Return of the Kentucky Goblins: New Leads in a Case of Strange Creatures, Crashed UFOs, and the Men in Black

Return of the Kentucky Goblins: New Leads in a Case of Strange Creatures, Crashed UFOs, and the Men in Black


[EDITOR’S NOTE: It goes without saying, but if you decide to head to Hellier to investigate the case yourself, do not trespass on private property. We don’t trespass, and we don’t condone our readers trespassing either. We won’t be held liable for deaths in mine shafts, injuries by gunshot, or your trespassing fines. Don’t be a dummy.]

In June 2012, I was contacted by a frightened man who claimed that a group of small, three-toed creatures were emerging from a mine shaft and terrorizing his rural Kentucky home. After sending us photographic evidence of the creatures and asking us to investigate the case, he eventually fled his property. The appearance of the creatures bore a striking resemblance to a well-documented case from 1955, during which a farmhouse in Hopkinsville, Kentucky was besieged by “goblins” from outer space in an encounter that went down as being one of the most credible, well-documented cases of extraterrestrial contact.

The Kentucky Goblins had returned



The more I looked into the case of the Kentucky Goblins’ reappearance, the more disconnected the story became. Small details led to big events, one answer led to a dozen questions, and a seemingly isolated report of cryptozoological terror in the backwoods of Kentucky turned into a story of crashed UFOs, secret underground bases, and black ops military operations all over the Appalachian Mountains.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any weirder, I was sent a set of GPS coordinates by an individual that ufologists say was one of the elusive Men in Black. Those coordinates led to a cave hidden in a mountain with a history of alien abduction, mysterious lights, and the disappearance of a tiny “alien mummy”.

While I’ve regularly discussed the evidence and new information with other researchers as it’s come in, this will be the first official update to the 2012 case of the Kentucky Goblins. Why now?  Later this month I’m finally setting off to find the site of the incident, as well as the sites of two other similar cases hundreds of miles from one another. But before I go, I need your help.

Buckle in once again, weirdos, because this ride has gotten even stranger.



If you’re looking for the full, detailed backstory on the mysterious resurfacing of the goblins, you can read our original piece Have the Kentucky Goblins Returned? here (the hundreds of comments alone are worth the read), but for the sake of getting right down to the new information and how you can help solve a 60-year-old mystery, I’m going to begin by reposting the complete emails sent to me in June of 2012. If you’ve already read them a hundred times, feel free to jump down to THE PLANET WEIRD INVESTIGATION for all the new info.


Hello, my name is [David]. I received your contact information through a mutual acquaintance who assures me that you are well equipped to investigate peculiar problems. Furthermore, I believe you may have interest in these events beyond any compensation that I am prepared to deliver in order to have these issues sorted.

For the past 6 months I have been living in a rural home located on the border of West Virginia and Kentucky where my family is nightly assaulted by creatures that I have come to believe are of an extraterrestrial origin. These beings appear to be the size and stature of a small child, devoid of any facial features save for large, oily eyes and lipless mouths. They frighten my children by peering through their bedroom windows, chirping at one another. They actively attempt to enter my home in the middle of the night. Last month they took my dog. The police refuse to provide any further assistance, attributing the problems to wild animals and forwarding my complaints to the state game commission.

I believe they are coming from an abandoned mine located on the edge of my property. Though I’m armed, I’m afraid that I’m far too frightened to enter the mine by my lonesome, and cannot convince any sympathetic friends to accompany me, though I cannot blame them. I am convinced that the only answer is to collapse the mine.

I believe this is where we can be mutually beneficial to one another. If you are prepared to assist me in this matter, I can offer you permission to record and document these events under the condition of anonymity. I can guarantee you evidence of these creatures which I assure you are not “wild animals”.

Please respond ASAP. Thank you.

I shared the email with friends and fellow researchers, sent David a half-sarcastic response about not specializing in extraterrestrial cave goblins, and wrote it off as a hoax.

The following day, David returned my email.


Thank you for the prompt response. I do not blame you for being skeptical of my story. I appreciate you keeping an open mind about my situation and I am more than happy to provide you with as much information as I am able.

I was given your contact information through a man by the name of Terry Wriste [Editors Note: I’ve left this name untouched due to it’s relevance and the fact that I don’t believe it to be a real person – we’ll come back to this]. When these disturbances first began occurring, I was only inclined to confide in a personal friend who I knew had fringe interests. He offered to share my concerns with a man that had dealt with somewhat similar experiences in previous years. I accepted his offer. Within a week I was informed that this gentleman had long since retired from pursuits of this kind but was willing to provide me with contacts who may be willing to help. This is how I came to contact you. I do not have any answer to “why” other than a referral and recommendation from a gentleman I do not know personally. I was under the impression that you would answer that question.

I am located in Pike County, just outside the town of Hellier, Kentucky. Hellier is located roughly 30 to 60 minutes from the borders of Virginia and West Virginia respectively. Most of Pike County is made up of small towns and rural communities; it is not uncommon to go days without seeing my closest neighbors. I moved to this area for the peace and quiet. I have received neither.

