The Flatwoods Monster

An artist's impression of the witnesses' description of the entity.

The Flatwoods Monster is one of the more oddball UFO incidents of the 1950s. It has all the classic components of an archetypal close encounter: an object crashes in the woods of Flatwoods, West Virginia. Frightened locals investigate the disturbance, whereupon they run into a bizarre, inhuman creature with glowing eyes, claw-like digits and . . . a skirt.

At least, that’s how they described it to authorities, so that’s how the rendering artist portrayed it, which took a great deal of the edge off the encounter as it made the news circuits of the day. Some skeptics suggested the “monster” was a confluence of a startled barn owl, opportune tricks of light and shadow that gave it a wholly imaginary shape and mass and frightened observers already predisposed to be jumpy by a falling meteorite and unexpected aerial navigation beacon.

Now, Frank Feschino, on the other hand, author of Shoot Them Down!: The Flying Saucer Air Wars of 1952, maintains those West Virginians saw the operator of the object in some kind of flight or possibly encounter suit. In this version, the claws become remote manipulator arms and the skirt a propulsion / levitation unit, as witnesses said the thing floated above the ground. In fact, it could even have been a drone or automaton, attached to the object as a repair unit.

The Reptoid Agenda

In the world of the Cabal, this very nearly escalated into a full-blown diplomatic incident between the reptoids and the surface dwellers. While the reptoid nation largely follows the leadership of King S’sathurax, there are always elements whose loyalty to a given leader is greater or lesser than the majority of the population. In this instance, a flight pod piloted by a member of the fractious House Sharpfang violated the treaty between the reptoid nation and the Cabal that reptoids would not reveal their existence to the masses of humanity. If not for some quick-witted cabalists inserting themselves into the situation as both officials to indirectly ridicule the witnesses’ reports and ostensibly clumsy Men in Black who couldn’t decide if they were Treasury Department agents or reporters, the populace might have given the Flatwoods encounter more credence.

Meanwhile, in the Inner Earth, the so-called accident achieved the desired cause of weakening S’sathurax’s position in the nation. As the reptoid descended further into his long dotage and became even less desirous of peace, House Sharpfang readied to fill the power gap and lead their people back to the sunlight world.


Captain’s log: after an unexpected collision with space debris, the ship made a forced landing on a landmass in the northern hemisphere of the third planet from this system’s star. In order to assess the damage to the ship, the chief engineer sent out technicians in the two-man extravehicular activity module. They reported encountering native lifeforms, seemingly gigantic by our standards, more than half of them twice the size of a member of our species.

While the natives were easily deterred with a pacification bio-agent, the engineers report that repairing the main drives could take two or three whole planetary rotations. The cloaking device, functioning for the moment after a scramble to repair the diffraction array, steadily drains our power supply. All remaining power will have to go to life support well before engineering estimates they will complete repairs. Meanwhile, my tactical officer is drilling her squads in combat techniques against significantly larger opponents in hostile environment suits. I pray it won’t come to that.

Psi Ops

The field test was an unqualified success. The circumstances under which the subjects encountered Drone 17-A not only kick-started the natural conversion process of adrenaline into noetic potential, but as the mob gestalt coalesced, there was sufficient excess energy for Drone 17-A to fill its reservoir to 50% capacity. This not only proves that noetic potential exists and can be detected, but collected as well.

Nevertheless, refinements must be made, particularly in improving the efficiency of the noetic reservoir’s ability to collect and retain psychic energy. The next field test is scheduled for two nights’ time, in neighboring Providence, West Virginia. This test will determine the effectiveness of the Mark I Noetic Potential Inverter, a device intended to not only collect free noetic energy, but direct outward in a concentrated beam on susceptible living beings.

For more on Frank Feschino’s interpretation of the Flatwoods incident, you can not only read his book, Shoot Them Down!: The Flying Saucer Air War of 1952, but listen to his appearances on The Paracast and Paratopia. The History Channel show Monster Quest also did an episode on the creature — the content of which is rather contested, it seems. What struck me in particular is Feschino’s recounting of men in $500 suits trying to hush things up, who couldn’t decide if they were Treasury agents or reporters; either they were completely unused to taking the deceptive approach, or were playing a much more subtle game.

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