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Aliens and Great American Eclipse: What one family is saying about their famous story

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(CNN)

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. – Will aliens return to a Kentucky town for the Great American Eclipse? One family wouldn't be surprised by it.
The Sutton family is behind a number of unusual claims that they encountered aliens on their property back in August 1955.

Aug. 21 of that year to be exact – the same date of this year’s eclipse.

Both people WSMV interviewed -- Geraldine Sutton Stith and her brother, Elmer Sutton -- weren’t alive at the time of the alleged sighting of "little green men," but the stories are the stuff of local legend.

"Eleven people were in the house that night," said Stith. "Billy Ray wanted to go out and get some cold water. As he was out there, he looked up and going across the sky was this silver object. My dad says, 'Take me out there. Show me where you saw this.' It's eerie. It's quiet. It feels like something's not right. That's when my dad saw one of those beings."

"They were three foot tall with pointed ears and oval eyes," said Sutton. "There was something going on, and it wasn't of this Earth."

"They didn't know what it was," Stith continued. "Who would've? They thought maybe this was some kind of goblin from heck. They were frightened. They ran in the house, told everyone something was out there. The country boy instinct in him was to grab the gun and shoot. Ask questions later."

"No, my dad wasn't taking chances of anybody getting hurt," said Sutton. "He was going to keep them away from getting in the house."

"Shot rang throughout the house," said Stith. "Shot one through the window. Billy Ray ran through the front door, and he saw a clawed hand come down and try to touch his hair. My dad reached up and shot him off the roof. They're country boys. They could shoot as soon as they could walk. It just rolled. Dropped, rolled. Got up and left. They hear one going across the top of the tin roof. There's another one! Blew it to the ground. It rolled off like nothing happened.

"He said, 'I could not kill it,'" said Sutton

"The shots weren't hurting them," Stith continued. "The girls are hysterical. The kids are afraid. Everyone's crying. My dad says, 'Let's go.' They hit the trucks. They run to Hopkinsville."

Sharing their story with police, the attention came pouring into Kelly.

"There's shotgun and rifle shells all over the ground and inside the house," said Stith.
Articles reported claims of a spaceship and little men.

"Dad did not like the attention this brought," said Stith. "He said, 'No good can come from this story. We need to let it go.'"

"People started coming in trying to talk to him about it, wanting to ridicule the family," said Sutton. "He didn't want to talk about it."

Sutton and Stith said the family property was sold two weeks later, and their father rarely spoke about the story the rest of his life.

"They wanted to make fun of him and say, 'oh, it's a hoax' or whatever," said Sutton. "My dad wasn't like that."
Decades passed, but the story never truly faded. Then, a few years ago, it became known the area would be the primary viewing destination of the Great American Solar Eclipse.

"People are scared to death that they're going to come back during the eclipse," Stith said with a laugh. "Will they? Who knows? If they do, I hope they don't take me."

For more on this story, watch the full WSMV report in the video player.