Friday, June 22, 2012

The Kelly-Hopkinsville 'Goblins' Encounter


There was an interesting article posted at Who Forted: Purported Extraterrestrial Footprints Discovered in Rural Kentucky that compared this recent development to the 1955 Kelly-Hopkinsville 'Goblins' Encounter...which occurred nearby in western Kentucky. I decided to post an updated version of my report from a few years ago:

On the night of August 21, 1955, two Kentucky families claimed to have fought unknown beings. In a rural area of Kentucky, near Hopkinsville and Kelly, two families contend they battled extraterrestrial creatures. The event happened around the Sutton farmhouse, where the Suttons and the Taylors gathered for dinner. At some point during the evening, Billy Ray Taylor went outside to draw water from the well.

Taylor witnessed a huge, bright object land in the woods about a quarter of a mile from the house. He started towards the house with the water when he saw a strange creature approaching. Billy Ray dropped the bucket and ran into the house. Both he and Lucky Sutton picked up firearms and ran back outside. Taylor fired his .22 caliber rifle and Lucky fired his shotgun but neither weapon had any effect on the creature.

Sutton and Taylor described the aliens as three feet tall, with pointed ears, thin limbs, long arms and claw-like hands. They said the creatures looked like gremlins, hence they became known as the Hopkinsville Goblins. The beings were either silvery in color or were wearing something metallic. The strangest aspect of these creature was their movements.

The aliens movements seemed to defy gravity as they floated above ground and walked with a swaying motion like they were walking through water.

The two men returned to the house. However, another creature appeared at the window...the two families realized they were up against something extraordinary. They ran from the house, got in their cars and headed to Hopkinsville. There they sought help from police who followed them to the farmhouse and searched the area.

Although they found no evidence of the creatures, they did find that the farmhouse had been shot up by the humans during the battle. The police left shortly after, but the aliens returned and the battle resumed. The defenders' guns continued to have no effect. The Air Force investigated the event but could not find solid evidence.

Three of the witnesses to the incident. In the middle is Elmer "Lucky" Sutton discussing how the craft landed. (credit: UFOs Northwest)

At first, the public reaction was that the incident was a hoax. However, the Suttons and the Taylors never profited from the encounter and there were dozens of eyewitnesses to the event. In addition to the families at the farmhouse, there were law enforcement officers who saw strange lights in the sky.

In 1957, Air Force Major John E. Albert concluded that the case resulted from the witnesses observing a monkey painted with silver that had escaped from a circus. French UFO researcher Renaud Leclet opined that a pair of Great Horned Owls may have been misidentified as aliens. However, Dr. J. Allen Hynek believed the incident was real. UFO researcher Allan Hendry wrote "...this case is distinguished by its duration and also by the number of witnesses involved." Jerome Clark writes that "...investigations by police, Air Force officers from nearby Fort Campbell, and civilian ufologists found no evidence of a hoax". Although they never formally investigated the case, Blue Book confessed to being stumped. So was Isabel Davis, one of the most skeptical of UFO investigators.

Many of famed film director Steven Spielberg's projects, like Night Skies, E.T. and Gremlins, were directly inspired by the Kelly-Hopkinsville events.

Illustrations by Pfc. Gary F. Hodson of the 101st Airborne Division stationed at nearby Fort Campbell, who was sent to interview the witnesses of the Hopkinsville incidents
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The Kelly-Hopkinsville Case: An Overview
August 21 - 22, 1955


The scene was a small farm outside of the Kentucky town of Kelly. Inside the farmhouse were eight adults and three children. The night was dark, clear, and hot. At about 7 PM, Billy Ray Taylor (a friend of the Suttons and owner of the farmhouse) came in from the well with the "wild story's that he had seen a really bright "flying saucer," with an exhaust all the colors of the rainbow, fly across the sky and drop into a forty-foot gully near the edge of their property. However, the Suttons did not take him seriously and laughed the story off as an embellishment of his seeing a "falling star."

