The Disappearance of Rivalino Mafra da Silva: Alien Abduction or Foul Play?

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Depiction of Rivalino Mafra da Silva’s abduction on an Italian magazine.

Rivalino Mafra da Silva was a Brazilian diamond prospector who lived in Diamantino, a town in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. Rivalino’s wife had died in 1961, and he raised his three sons Raimundo (12-years-old), Fatimo (6-years-old), and Dirceu (2-years-old) by himself in a shack. On August 19, 1962, the family was woken up during the middle of the night by a shadow in their shared bedroom. According to Raimundo, the shadow was “half the size of a man and not shaped like a human being.” It quietly moved through the room, looked over the Mafras, and then left their house. 

After the shadow left, the Mafras heard voices and footsteps coming from outside. One of the voices said, “This seems to be Rivalino,” and then Rivalino jumped out of bed and went into the living-room. He asked the voices who they were, but they refused to identify themselves. They told Rivalino that they were going to kill him. Eventually, the voices stopped and seemed to have left, but the Mafras couldn’t sleep after this incident. They were so scared that they prayed all night.

In the morning, while fetching his dad’s horse, Raimundo saw two ball-like objects hovering in the air near the family shack. One of the objects was entirely black in color, the other was black and white. Both objects had antennae and tail-like appendages. They also made humming noises, and flashes of light or fire came out from their backs.

Raimundo shouted for his father, and when Rivalino came outside, the two objects combined into one ball and released a yellow smoke. The smoke covered Rivalino and filled the air with a terrible odor. When the smoke cleared a minute later, Rivalino and the ball-like object were gone. Raimundo looked all over for his father, but couldn’t find him. He ran to the local police station and reported what happened. When the police searched the Mafras’ shack, they found drops of human blood, although it couldn’t be determined whether it belonged to Rivalino.

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Drawing by Raimundo of the objects he saw.

Naturally, the authorities didn’t buy Raimundo’s incredible story. They suspected that he killed his father, or perhaps was covering up for the murderer. Joao Antunes de Oliveira, a psychiatrist, thought that Raimundo was perfectly sane. He seemed to truly believe that he saw a ball-like object abduct his father. The police didn’t buy it though. In a cruel trick, they covered a (still living) volunteer with a sheet and told Raimundo that it was Rivalino’s dead body. Raimundo still refused to take back his account. In tears, he insisted that the story was true and that the ball must have returned his father.

While some believed the boy, other residents sided with the police. Elagmano Marques da Costa, a businessman in the area, thought Mafra ran off and abandoned his sons. One popular rumor suggested that he was murdered. Perhaps Raimundo saw the shadows and voices of the murderers, but hallucinated the rest of the incident due to shock. While he might have been deemed sane, Raimundo wasn’t in the best of health. He was badly malnourished, illiterate, and couldn’t even read a clock. Interestingly, Raimundo related the same story over and over. His account is said to have never changed, perhaps confirming the psychiatrists’ observation that he believed what he saw. (Or, if you will, the veracity of Raimundo’s testimony.)

Five days after his father’s disappearance, Raimundo gave an interview to the press. The next day, an article about the story appeared in the newspaper Diario de Minas. A Rio de Janiero-based paper, Tribuna da Imprensa, covered the case on August 29. In a September article for The A.P.R.O Bulletin entitled “Man Kidnapped by Globes,” Olavo T. Fontes translated Raimundo’s press interview, the first report of the case in English-speaking media. Many other articles and books, as listed here, have since covered Rivalino Mafra da Silva’s disappearance, but with distortions and inaccuracies.

One common piece of apocrypha, missing from the earliest sources, concerns alien dwarves.  Slightly before Rivalino’s disappearance, two of his co-workers are said to have seen a pair of three foot-tall beings while walking past his house. The dwarves were digging a hole, and when spotted, ran into the bushes. A red UFO then emerged from the hiding spot and took off into the sky. Others claim that it was Rivalino himself who saw the dwarves.

