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.

The Case of Jaclyn Dowaliby: An Unreliable Witness and a Wrongly Accused Man

Jaclyn Dowaliby. (Image credit/source here.)

Jaclyn Dowaliby. (Image credit/source here.)

On the morning of September 10, 1988, David and Cynthia Dowaliby reported to the police that their 7-year-old daughter Jaclyn had gone missing from their home in Midlothian, Illinois. Jaclyn wasn’t in her bedroom when her parents woke up, and one of the windows in the house’s basement was found broken. The Dowalibys thought somebody must have broken the window from the outside, but the more numerous shards of glass outside suggested to police that the window had been shattered from inside the house. Equally suspicious, how didn’t anybody wake up while the abduction was taking place?

Four days later, Jaclyn’s body was discovered in a field behind an apartment complex. One of the apartment’s residents, Everett Mann, told police that he saw a suspicious Caucasian man in a dark car driving away from the field on the night of Jaclyn’s disappearance. After being shown pictures of the case’s suspects, Mann identified David Dowaliby as the man he saw. David and Cynthia were arrested on November 22, charged with murder and concealing a homicide.

Picture of Jaclyn Dowaliby. (Image credit/source here.)

Picture of Jaclyn Dowaliby. (Image credit/source here.)

Although public opinion was set harshly against the Dowalibys, several investigators behind the scene believed they were innocent. A forensic report confirmed that the basement window in the Dowaliby’s home had been carefully broken from the outside, while Everett Mann’s reliability as a witness came under serious scrutiny. Mann changed the description of the car he saw numerous times, and identified David in the line-up from his nose, which he claimed to have seen 75 yards away in the middle of the night. He was also mentally unwell and suffered from bipolar disorder.

As the Dowaliby trial unfolded, Cynthia was cleared of any wrongdoing in April 1990, but David was convicted of murder nearly a month later. After spending a year in jail, David’s conviction was overturned due to a lack of evidence, and he was released in November 1991. Although the Dowalibys were proven to be innocent, the question still remained of who was guilty of killing their daughter?

Clip from an Unsolved Mysteries segment about Jaclyn's murder.

Clip from an Unsolved Mysteries segment about Jaclyn’s murder.

Before Jaclyn’s body turned up, her biological father, Jimmy Guess, had been the main suspect in the case. Guess had tried abducting Jaclyn before, but he was ruled out once it was discovered that he was in jail during the time for sexually assaulting a woman. After the Dowalibys appeared on an Unsolved Mysteries segment in 1993, authorities received a tip that Guess’s schizophrenic brother Timothy had lied to the police about his alibi on the night Jaclyn was abducted.

When earlier questioned, Guess said that he had spent the evening at an all-night restaurant. Several other people at the restaurant, including two waitresses, reported that Guess was only there for a short while at 9:30. When Guess gave a taped interview to a professor involved in the case, he claimed that he was possessed by a spirit that could make him invisible.

Despite never having been to the Dowaliby’s home, Guess was able to accurately describe the inside of it. At one point, he described in the first-person where Jaclyn’s room was located. When asked how he knew this, Guess explained that the spirit told him. While Guess might very likely have been the killer, Jaclyn’s case is still open. Guess died years ago, and not much has developed since the Dowalibys were let go.

 UPDATE: (5/14/2016)

A Chicago news station recently aired a segment about this case that you can watch here. It doesn’t offer any new leads or tips, but it does include some interviews with the Dowalibys’ attorneys and Jimmy Guess. The Dowalibys were also asked to be interviewed for the segment, but they ignored the invitation. Since being cleared of their daughter’s murder, the Dowalibys have changed their last name and no longer live in Midlothian.

The Case of Russell and Shirley Dermond, an Elderly Couple Brutally Murdered in Their Own Home

Picture of Russell and Shirley Dermond. (Image credit source here.)

Picture of Russell and Shirley Dermond. (Image source/credit here.)

88-year-old Russell Dermond and his 87-year-old wife Shirley lived in a $769,000 two-story lake home in the gated community of Great Waters, Georgia. Russell and Shirley were both from New Jersey, but had moved to Great Waters in the late 1990s. They were well-liked by their neighbors, and there was nothing particularly unusual about them. Shirley enjoyed spending her time playing bridge and going to church, and Russell liked to play golf.

On May 3, 2014, the Dermonds were invited to a Kentucky Derby party held by some friends in the neighborhood. Despite earlier saying they would show up, they never made it. Nobody had seen Shirley since the 1st, when she was playing at a bridge club. Russell was spotted at a grocery store that day, and had been seen on a golf course on the 2nd.

