An Attack of Aliens (from space), Owls, or "creatures from the id?
The August 1955 Kelly-Hopkinsville incident is fascinating, for a number of reasons.
Here’s the Wikipedia account:
Kevin Randle provided an extensive 2011 blog post that I’d link to except it has commentary from some asses who shouldn’t be acknowledged.
What disturbs, although I would usually accept a psychological “explanation” as worthy of insertion for a UFO event or an incident like this one, is the cavalier interpretation trotted out to dismiss this intriguing event, presented in Wikipedia (and other dismissive, skeptical explications:
The Hopkinsville entities have a decidedly earthly explanation. The "aliens" were in fact, Great Horned Owls, and the eyewitnesses were probably intoxicated during the "alien attack"
— Rodney Schmaltz and Scott Lilienfeld, Frontiers in Psychology, 2014
It seems as if the episode could be listed, instead of the silly explanation above, as a case of “mass hysteria, Thomas Szasz, in Insanity; The Idea and Its Consequences [John Wiley & Sons, NY, 1987, Page 174] writing:
“Paracelsus (1493-1541), considered to be one of the first modern physicians, … attributed [a similar 'outbreak' in the 16th Century of St. Vitus’ Dance] to ‘the irrational power of imagination and belief.’ – surely a remarkably perceptive way of describing it.”
That anyone would see the Frontiers of Psychology explanation as rational goes to the heart of how many odd UFO cases by credible persons are “explained away” (as ufologists used to say). A parliament of owls is a stretch as an explanation, as I see it.
The “event” bespeaks a case of mass hysteria (which I can't discount) or an intrusion by things from a paranormal world or multiworld, temporarily extant in August 1955. But why?
Two “normal” families were involved, with children. They saw and re-acted to the supposed creatures, allegedly saying they arrived by spaceship.
Wikipedia identifies two members, one each from the families involved, as “itinerant carnival workers.”
(I worked at a carnival, staffed by itinerants, me among them, while on vacation in Canada one summer during my youth. And the workers were a highly suggestible lot, full of weird stories about their lives and experiences, many of the tales odd to the point of schizophrenic-like ramblings.)
So, one might consider a psychic contagion by the “itinerant carnival workers” who created a miasmic environment that provoked mass hysteria and/or an induced hallucination.
Or the Sutton/Taylor families actually engaged in a shoot-out with creatures from somewhere outside normalcy (or the id, as suggested in Forbidden Planet).
At any rate, the tale/report intrigues and, like most (or all) UFO tales, remains unexplained.