Decades of entertainment and pop culture have invaded our eyes and ears with tales of little green men coming from destinations unknown and plaguing our skies and our homes. These little green critters often changed throughout the decades as stories spread and culture shifted. So when we hear the stories of close encounters with what we often consider aliens, it's no wonder that some of these more radical reports get brushed to the side. They just seem to be too damn strange. They don't fit the prototypical alien mythology we've been conditioned to believe (or not believe) is true. They bend the rules and they challenge the norm. So what are these outsiders amongst outsiders? Let's take a look at a few cases of possible monsters from above... or possibly below.
The Flatwoods Monster
It was September 12th, 1952. In the town of Flatwoods, West Virginia, three young boys were wrapping up an evening of football when they noticed something unusual in the night sky. As they watched above, a rather bright object seemed to be making a rapid descent towards a nearby farm. Scared and excited, the boys immediately rushed to the first home they could find. This was the home of one Kathleen May. May, fearing an aircraft crash of some sort, called the local police. But they didn't want to wait, fearing that someone may be hurt and need immediate attention. Soon, May, the children, and her dog, all headed out to the proposed site where the object had either landed or crashed.
As the group made their way towards the top of a nearby hill, the dog excitedly ran ahead, sensing something of interest. Moments later, the dog returned, looking completely scared and whimpering. It wouldn't be long before the group saw just exactly what the dog had encountered. About one hundred yards or so in the distance, a glowing object burned bright, a hissing sound emanating in all directions. A thick mist covered the area. As the group timidly moved forward, they noticed that the light was actually two circles, giving off the effect of headlights of some sort. As one of the boys cast his flashlight forward, it soon became clear that the object wasn't an object at all. It was alive.
As they all stood in terror, they looked on at a creature that was about ten feet tall and four feet wide. It appeared to be wearing some sort of metallic suit, green in color, pipes, and valves wrapping around it. A cowl, shaped like an ace of spades, covered its blood-red head. The eyes of the creature seemed to be portholes of some sort, a mixture of green and orange light piercing through them. Varying accounts also describe the creature as having small, stick-like arms, while others claim it had no appendages. Either way, as the group began to become more vocal, the creature seemed to take notice. It hissed furiously and began to ominously float towards them.
Petrified, the group ran back over the hill and fled the area. It was at this point that the local sheriff finally showed up. May began to explain what they'd seen, and soon a local news reporter, A. Lee Stewart of the Braxton Democrat, was on site, interviewing the witnesses. Meanwhile, the sheriff and several officers searched the area for the creature but could find nothing. Many other reports of flying objects had been reported in the area prior to this event, and even of the same creature. Civilian Saucer Investigation (CSI) had compiled many reports which included that of a mother and her daughter who claimed to have encountered the same metallic, hissing creature. The encounter had emotionally and mentally affected the daughter so severely that she remained in a hospital for weeks trying to recover from the entire ordeal. Another interesting report came from the mother of the farmer who the original event had stricken. She claimed that at around the same time of the incident, the radio in her home cut out completely and some sort of explosion seemed to occur, shaking the entire foundation of the home.
While reports continued to trickle in prior to and after this main event, it was clear that something from above had come down in Braxton County in the small town of Flatwoods, West Virginia. But just like many tales of this kind, the town embraces it with open arms and open pockets. It has become a destination for many monster hunters and folklore enthusiasts, small tourist attractions littered with images of the monster welcoming visitors from all over the world. So was this smelly, metallic, hissing creature something from outer space? Or was it all just a desperate ploy to bring attention to the town? Either way, the Flatwoods Monster remains a staple of both UFO and monster lore, blending the two in enigmatic intrigue.
The Hopkinsville Goblins
It was August 21st, 1955 when the Sutton family were settling down for a night with friends in their farmhouse, located on Old Madisonville Road, about eight miles north of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Indoor plumbing was a luxury they just couldn't afford, and as the summer night progressed, it was usually warm. One of the friends, Billy Ray Taylor, went outside to fetch some water for the group. But as he made his way to the well, he noticed something unusual above him.
There, in the night sky, a multi-colored object hovered and seemed to be spitting flames in every direction. Suddenly, the object began to make a rapid descent into a gully about three-hundred yards away. Struck by the event, Taylor rushed inside to tell everyone what he'd seen. As he excitedly described the object, the Suttons, and even Taylor's wife, believed him to be making the entire story up. They brushed it off and went on with their night.
It was around 8 pm when the Sutton family dog began to bark at something at the window. Curious, the oldest son of the family, Elmer, noticed something glowing outside. As he peered out the window, he reeled back in surprise. There, behind the glass, was what appeared to be a small figure. It was about three feet tall with a large head and bat-like ears. It had large eyes, no nose, and a mouth that stretched from one side of its face to another. It was very thin, with long arms that included talon-like claws. A silver-colored suit covered its body. As the Suttons and friends began to react inside, the creature noticed that it had been spotted. It then began to float towards the house, a few feet off the ground. At this point, Elmer and Taylor grabbed a pair of rifles and headed outside.
