Friday, October 9, 2009

1973 - The Pascagoula, Mississippi Abduction

October 11, 1973 - The Pascagoula, Mississippi Abduction

The Pascagoula Incident involved two men, nineteen-year-old Calvin Parker and forty-two-year old Charles Hickson, both of Gautier, Mississippi, who were fishing in the Pascagoula River when they heard a buzzing noise behind them. Both turned and were terrified to see a ten-foot-wide, eight-foot-high, glowing egg-shaped object with blue lights at its front hovering just above the ground about forty feet from the river bank. As the men, frozen with fright, watched, a door appeared in the object, and three strange Beings floated just above the river towards them.

The Beings had legs but did not use them. They were about five feet tall, had bullet-shaped heads without necks, slits for mouths, and where their noses or ears would be, they had thin, conical objects sticking out, like carrots from a snowman's head. They had no eyes, grey, wrinkled skin, round feet, and clawlike hands.

Two of the beings seized Hickson; when the third grabbed Parker, the teenager fainted with fright. Hickson claimed that when the Beings placed their hands under his arms, his body became numb, and that then they floated him into a brightly lit room in the UFO's interior, where he was subjected to a medical examination with an eyelike device which, like Hickson himself, was floating in mid-air.

At the end of the examination, the Beings simply left Hickson floating, paralysed but for his eyes, and went to examine Parker, who, Hickson believed was in another room. Twenty minutes after Hickson had first observed the UFO, he was floated back outside and released. He found Parker weeping and praying on the ground near him. Moments later, the object rose straight up and shot out of site.

Expecting only ridicule if they were to tell anyone what had happened, Hickson and Parker initially decided to keep quiet; but then, because the government might want, or ought, to know about it, they telephoned Kessler Air Force Base in Biloxi. A sergeant there told them to contact the sheriff. But uncertain about the reception their bizarre story might get from the local law, they drove to the local newspaper office to speak to a reporter. When they found the office closed, Hickson and Parker felt they had no alternative but to talk to the sheriff.

The sheriff, after listening to their story, put Hickson and Parker in a room wired for sound in the belief that if the two men were left alone they would reveal their hoax; of course they did not. The local press reported their tale; the wire services picked it up; and within several days the Pascagoula Encounter was major news all over the country. The Aerial Phenomena Research Organisation (APRO), founded in 1952, sent University of California engineering professor James Harder to Mississippi to investigate; J. Allen Hynek, representing the Air Force, also arrived. Together they interviews the witnesses. Harder hypnotised Hickson but had to terminate the session when Hickson became too frightened to continue.

Hickson and Parker both subsequently passed lie detector tests. Hynek and Harder believed the two men's story. And Hynek was later quoted as saying "There was definitely something here that was not terrestrial".

(Source: Also see:
New Pascagoula UFO Witness Found - Gives Vivid Interview
Also See: )

FROM WIKIPEDIA: It is important to note that Pascagoula, Mississippi qualifies as a UFO hotspot with its historical significance, recorded sightings, and military presence. There has been a number of recorded cases of UFO encounters including a USO (unidentified submerged object) that involved the US Coast Guard. On the evening of October 11, 1973, 42-year-old Charles Hickson and 19-year-old Calvin Parker — co-workers at a shipyard — were fishing off a pier on the west bank of the Pascagoula River in Mississippi. While fishing at the abandoned shipyard, they heard a whirring/whizzing sound, saw flashing blue lights, and reported that a domed, football-shaped aircraft, some 100 feet across, suddenly appeared near them. The ship seemed to levitate about 14 inches above the ground.

A door opened on the ship, they said, and three creatures emerged and seized the men, floating or levitating them into the craft. Both men reported being paralyzed and numb. Parker fainted due to fright. They described the creatures as being roughly humanoid in shape, and standing about five feet tall. The creatures' skin was gray and wrinkled, and they had no eyes or mouths that the men could discern. There were three "carrot-like" growths instead - one where the nose would be on a human, the other two where ears would normally be. The beings had lobster-like claws at the ends of their arms, and they seemed to have only one leg (Hickson later described the creatures' lower bodies looking as if their legs were fused together).

On the ship, Hickson claimed that he was somehow levitated or hovered a few feet above the floor of the craft, and was examined by a mechanical eye that seemed to scan his body. Parker could not recall what had happened to him inside the craft, although later, during sessions of hypnotic regression he offered some hazy details. The men were released after about 20 minutes and the creatures levitated them back to their original position on the river bank.

