Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter


387Px-Kelly1Sm-1The Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter is an alleged close encounter with aliens. But it is not like every other encounter. The Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter is one of the most well documented cases in the history of UFO incidents and it is a chilling tale. There were dozens of eyewitnesses including state troopers, and policemen and was so notorious that it was officially investigated by the US Air Force. The incidents began on the evening of August 21, 1955 and continued through to the dawn of the next morning. The incident occurred mostly around a rural farmhouse at the time belonging to the Sutton family, which was located near the small town of Kelly and the small city of Hopkinsville, both in Christian County, Kentucky, United States.

The Encounter

Kelly2Sm2On the night of the event, seven people present in the Sutton farmhouse claimed to be terrorized by a number of creatures similar to gremlins (giving rise to the nickname “Hopkinsville Goblins”. The residents of the farmhouse described them as around three feet tall, with upright pointed ears, thin limbs (their legs were said to be almost in a state of atrophy), long arms and claw-like hands or talons. The creatures were either silvery in color, or wearing something metallic. Their movements on occasion seemed to defy gravity with them floating above the ground and appearing in high up places, and they “walked” with a swaying motion as through wading through water.

Although the creatures never entered the house, they would pop up at windows and at the doorway, working up the children in the house to a hysterical frenzy. The families fled the farmhouse in the middle of the night to the local police station and sheriff Russell Greenwell noted they were visibly shaken. The families returned to the farmhouse with Sheriff Greenwell and twenty officers, yet the occurrences continued. Police saw evidence of the struggle and damage to the house, as well as themselves seeing strange lights and hearing noises. The witnesses additionally claimed to have used firearms to shoot at the creatures, with little or no effect, and the house and surrounding grounds were extensively damaged during the incident.

The Details

Goblins4The Suttons had no running water in the farmhouse, and due to it being a warm evening Billy Ray Taylor, the patriarch of the Taylor family, went to an outside water pump for a drink. It was about 7.00 p.m. Taylor said he observed strange lights in the sky to the west, which he believed to be an unusual craft. He excitedly told the others about his “flying saucer” sighting, but no one believed him, instead thinking that he had become overly excited after seeing a vivid “shooting star”.

At about 8.00 p.m., the families began hearing strange and unexplained noises outside. The Sutton family dog which was on guard outside began barking loudly and then hid under the house, where it remained until the next day. Going outside a few minutes later with their guns, Billy Ray Taylor and Elmer “Lucky” Sutton then asserted that they saw a strange creature emerge from the nearby trees. Jerome Clark describes the creature as:

[A] luminous, three-and-a-half-foot-tall being with an oversized head, big, floppy, pointed ears, glowing eyes, and hands with talons at their ends. The figure, either made of or simply dressed in silvery metal, had its hands raised.

Disquieted by the creature’s bizarre appearance, the pair were further unnerved when it began rushing towards the house, holding its hands up in the air raised, which the men took it as threatening behaviour. When the creature approached to within about 20 feet, the two men became scared of a home invasion and began shooting at it, one using a shotgun, the other man using a .22 rifle. There was a noise “sounding like bullets being rattled about in a metal drum”, and the creature, they said, then flipped over and fled into the darkness and shadows. Sure that they had wounded the creature, Lucky and Billy Ray went out to look for it. Hendry writes that as the men were stepping from the porch, “a taloned hand reached down from above and began grasping at their hair.” They shot at the creature—it was perched on an awning over the porch—and it was knocked from the roof.

Lucky and Billy Ray returned to the house in a disturbed state. Within minutes, Lucky’s brother J.C. Sutton said that he saw the same creature (or at least a similar creature) peer into a window in the home; J.C. and Billy Ray shot at it, breaking the window, whereupon it too flipped over and fled. For the next few hours, the witnesses would assert that the creatures repeatedly approached the home, either popping up at the doorway or at windows in an almost playful manner, only to be shot at each time they did.

At about 11.00 p.m., the Taylor-Sutton crew decided to flee the farmhouse in their automobiles and after about 30 minutes they arrived at the Hopkinsville police station. Police Chief Russell Greenwell judged the witnesses to have been frightened by something “beyond reason, not ordinary.” He also opined “[t]hese were not the sort of people who normally ran to the police … something frightened them, something beyond their comprehension.” A police officer with medical training determined that Billy Ray’s pulse rate was more than twice normal.

