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Pulitzer Pass-ups & A "Flatwoods Monster" Redux

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  • Alfred Lehmberg
    Pulitzer Pass-ups & A Flatwoods Monster Redux by Alfred Lehmberg [Book Review: The Braxton County Monster: The Cover-Up of the Flatwoods Monster Revealed by
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 7, 2005
      Pulitzer Pass-ups & A "Flatwoods Monster" Redux
      by Alfred Lehmberg

      [Book Review: The Braxton County Monster: The Cover-Up of the
      Flatwoods Monster Revealed by author/investigator Frank C. Feschino,
      Jr. and published by Quarrier Press (Charleston, WV- 2004)]


      On "Strange Days Indeed" with Errol Bruce- Knapp I heard Stanton
      Friedman say that Frank Feschino's book on the Flatwoods monster
      would likely never win a Pulitzer. He's likely right.

      Only... you'd be taking Friedman well out of contest if you left it
      there. Maybe it's not for the reason most immediately thought of --
      that reason concerning suspiciously judgmental mainstream assessments
      that it wasn't good enough. Polished enough. Detailed enough. Cited

      ...Appropriate enough. Pertinent enough...

      ...Important enough?

      I'm betting that's not Mr. Friedman thinking, either. Verily, he
      seems to have a key understanding just how important Feschino's book
      actually is.

      Indeed, a close look at Mr. Faschino's book and detailed research
      begs the question. ~Is~ it good enough?

      The reader discovers he doesn't have to squint his eyes very much, at
      all, to begin to wonder if that might indeed be so. That's right.
      It might be good enough, after all...

      What did Mr. Pulitzer extort the intrepid aspirates for his prize to
      do, ~anyway~, but:

      [a] Unflinchingly ~study~ the social, political, and moral realities
      of fellow human beings.

      [b] Make ~accurate~ records of the expressions regarding the
      character displayed by these fellow individuals, and...

      [c] Report, equally unflinchingly, on the principles of the aggregate
      world condition as it is, and has been, reflected by the persons
      ~employing~ these principles.

      I submit that a case could be made that Mr. Feschino has abundantly
      addressed each of the preceding points in turn... and in spades.
      That's right.

      ...But he'll never win a Pulitzer. He can't. To recognize Frank
      Feschino for a Pulitzer is to knock a supporting cornerstone from the
      edifice of a stagnant, officious, and largely illegitimate "status
      quo" we all continue to endure. Feschino can't get a Pulitzer,
      flatly, because the establishment lacks the sack it needs to cut its
      own throat to ~give~ him one.

      I won't pretend that this is ~enough~ justification for an
      establishment's reluctance to take its own life. Some throats, very
      likely, ~should~ be cut, I suspect, but I digress.

      Be much of that as it may, Frank Feschino took more than 15 years of
      his life to rationally actualize on one startling set of very
      unsettling conclusions. These were conclusions sensibly kindled by a
      chance serendipitous interview he'd made near the start of his
      remarkable quest, an interview ~startling~ ...even during a ~first~
      investigative wash. After that interview the data would accumulate
      steeply over the next decade and change what began as a garden
      variety school project... and turned it into a life's work and
      consuming occupation.

      In this investigative effort he was, again, ~unflinching~ in a study
      of the sociopolitical realities revealed to him. He was made aware
      of moral and ethical sub-realities that these larger realities
      further implied. Indeed 'Reality' was revealed, considered, and then
      assiduously chronicled by him. In the final analysis (and we'd have
      never heard about it otherwise, good reader), Feschino came, he saw,
      and he wrote it down.

      The data ~are~ revealing. Feschino reports them to us in detail.
      Indeed, we weren't in 'Kansas' any more after 1952... and may not, I
      submit (remembering a wealth of old history indicating same), have
      ~ever~ been in 'Kansas'.

      ...We're not in 'Kansas'... now. Get used to it.