I have lived in this area for just under seven months and in that time the majority of the harassment has occurred within the past three. I did not become aware of any strangeness until early December, although that is only when I began to keep a record of these events. At first it was merely strange tracks in the snow around my home. I had initially imagined that they were from some kind of animal, though it closely resembled a human footprint minus the heel. At that time I was under the impression that it was simply a single creature. It wasn’t until the weeks later that I began to suspect that I was dealing with a number of what I thought were individuals “hazing” me upon my arrival to the area.

At this point I was incapable of keeping my dog outdoors overnight. Any attempt to leave her leashed would result in her barking herself hoarse until she was allowed back indoors. In the weeks leading up to this particular evening I had awoken to find my shed doors open on several occasions, many of my children’s toys missing or moved, and my yard in general disarray. I had already given a report to the police, who were making it increasingly clear that they were not interested in my case barring psychical harm or large scale theft.

The second week of January I am having breakfast with my family when my five year old daughter begins talking about the “kids without hair”. When my wife inquired about these kids, she informed us that she had spent the previous night watching them play in the yard. As you can imagine, this was of some concern. I asked my daughter what these kids looked like, she told me that they “were bald like grandpa and weren’t wearing any clothes”. The very same day I found the wreath that hangs inside our rear porch stuffed into our mailbox. I purchased and installed motion activated floodlights the following day and for a time, the problems ceased. It wasn’t until the end of February that our daughter informed us that the “bald kids” had returned.

I was awoken to the sound to my daughter screaming and rushed to her bedroom only to meet her halfway down the hall. When my wife and I were finally able to calm her down enough to speak, she told us that the kids were trying to peer into her window but they couldn’t reach, and instead, had taken to tapping on it. She hasn’t slept in her own bedroom since. It was that morning that I phoned the police for the second the time, and they responded by finally sending a trooper to our residence. I informed him of the regular mischief, how I was now unable to let my dog outdoors after dusk, and of the “bald kids”. When we found the ground disturbed just under my daughter’s bedroom window the officer informed me, very matter-of-factly, that we were dealing with an animal and I would be better off contacting the game commission than waste their resources any further.

Almost every day for the following week, I would find some evidence that something or someone had been on my property the previous night. Smudges on the windows were not uncommon, stones from the walkway dragged to the other side of the lawn, and I had found tears in the screen door. On Wednesday the 7th of March I finally witnessed the “kids without hair” for myself.

The dog woke me up around 1:30 AM, scratching at the back door and whimpering to be let out. I noticed that the motion floodlight was on, and went to the kitchen window to check that the shed doors were still closed when I realized that I could see the shadow of an individual cast across my lawn. From the angle I was positioned at the window I could not actually see the source of the shadow or the floodlights. The dog was pacing circles around the back door and I could hear someone rifling through a box on the porch. Filled with more anger than common sense, the only reaction I could muster was to bang loudly on the window and yell, at which point I heard the screen door on the porch swing open and slam against the house. I heard what I can only describe as “chirping” at this point. It sounded much like a skunk, if more guttural. I then realized that there were more than two people on my property, and the shadow, which had been reacting as if it didn’t know which way to run, was quickly joined by another. For a moment I watched as the shadows chirped at one another when I noticed a figure out of the corner of my eye.

Standing in the flower bed just to the bottom left of my window was a small, humanoid figure, with sickly pale skin, completely hairless, standing roughly 4′. It was looking in the direction of the shadows, and had clearly come from around the left side of the house opposite the porch and had not noticed me as far as I could tell. It’s face was devoid of features, save for large round eyes, very reminiscent in shape and color of a bird’s eye. It had no nose to speak of, and only a small slit for a mouth. It didn’t appear to move it’s mouth as it chirped, sounding more as if the noises originated from it’s throat. It was most certainly not a “wild animal” and even more certainly not a child. I was too terrified to move, and watched as the creature hopped to the others, and together they scrambled into the woods on the right side of my property. It was clear that there were at least five in the group.

I have not mentioned this particular incident to my wife, and the only other person who I’ve spoken to about these creatures are yourself and the close friend who introduced me to our mutual friend Mr. Wriste. I would prefer to keep things that way, and to approach this problem as discreetly as possible. Since that evening, my dog has gone missing from the porch, yet to return, and I can only imagine that his disappearance has to do with these creatures. I’ve gone looking for him during daylight hours, only to find many of my missing belongings scattered at the entrance to an abandoned mine shaft at the far edge of my property. I don’t dare go inside.

My friend has convinced me that my experience is similar to that of other “visitation” experiences, providing me with material and references that back up his claims. I am aware of the outlandish nature of what I have told you, but I am afraid that I have no other explanation for what I have seen, at least at this time. I can see no other option than to seal the entrance to the mine. I cannot achieve this on my own, and I am too frightened to try. I don’t dare share this information with others for fear of ruining my career and the reputation of my family. I am prepared to compensate your travel expenses and offer you unrestricted access with whatever recording equipment that you desire but only on the condition of complete anonymity. Beyond that, I have no other desire than to be rid of this problem.

