The Hopkinsville Goblins
On the night of Sunday, August 21, 1955, at a small farmhouse in Christian county, near the towns of Hopkinsville and Kelly, one of the most unusual incidents ever recorded in Kentucky took place. The Kelly UFO Incident, The Hopkinsville Invasion, The Hopkinsville Goblins, The Kelly Green Men, whatever name it's known by, was the bizarre night when a rural family found themselves confronted by strange alien visitors.
The incident took place on the farmhouse inhabited by the Sutton family, located on Old Madisonville Road, about eight miles north of Hopkinsville. The small farmhouse was isolated and without indoor plumbing, telephone, television, or a radio. That hot August night, the Sutton family were being visited by their friends from Pennsylvania Billy Ray Taylor and his wife, June. It was Taylor who first noticed something unusual, when around sundown he went out to fetch some water from the well. In the growing dark, he saw an object which he described as shooting out flames "all the colors of the rainbow" moving through the air above him. According to Taylor, the object stopped suddenly in mid-air and dropped down into a Gully about 300 yards behind the house. Taylor immediately ran inside to tell everyone what he had seen. Taylor's story was greeted with a huh degree of skepticism from the Sutton family. About an hour later, that skepticism rapidly disappeared.
It was slightly after eight o'clock when the family dog began barking excitedly. Twenty-four year old Elmer "Lucky" Sutton, the oldest son in the household, noticed a glowing object moving towards the house. Lucky Sutton and Billy Ray Taylor saw the glow was coming from what appeared to be a small, vaguely human-looking figure. Taylor and Sutton described the creature as being about three feet tall, with an unusually large, bald head with crinkly, bat-like ears extending from either side of its head. They said the creature was very thin, with disproportionately long arms that ended in talon-like claws. The creature had unusually large eyes with no apparent eyelids, no nose, and a lipless mouth that extended from one side of its face to another. It appeared to be wearing shiny, silvery, metallic bodysuit. At first, the creature seemed to avoid the house, staying in the shadows, but apparently becoming aware that it had been observed, the creature raised its arms above its head and began to move towards the house. The creature seemed to move by hovering above the ground
Sutton and Taylor reacted by grabbing their guns. Sutton had a twenty gauge shotgun, Taylor a .22 rifle, and when the creature was less than twenty feet from the house, they opened fire.
The volley failed to have the desired effect. According to Taylor and Sutton, they hit the creature but it appeared to be completely unharmed by the bullets. Instead, it "flipped over" and ran off. The two men returned inside, and quickly saw another head peeking into the house through the side window. Again, they opened fire, this time shooting through the window screen, and the creature again appeared to flip over backwards and run away.
The members of the household were nearly hysterical at this point, and in attempt to calm everyone down and determine whether or not they had killed the visitor, Taylor and Sutton went back outside. Walking out the back door of the house, Taylor set foot on the outside step when immediately a clawed hand reached from the roof above and grabbed his hair. His family immediately pulled him back inside, and Lucky Sutton ran out and opened fire on the creature on the roof. The creature was knocked off the roof by the shotgun blast, but again appeared unharmed and slowly floated to the ground. It was then they the men saw another glow coming from a tree in the backyard, and realized that they were dealing with multiple entities.
Taylor rushed back outside and both he and Sutton opened fire on the creature in the tree. This one also floated gently to the ground when hit.
The encounter lasted for three hours, during which time members of the family estimated that they were dealing with somewhere between three and four separate visitors. The creatures approached the house multiple times, but very time one was hit or even shouted out it would only glow more brightly for an instant and then disappear back into the shadows. The family said that when the creatures were hit, they made a "metallic" sound, like a coin hitting a metal bucket. Around 11 p.m., activity around the house seemed to calm down, and the family decided to make an escape and piled into the two cars and headed immediately down the road to the police station in Hopkinsville.
"We need help", the family told the officers at the station, "We've been fighting them for nearly four hours."
Disturbed by the family who was described as "genuinely terrified", Police officers went out to the farm, joined by military officers from nearby Fort Campbell, but apart from the torn window screen there was no sign of the invaders, apart from one officer who said he thought he saw a "glowing patch" on the group that seemed to disappear as he approached. The only disturbance the officers reported was the shriek from an unfortunate cat whose tail was stepped on in the dark. By around 2:30, the officers left the scene and the family returned. But apparently so had the creatures. Faces began to again appear at the window, and the men again opened fire on the creatures. The second encounter continued until around 5 a.m. when the sun began to rise, and the creatures seemed to give up. By the time daylight arrived, they were gone, leaving no trace behind.
The next day, the report of the encounter was published in the Kentucky New Era newspaper, and immediately the Sutton farm erupted into a media circus. Reporters from across the country descended on the farm, and UFO buffs were camping on the family's lawn fro weeks after the incident in the hope the creatures would return. Eventually, so disturbed by the incident and the accompanying fuss, the family sold the farm and moved into town.
As late as 1968 there was apparently a round, circular spot in the area where Taylor had seen the object land where nothing would grow.
The Hopkinsville Incident is one of the most famous and unusual UFO encounters. It has been written about numerous times, including a book Alien Legacy by Geraldine Sutton-Stith, Lucky Stith's daughter. Today, the incident is celebrated by the Kelly community with their annual Little Green Man Festival, but the current owner of the land where the Sutton farmhouse stands is unconnected to the incident and discourages curious visitors.
Something strange does seem to have happened to the Sutton family that night in 1955. From our perspective over half a century later, it does seem unfortunate that, if this was a genuine encounter with extraterrestrial life forms, that they were greeted in such a hostile fashion. While it's understandable that the people in the isolated farmhouse were frightened, if we ever do establish friendly relations with other life out there among the stars, the damage done to Kentucky's interstellar tourist industry on that night might never be repaired.