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    Sep 26, 2007
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    September 09, 2007

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    UFO hunters gather at city monster memorial


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  • 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.

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    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 lives.

    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.

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