While I was doing research on the Internet, I found a reference to me about the Charles Hickson – Calvin Parker abduction in Pascagoula, Mississippi on October 11, 1973. This was in a skeptical magazine, but it was based, apparently, on a reference I had supplied to Ron Story’s The Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters, published in 2001. What I had written there was:
The landing site of the UFO was only a few hundred yards away from and in full view of a heavily traveled highway. No one ever came forward to corroborate the story, or to suggest that he or she had been on the highway and saw the UFO.
This bit of analysis was based on the skeptical argument that had been offered over the years. Turns out to be wrong. First, the location site of the UFO landing and the abduction is only briefly visible from the highway, given the construction of the bridge that must be crossed, the surrounding terrain, and the vegetation in the area. In other words, it is in a location that is in view of the highway for only seconds and it is difficult to see.
What I have learned about this in the world today is that there were others in the area who saw the bright blue light that surrounded the UFO. I learned, in talking to Calvin Parker, that he had talked with people who told him they had seen the UFO that night in 1973. Among those witnesses were Vernon and Maria Blair, crane operator Louis Lee, and a carload of people including Ray Broadus, Emmanuel P. Sigalas and finally a fellow named Larry Booth.
|Vernon and Maria Blair at a much younger age.|
Photo courtesy Philip Mantle and Calvin Parker.
The Blairs and Louis Lee had not talked about their observations until decades later. They said they wanted to avoid the ridicule that is associated with reporting a UFO. They could read the newspapers and see the news reports and they just were not comfortable with dragging the spotlight to them.
I asked Calvin Parker about this, because he was talking about new witnesses, and that there were newspaper articles and other documentation that provided dates. I, of course, was of the opinion that these new witnesses had just appeared on the scene recently and to me, that was a problem.
However, there is a document dated October 12, 1973, created at Keesler Air Force Base by officers at the base. It mentions the military personnel who were involved in the interrogation of Hickson and Parker while they were at the base to be checked for radioactive contamination. But more importantly, it provides the names of two men who had reported seeing something in the area of the abduction on the night of the abduction.
That document names, specifically, Ray Broadus, and another, independent witness identified only by his first name, and that he owned a gas station. Later, Ralph Blum reported on a fellow named Larry Booth who owned a gas station. In other words, here were the names of two witnesses who made reports the very next day.
Add to that, in interview conducted with Emmanual P. Sigalas, months after the abduction. That doesn’t matter, because, as noted he was in the car with Broadus and that gives us the date.
My point here is simple. When I wrote those words most recently quoted, it was that I had accepted the words printed by Philip Klass and other skeptics. Given these criticisms, that is, no one saw the object from the highway and there were no other witnesses to the event, I had believed them. When Parker told me that this wasn’t true, I investigated and found that there were other witnesses, and some of them were interviewed the day after the abduction. That certainly changes some of the problems with the case and provides, well, a different perspective. I just thought I would mention it.