The Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter of the Goblin Kind


Gurudatt Shenoy

Our new blog writer lives in India, he is the founder of an anonymous sharing center where you can report a UFO sighting if you choose:

Goblins from Space

Late evening on the 21st of August 1955 a strange and weird event happened at a farmhouse in a place called Kelly, a few miles north of Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

Members of two families claimed to have encountered “Goblin” like creatures from a spaceship that landed some distance away and they engaged them in a shootout that lasted the entire night until early morning.

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The farmhouse is located on the Old Madisonville Road, about eight miles north of Hopkinsville.  There were total of 11 people in the house at the time of the incident including 8 adults and 3 children.

They were Mrs. Glennie Lanford age 50 mother of Elmer (“Lucky”) Sutton, age 25 and his wife Vera Sutton age 29,  J.C. (John Charley) Sutton age 21 and his wife Alene Sutton age 27, Billy Ray Taylor age 21, a friend of Lucky’s and his wife June Taylor age 18, and O.P. Baker 35, brother of Alene Sutton.

The children were Lonnie Lankford age 12, Charlton Lankford age 10 and Mary Lankford age 7.

The men shot at the creatures using shotguns and rifles but could not cause any harm to one or more of these creatures; and they keep coming to their home causing personal discomfort and agony as well as stirr an International sensation.

The First Incident

The initial event happened between 7p.m. to 11p.m. when at around 7 p.m., Billy Taylor had gone out to the backyard, to get some water to drink from the well.

As he finished quenching his thirst, he noticed a silvery object with an exhaust that was real bright, and having multiple colors moving silently towards the house, from the southwest about 30 to 40 feet overhead.

According to his testimony, the “Flying Saucer” or spaceship continued horizontally towards the fields, slowed down, came to a stop mid air and then fell down into a nearby gully, across the farmhouse fense.

As he went back and mentioned this to the Sutton household, they did not take him seriously and instead joked about it.  They assumed he must have seen a shooting star or a meteor and did not bother to investigate his claims.

However some minutes later, the family dog started barking violently and Lucky Sutton and Billy Taylor went out of the backdoor to check out what’s happening with the dog.

The dog seemed frightened and had hid somewhere, as the two men saw a strange glow in the fields, approaching their house. And as it neared, it became apparent that it was some kind of creature, about three and half feet tall with an oversized head, that was perfectly round and arms that almost touching the ground with bird like talons on the end of the fingers.  

The creature’s eyes were much bigger than human eyes and glowed yellowish with the iris midway in the center. It seemed to be covered from head to toe with a silver metal colored skin and in the dark surrounded with a radium like glow.

The men were however not amused to see this weird looking creature in upright position with its hands up in the air, as if wanting to surrender; about 20 feet from their location.

Their gut instincts got them into the house and out with their shotguns blazing, shooting at the creature, as it kept on coming towards them.

On being hit, the creature did not howl or cry and instead did a gymnastic summersault, flipped upright back and then vanished into the darkness on the other side of the house, in the blink of an eye.

Both men waited for the creature to come back and when it did not, they went back to the house thinking they have killed it.

As they entered the living room, they saw another similar creature on the side window of the room. With guns still loaded, the two men again fired at the creature through the window screen one by one.

Once again they saw the creature taking a direct hit, flipping over and then vanishing.

When all this was going on with the men, the women were busy and did not seem to have taken much notice of the men shooting at something and thought they were just having fun.

Until one of the women Arlene, saw the creature herself and came to the women, looking terrified almost shrieking.  Mrs. Glennie Lanford now took notice and on questioning the men, asked them to shut off the lights and all of them then started moving slowly towards the front door, crouching on the floor.

As Mrs. Lanford saw the creature on the screen of the front door, she shrieked and fell and simultaneously Billy Taylor shot at the creature through the screen, moving towards the front door.

It was then,  that the scariest moment happened when those behind Billy Taylor, saw a claw like hand reach down from an overhang on the roof and touch his hair.

One of them,  Alene Sutton hastily pulled Billy back inside.

Meanwhile not to be the to be scared easily, Lucky Sutton pushed past Billy Taylor through the door,  aiming his gun on the creature on the overhang of the roof, and shot at it knocking it down.

Billy Taylor meanwhile noticed another creature on the maple tree, on the right side of the house. Both the men shot at this creature on the tree.

The creature seemed to float down instead of falling down from the hit and the men shot at it again on the ground, after which it simply flipped back on its feet and scurried off into the woods on all fours.

As this happened and as Lucky turned his attention towards the northwest corner of the house, he saw another one coming. He shot it at point blank range which sounded like bullets hitting a metal bucket.  The creature flipped over, got up and once again ran into the darkness on all fours.

