Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘Hopkinsville Goblins Case

Comments and Possibilities and Hopkinsville Goblins Redux

with one comment

I get so many interesting comments on my blog posts. Really, I mean that. months or years after the fact in some cases. Some of my posts get steady traffic, well, permanently, as far as I can tell. And steady traffic means steady comments. More surprisingly, to me at least, is how few nasty and troll comments I get. I turned moderation off fairly early on, and only very rarely have deleted a comment. Even when people disagree with me they are usually polite, and sometimes correct, I have made mistakes. And I can be persuaded by logical argument, I no longer think Jane Fonda should have been tried for treason for example.

The comments on The Hopkinsville Goblin case were fairly typical. Most of them grasped what I was saying, the case has a certain amount of basic verisimilitude, and no matter what the cause, it’s interesting from psychological, social, and historical perspectives. Just the fact that people are indeed afraid of ghost stories is an interesting phenomena. It’s also kind of a good case for separating the wheat from the chaff so to speak. Some people are convinced the case has to have supernatural aspects. No, no it doesn’t. Some people are convinced that a completely mundane explanation is the only explanation possible. No, no it isn’t.

The Dylatov Pass Incident is a good case in point. I still maintain that hypothermia, paradoxical undressing, panic, scavenging animals, poor forensics, and post event weird detail embellishment provide a satisfactory, if not compelling, prosaic explanation. A number of commenters vociferously defend the position that something weird has to be involved. Well, maybe. I even started writing a post addressing some of the points raised, but ultimately decided it was a waste of time. It’s like arguing with 9/11 Truthers, they can’t even concede that there might be other explanations than their’s, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for debate.

Sometimes people leave comments of prodigious length. I guess I’m glad people are so inspired by my writing to write such comments. Usually I read all comments, but in some cases, it’s just too much (the zenpadiso comments.) Or just too weird (Richard, at the end of the comments.) Sometimes people personally involved in events I describe have chimed in. I can only be flattered in such cases. In the Lawndale Thunderbird case a family member added some details, maybe undocumented details, I don’t know. And even if people are pretending to be personally involved in the case, that’s flattering too.

Well, crap, only half a post. I have dozens of draft posts that only made it to half a post before I realized there wasn’t a full post’s worth of material to write about. Even less in many cases. A personal failing really, since a good writer should be able to make anything interesting. Back in the day when I was a corporate drone, I once caught my assistant stuffing a bunch of my office memos into her purse. I was like, oh, taking our work home with you? She said no, her boyfriend really liked my writing style, so she brought him everything I wrote. Hopefully he eventually found my blog, or maybe he had a thing about office memos. I never write those any more. One of them got me fired, honesty is not appreciated in the corporate environment. Well, maybe it’s appreciated by some, but the lying ass-kissers get the promotions most of the time.

There’s been a  recent codicil to the Hopkinsville Goblins case. Don’t read about it here. Don’t read about it because it’s just a contemporary account with no empirical evidence except footprints. Helpfully illustrated above. I’m sure I could find images of Bigfoot footprints too. It’s gonna take a carcass to convince me, not footprints. I mention it because it makes the supposition that the goblins are real, and are some sort of cave dwelling species. Could the Hopkinsville Goblins be some sort of cave dwelling humanoid? Well, Kentucky has a lot of caves, and we know that all sorts of creatures have evolved in very odd ways in caves. And Flores Man shows that humans can indeed evolve in odd ways in odd environments. Could there be a Homo hopkinsvillean man species that occasionally emerges from caves to torment humans? It’s more likely than aliens emerging from UFOs, I’ll grant that.

Which, frankly, isn’t granting much. This new Hopkinsville story neatly demonstrates one of the problems with these sorts of stories. As soon as the original story hits the fan, all sorts of embellishment is added by other people. So so many stories about weird events turn into far more prosaic (if still interesting events) when the post-event craptacular details are omitted. Roswell, Kecksburg, Flight 19, Dylatov Pass, Jocko, and indeed Hopkinsville fall into this sad category. Just for starters.

