High Strangeness

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Total Eclipse of the UFO

Two days after the eclipse, I'm still thinking about what I saw and what it means. Although we're based in Wisconsin, my wife and I were in Atlanta for a few days due to a family medical emergency, and we weren't really sure until Sunday night whether we'd be able to see the eclipse at all. Fortunately, the medical emergency was fully under control by then, so we were able to head NW to Chattanooga, TN, then veer NW to Athens, TN, a site just a few miles south of dead center in the path of the totality.

Because it all came together so last-minute, we didn't have any set destination, and so we wound up in a grassy area between a Mobil station and Cracker Barrel. Not very scenic, but about a thousand other people had the same idea, so we were surrounded by lots of friendly neighbors and it turned out to be a pretty convivial setting... anyway, once the lights go out, it's completely irrelevant where you're standing--all that matters is that you're looking at this astounding cosmic event that has been mystifying (and scaring the living crap out of) our ancestors for millennia.

And it is astounding and cosmic. For anyone who couldn't view the corona, go look at any one of the million photos out there and then imagine that your surroundings have just changed from a typical boiling hot and blazing bright August afternoon to a near-dark, cool, spooky-silent alien earth unlike anything you've ever experienced. Even our dogs suddenly went quiet and laid quietly in the grass until it was over.

As I was watching the total eclipse, I kept wondering and marveling at the precision of the thing... the fact that we knew exactly where, when and how it would occur... the fact that we know exactly how to view it.... the fact that so many millions of people were sharing the same amazing experience... and the amazing way that the disc of the moon perfectly, perfectly blots out the disc of the sun.

I was wondering and marveling about that lost point so much that I'm still pondering it two days later. My first thought was that it's just an illusion that the moon and sun appear to be the exact same size, due to some strange phenomenon taking place in the corona that bent or distorted the light and made it seem as though the moon was as big as the sun. But, no, it's nothing like that at all...

It turns out that the sun is 400 times bigger than the moon, so it should dwarf the moon, but it's also 400 times further away from us than the moon, so it doesn't. In fact, because of the dueling 400:1 ratios, the sun and moon appear to be the exact same size from the surface of the earth. Crazy.

Scientists have no explanation for this. It's completely random, completely coincidental, and completely out of the statistical universe. But there it is.

And of course it doesn't mean anything. Does it? I mean, how could it?

And what does this have to do with UFOs? Nothing directly, I suppose, but it is a sobering reminder that there's an awful lot in this universe that we really do not understand. You might even say that there are an awful lot of things that the universe doesn't seem to want us to understand...



Thursday, August 17, 2017

Crying UFO Tears

I'm likely to be away from the keyboard quite a bit for the next several days dealing with family matters, but I do want to share something that happened this week that really delighted me.

This guy was anything but ordinary... just like you and me.
I have written in the past about Jennie Zeidman, who worked closely with Dr. J. Allen Hynek for many years, first as a student assistant and ultimately as a respected, accomplished UFO investigator. Zeidman took an astronomy class taught by Hynek in the early 1950s, and quickly distinguished herself by identifying a UFO seen by the class as a military plane conducting an aerial refueling operation. After that, Zeidman spent years working with Hynek on his Project Blue Book investigations and continued to work with him post Blue Book. She was Hynek's colleague, protege and friend, and she was one of the most fun people to write about it The Close Encounters Man.

Here's what Jennie wrote to me this week:
Dear Mark,
I have just finished my second reading of TCEM and for the second time have found myself in tears.  You have told Allen's story.
                     I was abruptly shaken at both readings upon encountering the italics section on page 343.  Is the referenced document in Allen's very distinctive handwriting?  I remember with great clarity having this conversation with him.  We were discussing the recent film Lawrence of Arabia (Peter O'Toole, 1962) and specifically the emphasis on Lawrence's character; his fragility, his protest-too-much insecurity, and his insistence that he was just an ordinary man.
                      "Lawrence surely did not think of himself as an ordinary man," I said.  "There is no such thing as an ordinary man."
                        Allen picked up his pen (blue ink) and made some notes.  We agreed that the terror of recognizing one's own existence is itself terrifying.
                         "Well, would you rather be a cow in a field?" Allen said.
                    He scribbled a few lines and we moved on to other matters.
This note made my day, my week, my month. Knowing that my book has brought one of Hynek's closest friends to tears... not once, but twice... is deeply gratifying.

