Every claimed alien abduction case is weird by default, but the 1973 abduction of Calvin Parker and Charles Hickson in Pascagoula, Mississippi is weird even by those standards. The two men were fishing on the west bank of the Pascagoula river when, they said, a UFO appeared hovering above the ground. Three creatures disembarked from the craft, paralyzed Parker and Hickson, and brought them aboard. According to the men, the creatures were pale with remarkably wrinkled skin, "lobster-like" claws for hands, and carrot-shaped growths where their eyes and ears should have been. The creatures seemed to each have one thick leg, like two legs had been fused together. On the ship, the creatures allegedly performed medical procedures and levitated them back to their original position 20 minutes later.
The story drew international attention and became one of the most well-known alien abduction cases. Through the course of the investigation, some of the big guns of the UFO world were brought out, with Hickson and Parker being interviewed by James Harder and J. Allen Hynek (of Project Blue Book fame), who concluded that Parker and Hicks had "a very real, frightening experience." While some small details changed over the course of time, neither man ever recanted their stories. Charles Hickson passed away in 2011, and to the end of his life he maintained that the story was true.
Now 46 years later, a couple from the Pascagoula area has come forward claiming that they too saw something that night, but never before went public with their testimony for fear of ridicule. According to the Sun, Maria and Vernon Jerry Blair were sitting in their car looking out over the Pascagoula river, on the opposite bank from Parker and Hickson, when they saw strange blue lights begin circling around the area. Maria Blair says:
"I thought was an aeroplane because of its bright lights flashing. And it just kept going back and forth across the sky. I told my husband there’s something wrong with that plane, it’s like he doesn’t know where he wants to go."
The couple allegedly watched the lights for approximately 40 minutes, before stepping out of their car and walking down the pier towards the water. Maria says that's when she saw one of the creatures emerge from the water:
"We started walking down the pier and something came up out of the water. It was like a person. I told Jerry 'There’s somebody out there'. They came up out of the water, then went back down. So I’m standing there waiting for this person and the water rippled out.
[Jerry] said 'Come on - there’s nobody out there'. I know I saw it.
I walked down to the boat and it was about 11.30pm to 12pm before I came back down the pier. I was by myself. I ran back to the car."
The impetus for the Blairs coming forward was apparently the recently published book Pascagoula-The Closest Encounter by Calvin Parker, who had previously remained largely hidden from media attention since the incident. Calvin Parker met with Maria and Vernon last Wednesday for the first time and says he felt an immediate connection to the couple:
"It was a very emotional meeting from the beginning. It started out with both of us tearing up and automatically bonding. I felt like I had known [Maria] for years. It started off with her telling me that she saw the abduction on October 11, 1973, but didn’t know who was involved until the following day.
Mrs Blair then set out on a quest to find me so she could see if we were okay. But she had no luck because I was in hiding away from the media attention. Her husband told her she would be a fool for coming forward and that everyone would make her out to be crazy.
So, she kept this to herself telling me she would think about it every night and worry about me. Just like me - she had secrets that would haunt us for the rest of our lives.
Thank God I wrote the book as it has helped us come together. Although we have just met we have had a connection for over 45 years."
It's a weird case. The aliens are weird. The witness testimony is weird. There are weird holes in the descriptions of events. And everyone involved is weirdly earnest. Witness testimony is never proof of anything, but it's yet another layer in one of the strangest encounters with the paranormal that's ever been recorded.