Police Witnesses

Alien-03-Alien-Face-Strata-Apherecom-BlogTwenty police officers accompanied the Taylor-Suttons back to the farmhouse, and several entered it to assess the damage. Police and photographers who visited the home saw many bullet holes and spent shells, and further discovered what Clark describes as “an odd luminous patch along a fence where one of the beings had been shot, and, in the woods beyond, a green light whose source could not be determined.” Though the investigation was inconclusive, Daniels et al. writes, “Investigators did conclude, however, that these people were sincere and sane and that they had no interest in exploiting the case for publicity. The patch sample, although photographed, was never collected and had mysteriously disappeared by the noon the next day.”

Police left at about 2:15 a.m., and not long afterwards, the witnesses claimed that the creatures returned. Billy Ray fired at them once more, ruining yet another window. The last of the creatures was allegedly sighted just before dawn, at about 4:45 a.m. on August 22.

The United States Air Force took the allegations seriously and officers from nearby Fort Campbell inspected the case, but could find no rational explanation and to this day is still labelled an open case. The official UFO investigation office, Project Blue Book, never officially investigated the case, although a file has been kept on it and is labelled “unexplained”.

Later on August 22, Andrew “Bud” Ledwith of WHOP radio interviewed the seven adult witnesses in two different groups. He judged their tale of the events as consistent, especially in their descriptions of the strange glowing beings. Ledwith had worked as a professional artist, and sketched the creatures based on the witnesses descriptions.

Eerie Connection

Broadhaven Ufo 1In addition to Ledwith’s sketches, Pfc. Gary F. Hodson of the 101st Airborne Division stationed at nearby Fort Campbell sketched the creatures based on eyewitness descriptions. The “men” were described as approximately 3 feet tall and either being silver in color or wearing silver colored clothing that lit up or glowed when the invaders shouted to each other. All of the witnesses agreed to a remarkable degree as to the appearance of the creatures.

It is also worth noting that the descriptions of these creatures (which by no means fit the common impressions of extraterrestrials) closely fit the accounts of 15 children and 3 school staff in Dyfed, West Wales later in 1977, who observed small ‘silvery men with spiked ears’ and helmets working around a UFO.

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Text is derived from Wikipedia.


51 Responses to “Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter”

  1. I just want to repeat the comment I just left on the Atlantis article:

    The reason for my absence (which I should have explained earlier) is that I started doing studies this week and the workload has been a lot greater than I anticipated.

    The good news is that the site will continue Sorry for not informing you all sooner.

    If you are interested in the course I am doing, you can read about it here. I am doing the course in Logic at present and will continue on to some of the other courses after the second semester. It is well worth doing if you are interested in scholastic education.

  2. 2 katiebooski

    creeepy. so glad you’re back jfray :D!

  3. 3 Ny

    Nice to see you back, JF, and greaat returning article! Do you know where any more things like this could be found, as I find them very interesting.

  4. 4 Demi

    OOO, i had to keep looking over my shoulder why i was reading this because i kept thinking someone was going to grab me.
    and yay another article 😀

  5. 5 SomeBigBlackRapperTypeGuy

    YO YO YO SON!!! Mad writing skillz mang!! When I woke up this morning (SF USA) I thought just to check out this site and was all like BIGITY BAM SON!!! A NEW ARTICLE? HELLZ YEAH!! Anyway good to seen you back Frater.



  6. 6 Kay

    Great article! Very intersesting!

  7. 7 Swapie

    Silly buggers. Why do they always shoot at the aliens? Invite them in for a drink I say.

    • 8 Looser

      because they’re scared shizznitless.

    • 9 The DUDEodenom

      To be fair, the first alien was running at them at speed. That’s threatening behavior. Although they could’ve yelled at him to stop, or put out their hand palm up, or tried to communicate in some way before blasting the thing.

      If it was an alien, they probably all left after that and made a note that Earthlings are jerks. Nice job, flyover country.

      • 10 Bryan

        YOU WHERE THINKING THE SAME WAY I WAS! great minds think alike. They’re from another world so they dont know what we may find as threatening behavior…They probably thought humans where some strange type animals who wouldn’t mind you approaching them like horses? Maybe they where just super excited to see humans/(aliens to them) and decided to run, not glide towards them to inspect them and get a closer look.Im with Swapie, i would have invited them in for coffee and tea (with illegal truth serum roofies of course) to find out what in the hello they

  8. 11 Cuntageous

    I echo Swapie’s sentiments. But considering that the aliens landed in the heart of the US, that’s about par for the course. Next time they should consider landing in Tibet or something.

    • 12 Looser

      i agree it’s almost always america

      • 13 Kirribillilady

        Billy Ray, Elmer and J.C – all fired up and ready to shoot! That’s the scary bit.

        I wonder why the aliens don’t do a little research and land in London or Paris. That’d be fun.

