Pascagoula 1973: UFO Inquiry
By David P Kuhlman FFSc
Taking a serious and intellectual approach to the numerous and often many times unbelievable stories that are reported throughout the world regarding the UFO and encounters that have been related as ‘genuine’, it is not that hard really to surmise the credibility within such data as to its authenticity. For me, many upon many related encounters just don’t add up to mere reason or they simply do not offer any credible facts that can be traced to some sort of hard evidence that will support their claims. At other times when confronted, the very person who has reported such encounters will simply avoid direct questioning in an attempt to evade any further comments to their stories leading everyone to believe that a hoax has been constructed. We certainly do not have a shortage of strange and bizarre reports though only a small few in the vast number of encountered reports show any concrete evidence that would support these claims at all.
Throughout personal research and inquiries, I have considered only four, yes four, UFO encounters that strongly support the claims of the witnesses as they have related them to the public and they are: the Travis Walton abduction in Snow Flake, Arizona in 1975. The 1973 encounter in Pascagoula, Mississippi involving Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker. The 1961 abduction of the late Betty and Barney Hill and the Piney Woods Incident involving Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and Ms. Landrums nephew Colby, in 1980. This small group of reports I consider the best-documented or solidly confirmed cases that prove without a shadow of a doubt that other worldly phenomenon does indeed exist and can interact with humans here on Earth, period. We have to understand however that these reports still have not proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt, the existence of an extraterrestrial presence. The fact is that we still have little to go on to place these reports as definite interactions with what we consider as ‘alien’ although through science and its many hidden paths, we can see the numerous possibilities that could contribute to such encounters. Throughout history reports of all kinds of unexplained phenomenon have been recorded and many of these are just as elusive in their origin as the UFO and alien subject. I also feel strongly their may also be a scientific connection that relates other phenomenon such as ghosts and the spirit world with the UFO directly. Just like the UFO phenomenon, other unexplainable encounters have yet to be proved of an actual physical origin. Having said this, we do know however that these things do happen and often in all walks of life and to all different kinds of people.
Not being able to explain something in what we consider as rational terms does not mean it simply hasn’t or could not happen as described by the individuals who report them. This is evident in the four cases that I have isolated and placed in the category of genuine yet unexplained, interactions with the unknown side of scientific existence. Also, these reports and encounters strongly support in my view, an alien presence. They also dispute the common belief that everyone who reports such has to be in some way mentally or otherwise unstable, on the contrary, it shows that after such reported interactions with the unknown that previously psychologically intact and reputable people can become mentally as well as physically disturbed as a result. The encounter report to follow should show you, the reader, just how real the UFO and alien phenomenon as we call it, does indeed exist no matter how many lay people claim it simply cannot. Journey now with me through one of my favorite UFO encounters of the four of all time, which carries with it two common factors, the factors of actuality and scientific probability.
For the reader, I have not chosen to document this particular encounter first in order of its credibility. I, in fact hold each of these reports of the four, as credible as the other. Each one forms a solid foundation in the scientific world that the UFO and alien enigma is real and it should call all in the scientific community to take notice even if in fact they have chosen to look over it many times in the past for whatever reason they may or may not have had.
The focus here, in this work, is to talk about an encounter that has intrigued me for a long time. Not only do I feel it needs much attention and scientific study, it is an encounter that simply defines the UFO phenomenon itself in that it defies all reasonable logic, yet it is in fact right there all the time and can present itself to an unknowing and unsuspecting person at its leisure, the year was 1973. I myself was just two years old in the spring and summer of 1973, doing what most kids do at that time in their lives, playing and making a mess for mom. Unknown to me at that time a major UFO encounter was about to take place, one that would ‘rock’ the foundation and beliefs of many, as well as forever leaving the minds of two men disturbed and confused at what took place. Charles Hickson and a co-worker, Calvin Parker, worked together in a shipyard in the town of Pascagoula located in Mississippi. Hickson was in his early forties at the time and Parker was around the age of eighteen. Hickson enjoyed fishing as a past time and went often, sometimes he would take the trip after work and this day would be no different. At some time during their workday Hickson invited his friend, co-worker, Calvin Parker to go fishing with him after work and they did just that. When the day had ended at the shipyard each man quickly retrieved their fishing gear from their homes and set out to a place that Hickson had fished many times, an abandoned shipyard in Pascagoula. They arrived before dark and fished without much luck early on. Hickson decided they would change fishing spots, he knew it would be dark soon but night fishing is something he had done before and enjoyed it as well.
Both men set up at their next location at the shipyard and began fishing from a wooden dock that extended out into the water, by this time the sun was setting and darkness was falling, yet it was not completely dark yet by any means. As the two men stood on that dock that night enjoying their fishing trip, one of the most bizarre and incredible things took place, something neither man was ready for, something no man would have dreamed. I have talked personally with Charles Hickson about that night in 1973, Hickson now in his seventies and of failing health was very pleasant and answered the few questions I had regarding the incident, I had done extensive research on the case and had listened to numerous interviews of Charles Hickson prior to my speaking with him, these interviews had been taken only a few months or years after the UFO encounter and nothing about his story has changed in over thirty years I assure you. The rest is UFO history indeed.
