Seeing things, saying things
Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're tryin' to be so quiet?
We sit here stranded, though we're all doin' our best to deny it. - Bob Dylan
Talk isn't cheap, not if you have something to say that most folks don't want to hear.
It seems a North American condition that many consumers of accounts of High Weirdness and conspiracy want the material to be for entertainment purposes only. They become campfire tales intended to raise goosebumps, but all that follows the telling is the falling asleep. What's more, unless people know enough to seek out the more serious and harder-to-find treatments of the subjects, they will know only such winking bastardizations. If you've ever seen a US network documentary on UFOs or the JFK assassination you may know what I mean.
Other than our time and attention, an entertainment may make no further demands upon us. And that's where most people seem happy to leave issues of the paranormal and parahistory. Thrill me, scare me, but don't change me. But a sincere telling of an honest account contains a uneasy challenge: If this could be true, what does it do to my assumptions of the world?
August 21 will mark the 50th anniversary of the "Hopkinsville Incident." You probably know about it, even if you don't think you do. About 7 PM Billy Ray Taylor, a guest of the Sutton family, went to the well behind the Sutton farmhouse to draw some water. He ran inside and excitedly reported a silvery saucer shooting flames "all the colors of the rainbow" had passed over head, stopped, and descended into a gully 300 feet behind the farm. No one took him seriously; no one even went outside to take a look.
Then, about an hour later, all hell broke loose.
[T]he family dog began to bark loudly outside. As customary in this rural area, Lucky and Billy quickly went outside to find the reason of the dog's concern. The dog actually hid under the house and was not seen anymore that evening. At a short distance from the front door, both men were stopped dead in their tracks by the sight of a glowing hovering light, which came towards them and allowed them to see that it was in fact a 3 and a half feet tall creature, advancing towards them with hands up, as if to surrender. The bizarre creature would be described as having "two large eyes with a yellow glow, more on the sides than in the human face, a long thin mouth, large bat-like ears, thin short legs, and unusually long arms with large hands ending in claws."
From Billy Ray's description; Police Chief Russell Greenwell
Both men instinctively unloaded their shotguns at the entity, no farther than 20 feet from them. Though they said there was no way they could have missed it, it merely "did a back flip, stood up again, and fled into the woods."
No sooner had the two men reentered the house before the creature, or another like it, appeared at a window. They took a shot at him, leaving a blast hole through the screen. They ran back outside to see if the creature was dead, but found no trace of it. Standing at the front of the house, the men were terrified by a clawed hand reaching down from the roof in an attempt to touch them. Again, they shot, but the being simply floated to the ground, and scurried into the cover of the woods. The two men sought the protection of the house again, only to find themselves under siege from these little men. For a time, the entities seemed to tease the family, appearing from one window to another. Taking pot shots through the windows and walls, their weapons seemed totally ineffective against the creatures.
After three hours of fear turning into sheer panic, with three children crying or shrieking, the Sutton family decided to make a break from the house, and get help at the Police station at Hopkinsville. The farm was located nearer to Kelly, but the nearest police were in Hopkinsville. Family members took two vehicles to the Police Station in Hopkinsville, and reported their strange tale to Sheriff Russell Greenwell. Finally persuading the policemen that they were not joking, the policemen agreed to visit the Sutton house. Arriving at the farm, police found no trace of the creatures, but did find numerous bullet and rifle holes in the windows and walls. Greenwell was in charge of the twenty plus officers at the scene, and reported that the Suttons seemed sober, and were genuinely frightened by something. After a canvas of the neighborhood, reports were entered of the "hearing of shots being fired," and the observation of "lights in the sky."
The police left the farm at approximately 2:15 AM, having found no hard evidence of the creatures, though "a luminous patch of grass was observed where one of the creatures was shot off a fence." Police Chief Russell Greenwell later stated that he and other investigators sensed a "weird feeling" to the area that night, and said that "something scared those people. Something beyond reason" Soon after, "Mrs. Lankford was lying in bed watching the window when she noticed a weird glow; the glow was one of the creatures staring inward with its hands on the window screen. Calling quietly to the rest of the family, she remained perfectly calm. Lucky Sutton, however, grabbed his gun and again shot at the creature through the screen. No effect. The creatures continued to make their appearance throughout the rest of the night, never doing anything overtly hostile and only seeming to show curiosity. The last creature was seen at half an hour before sunrise, at about 5:15 AM."
A "bowl-shaped depression" is still visible in the gully where the object was said to have landed. Dorris McCor, who now lives at the site (the farmhouse has long since been demolished), says "Back when we were kids nothing ever grew on that spot... no weeds or trees or nothing. It hasn't been until the last several years that anything started growing over it again."
The entities, described as "shining, as though nickel-plated," rapidly became known as "little green men." The sober family, whose sincerity and inarticulate trauma impressed investigating officers, was quickly characterized as a clan of drunken hillbillies: ur-caricatures for lazy skeptics to skewer.
