel

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⦁ Vegetable Man (WV)

Witness(es): Jennings H. Frederick

AKA: Veggieman

Investigator(s): Gray Barker

Story: Before entering the Air Force, a man by the name of Jennings H. Frederick supposedly had a strange encounter with a green stalk-like creature. The unknown entity reportedly grabbed him, put him into a trance-like paralysis state and drew blood from his arm. He told the story to Gray Barker of WV who dubbed the creature “Vegetable Man”.

Note: The witness’s mother also had a strange experience with a devil-like monster which reportedly came from a UFO that landed in a field near her home.

Description: Stalk-like creature, green in coloration

Source(s): Men In Black: The Secret Terror (1983) by Gray Barker Pg133, Passport To Magonia (1969) by Jacques Vallee Pg310, #644 (Mother Story)

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⦁ Flying Manta Rays 2004 (WV)

Witness(es): Unnamed Woman

Date: Saturday, December 3rd 2004, between 6PM to 7PM

Location: Ashton, West Virginia (along Rt. 2 towards Huntington WV)

Investigator(s): Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Kurt McCoy

Story/Description: On Saturday December 3rd 2004, between 6PM and 7PM, a man and woman were traveling on Route 2 from Pt Pleasant to Huntington. As they drove near Ashton WV, the woman in the passenger seat noticed movement in the sky to the right above the Ohio river. The grey shape was bigger than a car and wider than two road lanes. It glided 25ft above them and swooped down in a figure 8 towards the windshield then suddenly disappeared.

The flying manta-ray-like creature was smooth looking and translucent like a jellyfish. It had no head, eyes, feet or tail but it did have wings and moved through the air like an underwater creature swimming through the ocean.

Note 1: Another flying manta ray reportedly flew over the car of a woman and her daughter in Horton WV located in Randolph county. It was dubbed the “Horton Horror” by a local reporter.

Note 2: Fortean researcher Kurt McCoy also received a report from a man who claimed to see a huge manta ray shaped thing with two reddish-orange eyes fly up from the road in front of him. He honked his horn and the dark form few off over a hill.

Source(s): Monsters of West Virginia (2012) by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

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