As the two men stood there on that dock fishing, Hickson stated, “I heard a sound, almost like a humming or whirring come from behind us”. As Hickson turned to face the sound, he saw something that dumbfounded him instantly, some sort of domed craft hovering just above the ground. About this time Calvin Parker had turned and also rested his eyes on the unexplainable. Both men stood there facing the object, silently, almost in a trance although Hickson said he was aware of everything up to this point. Next, Hickson relates that he saw some sort of what he believed to be an opening in the craft, where bright light was being emitted from inside and about the same time he also noticed two ‘beings’standing side by side in the light. Each man, Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker were silent, not attempting to make an escape from something that instantly struck fear, is something Hickson can not explain. Soon after the appearance of the two figures in the light, Hickson states that the beings began to ‘float’ or ‘glide’ out of the craft towards them. One thing that that really surprised him at the time was that each being was not touching the ground at all as they moved closer and closer. Hickson also states that as the beings got closer they took on a ‘robotic appearance’ and was nothing that he had ever seen in his life before. Describing the ‘beings’ after the ordeal, both Hickson and Parker said they had two conical protrusions at each side of the head where an ear would be located on a human. They also had a larger conical protrusion where the nose should be. The being had no eyes to speak of and only a mere slit for a mouth. Its skin was very wrinkled, almost like an elephants skin both men agreed and no legs at all were noticed by either man at the time. The beings did have arms, which ended in ‘claw-like’ hands as well as a putrid stench that favored battery acid.
As the two men watched in horror as the beings came forward, the next thing Hickson recalled was that they were approached by three of them and as they began to escort the two men from the dock, (one being took Hicksons arm, and two beings took Parkers arms), that Calvin Parker fainted. The next thing Charles Hickson remembered consciously were both of them being placed back on the very dock where they had been abducted. From Hicksons report they had lost about thirty minutes in time. He remembers looking over at Calvin who was lying down and thought to be unconscious, he then proceeded to check on his friend and he found that his own legs were ‘weak as water’ and he couldn’t stand much less walk, so he crawled over to Parker to check on him. “It took a lot of yelling and shaking”, Hickson said about trying to waken his friend but “Calvin soon came around and was very hysterical and crying”, he stated.
After each man recovered there on that wooden dock, now totally in the dark, in Pascagoula, Mississippi in 1973, and their captors long gone, each man tried desperately to come to terms with what had happened. This would soon become a life long obstacle for each man. Although Charles Hickson came to terms finally with what had happened even though he has never found a reasonable explanation, the opposite is true for Calvin Parker. Parker ended up leaving the town in Mississippi he called home, sometime after this encounter he also had been admitted to a psychological hospital for the extreme stress and inability to come to terms with his living nightmare. He was diagnosed as having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It would also prove to be the end of he and Charles Hicksons close friendship. I asked Mr. Hickson when I talked to him if he had since talked to Calvin Parker after all these years and the answer was no, although he said he had tried many times, Calvin just cant handle what had happened and had removed himself away from anything that might bring back the memories of that night, the night that was meant to be something fun for both of us yet turned into a life long struggle with what is the truth of reality.
After some time had passed Charles Hickson did a number of interviews, one in which was conducted by J. Allen Hynek. He also submitted to hypnotism at one point where other regressed memories were recalled. Some of these recalled memories detailed the time that he was inside the craft, where he recalled being ‘scanned’ full body by some sort of round probe with an ‘eye’ of light. He also stated the he was suspended it seemed in mid-air all the while this ‘probe’ circled his entire body. Hickson never recalled seeing any of the ‘beings’ he had seen before on the dock, in the craft itself, nor did he see Calvin at this time. He also described the interior of the ‘room’ as brilliantly lit, which caused much difficulty with his short-term vision.
In time after the event other clues emerged on the scene. Many other people had reported seeing ‘strange’ objects in the skies above Pascagoula as well as in the vicinity of the old shipyard around the same time that the ordeal for Charles and Calvin had begun. Many investigators as well as local police converged on the issues that had been reported to authorities by each man, nothing was ever found to disprove any part of their story.
As you, the reader can surely see there is much more than an elaborate hoax in play here. In fact, that there is no hoax at all. Something happened that night to Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker, something that literally changed each mans life instantly. Although Hickson handled it differently than Parker as stated above. When asked why he thought Calvin Parker suffered more psychologically than he did, Charles Hickson responded by saying that he thought he was more able to absorb what had happened without suffering the mental breakdown that Calvin had, because of the fact that he had been accustomed to violent and terrible things, having served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Korean Conflict. Calvin was a young man and had not had the conditioning that he had had throughout life and that this was the major factor in how Calvin reacted and handled the situation.
I would also like to point out here for the uninformed, that Charles Hickson to this very day stands solid on his story. Nothing has changed. I also want to note, that my extensive research and in listening to the Hickson interviews more than once prior to my actual conversation with him, that everything documented in 1973 about this case stands to this day. The Pascagoula UFO Encounter has stood the test of not only extensive research and inquiries over the years, but has stood the test that proves to all people that the gospel truth will not and cannot unravel over the test of time, whether one chooses to believe it or not. Having said that, sometimes scientific fact is a harder pill to swallow than science fiction simply because fact can’t be denied forever and it stands to challenge everyone’s Earthly knowledge which forces you, the reader, to look beyond and prepare for a time when you too may ultimately have to face what you have been denying simply because you chose not to look at the world around you with a scientific and discernable mind. The science of ufology must be taken seriously, because one day it will show its face to everyone and when it does we need to be prepared at some level to rise up to the challenges it will present all of us, no matter what its origin proves to be.