That passage Jennie mentions from page 343 of my book is particularly interesting to me. It's a rumination on man's place in the universe that I found in Hynek's files at his Center for UFO Studies. I found it hand-written but untitled and undated, so I had no way of knowing where it came from or what motivated and inspired it.

Now I know, and Jennie's story behind the quote is just as fascinating and inspiring to me as the quote itself.


Monday, August 14, 2017

UFO Outrage!

I was going to continue to post material that had to be edited out of the final version of my book, The Close Encounters Man, but instead I feel the need to write about something that's come up in the course of publicizing the book, something that I'm finding quite bothersome...

About a week ago, The Washington Post ran an Op-Ed entitled "The Never-Ending Search for UFOs and Extraterrestrial Intelligence," in which their science writer, Sarah Kaplan, considered three new books that dealt with the aforementioned topics in wildly different ways. It was clearly labeled an opinion piece, not a book review, so it must be taken at that level. Despite the fact that Ms. Kaplan lumped together two topics -- UFOs and extraterrestrial intelligence -- that really should be considered separate items despite their apparent connections, I thought her analysis of the three books was altogether fair-minded and well written. The fact that she chose to address my book first didn't hurt (the other two were "

Was I happy with everything Ms. Kaplan wrote about my book? No, of course not. She seems to feel that the subject of UFOs is an embarrassment to science, and at times she comes close to scolding me for writing a book on the topic and expecting people to take it seriously. That's not entirely unexpected, is it? Science's low opinion of UFOs and all "pseudosciences" is a constant in this field of endeavor, and it comes up over and over again throughout my book, because it was such a significant factor in Dr. Hynek's work. In other words, the disapproving attitude of institutional science comes with the territory, and we all know this, so, in my opinion, there's no reason to get upset over it.

To me, there's something far more important going on in Ms. Kaplan's piece. The simple fact that my UFO book is being written about it in a prominent national publication, not as a joke but as a serious work of reporting, is tremendously important. The Post could have given the story to an entertainment editor, or a "News of the Weird" editor, but instead the column was written by their science reporter, and I think that speaks volumes. Ms. Kaplan may have issues with my book, but she takes it seriously nonetheless, and that is a major victory for me and for you and for anyone interested in the UFO phenomenon.

But then there were the comments. After reading Kaplan's piece, I was excited to see what kinds of comments and conversations the readers of The Post would have on offer. To my delight, there was a lot thoughtful discourse in the comments, but I was disappointed that so many of the commenters took umbrage at Kaplan's disdain for UFOs.

Here are some highlights:
  • "Even with Einstein's restrictions, there is no reason that ET's could have sent out robotic or bio-robotic ships a billion years ago, when there were just as many habitable planets in the Universe as there are today. They could have colonized the entire Galaxy hundreds of millions of years ago and been watching the Human race develop from a primeval state. So the visitation of Earth by ET is only illogical to people who do not consider the facts
  • "Hell yes we're being visited. The question today is, By how many species? With what intentions? And what are the repercussions for not acknowledging their presence?" 
  • "'If there really are advanced beings out there, traversing the universe at the speed of light, it seems unlikely that scaring suburbanites and confusing livestock are the best uses of their time.' The author clearly hasn't experienced a genuine AV sighting. If she had, she would know what almost 50 percent of the US population knows: that Earth has been under direct observation by Alien Intelligence since 1947."
Not that there isn't come interesting thinking going on there, but does anyone really think that the cause of UFOlogy is advanced by unprovable claims that multiple alien species are visiting us, or that "Earth has been under direct observation by Alien Intelligence since 1947"? I don't think so.

Then, over the weekend, I came across a UFO blogger's tirade against Kaplan's Op-Ed, and I was truly ashamed for UFOlogy. The blogger--whose name and blog title I have already (deliberately) forgotten--was upset that Kaplan's opinion piece was based on what he felt was an "uninformed opinion." Then he laid out his argument that, before she could comment on my biography of Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Kaplan should have studied up on the life and career of... Dr. James McDonald.

