'UFO Witness': How a ‘close encounter’ with ‘little gray/green men’ changed the life of a family

A recent UFO sighting has been connected to a 1955 incident known as the Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter


                            'UFO Witness': How a ‘close encounter’ with ‘little gray/green men’ changed the life of a family
Representational Image (Getty Images)

The sightings of Unidentified Flying Object(s), commonly called UFO(s), have always intrigued common people as well as government officials around the world. There are several questions related to these UFO sightings that have been left unanswered for years. However, at last, a new series on Discovery+ called ‘UFO WITNESS’ is trying to uncover the secrets behind them while linking old sightings to new ones. Episode 4 of the eight-part series deals with the same. The description of the episode -- titled ‘Close Encounters’ -- reads, “Ben Hansen [former federal agent and paranormal investigator] heads down to Florida to investigate a woman's claim that an extraterrestrial approached her in her backyard. He wonders if this highly credible sighting is connected to a similar 1955 incident known as the Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter.”

UFO Beaming up a Man - stock illustration (Getty Images)

What was Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter?

It was August 21, 1955, when a young man in his early 20s named Elmer "Lucky" Sutton along with his wife, brother, sister-in-law, and some friends visited his mother Glennie Lankford and three younger half-siblings at their family farmhouse - eight miles north of Hopkinsville in Kentucky. As reported by Country Living, they all enjoyed a fun-filled day and after having a hearty supper, the group planned to play a card game when Billy Ray -- a friend of Lucky -- said something that left everyone astonished. Ray claimed that while coming back towards the house after a trip to the well to refill his water glass, he saw a round, metallic object, with rainbow-colored streaks trailing behind it, moving through the sky above the farm. But no one believed him. However, sometime later, something happened that halted their card game -  a glowing object, approaching from the woods behind the house. The object came closer to them and the two men found a short, human-like creature, with large eyes, two legs that seemed to float rather than walk and arms raised as if in surrender. The sighting left the men scared and they ran inside the house.

Despite Ray and Lucky’s claim, Lankford did not believe them because she had been on the property for decades and never experienced anything like that in all those years. But her and others' perception changed when a figure about three feet tall appeared in the doorway out of the darkness. Without wasting a minute, Ray fired at the would-be intruder, piercing a hole in the screen door. He then stepped onto the porch and was shocked to find a clawed hand reaching down from the roof, grazing his hair. But luckily nothing bad happened to Ray. By that time, Lucky also came outside and aimed at the unknown creature, but it rolled off the roof and vanished into the woods, apparently without any injury.

Not just that, Lucky’s brother JC also saw a pair of glowing eyes and a set of talons at a window of the house. He used a 20-gauge shotgun to scare the creature. However, that was not the end of unbelievable things as the men of the house again witnessed a “little man” perched on a branch of the maple tree above them. After some time, the family went to the Hopkinsville police station for help. But the sergeant working the front desk at the station had no answer to their questions. Soon, personnel from Kentucky State Police, the Christian County Sheriff's office, and Fort Campbell Army Base arrived at the Sutton farm, but they found nothing concrete except holes in the window screens and a number of shotgun shell casings. The story of the unexplained sighting soon petered out. Though the family claimed they saw "little grey men", they were reportedly misquoted, which led to the addition of "little green men" to the modern lexicon.

14 years later, Lucky was approached by a couple, who was writing a book about UFO sightings and wanted him to share his experience. "My daddy didn't like how people treated him once the story got out. People made fun of him. It was traumatizing. Still to this day the [witnesses] who are alive are afraid to talk,” Lucky’s daughter, Geraldine, who now goes by her married name, Stith, said. Talking about her grandma and uncle, Stith added: “She felt safer around other people. He couldn't hold down a job anymore. It psychologically messed with him.”

Alien invasion in the forest - stock photo (Getty Images)

Joann Smithey, vice president and chairperson of the Kelly Little Green Men Days Festival, also said that after the August 21 episode, dozens of "UFO fanatics" converged on the small farm. “There were so many reporters and looky-loos coming by and walking around the property, taking things and calling them ‘souvenirs’. The family got sick of being harassed and called liars. They left within 10 days." Despite all the harassment, the family stuck to their claims, but Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer and UFO researcher highly regarded for his work with the US Air Force called the case "preposterous" and offensive to "common sense”, as stated in ‘A World of UFOs’ by Chris A. Rutkowski.

Whether the 1955 incident was true or not and whether the recent sighting of an extraterrestrial by a Florida woman seems to be related to that decades-old case, will be answered in Episode 4 of ‘UFO Witness’ airing only on Discovery+ on January 21.

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