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Billy Booth

The Flatwoods Monster Explained

By September 27, 2006

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UFO One of the most famous "monster" cases associated with a UFO occurred in 1952 in Braxton County, West Virginia. Known as the "Flatwoods Monster," the case has stood fairly well on its own merits until recently. The story unfolds on September 12, when Sheriff Robert Carr and his Deputy Burnell Long received a call from witnesses who had seen a fiery object as it crashed into the earth. The unknown object had crashed near the Elk River, south of Gassaway. The natural assumption was that an airplane had faltered, and fallen from the skies. Not long afterward, a second unusual sighting was made by some school buddies at the Flatwoods School. Shortly before nightfall, four boys playing football saw something fall on a hill not far from the school playground. The boys went to the nearby house of Kathleen May, and she and her two sons joined the trip to find out what the object was. Reaching the location, they could see a "glowing, hissing" object about 10 feet in diameter, about 100 yards away. Now completely dark, the night was shattered by two lights, about a foot apart. One of the boys had a flashlight, and when he turned it on the two distant lights, a creature ten foot tall appeared...a bright red face, bright green clothing, a head which resembled the ace of spades, and clothing which, from the waist down, hung in great folds. Suddenly, the creature began to "float" toward them, sending the group running back down the hill to the May house, where they quickly called the Sheriff. Soon, a local reporter joined the search, and accompanied by a small group of researchers, he found "skid marks," and was stunned by a "sickening odor." Others had seen the unknown flying object, yet there was never a definitive outcome of the case.

The Flatwoods Monster by Joe Nickell give us a completely different look at the facts above. This is a lesson in how observations by eye witness accounts can be faulty. Nickell tell us that the UFO observed by the witnesses was actually a meteor. The fireball was seen over three states, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The light from a nearby plane beacon will explain the witness accounts of a red, flashing object at the top of a hill. The witnesses, looking for an extraterrestrial explanation, had temporarily forgotten the well known beacon. The skid marks of the alleged UFO were explained by a local teenager who, hearing all the commotion of the night, decided to see for himself, and took his pickup to the scene, burning out and leaving the marks. The nauseous smell and the sickness relating to the incident can easily be explained by the type of grass that grows in the area, and the over-emotional response to the activity of the night. Now that only leaves the monster to explain. Obviously, those who saw the monster were caught up in the moment, and over-estimated the size of the entity. The red glowing eyes, and the wings hanging down were nothing more than a large owl who happened to be perched on a tree in the direction of the UFO, which, as you may now recall, was a meteor. This explanation, my friends, is called debunking. Although the Flatwoods monster incident has never been adequately explained, I just can't agree with all of the explanations above.

(Image © Fred May)

Comments

September 27, 2006 at 2:46 pm
(1) Larry says:

Joe Nickell needs a common sense check because I think his is running a little bit low. I encounter people like this all the time and quite frankly I’m tired of them thinking that people from West Virginia is stupid! It’s just not so. Make no mistake, Most hillbillies are very keen. One has to be very smart to live off of the land like they did back then & even now. I live about 45 minutes from where this happened and need to comment on some of his “theories”.

“This is a lesson in how observations by eye witness accounts can be faulty.”

So is he saying that a whole town isn’t capable of giving credible testimony?

“the UFO observed by the witnesses was actually a meteor.”

Really? So I’m assuming that Nickell thinks that people from W.V. don’t know what a meteor is. Does he know that a lot of people at NASA are from W.V.?

“The light from a nearby plane beacon will explain the witness accounts of a red, flashing object at the top of a hill. The witnesses, looking for an extraterrestrial explanation, had temporarily forgotten the well known beacon.”

Temporarily forgotten. Now that’s funny. Something that people are used to seeing every day suddenly think it’s a UFO or wants it to be.

“The skid marks of the alleged UFO were explained by a local teenager who took his pickup to the scene, burning out and leaving the marks.”

Wow! Now it didn’t take a genius to figure that one out huh? We’ve never seen what it looks like when someone burns out in a truck because we’re so ignorant.