Huh...?

I must be missing something here. How would reading about James McDonald have helped Kaplan do a better job opining on my biography of J. Allen Hynek? It makes no sense. Why does it make no sense? Because Hynek and McDonald, last I checked, were two different people. True, they crossed paths, which I write about in my book, but, again, they are not the same person.

Some people get it. When I did my recent interview on public affairs talk show "Chicago Tonight" on Chicago's public TV station, I got the distinct impression that the host of the show was not entirely thrilled to be saddled with the chore of interviewing the author of a UFO book. Not that he was rude or judgemental in any way; he just had a knowing smile that signaled to me that he considered our interview to be a bit of a joke. But, over the course of our eight-minute interview I earned the host's respect, I guess because I failed to live down to his low expectations. I didn't make any crazy claims. I didn't try to prove anything. I didn't insist that he share my beliefs, or insult him for not agreeing with everything I said. And, guess what? After the show he shared a favorite UFO story with me. Success!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

UFOs and Steven Spielberg

Big thanks to @soulessparty for sending me this 1977 interview with Steven Spielberg on twitter today. It bears out my reporting in The Close Encounters Man regarding the origins of the movie's title, and shows how good a guy can look in an oversized rugby shirt.

Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BACQX-WzWeA

I was a little confused watching this clip at first because the interviewer mentions then-President Jimmy Carter and refers to him as "your President."

I thought it was really rude of her to refer to President Carter that way. Then I realized it was a Canadian talk show.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Little Green Men -- Part VII



Aftermath: The Kelly-Hopkinsville case proves difficult to "wrap up"


Hynek’s comments in “The Hynek UFO Report” five years later add more detail to his analysis of the case. By this time, Hynek had a chance to consider the 1957 Blue Book report, and found it lacking.
            “Then appear in Blue Book the following series of statements which later investigators showed to be untrue: that Mrs. Langford (sic) belonged to the Holy Roller Church (she belonged to the Trinity Pentecostal, which holds conventional-type services); that on the night of the occurrence she had gone to a religious meeting; that her sons, their wives, and some friends had become worked up into a frenzy, becoming very ‘emotionally unbalanced.’ All of these statements are completely unsubstantiated. They were apparently obtained from Deputy Sheriff Patts (sic), an avowed skeptic, and not from any of the witnesses.”[1]
            In the Blue Book narrative, the Suttons saw a “silver-painted monkey” that might have escaped from a nearby circus. After all, the windows of the Sutton home were low enough for a small monkey to reach from the ground.
            “The story quite naturally met with complete disbelief on the part of most persons, except those who knew the family well,” Hynek’s account continued. “There is no question that Mr. Ledwith, who made the only serious investigation following the event, firmly believed the witnesses. He could find no motive whatever for a hoax—the simple folk were not seeking publicity, and indeed suffered horribly from curiosity-seekers, reporters, and sensation-mongers. It is also highly unlikely that a hoax would involve that many persons and a midnight dash to a police station miles away.
            “Although I had no official connection with the case, I did make an attempt to find out whether there had been any traveling circuses in the area from which some monkeys could have escaped. The monkey hypothesis fails, however, if the basic testimony of the witnesses can be accepted. Under a barrage of gunfire from Kentuckians, over a somewhat extended period, it is unthinkable that at least one cadaver would not have been found. Furthermore, monkeys do not float down from trees; they either jump or fall. And anyway, I was unable to find any trace of a traveling circus!
            “If, then, one assumes that the event did take place as reported, and if the creatures had a physical reality, why was not one of them killed under fire? Why did they flip over when hit?”[2]

Lucky Sutton’s daughter Geraldine Sutton Stith pointed out two other mysteries that have gone unsolved since that first night: “For one, of course, the glowing substance on the ground; for two, the big burned out place in the back field where nothing grew for years and years and years. But they just wanted to sweep it under the rug and get rid of it. They didn’t want to have anything to do with it.”
Stith, born eight years after the incident, said she knew nothing of the scorched spot until Lucky showed it to her in the late 1960s. Two writers had visited the family two weeks prior and had coaxed Lucky to talk… As he reluctantly recounted his tale for the first time in many years, young Geraldine heard entire the story of the little men from her father’s lips for the first time. To help her understand the story, Lucky took her out to the old farm and showed her the burned-out spot where the family believed the UFO had set down; information that, if the story is to be believed, none of the original investigators had come across, and that the family had, apparently, decided not to share with any outsiders; not even Bud Ledwith or Isabel Davis.
“The burned out spot was still visible after 13 years,” she said.

