The Pascagoula (Hickson/Parker) Alien Abduction

The Pascagoula alien abduction, also known as the Hickson/Parker alien abduction, allegedly occurred on the evening of October 11, 1973, when 42 year-old Charles Hickson and 19 year-old Calvin Parker, co-workers at Walker Shipyards,
decided to go fishing at an abandoned industrial site, behind the old Schaupeter Shipyard building, on the west bank of the Pascagoula River.

It was about 9 p.m. when Hickson turning to get fresh bait heard a “zipping” noise. Looking back across the pier, on which they were sitting, he purportedly saw an egg-shaped blue flashing object some thirty feet in length hovering some forty feet away, which as he continued to stare began moving closer.

An entrance appeared, three creatures emerging who after seizing the paralyzed humans (Parker apparently fainted) floated them into the waiting craft. The creatures were described as being humanoid, five feet tall with gray wrinkled skin and no discernible eyes, ears or mouth, instead carrot-like appendages lobster like claws and a single fused-like leg.

Inside while still levitating they were examined by some sort of “big eye,” then twenty minutes later (unharmed) they were floated out and back to their original place of capture.

Following the encounter the men apparently sat in their car trying to calm their nerves and collect their thoughts Hickson drinking some whiskey. After forty five minutes, having made up their minds on a course of action (or so they thought) they went to the “Mississippi Press,” a local newspaper, and demanded to see a reporter. After being told none were available (it was night) they called Keesler Air Force Base, only to be brushed off, the Air Force informing them it no longer took UFO reports (Project Blue Book having been discontinued four years earlier) and it was politely suggested they contact the police.

A few hours later, after first talking to shift captain Glenn Ryder and seated in the Jackson County, Mississippi, Sheriff’s office they told their story to Sheriff Fred Diamond, who, though intrigued, harbored doubts (Hickson still smelled of alcohol) and in an effort to verify the
truthfulness of their story placed them alone in a room with a hidden tape recorder reasoning that if they were lying it would quickly become apparent.

A partial transcript of the “secret tape” of their conversation as transcribed by NICAP [1] is as follows:

CALVIN: I got to get home and get to bed or get some nerve pills or see the doctor or something. I can't stand it. I'm about to go half crazy.
CHARLIE: I tell you, when we through, I'll get you something to settle you down so you can get some damn sleep.
CALVIN: I can't sleep yet like it is. I'm just damn near crazy.
CHARLIE: Well, Calvin, when they brought you out-when they brought me out of that thing, goddamn it I like to never in hell got you straightened out.
His voice rising, Calvin said, "My damn arms, my arms, I remember they just froze up and I couldn't move. Just like I stepped on a damn rattlesnake." [sic]
"They didn't do me that way," sighed Charlie.
Now both men were talking as if to themselves.
CALVIN: I passed out. I expect I never passed out in my whole life.
CHARLIE: I've never seen nothin' like that before in my life. You can't make people believe-
CALVIN: I don't want to keep sittin' here. I want to see a doctor-
CHARLIE: They better wake up and start believin' . . . they better start believin'.
CALVIN: You see how that damn door come right up?
CHARLIE: I don't know how it opened, son. I don't know.
CALVIN: It just laid up and just like that those son' bitches-just like that they come out.
CHARLIE: I know. You can't believe it. You can't make people believe it-
CALVIN: I paralyzed right then. I couldn't move-
CHARLIE: They won't believe it. They gonna believe it one of these days. Might be too late. I knew all along they was people from other worlds up there. I knew all along. I never thought it would happen to me.
CALVIN: You know yourself I don't drink
CHARLIE: I know that, son. When I get to the house I'm gonna get me another drink, make me sleep. Look, what we sittin' around for. I gotta go tell Blanche . . . what we waitin' for?
CALVIN (panicky): I gotta go to the house. I'm gettin' sick. I gotta get out of here.
Then Charlie got up and left the room, and Calvin was alone.
CALVIN: It's hard to believe . . . Oh God, it's awful . . . I know there's a God up there. . . .

