High Strangeness: Little Green Men -- Part VII

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.

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