Finally, one last unanswered question: What happened to Alene Sutton when she stepped outside the house that night? Did something approach her from the gully? Did something grab at her hair from the roof? Could those unaccounted-for moments have produced some proof of the events, long since vanished?
When Bud Ledwith visited the Sutton farm the day after the incident, he focused on the womens’ descriptions of the creatures and doesn’t seem to have gone into the sequence of events until he spoke with the men hours later. Bill Burleigh, reporter for the Evansville, Indiana Press, interviewed Alene the day after the incident and added a few tantalizing details to the story: “Mrs. Sutton said the figure ‘looked like it was made of aluminum foil. It had two big eyes, pretty far apart,’ she said. She said the figure seemed to fly or jump right over the house, land in the back yard and then vanish.”[3]
A year later, Davis had an opportunity to ask the reticent Alene “one or two” questions, but again the moment she encountered the creature in the back yard apparently went unaddressed.
When asked in 2013 whether her Aunt Alene had ever spoken of her experience outside the house that night, Geraldine Sutton Stith said that, to her knowledge, she had not.
“No, I never got to talk to her about it,” she said. “By the time I was ready to do something with the story she had passed. Wish I had talked to everyone before they had passed, but I was too afraid of the story to do that!”


[1] Hynek, The Hynek UFO Report, op.cit.
[2] Hynek, op.cit.
[3] Evansville, Indiana Press, op.cit.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Little Green Men -- Part VI


As UFOlogists look into the Kelly-Hopkinsville case, the Air Force performs its own secret investigation...