Many English sources also neglect the fact that Rivalino’s body might possibly have been found. In October 1963, A Estrela Polar reported that a group of hunters found bones near Rivalino’s house in “a place of difficult access.” Due to the belt that was found with the remains, along with the location, the body was identified as Rivalino’s. Of course, some have questioned whether the bones really were Rivalino’s, but this was enough to (partly) satisfy the foul play theory. To my knowledge, however, nobody could come up with the names of the murderers.  Whatever exactly happened to the Mafra boys after their father’s disappearance is also obscure; Raimundo is said to have died in 2001, and the whereabouts of Fatimo and Dirceu are unknown.

 

 

 

 

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The Mysterious Montserrat Mountain of Spain

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Montserrat Mountain.

Montserrat is a mountain near Barcelona, Spain that’s long been regarded a sacred and magical place. In 880, it was said that a light floated down the mountains for six Saturdays in a row. When a search party headed by a bishop went to investigate, they found that the light fell on a previously undiscovered cave. Inside the cave, completely intact, was a statue of the Virgin Mary allegedly made in 50 AD. The statue soon attracted pilgrims and monks, and a monastery was eventually established in the mountain. Nicknamed “The Black Madonna,” the figure is venerated as the patron saint of Catalonia.

During the Nazi-era, German occultists believed that the holy grail rested somewhere inside Montserrat. In October 1940, Heinrich Himmler was sent to Spain to meet with Francisco Franco. Aside from being the commander of the SS, Himmler was also a founder of the Ahnenerbe, a pseudoscientific organization that launched expeditions across the world to find holy artifacts and evidence of ancient Aryan civilizations. Before meeting Franco, Himmler made a trip to the monastery in Montserrat. Himmler suspected that the holy grail was in the mountain, but the monastery received him coldly, and he returned to Germany empty-handed.

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The Black Madonna. The current statue might actually be a copy made in the late 12th century.

In recent decades, Montserrat has become a hotspot for seeing UFOs and strange lights in the sky. The mountain’s also been the site of some pretty strange disappearances over the years, some of which involved paranormal and UFO enthusiasts. In 1973, the Civil Guard (Spain’s national police force) found the body of a badly decomposed woman in the area. In a note in her pocket, the woman had written that she was going to meet with the supreme being. Her death was ruled a suicide.

In 1980, a month after a man and his dog vanished in the Montserrat, an 18-year-old girl named Gloria went missing in the near-by municipality of Olesa de Montserrat. Two days after her disappearance, Gloria was found walking in the woods, confused and disoriented. She had never shown such behavior before, but was apparently interested in UFOs and communicating with aliens. After being rescued, Gloria disappeared for a second time and was never seen again.

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Inside of the Montserrat monastery.

Another woman, Amparo Vielda Puig, went missing in Montserrat in 1985. Puig had gone to the mountain several times before, and complained of getting dizzy in certain spots of the area. In December 1990, a man named Carlos Teixidor told his family that he had “a decisive judgement with God and the Devil” and left for Montserrat. Teixidor was also interested in UFOs, and might have gone to the mountain in the hope of seeing one. Three weeks after he left, Teixidor’s body showed up near the Santa Cueva, the hillside cave where The Black Madonna was found.

In a case with a happier ending, a search helicopter was sent to look for a lost hiker. The helicopter was able to locate the hiker, but the man it found actually turned out to be a completely different person. The man said that he had been lost for three days, but was also with a “black woman” he had slept with. The only woman in the area the rescuers ended up finding was the corpse of a lady who had gone missing years earlier.

Nobody has gone missing in Montserrat since 1998, but UFOs are still seen in its skies. Luis Jose Grifol, a contactee who’s claimed to have communicated with aliens for almost 40 years, goes to the mountain to watch for UFOs on the 11th day of every month.