The Dermond home. (Image source/credit here.)

The Dermond home. (Image source/credit here.)

On the morning of May 6, after not hearing from the Dermonds for a couple of days, the couple that had thrown the derby party went to their house and found their front door unlocked. There was no immediate sign of the couple, and everything in the house seemed to be in its usual place. After looking through the house, the husband decided to try the Dermonds’ garage. In between the two cars stored there, he found Russell’s body, decapitated and with his head nowhere in sight.

By the time police arrived, there was still no trace of Shirley. Authorities suspected that she had been abducted, but had little hope that she was still alive. On May 16, Shirley’s body was found floating facedown in the near-by lake by two fisherman at a spot about 5 miles away from her home. Her killer had tied her body down with a pair of 30 pound concrete blocks.

The back of the Dermond Home. (Image source/ credit here.)

The back of the Dermond home. (Image source/ credit here.)

According to forensic tests, Shirley had been beaten on the head with something like a hammer. She had been tossed into the lake after she died. The cause of Russell’s death is still undetermined. Without his head, it’s been difficult to figure out how exactly he died. He’s believed to have been beheaded, possibly with a knife, only after he was murdered.

While the Dermonds had no known enemies, that’s not to say that the family hadn’t experienced trouble before. Their son, Mark, had been shot to death on his 47th birthday while buying crack cocaine in 2000. While Mark’s killer was caught, nobody associated with him has been suspected of his parents’ murder. Investigators have poured over the Dermonds’ relatives and friends, even collecting phone conversations and information from their college days, but have yet to find anybody with a possible grudge against them.

Putnam County sheriff Howard Sills, the man in charge of the Dermond case. (Picture credit source here.)

Putnam County sheriff Howard Sills, the man in charge of the Dermond case. (Picture source/credit here here.)

Due to the savage nature of the attacks, the sheriff in charge of the case believes that the Dermonds were murdered by somebody they knew. He’s suggested that the killer came to the house by car or boat. How exactly they got into the house is uncertain. While nothing was missing, the intruder could have demanded something that the Dermonds didn’t have. Rather than the work of a single person, there might have been multiple people involved. An unidentified man was seen on the lawn of the Dermond home around the time of their deaths, but authorities have declined to say anything more than that the man is a person of interest.

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The Case of Timmothy Pitzen, a Missing Boy Whose Mother’s Suicide Note Promised He Would Never Be Found

Picture of Timmothy Pitzen and his mother Amy. (Image credit here.)

Picture of Timmothy Pitzen and his mother Amy. (Image credit here.)

On May 11, 2011, Amy Fry-Pitzen picked her 6-year-old son Timmothy up from his kindergarten class at Greenman Elementary School in Aurora, Illinois. It was only 8:35 AM, but Amy said that the boy had to leave early because of a family emergency. When Amy’s husband and Timmothy’s father James arrived at the school to pick Timmothy up at the usual time, he was surprised to hear that Amy had already gotten Timmothy. As he told school officials, he didn’t know of any family emergency. He tried calling Amy afterward, but she never picked up her phone.

Surveillance footage of Amy and Timmothy leaving his school. (Image credit here.)

Surveillance footage of Amy and Timmothy leaving his school. (Image credit here.)

Two days after Amy and Timmothy disappeared, Amy used her cellphone to call some of her friends and family to tell them that she and her son were okay. Timmothy was heard in the background by a few of the callers, and some of them even had a conversation with him. The same night, Amy checked into a motel in Illinois by herself. Her body was found dead the next afternoon by hotel employees.

Amy had slashed her wrists and taken a fatal dose of antihistamines. No trace of Timmothy was anywhere to be found, and Amy’s cellphone was also missing.  A suicide note Amy left behind promised that Timmothy was safe with people who would take care of him, but claimed that he would never be found. While investigators found a stain of Timmothy’s blood in Amy’s SUV, they weren’t sure how old it was. Relatives said it was probably from a nosebleed the boy had more than a year before.

Amy Fry-Pitzen's SUV. (Image credit here.)

Amy Fry-Pitzen’s SUV. (Image credit here.)

From eyewitness reports and surveillance footage, we know that Amy and Timmothy went to a car repair shop after Amy had gotten him from school. They went to the zoo as they waited for the car to get fixed, and then Amy drove them to the KeyLime Cove Resort. In the morning, they went to another resort, this time in Wisconsin. They stayed the night there, and Timmothy was seen in line with Amy when she checked out around 10 AM. Amy made her phone calls at 1:30 PM, but was seen shopping back in Illinois around 7 PM. She checked into the Rockford Inn around 11 PM, the last time she was seen alive.