There is a curious passage in Bud Ledwith’s notarized report on his interviews with Lucky, Miss Glennie and the others. When he was describing the process of creating the composite sketches (in the end he produced three slightly different versions), Ledwith mentioned that someone from the Air Force base was also present: “A PFC from nearby Ft. Campbell had come out to do the same thing I had done earlier with the women, draw an artist’s conception of the ‘little men.’”[1]
Shortly afterward, Ledwith said he offered his sketches to an Air Force officer, “but he expressed no interest.”[2]
These statements, arising as they do from events that transpired within 24 hours of the incident, are significant because over the following days the Air Force went to great pains to appear to take no interest in the Sutton family’s story. Davis reported that two days after the incident Fort Campbell issued a pair of statements to the press: “…first, that there had been no official investigation of the reports of the spaceship and its passengers, and second, that there had been no basis to the report.”[3]
One might find it disingenuous for the Air Force to declare that there was no basis to the report while admitting that there had been no official investigation of that report, but the Kelly-Hopkinsville incident seemed to inspire dramatic episodes of cognitive dissonance within the Air Force, to the point where it is difficult to tell just how many Air Forces there were in operation at the time.
Documents and news clippings from Project Blue Book and the CUFOS case files reveal the efforts the Air Force took to ignore the events at the Sutton farm:
The local Hopkinsville newspaper, for example, reported the next day that, along with the civilian law enforcement officers who had raced to the Sutton farm the night before, “Four MP’s also went.”[4] The article also said that “All sorts of investigations were going on today” in connection with the incident, but that, “Most official of the probes was reportedly being staged by the Air Force.”[5]
Also on the 22nd, The Madisonville, Kentucky Messenger reported that “At least a carload of Military Police sped to the scene” of the Sutton farm the night before.[6]
A story that appeared the same day in the Evansville, Indiana, Press, stated that “The Public Information Office at Ft. Campbell, Ky., several miles from the scene, reported no knowledge of the incident,” but added that Ft. Campbell authorities today sent Major Albert Coren to the scene to investigate, sheriff’s offi­cers said.”[7]
“Chief Greenwell stated definitely that Air Force Intelligence from Fort Campbell was on the scene,” Davis’ report confirmed.[8]
A full year later, in a September 10, 1956 letter to then-new Blue Book project chief Captain George T. Gregory, none other than Dr. Hynek reported that “It was (Hopkinsville Police Chief Greenwell) who stated that the affair was investigated by Air Force officers from Fort Campbell. I understand that MP’s and a Pfc from Fort Campbell investigated at the farmhouse on late Monday afternoon. The Pfc was a Mr. Hodson and his account and pictures were published in the Clarksville Tennessee Leaf Chronicle.
“Chief Greenwell also stated that the affair had been investigated by two men from an unidentified agency at Standiford Field in Louisville, a commercial field,” Hynek reported.[9]
The August 24, 1955 article in the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle mentioned by Hynek relied on Pfc. Hodson’s testimony to an astonishing degree, in fact, and makes it clear that he was assisted in his efforts by the Hopkinsville Police.
On Monday following the inci­dent, Pfc Gary F. Hodson, who works in the Educational Center at Ft. Campbell and is a better than average artist, made the trip to the Sutton farm house with the assistance of the Hopkinsville police,” the article read. “There he talked with all the peo­ple who supposedly saw and fought with the little people who came from space to try to gain entrance to the Sutton home.
“From their descriptions, he was able to draw ‘likenesses’ of the little men which all who saw them agreed was nearly what they had seen. The picture that emerged from Hodson’s pen onto the drawing board is that of a man, if it could be called that (the people had no apparent sex organs), between 2 1/2-3 feet tall. His most notice­able characteristic is a huge head and long dangling arms from which extend appendages resem­bling a cross between hands and claws.”[10]
“Hodson said that the people on the scene all said that the folks came in a conventional flying sau­cer that glowed all over and shot fire from the back end,” the article went on. “One notice­able thing about the saucer, apart from what has already been said, was that there was a rim about it that glowed more brightly than the rest.
“When a reporter asked Hodson his opinion of the story, he said that he still didn’t believe it but that it would be extremely diffi­cult for such a large group of peo­ple to agree on and commit to memory such a large number of details about the appearance of the little men.”[11]
If Hodson’s description of Billy Ray Taylor’s UFO seems suspiciously over-detailed, Ledwith’s report reveals why: After mentioning that Hodson “…came as a private individual. He was not there in any official capacity,”[12] Ledwith confessed that he foisted Billy Ray on Hodson when he realized that Taylor was lavishly embellishing his description of the creature with features no one else had seen. “The sad part of it,” Ledwith wrote, “was that the soldier was swallowing hook, line and sinker, all the new details.
“Taylor was thoroughly enjoying his popularity.”[13]
In addition to being immortalized in the sketches of Ledwith and Hodson, the little men of Kelly-Hopkinsville were also rendered in three-dimensions, according to another amateur investigator who entered the fray some time later. Davis quoted an Albert Andre from Green Brier, Kentucky, who interviewed Miss Glennie sometime in 1959 and came away with this fascinating story:
“Another incident reported by Mr. Andre was a visit to the farm, sometime during this period, by three other investigators from Fort Campbell, who asked for a detailed description of the little men. They returned a few hours later with a model, to have the family confirm its accuracy. No changes were made. Mrs. Lankford said that ‘the man who made it must have known exactly what they looked like.’”[14]
As if that weren’t enough indication that the Air Force had investigated the incident in force at the time the events took place, further evidence came out over 40 years later, when one of the responding state troopers confirmed first-hand that there was an Air Force presence at the Sutton farm that night. In a March 16, 1996 letter to Swedish UFO investigator Clas Svahn, former state trooper Russell N. Ferguson, Jr., wrote, “There were several police agencies there at the time—Kentucky State Police (of which I was one), Hopkinsville City Police, Military Police from Ft. Campbell, Ky.”[15]

