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The Flatwoods Monster

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The Flatwoods Monsternote  is a cryptid and alien archetype that sprung from an event that occurred on September 12, 1952 in Flatwoods in Braxton County, West Virginia, United States. During the evening hours, a group of seven, among which were one adult and one 17-year old member of the National Guard, went to investigate a bright object that had been seen falling from the sky. What they found, in the singular moment before they dropped the flashlight and ran in fright, was the Flatwoods Monster. The witnesses have described it as a 10-foot tall man-like figure with glowing eyes set in a round, red face framed by an ace of spades-resembling hood. The rest of its body was dark green, either by itself or from reflecting the surrounding leaves, and its overall shape dress-like. It had claw-like hands attached directly to its torso and an unsteady gliding form of motion. There was also report of a nauseating mist that caused symptoms akin to those from exposure to mustard gas.

The first composite drawing of the Flatwoods Monster was made for the broadcast of We The People on September 19, 1952 by an unnamed artist. This drawing became the defining look and pose of the monster, despite some discrepancies with the testimonies such as that the monster didn't have arms.

Another influential entry in the lore is a report from a couple who were driving on a deserted road with their 18-month old child on the night of September 13, 1952. Nearby Frametown, 16 miles from Flatwoods, their car came to a standstill and the family was beset by a noxious mist smelling of ether and burnt sulfur. A purple light from the surroundings woods announced the arrival of what would become known as the Frametown Monster. The couple has described it as a 9-foot tall, reptilian humanoid with two spindly fingers per hand. From the waist down, the monster was hidden in a hovering metallic cone. Once it left, the car started working again. The ostensible relation between the Frametown Monster and the Flatwoods Monster is a matter of debate, but it has pushed the interpretation that what was seen of the Flatwoods Monster was a space suit or something mechanical.


Conventional commentary on the Flatwoods Monster holds that the object seen was a meteor and the figure seen was a barn owl hunched downwards atop a branch. The illness has been attributed to the period of severe panic the witnesses experienced,note  while the smell could've been anything, including grass. There are no explanations for the Frametown Monster on account of there being no proof anything was seen in the first place.

These days, the Flatwoods Monster is a core part of Flatwoods's tourism industry, but does not enjoy much popularity in American fiction. On the other hand, it is a well-known UMA in Japan. It goes by the name "Flatwoods Monster" over there too, but also is referred to as the "3M no Uchuujin"; "3 Meter Tall Alien". It entered Japanese pop culture through shounen magazines in the 1960s and 1970s, which sometimes claimed the seven witnesses were all children.


