Years ago, when I was introduced to the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and reading his fearful descriptions of those who populated hell, some of those descriptions joggled my memory. Somewhere else I had read about a “monster” with features similar to those that Swedenborg had described, attached to similar frightening phenomenon.
Swedenborg described various beings from hell as giving off a sickening smell, produced by a cloudy or misty “atmosphere of malice.” These beings had frightful heads and eyes and they existed in a gloomy realm whose “light” was similar to that given off by burning coals. In one case Swedenborg described a horrible, devilish entity as having legs like snakes or serpents!
Where the heck had I read a similar description before?
Then I recalled having read a book 15 years earlier, titled Stranger Than Science. On page 78 it had a story called “The Flatwoods Monster.” On a September evening in 1952, in a tiny West Virginia town called Flatwoods, several children witnessed a flying saucer land on the mountaintop nearby.
They told their mom, who then told other neighbors, and a small search party was organized (among whom was a member of the National Guard) to investigate the matter. As they climbed the hill they noticed a light mist drifting on them that gave off a pungent, irritating odor. Where the odor was strongest, they noticed an object glowing like a mass of red coals.
The search party was about seventy-five feet away from the glowing red object when they noticed something else moving among the bushes nearby. A dog brought along with them began growling and bristling. The party aimed their flashlights in the direction of the movement.
What they saw was a living creature, less than ten feet tall, with a face that was round and blood red. The creature had two greenish-orange eyes that reflected the flashlight beams like those of wild nocturnal animals. Bushes hid the lower extremities of the creature, which seemed to move about in a sliding manner while making a hissing noise and giving off a horrible stench.
The dog fled and the whole search party panicked, leaving the scene.
Later when the Sheriff and a deputy arrived they found the young boys in a state of shock and their mother hysterical.
This time an armed party was formed to go back up the hilltop. The monster and strange pulsating red object were gone but the sickening odor was still there. This second search party also found unexplained skid marks on the ground where the pulsating object had been originally observed. This story made news around the world.
Who knows what the Lord God will reveal to humans for divine purposes?