      That aforementioned tumultuous "interview", an interview with the
      ranking military person peculiarly involved with the Flatwoods affair
      (...a hard as nails hero of the second world war...) occurred in a
      moment of idle interest born of distracted and tentative conjecture
      on the part of an ~unassuming~ Mr. Feschino. Mr. Feschino's initial
      interest, actually, was with regard to a little film documentary he
      might put together about the Flatwoods "myth," for school. What it
      turned into would be a taproot into the most important events of our
      (or any other) time, or... yes...

      ...Even ~more~ compelling evidence that we are not alone in billions
      of years of space, time, and surface area... a googleplex of alien
      surface areas and maybe even a googleplex of aliens to inhabit them!
      More than the reader ~can~ imagine is hidden behind a grain of sand
      held at arms length, sir or madam. The warm breath of unguessed
      infinity is only the beginning of the beginning for all of us.

      We are not alone, folks. An antithesis is ludicrous. Moreover, all
      the major propeller heads, a few of the high-domes, and a smattering
      of leading-edge, vetted, and credentialed intelligentsia think it's
      ludicrous, too. I digress, again. Sorry.

      Something occurred in Braxton County, West Virginia September 12,
      1952. The data are beyond convincing. Something occurred as surely
      as flying saucers came close to landing on the White House lawn in
      July of the same year... and they ~did~ come close to landing on the
      lawn, reader. Believe that, too.

      In the town of Flatwoods, Braxton county West Virginia... on a warm
      Indian Summer evening and interrupting playing children and relaxing
      adults at the end of their day... multiple objects interacted with
      multiple witnesses, people were made ill, and a dog ran home in
      gibbering fright... then subsequently died. None of the participants
      were ever the same again.

      Justifying a Pulitzer, Mr. Feschino makes a durable record of the
      expressions of character displayed by ~dozens~ of individuals
      concerned with, and material to, this affair... people both guilty
      and innocent in the affair... by persons both truth telling and
      glibly ~lying~ regarding the affair... by folks both brave and
      cowardly, warm and cold, by persons encountered on a foggy 'audit
      trail' Feschino was compelled to plod... a trail rife with dead ends,
      detours, and official double-dealings. It's quite a ride. Mr. Toad
      has nothing on Mr. Feschino.

      Moreover, the satisfied requirements for Mr. Feschino's Pulitzer seem
      to steadily resolve.

      Verily, Mr. Feschino risked bodily harm on numerous occasions during
      his investigation. This threat would come, ironically, as a result
      of the very persons from which he'd have to draw his story.

      In fourteen years Mr. Feschino was too often mistaken for the same
      kind of cheap-shot reporter or faux-journalist investigator who'd
      glutted the area since that fateful night, axe-grinding skeptibunkers
      coyly generating the disdain, the derision, and the patent disrespect
      stalwart Flatwoods witnesses had had to ~endure~ for half a
      century -- an unwarranted contempt and ridicule imposed that innocent
      people unjustly suffered... punished by their own society for having
      the temerity to stand up and report the highly strange account they
      had all had on that bizarre September night. The "Mothman Mechanism"
      at work again.

      I suspect Feschino had his shirt-front grabbed more that a few times
      by this angry group of betrayed citizenry. He was so threatened on
      more than one occasion.

      Again, with regard to Pulitzer, the questions remain begged. Has not
      Mr. Feschino reported on the principles of the aggregate world and
      the condition reflected by them? Has he not spent many years
      tirelessly trying to ferret out important details that would have
      gone undiscovered and unreported but for his painstaking research and
      unflinching perseverance? Has he not validated a couple of
      generations of innocent persons trying to come to grips with the
      inexplicable thrust upon them? Has he not vindicated these people to
      some extent and alleviated some of their suffering as a result of his
      work? Such a person may have earned ~more~ than a mere Pulitzer at
      the denouement.

      Does 'Nobel' have a category that applies?