“The nauseous smell and the sickness relating to the incident can easily be explained by the type of grass that grows in the area.”

I don’t know of any grass here that has a nauseous smell other than a swamp & most of them aren’t that bad.

“Obviously, those who saw the monster were caught up in the moment, and over-estimated the size of the entity.”

Yeah. sure. MMm HMmm. That’s because we don’t know how to guesstimate.

“The red glowing eyes, and the wings hanging down were nothing more than a large owl who happened to be perched on a tree”

Exactly. Exactly. So he is saying that hillbillies are so ignorant that we don’t know what an owl looks like, right? Most West Virginians know every animal here. Even the ones that come through during migration.

“This explanation, my friends, is called debunking.”

No, My friends. This is called insulting to West Virginians. Over a hundred people witnessed what happened that night. Common sense is in abundance here. Always has been. A whole town doesn’t just get freaked out over an owl. These are some of the smartest and strongest people in the world. If a West Virginian tells you about something that they’ve seen, then I can assure you that it is exactly what they witnessed. I would like to invite Joe Nickell to come to the Mothman festival though it would be wise to check his belittling attitude towards West Virginians at the door.

October 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm
(2) Chdryl says:

Exactly! Give em hell! I am so tired of Northerners acting like
Southerners aren’t smart. Let me tell you something, I lived in CT for a while and those people are dirty and ignorant.

You are completely right, people who live in rural areas know what is in their areas, animals, etc.

September 27, 2006 at 3:26 pm
(3) Alfred Lehmberg says:

With respect, Sir, this is ludicrous.

Dr. (Degree immaterial) Joe has a CSICOPian axe to grind, requires an owl as big as a ROC, and in no way obviates the story reported by Frank Feschino Jr., a report painstakingly pieced together in over a decade’s worth of careful research.

This research is in no way trumped by Dr. Joe’s slap-dash treatment of same, a specious *research* effort that never even leaves the starting gate and only insults an aggregate intelligence.

Verily, the good doctor (degree immaterial) should return to the clue queue.

alienview@adelphia.net
> http://www.AlienView.net
>> AVG Blog — http://alienviewgroup.blogspot.com/
>>> U F O M a g a z i n e — http://www.ufomag.com

September 28, 2006 at 6:20 pm
(4) Avenger says:

to Joe “Nickel”: you poor worthless fellow, I think it’s too fair to label your “interpretation” of the flatwoods’ event as pure SCUM…

October 2, 2006 at 5:37 pm
(5) Brian says:

“I encounter people like this all the time and quite frankly I’m tired of them thinking that people from West Virginia is stupid!”

No, people from West Virginia ARE stupid (not is stupid).

Anyway, had you bothered to read the article that is available by clicking “The Flatwoods Monster” you would have noted that most of these explanations were given by other people, not Mr. Nickel. I would have to say that most of these observations sound very likely. Granted I was not there so I will not discount the witnesses here, but it sounds to me as if it were a case of misinterpretation.

October 2, 2006 at 7:41 pm
(6) nightwind says:

I do not see any evidence to prove these statements? “Grass smells?” What type of grass has this odor? I see no research given to prove these statements. No reports of time and date area was explored? Please, print your research data to support these claims.

October 2, 2006 at 8:07 pm
(7) Lehmberg says:

Why would he bother when research by proclamation is so much easier?

Couple the preceding with the fallacy of equating aggregate intelligence to unerring subject/verb agreement and one begins to see the sum total of opposition ammunition… meager, sparse, and thin.

Oh… and I almost forgot unbrave. The universe hides behind a grain of sand held at arm’s length into a starry night sky…

…Bigger than we know… bigger than we _can_ know.

Given the enormity? Agreement of subject and verb must be very consoling to some of the _smaller_ minded.

ROC sized owls… not before — not since.

Strong smelling grass… not before — not since.