One official who had interviewed the family the night of the event, concluding "No evidence of intoxication. Witnesses deemed credible. Consider as possible sighting," returned a few months later, "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.
Hopkinsville, having hounded the family in life, now observes the occasion of their trauma with a "little green men" festival. ("What actually occurred on that fateful night is still a mystery, but we are determined to celebrate its occurrence.") Events scheduled include a screening of Plan Nine from Outer Space, a Kids' alien costume competition and an "Out Of This World" Karaoke Contest.
(And by the way, it is silly to think of these clawed, naked creatures as sophisticated space travellers. If that's the only answer besides hoax or hysteria than the community may as well make sport of it. But this story alone should debunk the assumption that UFOs must be of extraterrestrial origin. The entities' arrival at the Sutton farmhouse was not a technological achievement; it was a daemonic fact. And perhaps, since they were not seen departing or entering the UFO, we shouldn't assume they arrived upon it. Maybe it's more esoteric than that: could the UFO's own violation of our reality have somehow called forth the entities to rush into the gap it had momentarily created? And note: like all other UFO observations, Billy Ray Taylor's was of an aerial phenomenon - they are seen in the near atmosphere, not outer space. So maybe the creatures weren't so far from home after all. Maybe in some sense, given the weird heritage Peter Levenda documents for that part of America in Sinister Forces, they were already home.)
Of course, things needn't get this weird before victims and witnesses become convinced that things will go easier for them if they would just shut up.
In August of 1965, Green Beret Lt Col Daniel Marvin, author of Expendable Elite, and then a captain known as "Dangerous Dan," was asked by his commanding officier to meet a CIA official outside the headquarters of the 6th Special Forces at Fort Bragg. Another Special Forces captain, also trained in assassination, joined them outside the building.
"First the Company man took me aside," Marvin says in Kent Heiner's Without Smoking Gun, "showed me his badge, his ID card. Then he asked me if I would volunteer to kill a man, a United States citizen, a naval officer, for treason and espionage." Marvin was due for a tour in Vietnam, and assumed he was being asked to kill an American overseas. He agreed - he admits he "had a reputation," but will neither confirm or deny that he'd previously carried out such assignments - and asked for the name. Lieutenant Commander William Pitzer, he was told, and it was imperative he be terminated before his forthcoming retirement. As the conversation progressed, Marvin learned that Pitzer was stationed in the United States. At Bethesda's National Naval Medical Center, where John F Kennedy's autoposy had been performed.
Dan Marvin and William Pitzer
Marvin says that the Agency official was obviously irritated that the target's name had been disclosed to a man who no longer had an operational "need to know." He also says that the man knew he could count on Marvin to "forget" both his name and Pitzer's. The official then turned around and headed [toward the other captain], who had been waiting some 40 feet away, just out of earshot.
On the evening of October 29, 1966, Lt. Commander Pitzer was found dead in Bethesda's Naval Medical School of a gunshot wound to the right temple. The death was quickly judged a suicide.
Why did the CIA believe it had just cause to kill the man?
A few days after the [Kennedy] assassination, a [Bethesda] colleague, Dennis D. David, found Pitzer working on a 16-mm film, slides and black and white photos of the Kennedy autopsy. David noted that those materials showed what appeared to be an entry wound in the right frontal area with a corresponding exit wound in the lower rear of the skull.
Jerrol F. Custer, an X-ray technician at the hospital, later stated that Pitzer had photographed the proceedings, including the military men who attended the Kennedy autopsy. It was also rumoured that Pitzer had copies of Kennedy's autopsy photographs.
Needless to say, the whereabouts of Pizter's rumoured photographs and film is unknown.
The Special Forces Association is reportedly mounting a campaign against Marvin and his publisher Trine Day, because it takes exception to his breaking the fraternity's omerta. on dirty secrets which are supposed to remain hidden even within the world of black ops. In the introduction to Without Smoking Gun Marvin writes that "the compartmentalization of various aspects of covert operations impairs every effort to pull all the pieces of the puzzle together.... Super-secret - and sometimes heinous - activities on behalf of our government are thereby masked, permitting total independance of operations [and] affording higher authority total immunity from prosecution."
When you learn some big scary truth about the world, it's always prudent to keep it to yourself. Even better: forget about it. This is as true for a Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel who learns of a domestic hit, as it is for a family in rural Kentucky beseiged by creatures which should not exist, as it is for a naval officer who by chance had hard evidence that Kennedy's head wounds did not match the official autopsy report. It's only because some people have chosen to talk regardless, sacrificing their careers, their respect and their lives, that we know as much as we do.
Seeing things and remaining quiet about them will change nothing, not even ourselves. But saying things - having the courage to testify to our own forbidden knowledge - could be the way the world changes.