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Close encounters of the 3rd kind:

The Kelly-Hopkinsville case, 1955:

This is information and documentation I collected about a farm family who believed they were attacked by alien beings during the whole night of August 21-22, 1955.

In this file:


This is an anonymous document, found on the world wide web in 2001.

There seems to be a minor discrepancy with all other account that states the saucer was seen around 07:00PM not 08:30PM.


October 1996

One of my first excursions into the underbelly of American UFO cover-ups occurred back in August of 1955. On a routine trip from New Orleans to Washington, I was re-directed to Kelly, Kentucky to look into reports of an alien encounter with a rural family. My directives came within 15 minutes of the family's first contact with local police, leading me to believe there was already some sort of established protocol between local and federal authorities in the case of a UFO encounter. Why I was chosen to interview the family still puzzles me to this day. Proximity? A test? Regardless of reasoning, the experience was a sobering one. After landing at nearby Fort Campbell, I was given the uniform of a military policeman and driven to the scene of the alien contact.

We arrived at the farm at about the same time as the local police. Piecing together the interviews of the rather unsophisticated occupants of the house, we came up with the following official report:

"At approximately 8:30 pm, Billy Ray Taylor reported seeing an object hovering in the sky. After telling the rest of his family, they all agreed it was a joke. One hour later, a family dog began barking violently. The family, somewhat on guard after the "joke," saw a "glowing creature" approach the house. The creature's description fits s.g.d. Billy Ray and housemate "Lucky" Sutton fired upon the creature with a .22 rifle and a 20 gauge shotgun, knocking it over, but not harming it."

"For the next 6 hours 3 different creatures were sighted and shot at. At one point, one creature grabbed Billy Ray's hair with `a claw'. Neither the family nor the creatures seemed to be hurt."

"On site inspection reveals no physical evidence, save spent rounds found on the floor of the farm house. Local officer Richard Digby reported residual glow on flattened grass area, but no one else reported visual confirmation."

"No evidence of intoxication. Witnesses deemed credible. Consider as possible sighting."

With that I was driven back to the base and flown ahead to New Orleans. I did not hear anything about the incident for a few weeks.

The papers reported a different story. They characterized Billy Ray Taylor as an abusive alcoholic with mental problems who was quite drunk during the entire ordeal. At the time of my interview with him, he seemed a bit spooked, but definitely sane and sober. The papers reported contradictions in the stories of the family members (in reality, there were none), painting the picture that the family was simply humoring a delusional Billy Ray Taylor out of fear.

On vacation a few months later, I drove back out to the farm house, partly out of curiosity, partly because I felt guilt for being part of this family's nightmare. Billy Ray refused to talk to me. It seems his reputation in the town had been ruined, going from a well respected Baptist to a shunned alcoholic. He was held up as an example of what happens to people who tell the truth. After talking to other family members, I was hesitantly told that the aliens came back that same night, almost seeming to taunt the family before leaving. The family was confused as to why it was being torn apart by the same people it went to for help. I never spoke to or heard from them again.

I think about this now as I pass though Kentucky on my way back out. I never saw the official report from that night again. It doesn't exist. 41 years have passed, the document can no longer be classified, and so it is dust. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Fair is foul, and foul is fair in America. Just don't get in the way.

(sgd: This was not my line. I didn't find out until 3 years later that s.g.d stands for "Standard Grey Description". The fact that an acronym already existed suggests that this was not the first alien sighting.)

(sober: In fact, careful note was made of the fact that there was no liquor to be found in the entire house!)

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This page was last updated on January 1, 2003.