Monday, May 28, 2007

UFO Buffs Plan Summer Summit in Charleston

Flatwoods Monster Front Cover
By Mannix Porterfield

     Is the truth really out there?

For the answer to that and more questions that have persisted after the landmark Roswell episode, make plans to attend a UFO summit in late summer at Charleston’s old Capitol Theater.

Billed as the “Flatwoods Monster 55th Anniversary and A Flying Saucer Extravaganza,” the two-day event promises to be more than the usual fare surrounding the issue.

Headlining the event will be author-illustrator Frank Feschino, who penned “The Braxton County Monster: The Cover-Up of The Flatwoods Monster,” and has a follow-up book in publication, titled “Shoot Them Down,” detailing aerial combat he says was waged in 1952 between U.S. aircraft and alien ships.

Joining Feschino will be world-renown UFO investigator Staton Friedman, a nuclear physicist who took the lead in ferreting out information on hold in the alleged government cover-up of the Roswell incident in 1947.

Added to the mix will be Freddie May, an eyewitness to the Braxton County’s own special “monster.”

Skeptics could be in for more than just a couple of days of amusement.

“I believe if you come to this show you’ll see some hard evidence,” says promoter Larry Bailey, himself a believer that alien spacecraft have been scoping out this planet for quite some time.

“You’re going to see some hard evidence. That’s a promise. That’s not just promotional talk.”

Bailey, who promotes a series of automotive shows, says his belief in aliens has been reinforced since he began drawing up plans for the Sept. 7-8 event, even though he has never actually witnessed an unidentified flying object or anyone on board them.

Besides actual physical evidence, doubters often ask the faithful why aliens with the intelligence to navigate craft through the galaxy always pick a lonely wheat field in Kansas for maneuvers, but never land in downtown Chicago or, say, the Rose Garden at the White House to meet the leader of the free world.

“Maybe where they were coming from when they landed in Braxton County in 1952, they were superior at that time,” Bailey said.

Bailey says he cannot rule out the prospects of life on other, unexplored and unknown planets, far beyond man’s ability to investigate, and that some inhabitants of other worlds have been paying Earth some visits in recent decades.

“I can’t say for sure,” he said.

“I’ve never seen them. But being a believer of God, I think He’s the Supreme Being. How could this (earth) be the only thing? I’m not closing the door on it. If it flew down in front of me, I wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, my gosh, I couldn’t believe that.’ I would say, ‘that’s proof, evidence, right there.’”

Friedman, likewise a believer, has taken his message on hundreds of radio and television programs, among them, “Nightline,” “Larry King Live” and “Unsolved Mysteries,” while preparing some 80 papers and poring over records stashed in 20 government document archives.

Based on nearly half a century of research after the 1947 incident in Roswell, N.M., the nuclear physicist is convinced some UFOs are genuine, and that the government has been aware of this since Roswell but covered up evidence in what he terms a “cosmic Watergate” and considers the biggest event in a millennium.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Roswell incident, still a source of controversy amid growing suspicion the military covered up the landing of a spacecraft and hid the hard evidence — fragments of the ship and the bodies of tiny aliens.

In preparing his Braxton County book, Feschino invested 14 years of research into the 12-foot oddity in Flatwoods. He plans to present a 53-minute documentary on his findings, joined by May.

Bailey is anticipating a large turnout in the 660-seat theater for the UFO summit.

“We’re getting a lot of response from out of state,” he said. “The Midwest. Up in New England. It’s really being pushed.”

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