Visit the page about the Pascagoula encounter for contextual information.
The source of this interview transcript is the book "Beyond Earth: Man's Contact With UFOs," by Ralph & Judy Blum, 29-36.
It contains the transcript of the interview of the two witness by Sheriff Fred Diamond and Captain Glen Ryder, three hours after the event took place.
"I can tell you here and now, and God is my witness and l believe in God, that when I die I'll tell everybody what I saw. And it'll be the same story."
By Sunday night the newspeople had left Pascagoula. Dr. Hynek was on his way back to Chicago, Dr. Harder to Berkeley. By then, the entire country knew what had happened to Charlie Hickson and Calvin Parker.
It was a strange moment to be in Pascagoula-like arriving on the scene right after a disaster. People compared it with the time Hurricane Camile struck the coast. Tough-minded sheriffs needed to talk about what had happened. Maybe a week later, when things had returned to normal, I wouldn't have been invited to the sheriff's office to hear and record the taped interview made barely three hours after Calvin and Charlie saw the flashing blue light. It was the first time in any major UFO encounter that the witnesses' testimony was recorded so swiftly, and on tape.
I tried to imagine Charlie and Calvin's feelings as they told their story. I had seen their condition: two men on the borderline of collapse who had been through an experience for which nothing on Earth could have prepared them.
The interview was conducted by Sheriff Fred Diamond and Captain Glen Ryder at approximately eleven o'clock Thursday evening. It began with Charlie's voice saying:
... even though I'll be the laughing stock of the country, I'll tell what I seen, and the experience I've had...
What did you say your name was?
Charles Hickson. H-i-c-k-s-o-n. Even though they laugh me out of Jackson County, I'll do what I know is right. That's all I can do. And I don't expect anybody to believe it. It's just unbelievable.
There was a weight in Charlie's voice. As though he was having to push the words up, heave them out.
We just have to know what happened. What happened to y'all from the very beginning.
Well, this'll be the third time.
We just want to make sure. To hear your story. That's what convinced us.
OK. OK. Calvin and me, this boy-he works with me-we went down below the grain elevator along the river. We caught a few haidheads down there, a couple of croakers, not much. So I said to Calvin, son, let's go up by the old Shaupeter Shipyard. I've caught redfish in there, and speckled trout.
Is he your son?
No, no. He's just a friend. He's from Jones County. That's where I'm reared from. I've got a farm and a home up there. Well, so we went over there to try a little while. We set there fishing. I don't know how - I guess we must've seen the thing the same time. It's a blue light. It circled a bit.
How high was it?
You couldn't hardly tell. It wasn't too close. But it wasn't no two-three miles away. It was pretty close.
And a blue light-you're surprised when you look in the sky and you see a blue light. It really calls your attention to it. Then in just a little while, it come right down above the bayou. You know, about two - three feet above the ground.
How close was it?
Twenty-five, thirty yards. But it might have been thirty-five, forty yards. You see something like that, it scare you to death! And I couldn't believe it. I started to head for the river-
Was there a noise to it?
A little buzzin' sound-nnnnnnnn, nnnnnnnn-just like that, that's all. Wasn't any back blast or anything. And, you think you dreamin' about something like that, you know. And I started to hit the river, man. And Calvin just - he went hysterical.
What's Calvin's last name?
It's Parker. Calvin Parker, Junior. He's got his father's name.
Charlie paused a moment, then went on:
So we was right on the river. It didn't hit the ground. It hovered. And all of a sudden - right in the end of it - this opening was laid up there, and three of them just floated out of the thing. They wasn't on no ground.
They didn't have feet?
No, they didn't have toes. But they had feet shape... It was more or less just a roundlike thing on a leg-if you'd call it a leg... I was scared to death. And me with a spinnin' reel out there - it's all I had. I couldn't - well, I was so scared - well, you can't imagine. Calvin done went hysterical on me -
Then what happened? They walk on up to you?
They just - no, they just glided up there to me. Then one of 'em made a little buzzin' noise, and two of 'em never made no noise.
What kind of noise?
Just ZZZZZZ zzzZzZZZ.
It sounds like a machine?
Yeah, like that. It might have been contactin' the others. See, I don't know. By then I was so damn scared I didn't know anything. And two of 'em just floated around behind me and lifted me off the ground.
By your arms?
By my arms. With their pincher things. They must have done something. I just raised off the gound.
They didn't use no force though?
No force. They didn't hurt me. I didn't feel nothin'.
How was your buddy doin' then?
He just passed out on me. And they glided me into that thing. You know, how you just guide somebody. All of us moved like we were floatin' through air. When I got in there, they had me, you know, they just kind of had me there. There were no seats, no chain, they just moved me around. I couldn't resist them, I just floated - felt no sensation, no pain. They kept me in that position a little while, then they'd raise me back up.
You said they had some kind of instrument on you, didn't you?
Some kind of instrument I don't know what it was. I didn't see anything that I could call an instrument that I've ever seen before.
What did it look like? Could you describe it?
I just couldn't describe it.
Was it like an X-ray machine?
No it wasn't like no X-ray machine. There ain't no way to describe it. It looked like an eye. Like a big eye. It had some kind of an attachment to it. It moved. It looked like a big eye. And it went all over my body. Up and down. And then they left me.
They left you inside the machine?
Left me right by myself. And the position they had me in - I couldn't move. Just my eyes could move. And I don't know how long they left me. I don't even know if I stayed conscious but I think I did. And then they came back.
How long did they leave you?
