Mysterious Events in History A UFO Lands in West Virginia

About the mysterious event in history involving a UFO landing in West Virginia, account of the visit.


When: September, 1952

Where: Flatwoods, W. Va.

The Mystery: In streams of fire, the round thing wobbled down to earth, then dropped out of sight behind the trees. Eddie May, 13, and his brother Fred, 12, ran to tell their mother what they had seen. A skeptical Mrs. May went outside and saw a red pulsating light glowing on the hillside. Alarmed, she sent the 2 boys to get help, and they soon returned with Gene Lemon, a young National Guardsman.

Lemon was armed with only a flashlight as he led the Mays and 3 other children up the hill. It was the perfect setting for a UFO landing--a misty, eerie night on a brush-covered hill. Lemon, one of the boys, and the May dog were about 50' ahead of the rest of the group, when they saw the red, glowing thing and smelled something sulfurous. They stopped at a gateway in an old broken-down fence to look at the object, which seemed about 6' high and 25' in diameter. Soon the others arrived on the scene, and everyone stared in awe.

Then the Mays' dog began to growl, as something moved in the trees near them. Suddenly a figure came into view. It was a 10'-tall being wearing a helmet. Its body (or suit) was of a dark silky material. Inside the helmet was a round red "face" with 2 eyes that reflected the light. It was not walking but somehow sliding over the ground.

Meanwhile, there was a hissing sound and the smell of sulfur. The dog fled in fear, followed closely by the terrified humans. They phoned the sheriff from Sutton, a nearby town, only to find that he and his deputy were out checking a story about a crashed plane. (There was no crashed plane.) The news of the UFO spread fast. Within a half hour, a large group of people had assembled, including Lee Stewart, Jr., editor of the Braxton Paper. Mrs. May was in a state of hysteria, her children in shock.

Lemon, the editor Stewart, and some others went back up the hill. By then, however, the thing was gone, but the sulfur smell still hung in the air, and there were skid marks in the bushes.

Possible Solutions: Explanations of what UFOs may be range from the scientific to the mystical.

Professor FranÁoise le Lionnais believes they are a collective illusion. Astronomer Paul Muller says they may be lens-shaped clouds. Dr. Herman Oberth, a famed German rocket expert, said in 1955 that he believed UFOs came from outer space somewhere. But a few weeks later--now working for the U.S., under top security, at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama--he no longer made such statements.

In 1955, too, Gen. Douglas MacArthur said, "The nations of the world will be forced to unite . . . for the next war will be an interplanetary war." And a Washington UFO study dated March, 1965, reported, "The U.S.A. has to admit it has no explanation for at least 633 sightings clearly made in detail and by people in full possession of their faculties. What is certain is that these things were not test balloons in the sky; neither were they light-refraction phenomena, or stars, aircraft, missiles, or flying objects of man-made or known physical origin."

Many believe that long before the 1st appearance of humans, the earth was visited by aliens in "flying saucers." UFOs, they say, brought civilization. For proof, they cite cave paintings and other primitive art forms which seem to depict alien beings in helmets and round flying objects. They talk of strange sightings in the sky recorded in the time of Cicero, and indecipherable languages found in South America, and pyramids built of stones impossible to lift, and Ezekiel's wheel. Perhaps the incident at Flatwoods was merely an inspection visit by aliens to see what earthlings were up to now.

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