... The story officially began early on the evening of August 21, 1955, when Billy Ray Taylor, a young friend of Elmer "Lucky" Sutton, had gone to the well behind the farmhouse, and came running back telling all that he had seen a flying saucer. The object, described as bright with an exhaust that contained all the colors of the rainbow, passed above the house. It continued over of the fields, finally came to a hover, and then descended, disappearing into a gully.
No one in the Sutton house, including Glennie Lanford, Lucky Sutton, Vera Sutton, John Charley (J.C) Sutton, Alene Sutton, three Sutton children, June Taylor and O.P. Baker, believed the story of the flying saucer. None of them considered walking out to the gully to see if something might be down there. The whole idea was preposterous.
Not long after Taylor told his tale, the dog began to bark. Taylor and Lucky Sutton went to investigate that, but the dog ran under the house, not to reappear that night.
Out in the fields, away from the house, was a strange, hovering glow. As it approached, they could see a "small man" inside it. He was about three and a half feet tall, with a large head that looked to be round, and long, thin arms that extended almost to the ground (Seen here). The creature's hands were large and out of proportion with the body, and were shaped more like a bird's talons than a human hand. The two eyes were large and seemed to glow with a yellow fire.
As the creature continued to move toward the house, the two men retreated, found a rifle and a shotgun inside, and then waited. When the creature was within twenty feet of the back door, both men fired at it. The creature flipped back, regained its feet and fled into the darkness.
The two men watched for a few minutes, searching for the creature and then walked into the living room where the others waited. The creature, or one just like it, appeared in front of one of the windows and the men shot at it, hitting it. This one also did a back flip and disappeared.
Now the men decided it was time to go out to learn if they had injured or killed the creature, or animal, or whatever it was. Taylor was the first out, but stopped on the porch under a small overhang. A claw-like hand reached down and touched his hair. Alene Taylor grabbed him to pull him back into the house. Lucky, pushed past him, turned and fired up, at the creature on the roof. It was knocked from its perch.
Someone, probably Taylor, shouted, "There's one up in the tree."
Both Taylor and Lucky shot at it, knocking if from the limb. But it didn't fall to the ground. Instead, it seemed to float. They shot again, and it ran off, into the weeds.
At the same moment, another of the creatures appeared around the corner of the house. It might have been the one that had been on the roof or one of those seen in the backyard. Lucky whirled and fired. The buckshot sounded as if it hit something metallic like an empty bucket. Just as had the others, the little creature flipped over, scrambled to its feet and fled, moving rapidly into the darkness.
Having failed to stop the creatures with either the shotguns or the .22 caliber rifle, Lucky decided to leave them alone. Someone noticed that the creatures only approached from darkened areas. It seemed that they were repelled by the light.
At some point they heard noises on the roof and went out the back door to investigate. One of the creatures was back on the roof. They shot at it, knocked it off the roof, but it floated to a fence some forty feet away rather than falling to the ground. Hit by another shot, it fell from the fence and ran away, seeming to use its arms to aid its locomotion.
Some of the others in the house were still unconvinced that there were real creatures outside, believing instead, that the boys were playing some sort of a prank on them. With the lights in the house turned out, they had taken up a position close to one of the windows. Taylor told Lankford to wait and she would see for herself.
After twenty minutes or so, one of the creatures approached the front of the house. According to Lankford, it looked like a five gallon gasoline can with a head on top of two thin, spindly legs. It shimmered as if made of bright metal.
Lankford, who had been crouching quietly near the window for a long time, tried to stand, but fell with a thud. She shrieked in surprise and the creature jumped to the rear. Taylor fired at it through the screen door.
About three hours after the first creature had been seen, about 11:00 that night, they decided it was time to get out. Everybody ran to the cars. One of the kids was screaming and had to be carried. They all raced to the Hopkinsville police station for help.
At the police station, there was no doubt that the people have been frightened by something. Police officers, and the chief, interviewed after the events, made it clear they believed the people had been scared by something. That doesn't mean they were "attacked" by strange little metallic men, but does mean they were relating what they believed to be the truth to the assembled police officials.
Within minutes, the police were on their way back to the house, with some of the Sutton men in the cars. The police also called the Madisonville headquarters of the Kentucky State Police. A call was even made to the chief, Russell Greenwell at home. He was told that a spaceship had landed at Kelly. Greenwell then told the desk sergeant that it had better not be a joke.
