Throwback Thursday – Kentucky UFO Sightings

The summer solstice passed last week and we all enjoyed the longest day of sunshine for the year. Days will start getting shorter and we’ll notice longer covers of starry night skies. The Hardin Planetarium on WKU’s main campus launched a new summer program last week. Called “Moonbeings,” this program searches for life beyond Earth, along the moons of our Milky Way galaxy. 

Did you know Kentucky ranks around halfway to the top of the list of states that have claimed extraterrestrial encounters? In fact, there are a few major alien reports filed in Kentucky over the past 70 years. While none have been in Bowling Green, let’s go back in time to the Kentucky sightings that created some of the most well-known holidays and unique events celebrated in the Commonwealth.

In 1949, a few pilots at Fort Knox believed they were chasing a flying saucer. A strange silvery celestial object seemed to be hovering over the base. Three planes were ordered to try catching it, but none prevailed. In fact, 25-year-old Thomas Mantell from the National guard, Chased the object up to twenty-five thousand feet high before his plane exploded and landed over 100 miles south in nearby Franklin.

In 1955, in Kelly, Ky., in nearby Christian County, the Sutton family reported several instances of little green men surprising their farmhouse in the middle of the night. The family was questioned by all types of police, paranormal, and military investigators, and the stories all made sense. The mystery of the alien shootout was never solved. But every august, Christian County lights up for a weekend event for the Little Green Men Festival.

Then in 1976, in Stanford, Ky., three women claimed to be abducted and studied by aliens for well over an hour. These blue-eyed, scaly, telepathic beings gave them lie detector tests, which they passed. The women became estranged in their community and all moved to other towns.

In 1993, a couple of Louisville police officers swear a UFO shot three fireballs at their helicopter while they were flying trying to evade it. These were some of the most well respected and reliable officers. 

We’ll never know what really happened in all of these encounters, but it seems very fitting to host a planetarium show studying moonbeings and the possibility of life somewhere else in the universe. The show runs thru July 31 at the planetarium.

Thanks to the Courier Journal and History Channel for helping with this report.

Throwback Thursday is brought to you by Hart County Tourism.