The Pascagoula (Mississippi) Abduction

bob61

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#1
A fascinating ufo abduction case that caught my attention. On October 11, 1973 two co-workers had gone fishing when along came a spaceship encounter that would change their lives forever. Charles Hickson & Calvin Parker claimed they were abducted by aliens & examined. Pascagoula became the center of an international news story. The terrifying humanoid creatures, it was said, stood about 5 feet tall and had skin that was pale in color & wrinkled. The two men also said that the creatures had no eyes that they could discern & had slits for mouths along with "lobster like claws" for hands. The men said that the creatures' "bullet-shaped" heads appeared connected to their shoulders with no discernible neck & had three "carrot like" growths coming from their heads, one where the nose would be on a human & the other two where the ears would be & the creatures appeared to have one leg.

One of the men, Charles Hickson, wrote a book about the encounter titled "UFO ENCOUNTER AT PASCAGOULA" . Mr Hickson passed away in 2011. Calvin Parker claimed that 19 years after the first encounter he came into contact with the same spaceship again & met the same female being/alien that had probed him during the first encounter, claiming that they held a conversation in English & that she communicated a religious message to him, saying that they shared the same god & that the Bible was an authentic text. She also mentioned to him that her species wanted to live on earth but due to humanity's tendencies towards war, violence & destruction they could not.

Though at the time it was a big international news story, this ufo encounter has taken a backseat into obscurity & is simply fascinating to me. Both men were ridiculed & made fun of & as far as I know both men held firm in their stories concerning the encounter. They were also local celebrities in the Pascagoula area after the incident. If you haven't heard of or read anything on the Pascagoula encounter you might find it interesting to check out.
 
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GNC

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#2
Wasn't the trouble with this encounter that it happened in a very public, fairly well-populated location and nobody else around that day had seen a thing? Might point to a shared hallucination, if you're feeling benevolent.
 

Analis

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#5
Might point to a shared hallucination, if you're feeling benevolent.
The problem is that the concept itself does not exist. Collective hallucination is a notion that has vanished from psychology books because it is just too far-fetched.
Additionnally, there were other facts, notable the strong reactions of terror during re-enactements, that pointed to the fact that they had been subjected to a real event.
 

Shady

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#6
How did they know male from female, did male have a carrot ?
 

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#7
It's an interesting case, worthy of sober study. The event seems to have been truly life-changing for the two "experiencers" and not in a good way. The case has become something of a Rorschach test, with some people ignoring it completely and others seizing on one small aspect and building their opinions on that. Like the best paranormal cases, it "doesn't add up" and it's very creepy. The most annoying thing about it to me is all the arrogant ignoramuses writing the witnesses off as dumb hillbillies or some such. I don't know what happened to those guys, but I don't think they were lying.
 

GNC

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#9
The problem is that the concept itself does not exist. Collective hallucination is a notion that has vanished from psychology books because it is just too far-fetched.
Additionnally, there were other facts, notable the strong reactions of terror during re-enactements, that pointed to the fact that they had been subjected to a real event.
It was a time when alien abduction narratives were popularised, and bear in mind they would have talked with each other about their experiences to reach a consensus. If we can have mass hysteria and the Mandela Effect, we can have two guys convincing themselves they were abducted by demons when no one in the vicinity saw anything untoward.
 

Austin Popper

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#11
It was a time when alien abduction narratives were popularised, and bear in mind they would have talked with each other about their experiences to reach a consensus. If we can have mass hysteria and the Mandela Effect, we can have two guys convincing themselves they were abducted by demons when no one in the vicinity saw anything untoward.
Everybody needs to sleep at night.
 

EnolaGaia

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#12
Most of the publicity, etc., revolved around the older man (Hickson). The younger one (Parker) didn't really talk about it until a couple of decades later. Both admitted they'd been drinking while fishing at the river's edge.

Parker once alleged he passed out when the incident began and didn't regain consciousness until it was over. More recently he's claimed to have recovered / remembered some aspects of the alleged abduction. Make of that what you will ...

IMHO this was always a fairly weak story, regardless of how much publicity it got at the time.
 

dr wu

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#13
Interesting tale indeed....one that always said 'high strangeness' to me....to borrow a term that Dr Vallee helped to popularize. My thought on these weird ones is why would they make up such a bizarre tale...? To what purpose...? For attention...?
I would say that something weird did happen to them...but what?
 

