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The Kelly Little Green Men

Have aliens visited Kentucky? Some residents of the town of Kelly believe so.

“It is a fantastical story that has lasted all these years,” says Geraldine Stith, speaking about the tale of the alien invasion during August, 1955. “I heard it from the main source, and that was my father, Elmer Sutton.”

Elmer, along with his friend Billy Ray and their wives, had come to visit family members in Kelly. The group was socializing at a house and Billy Ray went out in the backyard to draw water from the well. While outside, he saw a flying saucer move across the sky, leaving a rainbow colored trail behind it before landing in the woods behind the house.

Billy Ray told his friends what he saw, and Elmer went back outside with him to investigate. According to their story, they were approached by a three-foot tall, silvery being, hovering above the ground. The two men ran inside, where their family members initially refused to believe them. But then, Elmer’s mother Glennie saw the creature at the back door of the house.

“They started shooting and they had a battle until about 11:30 that night,” says Stith. “They finally got a clearing where they could run to Hopkinsville and get help. They had no phone, so that was the only thing they knew to do.”

Police officers came to the scene in Kelly, but there was no sign of the aliens. The story goes that after everyone else left, the creatures reappeared and terrorized the family until dawn broke. And when the aliens finally disappeared for good, the home in Kelly was invaded again, this time by reporters and fascinated locals.

“They were coming from everywhere,” says Stith. “Magazines were coming out. The night that it happened, [the newspaper] Kentucky New Era sent a reporter out with cameras and everything. People were camping out in their yard, waiting for [the aliens] to come back. People were walking through the house, taking things as souvenirs, and it got really bad.”

Despite the description of silvery creatures, the alien invasion is now referred to as the incident of the “Kelly green men.” It’s become a lasting part of Christian County’s history, and the community celebrates “Kelly Little Green Men Days” every year in August.

“My grandmother was a church-going woman that read her Bible, that prayed, that made sure the kids went to church,” says Stith. “And her credibility alone with all this was enough to make people believe.

“Something happened that night,” adds Stith. “There are possibly things out there. We don’t know. We can’t explain.”

This segment is part of Kentucky Life episode #2504, which originally aired on October 26, 2019. Watch the full episode.