Klasskurtxian Debunkery from Pelicanists with an axe to grind.

alienview@adelphia.net
> http://www.AlienView.net
>> AVG Blog — http://alienviewgroup.blogspot.com/
>>> U F O M a g a z i n e — http://www.ufomag.com

October 4, 2006 at 7:18 am
(8) David B says:

My problem with debunkers is the dogmatic way in which they present their theories and Joe Nickell is no exception. Never stating that their explainations are just theories, they instead state them as absolute fact. Did it occur to Joe that the “meteor” everyone saw was instead the object that was later seen in the woods? How does he know what the eyewitness observed? According to him they made several observational errors of things they were familiar with on a daily basis. As with most debunkers it takes a greater leap of faith to follow his assumptions than to take the encounter at face value. I don’t know what was seen or experienced in 1952 but neither does Nickells.

October 4, 2006 at 5:26 pm
(9) Barry Conrad says:

If this was a meteor, Mr. Nickell needs to explain how such an object can make a right angle turn as it flew over the West Va hills that night. I’ve investigated this case thoroughly and filmed an as yet unreleased interview with Mr. Neil Nunley regarding this story and it is obvious that these people saw something that terrified them. I don’t remember any of the witnesses mentioning anything about “wings” near that tree either. Maybe Mr. Nickell confused this story with the Mothman encounters. At any rate, I’m 100% convinced that something of a high strangeness occurred there.

October 4, 2006 at 6:07 pm
(10) Alfred Lehmberg says:

I really get the impression skeptibunkies look through the wrong end of the telescope here. Doctor (Immaterial) Joe serves as a case study.

His presumption seems to be that a willing institution of human scientific tradition is waiting to be impressed enough to have a look at this “UFO” thing, when the reality is the polar opposite of that.

The reality, it seems to me, is the Individual Case, the one Crop Circle, the single Abduction, the isolated Report, the sole Recording, the lone radar Return, that singular Piece of physical evidence… …Does anybody deny the actuality and the validity and the genuine-ness of that _single_ validating instance… given the many thousands of them that there are?

No… the most blitheringly klasskurtxian neo-bunkster nay-bob will admit to that “single case”… even if they have to push it away from themselves to some space, time, and surface area… “…long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away…” or otherwise minimize it as microbial and dead under a rock on Mars for millions of years…

It remains that it is that single case to which everyone admits that is the thing to be gainfully searched out, and which is in no way searched out, by design… even _if_ clumsy by a niggard science. It is avoided. Like a taboo.

SBs engage in an extended viewing through the wrong end of the telescope, see, and attempt to discredit that abundantly admitted whole by invalidating, or over parsing, the ineffable items of it.

See, It’s likely the one genuine case which proves a ufological reality, not the one demonstrable hoax discrediting same. But that’s the contention of the denialist nay-bob. Don’t look for the true case. Gleefully ferret out the _fake_ one. Then the next. And the next… and the next after that… and before you know it? You can begin to support the “not looking for it” because it’s such a waste of time and resources.

Don’t look for the real thing though, and minimize any resources doing that! No, “locker-rupture” the past, instead, so you can maintain the _illusion_ of a research activity…

We investigate the debatable, *potentially* discreditable cases in an effort to _put off_ the examination of that single case… proof of the *other* that each of us suspects is there. Some might call that cowardly.

We’re not looking, it’s career death to do so, the mechanism of its denial is huge with many devoted and passionate acolytes, and we humiliate ourselves that we are being rational in the shadow of that denial.

Let’s turn the scope around, eh?

See? It is not Ufology that needs to make itself worthy of science. It is _science_ that needs to make itself worthy of UFOs.

I stand on the shoulders of _giants_, reader, to say that the study of the ‘other’ _presupposes_ a necessity to investigate same; that it is the _truth_ able to withstand … and having withstood for decades … the errant slings and invalid arrows of its corporately biased opposition.

Science FAILS us in an execution of its charter… because it does _not_ execute its charter… in a deliberate sense, in an ethical sense, in an efficacious sense, in a data following sense, or in a sense free of ego. Vallee and McKenna et sig al have pointed out that it almost seems this imposition of an ‘other’ is invented _by_ the ‘other’ as a mechanism to discredit, or otherwise point up the short-comings of that _same_
science refusing to investigate in a forthcoming manner that which is obviously _there_ for millions… if not billions… of individual persons!

