Many years ago near Beckley, west Virginia flypigs were made to work in the coal mines. they mined the low seam coal in spaces only a couple of inches high. crowded back underground in the dark crevices, the little pigs wore a candle on their heads for light. sometimes hot wax would run down into their poor eyes. The shift foreman was a huge pig named, boss hog. He would work the poor flypigs to near exhaustion and payed them each week in company script that they could only spend at the company store to buy feed for their starving piglets. One day a flypig named ,john henry, rose up and talked the pigs into striking and forming a union. Thus the UPMA , united pig miners of America , was born. The evil coal company did not take this lightly and brought in a bunch of scab hogs to work the mines. For many months the flypigs starved as they held out for better wages and safer conditions in the mines.
THE STORY OF THE WEST VIRGINIA COAL MINING FLYPIGS.
In November 1922 Howard Carter and lord Carnarvon of England discovered the tomb of King Tut after many years of searching. This great discovery electrified the world as treasure pieces 3,000 years old were brought to light one after another. When the debris of mileniums were cleared away and the great stone sarcophagus of Tutankhamun opened, there beside his mummy was a second tiny gold sarcophagus.
later in the lab when the little chest was opened it was found to conain a tiny mummy of some kind. When the linen wrappings were removed a small palm nut flypig was exposed with a tiny golden death mask just like king Tut's. Imagine the surprise of Carter and Lord Carnarvon when they carefuly removed the nose plug of the ancient royal toy. Out rolled and even tinier mummy. Unwraping it , they found a dead house fly. The next morning the fly revived and fley away but not before biting Lord Carnarvon on the cheek. The bite became infected and the Lord died. Thus, a flypig was the cause of the famous curse of King Tut.
KING TUT'S TOY FLYPIG
In 1961 President Kennedy vowed to put a man and a pig on the moon before the end of the decade. Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969 and two astronauts named Neil and Buzz stepped onto the lunar surface. No one in NASA knew that one of the men was carrying a flypig in his pocket. As the American flag was planted, the undisclosed astronaut dropped the pecan flypig. And so it was, that a Appalachian flypig was the first toy to set foot on the moon. The next time you look up at the full moon, know that there somewhere on its face is a tiny bit of Appalachian folklore and one little fly astronaut in his pig capsule.
On December 17, 1903 Orville and Wilber Wright made their historic airplane flight over kitty Hawk, North Carolina. What is not generally known is that, the Wright brothers as boys, had learned the principles of flight from observing a toy flypig they had. You might be surprised to know that very flypig, named Otto, was also a passenger on the maiden flight. From his perch in the wing struts ,Otto was the first pig in the history of the earth to break the bonds of gravity.
Sadly ,Otto was killed on a subsequent flight in September 1909 when he was dislodged form his perch by strong winds as Wilber few an exhibition flight over New York harbor. The Wrights lost their enthusiasm for flight after Otto's death and a short time later hung up their wings for good. Poor Otto's body was never found. He is truly one of America's unsung heros.
FLYPIG, FIRST TOY ON THE MOON, 1969 APOLLO 11 MOON LANDING.
WILBER AND ORVILL WRIGHT WERE INSPIRED BY FLYPIG TOYS
HERE IS WHAT CAUSED THE CRASH
In 1901 on a dark, rainy night, there appeared a strange object on a hog farm in Georgia, causing considerable pandemonium with frightened people and hogs running in all directions for their very lives. At daybreak the farm workers came sneaking back with sticks and guns in hand. There standing one inch tall in a feed trough was the sinister object shown in the photo below. It took the most of three days in order to round up all the escaped hogs.
Meanwhile the sheriff, preacher, and newspaper editor had been called in to examine the horrible mechanical pig. When first discovered, it had steam escaping from its ass, but now it sat quietly on a guarded table. The preacher said it was the work of the devil but the editor thought it looked more like a scientific experiment of some sort. When he bravely picked it up and turned it over, there written in a delicate hand on the pig's belly was, "H. G, Wells, London 1895." The editor knew who Mr. Wells was and also knew that 1895 was the year in which the famous author had written his novel, "The Time Machine."
Much was written in the local newspapers about the strange appearance of a pig-shaped time machine landing on a hog farm outside of Valdosta, Georgia and it was assumed that Mr. H. G. Wells must have sent it into the future whilst doing research for his novel.
I bought the little steam pig from the grandson of the original hog farmer. In examining it, I discovered that the rear end screwed off and when I opened it, a dead housefly fell out. I knew then that H. G. Wells had also been experimenting with sending live animals through time. Somehow this tiny time machine failed to return to him in London and 1895. It had run out of steam and time, on that rainy night in Georgia. The photo below was taken of the steam flypig in 2005 before it was confiscated by two men in black claiming to be from the U.S. government.
H. G. WELLS' TIME MACHINE PIG
As late as 1958 in the mountains of Yancy county, North Carolina flypigs were still in use. A local third grader named little Avery had a favorite flypig he called "old grunt". Each day little Avery would carry old grunt to school in his coat pocket and hide him in the drawer of his desk. All day long little Avery would keep an eye on old grunt and watch his funny movements. At lunch time he would give old grunt a tiny piece of his cold boiled potato.
