One of the most sensational abduction cases of the 1970s, the Pascagoula Incident remains unsolved to this day. On October 11, 1973 two co-workers out fishing claimed to have been taken by three strange looking aliens into their spaceship, examined and released. The two men attempted to report their encounter to a nearby military base who referred them to the local sheriff. Thinking that the two men could be caught in a lie that would expose a hoax the sheriff left the men together in a room with a hidden microphone after his initial interviews. Much to the surprise of law enforcement, the men did not reveal a hoax but instead had a conversation that just reinforced their claims. The story spread from local media to international wire services and was investigated by Dr. J. Allen Hynek and others. Detractors note that nearby security cameras should have seen the craft the men described but other witnesses have reported seeing the craft on the same night.
An Evening of Fishing
Charles Hickson, 42, and Calvin Parker, 19, co-workers at a Pascagoula, Mississippi shipyard were fishing on the Pascagoula River on the evening of Thursday, October 11, 1973. Parker was the son of a close friend of Hickson’s; he had only recently come to the area for a job at the shipyards and was staying with Hickson. At approximately seven o’clock in the evening, the two men heard a strange buzzing noise. They then turned around and saw an object hovering a few feet off the ground. It was an egg shaped craft about eight feet wide and ten feet across and some type of blue light associated. Some descriptions of the event indicate that the craft first appeared to merely be a blue light. According to an interview with Charles Hickson (quoted in the November, 1973 issue of Skylook) “one end just opened, and I saw three things coming out.” The “things” were approximately five foot tall humanoids. The beings had hairless light gray skin, round feet and claw-like hands. Their mouths were slits and they did not appear to have any eyes. Three conical structures extended from their heads, one in the center front and two from the sides, much like nose and ears. They did not walk on the ground but floated up above it and towards the men. The legs of the aliens did not move and it is possible that they only had a single leg. The alien creatures approached the terrified fisherman and seized them. The alien seemed to somehow paralyze the men and then floated them back into the craft.
Despite the relatively small size of the craft as described by the men, inside they found themselves in separate rooms. Hickson believed that each was subjected to an examination with a strange mechanism which was vaguely reminiscent of a large eye as that is what he remembered. Parker, however, was so frighten he passed out and did not remember being onboard the craft. The large eye device, according to Hickson, was not painful or uncomfortable in any way. After approximately an hour the men were returned to the riverside. The craft simply rose up and disappeared.
Dumbfounded, confused and frightened the men left. They initially decided not to recount the story but eventually reconsidered, deciding that the military needed to know that this craft was in the area. They called the Keesler Air Force Base who then directed them to report the incident to the local sheriff. At approximately 10:30 PM the men arrived at the office of Jackson County Sheriff Fred Diamond. He did think that something had occurred because the men seemed shaken. Hickson had braced himself with whiskey after the incident, though, and the sheriff thought that the men might have been drinking. Diamond decided that he would leave the men in a room used to interview witnesses and suspects, which had concealed recording equipment. He believed that he may be able to learn the truth by listening to the men’s private conversation. Instead, the conversation left him convinced that something strange had happened to the men.
Investigations and Aftermath
Local coverage of the alleged alien abduction led to national and even international coverage. This apparently disturbed Hickson and Parker who had asked the sheriff to keep the incident quiet. The day after the abduction the sheriff warned them while at work that reporters were trying to find out more about the men and their story. The shipyard owner connected them with a lawyer who helped the men arrange for tests at the local hospital and then Keesler Air Force Base for further medical examinations and questioning by base officials. The men later parted company with the attorney.
In addition to reporters, the story attracted UFO investigators such as Dr. J. Allen Hynek. Although detractors would point out that area security cameras and toll booth personnel should have been able to see the craft, additional witnesses were uncovered. UFO reports were also found that occurred in the area in the days before the abduction. Hickson also passed a polygraph exam, although skeptics question the results because the examiner was fairly inexperienced.
Calvin Parker was apparently more shaken by the experience than Charles Hickson, who believed that his Korean War experiences left him better prepared for the shocking situation than his young friend. Although Parker has rarely spoke of the incident, Charles Hickson spoke at UFO conventions and wrote a book (with William Mendez) about the incident in 1983 called UFO Contact at Pascagoula. In the years since the abduction, a transcript that was allegedly from the Keesler Air Force Base interviews with the men has been discovered (May/June 1984 MUFON UFO Journal) as well as additional witnesses to the craft.
For More Information
Charles Hickson and William Mendez, UFO Contact at Pascagoula, 1983
The Pascagoula Incident Audio CD (available on CD and download from UFOStore.com)
Skylook, November 1973
MUFON UFO Journal, May/June 1984 and December 2001