  9. 14 Madhatter

    yah for the return of articles!

  10. 15 Kimberly

    These stories always freak me out. Its just enough to make you wonder, “hmm, there could be something else out there.”

  11. 16 EARS

    I think these type of happenings happen more often then people realize. It just seems logistic. It’s like cockroaches; for every 1 you see, theres another 50 that you can’t see.

    Don’t stop theorizing and brainstorming on these subjects fore there are the best tools we have.
    “Watch the sky…. keep watching.”

  12. 17 Rob

    i think i remember reading something about this which tried to explain it as being owls who would fly away as they were shot at. i think the metal sound when they were hit was explained as the sound of them missing and the bullets hitting surrounding buildings and shed on their farm. it doesnt explain alot of it but if you look at the sketches i could kind of see it being an owl and the fact that the family shot at them all night leads me to believe they werent exactly the most worldly of people. i wish i could find the article, i only remember bits and pieces.

    • 18 bianca

      You’re probably thinking of the “6 Famous Unsolved Mysteries (With Really Obvious Solutions)” article on Hilarious article, by the way. Here is the link:

  13. 19 krchuk

    The aliens probably have landed in Tibet or elsewhere, just those people didn’t react the same way as the Americans. They probably did invite them in for a drink and a conversation and life goes on 🙂

  14. 20 mkpitman

    Very friggin spooky, and I cut them some slack, funny/unexplainable ANIMATED biological organisms don’t normally play hop on pop at you and your children’s windows….

  15. 21 mom424

    Great article Jamie.

    I too read the explanation that involved owls. The “weird glow” caused by some sort of bioluminescent fungus. That many folks mistaking them for aliens was blamed on a form of mass hysteria. Seems almost as far-fetched as extra-terrestrial visitors me thinks.

  16. See?? Just like I told you guys from the previous article. JFRater is gonna come up with something “heard before”. In this case another no good alien sighting. Please…… I need something impressive….Anyhow glad that you are back.

  17. li1la5: if you have been following listverse for a long time you are likely to see articles here that have appeared there before – that was the whole point of this site.

    • Ya know Mr.JFRater, listverse has more interesting stuff like the stuff in Yet Another 10 Unsolved Mysteries,10 Bizarre Theories And The Facts Surrounding Them ,top 10 great unsolved mysteries and top 10 great unsolved problems which i really really hope you can make an article out of. Of course without the typical stuff like Bermuda triangle and the Shroud of Turin which by now is over hyped and no longer really bizarre.

  18. 25 guitar528

    So a few drunk guys heard noises outside near their METAL chicken coop with .22s cuz there was something near it that looked like an alien (or a great horned owl-google them). oh yeah, it had talons too…. So i think that part is pretty much explained… but as far as the lights and stuff.. i have no idea

  19. 26 tomba

    With such convincing and watertight evidence as this it is amazing that people still doubt the existence of malevolent alien forces in our world.
    The earth without any shadow of doubt is under invasion. Whethe these creatures intend to use us as food, artificial insemination receptacles or consider us to be part of some genetic experiments we dont yet know.

    Why do our leaders spend billions on fighting flu when the money should be directed towards space fighters and more atomic weapons to combat the alien menace.

    We need specially trained space agents to infiltrate these evil aliens and find out exactly what they are doing to our world.

    Is it any coincidence that the polar ice caps are melting, carbon dioxide is rising, the ozone layer has a hole ( to allow invisible alien intrusion)? These fatal climate changes only occured since the 1950s exactly when the first abductions took place across the world.

    Its almost as if the atomic bomb tests released mysterious dark energy into the atmosphere which alien spores used to grow and develop.

    Is AIDS a mysterious alien zombie-like virus? have the aliens been injecting AIDS into humans to try and make it easier for them to infest our bodies??

    There are too many coincidences to be true. We need to catch an alien and make some tough interrogations to beat the truth out of them.

    • 27 Kirribillilady

      Tomba, old boy, you really are a kook.

    • 28 sofkes

      It all makes sense now…

    • Lol!I got it! 😉

  20. 30 Matt


    Yes, Yes! Waterboard the aliens!

  21. 31 Dirtysingingbird


    We need more people like you around to liven up the place.

  22. 32 Tryclyde

    I don’t think you guys would be so brave or “invite them in for a drink” if you actually encountered an extra-terrestrial.

  23. 33 EuripidesTheYounger

    So, a seemingly serious belief in UFOs and other such silliness and a blatant disregard for the documented science behind global warming.
    That’s all I need to know.

  24. jfrater – glad your back man. good luck with studies. ive just started back up again too, much more work than we ever really expect it to be. love the site(s).

