Kelly / Hopkinsville (Kentucky) 'Goblins' Incident (1955)

Lb8535

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I doubt it, even if a bullet or pellet had happened to strike a wire / strand.

There were one or two indirect allusions to there being a scrap pile somewhere in or beyond the back yard, but I've seen no details on what was piled and where the pile was located.
If that tank had leftover oil or propane in it I expect they avoided shooting at it.
 

EnolaGaia

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Here (attached) is a table listing the third-party sightings of 'meteors' during the night of 21 / 22 August, arranged in relative chronological order.

Unfortunately, most of these sightings were reported without specifying the exact time or timeframe, so most of them have to be attributed to a range of times.
 

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EnolaGaia

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Now, about those 'meteors' ...

(1) Reported Direction Of Travel

To the extent the direction of flight for the reported 'meteors' is given, all the 'meteors' were cited as traveling northward - most specifically north.

To the extent one of the Kelly incident witnesses (pretty much limited to Taylor) cited the UFO's direction of travel, it was northward or SW to NE.

(2) Possible Correlation With The Perseids

There are occasional mentions in the investigatory literature of the Perseid meteor shower and the possibility reports of things in the sky could have been Perseid meteors.

As of 21 August 1955 the Perseid meteor shower was 9 days past its nominal peak on 12 August (+ / -).

Here's the main problem in attributing the UFO and / or the various 'meteor' reports to the Perseids ... In Christian County KY on 21 August 1955 the Perseids' radiant (apparent point source from which meteors seem to radiate) was located low on the horizon (less than 10 degrees altitude) to the north / northeast. You can check this at:

https://in-the-sky.org//skymap.php?...55&hour=22&minute=30&ra=3.2&dec=57&limitmag=1

(If you expand the animated graphic sky map you can tweak the parameters to precisely fit the incident's timeframe)

The northward tracks reported for the UFO and the 'meteors' that night were therefore opposite to the relative direction from which Perseid meteor trails would have been visibly originating. As a result, there's essentially zero chance any of the reported objects in the sky were Perseids.
 

marhawkman

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also, isn't it super-rare for actual meteors to go W->E in the first place? IIRC the rotation of the Earth gives them relative motion even if they're actually moving straight.
 

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Do you have the other pages from the New York Daily News article? I'd love to see the whole thing, because it's piqued my curiosity. Even though it's obviously a heavily embroidered collage assembled from bits of various news items and articles...
Only just logged on again since your request and absolutely delighted to. There are three pages:

The Daily News' (New York)
19 March, 1967


Page 1

www.forteanmedia.com/1967_03_19_DailyNews_01.pdf

Page 2

www.forteanmedia.com/1967_03_19_DailyNews_02.pdf

Page 3

www.forteanmedia.com/1967_03_19_DailyNews_03.pdf
 

EnolaGaia

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also, isn't it super-rare for actual meteors to go W->E in the first place? IIRC the rotation of the Earth gives them relative motion even if they're actually moving straight.

I'm not sure about the frequency of occurrence with regard to apparent direction of travel. However ...

During a concentrated meteor shower the incoming meteors can appear to 'track' in all directions from the radiant (virtual / central point of origin).
 

EnolaGaia

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Only just logged on again since your request and absolutely delighted to. There are three pages ...
Thanks!

I wanted to see more of the context in which the article focused on the Kelly / Hopkinsville incident.
 

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Did you notice that this 1967 version of the story attributes all the shooting to J. C. and Lucky - just as J. C. would claim 9 years later?
Although I did so, what a profoundly significant point you have highlighted.

Yes, it does and misses out any firearms involvement regarding Billy Ray Taylor for a paramount reason.

This version of the story, as published in 1967, is effectively Frank Edwards' account as had just been revealed in his book, 'Flying Saucers: Serious Business'.

Here, is a pivotal movement, which illustrates where Edwards and Isabel Davis' narratives diverge.

Isabel Davis seemingly makes a fundamental error, misconstruing the inaugural newspaper reports as confirming it was was Billy Ray Taylor, who had a '.22 rifle' and accompanied Elmer Sutton during initial shooting episodes.

That is why, as you astutely observe, this 1967 publication equates with John Sutton's 1976 interview.