            Surely after all this investigation there must have been a very thick file on the Kelly-Hopkinsville incident in the Blue Book offices, not to mention a sculpture of an odd little man that could hardly have escaped attention. But when, in 1957, the Air Force public affairs office learned that a magazine article on the second anniversary of the incident might soon be published, there were no records to be found.
This put ATIC in a complicated position. It was unavoidably clear from existing documents, news clippings and eye-witness testimony that the Air Force had been all over the Sutton farm on August 21-22, 1955—the case was by this time actually being presented in detail in Air Force Intelligence classes as a fully-investigated prototypical UFO hoax—and yet, two years after the fact, there was no case file from which Blue Book could draw information should reporters start to make inquiries. Thus the absurdity of this telling memo from Captain Gregory: “This case which has not yet been brought to the ‘official’ attention of the Air Force, may cause some embarrassment if suddenly submitted ‘cold’ to ATIC.”[16]
How to hide this gaping hole from public view?
“Preparatory countermeasures are considered warranted.”[17]

To that end, a previously anonymous adjutant at Fort Douglas, 1st Lieutenant Charles N. Kirk, was given the formidable task of reconstructing the original investigation, which, as far as anyone at Blue Book knew, had never even occurred. In due course 1st Lt. Kirk came through with a pair of documents that made it look as though Project Blue Book had been on top of the situation from day one.
In the first, a September 17, 1957 letter to Kirk from a Captain Robert J. Hertell of the 3928th Air Base Squadron, Capt. Hertell recounts his recollection of the event: “To my knowledge, the Sutton incident was first investigated, thoroughly so, by the State Highway Patrol, and later by the Sheriff's Office. The incident was never officially reported to the Air Force. In fact, the first I remember hearing about it is when several persons at Campbell brought to my attention an article about the incident which appeared in the local Hopkinsville paper.”[18]
“As for the report that the affair was investigated and reported upon by two Air Force Officers from Campbell Air Force Base, I don’t beleive (sic) that there is any fact in this,” Hertell went on. “I beleive (sic) that a couple of our officers may have gone down—on their own—to view the place, as I heard some talk of this at the time, but Colonel Donald McPherson, the Base Commander certainly never ordered any official investigation, to the best of my knowledge.
            “I seem to remember Captain Benjamin Bennett saying something about going down to see the spot, but since he is still stationed there, surely you have already questioned him regarding this matter.
“The only other officer who may have looked into this matter was the Deputy Base Commander, Major Ziba B. Ogden, now stationed at Westover Air Force Base. I remember the two of us talking about the incident, and he could possibly have been sent to the scene by Col. McPherson, in an unofficial capacity, without my knowing about it.”[19]
Then, after throwing around the names of half the officers on the base, Captain Hertell went to great lengths—to the point of comic overkill—to distance himself from the case: “In closing,” he wrote to Kirk, “I’d like to point out, that out of all the cases that I investigated for the commander and out of all the incidents that happened around Campbell during my three and a half years there, this incident impressed me the least, and furthermore, I was never even remotely connected with it. It follows then, that my memory concerning this incident is rather faulty and I am not even sure exactly when it took place. Therefore I’m afraid I haven’t been of much help, and for this I apologize.”[20]
The second curious document was written only nine days later, by the very same 1st Lt. Kirk. In this official report dated September 26, 1957, Kirk recounted a bizarre statement made to him by a Major John E. Albert about his visit to the Sutton farm the day after the incident.
Maj. Albert—who, it should be noted, was not included in Capt. Hertell’s exhaustive list of names—told Kirk that he was en route to Fort Campbell the morning after the incident when he heard about the UFO sighting on the news. He contacted the Base and asked if anyone there had heard about the flying saucer landing. “They stated that they had not and it was suggested that as long as I was close to the area, that I should determine if there was anything to this report.”[21]
Maj. Albert arrived at the Sutton farm and had this to report after meeting the witnesses: “Mrs. Glennie Lankford was an impoverished widow woman who had grown up in this small community just outside of Hopkinsville, with very little education,” he said. “She belonged to the Holy Roller Church and the night and evening of this occurrence, had gone to a religious meeting and she indicated that the members of the congregation and her two sons and their wives and some friends of her sons’, were also at this religious meeting and were worked up into a frenzy, becoming very emotionally unbalanced and that after the religious meeting, they had discussed this article which she had heard about over the radio and had sent for from the Kingdom Publishers, Fort Worth 1, Texas and they had sent her this article with a picture which appeared to be a little man when it actually was a monkey, painted silver.
“It is my opinion,” Albert told Kelly, “that the report of Mrs. Lankford or her son, Elmer Sutton, was caused by one of two reasons. Either they actually did see what they thought was a little man and at the time, there was a circus in the area and a monkey might have escaped, giving the appearance of a small man. Two, being emotionally upset, and discussing the article and showing pictures of this little monkey, that appeared like a man, their imaginations ran away with them and they really did believe what they saw, which they thought was a little man.”[22]
After pointing out that the window through which Miss Glennie saw the creature was low enough for a small monkey to reach from the ground, Major Albert came to the following conclusion: “It is felt that the Report cannot be substantiated as far as any actual object appearing in the vicinity at that time.”[23]

