By: Hillary Delaney
In the 1950s, America’s fascination with “flying saucers” was widespread, and reports of alien sightings grew. This interest was mirrored by television and movies, and planning for our space exploration was in full swing. During this era, there were multiple eyewitness accounts of celestial contact throughout our region. Is it possible that there may have been a grain of truth in these stories?
Reports of one such occurrence were given in the late spring of 1955. On May 31st, during daylight hours, several residents reported witnessing unidentified metallic objects in the skies above Boone County. The Boone County Recorder detailed the eerily similar, yet separate eyewitness accounts in a front page story on June 2, 1955. Witnesses named were: Mr. and Mrs. Sterling Rouse (near Limaburg,) Ernest Gadd, his granddaughter, and separately A.W. Weaver (all of Burlington,) and Mrs. Ralph Bresser (of Florence.) Their descriptions of the event included of a group of shiny objects, moving from west to east. The objects were described as “flat and round, and very broad”, with some adding that there was a “V-shape” toward the rear of the objects.
Rouse’s account describes the objects as metallic in appearance, but “brighter than any airplane he had ever seen at the Greater Cincinnati Airport.” Weaver and Gadd gave similar descriptions, adding that they were flying in formation. Mrs. Bresser, who was watching a knothole baseball game at the time of the sighting, described “bright, shining lights.” A Cincinnati television station also reported the objects, adding that there were a total of six in the group.
Extra-terrestrials must have found Kentuckians equally fascinating. There were several documented U.F.O. events during this era. In 1948, Captain Thomas Mantell of the Kentucky Air National Guard, gave his life in pursuit of an unidentified metallic object over Franklin County. The report of the flying metal object was repeated throughout the region, and Mantell’s crash remains something of a mystery to this day.
In August of 1955, there was an encounter in Kelly, Kentucky involving mysterious creatures on the Sutton farm. The witnesses reported bright lights, followed by a lengthy “stand-off” with gremlin-like creatures. The beings tormented them from the yard, roof and windows of the farmhouse. The police and Air force investigated, but no solid evidence was ever found. The encounter was widely covered in the media and the town holds an annual “Little Green Men Festival” to commemorate the event.
Unexplained events have held fascination for many, and will continue to do so. Regardless of whether you are a believer in extra-terrestrials or not, these stories continue to entertain. Keep your eyes on the stars above, there may be more “visits” yet to come.