Please inform me of what you would like photographs of and where to send them.

Thank you again.

I had no idea who this “mutual friend”  was, and neither did any of my old investigating partners. A bit of googling provides only one source for the name Terry R. Wriste: a pseudonym used by an ex-military occultist interviewed in two rather obscure books printed in the mid-nineties. Titled The Secret Cipher of the Ufonauts and The Secret Rituals of the Men In Black, these particular books are about as fringe as you can get when it comes to ufology, with instructions on contacting “ultraterrestrials” via occult rituals supposedly deciphered by Aleister Crowley himself.

Secret Cipher of the Ufonauts and Allen H Greenfield

Just before the index of each book, author Allen Greenfield conducts an interview with Terry, who willingly admits that his name is not real. In these interviews, Wriste speaks of a guerrilla group of Vietnam veterans formed in the early 70’s whose directives included the infiltration and destruction of underground alien bases in and around the southern USA. After explaining how the team formed and where many of these cave entrances were located, he goes on to describe the botched mission that caused him to retire from kicking space alien ass.

“…we were in a kind of cavern, only, I’d say, artificially hollowed out and illuminated by a greenish glow, defuse; not from a single, identifiable source. Anyhow, the whole area resembled (ufologist Dick) Shaver’s less exotic subterranean story descriptions, and, in more recent terms, some of the modern alien base stories. We were confronted by these small, grayish beings—humanoid only in the technical sense—and one of our guys said “Dero!” and started shooting. He had an M-1 rifle, if I recall. One shot, and [the little gray being] was illuminated in blue, and just gone. Then there was a sound, and I felt my own gun, an M-16, get unbearably hot. I dropped it, turned to run, and was confronted by two of these little gray-skinned guys with a net. Whatever had convinced me my rifle was hot had apparently not focused on my pistol, a vintage Luger, and one of the little net-holders received the last surprise of its life. It kind of exploded, and the other one dropped the net and ran, up the slope, with me suddenly in pursuit. When we got beyond the lighted area, though, it was just gone. I heard gun fire and explosions behind me, and that god-awful hum, and I continued, pistol in hand, looking around wildly, to go back the way I came. Only three of us ever made it back to the surface. One of them died a year or so later, of leukemia, I think. He was only about 24-25, so maybe there’s a connection.”

Wriste also talks of meeting a group of extraterrestrial refugees led by none other than Indrid Cold. Yes, that Indrid Cold.

At this point, I wanted nothing more than to see the photographs David claimed to have, but it was several weeks before I received a response.


My apologies for the time it has taken me to reply to your previous email. The situation at my home had become unbearable and we chose to stay with my wife’s family out of state until an appropriate solution can be reached. I am at my wits end.

This afternoon my brother-in-law and I traveled back to the house for the first time in over a month, as I needed to check on the security of my property and gather some belongings. The house seems relatively untouched, leading me to believe that the creatures’ motives were driven by the presence of my family. As you requested, I brought a camera back to the property for the purpose of photographic evidence.

While my home was free of tampering, I was able to find a trail of prints that match the size and shape of those previously left by the creatures on my property. The prints lead into the woods behind my home, following a stream that runs near the mine. My brother-in-law, an avid sportsman, can not identify the tracks despite his skepticism. Perhaps you know of someone better suited to identify these prints.

I will be spending the next two nights in my home and will send more images should the opportunity present itself. I am looking forward to your thoughts.

The Kentucky Goblin Footprint 2012

Kentucky Goblin Footprint 2012


The creatures came out the woods late last evening. I have enclosed photographs taken to the best of my ability given the situation. I have also enclosed photographs of the creature’s footprints alongside a measuring stick. My brother-in-law is not as skeptical as he was when we arrived and we will be leaving before dark this evening. I look forward to hearing back from you.



Also attached to the email were, according to David, several pictures of the “goblins” themselves. At first, they they didn’t show much more than some blurs in the darkness, but after a run through Photoshop to lighten up the contrast and brighten the image, some strange figures began to appear.

Return of the Kentucky Goblins 2012

Enhanced image allegedly shows Kentucky Goblin climbing past a tree (2012)

Return of the Kentucky Goblins 2012 Photo 2

Enhanced image allegedly shows left-facing profile of Kentucky Goblin (2012)


The first thing noted about David’s story were the striking similarities to a famous case from 1955.  The key events were all the same: a rural farmhouse sieged by several small creatures with similar features, a frightened family that fled in the night, and the belief that these “goblins” were extraterrestrial. Hell, it even happened in Kentucky, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

The real attention-grabbing pieces of the new Kentucky Goblins case were the photographs David had provided. It isn’t hard to see that the footprints are strange. But were they strange because they were fake? Or were they strange because they were from a previously undiscovered creature? I posted the clearer of the two images on Week in Weird and asked for the help of readers in identifying them.

You guys didn’t disappoint. Theories ranged anywhere from wild hog tracks, bear tracks, three-toed humans (and Sasquatches) to name a few, though my favorite was the reader who suggested it was a man on stilts with monster feet stuck on the end. Another reader sent the photo to the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department, who couldn’t identify the print but wouldn’t declare it fake either.