It seems the bullets were having no effect on these creatures. And once hit, they scamper away so fast that it became difficult to know, if they are the same creature or new ones are popping up.

Then a scratching or tapping noise was heard on the kitchen roof and the men went to the backyard to see another one, moving over the roof.  They shot at it and the creature floated to the backyard fence about 40 feet away and perched on it.

The men shot at it again on the fence and then it fell and ran away on all fours.

Frustrated with their inability to stop these creatures through their firepower, the men went back into the house and decided it was time for the Sutton family and their friends to leave the house. They packed themselves into two automobiles and drove as fast as they can, to the Hopkinsville police station.

The Police and Initial Investigation

As the Sutton family approached the Hopkinsville police, the Chief of Police, Greenwall who met the witness that evening at the police station was certain these people weren’t lying.

The Hopkinsville police radioed the Madisonville headquarters of the Kentucky state police which then broadcasted the incident to state troopers patrolling the highways. One of whom who was passing by, did notice a meteor streak across the sky just about near the Sutton farmhouse.

Everyone now started heading to the farmhouse at Kelly and the location was soon surrounded by a host of people, from cops to newspaper reporters, to state troopers and other local people out there simply out of curiosity.

However, the shaken Sutton family were not ready to enter their own house, until the cops had thoroughly searched through the house and considered it safe.

The kids were crying uncontrollably, some of the women looked dazed and remained so for days since the event.

The police searched the house, looking for evidence on the creatures by way of footprints, blood or any other form of corroborative evidence; as also for evidence of alcohol or substance abuse. And none were found.

According to Chief Greenwell, the atmosphere was certainly eerily tense even among the investigating team and there was a weird feeling about the entire location, prompting the team to continue the search on daybreak.

The second Incident

By 2 a.m. early Monday morning, the investigators and the reporters had gone back and the Suttons and Taylors were once again on their own in their home, when the creatures returned back.

Mrs. Lankford was about to go to sleep, when she saw a glow on her bedroom window screen.  

A creature seemed to peep in through the window, with its clawy hands on the screen.

Initially she thought her eyes were fooling her and she closed her eyes and opened them and every time they remained there.

Once she was sure this was real and happening again, she called everyone to the room.  Lucky Sutton was the first one to come with his shotgun loaded and immediately aimed to shoot at the creature through the screen.

In spite of his mother asking him not to shoot, Lucky did shoot at the creature through the window screen and broke the window frame completely, as the creature took a direct hit. However this time too, the shot had no  effect on the creature as it kept coming back again and again keeping the Sutton family awake the entire night up until early morning at 5.15 a.m. when the last one appeared.

The Cops were back as was the Air force

The investigators returned the next day going through the fields, woods and the gully looking for evidence. But they did not find anything.

There were no footprints or scratches on the roofs where the creatures had supposed clawed up the earlier night. There was no trace of any spaceship or object landing on the ground. Not even a meteor crash.

The Hopkinsville police led by Chief Greenwell, continued their investigation and interviewed the women and children, as also the state police who also interviewed the neighbors.  Strikingly that day, all the men were absent from the location.

It is not clear if the U.S. Air Force ever investigated the incident.  According to “Project Blue Book” documents that surfaced after 1975, the event was never “officially investigated”.

But according to the Evansville Press of August 22, there was an investigation from the Air Force from Fort Campbell that was not acknowledged.

Hopkinsville police chief Greenwell did confirm that some people from Air Force Intelligence were on the scene, as did two men from Standiford Field, the commercial airfield in Louisville. He was not sure what they did though.

Though the police, news reporters and other official agencies investigated the event, most of them did not form a serious investigation procedure or effort or find or record any evidence or testimony.

Skepticism without merit

Both Skeptics and non-Skeptics agree to one basic fact of the event and that is the family was genuinely frightened by the incident.

Also the entire family running to the police station after the incident is also testimony to something terrible happened to these people, who are normally used to living in the woods and generally rely on their guns for security.

Billy Taylor was specially noticed by one of the investigators with a medical background, to have become extremely nervous with his face pale and almost hysterical. Also his heartbeat was twice than the normal rate.

Meanwhile Skeptics such as author Brian Dunning harped on the similarities between the creatures reported by the families and the local Great Horned Owls, to debunk the alien visitation theory.  

Others who supported this skeptical viewpoint included, Rodney Schmaltz and Scott Lilienfeld as well CSI member Joe Nickell, who also claimed meteor sightings occurred at the time accounted for Billy Ray Taylor’s watching a “Flying Saucer” come down near their home.