Science fails UFOs, not the inverse. Science fails _me_, not the inverse! Don’t _tell_ me what I’m seeing is not there… that I’m Misleading, Misled, or Mentally ill… You only discredit yourself and set me against you.

OK… rant’s over… for the moment.

alienview@adelphia.net
http://www.AlienView.net
AVG Blog — http://alienviewgroup.blogspot.com/

October 9, 2006 at 9:42 pm
(11) J. L. Wolf says:

With all due respect to Joe Nickell, it is widely known that people, even West Virginians, are quite capable of recognizing such mundane, every day items as aircraft beacons, owls and meteors. I also strongly suspect that most West Virginians are quite familiar with tire tracks in grass. This explanation is on a par with the Bentwaters AFB explanation of a “lighthouse” (which miraculously landed in the woods, moved about and gave off sparks), or the “meteors” that are routinely used to explain away UFO sightings that lasted 15 minutes or more (rather slow “meteors).

October 12, 2006 at 12:01 pm
(12) William R. Hancock says:

I read Joe Nickell’s original article on this subject in an issue of Skeptical Enquirer magazine that I found at the news stand a couple of years back. Read through it at the time, trying to decide if there was any useful info there that would make it worth purchasing. After shaking my head and chuckling to myself, I decided that, no, there was nothing worth spending money on there and put the thing back on the shelf.

I’ve found over time that most “debunkery” that comes out of Micheal Schermer or Joe Nickell or anyone else at the CSICOP Institute of Reactionary Nincompoopery is pretty much worthless.

In this case I was laughing out loud at how preposterous Nickell’s “deduction” of a barn owl was with regard to what was seen and described. Didn’t stop laughing at the “smelly grass” stupidity either. What’s that? Grass that smells that way routinely? Then how come none of the locals know about such? And how come the sickening odor came upon them all of a sudden and then later was gone (when the authorities arrived the smell had vanished ). If it was a constant emanation from the grass it would have CONTINUED to stink…but it didn’t.

And something else about this gaseous odor business that Nickell, CSICOP & company fail to mention (on purpose, I am sure, since they wouldn’t want to have to deal with it)…AND which I haven’t heard mention of here either…is that not only did the PEOPLE get sick from this odor, but the DOG did , too…and ran away. But there is more to it than even that, I believe. Correct me if I am wrong, but it has long been my understanding that, subsequent to its exposure to this gas, that dog DIED. Hard to believe that stinky grass and a barn owl could kill a dog!

One more “ingredient” in this story is that I understand some independent eyewitness testimony newly uncovered and correlated with the ridge sighting indicates that some motorists on a nearby county road had the electrical system of their car conk out and then saw a “thing” cross the road in front of them and disappear into the woods. This “thing” they described matched up very well with what the people on the hill saw. It wasn’t FLYING , either (no super-giant sized barn owl)…it was GLIDING over the road…in an UPRIGHT position.
I’d LOVE to see ANY kind of bird pull THAT trick off!

In summation, I think Joe Nickell should get on back to telling fairy tales to his grandchildren…most of the rest of us are too grownup to swallow them. Hasta la vista, Jose!!!

October 26, 2006 at 6:07 pm
(13) ralph says:

are you insane? you call that debunking? the problem with these “debunkers”, are that their explanations are more ridiculous than the events they call “bunk”. what an idiot and waste of time. how is this guy a dr.?

October 29, 2006 at 7:15 pm
(14) Scott says:

The only kind of doctor Joe Nickel could possibly be is a proctologist because he is a complete expert in the field of being an ass. He makes one of himself on a daily basis. What befuddles me is why someone–anyone–would want to devote their entire life to ridiculing others. It takes someone who believes in nothing and is angry when someone else does. I really pity Mr Nickel. He must live a miserable and empty life. He really should go into politics. He would be very successful.

