I have been Facebook friends with Lyle Blackburn for a few years but we had never met in person, so it was cool to meet him at the conference.
Lyle’s name is synonymous with the Fouke Monster of Arkansas. I would daresay he is the world’s foremost expert on the Monster these days; the encounters residents of the little town of Fouke had with the Monster served as inspiration for the delightful drive-in classic docu-Horror flick THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK, and the movie in turn first sparked Lyle’s interest in the phenomena. He and I talked about the movie, about the Fouke Monster, about Smokey Crabtree, Lyle’s friend and fellow author and the man, before Lyle, most closely associated with the Boggy Creek Monster. (I met Smokey not too long before he died, and unintentionally pissed him off. “That wasn’t hard to do,” Lyle said with a smile. Fortunately I had my lovely wifey along with me, and she has the magic touch, thanks to her job, of dealing with seniors. She smoothed things over for me.)
I bought Lyle’s latest book, MOMO: THE STRANGE CASE OF THE MISSOURI MONSTER, and a THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK T-shirt. I enjoyed his presentation, too. Unlike some of the guys at the conference, Lyle is accustomed to speaking before a crowd and keeping them entertained, his Texas accent becoming more pronounced the longer he speaks. In particular I enjoyed his listing of some of the nicknames given to Bigfoot-type creatures from around the country. Here are a few of them: Skunk Ape; Sharp’s Bottom Gorilla; Caddo Critter; Faire Villa Gorilla, the Abominable Sandman; the White Thang; the Black Thing; the El Reno Chicken Man; the Pig Man; and, of course, the Alabama Booger.