EnolaGaia

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#15
This begs the age old question: since when did drinking make you see things that aren't there?
That would have been an interesting question to put to Hickson - the only one of the pair to remain conscious through the alleged event.
 

Analis

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#16
It was a time when alien abduction narratives were popularised, and bear in mind they would have talked with each other about their experiences to reach a consensus. If we can have mass hysteria and the Mandela Effect, we can have two guys convincing themselves they were abducted by demons when no one in the vicinity saw anything untoward.
Well, discussing is not enough to make people 'convinced' of having lived a wholly imagined episode, as they appeared to be deeply. Additionally, they were recorded, unbeknownst to them, and were shown to be genuinely disturbed by what had happened to them, prior to any possibility of having 'influenced' themselves. It reminds me of similar explanations that had been put forward in the case of the Versailles ghosts/timeslip, which similarly didn't pass the test of facts.
Mass hysteria doesn't produce similar collective visual hallucinations (and somatic symptoms are always varied in an outbreak), but it seems that you're describing here the phenomenon known as folie à deux, the kind of shared delusion acknowledged by psychology closest to collective hallucination. But it doesn't work that way, it is a severe mental disorder, requiring two very close personalities (usually husband and wife, or parent and child), both being affected by serious psychosis. Conditions that were just not met there. The same explanation was attempted with the Hill abduction case, despite that there again, conditions were not met (they were indeed a married couple, but had none of the required psychotic tendencies).

As for two or more people witnessing an unusual event (sometimes leaving tangible evidence), but nobody else in the vicinity despite that they should have, there are various precedents in paranormal archives. Jenny Randles dedicated a number of her articles to similar instances, as if witnesses and the event were shielded from the outiside world by a kind of bubble (but it could equally be inferred that they were immersed in a kind of virtual reality, or were subjected to a mental projection). There are even cases of groups of people whose only some members witness something.
 

feen5

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#17

Both admitted they'd been drinking while fishing at the river's edge.
This begs the age old question: since when did drinking make you see things that aren't there?


It always bothers me when drinking is used as an excuse for UFO sightings. Every time you hear an item about the subject on radio or TV there is always the host or guest or Text or whatever trotted out blaming it on being drunk or drinking. Since when did drinking become synonymous with hallucinations or seeing things.

I'm sure everyone on this site has drank or still drinks and I can say for certain that I have over my 44 years (25 - 26 years drinking) I have been (and I'm sure most people who have drank have been) in various states of drunkenness from the mildly buzzed to the completely out of my gourd and I have never had a hallucination. Why is drink so associated with fobbing off peoples sightings?
 

Austin Popper

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#18
Hmmm. I see this did not post, and for some reason returned here as a ghost. Odd. It has happened to me here a few times now. Anyway, some of this has been covered above.

Pretty much anything you can dream up has been trotted out as an explanation, including tampering with the two witnesses by nefarious "alphabet agencies", against which I would not bet more than the price of a cup of gas station coffee. But then again, it's difficult to imagine what purpose such a thing might be thought to serve.

It has been a long time since I've read much about it, but some law enforcement official, sheriff maybe, put them in a room together and recorded everything they said to each other (or at least listened) when they thought they were out of earshot. They spoke about being fearful and freaked out by the event, showing no sign of making anything up. I've lived among a lot of people like those two, and it's always surprised me they reported the event to officials. I really think they were scared out of their wits,but by what?
 

EnolaGaia

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#19
... It always bothers me when drinking is used as an excuse for UFO sightings. Every time you hear an item about the subject on radio or TV there is always the host or guest or Text or whatever trotted out blaming it on being drunk or drinking. Since when did drinking become synonymous with hallucinations or seeing things. ...
Drinking isn't synonymous with hallucinating, but it sets the stage for perceptual distortions up to and including outright hallucinations. This is most relevant in cases of habitual drinking with REM / sleep deprivation and substantial drinking in close proximity to sleep periods (affecting hypnogogic and hypnopompic transitions).
 

Zeke Newbold

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#20
Yeah, like Soccoro `64 and Voronezh `89, this is one of those standalone cases which, on the one hand, stretches your credulity to the limit, but on the other, does have some details which give you pause for thought.

