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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Sep > Sep 10

UFO Hunters Gather At City Monster Memorial

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2007 10:01:07 -0400
Archived: Mon, 10 Sep 2007 10:01:07 -0400
Subject: UFO Hunters Gather At City Monster Memorial

Source: The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia, USA


September 09, 2007

UFO Hunters Gather At City Monster Memorial
By Bill Lynch
Staff writer

The sleek, rounded automobiles parked outside the Capitol
Theater on Summers Street on Friday night were artifacts of
another generation, almost another America.

The Flatwoods Monster 55th Anniversary and Flying Saucer
Extravaganza at the Capitol Theater was part celebration and
part remembrance of an era when the nation seemed more innocent,
if no less suspicious.

Many of the people milling around the vehicles before the doors
opened at the theater and during the brief intermission of the
four-hour show were children of the 1950s.

From conversations over the breakfast table or around the
schoolyard, they'd heard the story of the strange visitor from
the sky who came to Flatwoods. They grew up with the rumors that
became legend long before it was a book called "The Braxton
County Monster."

Clayton Loudermilk from Clarksburg remembered hearing about the
Braxton County Monster or the Flatwoods Monster when he was a
kid. Stories about aliens have always fascinated him.

"I've always been interested in everything from pyramids, to
space travel, to aliens," Loudermilk said. "I've seen Stanton
Friedman on television many times and just wanted to hear what
he had to say in person."

Others came because aliens and UFOs are part of their everyday

Joe Gardner and his girlfriend, April Bailey, came from
Huntington to commune with others who might share their
experiences. Gardner, who works with the disabled, brought
pictures of what he believes are alien spacecraft.

"I see them all the time, since I was 4," he said. "Back in
March, I was coming back into town and something got my
attention. I had a disposable camera in my tackle box."

He said he started carrying cheap disposable cameras with him
when he went fishing after he got tired of people doubting the
size of the fish he caught.

"Nobody ever believes you when you say you've caught something
this big."

He held his hands out broadly and laughed.

The pictures he had with him show odd, cylindrical shapes in the
grainy background. It's a flying saucer, he insists, and they
fly over Huntington all the time.

"It's not just me," he said. "She's seen them, too."

His girlfriend shrugged, but nodded.

It was a quiet crowd, a polite crowd and, largely, a devoted
crowd. Some of the finer points of what was presented might have
been new, but it was unlikely any of the attendees had come to
be convinced of anything they weren't at least sympathetic to.

There was music and an occasionally surreal stage show complete
with lasers, disco lights, smoke machines, erupting cannons and
a 10-foot-tall cutout of the Flatwoods monster. This was the
festival trying to not take itself too seriously.

Author, illustrator and filmmaker Frank Feschino screened his
documentary, "Shoot Them Down: The Night They Were Here." The
film was a companion piece to both of his books. Feschino's
first book, "The Braxton County Monster," dealt with the story
of the crash and encounter. The second, called "Shoot Them Down:
The Flying Saucer Air Wars of 1952," expands that story past
that September 1952 night in Flatwoods.

The film was a mixture of interviews with some of the principle
figures involved with the Flatwoods monster story, among them
Freddie and Kathleen May, who say they saw the creature, and A.
Lee Stewart, the owner of and reporter from the paper that first
reported the incident.

Freddie May was scheduled to appear at the extravaganza but was
unable to attend because of health problems.

"Shoot Them Down" explored the events around the Flatwoods
monster incident. The film described a combative culture
existing between the U.S. government and flying saucers.

"It was policy for the Air Force to shoot them down if they
couldn't be made to land," he said.

Two hundred twenty-nine fighter planes had been shot down, he
said. At least 199 pilots had been killed. But the flying
saucers had taken losses, too.

Feschino explained the craft that was supposed to have crashed
in Flatwoods might have been one of several that "buzzed"
Washington and was chased.

Author, UFO researcher and nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman
casually pulled apart the arguments against Earth being visited
by beings from other worlds. It's something he's been doing for
30 years.

"The evidence is overwhelming," he said. "The subject of flying
saucers is a cosmic Watergate. None of the objections the
debunkers use stand up under scrutiny."

Friedman showed pictures of people who had seen spacecraft. He
explained people who had seen and experienced contact with
aliens came from all walks of life. Flying saucers, he said,
weren't the hallucinations of crazies living out in the middle
of nowhere. They had been seen above major cities and by scores
and scores of competent observers.

"The debunkers don't want to be bothered by the facts," he said.
"It really is the biggest story of the millennia."

To contact staff writer Bill Lynch, use e-mail or call 348-5195.

[Thanks to Greg Boone for the lead]

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