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Pascagoula and nearby:

This article was published in the daily newspaper Pascagoula Mississippi Press, Mississippi, USA, on October 10, 2003.

For information on the Pascagoula encounter see here.

Observers Question UFO Experience

By Donna Harris

MOSS POINT -- More than a decade before Charles Hickson claimed an intergalactic encounter, Fritz Breland had his own brush with an object of an unidentified sort.

"You could feel the hair rise up on the back of your head," said, Breland, an 80-year-old retired commercial fisherman from Moss Point.

Even though the Moss Point man has his own UFO story, he's not sure if he can believe Hickson's claim. However, he doesn't want to call him a liar either.

"I don't dispute people's word if they have anything to say," he said. "Evidently, I saw something and he did too."

Breland's tale, so far untold, started on Gray Bayou on Three River Lakes in the 1950s. He was casting for bass on the bow of his boat, when he noticed the trees on the right side of the Pascagoula River had lost their leaves. That's when he noticed three objects, like blurry clouds, speeding through the sky.

"I don't know how I saw it because it was moving so fast," he said. "I couldn't swear to it, but it sounded like it made a swooshing sound."

Breland fished with his father as a child, and continues his treks on the water today. Never in all that time has he seen that sight repeated, he said.

"I saw that one thing that I couldn't explain, but I never saw anything else. And I didn't tell anybody about it," he said.

When Hickson's story made the national news, Breland thought about his own sighting.

"To this day I'm not sure what I saw," he said.

Hurley resident Lynn McCoy, a tour guide on the Pascagoula River, never saw a UFO near the water. Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster have been no-shows too, but McCoy said that doesn't mean they don't exist. They could be out there, he said, so he shouldn't doubt their existence, just because he hasn't seen them.

"I never really looked for them either," he said.

McCoy thinks Hickson and his fishing buddy, Calvin Parker, may have seen a UFO that night. "I ain't never seen nothing likethat," he said. "I believe something happened. I don't know what happened though. I heard they were really shook up."

McCoy has spent hundreds of nights on the river withoutextraterrestrial interference. "I've never seen anything Icouldn't explain," he said. "I ain't saying they ain't there,but I've never seen them."

He still looks into the night sky though, wondering if he might catch a glimpse of a hint of another world. "Oh yeah. I guess we all do that sometimes," he said.

When Hickson went public with his story, Regina Hines of Ocean Springs, now a columnist for The Mississippi Press, was the first to land an interview with him. She met the shipyard workersoon after his abduction and wrote about the encounter.

"I don't know what happened, but I really think something did happen to them," she said. "I can't say if it wasextraterrestrial or not, though."

She said she doesn't know if she fully believes that Hickson and Parker were abducted by aliens.

"Those were two pretty frightened men," she said. "I can't say it was a UFO, but it was something."

Donna Harris can be reached at 934-1495 or at
dharris@themississippipress.com.

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This page was last updated on October 10, 2003.