HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The quiet, dark of night can be uneasy. For Geraldine Sutton Stith's family, what lurks in the dark is terrifying.

Her dad, mom,and a couple friends came down from Evansville, Indiana, on Aug. 21, 1955, to visit her grandma's farm in Kelly, Kentucky. Before turning in for the night, they took a quick trip to the well to grab some water.

"As he was standing out there he heard something, looked up toward the sky where he was hearing this from and saw a silver oval-shaped object just streaking across the sky," Sutton Stith said. "They saw a little three, three-and-a-half-foot being coming out from the woods behind the house. Large eyes, glowing eyes. Large ears. Big head. Arms almost touched the ground. And they were floating atop the ground."

Total panic. Absolute frenzy.

"My dad runs out there and turns around and shoots toward the roof at it," Sutton Stith said. "Hits it. It rolls ... floats away."

But the nightmare wasn't over.

"Daylight comes and they just disappear," Sutton Stith said. "My dad did not like talking about it ... He hated the fact that people did not believe him, because he knows what he saw that night."

The encounter with what became known as the Little Green Men riles up critics, inspires dozens of documentaries. Even the 1986 film Critters is based off the story.

For at least one weekend a year, the believers might outweigh the skeptics at the annual Kelly Little Green Men Days Festival. Where everyone will gather for the festival is close to where the encounter happened. Just past a tree line is where the family's farm used to be. If you zoom in on Google Maps, you can see a brown spot on the ground where the family said the little green men landed.

"This year is going to be spectacular, simply because the eclipse is on the encounter of," Sutton Stith said.

Joan Smithey helped start the festival almost seven years ago.

"We call it a cosmic coincidence," Smithey said.

If the bizarre story, games, fair food and costumes aren't enough, this year's celebration is getting even more attention.

"We've extended the festival from a two-day festival to four days," Smithey said. "And we're even throwing in a solar eclipse as a finale on Monday."

Twenty-thousand people are expected to fill the Hopkinsville park as Sutton Stith re-tells the family's encounter at the festival.

She's also written two books. Her only warning is don't laugh it off too hard.

"It happened once. It could happen again," she said.

And we know there will be one spectacular show, at least in the skies, on Aug. 21.

"The day of the eclipse, let's just hope the hand you're holding beside you doesn't turn out to be something else," Sutton Stith said.

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