The Night Of The Kentucky Goblins – The Hopkinsville Invasion!

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
April 13, 2017
Last Updated
September 6, 2020
Estimated Reading Time
9 min read
Posted in
Aliens, Encounters

The events of August 1955 read like a Hollywood blockbuster. The bizarre encounter would take place at a secluded family farmhouse, miles away from the next residents. Two entire families became trapped and encircled by “goblins from outer space!”

A stand-off that would last hours, well into the early morning, and would leave behind one of the most truly remarkable of accounts, also left visible evidence of “something” very strange having happened – as well as several battered, shaken and in some cases, wounded witnesses.

Artist's illustration of the aliens.

Artist’s illustration of the aliens.

As wild as the evening sounds, and whatever the “goblins” were, the events are still the subject of debate today. Not least, as we will look at a little later, due to information that began to surface decades later. This information would link the incident to one of the prime UFO hotspots of the United States.

Just what happened that evening in the summer of 1955 in Kentucky? And how does it fit into the larger UFO and alien picture?

Just After 8 pm, 21st August 1955, Kentucky

Billy Ray Taylor and his family were staying with their friends, the Suttons, after arriving from Pennsylvania. The Sutton’s farmhouse sat about eight miles from the small town of Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

While fetching water from a well a little distance away, Billy Ray noticed a strange light in the sky. It appeared to be on fire, but with “all the colors of the rainbow” as opposed to the flame-orange. He followed the craft, not daring to take his eye from it. It eventually vanished over the tree lines and came to a stop in a clearing.

He rushed back to the main house where his wife, June and the Suttons were talking.

He would claim to have seen a “flying saucer” which glowed brightly with “an exhaust all the colors of the rainbow”. As we will examine later, most in the room would simply humor Billy Ray at the best of times, and they would certainly do so now with his bizarre story. They would, by and large, dismiss him and carry on chatting as they were.

Then came the sudden and frantic barks of the family dog. The barking of the sort that meant something was outside and approaching.

However, as soon as the dog was unleashed to investigate, he whimpered and crawled away underneath the house. The family wouldn’t see him again until well into the next morning after the oncoming events.

A depiction of strange green glow in the woods

A depiction of strange green glow in the woods

Little “Green Men” From Outer Space?

Everyone in the house now edged to the windows of the property to peer outside into the night – all the while, the dog’s whining whimpers continued. The Sutton’s eldest son, Lucky, and Billy Ray stepped outside to gain a closer look.

Lucky was first to notice a green, glowing object heading in their direction. The others saw it too upon his calls. As it edged closer, it was apparent that the glow came from a “small humanoid figure!”

To begin with, the strange goblin-like figure remained at a distance. Then, as if it had suddenly realized it was under the two men’s gaze, it flung its arms into the air and surged towards the house. Both Taylor and Sutton raised their guns and opened fire.

The bullets did impact on their target, but merely “flipped” the creature over. Unhurt, it quickly retreated back to the shadows, allowing the two men to return to the house. It was then they saw another “goblin creature” staring in at them from the side window of the property.

A depiction of the Kentucky Goblins

A depiction of the Kentucky Goblins

All-Night Stand-Off!

They again opened fire on the menacing figure, and again a direct hit only appeared to merely stun it. Within seconds it once again ran for cover away from the property. It would become quickly apparent that more than one of the other-worldly goblins had taken an interest in them.

Billy Ray, with Lucky covering him, went back to the door ready to investigate again. As he stepped outside, a claw reached down from above. Sat on the roof, one of the goblin creatures had his hair in its grasp. Lucky shot at the silver-clad glowing figure. He hit it, but the impact only sent the strange being floating down to the ground. The bullet sent a metallic “ping” sound through the night air. Once on the ground, it quickly vanished again. As the two men prepared to re-enter the house, they both noticed multiple glows in the trees around them.

Taking their chances, the two families rushed from the house and into their respective vehicles. They screamed away from the farmhouse in the direction of Hopkinsville police station.

The video below gives a basic overview of the strange events that evening.


