|Just when you think you know all these is to know about a certain UFO sighting or a close encounter experience, life has a way of throwing you a curve ball and something else either drops through your letter box, or email in-box, or more often these days via social media. Such a thing happened to me just over four weeks after I had published the book ‘PASCAGOULA – THE CLOSEST ENCOUNTER’ by Calvin Parker. The Pascagoula case is known as one of the classic close encounter cases in the entire history of UFO research. However, for those who don’t know the details of it I’ll provide a short synopsis of it here,||
By Philip Mantle
On the craft both men were subjected to an examination and at one point they were so terrified as they believed they were about to die. Minutes later both Calvin Parker and Charles Hickson were deposited back on the riverbank and the craft departed.
Taking off in their car the two terrified witnesses eventually located a public telephone box and phoned the local sheriff. A short time later they were being interviewed at their local sheriff’s office. These two disorientated witnesses told their story of their close encounter and abduction by these strange creatures.
The next day all hell was let loose as the press descended on this unsuspecting Mississippi town. Calvin Parker, seriously disturbed by these events, has largely remained in the background without ever detailing the full account of what happened that night, how it affected him and his life, and other close encounters he has experienced down the years. Charles Hickson went on to speak about the event in public for many years and passed away in 2011.
On August 20th I was contacted on facebook by a chap called Stefanos Panagiotakis from Greece. Stefanos went on to tell me that he was fascinated by the Pascagoula case and more than that, he has traveled to Pascagoula in July 1981 and interviewed Charles Hickson and a number of others that were involved. Calvin Parker was not around at the time so he was unable to interview him. Stefanos went on to inform me that during his trip he had interviewed a Greek pastor who had also witnessed the same UFO as Parker and Hickson on the same evening and was accompanied by two others at the time. Stefanos had published everything about his trip and agreed to translate his brief interview with this Greek pastor whose name was Emmanuel P. Sigalas. From 1975 till 1982 Stefanos was member of a Greek UFO society named SIRIUS and later PHAETHON where he would send the results of his UFO investigations and details of his own UFO sightings that happened to him while at sea (not many but very interesting cases), plus his visits to ancient areas like Nazca lines in Peru, Machu Pichu, Zemboalla in Mexico etc.
Here is the transcript of the interview with Mr. Emmanuel P. Sigalas by Stefanos (STEPHEN)on July 17th, 1981 at 18 hrs local time:
I arrived at (address on file) which is where Mr. Sigalas lived. I knocked on the door but no one answered. I went around the garden and found an elderly man in a green uniform, gardening.
“Excuse me sir, do you know Mr. Emmanuel Sigalas?” I asked him…
He replied ” I’m this man, son. Who are you?” I told him who I was and what I wanted from him…”
Hello sir, I’m Stefanos (Stephen) Panagiotakis, from Athens, Greece and I came here on a cargo ship, where I’m working as a Radio Officer but also I’m a UFO researcher and investigator for a group named SIRIUS and a reporter for the Greek UFO magazine ASTRAL CONTACT. Arriving here was a great chance to do my job as an investigator for an incident which happened here on October of 1973 and it is famous worldwide. Mr. Don Broadus, of the “Mississippi Press” told me that his late cousin Raymond and you, were both witnesses in that case and that’s why I came to see you and to ask you a few questions about it”…He was very surprised but smiled and told me,
“Welcome to my home son, please come in…Are you hungry? What can I offer you? I want you to feel like you are at home…You know, I was born in America but my parents were from the Greek island of Kephallonia…” He explained to me that he had been living in Pascagoula for many years with the widow of his brother Gregory and his grandson Andrew.
Here’s is our full conversation as transferred from my tape recorder in every detail:
STEPHEN: First of all I want to thank you very much for the warm welcome you have given me, it really touched me deep inside, reminds me of the famous Greek hospitality. Mr. Don Broadus told me that the day when an alien craft landed near to the Pascagoula shipyard and abducted two local fishermen, Mr. Hickson and Mr. Parker; you were going with his cousin…. (He interrupts me at this point).