Hickson and Parker contact police

Both men said they were terrified by what had happened. They claimed to have sat in a car for about 45 minutes, trying to calm themselves. Hickson drank some whiskey. After some discussion, they tried to report their story to officials at Keesler Air Force Base, but personnel told them the United States Air Force had nothing to do with UFO reports (Project Blue Book had been discontinued about four years before), and suggested the men notify police. At about 10:30 p.m., Hickson and Parker arrived at the Jackson County, Mississippi Sheriff's office. They brought the catfish they'd caught while fishing; it was the only proof they had to back up their story. Sheriff Fred Diamond thought the men seemed sincere and genuinely frightened and he thought Parker was especially disturbed. Diamond harbored some doubt about the fantastic story, however, due in part to Hickson's admitted whiskey consumption.

The "Secret Tape"

Diamond interviewed the men, who related their story. After repeated questioning, Diamond left the two men alone in a room that was, unknown to Hickson or Parker, rigged with a hidden microphone. As Jerome Clark, writes, "Sheriff Diamond assumed that if they were lying, that fact would become immediately apparent when the two spoke privately. Instead, they continued to talk in the voices of the terribly distressed." (Clark, 447) This so-called "secret tape" was held on file at the Jackson County Sheriff's department, and has since earned wider circulation amongst UFO researchers and enthusiasts.[1] Parker, who seemed particularly shaken, spoke repeatedly of his wish to see a doctor. A partial transcript of their interrogation and of the "secret tape" is available[2]; immediately below is part of the conversation on the "secret tape", as transcribed by NICAP:

CALVIN: I got to get home and get to bed or get some nerve pills or see the doctor or something. I can't stand it. I'm about to go half crazy.
CHARLIE: I tell you, when we through, I'll get you something to settle you down so you can get some damn sleep.
CALVIN: I can't sleep yet like it is. I'm just damn near crazy.
CHARLIE: Well, Calvin, when they brought you out-when they brought me out of that thing, goddamn it I like to never in hell got you straightened out.
His voice rising, Calvin said, "My damn arms, my arms, I remember they just froze up and I couldn't move. Just like I stepped on a damn rattlesnake." [sic]
"They didn't do me that way", sighed Charlie.
Now both men were talking as if to themselves.
CALVIN: I passed out. I expect I never passed out in my whole life.
CHARLIE: I've never seen nothin' like that before in my life. You can't make people believe-
CALVIN: I don't want to keep sittin' here. I want to see a doctor-
CHARLIE: They better wake up and start believin'... they better start believin'.
CALVIN: You see how that damn door come right up?
CHARLIE: I don't know how it opened, son. I don't know.
CALVIN: It just laid up and just like that those son' bitches-just like that they come out.
CHARLIE: I know. You can't believe it. You can't make people believe it-
CALVIN: I paralyzed right then. I couldn't move-
CHARLIE: They won't believe it. They gonna believe it one of these days. Might be too late. I knew all along they was people from other worlds up there. I knew all along. I never thought it would happen to me.
CALVIN: You know yourself I don't drink
CHARLIE: I know that, son. When I get to the house I'm gonna get me another drink, make me sleep. Look, what we sittin' around for. I gotta go tell Blanche... what we waitin' for?
CALVIN (panicky): I gotta go to the house. I'm gettin' sick. I gotta get out of here.
Then Charlie got up and left the room, and Calvin was alone.
CALVIN: It's hard to believe . . . Oh God, it's awful... I know there's a God up there...

Seeing that the police were skeptical of their story, Hickson and Parker insisted that they take lie detector tests to prove their honesty.


Hickson and Parker returned to work the day after the encounter (Friday, October 12). They did not initially discuss their purported UFO encounter, but coworkers noted that Parker seemed very anxious and preoccupied. Within hours, Sheriff Diamond telephoned the men at work, stating that news reporters were swarming in his office, seeking more information about the UFO story. An angry Hickson accused Diamond of breaking his confidentiality pledge, but Diamond insisted he had not done so, and that the case was too sensational to keep quiet.

Hickson's foreman overheard the Hickson's side of the conversation, and asked what had occurred. Hickson related his story to the foreman and to shipyard owner Johnny Walker. After hearing the tale, Walker suggested that Hickson and Parker contact Joe Colingo, a locally prominent attorney (who was Walker's brother-in-law and also represented the shipyard).