Bigfoot hunters were quick to point out that the strange tracks appeared to show dermal ridges, the foot’s equivalent of fingerprints. For years, Sasquatch researchers have used the presence of dermal ridges to separate what they believe to be genuine footprints from those that are hoaxed.


The images of the goblins themselves left a lot to be desired, but that didn’t stop researchers from analyzing them. The best breakdown came from Robyn Montella, who was able to define the narrow shoulders, legs, and downward-left-facing head of what appeared to be a humanoid creature climbing past a tree.

On the flip side, many readers pointed out that the sex of David’s dog changed halfway through the story. It’s a strange detail that didn’t do much to help the case’s believability.


Drawing based on 2012 Kentucky Goblin photo analysis

Drawing based on 2012 Kentucky Goblin photo analysis

While I hadn’t yet received an exact address from David, the team, which we half-jokingly nicknamed the Alien Cave Base Task Force, gathered together, pulled up some satellite imagery of David’s town, and set out to pinpoint where his house might be. A quick search of government records showed dozens of abandoned mines within a 10-mile radius of the town, and the maps showed a handful of streams that flowed through a number of properties. The details fit, even if we couldn’t pinpoint a single home.

The fact that he mentioned the police in his emails meant that there must be a record of the call. The town was small enough to lack its own police station, so we called the nearest state police department instead. After a few back and forth transfers, we were told that while they could confirm that they had received and investigated a case very much like this one, they couldn’t give us any details.

This was about a good of a confirmation we were going to get.

The rural nature of the town made finding any other information difficult. The police wouldn’t help, virtually no information about the community outside of mining records existed online, and the community was so small that no census data had ever been recorded.

At the time, we were based in Canada, so a “quick trip” to investigate a dead-end case was out of the question, and considering that David had been instructed to reach out to us, we weren’t comfortable handing the case to someone else without his permission.

David never emailed us again. Whether it was because our contact with the police had somehow gotten back to him, he got tired of perpetrating a hoax, or he was silenced by someone (or something), David disappeared and we’d officially hit a dead end.

Then I received a strange message from Terry Wriste.


On February 4, 2013, nearly a year after we’d last heard from David, an email arrived from a T. Wriste. It consisted of two sentences.

why did you stop when you were so close?

i have something for you. one wee k.

My response was simply “Who is this?”, but the question went unanswered. Exactly one week later, a second email arrived.

hell ier was just a symptom. the ink and black are isolated still and 3rd order m.i.a.

bare in mind for every door closed a wind ow must be opened. the door is closed. the window is open.
use the number s.

This message, though, had an attachment. The file was an image of what looked like an old piece of paper with a string of sixteen scribbled numbers on it. The writing was in pencil, and it all looked old. Also present was a thick black “31”, the characters SLUf or 5LUf, and what appears to be Kα5. In other words, complete gibberish.

The mysterious numbers from Terry Wriste

As I had done with the rest of our evidence, I shared the update on Facebook with the same people who had helped us on David’s case. It was pointed out that the odd structure of the messages and their references to “black ink” were similar to the mysterious letters that the late John Keel received from the “International Bankers” in the 60s. This group would often send cryptic, poorly-worded “warnings” for Keel to cease his investigations into UFO cases.



Stranger still, the letters Keel received from the International Bankers never seemed to require any postage, and may have originated from Vietnam.



But what about the numbers? The sequence had to be a secret code, so we all set to work deciphering the riddle. Letters were matched to numbers, morse code taps,  and everything in between. For a time, we thought that the numbers might have been a Visa card number, but alas, there was no stash of cash waiting for us.

That’s when Robyn pointed out that the numbers could very well be GPS coordinates. I split the sequence straight down the middle and plugged them into Google Earth. When the spinning globe zoomed into its target, I swallowed hard and immediately deleted the post.

The coordinates led to an alien cave base.


First known photo of the Brown Mountain Lights snapped by EM Ball

Let’s back up about five months.

Around the time that we started investigating the return of the Kentucky Goblins, we were knee-deep in pre-production for a documentary web series. As part of the project, we set out to get ourselves abducted by aliens. I realize how that sounds, but those who’ve seen the raw footage at one of my presentations can attest that it was a successful, and downright terrifying, experiment. That, though, is a story for another time.

During my research in preparation for experiment, I needed to find a good place to actually get abducted by aliens. It had to be a location with a history of regular UFO sightings coupled with more than a few alien abductions. Brown Mountain, North Carolina checked all the boxes, and it was relatively close to the route we’d already plotted for our other shoot dates.

Since before white guys ever showed up on the continent, the Native Americans told stories of the mountain’s mysterious lights. When the skies were clear, they’d watch as glowing orbs rose out of the mountain and danced through the treetops. The Native Americans believed that the lights were the souls of revered warriors that lived in mountain; even the earliest white settlers attributed the sightings to phantoms haunting the forest. That all changed after the 1947 Roswell incident, and it wasn’t long before the mysterious wisps became associated with unidentified flying objects rather than ghosts.