June 15, 2007 at 1:48 am
(15) Keith Hogan says:

Next time you see an Owl with a head shaped like the ace of spades ,let me know.LOL

June 25, 2007 at 6:31 pm
(16) Don Robison says:

Who should we believe a primary source? Or a secondary source with a stated subversive motive?

November 22, 2007 at 11:02 pm
(17) Nancy says:

I believe that Mr Nickel’s is full of horse crap,not only have over a 100 people seen this thing but all over the world there are stories about UFO’s.What’s his excuse for that-mass hysteria,he’s the one full of crap with his explaination on the grass and owl’s in the tree and meteor’s.I forgot to add I am not from West Virginia,I also believe these people when they say that they witnessed this thing.Wake up people,were not the only one’s on this planet.

December 8, 2007 at 11:40 am
(18) Nick says:

Regarding human observations and the “Hysteria” explanation. That explanation must also apply to our fear of Iran’s nuclear capability and our paranoia about a terrorist behind every bush. Anything can be explained away if you dismiss evidence and the eyewitness testimony.

January 8, 2008 at 9:00 pm
(19) Dave in Southern West Virginia says:

I hear that ufos are making themselves look like planes these days. I’ve seen quite a few lately

January 12, 2008 at 1:08 am
(20) John says:

Joe Nickell’s “explanation” is almost as unbelievable as a UFO landing. The barred owl does have an odd shaped head and look; I don’t know if I have ever seen an owl in green clothing though, and certainly not one 10 feet tall. I think this has to be left with the label “unexplained.”

March 15, 2008 at 10:25 am
(21) Randy says:

We live in some amazing times.

August 21, 2008 at 7:29 pm
(22) Ben. says:

Whoever has been out at night, especially in a more rural area, knows that the darkness, being in unfamiliar surroundings (at night, even well-known locales can seem foreign and intimidating) can play tricks on your mind. I believe the villagers tell the truth, make no mistake. But there are so, so many similar cases where rather mundane things startled more than one person. Is a visitor from another world a more likely explanation than something more earthly? I find the horned owl theory pretty convincing. I am quite confident that people from WV are capable of recognizing an owl when they see it in broad daylight, but a group of boys with a rich fantasy, in a gloomy forest, shorty before nightfall might get startled easily. especially if they saw a meteor shorty before and speculated about what it might have been. The whole story basically screams “hysteria”. No offense. It could happen to anyone.

November 26, 2008 at 3:18 pm
(23) Scott says:

No ben, it could only happen to people like you who wouldnt believe it even if they landed in your front yard and beamed you to Mars. Why are you even here reading about this story?? If you dont believe in UFOs, then go elsewhere and get your kicks and entertainment. No offense? Offense taken.

Ben. says:
Whoever has been out at night, especially in a more rural area, knows that the darkness, being in unfamiliar surroundings (at night, even well-known locales can seem foreign and intimidating) can play tricks on your mind. I believe the villagers tell the truth, make no mistake. But there are so, so many similar cases where rather mundane things startled more than one person. Is a visitor from another world a more likely explanation than something more earthly? I find the horned owl theory pretty convincing. I am quite confident that people from WV are capable of recognizing an owl when they see it in broad daylight, but a group of boys with a rich fantasy, in a gloomy forest, shorty before nightfall might get startled easily. especially if they saw a meteor shorty before and speculated about what it might have been. The whole story basically screams “hysteria”. No offense. It could happen to anyone.

March 15, 2009 at 6:08 am
(24) keith says:

I feel sorry for the monster who was 10 foot tall and had to stuff his self into an object 10 feet in diameter :(

June 8, 2009 at 2:12 pm
(25) Will Trame says:

A barn owl? I don’t believe that a simple barn owl would send a dog into a fit of whimpering fear, make it ill and cause its death within 2 days of such encounter. There are certain things that science cannot satisfactorily explain, and the Flatwoods monster is definitely one of them. I have also read of an account of two women encountering a creature of the same description and odor the week before the September 12, 1952 incident. The younger woman was so traumatized that she had to be hospitalized. Joe Nickell needs to keep a far more open mind and consider that such inexplicable phenomena does occur every now and then. This creature incident may never be satisfactorily explained, but I do not believe that it was a barn owl. IMHO, the group of people that traversed that hill that Friday evening saw something out of the ordinary that scared the hell out of them.

