Strange creatures unexplained lights a frightened family a hysterical community—all are ingredients in the story about events in Kelly Kentucky on August 21 and 22 1955. In Alien Legacy Geraldine Sutton Stith passes on the tale of a close encounter in a fictionalized account of what her father a carnival worker and other family and friends claim happened to them. The title is enticing: who wouldn’t be at least a little tempted to take a peak at a book on aliens? However the purpose of the book is unclear. Does Stith want to entertain the reader with a fictionalized account of a story alleged to be true or convince the reader of its veracity?
Publication of the book followed a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the event the Kelly Green Man Festival in Hopkinsville Kentucky in August 2005. The strength of the book is that the author is a descendent of the family and in the seventh chapter “The Second Invasion” she recounts the storming of the family farm by the press and public after word of the event went out demonstrated a glimpse of humor that is wanting in the rest of this serious book.
Alien Legacy begins with a short tale of mysterious lights and a disappearing couple in the summer of 1808 an account that seems senseless because it is not tied with the rest of the book. Historical discussion of UFO and alien sightings follows—a trite and naive attempt to build excitement (“There are tales such as these told throughout history…. It seems like we have our UFOs in surges”). The words phases and dialog throughout the book are unoriginal and overly predictable. Readers with unsophisticated knowledge about the world of UFOs aliens and close encounters may be stirred up by the plotting but those who have followed the UFO community have heard it all before.
Despite these shortfalls the book is well-researched and referenced so the reader has the fun of reading the story and then going to the web to research its background. The author would have produced a better book if she had placed the incident into the broader perspective of other close encounter stories exploring her family’s event in comparison to other accounts describing similar species of aliens. Dealing with the story’s critics or otherwise provided evidence of the story’s plausibility would have been another worthwhile approach. Nevertheless the author makes an admirable attempt to connect the subjects of UFOs and aliens with a higher being at the end of the book which is thought-provoking and provocative. If considered light reading for the uninitiated Alien Legacy provides an interesting perspective on a fascinating topic.
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