Get the scoop on the ‘Unexplained’ from Bigfoot, UFO experts | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Get the scoop on the ‘Unexplained’ from Bigfoot, UFO experts

Candy Williams
1844070_web1_gtr-TK-UFO-02-110719
Courtesy of Kelly Simon
The cast of Travel Channel’s “Mountain Monsters” will be meeting and greeting their fans at the Western Pennsylvania Conference on the Unexplained on Nov. 9-10 at Ramada Greensburg Hotel and Conference Center, Hempfield.
1844070_web1_gtr-TK-UFO-01-110719
Courtesy of Kelly Simon
Heather Taddy, currently featured on Travel Channel’s series, “Alien Highway,” will be featured at the Western Pennsylvania Conference on the Unexplained.
1844070_web1_gtr-TK-UFO-03-110719
Courtesy of Kelly Simon
Bigfoot and UFO researcher and author Stan Gordon will be one of the speakers at the Western Pennsylvania Conference on the Unexplained.

Event organizer Kelly Simon of Simon Event Management in Greensburg knows that her audiences are fascinated by the unknown – from UFOs and Bigfoot to ghostly spirits and paranormal activity.

It’s why people will turn out in droves to hear first-hand accounts from folks who swear they’ve come face-to-face with strange creatures and lived to tell about it – and why a reality TV show like the Travel Channel’s “Mountain Monsters” is such a hit.

It’s also why Simon is bringing together some of the authors, folklorists, psychics and monster hunters for the first “Western Pennsylvania Conference on the Unexplained” Nov. 9-10 at the Ramada Greensburg Hotel and Conference Center.

“I have worked with most of these folks for 10-plus years in my other trade shows,” she said. “I always dedicate an area to the local authors and many of them speak at my events. The room is always packed. I decided to start this conference in November, and based on its success, we’ll do it every year.”

The men of ‘AIMS’

Among the headliners at the two-day conference will be the ‘Mountain Monsters’ hunters themselves, meeting and greeting their television fans and talking about their adventures in the Appalachian Mountains, which they say is a hotbed for tales of undiscovered creatures roaming in the woods.

Joe “Huckleberry” Lott is an ex-Marine from West Virginia who spends a lot of his time with his boys Willy, Buck, Jeff and Wild Bill – known as the Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings (AIMS) team – searching for generations-old legends such as Devil Dog, the Kentucky Wolfman, the Cherokee Death Cat, Mothman and Lizard Demon.

Their mission is simple, he says: “All we want to do is prove that they exist — especially Bigfoot. We build traps and carry guns,” although he says he wouldn’t harm the legendary creature if he came upon him in the woods.

“Huckleberry,” who lives in Wirt County, near Parkersburg, has his own theories about the elusive creatures they investigate.

“I think they’ve been here all along — at one time, more than people. Some people think aliens have to do with them, which very well could be. When you’re monster hunting, you keep your mind open,” he says.

Haunted bus tour

Ed Kelemen of New Florence is a retired Allegheny County police officer who now investigates reports of spirits and hauntings as a paranormal researcher, author, playwright and columnist.

He will be hosting a “Haunted Places Bus Tour” as part of the conference, taking those that sign up on a three-hour trip throughout portions of Western Pennsylvania, where he will point out areas of interest for their historical or current paranormal activity.

Some of the places he will focus on include St. Xavier’s, The Johnston House, Fort Ligonier, the Ligonier Tavern, Livermore, Torrance State Hospital, The Kingston Dam and Saint Vincent College.

Kelemen is currently working on three books, about haunted objects in the state, how folklore ties in with hauntings and a sequel to his fiction novel for middle-school students, “The Little Drummer Girl of Gettysburg.”

His bus tour includes a souvenir book autographed by Kelemen and author and folklorist Ron Murphy, who will accompany him on the tour. Advance reservations at $50 each are required; call 724-837-4223.

Additional speakers

The conference also will feature other speakers, including:

• Heather Taddy, a former student at Penn State University and member of The Penn State Paranormal Research Society in college, a field investigator and documentarian on four seasons of “Paranormal State” on AE channel, currently featured on Travel Channel’s series, “Alien Highway.”

• Bigfoot and UFO researcher and author Stan Gordon, speaking on “An Illustrated Historic Synopsis of Pennsylvania’s UFOs and Bigfoot Encounters.”

• Director Seth Breedlove, whose film, “Invasion on Chestnut Ridge,” about Pennsylvania’s “hidden history” includes details of Kecksburg’s reported UFO incident of 1965.

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.