Colingo met the men, and, during their conversation, Hickson expressed fears about having been exposed to radiation. Colingo and detective Tom Huntley then took Parker and Hickson to a local hospital, which lacked the facilities for a radiation test. (Clark's book does not make clear if Huntley is a police detective or a private detective.) From the hospital, the men went to Keesler Air Force Base, where they were examined extensively by several doctors. Afterward, reported Huntley, Parker and Hickson were interviewed by the military intelligence chief of the base, with the "whole base command" observing the proceedings. (Clark, 448)

Colingo drew up a contract to represent Hickson and Parker. However, nothing came of this, and Hickson would later have nothing to do with Colingo, charging the lawyer with base financial motivations: Colingo, said Hickson, "just wanted to make a buck." (Clark, 449)

Within days, Pascagoula was the center of an international news story, with reporters swarming the town. Professor James A. Harder (a U.C. Berkeley engineering professor and APRO member) and Dr. J. Allen Hynek (an astronomer formerly with Project Blue Book) both arrived and interviewed Parker and Hickson. Harder tried to hypnotize the men, but they were too anxious and distracted for the procedure to work--Parker especially so. Hynek withheld ultimate judgment on the case, but did announce that, in his judgment, Hickson and Parker were honest men who seemed genuinely distressed about what had occurred. Tiring of the publicity, Hickson and Parker went to Jones County, Mississippi (about 150 miles north of Pascagoula), where both men hoped to find relief with family members. Parker was eventually hospitalized for what Clark describes as "an emotional breakdown." (Clark, 449)

In an interview several years after the claimed UFO event, Hickson speculated that Parker fared worse after the encounter because he had never previously experienced a profoundly frightening ordeal. While Hickson described the UFO encounter as the most terrifying event in his life, he also noted that he had seen combat in the Korean War, and that he thus had some familiarity with a terrifying experience. The younger Parker, on the other hand, had never suffered through a terrifying encounter, let alone a bizarre confrontation with something that was not even supposed to exist.


As noted above, both Parker and Hickson volunteered to take polygraph exams to prove their stories. In the end, only Hickson did so, and the examiner determined that Hickson believed the story about the UFO abduction. Aviation journalist and UFO skeptic Philip J. Klass argued that there was reason to question the reliability of Hickson's lie detector exam, writing,

The polygraph test was given to Hickson by a young operator, just out of school, who had not completed his formal training, who had not been certified by his own school and who had not taken a state licensing examination. Furthermore, that the lawyer for Hickson and Parker - who also was acting as their "booking agent" - had turned down the chance to have his clients tested WITHOUT CHARGE by the very experienced Capt. Charles Wimberly, chief polygraph operator from the nearby Mobile Police Dept. Also, that the lawyer did not contact other experienced polygraph operators close to Pascagoula. Instead, the lawyer had imported from New Orleans - more than 100 miles away - the young, inexperienced, uncertified, unlicensed operator who, by a curious coincidence, worked for a friend of the lawyer! {[1]; emphasis in original)

Subsequent investigation by Joe Esterhas of Rolling Stone uncovered some additional information, leading to much skepticism about the abduction claim. The supposed UFO landing and abduction site was in full view of two twenty-four hour toll booths, and neither operator saw anything that night. Also, the site was in range of security cameras from nearby Ingalls Shipyard, and the cameras additionally showed nothing that night.

Map showing coastal route US 90, connecting Pascagoula with Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Parker has avoided most public attention since the event. Hickson appeared on Dick Cavett's talk show in January 1974, and speaks at occasional UFO conferences; he has co-written a book about the event with William Mendez titled UFO Contact at Pascagoula (1983, reprinted 1987). In 2001, retired navy chief petty officer Mike Cataldo revealed that he observed an unusual craft at dusk on the same date. While travelling with crew mates Ted Peralta and Mack Hanna on U.S. Route 90 from Pascagoula to Ocean Springs, an object like a large tambourine with small flashing lights approached from the northwest and crossed the freeway, before hovering over the treeline and disappearing. As he approached his home in St Andrews, Ocean Springs, the craft made a second appearance at lower altitude.
FROM UFOs At Close Sight:

On October 10, 1973, fifteen different people, including two policemen reported seeing a large, silver UFO slowly fly over a housing project in St. Tammany Parish, New Orleans, Louisiana. This was just one more UFO sighting, except that on the next day another event would reach national attention, ninety miles to the East. Mr. Charles Hickson, age 45, was raised on a farm, graduated from high school and attended junior college. He became interested in carpenter work and then cabinet making. He spent 8 years or probably more as a ship builder and ship fitter, working eventually as a supervisor. He is also a certified welder and burner. He was married and has three children and one step-child. On the night of October 11, 1973 he went fishing with 18 years old Calvin Parker, also from the town of Gautier, Mississippi, from a pier at Shaupeter Shipyard. The place was an abandoned shipyard along the Pascagoula River, at the South Eastern tip of Mississippi. The two men intended to test some new fishing equipment, but had little success and were about to look for better place. It was 7:00pm and the night was dark, when they first had their attention caught by a "loud zipping sound" coming from behind them. They turned around to see the source of the sound, and were amazed and also terrified to see a gray domed football shaped or egg-shaped object surrounded by a blue gloom hovering towards them. The object was estimated to have 30 to 40 feet of length, 8 to 10 feet high, "the size of a big truck" but "without any bolts, as if made in one piece." It had two windows and two blue lights at its fronts. It hovered just a few feet above the ground about forty feet from the river bank, on a junkyard covered with dismantled car carcasses. As they watched, a hatchway opened, or appeared, and a brilliant light poured out. Moments later three strange entities floated out just above the water and straight to the men.

