Accounts of close encounters of the third kind, in which human beings are directly confronted with alleged beings from another world, are by nature already quite bizarre and otherworldly enough as it is. There is no denying that this is an area that has pushed out and stretched against the boundaries of the strange and then some, yet there are some cases among these that truly rocket out into the outer fringes of the surreal and the deeply weird. From space goblins to floating brains, to amorphous blobs from beyond and spacemen that can fit in the palm of your hand, here we will look at the strangest of the strange when it comes to supposed contact with aliens from another world.

One of the earlier, weirdest, and indeed more famous of accounts that seem almost too bizarre to possibly be true is the infamous case of what have become known as the the Hopskinsville Goblins. The story begins at a remote, rural farmhouse in the wilds of Christian County, Kentucky, on Old Madisonville Road near the town of Hopkinsville on the night of August 21, 1955. On this quiet evening the Sutton family had a guest over by the name of Billy Ray Taylor, as well as his wife, June, and at at some point Taylor went outside to get some water from the well at around sundown. As he made his way to the well, he allegedly saw a bizarre sight in the air above, which looked like a streaking light that was spewing multicolored sparks and flames all over the place. The light passed overhead and then seemed to drop down into a nearby gully around 300 yards away, after which the humid night was infused with an eldritch glow, and the startled Taylor ran back to the safety of the house.

Once inside, he excitedly told everyone about what he had just seen, but at the time no one really believed him and they thought he was just messing around, despite his obvious fear and insistence that he had really seen it. However skeptical the rest of the family was, they would soon have a change of heart when the dog began to start barking wildly at some unseen trespasser outside in dark. Looking outside it was noticed that what was at first thought to be just a faint light that was seemingly bobbing about and approaching the house, and as it drew closer it was found to be one of the strangest looking creatures anyone present had ever seen or even imagined.

Hopkinsville goblin
Hopkinsville Goblin

There hovering in the air was a small glowing humanoid figure around 3-feet in height wearing a metallic suit of some sort. It was described as having greenish skin, bulging eyes, and an oversized bald head with bat-like ears and a large, lipless mouth that stretched between them. The body was thin, and its arms were long, tapered and spider-like, tipped with what looked like talons. The frightened Suttons quickly did the human thing, gathering up a rifle and shotgun as the thing hovered around outside, and when it was close enough they fired upon it. Although they thought they had hit it, the creature merely flipped over and retreated into the shadows. Shortly after this, the head of another, either the same creature or another, peeked in through one of the windows, prompting another volley of fire that once again failed to do any noticeable damage to whatever it was, merely blowing out the window in a spray of shards of glass as the strange monster ran off.

Curious as to whether they had hurt the thing or not, Taylor and the Sutton father, John Charley Sutton, warily crept outside, guns at the ready, and took a furtive glance around. At first there was nothing, but then Taylor let out a scream as a clawed hand purportedly reached down from the eve of the back door and grabbed at his head, managing to gain a fistful of hair as Sutton dragged his friend back inside and slammed the door. The oldest Sutton son, 24-year-old Lucky Sutton, then opened the door to take a potshot at the roof with his shotgun, after which the creature floated down to the ground, apparently unhurt, and scampered off.

As bizarre and terrifying as this all was, there soon appeared other entities similar in appearance to the original one they had seen out in the night, and it became apparent that they were under siege by a whole group of the creatures, an estimated 10 to 15 of them. For the next three hours the sounds of the rural Kentucky night were punctuated by the staccato blare of gunfire as the mysterious floating monsters made passes at the house as the family cowered within and took shots at them. For the most part the bullets whizzing out into the murk either failed to hit their mark or were ineffectual, with the few that did hit occasionally letting out metallic pings, like “a coin hitting a metal bucket,” as if the creatures were made of steel. All of this happened against the backdrop of a faint green haze glowing from somewhere in the distance, perhaps the location where the “spaceship” had gone down in the gully.

