The Kelly-Hopkinsville Case


Drawing by artist Bud Ledwith, showing one of the creatures as described by the witnesses. (credit: UFOs Northwest)


Drawing of the initial sighting by Billy Ray Taylor of the object which ‘landed” in the gully. The drawing was made by Bud Ledwith on the afternoon following the sighting. (credit: UFOs Northwest)

In rural Kentucky, near the towns of Kelly and Hopkinsville, a bizarre event was reported to local police. At around 7.00 P.M. on August 21, 1955 a visiting Pennsylvania man named Billy Ray Taylor went out to fetch some water from the Sutton family well. While he was at the well, he saw a large shining object land in a gully about a city block away. He went back inside and told the others, but they laughed and didn’t believe him.

A short time later the family dog began barking wildly outside, so Carl “Lucky” Sutton and Billy Ray grabbed their guns and went out to investigate. They had walked a few yards from the front door when they saw a small 3-to-4 foot creature walking towards them with its hands up, as if surrendering. They later described the creature as having large eyes, a long thin mouth, large ears, thin short legs, and hands ending in claws. Even though the creature seemed to be peaceful, Billy Ray fired a shot at it with his .22. They couldn’t possibly have missed the creature at that range, but it just did a quick back flip and ran quickly into the woods, apparently unharmed.

Billy Ray and Lucky returned to the house, but before they could tell the others what had happened, the creature, or another one like it, appeared in front of a window. They shot at him through the screen, leaving a hole that investigators noticed later. When the men went outside to see if they had killed the creature, they found nothing. As they looked, one of the creatures, from the roof of the house, reached down to touch one of the men’s hair. They shot at it, but it just floated to the ground and then ran off into the woods.
They went back inside and soon the house was under siege by a group of the creatures. The seven adults and four children in the house at the time were terrified as creature after creature appeared at windows around the house, seemingly taunting them. The men’s guns were totally ineffective against the creatures. After about three hours of this, the family decided to make a run for it. They piled into two vehicles and drove down to the local police station to report the event, arriving at about 11:00 P.M.. When police officers were finally persuaded to go to the farm and investigate, they could find no evidence of the strange events except for gunshot holes in the windows and walls.

According to reports, Sheriff Russell Greenwell was among the twenty-five or so law enforcement officers investigating the scene and the family who had told this wild tale. By all accounts, the witnesses were determined to be sane, not drinking, and in such a state of terror that no one who talked to them doubted that they had seen something unusual. Neighbors reported hearing the shooting, and one person had seen “lights in the sky” earlier that evening. Shortly after the police left, at about 2:15 A.M., the creatures returned. As before, they began staring into windows, curious but not hostile. Again the men responded with gunfire, and again it had no effect. This ordeal continued until a half an hour before sunrise. On the morning of the 22nd, the police, along with the Air Force, investigated but again found nothing. The Hopkinsville newspaper, The Kentucky New Era, carried the story on 8/22/55.

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