Skip to content
A Close Encounter in Pascagoula

A Close Encounter in Pascagoula

By: Jesse Yancy - July 20, 2023

Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker (AP Photo/Gary Holland)

A 1970s South Mississippi abduction was crucial in establishing the National UFO Reporting Center. It might ultimately constitute Mississippi’s greatest contribution to mankind next to Elvis.

Mississippi prides itself as being the Hospitality State, and indeed our arms are open to tourists of every ilk from every quarter of the globe. Yet at least two fellow citizens have been brought to the outer limits of conviviality.

On the evening of October 11, 1973, 42-year-old Charles Hickson and his buddy, Calvin Parker, age 19, were fishing on the Pascagoula River when they heard a screeching sound behind them.

“It was like air or steam or something escaping from a pipe,” Hickson said. 

Turning around, they saw “some kind of craft, probably thirty or forty feet long.” They were then approached by “three things, they weren’t human beings.” 

“I know now they were robots,” Hickson explained. “They had something like elephant skin, very wrinkled. These things came to us and took a hold of me, and one took a hold of Calvin. We went into that beam of light and they carried us aboard that craft.”

Charles and Calvin were submitted to the intimate scrutiny of the aliens for a half hour.

“Something came out of a wall, like a big eye. It came up in front of me, it went under me, and it came up my back side. The next time I saw it, it came over my head in front of me. Then they turned me around and carried me right back out where they picked me up.” 

In the blink of an eye, the UFO was gone, and the men were left pondering what happened.

“I thought it might be some type of threat to the country. We talked it over and decided we would go to the sheriff’s department,” Hickson said.

Both men passed lie detector tests and were questioned under hypnosis. Investigators are on record as claiming that their story never wavered. 

When interviewed by WLOX reporter Patrice Clark 35 years later, Hickson said, “I am not trying to force anybody to believe anything. I just simply tell them what happened to Calvin and me, and they can make up their own minds if they want to believe it or not. There are objects that come from other worlds out there, and those worlds are… well, I have no idea.”

The evidence of Hickson and Parker’s abduction was crucial in the establishment of the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle, an institution that conceivably could play a critical role in the security not only of our nation, but of our world itself.

That might ultimately constitute Mississippi’s greatest contribution to mankind next to Elvis.

Pascagoula is set to mark the 50th anniversary of that fateful day in Downtown with the “Out of this World Festival” hosted by Main Street Pascagoula on the evening of October 20, 2023.

About the Author(s)
author profile image

Jesse Yancy

Jesse Yancy is an editor, writer and photographer working in Raymond, Mississippi. His work focuses on southern culture, with unique exploration of historical people, places and events.