In between, it would unfortunately appear, Isabel Davis has been inadvertently misled and her resulting conclusions are fallacious.

More on which, to follow, directly.
 
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EnolaGaia

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Although I did so, what a profoundly significant point you have highlighted.
Yes, it does and misses out any firearms involvement regarding Billy Ray Taylor for a paramount reason.
This version of the story, as published in 1967, is effectively Frank Edwards' account as had just been revealed in his book, 'Flying Saucers: Serious Business'.
Here, is a pivotal movement, which illustrates where Edwards and Isabel Davis' narratives diverge. ...

IMHO the narratives were divergent from the beginning.

We have 5 early accounts describing the incident and its subsidiary events:

- Kentucky New Era (KNE)
- Madisonville Messenger (MM)
- Evansville Press (EP)
- The United Press wire story (UP)
- Jacqueline Sanders (JS)

Only the KNE and MM accounts derived (if only in part) from reporters on the scene with the initial police investigators. According to the D & B report neither newspaper's personnel were present at the Hopkinsville police station.

The EP account is a combination of the Evansville travelers' testimony plus tidbits obviously obtained at Kelly the day following the incident (seemingly most or all of which came from Alene).

We still don't know who filed the UP wire service story which began appearing in newspapers on the 23rd.

Sanders' account was collected months later, but came entirely from law enforcement personnel (especially Greenwell) and therefore represents what the witnesses told the cops (rather than the press).

Finally, we have Davis' narrative based on data collected the following year and who-knows-what additional materials obtained after her visit (e.g., from Ledwith).
 

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Here (attached) is a table summarizing the key elements for the 5 earliest narratives listed above plus Davis' eventual report.
 

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If we move forward to 18 December, 1977, the 'San Antonio Express' published a feature article regarding Dr J. Allen Hynek's book 'The Hynek UFO Report', in which our 1955 Kentucky case plays such a celebrated prominence.

www.forteanmedia.com/1977_12_18_SanAntonio.pdf

Alongside, naturally, the prerequisite image of a 'flying saucer'.


Coming across the abovenoted 1977 snapshot, so elementally caught in a fascinating time capsule, a new thought surfaces, its nascent breath formed from these very discussions on the ethereal Forteana forums.

In 1955, 'flying saucers' were appreciably an enigma, as was the perception they might be piloted by Martians,

They really shouldn't have been, as Kenneth Arnold had long sinced enphasised he had never observed a circular, 'saucer-shaped' object at all, let alone nine of them.

Over 20 years later, following two decades of research and consequently fresh enlightenment... new understandings... a more scientifically oriented appraisal of a still perceived to be a real, yet frustratingly unproven, phenomenon, Dr Hynek publishes his summation of the acquired, persuasive evidence.

Hard-core central, is the Kelly-Hopkinsville case.

Perhaps back of my mind is that you can't take issue with what little evidence we have to go on, it's maybe moreso a question of how that same, paltry, primarily second, or even third-hand contemporary newspaper documention, has been everlastinging welcomed and pinpointed as the 'real deal'... 'inexplicable'... because there 'were so many witnesses', etc.


I suppose my personal 'time out' on seeing the 'San Antonio Express' article, is taking a moment to think on same and realising our much cherished 1955 story, albeit devoid of any actual physical evidence, other than a gunshot hole in a window screen, is cited mainstream over 20 years later by Dr Hynek, because... he feels it necessary to justify his overall contention:

"Bizarre? Yes. But Close Encounters of the Third Kind are by no means infrequent".
 

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We have 5 early accounts describing the incident and its subsidiary events:

- Kentucky New Era (KNE)
- Madisonville Messenger (MM)
- Evansville Press (EP)
- The United Press wire story (UP)
- Jacqueline Sanders (JS)
I am only going to mention the Saunders incident, because everything else abovenoted seems to now be established.

It would appear that Saunders was also caught out by the, second-hand, factually inaccurate newspaper reports, writing:

"Taylor told of knocking one of them off a barrel with his .22. He said he heard the bullet strike the creature, then whine as it ricocheted off! The little man tumbled to the ground, rolled into a ball, then floated off in the direction of the spaceship.

