Nearly 45 years ago, the region of Pascagoula River in Mississippi was number one in the news headlines because of a UFO sighting and alien abduction that later became remembered in the history.
Calvin Parker, Jr. and his fellow friend Charles Hickson were allegedly abducted by aliens on October 11, 1973. Their experience became one of the most investigated UFO cases in the world.
Charles Hickson never felt sorry for the baggage that came together with his report of seeing a UFO and its passengers 40 years ago on the Pascagoula River’s shores. Until his death in 2011, Hickson re-told his experience to anyone who was interested.
On the other hand, Calvin Parker Jr, the other man who was part of the notable UFO encounter, has never buried the hatchet of what he still claims was a visit from grey, crab-tentacle otherworldly beings. He strongly affirms this event changed the course of his whole life.
“This is something I really didn’t want to happen,” Parker told The Associated Press as the 40th anniversary of the event.
Parker lost his nerve because of the quick reactions by the press and the UFO pursuers. He tried to hide from the attention, moving constantly. However, he eventually moved back to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast again a few years ago.
The encounter indeed set in motion a swarm of headlines and UFO experts investigating the case. Everyone tried to give its personal opinion about it.
Skeptics varied from the deputies who initially questioned the men to an author who attempted to find loopholes in the story. Even Parker himself had contradictory perceptions about whether he saw aliens or demons.
Parker, now 58, was 18 when he went fishing with Hickson on a quiet Thursday night after work.
As they were fishing, they suddenly noticed a UFO with blue lights descending down. The object, as they said, was making a speeding noise.
Hickson, then 42, said he saw three beings with leathery grey skin and crab-like tentacles. He first thought they were robots, took them by the forearms and rose them in the air above the craft. Next, something similar to a big floating eye emerged to study him.
Parker says he was aware of what is going on, however, he was paralyzed.
“They gave a thorough, I mean a thorough, examination to me just like any doctor would,” he said.
After the alleged abduction, they said they came back on the same shore and tried to come to their senses. Hickson took three shots of liquor to calm before filing the report.
At the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, deputies thought the two men are drunk. Captain Glenn Ryder, said the report is rather funny. He later met them and they stuck to their story.
When the examination ended, deputies left Hickson and Parker together in a room with a hidden tape recorder in order to see whether they’re lying.
“Me and the other investigator got up and left to let them talk, to see if they were going to say. We thought we got them fooled, but they didn’t. They were really concerned,” said Captain Ryder.
On the tape, Hickson tells Parker, “It scared me to death too, son. You can’t get over it in a lifetime. Jesus Christ has mercy.”
“I don’t know what happened to them,” Ryder said. “I wasn’t there with them, but I know you don’t fake fear, and they were fearful. They were fearful.”
The next day, the story became number one headline of the newspapers in Pascagoula and Gulfport. UFO investigators were going there every day, looking for answers.
Next thing they know, hundreds of other reports flooded the police. Most of them were a hoax. In Long Beach, Mississippi, a taxi driver reported a creature has tapped on his window. A few days later he admitted the story was fake.
UFO debunker Philip Klass considered this event to be fake. In his book “UFOs Explained” he wrote Hickson altered some details of the story. He also mentioned a polygraph detector whose test Hickson passed wasn’t up to the task.
Hickson appeared on many talk shows, gave lectures and even published a book in 1983 called “UFO Contact at Pascagoula.”
He later reported three more sightings in 1974. This time, according to him, the aliens were peaceful.
“He could never understand why he was chosen,” younger Hickson said about Parker. “But he never once told me that he wished it had never happened. Never.”
Parker married in 1973 and eventually accepted out-of-state construction jobs to avoid the attention. Moreover, he went to some UFO conventions.
“By the time you get somewhere and they figure out who you were, I’d just go. I’d just go find another job somewhere,” he said.
A UFO expert, Budd Hopkins, once hypnotized him, trying to realize the true story in 1993.
There’s no historical marker on the river edge noting the encounter, and stores don’t sell UFO souvenirs. But locals do remember.
Parker said he’s had conflicting thoughts over the years about that night in 1973. At one point, he wasn’t even sure the creatures were aliens.