Although completely taken aback by the strange nature of their report, police who were witness to the family’s statements were equally aware of the genuine terror and shock they appeared to be in. Whatever it was they had seen, they believed they were, at least from their perspective, telling the truth.

They would escort the two families back to the farmhouse and investigate the scene for themselves. Perhaps telling of how seriously the police took the reports is their request to nearby Fort Campbell for military assistance.

Although one officer did make a report of what he thought to be a “strange glowing” in the woods, none of the mysterious menacing figures surfaced in front of the police. They did make note of the extent of the damage to the property and the surrounding area, however.

The military unit quickly did a sweep of the area. Shortly after 2 am, the Taylors and the Suttons would return to the farmhouse. Unfortunately for the two families, so did the mystery creatures.

With the police and military unit now having left, the two families again engaged with the mischievous beings. By 5 am, just as the sun arose over the farmhouse, the creatures began to retreat, this time for good.

A report would appear in the Kentucky New Era newspaper the next day. The once quiet and peaceful farmhouse was suddenly the desired location for UFO researchers and investigators. The scrutiny and interest became so intense the Suttons would eventually sell the farm.

Check out the video below. A more in-depth look at the incident in question.

Connection To The Mysterious Brown Mountain?

Brown Mountain in North Carolina is often the subject of strange orb sightings. Many rumors and theories exist that the mountain is really an alien or UFO base. Further to that, a secret network of ancient tunnels stretches out for miles beneath the ground. However, a strange find in the 1970s seemed to link the mountain to the Kentucky Goblins and the incident at Sutton’s farmhouse decades earlier.

The author of the book The Brown Mountain Lights, Ralph Lael would make claims to having found the mummified remains of an alien goblin-like creature. Furthermore, he hadn’t simply “found” the creature. He had been guided to it.

In the early sixties, Lael came to Brown Mountain to investigate sightings of orbs. According to the author, an orb “led him inside the mountain” on the first of several journeys he would take. The orb would speak to him telepathically, claiming itself to be a “gas-based life form!”

It was the orb that led Lael to the mummified remains and instructed him to remove it from the mountain. He should do this, the orb said, as proof of his encounter. The “mummy” itself bore a remarkable resemblance to the creatures described by the Suttons and the Taylors. Around three feet tall, the creature also had arms too long for its body, as well as an enlarged head.

Check out the video that looks at the mysterious Brown Mountain.

Ralph Lael’s Evidence Destroyed?

Although the vast majority of people were skeptical of Lael’s claims, he not once deviated from his statement. He would also claim to be “regularly harassed” by government agents since making the claims. Maybe it is a coincidence then that almost immediately following his death in 1978, the shop he owned was completely demolished and pulled to the ground? Everything in it became lost, including many believe, the strange mummified alien.

Might it be possible that this strange mummified body was one of the “goblins” from that chilling evening in 1955? Is that one slither of proof that the mountains of the Americas are somehow connected via vast and unknown tunnels? Many Native American tribes speak of underground tunnels, made thousands of years ago by advanced civilizations.

Might the mummified remains have actually been recovered by whoever made the decision to have the premises destroyed? Or might Lael himself have simply been an opportunist? The plethora of unanswered questions, both of the Hopkinsville Invasion and Ralph Lael’s strange find, keep this and other cases like them very much in the limelight of UFO and conspiracy communities. And if there is ever to be satisfactory answers to these questions, that is no bad thing.

As we will see in a moment, however, such a lack of evidence would leave open the witnesses to the Kentucky Goblins incident to accusations of a hoax.

A picture claiming to show the Kentucky Goblin Alien

Does this show an alien body from Brown Mountain?

They “Took A Real Beating” Following The Incident!

There were many cries of a hoax in the days and weeks that followed the reports of the incidents. Indeed, by early-1956 with UFO researchers, albeit fewer and further in between, still trekking to the region to get the family’s version of events, the Sutton and Taylor families had tired of talking to anyone of the bizarre night in question and leaving themselves open to ridicule and worse for their trouble.

In truth, according to Isabel Davis and Ted Bloecher in their book Close Encounter At Kelly, much of the suspicion for a hoax lay at the feet of Billy Ray Taylor, the man who claimed to have seen the “spaceship” land in the woods.  And what’s more, even the other witnesses were indifferent to Billy Ray’s attitude.