Sub-Trope of Our Cryptids Are More Mysterious. Sister Trope to Reptilian Conspiracy and The Mothman, another owl-based West Virginian cryptid-or-alien. Not To Be Confused With the Hopkinsville Goblins, which were fought by the Sutton Family, whereas the Flatwoods Monster used to be known as the Sutton Monster because of the county seat.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Fred Yamazaki is the human disguise of a Flatwoods Monster in Chupaca Love. The name "Fred (Fureddo)" is a play on "flat (furatto)" and "Yamazaki" means "hillside", referencing the hilly landscape of Flatwoods. He is infatuated with Kaya, who does not return the interest. Fred is a powerful UMA, having the advantages of height, Deadly Gas, and Eye Beams.
  • Flatwoods Monsters are the Mini-Mecha the all-female population of Warota utilizes during armed conflict. They appear in the two-parter "Uchuu Kazoku Nohara Da Zo" of Crayon Shin-chan. At first, the Warotans attack the Nohara Family because Ginnosuke unknowingly took a stone needed to keep a giant, voracious eel locked in its lake. Once the misunderstanding is cleared up, the Nohara Family comes to the Warotans' rescue. Most of the army, which handles red mecha, gets eaten by the eel, so the Warotan Mayuyu and Shin join the fight in their own mecha, which is blue. The stone is successfully returned to its original location, which forces the eel to throw up all the soldiers it had eaten and to return to the lake.
  • The main characters of Dandadan fight the Flatwoods Monster in the second chapter. Though the picture in Okarun's imagination matches the traditional image and history, the actual thing only has the collar, and otherwise looks and fights like a giant sumo wrestler wearing a Shimenawa. It may be an evil spirit rather than an alien (whatever the difference is): The monster invades as soon as Momo takes a ward off her grandma's shrine, and it's incinerated when she puts it back up.
  • In Episode 9 of Den-noh Coil, Flatwoods Monsters, greys, chupacabras, Martians, and miniature UFOs are all featured in the spooky cyber games the kids play while alone at school at night.
  • In Episode 2 of Engaged to the Unidentified, Mashiro watches a sensationalist documentary about aliens, which covers the case of the Flatwoods Monster and implies a connection between them and Martians. Mashiro, who is afraid of UMA but up until then didn't know about aliens, is horrified to learn that "the threat" is everywhere and imagines herself surrounded by Flatwoods Monsters.
  • In Episode 39 of Jewelpet Sunshine, Labra's use of her universe power attracts the attention of two Flatwoods Monsters passing by Earth in their UFO. Labra is invited on board by the intrigued aliens, but right after take-off she changes her mind and forces the UFO to crash. It slams into the police car of the two officers that had been following Labra and Angela for a misunderstanding. As the officers and aliens deal with each other, the two jewelpets make a run for it. A small joke is that, while the aliens are portrayed to be perfectly understandable to Labra, their vocals are nothing more than a repetition of "Wareware wa uchuujin da;" "We are aliens."
  • Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and his wife from The Legend of Koizumi are depicted as very alien-like in appearance and behavior. The Prime Minister, when dressed up for a round of mahjong, takes the appearance of the Flatwoods Monster.
  • In Chapter 044, "Uruwashi no Belladonna", of Macaroni Houren Sou, Kaori, Souji, and Kindou are chased by a Flatwoods Monster. Its glowing eyes are the first thing visible to the trio and it makes a distinct "kuin" sound.
  • The gag comic "3M no Comiket-jin" in Minna wa Dou? Megacube by G=Hikorou is named after the 3M no Uchuujin and features a Comiket-visitor as the Flatwoods Monster. She has hair and instead of a spade backing her head there are two antennae sticking from her ears. The grabby hands and the dress are more in tune with the creature's standard design.
  • A Darkness-generated Flatwoods Monster eavesdrops in Konoemon Konoe's office in Episode 4 of Negima!?.
  • A Flatwoods Monster is encountered in Chapter 66 of Roaming the Apocalypse with my Shiba Inu. It's a drone which original purpose was to provide safety for The Greys' spacecrafts. Nowadays, the grey farmer has reprogrammed it as a scarecrow, dogwalker, toilet cleaner, and cook. An inquiry whether it knows how to wash its hands goes unanswered.
  • 3M is a popular TV co-host alongside R Gray in Sgt. Frog. He debuts in the episode "FAKE it 'til you MAKE it!". That is, a duo posing as him and R Gray to gain from their fame arrive on Earth and ruin the real 3M's and R Gray's reputations. When they themselves come to Earth, shortly after the fakes are arrested, they are greeted by Giroro's gunfire.
  • When Prince makes his entrance at the Magellanic Nebulae Grand Prix in Episode 7 of Space☆Dandy, the girl that swoons resembles the Flatwoods Monster.
  • Episode 132 of Yo-Kai Watch ends the Sighborg Y miniseries with his meeting of Flatwoods Monsters, who notably are aliens and not yokai. In trying to protect the Earth from a meteor impact, the Belly Button Beam hits another planet. This planet is inhabited by Flatwoods Monsters, whose faces are surprisingly alike to Sighborg Y's and who respond to the beam by coming over. Without much of a home for Sighborg Y on Earth, they get him to live with them.
  • Mitsuko Hiramori from Yu-Gi-Oh! GO RUSH!! is an alien that is based on the Flatwoods Monster with a strong affinity to the number three. It turns out to be a humanoid woman wearing a bodysuit.

