HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Is it just a cosmic coincidence?
Kelly, Ky. is near the center of the path of the solar eclipse scheduled for Aug. 21, 2017. But the community just north of Hopkinsville recognizes Aug. 21 for another reason.
In 1955 Kelly became known throughout the world for one of the most unusual UFO incidents ever recorded.
Not far from a park in the center of Kelly a home once stood where a family claimed to have had an encounter fighting back against beings from another world.
The term "little green men" was coined after the Kelly incident. Six years ago, the Kelly Community Organization began the "Little Green Men Days Festival" to build civic pride. But this year they're renting out camping spaces and rolling out the green carpet to an anticipated 50,000 visitors.
"That is amazing that the eclipse falls on the anniversary date of the actual event that occurred in 1955,” said Kelly Community Organization President Frank Brown.
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They have visitors expected from as far away as Spain. Brown jokingly answers the obvious question, “none expected from outer space yet.”
Geraldine Sutton Stith's family is at the center of the encounter that’s been studied far and wide. She's written books based on the stories told to her by her late father who was in his twenties at the time. The family shot up their house claiming they were protecting themselves from aliens. For decades some have ridiculed the family while others believe and embrace Geraldine.
It's said that Steven Spielberg studied the event while researching his movie "ET.”
"I think at the last four festivals, that we've had down here, I've had people come to my booth and ask if I think they're going to come back,” explained Geraldine. “I don't know! It's going to be pitch black in the middle of the day, there's no telling what's going to come out of the darkness,” she added with a chuckle.
To this day people still debate what happened that night in 1955 but, there's no debate if you're looking for a place to take in the eclipse, and you'd like a touch of mystery, this tiny town will make room for you. Just don't freak out if you have to share the moment with the little green men.
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