Distant Encounters: the Hat-Wearing Little Green Men of Texas

Today’s tale hails from 1913, two miles west of the northeastern Texas burg of Farmersville (population 3,301). But the people involved told no one until 1978 – out of fear? Fear of ridicule over having one of UFOlogy’s few run-ins with literal little green men?

Brothers Clyde, Sid and Silbie Latham chopped cotton on their family’s farm. A mundane scene interrupted by the barking of dogs. The Latham brothers scramble to investigate and find, as Silbie told FATE in 1978:

“a little man only 18 inches tall…He didn’t seem to have on any shoes but I don’t really remember his feet. His arms were hanging down just beside him. He had on a kind of hat that reminded me of a Mexican hat. It was a little round hat that looked like it was built onto him…everything looked like a rubber suit including the hat.”

The 18-inch man’s rubbery skin was smooth, dark green all over (Fate, 1978) – including the strange, hat-like protrusion. The brothers considered the bizarre visitor, the alien before them, and reached out in a spirit of peace. Contact began, and everyone prospere-nope! Their dogs viciously murdered him a second later. According to Silbie Latham:

“Red blood spilled everywhere and the being’s insides, which looked like human organs, fell to the ground.”

Ah yes, at least we discovered the defenseless alien visitor did in fact have human-esque organs, and blood, so very much blood, and so we can know for sure that in those few confused seconds he felt all the pain just as intensely as any human being. A successful first contact!

“Unable to cope with the whole matter, the boys retreated to their work; the dogs stayed near them the rest of the day, as if frightened. “

The dogs were frightened…at discovering what they were capable of, much like in Air Bud: There Ain’t No Rule A Dog Can’t Be a Retired Enforcer, Weighed Down By His Terrible Sins.

The boys told their parents, who disbelieved them. The following day, the little man’s body vanished without a trace. Two years later, they did see “a mysterious object carrying two lights — one in front, the other in back — sail silently by” near Celeste, Texas. Three years later, Silbie witnessed a fireball falling from the sky, leaving only a circle of gray powder. But the Lathams would never again see a little green man.

Silbie Latham’s story went untold for sixty-five years, when his grandson would report it to the Center for UFO Studies. Even Latham’s own grandson heard the story only reluctantly, after much prompting. And while everyone found Silbie believable, researchers tended to discount his story outright, explaining it away as a prank or a frog. Silbie rejected them all.

Admittedly, Silbie Latham’s little green man probably was a frog. It probably was an ordinary creature that ran into the wrong dogs. But we should still be glad he shared his unbelievable story, and that others won’t wait their entire lives to tell theirs…and that when aliens actually meet humanity, they don’t get torn apart by dogs.

An illustration of the Farmersville Green Man by Eric Kowalick, who has delightful illustrations of many obscure alien sightings.

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