In the storys' favour are the facts that that:

* The beings described are somewhat original and do not resemble the few publicised abduction cases of that time.
* As said, both of them were taped having a somewhat stressed conversation about the incident in the police station without their knowledge.
*Hickson submitted himself to a polygraph test and emerged in the clear.
*Parker was hospitalised with a nervous breakdown shortly after the alleged event.

But what might cause you to doubt it all is that:

* Hickson kept changing the details of his story.
*Hickson needed money badly.
* Parker's breakdown might have been set off by the pressure or maintaining a fraud.
*Medics could find no evidence of any physical effects on Hickson despite his claims that there were.
* The polygraph operator was untrained (according to Philip Klass).
* No drivers on a nearby road route reported anything unusual (although I personally wouldn't read too much into this).

(These points are gleaned from Peter Brookesmith's` UFO Sightings Catalogue` - in which he calls this case a `fisherman's tale`).

And, of course, Parker's subsequent religious vision is a fly in the ointment, although, if we ware to be honest with ourselves, there is no more reason to disbelieve this than there is his original abduction claim).

As for the drinking aspect of it: Enola's points above are taken but...well, I'm a drinker - not a drunk, just a drinker, and have never had a remotely Fortean experience whilst in cups. It's mostly been a case of finding somewhere to piss, and making sure you don't do so on your kebab! It seems to me that one would have to be a very long term, and excessive dipsomaniac - with attendant mental degeneration- before one would begin to hallucinate. (I am always reminded of the scene in the film version of `Hobson's Choice` where Hobson is laying on a bed imaging himself to be being attacked by giant flies).
 

eburacum

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#21
Rather than causing hallucinations, alcohol could have played a part in a very different way. Hickson may have been emboldened by alcohol to tell his fantastical tale, which might otherwise have remained a rambling fantasy in his head; and Parker might have forgotten what little he actually witnessed because of the obliterating effects of the stuff. So he reconstructed the events rather badly like someone trying to remember what they did on a night out.
 

skinny

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#22
Of booze and yoo-fos, my Da and uncle, both retired reverends, once gave us a very uncharacteristic recount of a pair of parishioners who swore off the grog after being chased along an outback highway at night by the lights. Horrified, they were forced to stop, crawled under the ute and held each other in terror until the craft had moved on. Seasoned and metabolised to the ethanol, they never went near booze again and became deeply committed xtians from that day.

Or so the story goes...
 
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#23
Is there a transcript or video online of the secret police recording? Searches on YT just turn up short documentaries and interviews, it would be interesting to hear what they said to each other.
 

skinny

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#25
Thanks for the link, bob. A comprehensive window into the event.

Those audio files are really interesting. Having never heard of this account before, I was impressed by the unique aspects of the recount. It would be interesting to note the date the recording was made. I don't think it is the recording mentioned here, as it seems to be Hickson alone:
Hickson and Parker told authorities what happened and they were recorded while sitting in a holding room, not knowing anyone was listening. We have the rarely heard original tape recordings made just hours after the alleged abduction.

Seems to be an interview with a TV or radio show, so expect it'd have been done well after the event (edit - "story was picked up by the national press in 1974, he appeared on several national TV shows including the Dick Cavett show." ). However, if it was recorded within hours/days, it would need to have been bloody well-rehearsed to be told with such fluency and certainty. I know some people are born entertainers, but anyway.

Would be very interesting to listen to the alleged original tape recording the website claims to have a copy of. Here's the scripted taster from bob's link:
Police Transcript: (audio in video below) <(this is not what we hear ~ skinny)
Parker: "I almost had a heart attack, I ain't [email protected]#ting you."

Hickson: "I know it scared me to death too."

Parker: "I was standing there right now just crying, I can't help it."

Hickson: "I know it. I couldn't take much more of that. I tell you, I need some more pills or something or go see a doctor or something. I can't stand it. I'm about to go hog crazy."
 
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Analis

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#26
Seems to be an interview with a TV or radio show, so expect it'd have been done well after the event (edit - "story was picked up by the national press in 1974, he appeared on several national TV shows including the Dick Cavett show." ). However, if it was recorded within hours/days, it would need to have been bloody well-rehearsed to be told with such fluency and certainty. I know some people are born entertainers, but anyway.