Surveillance footage of Amy walking into a store a few hours before her death. (Image credit here.)

Surveillance footage of Amy walking into a store a few hours before her death. (Image credit here.)

While Amy suffered from depression and had once made a suicide attempt before, her family and friends don’t believe that she had any reason to hurt Timmothy. Police suspect that the whole affair had been planned, and Amy had traveled to a few of the spots included in her trip a few months before her death.

(The left picture is of Timmothy before his disappearance. The right is an age-progression picture of what Timmothy might look like as a 10-year-old. (Image credit here.)

(The left picture is of Timmothy before his disappearance. The right is an age-progression picture of what Timmothy might look like as a 10-year-old. (Image credit here.)

In October 2013, Amy’s phone was turned into police by a woman who had found it along a road in Illinois 2 years earlier. The phone, however, contained no further clues, and a search of the area where it was found turned up nothing. A review of her phone records and emails have shown that Amy wasn’t in contact with anybody who her family was unfamiliar with. While there have been unconfirmed sightings of Timmothy since his disappearance, there is a bleak suspicion that Amy might have lied about his whereabouts and committed suicide after killing him.

The Case of Carolyn Wasilewski, a Murdered Schoolgirl who was Found with a Mysterious Lipstick Message on Her Thigh

Carolyn Wasilewski was a pretty blonde-haired girl who dated and hung around drapes, a variant of the greaser subculture popular in the 1950s. She was a freshman student at Southern High School in Baltimore, Maryland, and was called “Peaches” by her friends.

On November 8, 1954, Carolyn told her family that she was going out to meet her friend Peggy Lamana.  The two girls planned to sign up for a dance program at a local elementary school. Carolyn left her house at 6:15 PM, but never met up with Peggy. Her family got worried, and though they spent all night looking for her, found no trace of Carolyn.

Later that morning, around 7 AM, an engineer on a train passing from Harrisburg to Baltimore suddenly slowed down and switched off course to another track. He saw a body lying on the initial trackline the train was taking, and when the police went to check it out, they discovered that it was Carolyn Wasilewski, dead and laying face down.

Carolyn was found half-naked, but her body showed no signs of being sexually assaulted. She was covered in bruises and scratches. The name “Paul” was written in lipstick on her right thigh. Her skull and jaw had been battered, and one of her ring fingers was broken too. Police suspected that she was killed someplace else, and was then either tossed from an above bridge or moved to the track. The autopsy concluded that Carolyn died the night before, around 11 PM.

Near her house, and about 8 miles away from the railroad, police found bloodstains in a vacant lot. They also found Carolyn’s shoes and a few other personal items of hers.  Over 300 people were questioned by the authorities, including local drapes, but Carolyn’s murderer was never identified.

Police had two strong suspects, but both were eventually ruled out. The first was a man who sexually assaulted one of Carolyn’s friends. Carolyn testified against this man a week before her death. While he was brought in for questioning, police dismissed him, believing he had nothing to do with the crime.

The other suspect was a middle-aged man named Ralph Garret.  Garret lived in the area and was allegedly seen with Carolyn the night of the murder. Garret didn’t come home to his wife that night, and subsequently disappeared. His car was found abandoned 2 days later. out of town. The same day police started looking for him, a man stumbled upon Garret’s body near the same vacant lot where Carolyn’s bloodstains and shoes were found. He had committed suicide by hanging himself with a belt from “a brake wheel on top of a gondola car.” His suicide, however, was later deemed unrelated. According to Garret’s wife, he was depressed because his mother had died.

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The Frog Boys

frog2

On March 26, 1991, a group of five boys between the ages of 9 and 13 left their homes in Daegu, South Korea and walked to near-by Mount Waryong to look for frogs. U Cheol-won, Jo Ho-yeon, Kim Yeong-gyu, Park Chan-in, and Kim Jong-sik were all students at Seongseo Elementary School. The boys knew the area well and lived only a few miles away from the mountain.

The “Frog Boys”, as they would come to be known in the media, never came back. Their parents reported them missing, and while both townspeople and local police searched the area, not a single trace of the boys was found. As media attention escalated and the whole country became engrossed in the case, President Roh Tae-woo ordered 300,000 policemen to join in the search.

Over 8 million flyers were distributed all over the country, and a reward of 42 million won ($35,000) was promised to anybody who could locate the boys. Some of the Frog Boys’ parents became so determined to find their sons that they quit their jobs so they could devote all of their time to searching.