Press and Ridicule do not bear the facts

For days, the area buzzed with excitement. Reporters and photographers from wired services and newspapers from Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee poured into Hopkinsville and Kelly. A New York City newspaper even made a personal investigation by telephone. Radio reporters came and went.

According to local people, Lucky Sutton had a reputation for telling tales and was alcoholic. And yet according to eyewitnesses and police investigation, neither Lucky nor anyone else were drinking that night. Those close to Lucky also claimed, he would not go as far as to invent a story about space creatures.

Some local newspapers also reported speculation that the Sutton family actually seen some escaped monkeys from the Shrine circus.

However, eight adults and three children who are witness to this strange event, have all corroborated to the same facts many times, to all those who investigated.

Also none of the witnesses made any kind of money from the story, or got publicity, and wonder why would someone shoot their home full of holes that would cost them hell of a lot of money to repair.

True Investigation and Testimony

The true testimony and factual investigation of the event did happen through Engineer announcer of WHOP radio station, Andrew B. Ledwith on Monday 22nd August 1955.

He got three different detailed sketches of the creature drawn, based on the eyewitness’s account. These sketches more or less matched suggesting that all the witnesses did actually see something that was not an owl or a monkey.

According to his investigation, the creature appeared to be a small, human like entity about three and half feet tall, with an oversized head that was perfectly round and arms that almost touching the ground, with talons on the end of the fingers.  

The creature seemed to be made of silver metal skin with eerie radium like glow.

In the dark the skin had a phosphoric or luminescent glow but in light, it seemed dull metallic colored. The glow of the body increased when it was shot or shouted at; as if the sound affected its luminosity.


There was no hair or indication of sexual parts and the creatures did not give off any kind of odor or smell.

The eyes were much bigger than human eyes and glowed yellowish with the iris midway in the center.

Sketches by three different eyewitnesses

Meanwhile the witness noticed that the creatures only approached the house from the dark side and not from places that were lit by light.

From the sketches of the creature, it seems their eyes did not have eyelids or pupils and thus they were unable to adjust to bright light. Also the eyes were fixed with no movement.

The ears seemed triangular and large wrinkled like leather and pointed on top according to the women extended outwards while according to the men closer to the head.

The creatures always approached slowly walking straight and with hands raised.

When running, they used their long hands for locomotion.  The legs did not have a knee joint and did not seem to bend.

When falling from a height, they would simply float down. No one saw any feet.

The creatures made no noise and the mouth never moved.

The only noise they made was the tapping on the roof as if the talons on it were scratching it.

They did not exhibit any hostile behavior nor did they retaliate for the shooting.

They never attempted to enter the house and only stood at the door or outside the window looking in.

Author’s Conclusion

The Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter is one of the strangest cases of encounter of the third kind and we would all wish it was some kind of alien visitation that actually occurred.

However this event seems to be more of some kind of test by some government agency of some esoteric holographic technology.

This conclusion is arrived at by the author on the following counts:

  1. The creatures were not being able to be shot and killed or injured by the Sutton family members.
  2. There was no evidence of blood indicating injury to anyone
  3. The creatures would get back on their feet on being shot almost like a cartoon character indicates some kind of holographic projected image rather than a living entity or object.
  4. The fact that the creatures would appear from the dark side rather than the bright side indicates the use of laser in the holographic projection.
  5. There are reports of some military planes flying over the exact are on the day of the incident.
  6. The event started at night fall and ended on day break.

It is well known that much of the technology that we see today may have been invented many years back.  This is the standard techniques used by advanced countries to maintain their technology edge.

The latest technology always winds up on the military desk and applied for warfare. Imagine sending in soldiers that cannot be killed by bullets confusing and driving the enemy nuts.

It could well be possible that this kind of technology was being experimented in 1955 and tested for its efficiency.

From the events and the effect it had on the people concerned, it seems the experiment did work.

Or it could be the work of our Alien brothers who do not want to deal with violent humans themselves and using holograms to test our first reactions.




The Book “Close Encounter at Kelly and others of 1955 by Isabel Davis and Ted Bloecher, Center for UFO Studies, March 1978 with the assistance of Bud Ledwith and Leonard Stringfield


2 thoughts on “The Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter of the Goblin Kind

  • April 10, 2017 at 5:59 am

    I have to agree with the article’s autor about the encounter being a hollographic projection , and i believe this to be govermental in its nature and not From real aliens. The Shape of the aliens dont seen too be too practical with no knee joints, plus falling like a leave From the tree , both seen to be design problems for the hoologra. I have never heard a story about aliens like this ones, meaning i never heard any report about gremlins like creatures encounter. Thanks for the article’s. Very interesting , well writen and detail. Loved It.

    • April 10, 2017 at 10:16 am

      Thank You Juan. Appreciate your feedback.

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