Would be very interesting to listen to the alleged original tape recording the website claims to have a copy of. Here's the scripted taster from bob's link:
Police Transcript: (audio in video below) <(this is not what we hear ~ skinny)
Parker: "I almost had a heart attack, I ain't [email protected]#ting you."

Hickson: "I know it scared me to death too."

Parker: "I was standing there right now just crying, I can't help it."

Hickson: "I know it. I couldn't take much more of that. I tell you, I need some more pills or something or go see a doctor or something. I can't stand it. I'm about to go hog crazy."
Yes, the tape evidence is certainly convincing, it shows what was really the state of mind of the two men at the time, as they were unaware that they were registered.
This is what could be called the Sonny Desverger* effect, when an amount of evidence would indeed point in the direction of a hoax, but some decisive evidence comes to negate this conclusion. Which illustrates that hasty conclusions should not be drawn hastily. Something unusual took place this day, although as in many other instances, we can not draw any conclusions as to its nature.

Drinking isn't synonymous with hallucinating, but it sets the stage for perceptual distortions up to and including outright hallucinations. This is most relevant in cases of habitual drinking with REM / sleep deprivation and substantial drinking in close proximity to sleep periods (affecting hypnogogic and hypnopompic transitions).
One thing should be stated : contrary to popular wisdom, alcohol is not an hallucinogen ; it disturbs perception and mood, time of reaction etc..., to the point that it can lead to a loss of awareness. But not that it can cause visions. Coming off alcohol for an alcoholic induces hallucinations (under the state knwon as delirium tremens), but merely drinking alcohol does not. You're right that it can set the stage, but it is mainly the case with true alcoholics ; alcoholism is often associated with other mental troubles (including addiction with hallucinogenic drugs), and favors their survenance. It is also possible that in a long-time alcoholic it can cause definitive brain damage, which might lead to true (visual, auditive, tactile etc...) hallucinations. But in the present case, there didn't appear to be a suggestion that such conditions were met.


* In the famed Desvergers sighting in the Everglades in 1952, the main witness did try to gain a financial benefit from his story ; his co-witnesses were more or less confused, although they did confirm the main elements in his story, but they were teenagers, from a youth boy-scout-like organisation, under his influence ; moreover, he was alledegly involved in sexual relations with some of his 'students', although this was not really relevant relating to his credibility as a witness. But there was definitive material evidence, that he could not have faked, and that couldn't be accounted with a natural explanation.

In the same vein, the Falcon Lake/Manitoba CE2 is another good illustration, although it was rather alledged that the witness had opportunistically elaborated on an accident with a hot grid or grate (like in the Pascagoula case, it was also suggested that he had been drunk, which could have 'helped' him to enhance his story) ; despite that the burn-like marks were different of what a grate would cause. Additionnally, it was also a case where potentail witnesses who should have seen something didn't (or claimed not to have).
 

dr wu

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#28
I recall that Dr J Allen Hynek interviewed them not too long after their experience and he felt they were telling the truth ...but who knows?
What interests me are the elements of these high strangeness cases....in this case the 'aliens' looked like tall robots with no clear face that floated. Many of these events over the years have bizarre aspects yet the witnesses seem sincere.
Again....are we dealing with space beings from another solar system somewhere or...something else?
 

dr wu

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#29
BTW...it seems like most of these high strangeness cases happened in the 50's, 60's, 70's , 80'S, and even earlier decades from what I have read.
Does anyone know of any seemingly genuine bizarre cases that happened since 1990 to the present..the last 28 years...??

ps: Dr Vallee's trio of books: Dimensions, Confrontations, and Revelations detail some very interesting high strangeness cases with analysis and speculations about their meaning.
 

SkepticalX

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#30
The raw number of UFO reports has gone up, but the quality of the reports has gone down. Yes, there are plenty of sighting of questionable nocturnal lights or distant daytime objects. But close encounter cases (if you eliminate alleged alien abductions) appear to have gone extinct.

Ted Phillips once said that the phenomenon seemed to undergo a fundamental change back in the 1980s. My question though is whether the phenomenon changed or did we, as observers, change?
 
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