Since the home had no phone service, the family were at the mercy of the monsters lurking outside, unable to call anyone for help and slowly running out of ammunition. At some point the activity died down, and the creatures' relentless, seemingly aggressive yet ultimately inscrutable passes at the house ceased. Seeing this as a chance to get out of there, the family and their guests piled into their cars and sped away towards town, where they promptly informed rather bemused police of what had happened to them. As skeptical as they were, officers nevertheless made their way out to the farm to take a look, but found no sign of the reported "goblin" creatures other than the damage inflicted by all of the gunfire. In some accounts, Air Force personnel also came to the farm to investigate the strange occurrence, although it is unclear if they found anything of note.

The police left without incident and the family returned to their home, but soon after a second attack would occur, as glowing faces began to bloom out of the darkness once again, much to their horror. Once again the bizarre beasts came at the farmhouse, floating about, popping up to peer into windows, and scurrying around on the roof as the family once again opened fire, and this went on until dawn, when whatever the strange intruders were stalked off and this time did not return. From the very following day the dramatic, spooky encounter was splashed all over newspapers of the area, fanning out to become national news as reporters and the curious converged upon the farm. Faced with reporters and monster hunters camping out on their property hoping to see the creatures for themselves and the relentless, never-ending media attention focused on them, the family sold their farm and moved off.

It seems like something out of a horror movie, just so incredibly dramatic and bizarre in nature, and it has remained one of the oddest UFO accounts ever. To this day, the Hopkinsville Goblin incident has been picked apart and written of countless times, and has become one of the weirdest and most well-known alien encounters out there. What happened to these people and what was it that came down to seemingly attack them? What did these things want? Were they ever even real at all? If they were, then whatever they were, one things seems clear; they certainly seemed to have not received the warmest welcome to Earth.

Other such inexplicably bizarre alien encounter reports were made throughout the 1950s as well. In 1957, a retired teacher named Mary Starr allegedly woke up in the middle of the night in her home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, in the U.S., to see a piercingly bright light outside of her bedroom window. The object was described as floating over her yard, and seemed to be a large craft of some type with rectangular windows on its sides. Fascinated by what she was seeing, Starr then supposedly gazed into one of the windows and could see two decidedly bizarre entities moving about within, which were about 4-feet tall. According to the witness, they had translucent cubes for heads holding within them bright red cores, rubbery bodies that were like “skirts,” and handless appendages akin to tentacles. After a moment of observing the outlandish beings, the windows then apparently vanished as if they had never been there, and an antenna or protrusion of some sort came out of the craft, after which the whole thing began to glow before silently shooting straight up into the night sky.

The following year, in 1958, there was a weird account from Sweden, in which witnesses Stig Rydberg and Hans Gustafsson claimed to have been driving along a remote road through a thick fog at around 3 AM when they spotted a UFO measuring around 12 feet across and ringed by four “jelly bags” that were blue in color and which jumped wildly about through the air around the main craft. As the two men stopped their car to look on at the unusual sight, the four entities then reportedly descended and attacked them, demonstrating some sort of suction power with which they grabbed the witnesses and began pulling them up to the craft. The two horrified witnesses claimed that they had tried to struggle to get away, but that their arms and legs merely sank into bodies composed of gelatinous ooze that smelled like “ether and burnt sausage.” Somehow Rydberg managed to squirm free, after which he laid on the car horn and this apparently startled the creatures enough for them to drop the other man and retreat into their ship to take off into the night at astronomical speeds. The two men would say that they felt sick for days after the encounter with the “space blobs.”

The 1970s really brought a wealth of such incredibly bizarre apparent alien encounters, and some of the best can be found in this era. On August 19, 1970 there was a curious encounter in the country of Malaysia. On this day, six children were apparently playing in a forested area when a tiny UFO measuring around 3 feet across came down to land in a clearing, after which five miniature, 3-inch tall humanoids descended out of the vehicle wearing odd blue spacesuits and one in a yellow helmet adorned with spikes. The diminutive beings then marched over to a tree and seemed to be busying themselves with installing some sort of mechanical device to a tree. One of the kids apparently went over and tried to grab one of the little creatures, and it promptly shot at him with a “ray gun,” injuring his thigh. Interestingly, there have been many other such sightings of mini UFOs and humanoid beings in Malaysia as well, with the witnesses typically being children.