Though the beings had legs, they did not move them, they simply floated across the river with their legs stuck together. Later exaggerations from the media have stated that the beings had only one leg, but the witness did not state this.

Parker and Hickson described the beings as:
"...about five feet tall, had bullet-shaped heads without necks, slits for mouths, and where their noses or ears would be, they had thin, conical objects sticking out, like carrots from a snowman's head. They had no eyes, grey, wrinkled skin, round feet, and claw-like hands."

Hickson made this statement also:

"They didn't have clothes. But they had feet shape... it was more or less a round like thing on a leg, if you'd call it a leg... Ghostlike and pale with wrinkled skin, and conical projections where nose and ears would normally be... Calvin done went hysterical on me."
And Hickson later gave this more detailed description:
"Their heads came directly to the shoulders, they had no neck, and their noses came out to a point about 2 inches long. For ears they had something similar to the nose. The mouth was just a slit. The arms looked like human arms but long compared to body proportions. The hands were like mittens, and there was a thumb (Hickson also compared the hands to claws, a little bit like crab claws, and exaggeration and confusions by the media transformed the claws in robotic claws). The legs remained together and the feet looked like elephant feet. The entire body was wrinkled, and Hickson stated that they could have had eyes but he could not tell because of the wrinkly skin. The beings were a little over 5 feet tall."

Hickson also indicated that the "mouths" of the creature did not move even when they seemed to communicate together with buzzing sounds. The three beings approached the men at a stunning speed, two of them grabbed Hickson and he felt a stinging sensation in his left arm. When they put their arms under both sides of his body to support him he felt paralyzed and numb. He lost all feeling, including that of weight, and quickly fainted, when the two entities carried him inside the ship. Before fainting he could see the third one grabbing Parker, and the teenager also fainting with fright brought towards the object.

He was floated to a bare, brightly-lit room in the UFO's interior. He could not see where the light came from. He still could not move, although he remained conscious. The entities placed him in a 45 degrees reclining position, still "floating” in air, and an instrument that resembled a "big eye" appeared from the UFO's wall, floated in mid-air towards to 6 inches in front of Hickson's face and scanned back and forth across his body with thoroughness, as if it were examining or photographing him. The beings turned his body from side to side several times, as if to make sure that the scanning eye can "photograph" his body entirely. The "eye" then disappeared again in the wall, where it could not be seen anymore.

At this point Hickson could not see the beings who he thought was behind him, he could not get his mouth to function. Hickson was left floating, while the beings left the room, probably to examine Parker.

This episode lasted somewhere between 15 and 40 minutes, Hickson is not at all sure about the time. Hickson was quite convinced that they went to some other room to examine Parker. Then the beings entered Hickson's line of vision again. Two of them dragged Hickson back out of the object, with his feet dragging on the ground, to where they had picked him up on the river bank and let him fall carelessly on the ground: his legs gave out and he fell. Looking up Hickson saw Parker, who was standing motionless with his arms outstretched, as if in shock. Parker who had lapsed in and out of consciences, remembered being taken toward the ship, hearing a whistling noise and a click, then seeing the interior lights just before he was floated outside. He was left standing not being able to move, and looking out onto the river.

