Forty years ago, the Pascagoula incident, in which two men said they encountered an unidentified flying object and its occupants, made headlines across America and sparked a new wave of reports of UFO sightings.
Now, the sole survivor of the case says he is still grappling with an encounter that turned his life upside down.
Calvin Parker Jr said he harboured doubts about his encounter with what he said were grey, wrinkly-skinned and crab-clawed creatures. He dodged the spotlight for decades.
"This is something I really didn't want to happen," Mr Parker told the AP news agency.
He has spent decades moving around and changing jobs to avoid the unwanted attention.
Mr Parker was 18 when, on October 11, 1973, he went fishing with his friend, the late Charles Hickson, along the banks of the Pascagoula river in coastal Mississippi.
The two said a UFO with blue lights swooped down, making a zipping noise.
Mr Hickson, then 42, said three creatures took them by the forearms and levitated them aboard the craft.
Then, something that looked like a large floating eye appeared to examine him.
They gave a thorough, I mean a thorough, examination to me just like any doctor would," Mr Parker said, adding that he was conscious, but paralysed.
And then the two were back on the banks on the river and the UFO was gone.
After Mr Hickson and Mr Parker reported what happened, they drew the nation's attention - from UFO enthusiasts to sceptics who questioned their story.
The case went on to become one of the most high-profile UFO stories in American history.
It sparked hundreds of reports of sightings, jokes and hoaxes - and even some books.
Above all, it rekindled interest in a subject that had first begun in the 1940s with an incident in New Mexico in which UFO enthusiasts believe the government got its hands on a crashed spacecraft and alien bodies.
The government has spent decades denying it.