A picture from 1991 of the Frog Boys' parents and other supporters passing out flyers.

A picture from 1991 of the Frog Boys’ parents and other supporters passing out flyers.

Despite all the extra help, investigating the case proved to be difficult. Authorities received over 550 false leads, and at one point, a man called the police and lied that he abducted the Frog Boys. “I have kidnapped the boys for an exchange of ransom, and they’re dying of malnutrition,” he said in one of the calls.

The case went nowhere until September 26, 2002, when a man looking for acorns in Mount Waryong found scattered pieces of children’s shoes and clothing. He called the police, and after they searched the mountainside, found all five bodies of the Frog Boys in a shallow pit. At first, the police suspected that the boys had froze to death. It was cold and rainy the day they went missing, and the boys might have gotten lost. The fact that their bodies were so close together might have been because they tried huddling for warmth.

frog3

Their parents, however, were skeptical. Their sons were found only 2 miles away from their village, so how could they have gotten lost? And why would they have taken off some of their clothes when the weather was so bad? Lastly, perhaps the most damaging point, Mount Waryong and the surrounding area had been searched and examined over 500 times the past decade. How could the bodies have possibly gone unnoticed for such a long period of time?

After the boys’ bodies were exhumed, police admitted that their hypothermia theory was incorrect. Three of the boys’ skulls had marks on them, suggesting they were beaten to death by a blunt object. Additionally, two of the skulls had traces of blood on them, and another had two bullet holes inside of it, possibly from a shotgun. The police were no longer dealing with a case of missing persons; the Frog Boys were murder victims.

The Frog Boys' parents at the burial for their sons.

The Frog Boys’ parents at the burial for their sons.

No further developments have taken place since the boys’ autopsy back in 2002. They were eventually buried on March 25, 2004, and their skulls were donated to Gyeongbuk University for medical research. In 2006, the case reached South Korea’s 15 year statute of limitations on murder, meaning the investigation was stopped and the murderer can’t be prosecuted for the crime anymore. Fortunately, South Korea removed the statute in July 2015, so perhaps there still is hope that the Frog Boys and their families will finally receive justice.

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Omar Killed Me

Ghislaine Marchal

Ghislaine Marchal

On June 24, 1991, a Monday, 65-year-old affluent widow Ghislaine Marchal was found dead in her home in Mougin, France. Marchal suffered a broken skull, a slit throat, a sliced finger, and multiple stab wounds. Her body had been discovered in her basement, the door of which had to be knocked down because somebody had barricaded it from the inside with an iron bar and bed. Across the door, scribbled in blood, was“Omar m’a tuer”, a grammatically incorrect phrase that meant “Omar killed me”. There was a similar message near-by, although incomplete, and police also found a bloody handprint.

The bloody accusation found on the basement door.

The bloody accusation found on the basement door.

Despite that all this blood was later confirmed to be Marchal’s, her body was found on the other side of the room. The authorities were baffled; how did she get from the door all to way to the spot where she had died without dripping a trail of blood behind her? The floor was completely clean. Almost nearly as strange, how did an educated woman like Marchal make such an elementary grammatical mistake in writing her message?

The autopsy determined that Marchal had been killed the day before, after talking to a friend around noon. Her gardener, an illiterate Moroccan named Omar Raddad, was usually at her house on Sundays, but had earlier changed his schedule. He claimed to have been eating lunch at home during the time of the murder, but only family members could confirm his alibi. His case caused an uproar in France, with his supporters arguing that he was an innocent man being accused simply because he was an immigrant. The authorities pinned him with a first-degree murder charge, and he went to trial in January 1994.

Omar Raddad.

Omar Raddad.

The prosecution argued that Raddad stabbed Marchal to death after getting into an argument with her over his pay. They had no solid evidence, however, and nobody reported seeing Raddad even near Marchal’s home the day of the murder. Raddad, furthermore, had no criminal record, and was a hard-working, honest man by all accounts. As for the message, graphologists were certain that it was Marchal’s handwriting. Still, despite the weakness of the prosecution, Raddad was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

After pressure from the Moroccan King, the French president eventually pardoned Raddad in 1998, but the murder conviction was still left on his legal record. Raddad has spent the past 17 years fighting to clear his name, even applying for a new trial after his release. Forensic tests conducted in 2001 found a male’s DNA on the basement door and a block of wood suspected of being used to hit Marchal. These strains didn’t match Raddad at all, and almost certainly had to belong to Marchal’s real killer.

Sources:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/who-really-killed-ghislaine-marchal-2041696.html

http://www.crimemagazine.com/written-blood