Geraldine Sutton Stith who lives near Fredonia in Crittenden County, has never doubted it, because she looked into her father’s face when he told the story of what happened. Her story has never wavered or changed, whether she was being interviewed for documentaries in Britain, appearing on Kentucky Educational Television, or welcoming the crowds who attended Kelly’s Little Green Men Days on Friday and Saturday.
The popular Battle of the Bands, the vendors’ tents, and the rows of festival food were less than half a mile south of the former Sutton homestead, which was the scene of the visitation that has puzzled authorities since that summer night in the mid-1950s.
While modern-day extra-terrestrial storytellers like to describe the invaders as “little green men,” as popularized by Hollywood, they were described by the Sutton family as “the same color all over except for their big glowing eyes. Their body surface looked like skin, not a suit,” and “they had a luminous glow, but when a light hit them, it changed to dull metallic.”
Stith writes in her book “Alien Legacy,” and as reported in the Kentucky New Era, that the “glow of their bodies got brighter when they were shot at or yelled at.”
After a three-hour battle with the small metallic beings, the Sutton family saw an opportunity to escape to nearby Hopkinsville to summon help. When they reported the events to the Hopkinsville Police Department, the desk sergeant initially appeared to be unimpressed, but contacted police Chief Russell Greenwell when he realized that small children were involved.
Greenwell’s interest in the report may have also been fueled by a 1952 visit to his sister at a Kentucky Lake resort. Stith reports that on Greenwell’s way home from his sister’s resort, he discovered several motorists stopped in the road, as there was an oval-shaped spacecraft suspended in the air where it hovered for approximately 30-40 minutes. Returning to the resort, Greenwell discovered that 75-100 people had also witnessed the saucer-shaped aircraft. Because he had a reputation to preserve, Greenwell had not pursued the sighting, but he had never forgotten it.
During Friday night’s activities at the Little Green Men Festival, Stith reported that, “Before Greenwell reported to the Sutton farmhouse that night, he notified the Kentucky State Police in Madisonville, the Christian County Sheriff’s department, and also a staff photographer for the Kentucky New Era. Four soldiers from the military police detachment were also dispatched from Fort Campbell.”
Everything in the Kelly area, including the farmhouse, was calm and quiet as numerous vehicles and assorted law enforcement personnel arrived to comb through the scene and look for signs of an alien craft, not to mention, silvery beings. The Kentucky New Era photographer had brought his wife. Without the investigative expertise that is mandatory today, the weeds were scoured; the tracks were obscured, and no samples of anything were collected, even though they (allegedly) discovered a silvery substance where an alien may have been “winged” by Elmer “Lucky” Sutton.
With nothing more than the screech of a sleeping cat whose tail had been trampled by the investigators, nothing was noted, although as Stith reveals in her novel, “There was no special equipment brought out to do any testing, and the area was never roped off.”
Law enforcement officers, suspecting that the family had been drinking, investigated and discovered no alcohol on the premises, nor any sign that anyone had been drinking. They also each noted the obvious terror exhibited by family members.
Bud Ledwith, of WHOP Radio in Hopkinsville, arrived the next morning for an interview and was followed by another invasion — the curious — who wanted to see what happened. The Kentucky State Police returned to the farm numerous times in the next few weeks, not as investigators, but to protect the family as people wandered across the property, peeped in the windows much as the alien visitors had, and even strolled through unlocked doors seeking pictures of the family.
While Stith realizes that many people will still disbelieve the event, she has no doubt that something very frightening happened exactly as reported by her father. She has no reason to doubt him or her other family members, most of whom moved away to Cadiz or Hopkinsville shortly afterwards and rarely returned.
“Remember something really did happen that night,” she said with a rueful smile, as she looked out over the treeline, now obscuring the former homestead. “Who are we to say?”