Encounter at Kelly

Isabel Davis. Close Encounter at Kelly and others of 1955. CUFOS, 1978. Produced with the assistance of Bud Ledwith, Ted Bloecher and Leonard Stringfield.
The first part of this book is a detailed account of the visitation by humanoids to the farm of Mrs Ellenie Langford (formerly Mrs Sutton) at Kelly, near Hopkinsville, Kentucky There were eight adult and three children present. The case has become a. classic, but this re port is the first accurate account of the incident. The account has been com piled by Ms Davis, based on interviews by Bud Ledwith, a local radio announcer, with the adult members of the family; and with a follow-up by Ms Davis herself conducted in July 1956.

The resultant description of two separate visits by wholly non-human creatures (seemingly unaffected by rifle shots and hardly recognising the existence of the laws of gravity) nicely illustrates the 'absurdity' of such encounters. The hiatus in the visitation was caused by the family trooping off to the police station, and the descent on the farm of police, reporters, and general sightseers. These found nothing, yet when they had gone the creatures returned.

It is difficult to make any kind of sense of this case at all. Ms Davis tries to jam the facts into a 'nuts and bolts' ETH framework, but the strain is evident. An examination of cases of 'haunting' would, I think, have made the author rather less willing to dismiss completely the theory of hallucinations of some sort.

The introduction and second part of the book are Ted Bloecher's studies of the history of CE3's in the United States up to 1955, and his account of some selected cases from that year. These provide yet more jolts to reason; they are all incompatible with a nuts and bolts explanation. But nor, for that matter, are they compatible with any reasonably simple psychological theory. What is one to make of chef Robert Hunicutt 's encounter with a bunch of lopsided beings standing at the roadside in Branch Hill; the long nosed dwarfs seen by Ms Symmonds; the ghostly craft and beings encountered by the children at Riverside?

How do we deal with the case of David Ankenbrandt, who came across a strange aircraft, found himself paralysed and was confronted by a 6-foot-tall man in a ski suit who spoke in a high pitched voice, warning him to tell the government that if there were any more wars 'they' would take over? The same incident occurred at the same place 48 hours later. Ankenbrandt refused to get involved with the Adamski circus, and vanished into history.

The humanoid wave reached mass panic in parts of Cincinnati, where hoaxers were also involved. Also discussed are a couple of Bigfoot reports, though they are small Bigfeet! Bloecher is perhaps too easily convinced that these refer to some form of primitive hominid, for the point about Bigfoot is not that it represents any real hominid, but rather the public's conception of what a missing link should look like. The volume is well illustrated with maps, diagrams and drawings. The investigations show commendable thoroughness and give an idea of the detail a competent investigation should contain. Highly recommended for anyone making a serious study of the UFO problem. -- Peter Rogerson. MUFOB New Series 13, 1978/79.

No comments: