The Phantom of Flatwoods 

   As an elementary school aged child, I often visited the Martinsburg Public Library in the Summer.  It was the 90s, and the public interest in UFOs, particularly in relation to alien abductions, was in resurgence.  In these times, I would often check out a book from the rear of the lower level of the library.  This book on UFO sightings in West Virginia was most likely beyond my young readying level.  The challenge posed on me, however, was not to read the book but to only find the bravery to open it.  This book contained a picture so frightening that I would have to work myself up to viewing it before quickly shutting the tome to escape the terror.   

   The horrifying photo of my youthful nightmares was the Grey Burker photo montage of the Lee Steward commissioned sketch of the Flatwoods Monster imposed over a wooded scene.  I was accustomed to playing in the woods behind my family’s home.  The vision of the other worldly phantom in a familiar environment would leave me uncomfortable alone in the woods for years.   

    I forgot about the terrifying extraterrestrial until a few weeks ago when I happened upon it’s image online late one night.  For the first time, I learned the name and story of this Green Monster that had petrified me in my youth.  Recently, I have been planning to visit Braxton County to purchase their fine lanterns and sit in the monster chairs that have been erected there.   

    About a week ago, the Flatwoods Monster Museum shared a video of former Flatwoods Elementary school teacher Judith Davis performing a song called “The Phantom of Flatwoods” on auto harp at the museum in Sutton, West Virginia.  I was very touched by Mrs. Davis sharing this song with me by way of YouTube much as she had shared it with her students years ago.  I immediately had ideas of how I would like to transform the waltz into rock and roll or reggae.  I am excited to be sharing the rock and roll idea with you today.  

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