SIGALAS: Yes, Raymond, who passed away last month. He was a police officer with special duties such as a court adviser and guarantor for good behavior of people who were about to be released from the jail. He was a good man and many times he was preaching in my church. We were “Brothers in Christ” as they use to say. On that particular day in 1973, October 11th as I remember, we drove to a place where Raymond used to visit every Thursday for preaching to people who cannot control their habit for too much alcohol. So we were on our way there having with us a young girl. I don’ remember her name right now. Anyway, as we traveled in my car, I noticed on my left hand side a cylindrical object that seemed to be following us. I didn’t pay much attention but the girl asked me “Mr. Sigalas I see something up there in the sky.” I told her that it might be a helicopter which goes to Keesler Air force Base. A base where many people are coming from all over the world for training. Then I asked my friend..”Hey Ray, what this thing might be? It doesn’t looks like helicopter ’cause how come such a type of craft does not to have any lights and was acting like this?” As we kept driving the object following us was at an altitude of about 3000 feet. By reducing our speed, the object did the same thing and then by increasing our speed then the object sped up as well. We kept doing this for about 10 miles. After a while as we turned towards Vancleef the object stopped, then approached us a little and then disappeared. I watched something very strange on the object. It was an extension, a fringe, pointing out in the direction of about 2 O’clock from the main body. Also I must say that the object was covered by a bright, very bright light and I say again that it was a cylindrical shape. I tried to understand what exactly what it was but all in vain. Joan (the female passenger in the car), now I remember her name, who was married to a priest, told me, “Mr. Sigalas, I think I saw God.” And I replied to her “be sure of that. Who in this world can make such a thing?” And now I recall that during our trip she was praying all the time. After a while I told her, “Joan you have great faith to the Lord and you must understand fully these things” and she said “yes but I’m afraid, very much afraid”. “Me too” I said to help calm her down somewhat .I must tell you that we were heading north and the object was on our west side.
STEPHEN: Mr. Broadus showed me yesterday the exact point where you saw the object and I took some photos of the area. He also told me that you saw the object was on flight path from where you were towards the shipyard and the fishing point of the two men, Hickson and Parker.
SIGALAS: I didn’t know what was its destination at that time but I’m sure it was west of us.
STEPHEN: How did it disappear? Suddenly or…
SIGALAS: In a fraction of a second! Very fast. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life before, a vehicle disappearing like this. At that moment I said “Lord what is this?” and I saw it change its course and was heading to the area where the fishermen Mr.Hickson and Mr. Parker, as they told us later. When we returned and passed from the same point we didn’t see anything. The next day I called Mr. Broadus and told he me “Emmanuel you must say the truth of what you saw, do not deny it please.” I told him “Ray, I will say whatever we saw and that’s the crystal clear truth as you know it.” Finally there was a man from Michigan named Hay…Hayneken..something like this.
STEPHEN: Hynek, Allen Hynek.
SIGALAS: Yeah, right. He called me and asked me to meet him and give him some details about what I’ve seen. I told him that it was not possible to meet him but I was open to reply to everything on the phone. He agreed and I told him all these things which I’ve told you now.
STEPHEN: And I think they are enough for the particular incident.
SIGALAS: Did Mr. Broadus show you the exact point point?
STEPHEN: Yes. Now tell me something else. You know very well the story of the two fishermen of Pascagoula. They were two simple, common men who never had any interest in UFO stories and suddenly they came face to face with creatures from another world. Do you believe their story? I want your opinion.
SIGALAS: Well, it is very hard for someone to be positive in cases like this, but I will try to be honest. I heard that one of them had a drink but the other had not. Mr. Broadus and Joan who were with me make a strong witness for what we saw. They say that sometimes you can see very strange things. I don’t care. Our common experience is not doubted.
STEPHEN: I know that one of them had a drink just to calm himself down. Sheriff Diamond who questioned Hickson said that he could smell alcohol but the man’s mind was very clear and he wasn’t drunk.
SIGALAS: All these are objective but the Sheriff was a trustworthy person in his life and everybody trusted him completely. The creatures never harmed ’em.
STEPHEN: So, what is your conclusion? Did they have a vision of some kind or did they have a real experience?
SIGALAS: Well, I’ll speak to you honestly. If I haven’t seen that day this craft in the sky I’d never pay any attention to them and their story. But it was a fact what we saw this strange object while driving in our car and of course they saw the same thing a little later in right in front of their eyes.
STEPHEN: But there are others who saw the same object at that time.
SIGALAS: I know Mr. Booth, Mr. Green and others. That’s why I say this is a real story. Εverybody with their experiences enlightened the story so the story of Hickson and Parker can not be denied. What was that craft and who were these creatures, remains unknown, Stephen my son. These are the facts and I do not deny anything ’cause I was a part of this fascinating story.
STEPHEN: Did you feel any special feeling Mr. Sigalas as you were watching that craft in the sky or later in the evening?
SIGALAS: In the Bible it tells us of the existence of one God and at that moment I was certified by Ηim.
STEPHEN: Do you mean that it was a sign from God?
SIGALAS: Do you remember in Bible what the prophets said? “Lord, give us a sign of your existence”. Of course that was not a sign but a harbinger; I cannot find another word for this to explain it to you. It was something basic but the sign we shall all see one day.
STEPHEN: My opinion Mr.Sigalas is that all these appearances on our planet are not signs of God. We have to deal with people from other, more advanced civilizations but we are not such primitives as our ancestors to consider them as gods.
SIGALAS: I want to tell you this. You’re absolutely right about our space brothers but they are also created by God and when He wants to tell us – look, not to force them, but they will be revealed to us formally and this would be the absolute proof of the common Father Creator of all .
