Are we alone in the universe? Unlikely. It’s a statistical improbability after all, but does that mean our lonely planet has been visited by those from beyond the stars?
Well, that seems to depend on how you ask.
We’ve yet to explore my archives for all things extraterrestrial, so I thought we should change that as quickly as possible. On that note, let’s explore three famous UFO encounters that are outta this world.
The Kelly–Hopkinsville Encounter
The evening of August 21st, 1955 has become infamous in the town of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. On this otherwise ordinary evening, 12 people – five adults and seven children – piled into the local police station with a fantastically unbelievable story.
They claimed their farmhouse had been under alien attack for the past four hours. The creatures were described as “goblin-like”, standing between 2 to 4 feet, with “large pointed ears, claylike hands, eyes that glowed yellow and spindly legs”.
During the attack, the adults had been defended their home from invasion, firing at the “twelve to fifteen, short dark figures” that kept peering into windows and approaching the doors. Some of the adults also reported lights in the sky during this time.
To what extend the police actually believed their story is unknown, but they were concerned enough to send four police officers, five state troopers, three sheriffs deputies and four military police officers from the nearby Fort Campbell base. When they arrived, they found evidence of gunshots, but no trace of the creatures.
Allegedly, the creatures returned later that night, frightening the families so much that they left the property.
Skeptics suggest the creatures where misidentified great horned owls, which are known to have yellow eyes and tufted ‘ears’. Similarly, they can become aggressive if their nests are disturbed. Meteors were also spotted throughout the night, which a frenzied person could conceivably mistake as a UFO in such circumstances.
That being said, would these be enough to frighten a family away from their home? It’s safe to assume at least some of the witnesses had lived at the property for a time before the ‘encounter’, without previously misidentifying the owls that would have been nesting around them prior to the event.
Can we write this incident off as a series of peculiar coincidences? Or was it something more? Either way, the Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter has cemented its place in popular culture, inspiring everything from Pokemon to horror movies.
The Abduction of Betty and Barney Hill
In 1961, the Hills were ahead of their time. As an interracial couple during the American civil rights movement, they must have faced some amount of unwanted attention.
However, the couple are best remembered for something entirely separate. They are among the first claimants of an alien abduction.
According to the Hills, they spotted an alleged UFO at about 10.30pm, September 19, 1961, whilst driving on US Route 3, south of Lancaster, New Hampshire.
At first, they believed it was a plane, but when the object rapidly descended towards them, they changed their minds. The craft followed the couple until it forced them to stop and Barney, pistol in hand, got out and approached the craft (a bad idea).
The next thing they knew, the couple were arriving home. It was dawn, and they had no recollection of the previous few hours, however, they both felt strange.
They found a pair of binoculars – earlier used by Betty to take a closer look at the object – had a newly torn strap. Their watches were both broken and the toes of Barney’s shoes were scuffed. Betty’s dress was also torn and had been covered in a strange pink powder. She initially threw it away, but quickly changed her mind and kept it. This foresight meant that the dress would go on to be tested by numerous laboratories.
Propelled by a series of strange dreams, as well as their missing time, the two sought the help of a hypnotist. This was primarily due to the strange dreams that Betty had since the incident, which Barney believed was ‘nonsense’.
Under hypnosis – conducted separately – both Betty and Barney recollected their ‘missing time’, recalling that they were each taken into the strange craft by humanoid creatures. They seemed to communicate to the Hills via telepathy, captivating the couple with their oversized eyes.
Once these claims came to light, the couple did nothing to seek publicity. They discussed the incident with friends and family, primarily, and would also speak to UFO researchers.
In October 1965, the Boston Traveller ran a front page story of the couples account, after allegedly being an audio tape of the Hills speaking at a lecture. A reporter was then able to access confidential interviews and the couple were propelled into international stardom (metaphorically speaking, of course).
Their account has, of course, been subject to scrutiny, with some believing the incident mirrored the newly emerging sci-fi genre films and stories. Others later found Betty Hill overzealous in her later labelling of UFOs – searching the skies at least three times a week and capturing photographs that were easily debunked as streetlights and similar. This seems to have damaged her credibility among the UFO conference circuit.
Barney sadly passed away from at the age of 46 in 1969, with Betty dying at the age of 85, never remarrying. Their alleged encounter is still discussed to this day.
Travis Walton UFO Incident
November 5th, 1975 started as a normal day for forestry worker Travis Walton and his co-workers. While traveling by truck through Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona, they encountered a saucer like object, hovering around an estimated 110 feet (34m) away, accompanied by a buzzing noise.
As the crew stopped, Walton approached the object – which is still a bad idea – and claims a beam of light emitted from the craft and knocked him unconscious.
Fearing the worst, the rest of the crew fled, and when he awoke, Walton found himself in a “hospital like room, being observed by three short, bald creatures. Naturally attempting to fight them off, Walton then claims he was approached by a human figure, wearing a helmet and taken to another room, where he promptly blacked out after a clear plastic mask was placed over his face. This is the last thing Walton remembers, before waking up in the middle of a field, watching the saucer fly away.
He’d been missing for five days.
During this time, his colleagues had been suspected of murdering Travis, and inventing the bizarre tale as a sort of cover up. As part of this I’ve day investigation, the co-workers underwent polygraph tests. All but one passed. The last test being inconclusive, allegedly due to either the influence or concealing of drugs or drug related questioning. After Walton and his co-workers passed polygraph tests carried out by The National Enquirer and the Aerial Phenomena Research Organisation, they were awarded a $5,000 prize for the Ernquier’s “Best UFO case of the year.”
Travis Waltons wrote a book about his alleged abduction, which inspired the film Fire in the Sky.
However, there are, of course, those who doubt the story. About two weeks before the Travis Walton’s abduction, the film The UFO Incident – Based on Betty and Barney Hill’s alleged encounter -aired on NBC. This has lead some to believe that Walton, either knowingly or subconsciously, was influenced enough to concoct his own alien abduction story.
Thirty years after the event, Walton appeared on the show The Moment of Truth, which administered their own polygraph test, which showed Walton to be lying about his abduction experience. That being said, the accuracy of polygraph tests is often hotly debated and for this reason, are not accepted as evidence in a court of law. This means we can’t reliably consider this or the previous tests administered to Walton’s co-workers as reliable evidence.
DO you have your own Alien Abduction Story? Let me know all about it!
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