Check out my book “Mexico’s Unsolved Mysteries: True Stories of Ghosts, Monsters, and UFOs from South of the Border” for more interesting mysteries of the Spanish-speaking world.  

The Alien Cyclops of Sagrada Familia

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Comic book depiction of the Sagrada Familia Cyclops, an alien encountered by three boys in Brazil in August 1963.

On August 28, 1963, 7-year-old José Marcos Gomes Vidal went to play with his friends Fernando and Ronaldo Gualberto at their home in Sagrada Familia, a poor neighborhood in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Around 7 PM, after eating dinner, the boys went out to the backyard to wash a coffee strainer. While Fernando stood a small distance behind him, José dipped his head and arms into a barrel to collect some water. (I believe Ronaldo was hanging around the side of the house, away from the other two boys.)  Suddenly, Fernando noticed a glow coming from the top of an avocado tree. When he looked up, he saw a UFO hovering above the tree’s branches.

The craft, which was spherical and had a pair of antennas on top, was completely transparent. It held four human-like passengers sitting inside, one of whom sat in front of a machine that appeared to be a control panel. The passengers were about six feet tall and dressed in spacesuits. They all four had only one eye. Three of them were thin and bald, while the other looked like an overweight woman with blonde hair.

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As Fernando gazed at the sight in awe, the UFO shot out two rays of yellow light. One of the cyclopes then appeared between the lights, slowly floating down onto the ground. Once his boots touched the earth, the creature began to walk toward José, who was completely unaware of what was happening since he was still collecting water. Worried that the cyclops was going to abduct his friend, Fernandos panicked and tackled José. José fell to the ground, and Fernando got back up and faced the cyclops. Now all three boys were aware of their visitor.

Instead of moving any farther, the cyclops moved his head and made hand signals. Its mouth moved and spoke a few sounds that was nothing like the boys ever heard before. The creature then turned around and stared back at the UFO. Fernando, spotting a brick on the ground, picked it up and aimed it at the cyclops. The cyclops suddenly faced the boys again and shot Fernando’s hand with a yellow light from a triangular crest on his chest. Fernando dropped the brick, and all three of the boys became calm and frozen.

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A newspaper photo of Fernando using a stick to show how tall the cyclops was.

The cyclops spent the next few minutes talking to the boys in his language. The boys didn’t understand anything that the cyclops said, but he sounded like he was serious. After pointing one of his fingers at the moon, the cyclops began to walk back toward the UFO. (One source places Fernando’s attempt to hit the creature with a brick at this later point.)

As the cyclops walked away, José asked if he would ever come back. He shook his head affirmatively, plucked a plant from the ground, and then waved his hand at the UFO. The UFO shot out two rays of yellow light again,  and the cyclops slowly floated back up into the vehicle. As the boys continued to watch, the UFO flew eastward and disappeared out of their sight.

After the UFO was gone, a wave of fear settled over the three boys. José ran into the Gualbertos’ house and hid under a bed. Fernando and Ronaldo were also badly spooked, and told their mother María José about what happened. She sent a neighbor girl to fetch her husband, Alcides, from the bar. When Alcides returned home to check the backyard, he found large footprints, like those of a boot, near the water barrel. José and his friends reportedly never saw the cyclopes again. While the case was at one point investigated by a Brazilian ufologist, it has remained mostly unknown to the wider world.

Did you find this article interesting? Be sure to share it on your social media and leave me any comments, questions, or theories you might have in the comments section. 

The Betty Andreasson Abduction

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In January 1967, Betty Andreasson was abducted by a group of aliens who told her that worshipped Jesus Christ.

Until January 25, 1967, Betty Andreasson was a pretty ordinary housewife living in South Ashburnham, Massachusetts. That night, around 6:30 PM, Betty was working in her kitchen when her house’s power went out for a brief second. As Betty rushed to her front room to check on her seven children, a red light suddenly flashed through the kitchen window and caught her father’s attention. When Betty’s father went up to the window to check out the source of the light, he saw a group of small gray aliens apparently hopping toward the house.