Taylor report:dly fired about four boxes of .22 shells. The battle went on for some time before the terrified occupants of the house saw their chance to escape to the cars and go for help".

Nothing whatsoever to do with Billy Ray Taylor, as we now know, it was John Sutton who used a .22 pistol and there is no seemingly no preceding account of any 'barrel shot',

Jacqueline did not interview any of the witnesses and therefore, when she claims:

"Taylor took Chief Greenwell around to the back of the house to show him where the little man had fallen off the barrel...".

It's palpably, like so much which has become unravelled, another 'fictional fact'...

"...floated off in the direction of the spaceship", could just as easily have been a claim by Isabel Davis, or Dr Hynek.
 

EnolaGaia

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Sanders didn't acknowledge any documentary sources she may have relied upon in addition to her interview(s) with Chief Greenwell and / or other law enforcement personnel. As such, it's anybody's guess whether she incorporated elements of the story from other sources.

As I recall, the bit about the barrel is unique to Sanders' account. Because her recitation of it involved Taylor pointing out the barrel to Greenwell, I've always presumed she got it from Greenwell.

I'm not certain about J. C. being one of only two shooters (and Taylor never being a shooter at all), but the weight of the earliest attributions seems to make that scenario a very viable possibility.

There's are two things that argue against presuming Taylor was never a shooter at all ...

The first is Ms. Glennie's claims to Andre in 1959. Her story (via Davis) is that Taylor was standing guard at the front door and shot at a visitor who approached. I find it hard to believe Ms. Lankford would mis-remember with whom she'd been during such an intense event.

The second also comes from Ms. Glennie - her claim (New Era; 23 August) that J. C. initially thought it was all a joke and didn't take it seriously until later. This would imply J. C. may not have been a shooter involved in the earliest shooting events (e.g., most versions of the initial visitor sighting).

If she had been with J. C. rather than Taylor it would mean she lied to Andre - perhaps deliberately. As I've noted earlier, there's something odd about the way the divergent narratives treat J. C. versus Taylor. Was J. C. being progressively 'edited out of' the story in favor of Taylor? Vice versa? Why?

On the other hand ... It might all be a matter of confused witnesses giving confusing testimony to credulous listeners.

It's still unclear why so many of the earliest news stories consistently mis-label Elmer / Lucky as 'Cecil' and / or mis-characterize Taylor as a family member or relative. Were multiple reporters (and cops?) that bad at taking notes, or were the residents fudging the alleged facts?
 
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As I recall, the bit about the barrel is unique to Sanders' account. Because her recitation of it involved Taylor pointing out the barrel to Greenwell, I've always presumed she got it from Greenwell.

I know Greenwell is singled out as a 'credible' witness due to his senior position, but I have to say that his contributions to the 1976 retelling by J. C. Sutton show that he is not necessarily consistent. Compare that to Ferguson's consistently prosaic recollections.
 

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I think the variation in early accounts is entirely due to the way they were collected: a big group of reporters, police and various other interested parties traipsing round the farm at 1 in the morning and presumably 'interviewing' the witnesses as they went by talking to them in groups, with others listening in to (and possibly misinterpreting) bits of the conversation. Add to this the separate accounts collected in Evansville itself and by Ledwith the next day and you have a recipe for confusion.
 

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I know Greenwell is singled out as a 'credible' witness due to his senior position, but I have to say that his contributions to the 1976 retelling by J. C. Sutton show that he is not necessarily consistent. Compare that to Ferguson's consistently prosaic recollections.

Greenwell had experienced a UFO sighting himself, so his relatively conciliatory comments quoted in the Hopkinsville and Madisonville newspapers weren't surprising. The surprise (IMHO) was the Evansville Press quoting him as expressing a Batts-like blanket dismissal of the whole affair (which he was claimed to have refuted soon thereafter).

The affair brought him a certain measure of local celebrity as a routine contact on the matter. He seemed to take the associated jests in stride, as evidenced by this photo from the 1957 Nashville Tennessean article , showing him with a 'space helmet' and 'ray gun' sent to his office.

the-tennessean-sun-oct-13-1957-1_orig.jpg

Still, there were things in his otherwise good-natured later interviews that seemed to indicate his memory of the incident's details was fading with time. I'm still baffled by his pointing to a tree in the back yard in 1967, when the only tree in which a visitor was claimed to have perched was on the other side of the house.
 