He was always more than happy to speak to anyone, seemingly adding more and more “details” of the incident with each telling. However, while it is one thing to make claims of having seen a strange object land in the woods, to which he was the only witness, is one thing, being able to create an elaborate and sustained attack of several hours against multiple armed family members is most certainly another.

It would appear, then, that while Billy Ray seemingly saw the opportunity as a potential financial windfall, unless he had (still) unknown accomplices or all eleven of the witnesses were active participants (both of which are unlikely), there is little reason to suspect a hoax on his part. His actions, though, likely gave ample ammunition to skeptics just looking for a weak link to exploit.

Ultimately, the witnesses “took a real beating” in the press. Furthermore, many people would appear at their home wanting to set up souvenir stands and offer tours. The families would decline all such offers.

Picture of Billy Ray following the incident

Picture of Billy Ray following the incident

“Sensible Explanation” For Extraordinary Witness Statements

Many researchers have examined the case over the years. Indeed, still today over sixty years later interest in the case remains high in the relevant communities. As a reflection of this many theories and claims are in circulation to explain these most mysterious night’s events.

One of the most popular is that the family witnessed “an aggressive pair of local Great Horned Owls” as opposed to aliens or goblins. On the surface, this sounds reasonable. After all, their physical appearance could, depending on perspective, match the descriptions of the witnesses. And they can stand at a similar height of just short of a meter tall.

However, this seemingly “sensible” explanation did not please everyone. One UFO researcher, Jerome Clark in his 1993 book Unexplained would dismiss this suggestion. He would state that the witnesses who fired their weapons on the creatures distinctly remember the sound “resembling bullets striking a metal bucket”.

He would further point to the presence of an “odd luminous patch” near the fence where one of the creatures was shot. Some would suggest this substance was Foxfire, a fungus that appears on decaying wood. However, this would also surface in the woods in the direction the creature came and left. He would state:

…(investigations) by police, Air Force officers from nearby Fort Campbell, and civilian ufologists found no evidence of a hoax!

Even claims by skeptics that several members of the family “had been drinking” on the night in question do not hold much weight. Of the eight adults, most were relatively sober aside from the drinks with their meal. Furthermore, three of the eleven witnesses were children and had not consumed any alcohol whatsoever.

It would certainly appear there is much more to the case than mistaken identity.

The CIA And Mind Control Connection?

Although it wouldn’t come to light until 2009, it would appear that the CIA had an interest in the Kentucky encounter as far back as 1956. In the book A Terrible Mistake – The Murder Of Frank Olsen and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments, H.P. Albarelli not only looks at the suspicious death of Dr. Olsen who was an increasing voice of concern against the agencies mind control programs, but also at apparent links to several well-known UFO cases, including the Hopkinsville case.

Albarelli claims that the CIA would issue orders to “discreetly investigate events” concerning the Kentucky incident. And what’s more, they would state the investigation related to “phenomenon witnessed in the skies and on the ground”.

He would further name the person in charge of the investigation as John Mulholland, who after spending the first half of the twentieth century as a master magician would suddenly being discreet work with the intelligence agency in the mid-1950s. Furthermore, he would develop and advise the agency greatly on their MKUltra and mind control programs.

This is an interesting notion. There has been rampant speculation for decades by some that many UFO sightings and certainly many alien abductions have their roots in military experiments. Might it be that such incidents as the Kentucky Goblins encounter were some kind of mind control experiment?

Or, might it be not an experiment by the US intelligence agencies, but an actual mental attack by Soviet forces? A new secretive kind of warfare that made citizens of the west question their own sanity, as well as the sanity of others?

Check out the video below. It features extensive discussion of this most bizarre yet enduring incident. It features Geraldine Sutton-Stith – a child of the Sutton’s at the time of the Kentucky Goblin attack in 1955.

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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1 Comment

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  • Sakib says:

    Very likely to be jinn, they have the power to shapeshift into anything they want. They also like playing tricks on people to scare them.

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