Half an hour later the family dog began barking violently and eventually put its tail between its legs and hid under the house. The two men, Billy Ray Taylor and Lucky Sutton, went to the back door to see what was bothering the dog and noticed a strange glow approaching the farmhouse from the fields. When the light came nearer, they resolved what caused it: a glowing three-and-a-half-foot tall creature with a round, oversized head. The eyes were large and glowed with a yellowish light; the arms were long, extended nearly to the ground, and ended in large hands with talons. The entire creature seemed made of silver metal. As the creature approached, its hands were raised over its head as if it were being held up.

Understandably startled, the two men reacted by grabbing their guns: a 20-gauge shotgun and a .22 rifle. Withdrawing slightly into the house, the men waited until the creature was within twenty feet of the back door and then fired; the entity flipped over backward and then scurried off into the darkness. After a few minutes, when it did not reappear, they returned to the living room only to see another (or the same) creature at a side window. They fired through the window screen at it, and again the creature flipped and disappeared. Sure that they had hit and disabled the creature, the two men went outside to find the body. As they started out the front door Billy Ray, who was in the lead, paused for a moment underneath an overhanging roof. Just as he was about to step into the yard, those in the hallway behind him saw one of the creatures on the roof reach down a taloned hand and touch his hair from above. The people indoors screamed and pulled him back inside. Lucky Sutton rushed out into the yard, turned and fired pointblank at the creature, knocking it off the roof. There was another creature in the maple tree close-by. Both Lucky and Billy Ray fired at this one and knocked it off the limb; it floated to the ground and then ran off quickly into the darkness. Immediately, another entity (or perhaps the one that had been knocked off the roof) came around the side of the house almost directly in front of the group. Lucky fired his shotgun at point-blank range and the result was the same: no effect. A sound was heard as the bullets struck, as if a metal bucket lead been hit, but the creature scurried off unhurt.

Understandably concerned that their guns were apparently useless, the men returned to the house to join the frightened women and children.

The creatures generally moved in a peculiar fashion. The legs appeared to be inflexible and when they ran, movement was accomplished almost totally by "hip motions." Usually totally erect, when they ran off they bent over and moved with long arms almost touching the ground. The entities' ability to float was particularly evident when one was knocked off the kitchen roof and floated a distance of about forty feet to a fence, where it was knocked off again by a shot. While they did not appear to have an aura of luminescence, their "skin" glowed in the dark with the glow becoming brighter when they were shot at or shouted at.

Mrs. Lankford, the mother of the family, counseled an end to the hostilities. Despite the fact that they had been shot at a number of times, no aggressive action was ever proffered by the creatures. However, the children were becoming hysterical and the creatures kept returning to peer in the windows at intervals; by 11 PM the family's patience had worn thin and they all got into two automobiles and headed at top speed to the nearby Hopkinsville police department

After a half hour's travel time, the police arrived back at the farmhouse with the still-frightened family. The Hopkinsville police, the state police, and a staff photographer arrived to investigate the situation. A thorough search was made of the house, the yard, and the outbuildings. Nothing was found, and the tension ran high: When someone accidentally stepped on a cat's tail and it yowled, "you never saw so many pistols unholstered so fast in your life!" The searchers checked out the woods area but found nothing. One unusual item that was found was a luminous patch where one of the creatures had been knocked off and fallen to the ground. However, when nothing really extraordinary appeared, the searchers began to leave and by 2:15 AM., the Sutton family was alone.

The family had been reassured enough to go to bed and shut off the few lights. Mrs. Lankford was lying in bed watching the window when she noticed a weird glow; the glow was one of the creatures staring inward with its hands on the window screen. Calling quietly to the rest of the family, she remained perfectly calm. Lucky Sutton, however, grabbed his gun and again shot at the creature through the screen. No effect. The creatures continued to make their appearance throughout the rest of the night, never doing anything overtly hostile and only seeming to show curiosity. The last creature was seen at half an hour before sunrise, at about 5:15 AM

The next morning, investigators came back to search the farmlands during the daytime. Nothing was found even though some even climbed to the roof of the house to look for footprints. The press got hold of the story; besides the reporter who had accompanied the police out during the night, the local radio station and many reporters from other papers in Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee arrived at the Sutton house. As the news spread, the general public began to show up and cars were backed up for a considerable distance down the road from the Sutton farmhouse. Sightseers stopped their cars, walked through the property, in and out of the house, annoyed the family with requests for pictures and, in general, created a carnival atmosphere the upshot of which was to generally ridicule the family for having seen "little green men from space."


