Monday, September 19, 2011

Charles Hickson (1931-2011)

Charlie Hickson has died, and Pascagoula will likely never again receive the sort of fame infused by his story. His was the account to make us say, hmm, maybe Charles Fort was right -- maybe we are "property."

The evening -- that unique evening -- was growing later and darker on that strange night in October of 1973. Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker, having been brought to the sheriff's office, began telling their bizarre story of alien abduction, an encounter that transformed their hopes for a few tranquil hours of fishing on the banks of the Pascagoula River in Mississippi to clock-stopping moments of horror. Hickson did his best to remain rational as he recounted, frankly, details of an unbelievable incident. Parker, however, was simply hysterical, apparently affected emotionally by something terrifying, a seemingly illogical confrontation with some nameless fear.

Nor did a tape recording (the audio, several minutes in length, may still be available on the Internet at no charge) made in secret after the sheriff left the two alone for a few minutes help to dispel their incredible account, for their apprehension and confusion remained alarmingly intact, with no vocal evidence of a hoax. Ultimately, even Dr. J. Allen Hynek would be impressed with the fishermen's harrowing story.

Another 28 years would go by before journalist Natalie Chambers wrote an astonishing update, distributed via the Associated Press, on October 21, 2001. It seems that Hickson and Parker had witnesses that night so long ago -- a car full of Navy servicemen who may have seen a peculiar airliner-size craft glide and descend into the fishing area.

Chambers' article should have shocked the world out of its negative complacency toward the UFO abduction issue -- and maybe it would have, had the country and the world not been consumed with other terrors, those of a very human nature, just weeks before.

During the years following the Pascagoula incident, Charlie Hickson never tired of relating the pair's story, and even made a few bucks speaking and writing about it. Calvin Parker, on the other hand, reportedly remained devastated, wanted nothing to do with publicity and left the area, taking unfathomable memories of the abduction incident with him. These are the kind of people to whom one wishes to express profound sympathy -- but then we pause, oblivious to knowing what to say, or what to do. We cannot relate. Relate to what?

Several articles relevant to the Pascagoula incident are posted at (use their on-site search engine) and my December 1, 2008 blog entry about the incident -- an important entry for me -- is entitled, "The Extraordinary Witness" and may be accessed on this blog at:

(Pictured: Charles Hickson and an artist's conception of one of the creatures encountered by the men.)