Carl Sagan and The 1973 Pascagoula Event
Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.
Our friend Susan [aka Brownie] raised the issue of Carl Sagan’s “snarkiness” in her comment to my post providing clips of Sagan discussing the 1961 Hill abduction case.
Susan noted that Sagan treated Charlie Hickson, of the 1973 Pascagoula episode with derision, and another person who saw the show felt likewise. This from a comment on YouTube about the Hickson/Parker incident:
“Carl Sagan was no friend of UFO sighting witnesses or people who had been abducted by aliens. I remember him making fun of Charles Hickson on the Dick Cavett show. Hickson was there to tell about his alien abduction while fishing with a friend on a pier on the Pascagoula River in Mississippi in 1973.
"Sagan mocked this man as he told his story of the abduction on network TV. Carl Sagan made Hickson's life more difficult by ridiculing him in front of a national TV audience. Punk move.”
The High Strangeness UFO site also acknowledged Sagan’s condescending demeanor
Robert Mead’s Blog – robertmead.blogspot .com – provides much about the 1973 case.
I concede that Carl Sagan could be demeaning, but he was charming at the same time, throwing off criticism by the less discerning viewer of his TV appearances.
There is no YouTube video of the Cavett show which had Sagan and Hickson on (although there are a gazillion other clips of personalities interviewed by Mr. Cavett).
We may have a VHS tape of the show, and if I can find it, among the literally thousands of VHS tapes we have, I’ll upload it to YouTube, and note it here.
For me, Charles Hickson and his fishing buddy, Calvin Parker, were good ol’ boys, not inclined to create a rather bizarre UFO encounter and hoax; it’s possible but never struck me that way.
The one glitch, for me, were the descriptions of the alleged aliens who transported the fellows to their craft:
Unique and never reported again, just as such creatures had never been reported before.
What does this suggest?
That the event was unique, and possibly hallucinatory, brought on by “moonshine” (I’m being derogatory here, but think it’s a possibility) or some other ingested substance.
If it were a real event, one would think that other sightings would have produced witness testimony of creatures, at least similar to the Pascagoula “aliens.”
The Hickson/Parker event is interesting, and falls into the Caravaca Distortion Theory category perhaps or it’s a one-of-a-kind psychotic episode that needs further examination.
As for Carl Sagan, he, like some of regulars here, was nagged by he possibility that some UFO sightings and events were extraterrestrial visitations or interventions,
But his skeptical scientific discipline forbade him conceding that: extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.
That he was rude to Mr. Hickson on a nationally televised TV show disheartens me, but skeptics do get flummoxed when confronted by seemingly credible, honest folks who say they’ve had a weird UFO encounter.
I thank Brownie/Susan for bringing her observation to this blog.