Once they reached Betty’s home, the aliens floated through the kitchen door and put everybody except Betty into a state of suspended animation. To show Betty that her family was all right, the aliens snapped her 11-year-old daughter Becky back into animation. Becky told her mother not to worry, and then the aliens froze her again. While communicating with Betty by telepathy, the aliens took her outside to a silver spacecraft. This smaller vehicle took off and entered a mothership.

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A drawing of the Andreasson aliens from one of the five books Raymond Fowler wrote about the case.

Over the course of four hours, Betty was subjected to some medical experiments and a surgery which removed a tracking-device that had been put in her nose in an earlier encounter that happened in 1950.  During her abduction, the aliens told Betty that they worshipped Jesus Christ. They claimed that the Second Coming would happen soon, and then they took Betty to a room where she talked to a tall being she would later call “The One”. After meeting The One, Betty was taken home and had her memory wiped clean. Her family was unfrozen, and aside from Becky, would forget everything they saw that night.

It wasn’t until years later, in the 1970s, that Betty would remember what happened to her. In 1975, Betty wrote a letter about her experience to J. Allen Hynek, a well-known astronomer and UFO investigator. Hynek had little interest in Betty’s incredible story, but a hypnotic session was eventually organized by a group of investigators in 1977. After more than a dozen sessions and some other tests, Betty and Becky were able to unravel what happened to their family that night in 1967. Betty also recovered memories about some incidents in 1944, 1949, and 1950, and the hypnotist, Raymond Fowler, soon came to believe that he was once abducted by aliens too.

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In 1979, Fowler turned the exhaustive notes taken of Betty’s experiences into a book called The Andreasson Affair. By that time, Betty was living in Florida with two of her daughters after a divorce from her husband. After her case became publicized, she met a man named Bob Luca, who also claimed to have some abduction experiences. (It seems like everybody Betty comes into contact with realizes they once had an abduction experience.) Betty and Bob were soon married, and their subsequent experiences have provided for four more books by Raymond Fowler. They are both still alive and active in the UFO community.

Due to the hundreds of pages of research that went into investigating Betty Andreasson’s experiences, her story has long been regarded by enthusiasts as one of the more credible abduction cases. There are plenty of troubling details and problems with her case, however, and I don’t just mean the part about the aliens practicing a 2,000-year-old religion whose holy book doesn’t even mention life on other planets.

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A sketch of the spaceship Andreasson went on-board.

As pointed out by Dr. Aaron Sakulich, of The Iron Skeptic, Betty’s description of her abductors is strange and inconsistent. Over the years, Betty went from describing the aliens’ eyes as white with pupils to being entirely black like the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The uniforms the aliens wore also don’t make much sense. According to Betty, they wore heavy boots, but what would have been the point since the aliens apparently floated everywhere? Furthermore, hypnosis sessions and “recovered” memories are notoriously unreliable and should not be taken as serious proof that an abduction actually happened.

In February 2007, Betty and Bob Luca’s son Robert Jr. announced that the Andreasson Affair was a hoax. In a 2,000 word email available on UFO UpDates, Robert Jr. claimed that his father was a compulsive liar who had drinking problems, while his mother needed “serious psychological help” and had “serious issues.” According to Robert Jr., Betty had been experiencing emotional shock because two of her sons had earlier died in a car accident. After meeting her second husband, Betty  would write about every dream she had as though it were an abduction, and Bob encouraged her and even manipulated investigators into believing the story.

At the end of his email, Robert Luca Jr. had this to say about his parents: “These two people have used the ufo society for years and only to gain book sales, money and own self satisfation of feeling as if they are in the public. They give people out there with real and true stories a big black eye!”

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The Andreasson Affair, the first of five books about the Betty Andreasson case written by Raymond Fowler, is currently the only book still in print.

