The Braxton County Monster
Page 3 The Charleston Gazette Tuesday September 23, 1952
The Braxton County Monster has been described by a local insurance man and amateur astronomer as an illusion created by the remains of a gaseous meteor. He is Earl Stephens of nearby Belle, whose theory is one of the best offered here on the origin of "the thing" that scared the daylights out of a Braxton County family.
His theory was advanced after Mrs. Kathleen May and Gene Lemon of Flatwoods returned from New York where they described their experience before a nation-wide television audience. It is Stephens' opinion that the meteor, commonly called a fire ball, originated from an electrical discharge in the outer atosphere, forming the shape of a gaseous ball.
Odor of Sulphur
The "Monster" story came to light a week ago after reports that Mrs. May, Lemon and four youths ran smack into the thing while searching for a strange object they saw floating into the woods near their home. They described the monster as about 8 feet tall, with red eyes and a green body, topped by a strange pointed mantle. However, during a thorough search of the area by county officials the next day, only the sulphurous odor remained.
Facts support Theory
During the same period several local residents observed a strange luminous body that was believed to have fallen within a 50-mile radius of Charleston. His gaseous theory is further bolstered by stories of two residents of rural St. Albans, who declared they saw a lighted object float lazily to the ground and disappear. A search of that area by two Gazette reporters failed to turn up anything.
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