Feb. 6, 2009
 
BOOK NOTES: Author and 'Ufologist' Kyle Lovern Reports Increased UFO Sightings Across Tri-State Since His Book Was Published
 
Kyle Lovern, left, poses with an unidentified UFO fan at a recent book signing for his new book.

By David M. Kinchen
Huntingtonnews.net Book Critic
 
Williamson-based author Kyle Lovern notes that he has been getting "an astonishing number" of "fresh phone calls" from people claiming to see unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and alien findings since last fall's release of his book "Appalachian Case Study: UFO Sightings, Alien Encounters and Unexplained Phenomena" (Woodland Press LLC, 108 pages, $12.95).
 
The book, which I just finished reading, is relatively skimpy on details and lacks an index, but it gives some idea of UFO sightings in the Mountain State. Reporter Mannix Porterfield, a colleague of mine when I worked at the Register-Herald in Beckley, notes in a blurb included at the end of Lovern's paperback book that West Virginia, with a population of about 1.8 million, has "more documented UFO activity than any other place in America." (here's a link to Mannix Porterfield's story, published last year in the Register-Herald: http://register-herald.com/local/local_story_223225053.html). A skeptic -- or cynic -- might attribute much of this "activity" to the availability of moonshine or the heavy use of commercial adult beverages in the Mountain State, but Lovern's book is not written for the skeptic or the cynic.
 
Lovern describes sixteen West Virginia sightings of UFOs and includes a fairly lengthy interview with Stanton Friedman, a 73-year-old ufologist that he met at a September 2008 UFO convention in St. Albans, WV. Friedman, who has two degrees in physics from the University of Chicago and has published many books and articles on UFOs, is a familiar figure at UFO conventions in the U.S., Canada and around the world.
 
Lovern says that convincing stories of saucer sightings are being documented nearly daily, so much so that a second volume — a much larger undertaking — is currently in the works. “Many who have contacted me have gone on the record to share their bizarre and plausible experiences.”
 
Lovern says that he believes ordinary citizens are now more willing than ever to come forward, now that his book has garnered a great deal of national attention, and since television shows like “UFO Hunter” and “UFO Files” have become popular.
 
“These new believable reports from local eyewitnesses describe multi-colored flying saucers, green alien space-creatures and other colorful incidences that make the whole topic even more credible,” Lovern added. “In a way, the number of new accounts is not surprising due to the size of this world-wide phenomenon.”
 
Reinforcing Mannix Porterfield's research -- published in a story entitled "West Virginia almost a UFO heaven?" -- Lovern added that the Mountain State has a long history of unexplained happenings and bizarre sightings of unidentified flying objects. Among these strange occurrences have been high profile incidents such as the famed Braxton County Monster tale, the Mothman sightings and the infamous Men in Black investigators that have garnered international attention to the region.
 
Lovern will be at the Borders book store in Huntington Mall on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009, from 2 to 4 p.m. to meet and greet customers and sign copies of his books. Joining Lovern will be authors F. Keith Davis ("The Secret Life and Brutal Death of Mamie Thurman," "WV Tough Boys" and "The Feuding Hatfields & McCoys" and Michael Knost ("Legends of the Mountain State" Vols. I and II). I've reviewed Davis' book on Mamie Thurman of Logan WV and his book on the Hatfields and McCoys, as well as both volumes of Knost (rhymes with "ghost). Use the search engine on the Huntington site to find my reviews, plugging in the author's name.
 
Lovern says he looks forward to discussing new UFO stories with the public while in the Huntington area. For additional information about Saturday's book signing even, contact Borders at 304-736-6233. The book is also available from Woodland Press (www.woodlandpress.com) or Amazon.com.



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