Today, people are still as mystified by the lights as ever. On any given night, you can hike to Wiseman’s View and find diverse groups of people waiting for the UFOs to appear, some of them recounting the time the lights hovered just above them or the strange “government men” who would sometimes appear and question them about their experiences. The craziest tale, though, emerged in 1961 from a local furniture salesman who claimed that a race of tiny, extraterrestrial creatures made their home in the mountain.


Ralph Lael was a normal man with a not-so-simple story. He not only claimed to have proof that Brown Mountain harbored a secret base, but that he had been inside of it.

After following the mysterious Brown Mountain lights through the forest one night, Lael claimed to have stumbled onto a camouflaged entrance into the side of the mountain. When he entered the opening, he was met by creatures from another planet. His family and friends noted that sometimes Lael would disappear for weeks at a time as he explored the intricate maze inside the mountain, and in 1965 he wrote a rare book filled with bizarre details related to his discovery. But he didn’t just return from the alien cave base with an unbelievable tale. He returned with the body of one of these creatures.

For a time, Lael kept the body preserved in a glass case which he stored in the back room of his Brown Mountain Rock Shop. The tiny mummy had a length of about three feet, lacked any hair, and possessed long, thin extremities. When Ralph Lael died, his shop was mysteriously bulldozed to the ground and the “alien mummy” disappeared.

Today, only one known photo of the creature’s body exists.

Only known photo of Ralph Lael's "Alien Mummy"

While Lael’s story could easily be chalked up to the over-the-top sci-fi tales to emerge from that time period, the rumors of a secret base inside of Brown Mountain continued to persist. In fact, to this day locals will tell you that the sight of black helicopters and covert “training missions” in the nearby forest are the result of a secret base hidden in the mountain.


Here’s where things start to get a little weird.

After I’d decided that Brown Mountain was to be home base for our alien abduction attempt, I contact my good friend Micah Hanks, a UFO researcher and North Carolina native who knows the area like the back of his hand. Not only was Hanks nice enough to offer his expertise on the subject, he shared a secret with us: he knew where the entrance to this fabled alien cave base was supposed to be located, and he’d take us there, cameras in tow.

In October of 2012, we set off for Brown Mountain.

Micah was clearly not entirely on board with the alien cave base theory, and truth be told, neither were we, but in the interest of a fun adventure (and a possible alien abduction), we met Micah at the base of the mountain and set off in search of the hidden cave. When I asked Micah how he’d heard of the secret entrance, he smiled big, leaned in, and half-whispered so everyone in the van could hear.

“A psychic predicted it.”

As we hiked into the forest, Micah laid out the vision that predicted natural pillars pointing to the sky on the side of Brown Mountain, well off the beaten path. Below these stone pillars, the psychic said, sits the entrance to a cave. To the casual explorer, the cave looks like any other, but deep inside it would hold a secret passage that would lead deep into the mountain and if followed, eventually open up into a facility that housed extraterrestrial technology.

The entrance to the alleged "Brown Mountain Alien Cave Base"

The entrance to the alleged “Brown Mountain Alien Cave Base”

So there were were, five people trekking through the North Carolina wilderness in search of a secret alien cave base predicted by a psychic. Why? So that we might possibly film an alien abduction. The absurdity wasn’t lost on us, and as we stopped to catch our breath after one of our crew nearly tumbled down a treacherous cliff, we shared a good laugh about what we were doing. Then Micah pointed out the stone pillars in the distance, and the chuckling stopped.

There it was, a large cave tucked below natural stone pillars, its entrance hidden from view by the surrounding forest. Whether we believed in the stories of a secret base or not, the hundred-yard dash to the entrance was the fastest we’d traveled during the entire hike.

Greg Newkirk and Dana Matthews descend into the alleged "alien cave base" with Ufologist Micah Hanks (2012)

Week in Weird’s Greg Newkirk and Dana Matthews descend into the alleged “alien cave base” with Ufologist Micah Hanks (2012)

We followed the faint trail into the cave opening, but were abruptly met with an obstacle. A massive, smooth stone slab was blocking our path. It was clear that the giant slab wasn’t part of the mountain itself, and looked almost as if it had been placed there.

Through the small gaps between the giant stone and the cave wall, we could see that the opening continued into the mountain, but try as we might, we could neither budge the massive slab nor squeeze through a gap. If this was the secret entrance to an alien cave base, we couldn’t find the lever. Trust me, we looked.

We spent the rest of the night at Wiseman’s View, watching the Brown Mountain lights rise up from the mountain and dance through the trees.


As I sat in my office, staring at the pin on Google Earth, I began to slowly process what I was seeing. The scribbled numbers were definitely GPS coordinates, and they were sending an intentional message. You see, these coordinates didn’t just lead to North Carolina, they led to Brown Mountain. In fact, they appeared to lead to the very same cave entrance we’d visited five months earlier.

As you might imagine, I started to get more than a bit paranoid. Despite keeping our exact whereabouts top secret during our film shoot, someone knew where we had been… and what we were looking for.