Hickson crawled towards Parker, who was weeping and seemed very shocked, but then he realised that he could stand. Hickson heard the "zipping sound" again and turned to see the blue flashing lights that first caught his attention. He saw the object shoot upwards and vanish at about 50 feet "in less than a second." Hickson and Parker sat in a car for the next 45 minutes calming their shattered nerves, trying to decide what to do next. Hickson drank whiskey during this conversation in the car. As the two men began to regain their composure, they were uncertain as to what they should do. Reluctant to report their harrowing experience, they felt obligated to tell someone: they were truly convinced that the government might want, or ought, to know about what they understood as a state of the art lien invasion of our planet. Parker suggested they contact the military. So despite fearing ridicule, Hickson located a pay phone and called Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, 30 miles west of Pascagoula. A sergeant there told him that the Airforce did not handle UFO reports, and advised them to report their problem to their local sheriff's office. Afraid of what reaction they might get from law enforcement, they opted instead to drive to their local newspaper the Mississippi Press Register. Parker who was driving got out and explained to Hickson that there was a clock in the building and he wanted to know what time it was. Finding the office closed, they decided to take their bizarre story to the sheriff after all. They called the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, led by Fred Diamond, where the deputy Captain Ryder, who took the call urged them to come in to the station and talk in person as he realised something important had happened because of the alarmed tone of their voices. They were interrogated exhaustively.
As the men were still in the Sheriff's office, a former pilot called and stated he saw a UFO at about 08:00pm near the Pascagoula River. A city former city counsellor and several other people also reported later to report their sighting.

Three different people have phoned the Sheriff's office to report their observation of a strange blue light in the area where the two men were abducted. These people remained anonymous, they were driving on the Interstate 90 a few hundred yards from the abduction's location that night.

28 years later a witness comes forward, according to the newspaper "Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal" of October 21, 2001. It even seems reasonable to think that this witness is one of the three people in the car on Route 90 as mentioned above, this time the witness gave his name. Two days after the events, a meteorologist of Columbia reported that he had a strange radar echo the same day: He first thought it was a plane, but started to winder about that when the echo remains stationary and his radar was completely jammed moments later.

There has been another possible independent confirmation: at 9:00pm after watching TV, Larry Booth of Pascagoula got up to check the front door prior to going to bed. He noticed a huge object with red revolving lights hovering 8-10 feet over the street lamp. He thought it was an experimental craft run out of the local military base.

Five days after the Pascagoula abduction, a man reported to police that he was driving on Interstate 10 between Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida, just about sixty or seventy miles east of Pascagoula, when his pickup truck was attacked by an object from the sky and sucked inside a UFO where he was examined by six small entities.

Just a few weeks after Parker and Hickson's experience, fishermen and coast guardsmen reportedly played "hide and seek" with some sort of underwater metallic object with an amber light on it at the mouth of the Pascagoula River. They tried to poke the object; which was close enough to touch with a boat hook, but it would turn off its light, move away to a safe distance, and then turn on the light again. It disappeared after about forty minutes. The US Navy studied the case without reaching a clear conclusion of finding a clear explanation. Also subsequently, ancient Indian tales from an old 17th century explorer journal were mentioned: spirits of Pascagoula Indians who drowned in the river sere supposed to be heard singing and walking on the water, they were supposed to be those of a group of Indians led by a river goddess who was angry with the conversion of the tribe to christianity in the 16th century. She made the whole tribe march into the river and drown themselves, singing all the while.

The two men showed up at the Sheriff's desk at 10:30pm. They brought with them two catfish, apparently to prove as much of the story as they could, which was that they had been fishing earlier in the evening. Hearing that one of the men was drinking, Sheriff Fred Diamond ordered his deputies to administer breath analysis tests. Quite naturally the sheriff who first heard the witnesses story felt it was some kind of hoax, and to get to the truth, he put Hickson and Parker into a room which was wired for sound, hoping that they would slip up, and reveal why they were perpetuating such a strange tale. The recording of their conversation at that time reveals that both men were quite frightened by their experience, the emotional trauma having been so great to Parker that, after Hickson left the room, he began to pray. Ultimately he suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of this experience.

Deputy Sheriff Captain Ryder stated: "after I heard the tape, I believed them. If they lied, they should become Hollywood actors, because they then are stunning comedians." On the tape, Hickson was crying "Oh my God what has happened to me? I never saw anything like that in my entire life ... I am going insane... Why does this happen to me? I was in the war and I have never been so frightened!"

Two hours of grilling followed, but Hickson and Parker stuck to their story, saying they both wanted to take a polygraph test. They also insisted that they wanted no publicity. Parker who was trembling, barely coherent, seemed extremely shaken by the interrogation.

Hickson said that he felt the beings were acting "like robots", performing actions on them that were precisely programmed. He felt that the creature had no intention to make them suffer, but he was afraid that they were going to take them away. He was convinced that he experienced the prelude of a full scale alien invasion of the planet and that the creatures were going to return or continue to observe the planet and study its people.