December 14, 2009 at 7:10 pm
(26) Dennis McKee says:

When All the facts are considered including tying this to other incidents like Mr. Feschinno does in his book what Mr. Nicol says about this is just beyond silly. Mr. Nicol has never even visited the site and spoken with witnesses. Mr. Nicol is an embarrassment to the scientific method. Real science doesn’t work that way. I am deeply disapointed in the sceptics with this one as they are so on point with so much they do. They clearly have a preconcieved notion with things like this so it is my opinion no one should even consider what they say. I have been for years been willing to debate Mr. Nicol on this specific issue but he won’t do it. If he can support his contention he should be willing to debate anyone. I am. I believe something very strange happened in Flatwoods and I think it is supported by some pretty serious circumstancial and provabele factual evidence. If Mr. Nicol won’t debate me he should be willing to debate Mr. Feschino. Who spent years accumulating evidence and Mr. Nicols never did any serious research. If Nicol keeps up this kind of silliness his organisation is going to lose credibility on the stuff they expose they are right about. Which is a lot. The skeptics make a serious contribuition that we need to keep. Is all this coming from Mr. Nicols Crystal ball? Just silly. Dennis McKee

January 11, 2010 at 5:10 pm
(27) Alpha says:

To Dr. Joe and all Debunkers: They all claim that seeing is believing. They want proof. So then I ask these debunkers. Do you believe in God? If so, have you seen God? How do you know God exists? You see, it is so easy to discredit someone based on their beliefs, personal experiences or encounters. Especially when they seem outlandish. That is not to say that we should believe everything we hear or read. But in this case I have a hard time convincing myself that a town of people concocted such an outlandish story just for attention.

March 10, 2010 at 2:56 am
(28) Mark M. says:

Yep, the ladies that saw it two days before the kids did also saw an overgrown barn owl!! Makes a lot of sense to me…NOT!!!

March 10, 2010 at 10:35 pm
(29) Mike says:

@Mark M

It looks like I am not the only one searching for the Flatwoods Monster this evening. Did you happen to see tonight’s episode of Monster Quest?

Anyway…

It is obscured to assume that an entire town would mistaken an owl for a 12 foot monster wrapped in a metallic suit. Ridiculous. On tonight’s episode of Monster Quest, they mentioned that the woman and those children who saw the creature have either died of — or are currently dying from — lung cancer. It’s a scary coincidence. Some debunkers are paid to discredit people, especially when it comes to UFO encounters.

March 14, 2010 at 5:48 am
(30) Will Trame says:

I did happen to see the “Monster Quest” story exploring the Flatwoods monster scenario. I found it interesting that the program made no direct references to the thing being extraterrestrial. The fact that the individuals from the hilltop encounter are suffering from cancer should shed light on the fact that it was NOT a barn owl that was spotted. The motorist incident was intriguing, although it differed somewhat from the initial story I heard, that being after the car conked out the occupants noted the entity floating towards the woods. Whereas, on the program, the entity was portrayed as being far more aggressive, as if it was defending its territory. I would love to see a barn owl burn through car paint down to the primer. As I stated in my post from last June, I don’t think that the Flatwoods incident will ever be satisfactorily explained, and perhaps it wasn’t meant to be. i would like to find more information on the alleged 2004 sighting, but I haven’t had any luck to date.

August 19, 2010 at 5:01 pm
(31) Loc Nguyen says:

Messers.Shermer and Nickell are notorius for their
flippant way of explaining away events to which they are not witnesses. Well, since they are the Darling Debunkers on the National Geographic TV Program “Is It Real ?”,their word must be accepted as Gospel Truth : No Right of Answer to their pontifications.
However, as Mr.Lehmberg(#9) writes, NGTV which is supposed to be a prestigious channel devoted to
Science, has failed its calling by exhibiting instead an unscientific mindset.
Sad to say, the Scientific Community today is a well entrenched bunker, with a bunkered mindset of its own called “Scientific Consensus”, who instead of saying “We don’t know”, eliminates mercilessly all the facts not fitting into its cosmogony.
The late Dr.Edward Uhler Condon before his death in ’73 destroyed all his UFOs files rather than leave them to other scientists, thus exposing his own bias and failure.
The regretted Dr. Martin Gardner, a great scientist who inspired generations of students and exposed a lot of pseudo-science in his popular works, had unfortunately too given in to slanted skepticism about UFOs.

