Hopkinsville Goblin, Reprise

Hopkinsville Goblin, Reprise

On October 31st of 1938 Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater On Air broadcast a version of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” causing panic and riots.

In June of 1947 Kenneth Arnold, a fire fighting equipment salesman was flying home in his small plane in the vicinity of Mt Ranier, Washington when he diverted to aid in the search for downed Marine Corps C-47 cargo plane. While flying past Ranier he spotted what has become the watershed event in UFOlogy, nine flying objects that he clocked at roughly 1200 miles an hour.

In July of 1947 a UFO was reported to have crashed and been recovered, along with diminutive bipedal humanoid bodies, by the US military near Roswell New Mexico.

1947 is typically stated as the beginning of the cold war between, primarily, The United States and Russia. It was a busy year to say the least. UFOs dominated the B movie circuit with visitors both malevolent and benign for decades to come. By 1955 the cold war was in full swing, people were building bomb shelters, and who could have avoided hearing about alien visitors in the news or the movies?

By 1955 the stage was set. Have we changed so much from the days of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds?”

The month of August 1955 was a strange one for residents around the small town of Kelly, in Christian County, Kentucky. A number of locals, as well as area law enforcement, had claimed to have been experiencing various odd things of an “alien” variety; in fact, things would end up getting so strange for one group of locals, the Sutton family of nearby Hopkinsville, that their lives would be forever changed in the aftermath.

The events that led to a terrorizing evening for the family, along with a visiting friend from out of town, were both terrifying and wholly inexplicable. Things started as Pennsylvania native Billy Ray Taylor, along with Elmer Sutton, went outside to investigate noises coming from the forest nearby on the evening of August 21st, shortly after a series of odd lights had been seen in the distance. Both men, carrying guns, claimed to have witnessed a strange nonhuman entity emerge from the trees, prompting their return to the farmhouse. Soon afterward, the Suttons and Mr. Taylor would begin an evening secured within the home, as these strange “goblins” attacked them from the outside; thus began their nightlong bout with what have forever remained known as the “Hopkinsville Goblins,” an event in American Forteana that remains one of the strangest ever recorded.
On that fateful evening in August of 1955, the badly frightened Sutton family would eventually enlist the aid of area law enforcement, who sent no less than twenty officers out to the house, expecting a confrontation with some kind of otherworldly presence. Upon arrival, while evidence of a window-rattling conflict was found a plenty, there was no sign of any of these odd, diminutive beings, variously described as humanoid, though of smaller stature, light-skinned, and sporting large ears that stood upright off the sides of their heads.

Excerpted from an article at Mysterious Universe

Read a more detailed account of the original encounter at Phantoms and Monsters

In my reading about this case I have come across across some discrepancies, and some disclaimers. From The Iron Skeptic

…something happened to the Suttons, but it wasn’t an alien invasion. Over the course of the investigation, the posse found the Sutton’s neighbor, who reported hearing 4 gun shots that he had thought were firecrackers. Sutton’s claim of expending almost a battalion’s worth of bullets seems either exaggeration or pure fiction in the face of this. If a brutal all-out trench battle against aliens was going on, the neighbors would have reported it, especially if it went on for 4 hours. This is rural Kentucky, not modern West Philadelphia; hours of constant gunfire would have been considered a little odd.

Add to this the fact that the investigators found a hole in the screen where the first shot was fired at a Little Man and recall that shotguns don’t leave little holes. The screen, the windowframe, a portion of the wall, and the Little Man’s head should have been lying in pieces in the yard, yet there was only a small hole in the screen. Perhaps, in fact, the opening shot was fired from the .22 pistol. This makes the alien’s invincibility substantially less impressive: a good flannel shirt is thick enough armor to stop a .22 caliber bullet. The only thing one of those would stop is a rat.

Four shots that sound like firecrackers are likely from the .22, a shotgun makes a much more hollow deep sound. While I disagree, from personal experience, that the only thing a .22 will stop is a rat and can tell you with great confidence that under no circumstances should you attempt to stop a .22 bullet with a flannel shirt, I can also attest to the lack of accuracy of a pistol fired at any distance beyond ten or fifteen yards except in the hands of a practised marksman. Don’t Try This At Home!

Moving on.

One possible explanation offered for the sighting, proffered by Wikipedia and others:

The Great Horned Owl, viewed in just the right way could be described as having short stubbly legs and “arms” nearly the length of its body…

…with pointy ears sticking up from its head, and large glowing eyes, as does any nocturnal animal.

But then, it is important to note that these people live in a very rural area, and it is very likely they are familiar with owls. Yes, they are nocturnal and no you do not see them often during the day, still it is a fairly big mistake to make.

And then there is this report posted on Who Forted received from Ghost Hunters Inc.

For the past 6 months I have been living in a rural home located on the border of West Virginia and Kentucky where my family is nightly assaulted by creatures that I have come to believe are of an extraterrestrial origin. These beings appear to be the size and stature of a small child, devoid of any facial features save for large, oily eyes and lipless mouths. They frighten my children by peering through their bedroom windows, chirping at one another. They actively attempt to enter my home in the middle of the night. Last month they took my dog. The police refuse to provide any further assistance, attributing the problems to wild animals and forwarding my complaints to the state game commission.

I believe they are coming from an abandoned mine located on the edge of my property. Though I’m armed, I’m afraid that I’m far too frightened to enter the mine by my lonesome, and cannot convince any sympathetic friends to accompany me, though I cannot blame them. I am convinced that the only answer is to collapse the mine.

The following image of the tracks show the prints measuring in around six inches, with a distance of a little over a foot between each:

As well as a photo of the creature in question.

Little more than a Blob Goblin, a Bloblin?
Analysis by Robin Montella
Courtesy of Who Forted
Certainly not an owl, but then also certainly nothing that could not be faked without undue effort.

Both reports claim an alien origin to the creatures, though I cannot for the life of me understand why people think little nekkid critters running around and chirping are representatives of a species with the intelligence to master interstellar travel with nothing better to do than peer in the windows of remote rural farmsteads.

Greg Newkirk is asking for any further information from readers about identifying the footprints.

One member of the ACBTF, Robyn Montella, took the time analyze the most striking photo, coming up with some interesting results (see chart to the left – click for full size). The International Center for Fortean Zoology is currently doing some research of their own, and we’re still waiting to hear what else the Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife has to say about the new evidence. If anyone else feels like taking a crack at some in-depth analyzation, I’d be more than happy to provide you with the high res images. Drop a line to editor(at)whofortedblog.com and I’ll get them to you.

But as I said in the first article, only Dinosaurs are known to have had three toes, along with one species of bird, which of course is a descendant of the dinosaurs. And no I am not suggesting that a bipedal remnant of the family dinosauria has been living in caves to come snatch the occasional family pet for snackies, but if it turns out to be just that, you heard it here first.