Around 11 PM on August 21, 1955, eight people showed up at the Hopkinsville, Kentucky police station in a state of panic. “We need help,” one gasped. “We’ve been fighting them for nearly four hours.” They quickly explained that the “them” were aliens — creatures with glowing yellow eyes, silvery skin, and long arms who had swooped in from out of the sky. While it may have sounded outlandish, multiple witnesses soon corroborated the story.
On the evening of August 21, 1955, five adults and seven children arrived at the Hopkinsville police station claiming that small alien creatures from a spaceship were attacking their farmhouse and they had been holding them off with gunfire "for nearly four hours". Two of the adults, Elmer Sutton and Billy Ray Taylor, claimed they had been shooting at "twelve to fifteen" short, dark figures who repeatedly popped up at the doorway or peered into the windows.
Concerned about a possible gun battle between local citizens, four city police, five state troopers, three deputy sheriffs, and four military police from the nearby US Army Fort Campbell drove to the Sutton farmhouse located near the town of Kelly in Christian County. Their search yielded nothing apart from evidence of gunfire and holes in window and door screens made by firearms.
Residents of the farmhouse included Glennie Lankford, her children, Lonnie, Charlton, and Mary, two sons from a previous marriage, Elmer "Lucky" Sutton, John Charley "J.C." Sutton, and their respective wives, Vera and Alene, Alene’s brother O.P. Baker, and Billy Ray Taylor and his wife June. Both the Taylors, "Lucky" and Vera Sutton were reportedly itinerant carnival workers that were visiting the farmhouse. The next day, neighbors told two officers that the families had "packed up and left" after claiming "the creatures had returned about 3:30 in the morning.
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry member and skeptic Joe Nickell notes that the family could have misidentified "eagle owls" or great horned owls, which are nocturnal, fly silently, have yellow eyes, and aggressively defend their nests. According to Nickell, meteor sightings also occurred at the time that could explain Billy Ray Taylor’s claim that he saw "a bright light streak across the sky and disappear beyond a tree line some distance from the house".
According to author Brian Dunning, "there are simply too many similarities between the creatures reported by the families and an aggressive pair of the local Great Horned Owls, which do stand about two-thirds of a meter tall".