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hmmm honestly... I have to wonder if maybe the picture isn't exactly what the journalist thinks it is?
 

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hmmm honestly... I have to wonder if maybe the picture isn't exactly what the journalist thinks it is?

Which picture, and what interpretation? ... :dunno:

Are you referring to the Chief Greenwell in the back yard photo and suggesting maybe the tree perch visitor event happened in the back yard rather than the front yard?
 

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Still, there were things in his otherwise good-natured later interviews that seemed to indicate his memory of the incident's details was fading with time. I'm still baffled by his pointing to a tree in the back yard in 1967, when the only tree in which a visitor was claimed to have perched was on the other side of the house.
I'm suddenly struck by the fact we don't know what Greenwell is doing when pointing. Sure, we have a caption, but... is Greenwell actually trying to identify the specific location something was seen? Maybe.... but only maybe...
Which picture, and what interpretation? ... :dunno:
Are you referring to the Chief Greenwell in the back yard photo and suggesting maybe the tree perch visitor event happened in the back yard rather than the front yard?
Um... that one.
 

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There's are two things that argue against presuming Taylor was never a shooter at all ...

The first is Ms. Glennie's claims to Andre in 1959. Her story (via Davis) is that Taylor was standing guard at the front door and shot at a visitor who approached. I find it hard to believe Ms. Lankford would mis-remember with whom she'd been during such an intense event.
This is the 1959 story which leads to Mrs Lankford claiming that Taylor was responsible for that door screen shot, leading to them believing the entity had jumped onto the roof, Taylor stepping out the front door to check if it been hit, then the 'hair-grab' and Elmer Sutton pushing in front of Taylor, seeing the 'creature' and shooting same, point-blank, with seemingly little damage.

This bears no resemblance to Mrs Lankford's original aaccount:

"On Sunday night Aug 21, 55 about 10:30 P.M. I was walking through the hallway which is located in the middle of my house and I looked out the back door south & saw a bright silver object about two and a half feet tall appearing round. I became excited and did not look at it long enough to see if it had any eyes or move. I was about 15 or 20 feet from it. I fell backward, and then was carried into the bedroom".

Furthermore, we now have John Suttons' crucial testimony the 'hair-grab' incident was a consequence of Elmer's window screen shot.

Given the fact that Mrs Lankford apparently also claimed the beings first arrived in a 'hands raised', friendly gesture, yet stately didn't observe any creatures until later and even then it was either:

a) original statement; "a bright silver object about two and a half feet tall appearing round",

or,

b) 1959 account; "looked like a five-gallon
gasoline can with a head on top and small legs. It was a shimmering bright metal like on my refrigerator"...

It would surely be conclusive that John Sutton's version is the more likely.

Perhaps now a reasonable point to reaffirm we have established their is significantly less to the previously proclaimed gunshot hits, especially via Isabel Davis.

As more recently highlighted, Isabel Davis' refutal to Mrs Lankford's suggestion that there was possibly never more than one creature observed, is entirely baseless.

Isabel cites now patently erroneous claims that both Elmer Sutton and Billy Ray Taylor participate.in warfare when nore than onn 'threatening' being was confronted.

The only source of witnessing any shots striking the 'aliens' is 'Lucky' Sutton.

He is the only participant who claimed to have seen a threatening 'face at the window', a subsequent 'creature' on the roof and in the anecdote given to Ledwith, also responsible for shooting one at point-blank range, when the shot sounded like, 'hitting a bucket'.

Any other newspaper reports of gunshots, albeit unsupported by evidence, are also attributed to Elmer Sutton.

Of paramount importance, he is also seemingly the sole source of John Sutton's pistol fire striking the beings and 'bouncing off' them.

According to the newly discovered, 20 August 1976, 'Evansville Press 'article:

"I saw something in the field and I fired at it with a pistol," he says. "I fired every bullet, nine times".

Sutton says that he was never sure whether he hit whatever he saw and that he's not sure what he saw."