As luck would have it, the mean old school teacher, Mrs. Grady, caught little Avery playing with his flypig and threw old grunt out in the deep winter snow where he damn near froze. Early the next morning little Avery's 90 year old granny walked the 3 miles to school with him, grabbed the bad old school marm by the back of her scrawny neck and gave her a good thrashing.
Little Avery was able to rescue old grunt from the snow but never went to school again. Little Avery was 18 at the time so he and old grunt joined the US army and became cooks in the camp mess hall.
A MORE MODERN STORY OF LITTLE AVERY AND OLD GRUNT
During the last glacial maximum, ice age flypigs grew to amazing size. These fierce wooly mammals weighed almost half a kilo and grew to eight inches in length. Standing fully three inches high at the shoulders, no insect was safe from their grasp. fossilized flypig bones from 50,000 years ago show that they lived in packs and ranged over the entire northern hemisphere of the Earth. Paintings in the Neanderthal caves of France depict stone age children playing with wooly flypigs, and one fragment of a toy flypig carving (above) has been found made of mammoth ivory. You can see the movable tail and hole where the eye used to fit in. It is safe to say at this point that the mythology of the flypig predates modern man or his domestication of farm animals.
ANCIENT ICE AGE FLYPIGS
This page contains mythology and stories about famous flypigs down through the ages.
This little blood-sucking flypig was spotted near the town of Bat Cave, North Carolina on Halloween night, 2014. He was captured and photographed by the local sheriff but , the next morning at daybreak, his jail cell was found empty. Beware.
Astronaut pointing to flypig that he has dropped on the lunar surface.
In July 1947, something crashed on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. The first person on the scene was an old cowboy, Mr. Brazel, who discovered the wreckage and alien bodies, who he thought were small Comanche Indians. Brazel collected a few pieces of the debris for souvenirs and rode on home . One item he put in his pocket looked like a small toy pig which he later gave to his son. Within a week the U.S. Army confiscated all the wreckage except for the little toy pig that the boy had. One morning two days later, the Brazel boy reported to his dad that the little pig had begin to move its ears and eyes. Sure enough this turned out to be true and Mr. Brazel, not wanting anything else to do with government, told his son to get rid of the strange pig.
But like most boys, little Tommy Brazel did not obey his father and hid the pig in his tree house until it quit working. There it remained for some years afterward. As a young man Tommy returned to the deserted ranch, found his former toy and took it back home to Las Vegas, where he worked as a crooked blackjack dealer. Late one night in a bar bet, Tommy lost his pig and his life.
The toy pig remained on display in a Reno bar until I spotted it in 1965 and heard its UFO story. When I realized that the bartender did not know how the flypig worked, I made a bar bet of my own. If I could make the pig move without touching it, I would win the pig , if not the bartender would get $500. I went to the smelly men's room and caught a big blue-tailed fly before returning to the bar. Everyone gathered around as I turned my back and put the fly in the pig. Then, I placed the pig under an up-turned beer glass so everyone could see that no wind was moving the pig. At first nothing happened but just as the suspense reached a peak, the little UFO pig rolled his eyes and wiggled his tail. Absolute hell broke loose and three Mexican cowboys fled the scene.
The bartender pulled a gun and demanded to know how I made the pig move. I looked him dead in the eye and said, "Mister, I was the pilot of that Roswell UFO in 1947." Five more redneck cowboys and a Philadelphia lawyer shot out of the bar in a flash, as I picked up my lucky fly pig and walked away.
As I figure it, the UFO aliens must have abducted an Appalachian hillbilly before crashing, and in the probing of him found the small pig in his pocket. The aliens probably thought it was some kind of human religious icon and saved it for study or they may just have found it funny.
THE ROSWELL FLYPIG
HERE WE SEE AN OLD SOW WITH THE FAMOUS THREE LITTLE PIGS.
The federal government sent in the national guard to keep order until the strike ended and the coal company agreed to raise wages three cents per hour and to make the mines safer. The work day for flypigs would be reduced to only 12 hours and they would get half a day off on sunday. Fans were installed to ventilate the pig mines so that black pig lung deaths dropped by 10 %. The union pigs voted for john henry to be president of the union and each flypig donated a whole penny from their wages each month to support the union. Gradually other worker's unions began to form across America and that inproved the working man's life. Sadly today things have digressed back to terrible conditions for pig miners, many of which lose their lives yearly in poorly managed coal mines. Support your local union.
Here is a website that claims the first flight by a pig was staged by Lord Brabazon in England in 1909 . www.porkopolis.org/2008/first-pig-to-fly/
DISCOVERY OF FLYPIG IN SARCOPHAGUS
TUt'S 3,000 YEAR OLD ROYAL FLYPIG
OTTO, WHAT A HANDSOME DEVIL. MAY HE REST IN PEACE.
FLYPIG, PECAN PIG, WOODEN PIG, APPLACHIAN FOLK TOY, NUT PIG, FLY OPERATED TOY, MEXICAN TOY PIG, INSECT INSIDE TOY PIG
possibly the worlds first steampunk flypig.