Hickson, though plagued with nightmares, and continuing feelings of terror about the experience, came through it better, and was able to work with investigators who wished to ascertain the truth about his experience. A 2 1/2 hour lie detector test, given by a highly skeptical polygraph operator, revealed that Hickson was telling the truth. Later, debunker Philip Klass said the operator of the lie detector was not certified and had not completed his training. A notable point to credit to Philip Klass is that the test lasted only half an hour when nowadays this kind of test last at least a whole day. But Klass overlooks the fact that it is the two men that willingly insisted to pass such as test, and that as popular belief was, they were persuaded that lie detector tests really do work and can establish truth or lie. They had no reason to envisage an inexperienced manipulator or an unreliable test protocol.

Hickson and Parker went to work the next day. While at work they got a phone call from the Sheriff's Office, telling them to come down to the station because the place was crawling with reporters. Hickson asked the sheriff about his promise not to leak the story. The sheriff replied he didn't leak the story but someone in his dept. must have. While on the phone with the sheriff, Hickson's foreman, Johnny Walker, overheard the phone conversation and told Hickson to get a lawyer because he may get some money for his story. Walker took the liberty of contacting the company lawyer who also was his brother in law an attorney by the name of Joe Colingo. Colingo arrived to accompany his new clients to the sheriffs office. Sheriff Diamond told Colingo that his department did not have a polygraph machine. Meanwhile Hickson was concerned that himself and Parker might have gotten radiation poisoning from the object. They were taken by Colingo and Detective Tom Huntley to the hospital, where they were informed that the hospital did not have the equipment to test for radiation exposure.

Detective Huntley then contacted Keesler, and the group headed off to the Air Base where a group of doctors under security conditions examined Hickson and Parker. Their medical report indicates that both men were in a severe state of mental stress, due to a traumatic experience, and that the men's report is probably correct, and that no radiation exposure was found. Then the two were interrogated by the entire Base Command about the encounter. Later on that same afternoon Hickson, Parker, and Parkers father met Colingo in his office and drew up a contract. Debunkers later claimed this fact is proof that the story was a hoax, but to the contrary Hickson soon after fired Colingo for the reason the lawyer was only in on this to win some money, and they both did not approved.

The Aerial Phenomena Research Organisation (APRO), founded in 1952, sent University of California engineering professor James Harder to Mississippi to investigate; J. Allen Hynek, who just resigned from his UFO consultant job for the Air Force because he did not want to lie to the public about UFOs anymore, also arrived. Together they interviewed the witnesses. Then Harder used the controversial technique of time regression hypnosis on Hickson, but he had to terminate the session when Hickson became too frightened to continue. He too felt that Hickson was telling the truth about the experience, he said "a strong feeling of terror is practically impossible to fake under hypnosis." Both Hynek and Harder believed the two men's story. And Hynek was later quoted as saying "There was definitely something here that was not terrestrial".

The next day Pascagoula was swarming with reporters, and Within 36 hours two scientists had flown in separately. One was James A Harder, a professor of engineering at the University of California Berkeley. Harder was also a consultant for Aerial Phenomena Research Organisation (APRO). The other was J. Allen Hynek, Northwestern University astronomer for 20 years (until 1969) the principle scientific consultant to the Air Force's Project Blue Book. They first both interviewed the men, later Harder would try to hypnotize the two, who were to shaken and distracted for the procedure to work. They had to interrupt the seance with Hickson because he showed an unbearable terror. Harder, a highly experimenter hypnotist, stated "I believe their story because of the absolute panic they showed during hypnotic regression. It is impossible that they could fake such a terror during hypnosis." All who dealt with Hickson and Parker in the aftermath of the encounter believed that the two men were in fact telling what they believed to be the truth. Before J. Allen Hynek left the next day, he told the press that the men were "absolutely honest... They have had a fantastic experience." At a later date, Hynek stated; "There was definitely something here that was not terrestrial".

In 1976, three years later, Dr. Bast of the Harvard Hospital of Detroit conducted further psychological tests with both men. He concluded that neither of them suffers from any psychotic behaviour, hysteria or brain damage. He could not find any evidence of a twin-madness syndrome, a behaviour in which a subject of madness can exert some contamination on another person.