Nonetheless there are still any number of mysteries to write about. Suggestions always welcome.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. Credit and copyright, well, it’s pretty clear on the image itself. If it had five toes or even four, I’d be more impressed. Three? Give me a break.)

Written by unitedcats

June 27, 2012 at 7:19 am

The Hopkinsville Goblins

with 6 comments

Ah, the Hopkinsville goblin case. This was at the time and still is one of the “great” UFO cases. Great as in popular and well known at the time, and still given great credence by people who believe that UFOs and extraterrestrials regularly visit Earth. Granted unlike Roswell it never became enshrined in popular cultural lore, so many of my readers will never have heard of it. And something interesting that no one has heard of is music to my keyboard so to speak. Enjoy!

So, what happened the night of August 21st 1955? Quite a lot actually, and I’m not going to recount every aspect of it. Two families were staying in a farmhouse in rural Kentucky. At one point in the early evening one of the people went outside to get some water, the house not having indoor plumbing. He saw what he described as a pretty classic UFO, but no one else in the house believed him or even went to look themselves. About an hour later the people in the house began hearing strange noises outside, and the dog began barking wildly. Two men armed themselves and went outside to investigate, the dog hid under the house and stayed there. And then all hell broke loose.

The two men saw two strange humanoid creatures and shot at them to no effect.  They retreated into the house where for the next several hours the people inside saw them through windows and heard them scratching on the roof as if to get in. They claim multiple shots were fired over the course of several hours, none of which had any apparent effect. They finally fled in two cars, driving 30 minutes to the nearest police station. At which point a number of police, state and local, returned to the property. They saw no creatures, but some reported seeing unexplained lights in the sky. And that’s that, to this day the people in the house swear that what they saw was real. What the hell?

The first possibility is that it was simply a hoax that got out of hand. IE they made the story up, it got far more attention than it deserved, so that even the ones who had “just gone along with the fun” were too embarrassed to come clean. Especially if alcohol was involved. I don’t think it can be ruled out, but I don’t think it has ever been proved either. For the purposes of discussion let’s say that hoax is a possibility and move on to other possibilities.

So assuming the people involved really do believe what they experienced was true, is there any way to explain it without resorting to little silver beings? Well, yes. I think panic and active imaginations can explain it. The first guy’s UFO sighting got everyone in the house “primed” so to speak. At the time UFOs were scarier than they are today. Then the other two guys went outside, got thoroughly rattled by whatever they saw, and scared the bejesus out of the rest of the people in the house. The rest followed naturally as frightened people panicked and their imaginations took over. The operative word here being panicked, people don’t think clearly and imagine all sorts of things when they panic, it’s human nature. And their memories of what they imagined can be very real. Now I’m not saying this is the explanation, just that it’s a possible explanation.

So what did the two men see and shoot at originally? Great Horned Owls is the only guess that is worth mentioning. They are about the right size, sometimes aggressively defend their nests, and bear a strong resemblance to the descriptions of the aliens, illustrated above. Granted some find it a very unsatisfying explanation, but it’s more likely than little silver suited aliens!

Do I consider this case “solved” with the assurance that most of the skeptics seem to evince? No, of course not. There really isn’t any evidence besides the narratives of the people involved, which pretty much limits us to possible explanations. And likely the story will remain unsolved, at this point I think if it was a hoax some or all of the participants would have fessed up. These people really do believe they saw something strange that night, and unless a flying saucer lands and apologetic aliens pop out to beg forgiveness from the family they scared back in 1955, that’s as far as I am going to go in terms of reaching a conclusion.

What I will do is try to find similar cases where panicked people did indeed see things they imagined, I know I have so it shouldn’t be too hard. Suggestions welcome.

Have a great weekend everyone!

(The above image is Public Domain under US copyright law, having been produced by a Federal employee in the course of his duties. In this case by Pfc. Gary F. Hodson of the 101st Airborne Division, who interviewed some of the witnesses after the encounter. Frankly I find the resemblance to an owl rather uncanny.)

Written by unitedcats

June 22, 2012 at 11:48 am