The question was, what did a mountain located in another state, hundreds of miles away, have to do with the return of the Kentucky Goblins?

Terry Wriste never emailed again.


The email from Wriste spooked me, so I decided to get in touch with the only other person, aside from David, who I know had been in touch with him: Allen Greenfield. Greenfield had conducted the original alien cave base interview with Terry Wriste in his 1995 book Secret Cipher of the Ufonauts.

I tracked down an old email address for Greenfield, attached an overview of the case, and hoped for the best. Several days later, I received a response.

Terry was a friend of mine for many years. By the same token, I haven’t heard from him since the middle 1990s.  “Terry” was a pseudonym he came up with which he no longer uses, AFAIK. I advise far more caution due to cave ins, mine gases etc.  Such locations are for real experts, and there are safer ways to make contact.  I hope your friend stayed out of the mine.  Ky has had “little men” stuff since at least the 1950s.  The best approach is one of detachment.  If theft is involved, lock up good, but one should cultivate not being afraid – fear intensifies their “power” – indifference dis-empowers them. See my book SECRET CIPHER OF THE UFONAUTS, “Law of the Battle of Conquest” chapter.

Just stay out of mines and caves.  Dangerous – on-site investigation is best confined to the household being allegedly victimized.  Treat it like an apparition case or a poltergeist case – the overlap between such cases is greater than most conventional ufologists usually think. They are in fact differing perceptions of the same thing, IMHO.

If you have further questions, write me.


Now that I knew I was speaking to Allen, I went ahead and sent him my correspondence with David, Terry Wriste, some evidence from the case, and noted my concerns that someone might be sending me on a wild goose chase after the disturbing find with the GPS coordinates and the alien cave base.

Well, I never underestimate some people’s desire to get attention or just accomplish a good hoax, but, still, it does sound like a case at least worth taking seriously. I have been quite frustrated by the gradual move from serious paranormal field investigations and, for that matter, scholarly research to t.v. style ghost hunting.

[Wriste] is much younger than me – I’d guess he’s pushing 50.  But he isn’t a “man of mystery” per se. UFOs were an occasional side interest to him when I knew him.  I sat him down for three interviews in the early 1990s – two have been published and relate to UFOlogy.  The other, from our common political radical days, which, imo, where his hear is, and was of no interest to UFOlogists and a bit hot to handle as political rhetoric. I do know his “street name”: but, like everybody I knew in that era, we all had noms de guerre, and our code of honor was never to associate our ‘real’ names with our nom de guerre, which I have continued to honor, though most of us have long since ceased to be street activists.

I’d be inclined to think [the Terry Wriste you’re speaking to] is more of a “man in black” than the Terry I know.

On one of my visits [to Brown Mountain]- frankly I don’t remember which one – this nicely dressed local guy (supposedly) came to my motel room for no apparent reason other than to ‘warn’ me that Lael was ‘a local moonshiner’.  At the time it seemed very normal if a bit unexpected.  He identified himself, but his name disappeared from my memory.  It was probably my poking around in a rural area that brought him to me, to uphold local pride or whatever – but who knows? Maybe he was a “man in black” — a thought that didn’t strike me until years later.  He knew where I was, what I was there for and wanted to in some fashion discredit the local contactee.  The primary phenomenon – the Brown Mountain Lights – is real, whatever that may mean.

Emails from the Men in Black? So much for untangling the threads.


Illustration of the Kelly - Hopkinsville Encounter from the Pennyroyal Museum in Hopkinsville Kentucky

Illustration from the Pennyroyal Museum in Hopkinsville Kentucky

On the evening of August 21, 1955, residents of a rural farmhouse near Hopkinsville, Kentucky were terrorized by a group of small creatures unlike anything the world had seen before. The farmhouse residents, the Sutton family and their out-of-town guests, described the beings as standing around three feet tall, hairless, and having long, thin limbs that appeared almost in a state of atrophy. Their “skin” appeared to be a shiny, grey color, and their large eyes glowed in the dark. Their most distinguishable feature, though, were their large “ears”. The small humanoids moved as though they were “wading through water”, and on a few occasions, appeared to defy gravity altogether.

The creatures came out the nearby forest and began peering into their windows or appearing in their doorways, sending their children into hysterics. Shotguns and hunting rifles seemingly had little effect on the goblins, which only rattled like “tin cans” before fleeing into the surrounding woods. Once the siege had come to an apparent end, the family raced to their cars and went straight to the local police station to plea for help. Noting how visibly shaken the family was, the sheriff and twenty officers accompanied the family back to the home, where they themselves witnessed strange lights, sounds, and signs of a gun battle, though the goblins were never seen again.


An original sketch of the Kentucky Goblins and their craft (1955)

In all, eleven people were involved in the siege on the farmhouse, with nearly two dozen police officers responding to the scene, confirming a gun battle and a number of strange anomalies. Of those eleven people, eight stood by the story for the rest of their lives. The three remaining witnesses, now elderly, refuse to speak about that night.