    Card Games 
  • The card Dejected from .hack//ENEMY depicts a Flatwoods Monster. It's part of the Isolation set and classified as an alien-type monster.
  • The Arcana Force series of Yu-Gi-Oh! combines Tarot Motifs and extraterrestrials. Arcana Force VI - The Lovers is designed after the Flatwoods Monster.

  • The Flatwoods Monster is the monstrous troublemaker in Volume 3 of Kai Kari by Midori Satou and Norio Tsuruta, necessitating Kiyuu to make a trip to America.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Tsuyoindaver class from Uchu Sentai Kyuranger are the medium-to-high level combatants of the Space Shogunate Jark Matter. They're designed after the Flatwoods Monster, sporting the same spade-shaped collar, glowing yellow eyes, and dress-like outfit. Nine of the Tsuyoindavers have been promoted to Daikaan and given their own distinct look, six of which keeping the spade-shaped collar.
  • Mottarimagedari is one of the phantom-class members of the Dajaku Union of Choujin Neiger. Its design takes liberties with that of the Flatwoods Monster. Rather than a spade, behind its head is a hoop, and the head itself looks like a searchlight with a red-and-black screen. Its name is Akita dialect for "being stuck due to indecisiveness" and true to that, it emits a gas and rotates its face to induce indecision in others.

  • The Flatwoods Monster is the subject of Argyle Goolsby and the Roving Midnight's song "The Being".
  • Two Flatwoods Monsters appears on the cover of the album April Fools by The Scary Jokes among various other cryptids and monsters.

  • The Dunny line of toys by Kidrobot has a wave called the "City Cryptid" series, featuring various cryptids as the vinyl Dunny characters as interpreted by various artists. The Flatwood Monster combines the classic design of the cryptid with a French Maid.
  • David Horvath, creator of the Uglydolls line, has a line of vinyl Flatwoods Monsters in various colors as part of the Kaiju for Grownups vinyl toyline. Various versions of these are located in the actual Flatwoods Monster Museum.
  • The Spacy Land natives, the Spacy Brothers and Himespetchi, from Tamagotchi are modeled after the Flatwoods Monster, having spade-shaped heads and White Gloves that emphasize their hands.
  • The Flatwoods Monster was added to the Uchuu Daisakusen Chocovaders line-up with the second wave as figure #13.
  • Flatwoodsey from Uglydolls is portrayed as a stylized Flatwoods Monster, to the point that the only recognizable sections are her name and the spade-shaped head. To keep with her cryptic background, her original toy's bio was simply a question mark. It took an exclusive redesign of her to give her not just a bio, but a gender confirmation as well.