STEPHEN: But what about the many different religions on Earth? There will be a great commotion, what do you say?
SIGALAS: Not at all. I consider love and peace of the most importance…We Greeks have the most appropriate word for this…PHILADELPHIA ( ΦΙΛΑΔΕΛΦΕΙΑ) When there is this one the rest are details and I’ll explain it. Since the end of WW2 starts the spiritual advance of the human race. You have seen where we have reached already and it’s only the beginning. Everyone will find their way as long as the spirit uprising continues more and more every day .Only one thing is not forgiven to the Man….Atheism.
STEPHEN: Thank you very much for the interview Mr. Sigalas.
I have to thank Stefanos for taking the time to sit down and translate his interview from Greek into English. In Calvin Parker’s book there are several accounts of other sightings just before and on the night of the close encounter, October 11th, 1973. It would therefore seem reasonable to add this one to that list as well. It does also make you wonder if ‘Joan’ the female passenger in the car might still be alive? Could there also be other witnesses that have never come forward? Again, who knows, but it is not beyond a possibility. This interview is contained in the new book by Stefanos Panagiotakis entitled ‘PASCAGOULA – A Research Trip – 1981’ and has now been published by Flying Disk Press.
At around the same time as Stefanos contacted me on facebook I had another exchange with someone else who had a sighting in Mississippi around the same time as the Parker and Hickson close encounter. Here it is in full:
Dale Lois Ulmer:
My parents and I were returning home for my aunt and uncles around 2:00 a.m. I’m pretty sure it was in October 1973. They lived in Pass Christian, Mississippi, and we lived in Long Beach, Mississippi, cities that are next to each other. We had gone over there to eat chicken gumbo and my dad fell asleep in the living room chair. It took mom several times to wake him which is why we were so late going home. We were traveling east on Pineville Road, when all of a sudden a bluish/white light illuminated all around my dads car, even to the ditches where there were open fields to either side of us. I remember the car being stopped. I was sitting in the middle of the back seat so I could watch dad’s driving because his eyesight wasn’t that good. Mom was in front on the passenger side.
I remember mom saying “What’s that”? At some point my dad exited the car and I think he walked in front of the car toward the field to our right. I believe there were fences near the ditch along both fields. The next thing I remember is he got back in the car and said “It’s not coming from out there”. I don’t recall when the light left us and the next thing I remember is that we rode the rest of the way home mostly in silence. Something just didn’t feel right. When we arrived home I recall looking at the clock on the dining table, but don’t remember what time it was.
The next morning my mom and I were sitting at the dining table drinking hot tea and she said “I wonder what that was; it seemed to come from above and behind us. I was afraid to turn around.” My dad was very intelligent, had a photographic memory, yet even he was at a loss for words. He was the type of person to go in specific details about something. I believe we all felt it was ‘taboo’ to talk about what happened, even though there seemed to be not much to tell.
Not long afterward, the Pascagoula, Mississippi UFO event was aired on WLOX-TV and my mom said: “I wonder if that was the same thing we saw”? Well, I thought what she said was a little odd because all we remember seeing was the bluish / white light, although her words may have came from her subconscious, meaning that perhaps there was more to what we recalled, but hadn’t manifested into an actual memory yet. October 2018 will mark my 45 year journey in seeking answers and truth. 1973 was only the beginning of seeing something unusual in the night sky and I had one daytime, stationary UFO directly above my driveway. That’s pretty much my story in a nutshell.
A curious yet fascinating sighting by Dale. There are hints here that perhaps something more that just a UFO sighting happened. It was interesting to hear Dale talk about ‘bluish/white’ light. It was a blue light that Hickson and Parker first saw before the UFO. Could there be a connection here? It is difficult to say but I think it is fair to add Dale’s sighting into what seems to be a much larger event than first suspected and that maybe Calvin parker and Charles Hickson’s close encounter was the culmination of a series of UFO events in and around the Pascagoula are.
Just for the record I thought it would be interesting to run the above past Calvin Parker. This is what he had to say:
“Over the years there have been quite a few credible witnesses that have come forward. Some would not go on record for fear of being ridiculed. I think this book is bringing more witnesses out of the woodwork. Like I have said many times, if this case went into a court of law there is enough evidence in this book to support the case and more witnesses like the two above can only help. As the publicity for the book progresses I really think there is going to be more witnesses come forward. We shall have to wait and see.”
THE ROAD TO PASCAGOULA: A Research Trip – 1981 by Stefanos Panagiotakis is out now on Amazon.
About the author:
Philip Mantle is a long standing UFO researcher and author from the UK. He was formerly the Director of Investigations for the British UFO Research Association and the MUFON Representative for England. He is the founder of FLYING DISK PRESS and can be contacted at: http://flyingdiskpress.blogspot.co.uk/