After three years of slowly, occasionally piecing together the ever-stranger clues in the return of the Kentucky Goblins, I was sent a book titled Alien Legacy via my friend and colleague, Jeff Waldridge. It was an account of the original Hopkinsville Goblins case that came straight from the horse’s mouth. The author was Geraldine Sutton-Stith, daughter of Lucky Sutton, one of the two men who actually fired on the creatures in 1955. After Lucky passed away in 1995, Geraldine had taken it upon herself to carry on the story of what happened to her family that night, clearing up pop-culture misconceptions and providing often-overlooked details about the case. Alien Legacy was the result.

On September 30, I finally got Geraldine on the phone to discuss the parallels between her family’s case and the 2012 case in the hopes that it might rattle some things loose. It worked. While we both thought the similarities between the cases were certainly chilling, it was the odd differences between the encounters that struck us as as particularly intriguing.

The most obvious difference between the 1955 and 2012 cases were in the description of the creatures themselves. Both descriptions included a size of 3-4 feet in height, hairless grey skin, and a featureless face. In 1955, though, the beings had eyes that appeared to glow in the dark, and their most recognizable feature (one that went on to inspire the design of the titular Gremlins in the 80’s films) were their large pointy “ears”. David’s description lacked the ears and had “oily black” eyes.

Ufologist Ivan Sanderson shows a size comparison of a human vs. the goblins (via

Ufologist Ivan Sanderson shows a size comparison of a human vs. the goblins (via

The Sutton family believed that the strange creatures they encountered came from the sky, and most believers tended to agree.

Geraldine mentioned that several years ago, a man knocked on her door in order to share his father’s deathbed confession. The man’s father claimed that on the night the Sutton farmhouse was besieged by the goblins, he was part a team sent from nearby Fort Campbell to retrieve the wreckage from a UFO that had crashed just three miles down the road, the debris  of which was hauled straight to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

David, on the other hand, believed that the creatures he encountered were coming from underground.

The Sutton Goblins moved as though they were wading through thick water, even appearing to defy gravity and hover above the ground, leaving no trace. In 2012, the goblins appeared to “hop” as they moved, leaving three-toed footprints in the mud and snow.

“Humor me,” I said, “but what if the creatures’ ears weren’t actually ears at all? What if they were part of a helmet? In fact, what if the creatures were in some kind of a suit? It would make sense of the glowing eyes and the tin-can sound when Lucky and Billy Ray shot at them. Heck, that might even account for the strange movement. A hopping motion isn’t so much different from wading through water…”

The pieces were starting to fit, even if we were jamming some of them into place, but wasn’t until I mentioned Wriste’s coordinates to the Brown Mountain cave base that things started to really click. Geraldine mentioned that there were some similar stories emerging from Eastern Kentucky throughout the years, tales of a mountain with hidden base, a hush-hush military presence, and mysterious lights in the surrounding sky.

“People who live there see all kinds of strange things – creatures, lights – they even talk about feeling the mountain ‘humming’ sometimes,” she told me. “People go missing, never to be seen again up there. It’s called Black Mountain, but they used to call it Lynch Mountain.”

I used my free hand to punch the name into Google Maps and immediately started to laugh.

“You’re never gonna believe this, Geraldine,” I said. “Black Mountain is literally just down the road from the 2012 goblin sightings.”

The connection to Brown Mountain was suddenly a lot more clear, and it wasn’t long before the conversation turned back to Hopkinsville. But if the 1955 case and the 2012 were actually related, how could something that was seen in Hopkinsville disappear and pop up hundreds of miles away sixty years later?

I remembered something Allen Greenfield had mentioned during his warnings about cave investigations years ago: Kentucky caves were massive.

Map of United States Cave Systems via USGS

Map of United States Cave Systems via USGS

“Mammoth Cave! It’s smack-dab in the middle of Kentucky and it’s the largest cave system in the entire world,” I blurted. “They’ve mapped nearly 400 miles of underground caverns and barely scratched the surface. Do you remember if there were any old caves or mines near the old farmhouse?”

“I never saw one, but let me check with my friend who works with the county!”

Several hours after we hung up the phone, a message from Geraldine appeared in my inbox.

Guess what, he said he has heard of a cave!!!


While I’ve been able to piece together a pretty crazy timeline in the case of the Kentucky Goblins, it’s far from complete.