However, on that same morning, Andrew Ledwith, an engineer with the local radio station, decided to stop into the station for a talk with the chief engineer (it was Ledwith's day off). He learned of the happenings at the Sutton farm the night before and because of his interest in UFOs and his previous experience as an artist, he decided to go out and interview the family. It is fortunate that he did. The publicity became so obnoxious to the Sutton family that they later simply avoided telling the story and refused to cooperate (one notable exception was with Isabel Davis, who prepared the Kelly report for CUFOS). The drawings that Mr. Ledwith created on the afternoon following the sighting are illustrated above.

How can such a tale be accepted at face value? one asks. After all, the family itself was considered of "low social status" by the townspeople. Two of the men had worked for a carnival; it could be argued that they were familiar with the art of the trickster.

The most telling criticism of the incident, however, is that there is absolutely no physical evidence whatsoever that the incident actually occurred. Skeptics point out that no footprints were found (the ground was extremely hard), no marks were on the roof (although the creatures seemed nearly weightless and may not have left marks), there was no blood on then, the bullets did no apparent damage), et cetera. One could thus conclude that the family "faked" the entire incident.

However, investigators who interviewed the Suttons afterward painted a picture of them that is quite different from the sort of people who could fabricate an elaborate hoax: They were uneducated, simple farm folk with no apparent interest in exploiting the rather considerable publicity that they engendered.

Did "creatures" really visit the farmhouse in Kentucky on that night of August 21, 1955? Or did the many witnesses, mostly adults, excite themselves to the point of exaggerating some lesser stimulus? The Kelly/Hopkinsville case still stands as one of the more provocative CE III events to date. - Allan Hendry, CUFOS

Project Blue Book - case number 10073

***********

INVESTIGATORS' QUOTES

Kevin D. Randle:

Kevin D. Randle, ufologist, USAF retired, radio interview quote:

"What specific example of an entity case would you cite as fairly credible and why?"

"Well, naturally, I would elect the Roswell case, but the aspect of it from the military end. Edwin Easley, Patrick Saunders, et. al. because of their credibility. If we go beyond that I kind of like the Kelly-Hopkinsville report from 1955, but only because of the number of witnesses and the physical evidence involved. That is, the number of holes that Kelly (sic) and friends shot in the house in their attempt to repel the alien creatures. The Air Force excuse that they didn't investigate the case, though Air Force officers did go to interview the witnesses is fairly weak. It is an interesting case."

Dr. Gregory L. Little:

"In UFO Abductions Through The Ages", by Dr. Gregory L. Little, 1994:

"As my eyes fell on the demon drawings in Plancy's Dictionaire infernal (1863), I was struck by their similarity to the famous 1955 Kelly-Hopkinsville UFO case. Imagine the demons as gray in color, and they would also fit the description of the ubiquitous grays in recent abductions."

"There are many in the UFO field (as well as various religious leaders) who believe that the creatures associated with UFOs are demons. The similarity of some demons to the grays of UFO reports are probably no coincidence."

Karal Ayn Barnett:

In "The Kelly-Hopkinsville Incident - An Historical Review", 1998:

"Based on my experience of the region, I would testify to the fact that no one in that area would consider making up anything remotely like what the Suttons and Taylor said they saw. The residents of southwestern Kentucky are people who even now are largely religious, and (I mean on disparagement) conformists. To make up a story like this, one would run the risk of being branded as insane or a congenital liar with a pox on their family to boot. The ridicule, the contempt, the ostracism, the media circus - no one wold risk it. It just wouldn't happen. Unless it really happened."