It's maybe now all in a clearer perspective, especially as we need to keep in mind that 'little men', whether from Mars or elsewhere, really do need a 'flying saucer', or other mode of spaceship to have got there, that night.

Courtesy of the faulous research by your good self, it's also now comprehensively documented the events that night evolved amidst many meteorite reports.

Still... there remain puzzles... and will come back to these.. :)

:tumble:
 
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EnolaGaia

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I'm suddenly struck by the fact we don't know what Greenwell is doing when pointing. Sure, we have a caption, but... is Greenwell actually trying to identify the specific location something was seen? Maybe.... but only maybe...

According to the caption Greenwell is indicating a specific tree ("... this tree ..."). In the other photo within the article Greenwell is similarly indicating the living room window through which shots were fired. As such, the most straightforward explanation is that he's pointing to a particular object or location (just as Ms. Glennie was doing in the 23 August New Era photo and Ms. McCord was doing with the holes in the living room screen in the D & B report).

The back yard photo caption mirrors the description of the tree / roof shooting event given in the article's text, with one exception. The focal targets for Lucky and J. C. (respectively) are reversed between the main text and the photo caption.

Because Greenwell is shown in the back yard there's a conceivable alternative interpretation for what he's pointing to. He is pointing up as if indicating the tree, but his orientation is such that he could also be indicating the relative direction of the reported UFO's flight as it overflew the house and landed in the field out back.
 

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Furthermore, we now have John Suttons' crucial testimony the 'hair-grab' incident was a consequence of Elmer's window screen shot.

J. C.'s testimony is certainly interesting, but its status as 'crucial' is a matter of debate. His is the only account that claims the head-grab occurred to anyone other than Taylor. His account is the only one that omits any mention of shots fired at the initial sighting. His account wasn't documented until two decades after the incident, and J. C. was the only informant documented as claiming his memory wasn't all that clear about details.

If you rely only on the most contemporary detailed accounts (newspaper articles of 22 - 24 August, with or without Sanders' and Davis' later reports) the first / earlier living room window shooting event is the only event for which it would make sense to exit the front door to survey the area outside.
 

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... Given the fact that Mrs Lankford apparently also claimed the beings first arrived in a 'hands raised', friendly gesture, yet stately didn't observe any creatures until later and even then it was either:
a) original statement; "a bright silver object about two and a half feet tall appearing round",
or,
b) 1959 account; "looked like a five-gallon
gasoline can with a head on top and small legs. It was a shimmering bright metal like on my refrigerator"...
It would surely be conclusive that John Sutton's version is the more likely.

I'm confused by this passage ...

There is no documented account that directly attributes the 'hands raised' posture by moving visitors to any sighting by Ms. Glennie.

Indeed, there's no mention whatsoever of raised arms in the earliest-published 6 accounts (5 newspaper articles plus Sanders' report).

The earliest mention of visitors having raised arms is indirect. In his sub-report of his initial investigation on 22 August Ledwith mentions he expanded the depicted thickness of the visitors' legs (in his third sketching interview with the 3 Evansville travelers) on the assumption they'd have to support the weight of the creature with its arms raised. He does not mention how or why he believed the visitors ever raised their arms.

This allusion to raised arms wouldn't see the light of day until whenever it was that Davis first distributed her manuscript including Ledwith's sub-report.

The Clarksville news report (24 August) about Hodson's visit (22 August) states the arms were articulated and could bend in various directions, but never states the visitors ever moved with arms raised.

It's not until Davis' report that the raised-arms posture when walking is explicitly mentioned. She never specified where or when she obtained this claim of raised arms. She simply alludes to it as an element of the first sighting.

Ms. Glennie didn't claim to have been a witness to the first sighting. The only account that suggests she witnessed the initial visitor(s) was a passage in the Evansville Press article of 22 August, and we've previously downgraded or dismissed that as a mistaken attribution of something claimed by Alene in Kelly or related by the 3 men in Evansville on the 22nd. Having said all this ...

I don't see how any of this adds confidence to J. C.'s 1976 testimony. J. C. never mentioned the raised arms bit. In fact, J. C. never mentions any initial sighting of an approaching visitor in the back yard - the only event in which anyone ever alleged raised arms.
 
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