It seems Monster Quest has always been timid around real cryptostuff; I don't mean Bigfoot -- of which Monster Quest has done many episodes of -- but the high strangeness and certainly esoteric angle in the cryptid realm. As I posted before, the Mothman episode wasn't all that much; and any conspiracy or so-called anti-government/infrastrucure perspective decidedly unwelcome (as made clear by a producer of the show I spoke with.) For more on that, see My Mothman Monster Quest Moment, on my blog Mothman Flutterings. Even the Bigfoot stories stays away from the weirder side of Bigfoot lore; high strangeness, UFOs, so much more.
As to the Flatwoods episode, what a shame MQ didn't use the opportunity to do an authentic story about one of both UFOlogy and cryptozoology's classic and fascinating cases. The Flatwoods story could take up several episodes on its own without doing something ridiculous like bringing in the 'Starchild' skull.
And why they need to trot out skekptics like Joe Nickell all the time -- well, at least he didn't say the Flatwoods creature was an owl. Or did he? He did say several other ridiculous things however. Not unexpected, but terribly annoying and insulting nonetheless.
As to Alfred's piece below, I want to comment on the following by Al:
Feschino, who deserves better than this, was fit to be tied. See, he's telling the culture changing real story. Nickell and company shill for the guys insulting the reader's intelligence and obscuring real history. Case in point "Mass Hysteria" as touted by Dr. Nickell... is a clueless dodge.
Frank Feschino of course, author of the well researched and excellent book Shoot Them Down! - The Flying Saucer Air Wars Of 1952
As Alfred points out, there is a real story that goes beyond a "monster" in the Flatwoods case, but sincerely exploring that story would indeed be "culture changing" as Al puts it, and we can't have that.
Flatwoods, Sandbagged By MonsterQuest (by Alfred Lehmberg)
Folks, regarding the recent History Channel MonsterQuest episode of March 10th featuring Fred May, Frank Feschino, Stanton Friedman, and other witnesses from the town of Flatwoods, West Virginia: I was the bearded fellow, the only one, I think, associated with the Flatwoods segment exclusively. I wore the UFO Magazine hat. I was working with the Helium Balloon and assisting Feschino vis a vis the sighting at the hunter's camp in deep forest beside the spring fed stream. My one spoken line, used apart from where I actually said it was, "Frank, there's a hot spot up there...," or some such... all that said:
Folks? You can quote me!
I have no idea what that program was about! Why, apart from Joe Nickell who was decidedly true to form, I didn't even recognize who was involved in it!
This is _real_ irony, reader, given I was at Flatwoods for a week during the shooting —and I do mean shooting— of the MQ program. Moreover, I have an appropriate intimacy with all the principals shown on the Flatwoods segment and have better than a layman's understanding of just what occurred in and around Flatwoods that Indian summer night in 1952.
Ladies and Gentleman, let me digress to say that, entirely apart from what the Reader saw on a "flawed" MonsterQuest, THIS is what occurred on that one night in Flatwoods in Flatwoods: http://paratopiary.blogspot.com/
I remind the HONEST reader that this referenced map data is supported by Project Bluebook, named Newspaper reportage, and first person witnesses in that order of numeracy.
The History Channel, one finds, had the time, opportunity, and all the requisite data to produce a stunning program about the infamous Flatwoods affair. What the History channel did instead, reader, was to contrive to manufacture a senseless "mash-up" of two entirely unrelated cases from what could be most easily be "faux-discredited" in either of them. Suggesting this bogus relationship, one not even remotely tenuous, is the program's kiss of less-than-mediocre death.
Sincerely, none but those entirely honest with themselves dare call this very poor, contrived, and inauspicious telling of the Flatwoods story a blithering incompetence, a fatuous cluelessness, or a distorted propaganda! More irony is revealed given Feschino, Friedman, and I had to sign sworn statements indicating our contribution to the program was true as we knew it to be true. The History Channel reportage of same, paradoxically, was not.