I believe Robert Jr. had much more to say on his website, Luca Land, but this site is no longer available. Naturally, his accusations came as a great shock, and Betty’s defenders slammed him as a liar incapable of using spellcheck. (As you can see in the quote above, he wasn’t particularly strong on his grammar and spelling.) The official Andreasson Affair website has an open letter from Bob Luca rebuking his son’s claims. According to the elder Luca, his son was estranged from the family and struggled with drugs and alcohol. He also announced that his son was now deceased, although he didn’t specify the causes.

Personally, I have no idea whether Robert Luca Jr.’s claims were legitimate. But his comment about Betty’s emotional state is interesting and deserves some attention. From an interview on the UFO Case Book, Betty had this to say about how her experience and the publicity affected her family:

“Yes, many things changed in my family. My father passed on, my ex husband disappeared, my two sons died in an auto accident, my mother came to live with us, I moved to Florida with her and my two youngest daughters. I was told not to speak to any reporters. I had to sell my home, the children had to attend other schools. My whole life, and my family had changed and went through some very difficult times.”

Did you find this article interesting? Be sure to share it on your social media and leave me any comments, questions, or theories you might have in the comments section. 

Was There a UFO Crash in Missouri Six Years Before Roswell?

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Reverend William Hoffman told his family in 1941 that he saw a crashed UFO and three dead alien bodies in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

The Roswell UFO Incident of 1947, whether you believe it anyway, is usually considered to have been the first UFO crash in the United States. In the vast and zany annals of American UFO lore, however, there is an earlier case in Cape Girardeau, Missouri that also involves alien bodies and a government cover-up. Unlike Roswell, the 1941 Cape Girardeau Incident has never been the subject of mass media interest, or even a stand-alone book.

The story didn’t surface, in fact, until five decades after it allegedly took place. It was first reported in 1991 by Leonard H. Stringfield,  a ufologist who included it in his book UFO Crash/Retrievals: The Inner Sanctum, the sixth addition of a seven-part series he wrote about UFO crashes. Stringfield’s source was Charlette Mann, a woman who claims that her grandfather William Hoffman was a witness at the crash site.

Hoffman, a pastor of the Red Star Baptist Church, was called up by local police one night in the spring of 1941. They told him that there had been a plane crash, and asked if he could come to minister the pilot’s last rites. After Hoffman said yes, he was picked up by a car, and then taken to an area about a dozen miles away from Cape Girardeau.

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Scene from a documentary about the Cape Girardeau UFO Incident. I

When Hoffman got to the crash site, he found the place swarming with police officers, firefighters, and soldiers. The “plane” turned out to be a small metallic saucer. He saw three dead bodies, each about four feet tall, lying outside the craft. The figures were evidently non-human; they had large eyes, no hair, and only three fingers on each hand. The creatures’ ship had crashed and caught fire, but their bodies showed no sign of being burned.

Due to damage from the crash, the interior of the craft could be seen from the outside. When Hoffman got up closer, he saw that it contained a single metal chair and some gauges and dials. He also noticed a strange script, which he thought looked like Egyptian hieroglyphics.

After things calmed down a bit and Hoffman finished giving the creatures their last rites, two police officers picked one of the bodies up and held it between them for a photograph. Before he left, Hoffman was told to keep what he had seen a secret. He was warned that what he saw was a matter of national security, and that it couldn’t be told to anybody.

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A reconstruction of the lost photo allegedly taken in the Cape Girardeau UFO Incident. This picture was drawn from memory by Charlette Mann.

Of course, Hoffman did just the opposite and told his entire family about what happened as soon as he came back home.  About 2 weeks after the alleged crash, Hoffman received the alien picture from the man who had taken it, possibly a local photographer (and friend of Harry Truman) named Garland F. Fronabarger. Hoffman was said to never have mentioned the crash again, although he did pass the picture off to his son Guy.

