PASCAGOULA, Miss. (CBS Local) — A Mississippi man in declining health is telling a story he’s kept secret from his own family for 45 years: he claims he was abducted by aliens.

Calvin Parker says he and his buddy Charles Hickson were fishing in 1973 on the banks of the Pascagoula River, just north of where Ingalls Shipyard now sits, when a “real bright beam appeared all over us and it kind of blinded me for a second and when I got my vision back, I seen three bulky looking creatures coming toward us.”

Parker said the creatures were “probably 4, 4 1/2, 5 foot tall…built like football players. But I noticed they kind of moved mechanical wise and they was floating off the ground. By the time we stood up and turned around, they was there on us all at one time,” he told WALA in a rare interview. “Two of them got a hold of Charlie, one of them got a hold of myself and instantly I felt like, I just got relaxed.”

Parker, who was 19 at the time, claims he and the 42-year-old Hickson were levitated into a space craft.

“There was an examination room, what I call it, and the ole big ugly creature that brought me in, he took me and laid me on the examination table and he just backed up out of the way. I couldn’t move or anything. All I could do was look,” Parker said.

A device about the size of a deck of cards then came down from the ceiling.

“It hovered about a foot in front of my eyes and then it went to the right side of my head and it clicked, went behind my head and it clicked went to the left side of my head and clicked and then straight to the front and then it shot back into the ceiling,” he said.

Then a “more feminine looking creature came out. She looked completely different than what I called the robot,” he said. She “had regular fingers and came over and pinched me on the side of the cheek and then she took her finger and ran it down my throat and got it behind that thing that hangs down back there and tried to come up in my nasal cavity and that is when it started hurting and I started choking and I got scared and she just kind of telepathically told me ‘Don’t be afraid we aren’t going to hurt you.'”

Calvin Parker, who says he was abducted by aliens in 1973, breaks his silence in his book “Pascagoula – The Closest Encounter: My Story.” (Credit: Calvin Parker)

Parker said the aliens then dropped him and Hickson on the river bank. They called the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office to report the incident.

Former Jackson County Captain Glenn Ryder said he told the men to come in to the station. To test their sincerity, Ryder said deputies secretly placed a tape recorder into an interrogation room and left the two alone.

“I got to get home, get to bed or get some nerve pills or something, see the doctor or something. I can’t stand it. I’m about to go all to pieces,” Parker was recorded saying at the time.

“I tell you, when we get through, I’ll get you something to settle you down so you can get some damn sleep,” Hickson responded.

“Something happened to them, said Ryder. “You don’t fake fear. He was scared. He was scared out of his mind.”

The men would also take lie detector tests and pass. The story quickly went viral.

“It was a circus, a media circus,” former WALA-TV reporter Rennie Brabner said.

Brabner believes something happened that night.

“I do not think they made it up in the sense that they created it out of whole cloth,” Brabner said. “I have been told, particularly Hickson was known to take a drink. Was it in the bottom of a bottle of a John Barleycorn bottle? I don’t know.”

Hickson wrote a book on his encounter and spoke numerous times about it before he died in 2011.

Parker stayed out of the limelight for 45 years, but after suffering a stroke and having two open heart surgeries, he decided it was his turn to write a book about the night that changed his life. “Pascagoula – The Closest Encounter: My Story” was published  in July.

“You can’t really pin everything down. You don’t really know and that’s the point I’m holding out. I don’t know what happened, I know something happened,” Parker said.