  • On August 21, 1955, a UFO crash lands near Kelly and Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Dazed and confused from the incident, the occupants of the craft approach a the Sutton’s lonely farmhouse. When the family sees the creatures, they panic, firing their weapons and driving the “goblins” back into the forest. With the military retrieving the wreckage of their craft, the creatures seek refuge in the nearby cave, never to be seen again.
  • Over the next decade, they begin to make a home underground, possibly after reconnecting with others of their kind, possibly in previously-existing subterranean holds. Eventually, their network stretches hundreds of miles, as far as North Carolina.
  • In 1961, Ralph Lael makes contact with the creatures on Brown Mountain and brings a dead body home.
  • In the 1970s, Allen Greenfield heads to Brown Mountain to meet Lael and is approached by a Man In Black at his motel room. The man goes out of his way to discredit Lael and disappears.
  • In 1975 Vietnam War ends and the mysterious Terry Wriste is sent to infiltrate Alien Cave Bases around the country with a black ops team tasked with extraterrestrial extermination. Their mission fails.
  • 198- : Ralph Lael dies, his shop is bulldozed, and the body of dead creature goes missing, never to be seen again.
  • In late 2011, a rural home in Eastern Kentucky is visited by the goblins. Now acclimated to their environment and living in the nearby Black Mountain, they no longer wear their suits or use their antenna-clad helmets.
  • In early 2012, David contacts the local police to report the strange creatures terrorizing his home and frightening his children. The police shrug off his story, but through the department, word reaches someone with a vested interest in the latest appearance of the goblins. eventually this man meets David, introduces himself as Terry Wriste and suggests that David contact us.
  • In June 2012, David emails us and pleads for help. Over the next several weeks, David photographs the creatures and flees his home. We exchange exactly four emails before he goes silent.
  • In October 2012, Planet Weird tracks down the Brown Mountain Alien Cave Base with Micah Hanks.
  • February 2013, someone claiming to be Terry Wriste emails me GPS coordinates for the Brown Mountain base entrance. Might be disinformation.
  • In May of 2015, I’m mailed a copy of Alien Legacy. The book is a catalyst for contacting Geraldine Sutton-Stith and piecing together this timeline.
  • In September 2015, I send an email to David. It bounces. His account has been deactivated.
  • In October 2015, Planet Weird finally heads to Hellier, KY.



There’s a lot of gaps in that timeline, not to mention whole lot of conjecture, but when you’re investigating 60-year-old goblin conspiracies, you’re kind of forced to make some leaps.

Now that Weird HQ is located in Cincinnati, OH, we’re literally 3.5 hours from David’s town, and with a timeline firmly in place, we’re finally putting boots on the ground in the hopes we can capture some real evidence that any of this crazy story is true at all.

But before we set off into the mountains of Kentucky to whisper about goblins in rural watering holes, we need your help.

If you have anything – no matter how “crazy” it might sound – that you can add to the timeline we’ve pieced together, we want to hear it. Have you or someone you know seen something similar to the descriptions of the Kentucky Goblins in your hometown? Do the sightings coincide with nearby caves, mines, or mountains with an abundance of strange activity? Have you found any footprints resembling the ones discovered in the 2012 Goblins appearance?

[EDITOR’S NOTE 1/10/19] There was once a free and publicly available satellite image in this article via google maps, which we heavily edited by blurring road names and obscuring the address, so as not to cause undue harassment to locals. This image has since been removed as the information – which was a “best guess” for the location of the incident at the time – is outdated and inaccurate. We were way off, by a number of miles. Our current findings, including the location of the alleged incident, can be seen in the Hellier documentary series. Don’t trespass on private property.]

Any and every bit of information can help bring this case to a satisfying conclusion. Share this information with your local monster hunters, cryptozoologists, and paranormal investigators. Send it to your favorite paranormal radio shows, blogs, and message boards. Post it on social media, bring it up at dinner, and ask your weird uncle. That dude has got to know something.

We’re setting off on an initial stakeout in just a few weeks. I realize that with all the talk about Men In Black and the nefarious undertones of the communications we’ve received makes announcing our investigation plans a bit of a risk, but the possibility of going into this adventure with as much information as possible makes it a risk worth taking. So again, if you’ve got information, leave it in the comments or email me privately at [email protected].

It might sound extreme, but I’ve already set up instructions for a third party to act as a dead man’s trigger. If something goes wrong and don’t check in after a certain period of time, every piece of information we have about the case, from David’s real name, our intended location, and the coordinates to the Alien Cave Base will be dumped online with hard copies mailed to half a dozen of the best researchers we know in the fields of ufology, cryptozoology, and government conspiracies.

I have a feeling things are going to get very interesting in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.


[EDITOR’S NOTE: It goes without saying, but if you decide to head to Hellier to investigate the case yourself, do not trespass on private property. We don’t trespass, and we don’t condone our readers trespassing either. We won’t be held liable for deaths in mine shafts, injuries by gunshot, or your trespassing fines. Don’t be a dummy.]

Keep checking the comments section below, as we’ll use it for ongoing communication about the case. To boot, be sure to follow @WeirdHQ on twitter, friend us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram for live updates as we set off in search of the Kentucky Goblins.


Our investigation into the Return of the Kentucky Goblins got a mention on Rhett & Link’s Good Mythical Morning. They discuss how “goblins are better than no goblins” and pitch the series Goblin Hunters to A&E. It sounds more like a Destination America show, but what do i know?

Rhett and Link Discuss the Kentucky Goblin case on Good Mythic…Tickled to find this clip of Rhett and Link discussing our Kentucky Goblins case on Good Mythical Morning. But for the record, guys, I think the “Goblin Hunters” show would work better on Destination America.Watch the whole thing here:

Posted by Week In Weird on Wednesday, October 7, 2015


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