Guy showed the picture to his friends and children, including his daughter Charlette Mann. In the mid-1950s, Guy gave the picture to a skeptical photographer friend named Walter Wayne Fisk. This was apparently the last anybody had seen of it. Long before Fisk’s death in 2012, both Charlette Mann and ufologist Stanton T. Friedman tried contacting him with little success.

Aside from Charlette Mann and her sister, nobody else can confirm that the picture existed. Everything we know about the case comes from Mann, and she had gotten the details from her grandmother, who had told it to Mann on her death-bed in 1984. There’s a total lack of witnesses here, and the exact date and location of the crash have never been determined either. I’ve heard that Mann hopes more witnesses will eventually show up, but after so many years, who could possibly still be alive to vouch that it happened?

 

The Kofu UFO Incident

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A drawing of the UFO and alien seen in the Kofu Incident. 

On February 23, 1975, second-graders Masato Kawano and Katsuhiro Yamahata were rollerskating in Kofu, Japan when they spotted two UFOs glowing orange in the sky. One of the UFOs took off northward, but the other one landed in a near-by vineyard. When the boys went to investigate, they found a large circular craft resting on three legs in the middle of the vineyard.

After the boys observed the craft for about five minutes, a door on the left side of the UFO slid open and a ladder descended out of the opening.  A brown human-like creature emerged and walked down the steps, while a similar-looking creature stayed inside. The creature, which stood at about 4 feet in a silver suit, had rabbit-like ears and three fangs. Its face was heavily wrinkled, and it appeared to have no eyes, nose, or hair.

The alien approached the boys and patted Katsuhiro two times on the shoulder. It was said to have made sounds that sounded like a tape-recorder being played backwards, although some sources report that the alien asked “Are you Katsuhiro?” in Japanese. Katsuhiro was so shocked that he couldn’t speak. He lost his balance and fell down out of fright, and the alien then walked away. Masato, who had watched from a distance, carried Katsuhiro on his back and ran home.

 

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Once they got home, the boys told their mothers about what happened and brought them back to the vineyard. The UFO was now hovering in the sky, glowing a bright orange light again. As it glowed brighter and brighter, it hovered in the air for about 2-3 minutes, until finally taking off in great speed.

Both Masato and Katsuhiro seemed very disturbed after the encounter. They refused to be outside alone, and Masato was so upset that he cried that night. The next day, the boys told their classmates and teacher about what happened.  During a lunch break, their teacher checked out the spot where the UFO landed, but found nothing out of the ordinary.

A later search of the landing site carried out with the help of a local newspaper found two broken concrete posts and several holes in the soil. Another teacher discovered that the soil was slightly contaminated with radiation.

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Masato and Katsuhiro show the spot where they saw the UFO and alien. 

 

The Japanese authorities, of course, were skeptical. Other than Masato and Katsuhiro, their mothers, and Katsuhiro’s younger brother, a classmate of the boys reported that he saw the UFO about a half-hour before his friends did. Later witnesses, including a janitor and a woman driving in the area, also said they saw the UFO.

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A toy of a villain in Ultraman that resembles the Kofu alien.

 

Critics believed that the sightings were a misidentified plane. They pointed out that only Masato and Katsuhiro had seen the alien itself. They thought it suspicious that the creature resembled an alien from the popular sci-fi show Ultraman. Finally, as the boys’ teacher had noted, there was nothing much out of the ordinary about the landing site. While there might have been some broken posts and a few holes in the ground, the vines in the field were completely fine. The radiation discovered, contrary to some reports, was low and probably natural.

 

The 1973 Pascagoula Alien Abduction

Picture of the type of alien Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker claimed to see in Pascagoula, Mississippi. (Image credit/source here.)

Picture of the type of alien Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker claimed to see in Pascagoula, Mississippi. (Image credit/source here.)