August 28, 2010 at 10:27 pm
(32) RichGirl06 says:

Ok well I have read some articles and I am from WEST VIRGINIA. I love it here and Flatwoods isn’t far from where I live. I will not say nothing about the Flatwoods Monster but I do know that us from W.V. won’t make up just stories to get attention from other places. But I don’t see where many can say much about the Flatwoods Monster considering it happened so long ago and not only that everything gets messed up and told wrong by a 2nd or 3rd person trust me I know. Surly you guys should be smart enough to know that. Unless you had actually heard it from the True Witnesses or the True Witnesses are the ones telling the Story don’t believe anything that someone else that was not there or anything says. Though we live in the hills that don’t mean we don’t know what things are here we know all the animals that live here and pass through here. The reason we do is because its not that busy of a place so word does spread fast since its a small place here. BUT DON’t CALL US FROM W.V. STUPIED IF YOU DO YOU BETTER JUST HOPE YOU AIN’T HERE AT THE TIME.

December 27, 2010 at 10:20 pm
(33) keith says:

I think anyone anywhere who believes this story is
naive,not stupid.

February 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm
(34) Carlos says:

the flatwood monster is alive and well in mexico. I found footage, They claim it was a witch wearing a pointy hat and a black robe and was hovering around. check it out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GB_dYRxu8w

April 4, 2011 at 10:27 pm
(35) Ray says:

With all due respect Joe Nickell is an atheist, and science is his God. Science can explain alot except for how we got here. Atheists themselves are little more than over important blowhards. Take everything Nickell says with a grain of salt. His agenda is to exalt science in the same way the others exalt God. *The creator of scence*

August 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm
(36) Doug says:

I lived in the mountains of WV for many years, and I have no clue what kind of grass this “debunker” is talking about. I think he is smoking some grass.

September 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm
(37) Annie says:

I am from West Virginia and I know the people here are NOT stupid.
We are very independent, intelligent, and clever. We love the woods and go out there all the time. We would be able to tell the difference between an owl and something truly terrifying. Especially if we pointed a flashlight at it’s face. I have never heard of a barn owl that stands ten feet tall and is green.
Grass? Really? A grass is going to kill a dog and send it running away terrified. Such a dumbass.

September 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm
(38) Patrick H says:

The Astronomy magazine, “Sky and Telescope,” has no record of any meteor activity on September 12, 1952.”
The Smithsonian Institute Catalog and several Astronomy historical
documents only record three separate meteorites to have landed in West
Virginia. None of these three meteorites landed in Flatwoods, West
Virginia on September 12, 1952. 
Why is this alleged September 12, 1952 “meteor” only recorded in the
Project Blue Book files and NOT recorded in any astronomy history or
record books?         
Why was this alleged meteor that was said to have made a “landing near
Flatwoods, W. VA.” never found? Why is there no meteorite impact pit in
the Flatwoods area?

December 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm
(39) CM says:

Hello to everyone here who is standing against those stalwart and omnipresent perveyers of nonsense otherwise known as debunkers. I would like to start by saying I have had many strange sightings myself and while I also know it is very possible to misidentify common things I can also attest that you tend to know something truly strange when you see it. I have been seeing and researching these things since earliest childhood and am well familiar with the debunker mindset. There are generally two reasons they do this.