"Not to put too fine a point on it, but small town Southerners are cloistered away, and in a sense, protected from other cultures, not just alien ones. Southerners don't venture far from their homes, usually, and the constant interaction among the townsfolk tends to reinforce certain ideas. One idea that is profoundly reinforced is that there are no such things as aliens, and anyone who says that they are either bedeviled, bewitched or terminally bewildered. We need not wonder why the Suttons and Billy Ray Taylor moved from the area soon after the incident."

Martin S. Kottmeyer:

Excerpts from "Pencil-Neck Aliens" by Martin S. Kottmeyer.

"Aliens with long, thin necks are currently "in." Reports and drawings of these pencil-neck Greys seem to be everywhere. They've turned up on T-shirts, made for TV films - Intruders (1992) - and in dozens of magazines and books. The proliferation of this trait among contemporary aliens may be a telling indication that our taste in aliens is as subject to fadism as our taste in clothing styles.

One has to grant that pencil necks have more aesthetic logic than biologic sense. The slenderness of these necks undeniably lend elegance to present-day aliens and enhance their overall anorexic appearance. Propping oversized craniums on top of such skinny supports however raises concerns this species is whiplash bait. What business have such aliens in vehicles which legend has it have a benchant for bone-bending right angle turns and ultra-air-brake stops?

The pencil-neck is a strikingly recent innovation. Early studies of ufonauts Coral and Jim Lorenzens's Flying Saucer Occupants (1967), Charles Bowen's The Humanoids (1969), and James McCampbell's Ufology (1973) - say nothing about aliens with long thin necks. They certainly weren't common. I'm doubtful there was a single unambiguous instance of a pencil-neck alien prior to the Eighties. I've rummaged through the drawings of all the major cases - the Flatwoods monster, Kelly-Hopkinsville, Barny and Betty Hill, Herb Schirmer, Pascagoula, Charles Moody, Travis Walton - and they are nowhere to be seen. (...) They seem to arrive en masse in 1987 with no less than five drawings of pencil- necks in Budd Hopkins' Intruders and the very prominent example staring out from the cover the Whitley Strieber's Communion. These works were popular and influential to the degree that it is now part of the stereotype of the Grey as noted by David Jacobs in his abductee study, Secret Life."

**********

August 22, 1955 article in the Kentucky New Era:

Kelly Farmhouse Scene Of Alleged Raid By Strange Crew Last Night; Reports Say Bullets Failed To Affect Visitors


All kinds of investigations were going on today in connection with the bizarre story of how a space-ship carrying 12 to 15 little men landed in the Kelly community early last night and battled occupants of a farmhouse.

Most official of the probes was reportedly being staged by the air force.

More than a dozen state, county, and city officers from Christian and Hopkins counties went to the scene between 11 p.m. and midnight and remained until after 2 a.m. without seeing anything either to prove or disprove the story about the ship and its occupants.

The farmhouse is located on the Old Madisonville Road about eight miles north of Hopkinsville. The property is occupied by Cecil (Lucky) Sutton, one of those who reported experiencing last night's phenomena.

There were some 10 or 12 persons at the house, including several children, but investigating officers were not able to determine exactly how many of those present actually clamed to have seen any of the little men from the space ship. Only other person who officers quoted directly was identified as Billy Ray Taylor. One account said Taylor is a visitor from Pennsylvania, which recently had a similar report of a space ship. Neither Sutton nor Taylor was at home when officers returned to the scene this morning.

The story broke around 11 o'clock last night when two cars, one bearing a Pennsylvania license drove up to Hopkinsville's police headquarters. Officers then at the station said the two autos contained at least five adults and several children. All appeared highly excited.

Spokesmen for the crowd told of how something resembling a space ship or flying saucer had landed at the back of their house near Kelly and 12 or 15 men, who appeared to be about 4 feet tall, had got out of ship and come up to the house and done battle with the occupants.

"We need help," one of the men said, "we've been fighting them for nearly four hours."

Four city police, Chief Russell Greenwell, T.C. Gross, Dorris Francis, and Gray Salter, drove to the scene to see about the "little men". By radio, contact was made with State Troopers R.N. Ferguson Jr. and G.W. Riley and Deputy Sheriff George Batts, all of whom joined the motorcade to Kelly in their own vehicles. Four MP's also went.