    Video Games 
  • Amagon: The Flatwoods Monster appears as the final boss. It floats around and shoots energy orbs.
  • Deae Tonosama Appare Ichiban: The Flatwoods Monster is among the alien-heavy Boss Rush at the end of the game. It can throw either its glowing yellow eyes or its red head to bounce across the room. It can also shoot forth a green mist and jump around to land atop the player.
  • In Fallout 76, Flatwoods Monsters show up as Zetan aliens tasked with abducting test subjects for experimentation, which is made all the easier by their ability to teleport and control humans telepathically. Colton Pickins is ostensibly one of their victims. They glow purple like the Frametown Monster and as per the Frametown interpretation of the Flatwoods Monster are aliens in suits.
  • Gaia Attack 4: Both the classic version and a Super-Deformed version of the Flatwoods Monster are threats during Mission 15, which takes place in China. It's up to GA4 to protect the population from the incoming aliens. If successful, the monsters are shown to be The Greys in disguise. The deformed versions are occupied by one grey each and the classic versions hide three greys atop one another.
  • Ganbare Goemon: In Ganbare Goemon Kirakira Douchuu — Boku ga Dancer ni Natta Wake, Flatwoods Monsters are among the alien residents walking around in the city.
  • In Ghostbusters World, the Flatwoods Monster is a pink-and-white maybe-alien-maybe-ghost that needs to be taken down. It is described "as roughly twice as tall as the average human being and more than twice as fast" and in the possession of an aura that can induce hysteria to the point of causing symptoms that mimic exposure to mustard gas.
  • Ginga Ninkyouden: Flatwoods Monsters appear at the start of the third stage. They're portrayed as transformed UFOs and aren't creatures on their own but rather suits to any of three other aliens: the Metaluna Mutants from This Island Earth, the Venusians from It Conquered the World, and The Greys. Any of these three is briefly visible when a Flatwoods Monster is killed. When near the protagonist, they throw meteor bits for damage and grab at him.
  • In Happy Wars, there's a Clerical Weapon called The Flatwoods Monster. It's called so because it is in the shape of said monster. It enables the Ice Enchant Effect.
  • Keio Flying Squadron: The Flatwoods Monster is the boss of Chapter 5, Scene 1: Outer Space in the second game. At first, rather than a skirt its lower half consists of a bomb-shaped rocket launcher. When dealt enough damage, it bursts open and sexy legs sprout from it. The Flatwoods Monster then tries to hit Rami with huge mace-hands.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Flatwoods-like ghostly entities referred to as "Them" invade Romani Ranch during the first night. Only Romani is aware that they're coming and is preparing to stop them. On her own, she will fail and be abducted alongside the cows, only to be returned with her mind wiped clean. If Link helps her keep the invaders at bay until sunrise, they won't return thereafter. Rare for Flatwoods Monster-inspired creatures, "Them" float around horizontally instead of vertically.
  • Among the Friendlies to care for in Moshi Monsters: Egg Hunt, Friendly #9 bares a strong resemblance to the Flatwoods Monster. It has a space theme, a spade-shaped head, and its primary color scheme features a red face.
  • In Ninja Baseball Bat Man, Flatwoods Monsters are enemies during Stage 3, which takes place in Las Vegas, and Stage 5, which takes place in Florida. They're small yellow or red creatures which take off their heads to strike the player with.
  • Flatwoods Monsters are recurring enemies in the Point Blank (1994) and sequels:
    • In the first game, Dr. Don and Dr. Dan track down Roswell in his house at the center of a Circle of Standing Stones to get his piece of the Gunball. Because he's about to be abducted by Flatwoods Monsters driving around in UFOs, he makes a deal to give the duo the piece if they take down all the aliens. Gameplay consists of blasting the UFOs to bits, after which the Flatwoods Monsters fall out.
    • The ride Cosmic Drive in Point Blank 2 simulates an alien invasion. The alien opponents are Flatwoods Monsters and they want to enslave humanity. As with the first game, gameplay consists of blasting the UFOs they drive in to bits. Because this stage is in space, the Flatwoods Monsters float away rather than fall down when their vessels get destroyed.
  • The Flatwoods Monster is one of the many spawnable things in the Scribblenauts series. In the second game they make any children they come in contact with sick.
  • Shadowverse: Woodland Refuge is a plant creature of the Forestcraft class that resembles the Flatwoods Monster. A large leaf serves as its hood, its eyes glow from underneath the leaves covering its face, and it holds its arm outstretched not to capture anyone, but to help another plant grow.
  • Archive file #25, titled The Gojaku Giant, in Siren: Blood Curse tells of the arrival of a 9-foot tall alien on August 25th, 1856, near Mount Gojaku. It tried to communicate with the locals, but its foul smell knocked out anyone near it. The accompanying drawing is of the Flatwoods Monster re-envisioned by 19th Century Japanese art standards.
