Mythical Monday: The Hopkinsville Goblins by Mae Clair

On a summer night in August of 1955, Billy Ray Taylor, a native of Pennsylvania was visiting his friend, Lucky Sutton of Kentucky. Lucky lived on a farm tucked between the towns of Kelly and Hopkinsville, a rural homestead that lacked electricity and running water. At some point during the evening, Billy hiked outside to get a drink of water from the well. In the process he glimpsed a shining object which descended from the sky and landed in a gully a quarter mile away.

Rural farmstead at night with fog and moon

Hurrying back to the homestead Billy excitedly shared his tale, but the Sutton family laughed off the story. Not long afterward, the family dog broke into a crazy raucous before vanishing under the porch. Later accounts say the poor animal, terrified by something it had seen, remained in hiding until the next day.

Sensing something amiss, Billy and Lucky armed themselves with rifles and headed outdoors to investigate. In the front yard they were drawn up short by a bizarre creature with “large eyes, a long thin mouth, large ears, thin short legs, and hands ending in claws.” The being was unlike any they had ever seen, short in stature and gremlin-like in appearance.

Both men unloaded their guns. They later insisted there was no way they could have missed at such close range but the creature slipped away, vanishing into the surrounding woods. Billy and Lucky returned to the house, barricading themselves inside.

More creatures appeared, trying to gain entrance. Those gathered inside, children and adults, now realized the threat was real. Faces peered in the windows, claws grappled for screens, Billy and Lucky unloading ammo at every instance. It took several hours before family members were able to escape and seek help from the sheriff’s department.

Upon arriving at the homestead, the sheriff and his men found no evidence of the goblin-like creatures, but could readily see holes blown through the walls and screens. All the officers reported that the Suttons were sober and seemed genuinely terrified by something. They eventually left the Sutton farm around 2:15 in the morning.

Almost immediately, the goblin-like creatures descended again, peeking in windows and trying to gain entry. The strange events finally came to a halt shortly before dawn. At a loss for explanation, not knowing what else to do, the sheriff summoned the Air Force.

The story made headline news, prompting many to speculate the Suttons had fabricated a hoax. But they gained nothing from the publicity, and neighbors collaborated their reports of “lights in the sky.” All of the adults who witnessed the event−Billy and Lucky among them−gave the exact same account of events when questioned separately. There are even reports of a highway trooper citing “meteor-like objects” flying overhead around 11PM that night. Additionally, there is mention of “an odd luminous patch along a fence where one of the beings had been shot, and, in the woods beyond, a green light whose source could not be determined.”

Years later, each family member remained firm in their story, no evidence of a hoax ever discovered. Interestingly, the U.S. Air Force has denied any involvement , but it has led many to believe the events of August 21, 1955, were those of an authentic UFO encounter.

Perhaps just one of many?

13 thoughts on “Mythical Monday: The Hopkinsville Goblins by Mae Clair

    • Good point about the 1950s, Carmen. So many flying saucer movies and books came out then. I remember there was still a lot of UFO hype in the mid 60s when I was a kid, but I think the 50s where definitely the heyday for our ET friends. 🙂


    • I’ve always been intrigued by UFO stories…probably because I insist I saw a UFO when I was six. My brother has a cool story from when he was in his late teen years too. I certainly wouldn’t want to meet green goblins trying to gain entry to my home, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a UFO from afar!


  1. Hi Mae, Maybe that’s when the UFO craze started, the 1950’s, but I remember being in the sixth grade(the 70’s) and terrified they were going to land in my backyard. My family had turned the family room into a bedroom because there were five of us kids, four being girls and one son. I shared my room with one sister, can’t remember which, but the sliding door to our very large backyard was in our room. We had a fireplace too, in hindsight, that was a pretty sweet room! Anyway, I remember making sure that the drapes were securely closed so no creepy faces looked in at me.

    It must be my writer’s imagination. I’ve always been scared of everything. We always told scary stories and played games of monsters and such and imagining that a UFO would land in our backyard. Great story. It brings back memories I haven’t thought about in a long time. I can still remember those burnt umber, orangey drapes. Thanks for the great, scary stories. I believe it!


    • What cool memories, Mary. My friends and I used to tell scary stories too and talk about life on other planets. Especially when we would “sleep out” in the summer. And I remember a lot of UFO stuff going on in the 60s….lots of people talking about them, speculating, even sightings. In the 70s I think there were a lot of books making the rounds about life on other planets. Writing this post brought back a lot of memories for me too. Such innocent, scary fun we had a kids!

      And I’m so glad a UFO DIDN’T use your back yard as a landing pad! 😀


  2. Creepy and another story I hadn’t heard of until now. I wonder were the men too quick to open fire on the creature and because of their haste, they encountered the creatures’ attempts for revenge.


    • That’s an interesting idea, Emma. From what I’ve read the initial creature wasn’t aggressive at all, but the men immediately thought of them as hostile. In researching this story, I got the impression they were curious more than anything else. Of course, I probably would have pegged them as hostile too. I guess it’s an instinctive reaction to the gym known.


  3. What a fascinating story. I remember hearing or reading about it but didn’t recall the details. It definitely sounds like a UFO to me. Yikes. Thanks so much for putting these tales into print. They show that some things DO go bump in the night.


    • I remember reading about it once before too, but glossed over it at the time and didn’t know all of the details. Now I find it fascinating. Whatever really happened that night, there is no question in my mind it was unusual!


  4. Pingback: Happy Solar Eclipse Day! | From the Pen of Mae Clair

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