      All things equal? Feschino earns his Pulitzer. He has more sack
      than ~many~ who've aspired to that prize, I suspect. Moreover, I'll
      bet Mr. Friedman agrees with me. He wins ~my~ award, at any rate.

      Along those same lines, Mr. Feschino can not be faulted for his brave
      attempt to fill the societally imposed "information void" (he suffers
      with the rest of us) by starting at the end of an incredible story
      ~rife~ with suspicious details and curious facts... and then working
      arduously -- modeling, graphing, and plotting backwards on that stark
      trail... trying, thoughtfully, to connect these ephemeral dots...
      flesh out one ~more~ 'official' story that won't add up from the
      'official' account... This is a key concept, folks.

      Indeed, his admitted speculations and clearly identified personal
      beliefs may actually add up, ironically, to the astonishing
      conjectures he reports in his book. It just may be, reader, that
      there ~was~ an aerial battle with ET out in the Atlantic that night
      in 1952. It may be that 8 to 10 American jets ~were~ destroyed in
      that struggle, their crews lost. Perhaps one Lt. Jones and crew,
      valiantly sacrificing themselves, even ~rammed~ one of the UFOs,
      bravely, with his plane in the one-sided fight ~we~ likely

      Given that a postwar American military was aggressively over-touchy
      and otherwise spring-loaded on the balls of their very twitchy
      feet... especially after the repeated over-flights of prohibited
      airspace in Washington D.C. the previous July... it's ~not~ that much
      of a stretch that it would react decisively to multiple UFO's and
      their blithe transgressions of an imaginary fighting line on the
      coastal ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone) with folding-fin
      rockets and exploding 50 caliber machine gun fire! Further,
      Feschino's speculation is not unreasonable given the statement by
      Benjamin Chidlaw, a four star general commanding the very high
      profile "Air Defense Command", to wit: that many "planes and crews"
      had been "lost" trying to "intercept UFOs"... these are his words,
      it's reported.

      Mr. Feschino is not making the story up, at any rate, I'm confident.
      Mr. Feschino is trying to make sense of the very real story that is
      already there. Extant is a ~sincerity~ in his book, as a result,
      that ~this~ writer can relate to and find some substance in.

      Additionally, I don't believe, especially after having spoken with
      him for a couple of hours (where I asked some pretty pointed
      questions), that Mr. Feschino has it in him to write a sociopathic
      fiction, fobbed off to the credulous as fact, to crab their
      dollars... then smirk at that reader's "nose-bubble credulity" as he
      orders up goth hookers and greasy cheeseburgers. No, Feschino's only
      telling you the credible story he knows, or... he is otherwise
      hanging some 'substance' on the astonishing facts that he has

      Moreover, his book publisher, predictably weighing size against
      profit, winnowed down the manuscript to 350 pages, about a third of
      its former size. There is more there, more to the story, than you
      get in the published book, reader... witnesses you don't hear from...
      unsolicited and credible reports about other involvements, other
      sightings in the area, and still other startling corroborations of
      fact and circumstance attendant to the whole astonishing affair!
      It's breathtaking, actually.

      Also, it's all very hard to discount. Increasingly so.

      An extraterrestrial being (or artifact of et intelligence) arrived
      Earth-side in a damaged craft... rightly or wrongly terrorized an
      entire town of good, sober, and horse-sensed people in September of
      1952, and then the government worked furiously, if deceptively, to
      cover it all up... impugning the honor of the aforementioned
      citizenry (and ourselves!) in the process... Tragic and needless

      As Feschino wrote to me in the inscription of the review copy he

      "The questions and answers I have provided in this book are only the

      I suspect that quote comes up as a bit of an understatement from Mr.
      Feschino. But that's my feeling. I'm comfortable going with it. I
      submit you can too.

      Get more info about Mr. Feschino's book at:

      Read on!

      alienview@... -:|:-
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