The radio discussions also brought two Hopkins County deputy sheriffs and at least three state troopers from the station at Madisonville.



First arrivers found the scene deserted. The two cars which had brought the report to Hopkinsville did not return to the Kelly farm until after officers had arrived and looked the situation over.

Officers reported they found no tracks of "little men," nor was there any mark indicating anything had landed at the described sport behind the house. There was a hole in the screen at the window through which occupants said a shot had been fired at one of the strange little men.

Both Chief Greenwell and Deputy Sheriff Batts said they got approximately this story from the still-terrified and excited Sutton and Taylor families:

About 7 p.m. one of the men went out of the house to get a bucket of water. He saw what looked like a flying saucer come over the trees and land in a field at a point about a city block behind the house. There was no explosion, only a semi-hissing sound, and the watcher returned to the house with the bucket of water.

A short time later somebody reported some little men with big heads and long arms were approaching the house. The men were described as having huge eyes and hands out of proportion to their small bodies. The visitors were wearing what looked to be metal plate.

The men got their guns, a shotgun for Sutton and a .22 caliber target pistol for Taylor. By and by, one of the little men pressed his face against the window and the shotgun was fired through the window. The face disappeared.

The men decided to go outside and see if the visitor had been hit. Taylor was in front and when he emerged from the front door, a huge hand reached down from the low roof above the door and grabbed him by the hair. He pulled away and the two men went on out of the house.

One of the strange little men was in a nearby tree, another on top of the house. A blast from Sutton's shotgun knocked another one of the men down but he did not appear hurt. He disappeared in the darkness.

Taylor reportedly opened fire on other member of the invading party, also with little effect. The battle went on for some time. When the occupants of the house saw their chance, they jumped into their cars and drove to Hopkinsville for help.

Deputy Sheriff Batts said the men told him that in all they fired up about four boxes of .22 pistol shells. The officer quoted a neighbor saying he heard shooting at the Suttons but distinguished only about four shots and mistook them for fire-crackers. Most of the officers remained at the site for more than two hours. During that period, there were approximately 25 person at the scene.

Only excitement during the period the officers were there came when an MP happened to step on a cat's tail while walking in the darkness near the house. The cat let out a squawl and for a few seconds there was much activity and scurrying around on the part of those present.

Two officers who returned to the Kelly area early this morning reported hearing that the "little men" had reappeared around the Sutton home about 3:30 a.m.

Other investigators who went to Kelly later during the morning said they were told Sutton and Taylor had gone to Evansville today.

Officers who visited the scene during last night's excitement were reluctant to express any opinion today in regard to the reported invasion of Kelly. All officials appeared to agree that there was no drinking involved.

Only outspoken comment came from Frank Dudas, city police desk sergeant, who was not on duty last night and has not visited the scene so far. He said, "I think the whole story is entirely possible."

Sergeant Dudas was one of two city policemen who reported seeing three flying saucers early one morning last summer. He said, "I know I saw them. If I saw them, the Kelly story certainly could be true."

NOTE: One of the most intriguing UFO / extraterrestrial encounters ever reported. In fact, it is mostly likely one of the first UFO cases I read...possibly in comic book form in the early 60's. Lon

Click for video - 1955 Kelly-Hopkinsville 'Goblins' Encounter

Sources:
Hendry, Allan (1980), 'The Encyclopedia of UFOs'
socyberty.com
ufoevidence.org
ufos.about.com
nicap.org
ufologie.net
kentuckynewera.com
ufocasebook.com
mysterious-america.ne


Monsters of the UFO: The Incident At Kelly

The Weiser Field Guide to Cryptozoology: Werewolves, Dragons, Skyfish, Lizard Men, and Other Fascinating Creatures Real and Mysterious

Haunted Kentucky: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Bluegrass State (Haunted Series)

True Alien Invasion of the Sutton Farm - A Documented Case (Invasion of Farm By Real Space Aliens)

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