Upon seeing the creature floating in mid-air, they panicked and both began to open fire. But the creature was unfazed. It turned and disappeared into the darkness. They returned inside to calm the rest of the group, explaining they'd at least scared the creature away. To assure them of this, they went outside again. But just as Taylor walked out, a claw grabbed him by the hair from the roof above. Elmer once again opened fire on the creature, hitting it directly. It fell from the roof and onto the ground below. Suddenly, a bright light illuminated from the nearby woods. Another creature soon appeared. And another. It was clear that the Sutton farm was being invaded my these goblin-like creatures.
A one-sided firefight ensued for the next few hours, as Taylor and Elmer continued firing at the creatures every time they tried to approach. And each time, they would retreat into the darkness of the woods. Around 11 pm, terrified and exhausted, the activity seemed to wind down, and soon, the creatures were nowhere to be found. The Taylors and Suttons hopped into their vehicles and immediately headed for the Hopkinsville police station.
After explaining in great detail what had just occurred, several officers accompanied the group back at the farm. After a long investigation lasting well into the early morning, they could find nothing and left the scene. Apparently, around 2:30 am, the Taylor and Sutton family were terrorized yet again by the creatures as they played their mind games yet again, appearing and disappearing into the dark. Gunfire ensued yet again until the sun rose and the families finally fell asleep, hoping this was all just a very vivid nightmare. But it wasn't.
The following morning, a report of the event was published in the Kentucky New Era newspaper, the police having seemingly released information to the media. As news spread, reporters from all over the country descended on the small farm. UFO enthusiasts camped out on the family's lawn, hoping for a return by these possibly extraterrestrial goblins. Completely disturbed by the media circus and the exposure, the Sutton family eventually sold the farm and moved into the nearby town of Kelly, hoping to blend in and forget about that terrifying night.
But the towns of Kelly and Hopkinsville never forgot. The story made it into many publications on UFOs and encounters with alien beings. And the town of Kelly even holds the annual Little Green Men Festival, highlighting the events that took place on the Sutton farm. And while the current owner of the land dissuades any from visiting, that doesn't stop a community who sees peaks in tourism every August when the event originally occurred.
The Dover Demon
It was in April of 1977 when the small town of Dover, Massachusetts suffered a string of strange sightings involving a small creature roaming the streets. First reported by a group of teenage boys, Bill Bartlett, 17, noticed a small figure huddled next to a stone wall as they passed by it in their vehicle. The figure soon came into sight from the car’s headlights, turning and staring straight at Bartlett. Its eyes were, according to Bartlett, “glowing brightly like orange marbles. It was about four feet tall and stood upright. It had a pale, gray tone to its hairless body. It had no nose or mouth. Its head was very large like a watermelon,” he would go on to describe. While the other friends in the car didn’t see anything, they all admitted that Bartlett was extremely distraught after telling them what he had seen. Bartlett would return home that night, visibly shaken, according to his father, and sketched the creature.
It was a few hours later that the second sighting of this creature took place. John Baxter, 15, was walking home from his girlfriend’s house. Thinking it was a friend of his, he approached, stunned when he finally saw the silhouette of something rather odd. This small creature stared at him, standing upright, with bright orange/red eyes. It had very long toes and fingers which clung tight to rocks on the ground.
The following night would include what most considered the final sighting of the Dover Demon. Abby Brabham was being driven home by a friend when she noticed a small creature on the side of the road. She would describe it quite similarly to that of Bartlett and Baxter, however, she stated that it was crawling on all fours. Her description of the eyes differed as well, proclaiming a bright green color.
Despite the variances in witness testimony, it seems that something truly strange was wandering the streets of Dover over the span of two nights. Could the fact that as the sightings grew, the creature was becoming more and more desperate to not be seen? Or perhaps, it was somehow ill or injured, starting on two legs, and slowly digressing in strength, having to eventually crawl. Though completely speculative, it seemed that this creature did not want to be seen. But in the eyes and memory of the three witnesses above, the small gray creature dubbed the Dover Demon has all but faded into cryptozoological obscurity, its bright orange (or green) eyes haunting the back roads of Dover up until today.
It is quite apparent that the stories above don't fit the typical close encounter narratives we are used to when dealing with UFO cases. In fact, these stories may have absolutely nothing to do with aliens. But the appearance of objects in the sky preceding some of the events does beg the question; if not alien, then what? And while these cases may go down in cryptid lore for decades to come, one thing is for certain. The Flatwoods Monster, The Hopkinsville Goblins, and the Dover Demon will continue to haunt the pages of many books, many films, and many tourist traps. But more importantly, they will continue to haunt our minds as we peer into the darkness time and time again, hoping we will never come face-to-face with any or all of these creatures from parts unknown.
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Ryan Sprague is the author of 'Somewhere in the Skies: A Human Approach to an Alien Phenomenon' (Available on Amazon). Speaking on the UFO topic, he has been featured on ABC News, Fox News, and The Science Channel. He is also a regular on the Travel Channel's 'Mysteries at the Museum'. Ryan is the co-host for both the Into the Fray & UFOmodPOD podcasts. Learn more at: www.somewhereintheskies.com