Of course, if there was no “actual object in the vicinity at that time,” that means there could not have been a monkey at the window. Be that as it may, Major Albert had the foresight to get the following, somewhat reductive sworn statement from Glennie Lankford:
“My name Is Glennie Lankford age 50 and I live at Kelly Station,
Hopkinsville Route 6, Kentucky.
“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 south the back door & saw a bright sliver 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.
“My two sons Elmer Sutton age 25 and his wife Vera age 29, J. C. Sutton age 21 and his wife Aline (sic) age 27 and their friends Billie Taylor, age 21 and his wife June, 18 were all in the house and saw this little man that looked like a monkey.
“About 3:30 A. M. I was in my bedroom and looked out the north window and saw a small silver shinning (sic) object about 2 1/2 feet tall that had its hands on the screen looking in. I called for my sons and they shot at it and it left. I was about 60 feet from it this time. I did not see it anymore.
“I have read the above statement and it is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.”
Witness
s/John E. Albert         
s/Glennie Lankford[24]

            It is not known whether the dreaded magazine article commemorating the second anniversary of the Kelly-Hopkinsville incident ever appeared in print, but one could hardly blame the magazine editors if they decided to drop the story altogether once they learned about Major Albert’s silver monkey.
A conservative head count arrives at a total of 13 MPs, officers and Intelligence operatives from Fort Campbell descending on the Sutton farm between August 21st and 22nd, as well as two men from an unknown, possibly civilian agency. At what point does unofficial become official? At least one of the officers was at the Sutton farm at the suggestion of his commanding officer. At least one was there at the direct request of his CO, although perhaps not technically under orders. At least one was with Air Force Intelligence.
This is important.

To Be Continued...


[1] Ibid.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Davis & Bloecher, op.cit.
[4] “Story of Space-Ship, 12 Little Men Being Probed Today,” unattributed, August 22, 1955, Hopkinsville, Kentucky New Era
[5] Ibid.
[6]
[7] Kentuckians Report Gun Battle With ‘Little Men From Space,’ by Bill Burleigh, August 22, 1956 Evansville, Indiana Press
[8] Davis & Bloecher, op.cit.
[9] Report to Project Blue Book commander Captain George T. Gregory from Dr. J. Allen Hynek, dated September 10, 1956, reproduced in Isabel Davis’ Kelly-Hopkinsville investigation report.
[10] Kentucky Family ‘Describes’ Mysterious Little Men Who Visited Their Farm In ‘Space Ship,’ unattributed, August 24, 1955, Clarksville, Tennessee Leaf Chronicle
[11] Ibid.
[12] Ledwith, op.cit.
[13] Ibid.
[14] Davis & Bloecher, op.cit.
[15] Letter from Russell N. Ferguson, Jr., to Clas Svahn, March 16, 1996, from the CUFOS collection
[16] Undated Memorandum from Project Blue Book Project Chief Captain George T. Gregory, from the Blue Book files
[17] Ibid.
[18] Letter from Captain Robert J. Hertell to 1st Sgt. Charles M. Kirk, dated September 17, 1957, from the CUFOS collection
[19] Ibid.
[20] Ibid.
[21] Statement by Major John E. Albert to 1st Lieutenant Charles N. Kirk, 4002D Air Base Squadron, Campbell Air Force Base, dated September 26, 1957, from the CUFOS collection
[22] Ibid.
[23] Ibid.
[24] Sworn statement by Mrs. Glennie Lankford, given to Major John E. Albert, dated August 22, 1955, from the CUFOS collection