  • Space Bomber has a giant Humongous Mecha Flatwoods Monster as one of the bosses.
  • The Flatwoods Monster is the boss of Stage 02: Fors Yard in Space Harrier II. It is known as Paranoia and upon approach is encircled by ten red orbs resembling its head. These orbs serve as a barrier and need to be taken out before Paranoia can be harmed. In the meantime, Paranoia shoots fireballs at the protagonist and sometimes there's a flash of facial features on its head.
  • The Flatwoods Monster, simply called Flatwoods, is an enemy that debuts in Chapter 5 of Taiko no Tatsujin: Dokodon! Mystery Adventure, which takes place at the South Pole. It voluntarily becomes one of the player's units.
  • The Mystery Interior in Tomodachi Life is all about cryptids. Among others, statues of the Flatwoods Monster and the Mothman are part of the decor.
  • The Flatwoods Monster is the boss of Stage 9-10 of TumblePop, which takes place in space. It shoots yellow energy balls and is a purely mechanical entity. It returns for the Boss Rush in Stage 10-9. The stage numbers in which the Flatwoods Monster appears may be a reference to the creatures height in feet.
  • A child version of the monster named Pupiru is Rita's Mentor Mascot and a valuable ally in Uchuu Daisakusen Chocovaders: Uchuu kara no Shinryakkusha. 50 years ago, their mother went missing on Earth. Pupiru was still a baby at that time, but nowadays old enough to steal their grandfather's UFO to go look for their mother themself. As it turns out, she'd been brainwashed by Dr. Simon to serve him. When first encountered by Akio, she cannot be harmed due to his machinery. Pupiru, who recognizes their mother by her scent, talks to her with backup from Rita's telepathy and weakens Simon's control enough that Akio can defeat her and fully free her. She reunites with Pupiru and joins the team.
  • The Flatwoods Monster is the second alien to be rescued in UFOA Day In The Life.
  • Flatwoods is an enemy in Valkyrie Crusade, limited to specific events. Her skill is 10 Foot-tall Monster, which has a chance to lower her opponents' defense. Because of the nature of the game, Flatwoods looks like a red-haired woman in a dress, of which the spade-shaped collar has the usual yellow glowing eyes as decoration.
  • The "Flaty" Mooks, also known as "Flat-M3s", in Viewtiful Joe 2 are based on the Flatwoods Monster.
  • Flatwoods Monsters are recurring enemies in the Wild ARMs, going by the name Hayokonton in Wild ARMs, Hyulkonton in Wild ARMs 2, and Creeping Chaos in Wild ARMs 3. In the third game, they have the abilities Human Experimentation, which does little damage but deals troublesome status effects, Direct Voice, which causes confusion, and rc-en-Ciel, which deals status effects to the entire party.
  • Enemy #275 of Wizardry Empire III: Haou no Keifu is the Flatwoods Monster, simply called Flatwoods. It belongs to the Giant category of monsters and is one of the hard-to-find enemies.
  • Gimme from The Wonderful 101 is modeled after the Flatwoods Monster, notable liberties being his black-and-orange color scheme and the fact that the "Flatwoods head" is right above his actual face. Gimme is the second-in-command of GEATHJERK and the right hand man of Big Bad Jergingha. He's powerful, merciless, and sadistic, making his debut by torturing Vorkken for his failure. Gimme takes control of the Humongous Mecha Giga-Goojin, which looks like him, and battles the heroes' own Humongous Mecha Platinum Robo. When a hole is made in Giga-Goojin's control center, Red distracts Gimme long enough for the Virgin Victory to arrive. Aided by its firepower, Red punches Gimme into his own Death Ray.

    Web Video 
  • Trey The Explainer did a video and a follow-up about the cryptid and whether it's most likely real or not. His conclusion was that it was an angry barn owl who was mistaken for a monster.

    Western Animation 
  • Grob Gob Glob Grod from Adventure Time is visually based off the Flatwoods Monster. He's a four-faced deity from Mars whose body and helmet resembles the cryptid, along with elements from various religious deities and concepts.
  • Transformers:
    • The rarely seen bot mode of Botanica from Beast Machines is designed after the Flatwoods Monster and the Frametown Monster. Her overall body takes cues from the Flatwoods Monster, while her face is a more elegant rendition of that of the Frametown Monster.
    • Botanica from Transformers: Animated is based on the aforementioned Botanica and therefore also has a bot mode designed after the Flatwoods Monster and the Frametown Monster. However, in her case the design elements are watered down and not as recognizable.

  • The Flatwoods Monster Museum is a museum dedicated to the Flatwoods Monster. It's located in Sutton and shares a building with the Braxton County Visitors Center.

Video Example(s):


Fabled Flatwoods Monster

A Zetan alien that kidnaps fauna for experimentation. It can be very rarely found around the map, but mostly near Flatwoods.

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