October 11th marked the 40th anniversary of one of the most bizarre and well-known reports of alien abduction – the Pascagoula case, in which two men claimed to have had a firsthand encounter with beings not of this world.
In the fall of 1973, coworkers Charles Hickson – 42 at the time – and Calvin Parker – aged 19 – were on a fishing trip in Pascagoula, Mississippi, when they were startled by an unusual sound. Soon, an “oval-shaped craft” appeared from out of the sky, seeming to levitate off the ground.
That’s when three creatures emerged from the craft – their physical descriptions match nothing in the history of ufology.
According to the men, these creatures were mummy-like with folds of thick, gray skin. They had large claws and their faces were void of any physical features aside from long, carrot-shaped noses. Rather than legs, they had a single appendage ending in a pair of “elephant-like” feet.
Hickson and Parker were examined by a mechanical, floating device – and then released without incident.
Understandably terrified, the men reported their astonishing story to the local police department – and from there, the fallout was swift and vocal. The police believed the men were simply drunk – Hickson had taken three shots of Whiskey in order to settle his nerves following the encounter.
Sheriff Fred Diamond left a tape recorder running in the interrogation room. He then left, hoping to catch the men in the middle of a lie. However, the conversation between Hickson and Parker remained true to their story – both of them were genuinely fearful, believing they had really encountered something unearthly.
The Pascagoula case became a national sensation – inspiring much ridicule, debate, and skepticism. Philip J. Klass – the vehement UFO debunker known for inventing lies to damage the reputations of eyewitnesses – dismissed the story outright, insisting both men were nothing more than fraudsters.
Security cameras near the riverbank where the alleged UFO made contact recorded nothing unusual.
However, several eyewitnesses have since come forward – among them retired navy chief petty officer Mike Cataldo – admitting they saw unexplained lights in the skies over Pascagoula the very night of the alleged abduction.
As for Hickson and Parker, they coped with the sudden attention in very different ways. Hickson embraced the spotlight – giving lectures, attending UFO conferences, publishing a book, and claiming of even more close encounters. He passed away two years ago.
Parker shunned the media and spent the following decades trying to escape the shadow of that infamous night.
So what really happened? A shared hallucination of some kind, an elaborate hoax, or something else altogether?
Whatever truly happened, you can count on seeing the Pascagoula aliens in the upcoming sequel to Legend Trippers – the sci-fi epic will be available for download in 2014.