The following year, on August 17, 1971, there was a perhaps even stranger alien encounter from Palos Verdes, California. Witnesses John Hodges and Pete Rodriguez were allegedly headed to their car at 2 AM when they saw off through the trees a faint, mysterious glow emanating from beyond. They got into their car, switched on the headlights, and their suspended in the beams of light from their vehicle were what were described as two large, blueish entities that looked just like disembodied human brains, hovering right in the middle of the road and surrounded by clouds of vapor that seemed to cling to them. The larger one of the “brains” was described as having a prominent red eye set within it, and this is the one that began to move towards the vehicle for purposes unknown.

The two terrified men understandably got out of there as fast as they possibly could, and it was later noticed that they had 2 hours of missing time. In 1976, Hodges would undergo hypnotic regression after years of being plagued by nightmares and wondering what had happened to them out on that lonely road. Under hypnosis, Hodges revealed that he had dropped Rodriquez off at home and arrived at his own house to find the larger brain waiting for him there, which had then telepathically spoken to him. He claimed that he had then been taken into the brains’ ship to some sort of "control room," where it was revealed that they were merely telepathic tools being used by other aliens, this time more akin to the “grey” aliens typically described in more mainstream reports, although in this case they stood over 7-feet tall.

These master aliens then apparently showed Hodges various images of nuclear war and destruction as they explained that the human race had grown too powerful for its own good. He was also shown another planet that had been completely destroyed by another race that had met the same fate, and was admonished that humankind would be the “instruments of their own fate,” telling him, “Take the time to understand yourselves. The time draws near when you shall need to!” Hodges then says that he felt a potent buzzing sensation in the back of his head and found himself back in his own car. In the years after, he became convinced that these aliens had implanted him with what he called a “translator cell,” and that he received frequent telepathic communications from them through this device, in which they made dire predictions such as an apocalyptic war in the Middle East and the future widespread use of nuclear weapons. Whether you think this story and its “space brains” has any truth to it at all or not, you have to admit it is a damn strange tale all the same.

Also quite unusual is the encounter reported by Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker, who on October 11, 1973, were fishing on the Pascagoula River in Mississippi. As they cast their lines out they suddenly began to hear a series of strange hissing, whirring noises coming from behind them. When they turned around to look, they apparently came face to face with an egg-shaped spacecraft hovering over the river not far away, and a door then opened to regurgitate forth baffling creatures that really defy any easy classification. There standing in the doorway of the craft were three 6-foot tall beings with grey leathery, wrinkled skin and thin, carrot-like protrusions jutting out of their heads. The hands and feet were said to be fused into pinchers, and the eyes and mouths were just slits.

Just as they were reeling from the shock of seeing such a thing, the men realized that they had been somehow paralyzed by an unseen force, which kept them glued to where they were. Stuck as they were, the two witnesses made easy pickings for the bizarre aliens, who plucked them up and dragged them aboard their unearthly vessel. Hickson would later claim that he was brought aboard the ship and brought to a room with a blinding light, in which he was subjected to an examination by an oval shaped robotic probe of some sort. After around 20 minutes, the two were deposited back onto the bank of the river and the mysterious craft floated off. Hickson then claimed that he had found Parker on the riverbank as well in a rather disheveled state, crying and praying to God.

The two went back to their car and sat there in shock for an undetermined amount of time, before heading home. They would later contact the Kessler Air Force Base and the local sheriff with their bizarre tale, which went about as well as you would expect. No one really took the eyebrow-raising story seriously, but the whole case inevitably became splashed about local newspapers soon after. Hickson in particular went on to entertain questions on the matter and even help publish a book about the whole incident called UFO Contact at Pascagoula, while Parker ducked out of the limelight, and eventually moved out of state to avoid the constant media attention. For is part, Parker claimed that he had passed out at the beginning of the ordeal and only come to after it was over, only recalling bits and pieces under hypnosis.

The case was picked apart by some of the most eminent UFO researchers at the time, who for the most part agreed that the men at least really believed that what they had seen was real. The case of the Pascagoula aliens has since been met with a good amount of skepticism. It has been called everything from a shared hallucination to a flat-out lie, which has only been made more complicated by the fact that Hickson’s account only seemed to get more and more bizarre and complex as time went on. It has been suggested that they had a shared imaginary experience, that they were drinking, or even that they were just tripping balls on LSD at the time, but no one really knows what happened except the two witnesses themselves.