December 14, 2012 at 6:40 pm
(40) CM says:

Hello to everyone here who is standing against those stalwart and omnipresent perveyers of nonsense otherwise known as debunkers. I would like to start by saying I have had many strange sightings myself and while I also know it is very possible to misidentify common things I can also attest that you tend to know something truly strange when you see it. I have been seeing and researching these things since earliest childhood and am well familiar with the debunker mindset. There are generally two reasons they do this. The first is that they feel a need to attempt to protect whatthey feel is their own special status in within their place in the cosmological totem pole- IE at the top. Most debunkers are also dedicated atheists as some have mentioned here. They are also dedicated to trying to ‘debunk’ the existence of the Almighty Living God.

June 8, 2013 at 9:48 pm
(41) Angela says:

I don’t know much about this case, but I totally agree with those who are outraged at someone assuming that “hillbillies” are easily fooled. I’m only half hillbilly, but it does annoy me that someone makes those assumptions. My mother has 8 brothers who are smart, very aware with the land around their homes, and totally unlikely to mistake an owl for an alien. If anything, they’ve got a lot more practical smarts than most city slickers.

Enough with the dumb hillbilly stereotypes already!

Angela, raised in Michigan with a heart from southern Kentucky

July 18, 2013 at 9:28 pm
(42) Yvan D. says:

Hey Joe Nickell, how about his : a barn owl with an extreme case of flatulence ? Isn’t it an even better explanation than yours ?
Let’s see, they live there everyday of their life, but on that night they get saucer-crazy and can’t recognize : common fog, common grass smell, commun bird and a plane beacon “in sight all the time on the hilltop.”

The Air Force had an ornithology office ?

“… if those sounds were not from the flapping of wings.”
Idiot. Owls make no sound while flying. That’s how they hunt.

August 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm
(43) Devon says:

“Dr”. Joe lol. I’m pretty sure his degree is more fake then he is claiming this case to be. The universe is infinite. That means there is an infinite amount of extraterrestrial being in the universe. It’s common sense haha. The funniest part about this was the smelly grass part. I mean, seriously? Haha 😂

December 14, 2013 at 8:20 am
(44) Darren Hayes says:

I afraid some people cant deal with anything that doesn’t fit into their belief system so they have to find rational explanations and is exactly why beings other than human would not land on the white house lawn and show themselves to the world.Having an open mind means anything may be a possibility even if it does not fit into your idea of what reality should be like. If someone tells you they heard two pigs discussing why they don’t fly when humans are around doesn’t mean it didn’t happen just because you do not believe it is possible. Sometimes people see what they what to see, and sometimes people see things they don’t want to see.When you say you have an open mind remember what that really means and know you will never change anyone’s mind until that person is ready to challenge their own belief system.

January 1, 2014 at 11:21 am
(45) James Snee says:

Debunkers and true believers, two sides of the same coin. Either you are a stupid idiot if you believe or you are a stupid idiot if you don’t. What is insulting is when they have that smug self-assured attitude that they ‘know’ they are real, or ‘know’ that they are not.
The fact is that there are a few, very few cases that present real solid evidence, such as the JAL flight over Alaska, but there is still not proof positive, irrefutable proof of Aliens. I think it likely but I don’t know for sure. No one does. People say they do. Abductions, secret bases, crashed saucers. Just stories, no proof. A story about something you want to believe in may be good enough for you but not for me, sorry.

January 13, 2014 at 1:42 am
(46) Jude says:

Joe Nickel is a self-professed DEBUNKER. This family, among other witnesses, made the same claims, gave the same description. They are now thought of as nuts or liars or drunks; this is what Joe Nickel does for subjects he should leave to the real experts.
Anything that HE is given space to discuss, I will not be reading nor giving any credibility to. We are so quick to name people like this as crazy when you look at it from their POV, you wouldn’t dare report something like this unless you had indeed witnessed it. When will we start believing those people who have given us NO reason to doubt them except for an amazing account of their experience.
Over 200 school children in Zimbabwe witnessed something very real, were they all mass hallucinating? Give me a break.

February 23, 2014 at 6:13 am
(47) scherben says:

Oh dear, the cranks, weirdos and double thinkers are out on this page. Throw in some perceived persecution complex, and you’ve got the recipe for tomfoolery we’ve experienced here.

People all over are stupid.

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