PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A UFO and alien abduction on the Pascagoula River: you may have heard this story from the 1970s.
Now 45 years later, for the first time, a witness is coming forward saying she saw this alien encounter.
On Oct. 11,1973, Calvin Parker and now deceased Charles Hickson said while fishing they were pulled onto a space craft, examined and then put back down.
"It scared the living hell out of you," Parker said. "I still have a few nightmares about it. I really think that I was abducted by some kind of life form from another planet."
Parker and Hickson's story has made Pascagoula known around the world.
“They’ll say ‘oh that’s where that UFO encounter was,’” said Rebecca Davis, Main Street Pascagoula Director.
Davis welcomes the attention. She along with Dr. Chris Wiggins and the Jackson County Historical Society are working to place a historical marker across the river from where the alleged abduction occurred.
"It's time to bring these things out and be proud of our heritage because it is a part of it," Davis said.
On the same October 1973 night, not far from where the marker will be placed on the east bank of the river, Maria Blair was waiting with her husband Jerry Blair waiting for him to leave on a boat to work off shore. What she saw that night is something she’s telling for the first time publicly.
“It was a warm night. It was like 73 degrees, and it was kind of easy to just sit in the car and wait for the captain to get there,” Blair said.
While they were waiting Jerry went to sleep and Maria saw what she describes as strange, a blue light streaking back and forth.
“You’re looking up at the sky, looking at stars, the big dipper and things, that’s when I saw it rise up in the sky,” Blair said. “Where I saw it come up, the blue light was just right over where they were abducted.”
At the time she thought it was a plane or helicopter.
“You don’t think it was a UFO,” Blair said.
According to Blair, the blue light continued moving without noticeable sound for about 30 minutes, when it went out of sight.
“We hear this loud water, just something fell in the water, it was a loud splash,” Blair said. “The water was just rippling, and when I looked down that’s when it looked like a person in the water. I was looking just right below me.”
Blair still doesn’t know what she saw in the water and didn’t think much of it until the next day when she heard about what Parker and Hickson had told the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.
“I was watching two men being abducted by a UFO," she said.
Despite believing what she saw was a UFO, she never talked about it to anyone except her family. Blairs’s husband wanted her to keep it quiet.
“When she would talk about it I would tell her to shut up people are going to think you’re crazy,” said Jerry Blair.
After seeing a recent media report about the abduction, Blair got the courage to come forward. She said her motivation was to give Calvin Parker and Charles Hickson’s story validation.
“I always wanted to talk to them, just them about it to let them know that they weren’t lying because they weren’t lying,” Hickson said.
In 1973 Maria Blair and Calvin Parker were separated by a river. Now, with a 45-year-old secret washed under the bridge, Blair met Parker face to face for the first time at the same spot on the Pascagoula River where the alleged abduction occurred.
It didn’t take long for the conversation to turn to what’s brought them together.
“It’s burnt right in my mind,” Blair said.
“It is mine too,” Parker agreed.
Parker’s story has been questioned and doubted for most of his life. He said he had lost all hope of a witness coming forward, but now he and Blair both have a sense of relief.
“I can now put my mind at ease that I told what I knew,” Blair said.
“Before I die I’ll at least have somebody that came forward and ease my mind a little bit,” Parker said.
Three people have now told their stories of the UFO on the Pascagoula River. Calvin Parker has written a book about it, and he doesn’t think these will be the last stories told of extraterrestrial life on Earth.
“It’s foolish to look up in the sky and see all these stars and all these stars have planets around them and think that we’re the only life,” Parker said.
Plans are in the works to unveil the historical marker on the banks of the Pascagoula River with a ceremony in June. The marker will say “The Pascagoula UFO story remains the best documented case of alien abduction.”