I don't know. I never wear no watch.
How long would you say?
I'd say twenty to thirty minutes. Then, when they came back, they laid me back over again.
You didn't try to talk to 'em, ask 'em what was going on?
Yes - I did! But I'd get a buzzin' sound out of one of 'em. That's all. They didn't pay me no attention, my talkin' or anything.
How many eyes did they have?
There could have been eyes but I didn't see any. But there was something that came straight out more or less where a nose would be on a human bein's face.
They have any hair?
I don't know. I just swear I don't know. That's blank in my mind.
You looked at 'em didn't you? Did they breathe?
I swear I don't know.
How tall were they?
They were about five feet tall.
They didn't have no kind of clothes on or nothing?
Not so's I noticed.
And you can't tell me what color they was?
Man, you scared as I was-
Was they white - looking? Pale? Blue? Green?
Best I remember, they looked palelike to me-
It might have been. It looked kind of like a skin fit. They might've had something on, they might not've. I don't know.
You say below the nose there was an opening?
Like a slit - and I never saw that openin' move. And they had something on each side of the head that resembled ears, but didn't look like ears that we know. And the head - I didn't see any neck. It looked like it just sit there on a body.
Was this right after dark?
It wasn't too long after dark.
Well, why you waitin' till this time of night to call us?
Well, Mr. Fred, when I got out of there, I knowed nobody wouldn't believe me. I went by the Mississippi Press, beat on the door. This colored guy was sittin' at the desk. I said I wanted to see a reporter. He said there won't be no reporter till morning. I thought about it again. If I call the sheriff's department they won't believe me. If I call the police department they won't believe me-
Well, how'd you know unless you tried?
Well, I apologize for that. That's my thinking.
How much did you have to drink?
I hadn't drank anything, but in the forty-five minutes to an hour before I called you all, I did drink! I had to settle my nerves. I just about went crazy. And I gotta get back and let my wife know. She's probably hysterical now.
Your wife's all right. You remember leaving?
The ship. When they put you out.
The only thing I remember is that kid, Calvin, just standing there. I've never seen that sort of fear on a man's face as I saw on Calvin's. It took me a while to get him back to his senses, and the first thing I told him was, Son, ain't nobody gonna believe this. Let's just keep this whole thing to ourselves. Well, the more I thought about it, the more I thought I had to let some officials know.
What they do after they let you go?
There was a buzzin' sound, and it was gone.
Can you describe the vehicle?
Yes, I can. It was about eight feet tall. It wasn't round. It was oblong, sort of oblong, and the opening it had was at one end of it. The only lights I seen on the outside was that blue light.
Inside, what lights they have?
I didn't see no bulbs or anything. It just glowed light. But it was real bright.
Charlie told how he's tried to call Keesler Air Force Base and how they told him to call the sheriff. There were a few more questions and the interview was over.
Sheriff Diamond asked Charlie to come back in the morning to make a complete statement. Charlie said he didn't want any publicity, and he didn't want to get his family upset. Then Diamond and Captain Ryder went out and left the two men alone in the room with the tape recorder still running.
Charlie's voice was shaky as he said to Calvin: "I can't take much more of that" And Calvin sounded frantic.
CALVIN: I got to get home and get to bed or get some nerve pills or see the doctor or something. I can't stand it. I'm about to go half crazy.
CHARLIE: I tell you, when we through, I'll get you something to settle you down so you can get some damn sleep.
CALVIN: I can't sleep yet like it is. I'm just damn near crazy.
CHARLIE: Well, Calvin, when they brought you out-when they brought me out of that thing, goddamn it I like to never in hell got you straightened out.
His voice rising, Calvin said, "My damn arms, my arms, I remember they just froze up and I couldn't move. Just like I stepped on a damn rattlesnake."
"They didn't do me that way," sighed Charlie.
Now both men were talking as if to themselves.
CALVIN: I passed out. I expect I never passed out in my whole life.
CHARLIE: I've never seen nothin' like that before in my life. You can't make people believe-
CALVIN: I don't want to keep sittin' here. I want to see a doctor-
CHARLIE: They better wake up and start believin'... they better start believin'.
CALVIN: You see how that damn door come right up?
CHARLIE: I don't know how it opened, son. I don't know.
CALVIN: It just laid up and just like that those son' bitches-just like that they come out.
CHARLIE: I know. You can't believe it. You can't make people believe it-
CALVIN: I paralyzed right then. I couldn't move-
CHARLIE: They won't believe it. They gonna believe it one of these days. Might be too late. I knew all along they was people from other worlds up there. I knew all along. I never thought it would happen to me.
CALVIN: You know yourself I don't drink'
CHARLIE: I know that, son. When I get to the house I'm gonna get me another drink, make me sleep. Look, what we sittin' around for. I gotta go tell Blanche... what we waitin' for?
CALVIN (panicky): I gotta go to the house. I'm gettin' sick. I gotta get out of here.
Then Charlie got up and left the room, and Calvin was alone.
CALVIN: It's hard to believe ... Oh God, it's awful ... I know there's a God up there ...
His words, as he prayed, became inaudible.
The Pascagoula case is not unique. As Dr. Hynek has pointed out, people around the world have, for years, been experiencing "close encounters" with bizarre craft, and, in many cases, contact with "occupants."
But this was the first time I had seen for myself the profoundly disturbing effect of a UFO encounter on two ordinary human beings. It was impossible to be with Charlie and Calvin - or listen to that tape - and not believe that something terrifying had happened to them.