Subsequent investigation by Joe Eszterhas of Rolling Stone uncovered some additional information. The UFO landing site was in full view of two twenty-four hour toll booths, and neither operator saw anything. Also, the site was in range of security cameras from nearby Ingalls Shipyard, and the cameras showed nothing that night. But serious doubts can be cast on this late investigation: for example, it is also claimed that motorists from the nearby highway should have seen the blue light in the night and did not. This is plainly wrong, and Sherrif Diamond did respond to that, his office actually received three unnamed reports of motorists who did see the blue light where the two men were abducted, a few hundred yards from the highway. When I looked for information about reporter Joe Eszterhas, I first found these comments about him: "You all remember Joe Eszterhas, don't you? Child of poor Hungarian immigrants in Cleveland, '60s radical, former gonzo reporter for Rolling Stone, National Book Award nominee and once the highest-paid screenwriter in Hollywood." (1) Not quite a qualified ufologist profile. The case was all but closed Charles Hickson. Years after, he explained that he was still in contact with aliens beings. His son Eddie, at the age of 36, explained that Charles Hickson had a flat object, gray, the size of a coin, which warmed up before he received telepathic messages. Hickson continued to undergo psychological testing as he had experienced at least two serious mental crises. He had the opportunity to undergo hypnotic regressions again, this time new images went up to the surface: apparently, there were beings which seemed human, behind a glass pane in the craft, they passively looked at the three strange creatures which scanned Hickson. It is at this point that he interpreted the three strange beings as sorts of robots, directed by the human like creatures who would have been the real occupants of the craft. But the investigations at this time were very discrete, Hickson did not reach for media attention and it seems difficult to make all the light on these after-effects. He told his whole experience in a book, and participated as speaker in a ufology congress in his area. He explained: " I know that these strange things are and I do not expect to be believed, but I hope that one day people will believe in it." Eddie Hickson never thought that his father was insane. He testifies that his father did often refuse substantial amounts of money over the years, because he was afraid that if he accepted money, nobody would believe him anymore. "I know deep in my heart and in my intelligence that daddy did not make it up."


The Pascagoula case is presented in many skeptics book as a definite hoax. The explanation is mainly based on the fact that there were other people in that area near to the Pascagoula River at the abduction time but no one else saw or heard anything unusual and it is proposed that if there was really such an object with a bright light, more people than only Hickson and Parker would have seen it.

Dr. Robert O'Connell, an LSU astrophysicist, disagreed with Hynek. "There's probably some mundane explanation for the ones right now and for probably any UFOs," he said. O'Connell said he was skeptical of most UFO reports, especially the Pascagoula case. "I don't necessarily dispute what they're saying," he said. "It could be a hoax. The hoax could be on two levels: the people themselves or somebody else carrying out a hoax. "This (kind of UFO reports) is notorious for hoaxes." The argument here is that because there are UFO hoaxes of "this kind," the Pascagoula affair is also a hoax.

However, the hoax theory fails or is weak on several aspects:

  • It cannot explain why both witnesses were so scared and continued talking about the incident even when they thought they were alone and no one else can hear them. Philip Klass, for example, has devoted 19 pages to the Pascagoula case, and decided it is a hoax, but did not even care to mention the fact that when the two men were left alone in a room at the local sheriff's office with a tape-recorder running without their knowledge, they exhibited the same terror and bewilderment they had shown the officers who had just interrogated them.
  • It cannot explain the strangeness of the creature's physical aspect, which was certainly not a suitable description for a convincing hoax.
  • Skeptics have claimed nobody else reported anything unnatural in the area, but this is plainly wrong. The officers made clear that several other witnesses reported visual confirmation of the strange blue light seen from the highway. Radar detection of an unusual craft in the area, followed by radar jamming, is also forgotten. Skeptics have seemingly forgotten to mention and address this.
  • The lie detector testing is indeed not a certain method to detect truth or lie. But keep in mind that if the lie detector had determined that both men lied, skeptics would probably have seen this as a certain proof of hoax. Phil Klass reportedly found that the polygraph operator who gave Hickson his lie detector test was not certified and had not completed his training. But it is my belief that if the test indicated a lie, I would have had a hard time convincing Philip Klass that it was due to the lack of certification and incomplete training of the tester.
  • If the to men were hoaxers, how did they manage to show terror under hypnotic regression? Dr. Harder did probably expect a detailed account through the hypnosis, not a burst of terror so intense that the experience had to be interrupted.

Also, some basic things have been forgotten by the promoters of the hoax theory. First, known UFO hoaxes such as the Adamski stories, for example, did not completely convince the people familiar with the hoaxer, the hoaxed stories are changing over time, new elements being added and other elements being subtracted to the story by its author, something that does not occur in the Pascagoula case. Second, hoaxers such as Adamski or "Bill" Meier tend to promote their hoax in a very active manner, they practically "tour" their story, write books, letters, articles about it, which is eventually understandable, but they will also travel around to "convert" people to what quickly becomes almost a small religion in which they hold a central position. None of these indications of hoax applies to the Pascagoula case. Clearly Hickson was later involved in ufology, but did not seek personal advantage or media stardom; he was interested in learning more about the UFO phenomenon and in collaborating with ufologists in total openness.