On the night of October 11, 1973, co-workers Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker were fishing on the Pascagoula River in Mississippi when the two men suddenly heard a hissing sound coming behind them. When they turned around, they saw an oval-shaped craft hovering in the air and flashing blue lights. A door on the craft opened, and three robot-like creatures floated down toward Hickson’s and Parker’s boat. The creatures were about 5 feet tall, with gray wrinkled skin, clawed hands, and slits for eyes and a mouth.

The two men found themselves paralyzed and unable to resist being grabbed by the creatures. Parker fainted at this point, and they were then floated up into the spaceship with their abductors. According to Hickson, he was taken into a room full of light and examined by an oval-shaped probe that circled around his body. When the probe had finished its examination, the creatures floated out of the room and then floated Hickson back outside after 20 minutes. Hickson found Parker on the shore, crying and praying. The spaceship then left, and Hickson and Parker went into their car to calm down and try to make sense of what happened.

Charles Hickson (left) and Calvin Parker (right). (Image source/credit here.)

Charles Hickson (left) and Calvin Parker (right). (Image source/credit here.)

Although afraid that nobody would believe them, Hickson and Parker called the Kessler Air Force Base, which recommended that they report the incident to the local sheriff. At first, the sheriff and his deputies were skeptical and thought the men were drunk. When they left Hickson and Parker alone in a room with a secret tape recorder, however, they continued to talk as though the experience were real. At one point, Hickson told Parker, “It scared me to death too, son. You can’t get over it in a lifetime. Jesus Christ have mercy.”

The story appeared on local newspaper headlines the next day, and soon news reporters and UFO investigators were crawling all over Pascagoula and harassing Hickson and Parker at their workplace. Hundreds of UFO sightings in Mississippi were reported in the next couple of weeks, including an encounter by some Coast Guardsmen with a glowing object moving underwater in the Pascagoula River.

While Parker initially tried to keep his distance from the incident, Hickson gave media interviews and lectures about his experience, even visiting local schools. In 1983, he published “UFO Contact at Pascagoula” with investigator William Mendez, a full-fledged (and rare) book about the encounter and three incidents of psychic telecommunication he said that he received in 1974. Until he passed away in September 2011, Hickson continued to insist that the story was true and that the creatures he saw were peaceful aliens concerned about the earth.

Drawing of the Pascagoula aliens. (Image source/credit here.)

Drawing of the Pascagoula aliens. (Image source/credit here.)

After participating in some hypnotic sessions, Parker recovered vague memories about what had happened that night. Unlike Hickson, he was wary of the attention he attracted, and eventually moved out of the state. Over the past two decades, he has become more open to interviews and has even participated in UFO conventions.

Drawing of a Pascagoula alien. (Image source/ credit here.)

Drawing of a Pascagoula alien. (Image source/ credit here.)

So what have skeptics had to say about the Pascagoula incident? Hickson’s and Parker’s story made a big splash in national media back in 1973, and some of the biggest names in the UFO investigation community, like J. Allen Hynek and James Harder, believed that the men were telling the truth. While Hickson and Parker did pass lie-detectors, there were inconsistencies in the interviews Hickson gave to the media. Much of the story, in fact, had come from Hickson, since Parker said he passed out. Nobody else in the area, including drivers on a well-used highway, claimed to have seen the UFO.

In an interesting article for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, noted paranormal investigator and debunker Joe Nickell suggests that the whole abduction was a vivid hallucination by Hickson. Hickson had drunk some whiskey after the abduction to soothe his nerves, and Nickell suspects that he and Parker might have been drinking before the incident. They fell asleep afterward, but Hickson suffered an episode of hypnagogia, a state of consciousness in which a person is in between sleeping and waking up. Hypnagogic episodes often involve the experiences of paralysis, seeing lights, and feeling as though one is floating. While Parker might not have had a hypnagogic episode himself, he might have been influenced by Hickson and the hypnotic sessions he had undergone.