August 21, 1955.
The place: a farmhouse near the town of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, in Christian County. The farmhouse was inhabited by a Mrs. Lenny Langford, her son Cecil "Lucky" Sutton, and his family. They were sitting down to enjoy their evening meal along with some friends from Pennsylvania when Lucky Sutton decided to go to the well to fetch a pail of water.
He watched as a metallic craft floated soundlessly overhead, fitting the most typical of typical descriptions of a "flying saucer." One of my books on the subject claimed that he said it "shone with all the colors of the rainbow," but none of the early newspaper reports or books I've seen on the subject mention that. It's most likely a fabrication of the UFO community trying to spice up the encounter.
Lucky Sutton, apparently very hungry, returned inside and chose not to go investigate the object, which landed in a field about a "city block" away. Either a man was later sent out to investigate, whereupon he discovered the craft was being tended by 15-20 "Little Men" or the Little Men were spotted walking in a group towards the farmhouse (this portion of the story is a bit hazy).
The Little Men were reportedly about 4 feet tall, huge heads, , long arms with enormous hands that nearly drag on the ground, and huge elephant-like ears. Their eyes were said to glow in the dark and be the size of grapefruits. In the early news reports they're referred to as Little Men, though after time they took on the name of Goblins.
Apparently, the Suttons are a hardcore bunch, and after spotting the Goblins, they only armed themselves and then went back to enjoying their dinner, with a shotgun for Lucky and a .22 caliber starter pistol for his friend from Pennsylvania. They remained unconcerned until an enormous head peeked in the window. Lucky fired on it point-blank with his shotgun, and the creature was blown back into the yard. After a moment Lucky watched, stupefied, as the creature got up and scampered away on all fours like a dog (or, more accurately, a mountain gorilla).
One of the other men went outside onto the porch to investigate. Apparently, another Goblin had climbed onto the roof; when the man came to the edge of the porch the creature swung down and grabbed at his hair with an oversized hand with fingers that ended in claws.
The man managed to get himself free, and if he didn't crap his pants he's a more stalwart man than I. He retreated indoors and the Suttons spent the next four hours shooting at the Goblins, who popped up now and then to peek in the windows and seemed to amuse themselves a great deal by walking on the roof. At about midnight, the family spotted their chance, piled into two cars, and drove to the police station.
Apparently the crime situation in Kentucky is well in hand: upon seeing how terrified the Suttons were, a posse consisting of 4 city police, 2 state troopers, a deputy sheriff, and 4 soldiers went out to the farm. They found nothing odd, and no sign of the Goblins. The only excitement came when a soldier stepped on a cat's tail, which let out a yowl that almost got it riddled with bullets. The police eventually left, and the Goblins came back to wreak a little more havoc, before vanishing just before dawn.
The accounts of the story tend to vairy from sorce to sorce. In one account, the Goblins wore "Space Suits"; in another they managed to break into the Sutton's garage and "arm themselves" with scrap metal and tools. It all depends on who tells the story, as in most cases, the Media (or even the whitnesses themselves) tend to embelish the tale.
One thing I've noticed is that the case of the Hopkinsville Goblins is very similar to the many reports of Gremlins; maybe not a perfect match, but close enough to make me wonder.
Whatever the case, the only people who know the truth of the tale are the Suttons themselves.