This statement by some unconvinced person can also be immediately dismissed: "Their ufological-cum-alien garb can reasonably be ascribed to the set and setting of the hypnotic sessions themselves, fertilized by the Hill and Pascagoula cases." Indeed in the Pascagoula case, the witness reported their abduction without any help of hypnotic regression. Hypnotic regression was performed after they reported the story with full detailed, and added no supplemental information. Hypnotic regression only made clear that the two men felt an extreme terror when the hypnotizer tried to revive their memories of the events. But it should then made clear that alien abduction stories based only on hypnotic regressions are dubious, and emphasis should be made on the case where hypnotic regression is not the source of the account. It should also be noted that the aliens morphology in the Pascagoula case bear little resemblance with the much publicized short greys with almond shaped eyes and thin necks from numerous "post hypnotic" cases.

The appearance of the beings raised several confused comments:

The two men were so shocked that they referred to the beings as "the things" on occasion, which media later sometimes exaggerated into "robots," and impression reinforced by the "claws" they had as hands. The wrinkles of the skins were also later sometimes exaggerated, several books by skeptics or UFO investigators tending to a "sociological" approach to the phenomenon referred to the creatures as "space mummies" in the intend of paralleling the event with "return-of-the-mummy" type B movies.

Moreover, because the witness stated that the two legs remained together, other "sociological phenomenon" promoters exaggerated it into "beings with only one leg," sometimes proposing that the story is a hoax "because extraterrestrial beings with one leg is a morphological nonsense." "Unipeds have been reported on at least four occasions - Pascagoula; (...) The diversity of imagination and the use of dramatic licence seen in the form of the UFO phenomenon supports a view of it as theatre" writes one author. One skeptical comment for example reads "The question returns for Pascagoula ... why did Charles Hickson opt for space mummies?" But Charles Hickson never mentioned any space mummies. The imagery has been added later by commentators of the case.

Joe Eszterhas also exhumed a less than glorious episode in the career of Charles Hickson: he has been seemingly fired from his foreman position at Ingalls Shipyards, when colleagues revealed that on several occasions, when unable to give borrowed money back he offered promotions instead. For Klass and Eszterhas it is sufficient proof that the two men made their abduction story up.

I also located a German commentator who attacked the case in an unexpected manner: he wrote that Dr. J. Allen Hynek was in no way an official representative when he studied the case, but merely a UFO hobbyist who just started his "UFO Club" CUFOS. An hilarious statement indeed: the author simply fails to mention some other items: Dr. J. Allen Hynek WAS the scientist appointed by the USAF to "explain" UFOs as astronomical natural phenomenon, and he was NOT ANYMORE in this official position because he did found out that UFOs are not always natural phenomenon, a conclusion that obviously he could not promote as long as he was the USAF "official debunker". As for Dr. Harder, the German critic claims that ufologist make him a professor of some official stature. The simple truth is that Dr. James Harder is indeed a University of California engineering professor, and that I could not find any ufological literature introducing him as anything more or less than a member of the private UFO investigation group APRO, which he is. I found absolutely no ufologist false claim that these two investigators were in charge of any official mission.

Martin Kottmeyer, in his sociological approach of the UFO phenomenon, wonders if the story could have been made up by Hickson to publicly promote himself: "Independent of the creative elements of the Pascagoula account itself there is nothing in either the background or psychological profiles of Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker to suggest they were possessed of creative fervour. Hickson's psychological profile showed only average levels of intelligence and imaginativeness. Unless, on no authorization, we read significance into the moderately radical aspect of his personality shown on the conservative-experimental scale, there is nothing in his oil worker/outdoorsman background to indicate a compelling need for self-expression."


Skepticism in this case reduces to personal attacks, presentation of partial data, speculations based on distorted knowledge of the witnesses account, and a will to make the case fit a pre established theory, preferably not involving any kind of extra-terrestrial aspect. It is obvious that investigators, police officers, Air Force doctors, scientists who were there and talked with the witnesses were all convinced that they reported events that they believed true, and that none of the skeptics confronted the witness or had any of the necessary qualification to pass judgment.

A study to show that 3rd kind encounters are fantasies quotes: "There are no verified dual or multiple witness abductions on record in which it has been demonstrated beyond reasonable question that the percipients shared an identical experience." The Pascagoula case is indeed one such record. Whatever happened, there has never been the slightest discrepancy between both men's accounts. The Pascagoula encounter is an interesting UFO report. Though the sighting and abduction involved only two witnesses, there were several other sightings of unusual flying objects on the same night. The two men have held to their story, and no credible other explanation has been offered for the strange events of the night of October, 11, 1973, which indicates that there is reasonable possibility that what happened is exactly what they reported.

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