See? Flatwoods was the tail end of the biggest UFO Flap in US History: The 1952 "Summer Of Saucers" chronicled by Frank Feschino, Wendy Connors, various other authors, and an un-sifted Project Bluebook. Reader! It was _not_ about "Lizard Monsters" allegedly lurking the woods for 60 plus years, and to this day. This is the distortion prosecuted by the History Channel.
And this! The intrepid MonsterQuest documentarians wrongly called the more honest Stanton Friedman a "doctor" and made the dissembling (to be kind) Dr. (degree immaterial) Nickell look "reasonable" in contrived comparison! Glowing eyes? Not before or since. Ground miasma? Not before or since! Mass hysteria? Not before or since! Noxious weeds? Not before or since! Roc sized barn owls? Not before or since! How could they have got things so canted and wrong!
I'm sick at heart and really ticked off... Feschino, who deserves better than this, was fit to be tied. See, he's telling the culture changing real story. Nickell and company shill for the guys insulting the reader's intelligence and obscuring real history. Case in point "Mass Hysteria" as touted by Dr. Nickell... is a clueless dodge.
Why? The witnesses at Flatwoods, a gang of playing children and a couple of young adults, presupposed a meteor, predominantly, on the Fisher farm in the hills above the school that evening. They'd heard about them recently in school. Nickell _dissembled_ when he reported they expected "monsters"... They did not run up a hill armed with only with a flashlight to look for "monsters," Reader! That only happens in the movies and Joe Nickell's facile imagination! They went up the hill to pick up pieces of a meteorite!
No, the Flatwoods story was not remotely told. The historical facts regarding the "Flatwoods Monster" incident are distorted, once again, by a soap-selling TV show.
Tune in to the actual story, cited above, to tune _up_, sincerely. See, it's not a story about a giant lizard in a "hover round" "attacking" a group of Flatwoods residents with a harmful gas. The gas, remember, was actually an exhaust emitted from pipes surrounding the lower torso of the body. The lower torso was part of the propulsion system of this giant "metallic" structure propelling it and causing it to hover. Moreover, apart from the gas, the "Flatwoods Monster" never made any aggressive or threatening maneuvers towards the witnesses during the encounter!
More crass inaccuracies?
The nearly 60-years of "sightings" reported by the MQ show were not all "monster" sightings, as the over-edited Feschino and Friedman footage seemed to intimate, but were UFO sightings! This is what the two researchers reported on. _UFOs_, reader! Not _monsters_!
The "Flatwoods Monster" incident, the Snitowsky "Frametown Monster" incident and the Frametown Hunter incident are the documented entity sightings, reader. These, and other "monster" sightings... never occurred again! It's UFO sightings that are ongoing! This was the actual report and testimony of Friedman and Feschino!
Other "real" entities documented on record in the Flatwoods area are as follows:
Dec. 30, 1960. Hickory Flats, WV, Located in Webster County and just across the southern Braxton County border - Witness Charles Slover, 35 years-old, was driving a delivery truck and sighted a 6-foot tall hairy biped, man-like creature near the road. This was _unreported_ by the History Channel.
Dec. 7, 2005. Braxton County, 7-8 miles from Flatwoods. A wildlife trap camera took a photograph of an unknown entity that has been called the "Braxton Beast." This was _unreported_ by the History Channel. Meager and unrepeated stuff!
UFO sightings _abound_, reader, on the other hand... not "monster" sightings! A UFO sighting that occurred in Holly, Braxton County on Nov. 8, 1957 was documented by Jacques Vallee in his book "Passport To Magonia."
Holly is located near Flatwoods. In Case #437, Vallee reports that Hank Mollohan and eight other local witnesses saw an elongated object that was 12-metres long.
More UFOs! Frametown Area, 1990: A Frametown couple saw several UFOs over the area of the Middle Ridge area southeast of Frametown. When one of the witnesses walked outside of the house to get a closer look, one of the UFOs flew into the back-yard and shot a bright beam of light down towards the witness. This Frametown incident was documented and broadcast in 1990 by a national TV show of the time, Current Affair With Maury Povich.
In 1991, Feschino documented crop circle rings in Frametown, WV., which were recorded by Colin Andrews. Throughout the early 1990s, Feschino also photographed and videotaped UFOs in the same area of Middle Ridge southeast of James Knob.