There were now Kentucky State Police, local police, the Chief, and a sheriff's deputy either heading out to the Sutton house, or already there. One of the state troopers, who was only a few miles from Hopkinsville, on the road to Kelly, said that he saw what he called several meteors flash over his car. They moved with a sound like artillery, and he looked up in time to see two of them. They were traveling in a slightly descending arc, heading toward the Sutton house.
The yard around the Sutton house was suddenly filled with cars, and more importantly light. The men tried to point out where the various events had taken place. The chief searched for signs that anyone or everyone had been drinking but found nothing to indicate that anyone had even a beer. Glennie Lankford later said that she didn't allow alcohol in the house.
Once the police arrived, the situation changed radically. Although the atmosphere was tension charged, and some of the police were nervous, they began to search for signs of the invasion from outer space. There were apparent bullet and shotgun blast holes in the screens over the windows, and there was evidence that weapons had been fired, but there were no traces of the alien creatures. The hard packed ground did not take footprints.
The search of the yard and fields around the house revealed little, except a luminous patch where one of the creatures had fallen earlier and was only visible from one angle. The chief said that he saw it himself and there was definitely some kind of stain on the grass. There is no evidence that anyone took samples for analysis later.
But with no real evidence to be found, with no alien creatures running around, and with no spacecraft hidden in the gully, the police began to return to their regular, mundane duties. By two in the morning, only the Suttons were left at the house.
A half an hour or so after the last of the police left, and with the lights in the house down, Glennie Lankford saw one of the creatures looking in the window. She alerted her son, Lucky, who wanted to shoot at it, but she told him not to. She didn't want a repeat of the situation earlier in the night. Besides, the creatures had done nothing to harm anyone during the first episode.
But Lucky didn't listen to her. He shot at the creature but the shot was no more effective than those fired earlier in the night. Other shots were fired with no apparent affect. The little creatures bounced up each time they were hit and then ran away.
The little beings kept reappearing throughout the night, the last sighting occurring just a half an hour before sunrise. That was the last time that any of the beings were seen by any of the Suttons or their friends.
Although it seems that military personnel, from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, did visit the Sutton house, and interviews with the witnesses were conducted in 1955, an investigation by the Air Force didn't take place until two years later. According to Project Blue Book files, apparently, in August, 1957, prior to the publication of a magazine article that would review the case, someone in the Air Force decided they should "investigate."
In a letter from the ATIC at Wright-Patterson, to the commander of Campbell Air Force Base, Wallace W. Elwood wrote, "1. This Center requests any factual data, together with pertinent comments regarding an unusual incident reported to have taken place six miles north of Hopkinsville, Kentucky on subject date [21 August 1955]. Briefly, the incident involved an all night attack on a family named Sutton by goblin-like creatures reported to have emerged from a so-called 'flying saucer.'"
Later in the letter, Elwood wrote, "3. Lacking factual, confirming data, no credence can be given this almost fantastic report. As the incident has never been officially reported to the Air Force, it has not taken official cognizance of the matter." Here, once again is the Air Force attitude that if the case has not been reported to them, then it simply doesn’t exist. ...
via A Different Perspective: The Kelly-Hopkinville UFO Occupant Sighting.
From the wikipedia article on this event:
Police interviewed neighbouring farmhouses, whose residents were also distressed and reported to the police strange lights, strange sounds, and of hearing the gun battle at the Sutton farmstead. Police and photographers who visited the home saw many bullet holes and hundreds of spent shells, and further discovered what Clark describes as "an odd luminous patch along a fence where one of the beings had been shot, and, in the woods beyond, a green light whose source could not be determined." Though the investigation was inconclusive, Daniels et al. writes, "Investigators did conclude, however, that these people were sincere and sane and that they had no interest in exploiting the case for publicity. The patch sample, although photographed, was never collected and had mysteriously disappeared by the noon the next day. "
... In addition to Ledwith's sketches, Pfc. Gary F. Hodson of the 101st Airborne Division stationed at nearby Fort Campbell sketched the creatures based on eyewitness descriptions. The "men" were described as approximately 3 feet tall and either being silver in color or wearing silver colored clothing that lit up or glowed when the invaders shouted to each other. All of the witnesses agreed to a remarkable degree as to the appearance of the creatures, and never changed their stories.