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The Pascagoula Abduction - Night Fishing Gone Wrong

There are few things worse in our world than feeling powerless. When we are deprived of hope and autonomy in an instant, we are left with a deep scar of trauma.

The true damage in these cases comes not from any physical harm we may suffer, but from the realization that our existence could have ended then and there. We enter a form of mourning for our own mortality that can take years to process.

This is exactly what happened to Calvin Parker (19), following his encounter with aliens in Pascagoula, Mississippi. His trauma seemed deeper than that suffered by his co-abductee, Charles Hickson (42). Or so the good people of Netflix's "Files of the Unexplained" would have us believe.

Let's take a look at the events of 11 October 1973. Were these men actually abducted by alien beings, or did something else happen?

Night Fishing

Charles Hickson got his son's friend, Calvin Parker, a job at the shipyard where he worked as a foreman. He, Hickson, had watched Calvin grow up. They often went camping with Hickson's son and Parker's father.

According to Hickson's son, his father loved nothing more than fishing. So, when their shift ended on a chilly October evening, Parker saw nothing wrong with the invitation for a spot of night fishing.

The pair set up on a pier on the west bank of the Pascagoula river near the drawbridge and got to fishing. Hickson recounted the start of their encounter in a 1975 interview with the Washington Post:

“I was just getting ready to get some more bait when I heard a kind of zipping sound. I looked up and saw a blue flashing light. Calvin turned around too. We saw a 30-foot-long object with a little dome on top.”

Both men stood transfixed as the craft lowered to just above the ground. They were trapped between the glowing object and the river. To their horror a trio of strange beings materialized from the bright light emanating from the craft.

Charles Hickson's description of the beings and craft that abducted him in Pascagoula
That's no fish

The beings were described as very tall and humanoid. Instead of hands, they had pincers, or claws. No neck was visible as the oddly bulky things floated towards the startled dockworkers.

Charles Hickson recalled one of the creatures reaching out to touch Calvin Parker, who subsequently passed out from the terror. Both men were unable to resist as the aliens took them aboard the craft. They lost sight of each other, and wouldn't see each other again until they were back on terra firma.

Hickson remembers the sound of machinery saturating the experience. Once inside, he was inspected by a giant "eye" that seemed to scan him several times over.

After an estimated 30 minutes, Charles was taken back to the pier. He found Calvin Parker frozen in a near catatonic state, staring wide-eyed at the UAP (UFO). There was another zipping noise, and the object was gone as quickly as it came.

The men fled the scene. Panic set in as they drove to the Sherrif's department. They wanted to warn the authorities, just in case the aliens planned on returning in greater numbers.

Captain Glen Ryder was one of the officers who interviewed the pair. According to the Captain, they tried everything they could to break the panicked men's story. Obviously, the men had to be drunk. That's the only possible explanation for seeing aliens.

The officers left the men in the interrogation room. Unbeknownst to Parker and Hickson, they were being secretly recorded. On the recording the men can be heard discussing the terror they felt, and the events that unfolded mere moments before.

Both men are audibly traumatized on the recording. The police were stumped.

National Sensation

Somehow, the story got out very quickly. Calvin Parker and Charles Hickson became the talk of the USA overnight.

Before the men had time to process their experience, they found themselves at the center of a press conference. Cameras and journalists accosted the pair. This did not help Calvin Parker's mental state, and he suffered a nervous breakdown soon after.

Charles Hickson seemed to deal with it much better than his young friend. He took to the numerous interviews and television appearances with gusto. Eventually he would even take his story on the road, recounting it for paying audiences all across the USA.

Hickson also published a book about the abduction. It seemed that he was capitalizing on their trauma, even while Parker struggled with anxiety and recurring nervous breakdowns.

The younger man spent much of his life running from the notoriety. He lived a haunted life, working odd jobs only until someone recognized him.

Calvin Parker would also go on to write a book about the encounter, and the effect it had on him. His book only came out in 2018. It took him nearly 20 years to even discuss the event with his wife

Neither of the men ever changed their story, which lends credence to what they were saying. The act of profiting off of a trauma is not in itself dishonest either. In fact, it might have been exactly what saved Charles Hickson from the same sort of recurring breakdowns that afflicted Parker.

Looking at both men's lives, it is clear that repression of traumatic life events destroys one's life. On the other hand, speaking out about an anomalous experience can ruin your reputation and bring a mountain of skepticism and hate upon you.

Skepticism: Did it Really Happen?

Skeptics have attacked the story of the Pascagoula Abduction since day one, as is good and proper. We need skepticism to weed out the frauds from those telling the truth.

In the case of the Pascagoula Abduction, the skeptics were able to offer only a lukewarm response. They either claim the men were drunk (a classic), or resort to fairly outlandish explanations.

Joe Nickell, a respected skeptical investigator, suggested that Charles Hickson had a sort of waking dream. He imagined the entire experience while in a hypnagogic state, and imprinted the fantasy on Parker (who was asleep at the time). Nickell claimed that Calvin Parker only went along with the story, as he was incredibly impressionable. This theory fails to account for Parker's clear recollections, captured on the secret recording.

After Parker came out with his story, a host of witnesses came forward. They claimed to have seen the lights on the night of 11 October 1973. Unfortunately, coming forward after so many years seems a little suspect.

Claims that Charles Hickson got rich from telling his story are false. He had to rely on the kindness of friends and family to pay his bills, at least, according to his friends and family.

Personally, I feel that something happened to Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker. Whether that was crab-handed aliens, or something else, we'll never know.



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