  25. 35 BuzzDJT

    Have to say Tomba, I’m with you on this…
    Taking it purely as a scientific approach, to have an encounter with a covert alien to be made public, you need a few things;

    1/You need a free media who’ll report anything,
    the US and britain have the tabloid press, most european countries and a few in the indian pacific basin.

    2/If you take it that aliens are covert, They’ll land in a large landmass, away from the major population centres,
    but you need someone to be around to see it happen, think of all reported alien close encounters, you have desert roads, back woods forests, prairies, basically the middle of nowhere, and the US has a larger population base in these middle of nowhere areas than most.

    3/(or part two of above) Someone to notice!
    Noone is going to think strange lights in the sky are unusual in the north of canada, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Alaska they have the northern lights, Major areas of europe are all flyover zones for jets which means radar (if you assume covert aliens)

    4/Someone to report it.
    First off, you know how you sound when you report an alien encounter? like a crazy person! no matter if you are a judge, nobel lauriatte, or first lady (just look at the japenese first lady). so you wanna be pretty low on the food chain to risk it, or just not to care, or really want to be famous. America has a huge amount of these people and in the right areas (just watch Jerry Springer and tell me i’m wrong)

    5/Someone to survive it.
    And here is my point, lets say these guys didn’t shoot, the story could then be about a missing family, and an empty farmhouse, the only witness a family dog hiding under the house. In fairness, if I had the gun i’ld have shot first, and appologised later. America has the guns and the people who use them.

    So yeah, maybe not all the people who say ‘I see aliens’ are telling the truth but maybe some are. I think it makes sense most of them are american

  26. 36 BuzzDJT

    sorry the end of part three should read:

    which means radar aswell (if you assume covert aliens this might scare them off)

    JF, any chance of an edit?

  27. 37 Luka

    You’re back! I was getting worried – what else am I supposed to read whilst (supposedly) doing school work? 😛

    On topic: really, really freaky. Nowt much else I can say *shudder*. If that happened to me I’d probably have a heart attack (I have a phobia of things appearing at the window).

  28. 38 appie

    thanks Jfray,’re back with a great new article,..

  29. 39 LMXV

    What’s with all the thumb downs votes on comments that are not negative?

  30. 40 Steve-O

    I agree with you Luka, I have an extreme phobia of things appearing at my window. Here i am sitting at my computer, and I can’t even look to the right at my window, even though it is completely covered.

  31. 41 Jack

    While I doubt that aliens are involved, I flatly reject the owl theory. City slickers might mistake an owl for an alien, but farming families know their local wild life- they have to. Their livelihood depends on it.

    I’m an educated man, but I come from redneck roots. I can tell you that some simple rural folks may be ignorant of many sophisticated in this modern world, but they aren’t typically stupid- and they know their environment.

    Those were not owls.

  32. 42 Jack

    that should read “sophisticated things” in the above comment

  33. 43 aloregirl

    honestly, i dont know why everyone is making an issue out of this. there are so many extremely weird happenings in many parts of the world that are not reported the internet or the international level. i think its good if we prepare ourselves on ways to protect our world in case of mass invasion(anything can happen). but above all,we dont need to freak out over little matters like this. everyone?

  34. Glad I found your site. I’m obsessed with anything alien.

  35. Glad I found your site. I’m obsessed with anything ufo.

  36. Glad I found your site. I’m obsessed with anything ufo.

  37. 47 dusk

    yeah, this is why when the shat really hits the fan, we are all screwed. they’ve been here for eons. since long before we were ever here. but they have been watching from a distance cause of our misunderstanding fearfull nature. we are, by all accounts and reasoning, a primative race. this account is really intriguing in that it doesnt fit the typical alien encounter stories. UFO researchers are well learned but the common ppl, usually the ppl that dont follow anything in this manner, think that all aliens are the same in comparison. so not the case here. there have been, and always will be, multiple races that have and are visiting this planet. some are friendly and some are hostile. its doubtful though that we would ever know which was which simply b/c of our redneck nature. “if you dont know what it is, its best to shoot it just to be sure.” its a shame really.

  38. 48 PumaFreak

    If that happened to my family, i’d shoot too!

  39. 49 LLllllllllllrrrrrrrrrrr

    I see you humans have met my scouts, my name is Lllllllllllrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Ruler and King of the planet Omicron 9.

  40. 50 James

    Shoot, If I saw an alien, I would keep It secret and try to learn more about them . but If It tried to eat me, I would Shoot It .

  41. The thing I find really weird is that these families returned to that house the same night, and stayed there after the cops left. Now that’s weird!!

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