Pascagoula Alien Abductions of 1973: 50 Years later

Mary Apel

In the annals of unexplained mysteries in Mississippi, the Pascagoula Alien Abduction remains an enduring enigma that has captivated the imaginations of both skeptics and believers for five decades now.

It was a calm evening on October 11, 1973, when two local shipyard workers, Charles Hickson, 42, and Calvin Parker, 18, claimed to have experienced a close encounter of the extraterrestrial kind that would forever change their lives.

According to their accounts, Hickson and Parker were fishing along the Pascagoula River after work one evening, when they were startled by a blinding, intense light. As they turned to investigate, they allegedly witnessed a peculiar, egg-shaped craft hovering above the water. Out of the craft emerged three large gray beings described as insect-like in appearance, with crab-like claws for hands.

The two men claimed that they felt paralyzed and floated helplessly toward the craft. Inside, they were subjected to a series of medical examinations by the beings, during which they experienced a sense of weightlessness and communicated with the entities telepathically. After what felt like an eternity, they were released, and the craft disappeared into the night sky.

Hickson and Parker, visibly shaken and traumatized, reported the incident to local law enforcement. Sheriff Fred Diamond and Captain Glenn Ryder were initially skeptical but could not dismiss the men’s accounts entirely. Ryder described leaving a tape recorder in the interview room while the men were alone, hoping to catch them discussing their story. On the tape, Hickson tells Parker, “It scared me to death too, son. You can’t get over it in a lifetime. Jesus Christ have mercy.”

“When Hickson and Parker came to us with their bizarre story, we couldn’t dismiss it,” said Sheriff Diamond at the time. “Their accounts were detailed and consistent, leading us to believe there was something genuinely extraordinary behind it.”

The two men underwent polygraph examinations later that week, administered by the Mississippi State University. The results indicated that they were being truthful about their encounter.

In this Oct. 18, 1973 file photograph taken in Gautier, Miss., Charles Hickson, left, and Calvin Parker Jr., of Pascagoula, Miss., recount the experience of their alleged abduction by aliens from the banks of the Pascagoula River where they were fishing. (AP Photo/Mississippi Press, Gary Holland, File)

News of the Pascagoula abduction spread like wildfire, capturing the nation’s attention. The incident was covered by major news outlets, sparking intense public interest in UFOs and alien abductions.

The U.S. Air Force’s Project Blue Book, which investigated UFO reports, initially declined to look into the case. However, the incident garnered the attention of prominent UFO researcher Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who conducted his own inquiry. Hynek, a former skeptic, found the witnesses to be credible and called the case “deeply puzzling”.
“The Pascagoula case is one of the most compelling I have encountered in my research,” he said. “Hickson and Parker’s sincerity and the corroborating evidence make it difficult to dismiss their claims lightly.”

The case gained further momentum when the United States Air Force issued a statement confirming that they had found no evidence of a hoax or fabrication in their initial investigation. Shortly thereafter, Hickson and Parker testified under oath about their experiences at a hearing held by the House Committee on Science and Astronautics in Washington, D.C. Their testimony captivated the committee members and the media, reigniting public interest in the case.

Watch this clip from 1975 about it!

In 2019 another eye witness came forward. Maria Blair claims to have been on the banks of the Pascagoula river that night, and 45 years later finally felt she could speak about what she’d seen. Blair says she saw a blue light that she thought was maybe a plane or a helicopter. She watched it rise up into the air above where the men were allegedly abducted, as well as what she thought looked like a body in the water below. Her husband always told her not to talk about it. The general public isn’t always kind to folks who talk about seeing aliens.

Nevertheless, both Hickson and Parker maintained their accounts until their deaths, never profiting from their experiences. Hickson would go on to appear on talk shows, give lectures and interviews, and self-publish a book in 1983 titled “UFO Contact at Pascagoula.” He reported three more encounters in 1974, and said the aliens communicated to him that they were peaceful. Their story continues to be discussed and debated by UFO enthusiasts, skeptics, and researchers. For Calvin Parker, it wasn’t always an easy road. “This is something I really didn’t want to happen,” Parker told The Associated Press as the 40th anniversary of the encounter approached. “It’s been a tough journey, trying to make sense of what happened that night. I know there are skeptics, but I can’t deny what I saw and experienced. The truth is out there, and I hope it will be acknowledged someday.”

Hickson passed in 2011, and Parker just recently passed this past August. Officials with Main Street Pascagoula have scheduled a downtown get-together for Friday, Oct. 20 from 6-9 p.m. The event will feature food, music, a bar crawl, and a ceremony celebrating the life of Parker.

As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of this remarkable incident, the questions it raises about the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life and their potential interactions with humanity continue to captivate the human imagination. Today’s media is more filled with tales of UFOs and alien encounters than ever before, and many believe that government officials will soon be disclosing the “truth” about such events. As former government officials – including Pentagon intelligence officer David Grusch – continue to come forward claiming that the U.S. has knowledge of extraterrestrial life and alien spacecraft, the Pascagoula encounter becomes even more important to remember.

Whether one believes in its authenticity or not, it serves as a reminder that our universe is vast and full of mysteries that continue to challenge our understanding of the unknown.

Share this Article


Related Articles