Subsequent to the conclusion of their interview, and sensing the skepticism, the two alleged abductees insisted on being given a polygraph (lie detector) test as soon as possible.

The debacle continued following a return to work the next day, apparently an attempt to keep the matter secret from their co-workers falling apart when a phone call from Sheriff Diamond, informing the alleged abductees that his office was swarming with reporters, was overheard by their foreman. An explanation to the foreman, the shipyard owner (Johnny Walker) and the shipyard lawyer (Joe Colingo) engendered some advice which led to a quick trip to the local hospital to alleviate fears of radiation exposure (the hospital lacked the equipment to make the tests) and a visit to Kessler Air Force Base where following an examination by base doctors they were interviewed by military intelligence.

News wise Pascagoula soon became a hotbed of activity the story having attracted international attention. Dr. J. Allen Hynek (formerly with Project Blue Book) even paid a visit and though withholding judgment did comment that the men seemed both honest and genuinely distressed (according to UFO historian Jerome Clark, Calvin Parker, the younger of the two, later suffered a nervous breakdown).

So the questions are, in light of the evidence or lack thereof, did an alien abduction actually take place that night on the banks of the Pascagoula, was it
an outright fabrication or was it (as many believe) a figment of overworked imaginations triggered by the dark, the isolated surroundings and perhaps a little too much alcohol?

During an interview years later, Glenn Ryder, Sheriff’s department shift captain the night of the supposed encounter, recalled the events as he remembered them:

Hickson’s call came in around 11 p.m. the shipyard worker insisting he talk to then-Sheriff Fred Diamond who was unavailable. After learning Ryder was in charge he said he had something to say but was afraid the policeman would laugh. After listening, Ryder did laugh.

After being brought in the two were questioned separately (Parker was hysterical, Hickson composed) then placed together in a bugged room in hopes of catching them lying. Instead the boy (Parker) kept telling Hickson that if he told us (the police) what happened they (the aliens) would come back and get them.

Ryder said they later went to the site at 
Schaupeter, and Hickson pointed out the abduction scene (no physical evidence, burn marks or footprints were in evidence).

He reiterated that after the story broke calls came in from across the United States, Canada and England.

He also said the department took a number of calls concerning sightings of a streak of light but nothing about an alien spacecraft.

Hickson did eventually take a polygraph test the results negative. However, the qualifications of the examiner, a young operator neither certified nor licensed, casts doubt on his veracity (more experienced polygraph operators such as Captain Charles Wimberly from the nearby Mobile Police Department were apparently passed over).

Two toll booth operators, their stations affording an unobstructed view of the alleged abduction scene, apparently saw nothing.

A check of the security cameras at nearby Ingalls Shipyard, which were apparently in range, also drew a blank.

In 2001, there was some additional input to the story, Mike Cataldo a retired Navy chief petty officer contacted the Mississippi Press and informed them, out of the blue, that he too had witnessed something unusual that October night in 1973.

Allegedly while commuting from Pascagoula to Ocean Springs on U.S. 90, the petty officer and two shipmates, Ted Peralta and Mack Hanna, part of the pre-commissioning crew of the USS Tunny [2] observed a tambourine shaped object, spinning, whitish-gray and with flashing lights (Cataldo claims he also observed the object again later while alone). He also claims he informed his wife that night, his executive officer the next morning and an assistant public relations officer at Keesler Air Force Base the following Monday.

Apparently (this according to Cataldo) Keesler AFB never returned his call and that following the sighting his executive officer and the sub’s crew thought he, Peralta and Hanna were lunatics.

[1] The National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) was a civilian non-profit UFO research group active in the U.S. between 1956 and 1980.

[2] The USS Tunny was a Sturgeon-class attack submarine (SSN-682) at the time under construction at Ingalls Shipyard.

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