Moving on into 1977, there is the weird account of 19-year-old Lee Parish, who on January 27, 1977, claimed that he spied a rectangular UFO hovering in the sky before he was whisked into the air by a beam of light while driving home. He then found himself upon some sort of spacecraft, where he was presented to three very bizarre beings. One of the entities was described as being like a black “tombstone” 20-feet high, with a robotic arm extending from its front. Another of the things was smaller and looked like a red prism of some kind, while yet another was 6-feet tall and described as being a motionless white prism with two robotic arms and a “wedge-like” head, which produced strange noises like teeth being brushed.

At the time, Lee had the strong feeling that the white one was the leader, although he did not know why he had this impression. During the encounter, the red one was seen as the most anxious, seemingly afraid of their human guest and hiding behind the others, although it did at one point extend a robotic looking arm to try and touch him, which produced a vague, unsettling sensation of coldness and pain. Eventually, the three beings lined up and seemed to merge together, after which Lee felt a warmth permeate his body and soon found himself back in his vehicle, along with 38 minutes of missing time. It is all rather odd to say the least.

Moving on to 1977 we come to Paciencia, Brazil, where 33-year-old bus driver Antonia La Rubia was allegedly walking to work when he spied a rather strange object shaped like an “enormous wide hat" sitting in a field  Soon after he noticed the mysterious craft, it lashed out with a thin, bright beam of light, which caught La Rubia and whisked him away to a room of pure white. Within this room were various mechanical-looking beings with bright scales and arms like tentacles, as well as egg-shaped bodies and heads adorned with what appeared to be antenna. Instead of legs, the strange creatures reportedly sat upon rigid pedestals of some sort.

After this initial meeting, the frightened La Rubia claims that he shouted at the creatures, which seemed to have the effect of making them cower in fear. He lost consciousness again, and when he awoke he says that he was now subjected to a series of images projected onto the wall, including various surreal scenes such as a dog being melted and a train entering a tunnel, the meaning of which could not be discerned. At one point during this screening of oddities and grotesqueries one of the robot beings apparently reached out to draw blood from one of La Rubia’s fingers, after which it splashed it across a wall to form a pattern of three circles and an “L” shape. At this point, La Rubia claims he lost consciousness once more, and when he awoke he was purportedly back in his car, vomiting and dizzy from the whole puzzling ordeal.

In Italy the following year there was the case of Pier Zanfretta, of Italy. On December 6, 1978, Zanfetta was working as a security guard doing his rounds when he apparently saw four bright lights approaching him. He went out to investigate with pistol drawn and saw that the source of the lights were reptilian being standing 10-feet tall, with green, saggy looking skin, heads adorned with spines, and in place of a mouth a strange breathing apparatus. Upon noticing him, these entities purportedly shot out some sort of heat beam, which sent Zanfretta running in terror. He would later be found by another security detail passed out on the ground. When the area was checked there were found to be a series of large footprints imprinted into the ground and scorched branches in the trees, lending some credence to the dramatic story the witness would weave.

Zanfretta would go on to outline several more encounters with the lizard-like beings, in which he would be brought aboard their spacecraft and experimented upon. They would also introduce themselves as beings from the planet “Teetonia.” During his last visitation in December of 1980, the aliens supposedly brought him to a mothership fashioned of a crystalline substance and shown aliens resembling frogs which were being held captive in tube-like structures and which the reptile aliens claimed were an enemy species. Other captured alien specimens in the menagerie aboard the ship were shown as well, including bird-like creatures, tiny reptilian saurian beasts, and some sort of troglodyte that looked somewhat like “a caveman.”

These are just some of the weirdest reports of alien encounters I have come across, and there are certainly others as well. What are we to make of such cases? These are creatures that do not fit at all into the traditional reports of UFO occupants, and one wonders just what this could all mean. Are these different species or races? Something from another dimension? Are they shapeshifters that just take whatever form they want, regardless of how outlandish? Or are these just the result of hallucinations, psychosis, hoaxes, tall tales, or just the effects of drugs and alcohol? Whatever the answer to these questions may be, such insanely bizarre reports certainly add color to the already colorful world of close encounters, and hint that this is a phenomenon that is perhaps even stranger and more inscrutable than anyone can guess.

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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