OTHER MONSTERQUEST DEGLECTED POINTS
The Sept. 12, 1952 "Master Map" of UFO locations was not shown. The flight-path trajectory of the "Flatwoods Monster" UFO was not shown or mentioned. This was the Washington DC. to Flatwoods, WV UFO flight-path. Check the included link for same.
The Colonel Leavitt Interview was not shown or mentioned, nor was there any mention of the sizable West Virginia National Guard involvement in and around Flatwoods.
There was no reference that the USAF had heavily documented the Flatwoods incident.
The First person witness-journalist John Barker interview was not mentioned.
Well respected reporter and first person responder A. Lee Stewart, Jr., who broke the national story, was not mentioned. The drawings of the metal piece that he found on the farm were not shown.
There was no mention or reference that there were strange metal and black plastic-like pieces found on the Fisher Farm by the locals, shortly after the incident.
The five known drawings made by five of the boy witnesses who saw the "Flatwoods Monster" were not shown." Despite being separated by Stewart the drawings are astonishingly similar!
The "Flatwoods Monster" color illustrations painted by Feschino from eyewitness descriptions were not shown.
The 1996 Fred May pencil drawing of the "Monster" was not shown. It depicted the figure as "mechanical." This was a point errantly avoided by MonsterQuest!
The Flatwoods reenactment segment did not show the actual "mechanical" figure as described by Mrs. May and Fred May. The incorrect 1952 "We The People" mock-up, which depicted the arms and claws was shown instead... and then senselessly compared to the "Frametown Monster."
Finally, the Star child skull and the entities in Flatwoods/Frametown were errantly compared. These cases have no relationship to each other, what so ever, all respect to Lloyd Pye! I'm sure he would agree.
I'd hoped for the best regarding the History Channel. What happened?
"Hollywood" happened, reader... corporate manipulations apart from, and not interested in, telling the real story... These contrive a mash-up between two unrelated cases and, "highlighting" what was "explainable," work to "faux-discredit" both... actually. We were sand-bagged, imo.
The only good thing... the Flatwoods story was broached, at all, in a no-nonsense manner by Frank Feschino, Freddy May, John Barker, and Stanton Friedman! People are eventually going to wonder where the "lizard monster" (sheesh!) came from and how it came to be in Flatwoods at all. That story? Again, right here: http://paratopiary.blogspot.com/
I personally apologize to the people of Braxton County, Frametown, and the town of Flatwoods specifically, that the story was not portrayed as it was related to the production company. We regret their time was wasted. It's not Frank Feschino's fault that the creative control was well out of his capable hands... as it will be on _all_ these programs. You pays yer money and takes yer chances. We all got burned. All the credible stuff went to the cutting room floor.
Rest assured, though, MonsterQuest at least showed enough to get interest kindled in _other_ quarters. There's a lot of life left to tell the story, still! You can bet Frank Feschino will be banging the Flatwoods drum, verily!
I remain firmly in his corner! There are many rounds left in this fight. Frank is strong and as focused as he ever was!
Closing, Flatwoods and Frametown residents write to tell me that the James Knob site east of Frametown is still ufologically active. Right _now_ reader.
Well, I suspect that if ET had swooped in and landed on the pasture that night while Friedman, Feschino, and myself were all up there on James Knob - and the Monster Quest people had shot miles of film of it? THAT footage would have languished on the cutting room floor with all the other pertinent material, too.
Tha MonsterQuest program regarding Flatwoods was a dissembling hypocrisy... and a shame!
One last point, in the dodgy MonsterQuest "cooked" portrayal, Fred May, Stanton Friedman, and Frank Feschino seem to indicate that Big Lizards in "hover-rounds," plus other monsters, still lurk dangerously in the West Virginia mountains around Flatwoods. No reader. They are not. Nothing these men actually reported to the film crew made that indication.
Sincerely, be disabused of the notion that dangerous monsters haunt your hills and forests! Fred, Frank, and Stan made _no_ such intimation. I was _there_. I _know_.