The 13th Floor

The Horrifying, Unexplained Events Behind the “Death” of Gibbon, KY

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The date was May 7, 1926. The location was the small community of Gibbon, a rural Kentucky township whose entire human population eventually died under mysterious circumstances following a bizarre phenomenon… an event which began on that horrible, fateful night and remains unexplained nearly a century later.

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A record of these bizarre events is reportedly derived from several written firsthand accounts from witnesses to the events of May 7, which began with the sighting of a “luminous green fireball” in the skies over Gibbon, shortly after sunset.

All of these writings describe a similar glow, which slowly spread in an eastward course overhead, eventually blanketing the town with an eerie, opalescent shroud.

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Some witnesses also mentioned hearing a vague sound — described by one account as the “distant din of dying machinery” — which they claimed to have come from the same location as the green fireball’s original sighting.

More sounds, including a “tremendous crash,” were reportedly heard the following morning in the western part of town, followed by a surge of warm, foul-smelling air which several witnesses described as “reeking of sulfur,” as well as another pungent odor which they could not identify.

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A group of approximately twenty residents of Gibbon took it upon themselves to investigate the area where the loud crash was heard (the consensus among them was that the green fireball had first been sighted in the same spot). They set out toward the site just before Noon on May 8, 1926.

Not a single member of this search party returned.

Over the course of the next few days, the locals who had first sighted the fireball began to report feeling odd physical symptoms — which included burn-like lesions, painful rashes, strange skin discolorations, hair loss, nausea, and severe abdominal pain.

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The townspeople and investigating authorities could not have known at the time, but the details of these ailments align very closely with the symptoms of radiation poisoning — which would not be fully studied and evaluated until the US government began to conduct top-secret nuclear testing nearly two decades later.

Months passed without any viable conclusions about what actually occurred on that surreal spring night… but those who had reported physical symptoms became increasingly ill, and in less than three months nearly all of those afflicted were dead.

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The townspeople disposed of the bodies in a mass grave; those present at the burial claimed that the victims’ corpses were in such a horrible state they were virtually unrecognizable, even to their families and close friends.

But for the grieving survivors, the horror had just begun.

Just before dusk on the night of the mass burial, some residents noticed the final rays of sunlight reflecting off something metallic on the horizon — in an area on the outskirts of Gibbon, where no buildings, vehicles or other metal structures had been seen previously.

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These witnesses claimed that the horrible sulfurous smell returned just minutes after that metallic gleam was sighted, carried on the air by a hot wind which quickly swept through the entire town. This was reportedly followed by the appearance of a blinding green light, more intense than that of the setting sun.

While the townspeople watched, a “large, dark metal object” reportedly rose from the horizon and shot straight upward into the sky, accompanied by a deep, almost undetectable hum, before vanishing without a trace.

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In the week following this new occurrence, a newly-assembled team of residents finally discovered the remains of the original search party which had embarked toward the green fireball’s first appearance. Their bodies were charred black, and contained with a surrounding circle of burnt, flattened grass and other foliage.

Within hours of this discovery, the six members of the team reported similar symptoms to those which led to the aforementioned deaths of several residents… but this time, within hours of returning to town, all six were dead.

In the weeks that followed, more and more residents of Gibbon began to succumb to the same horrible affliction. The hand-written accounts from which this story is derived were reportedly left behind by the last few survivors, who documented their final days before the sickness claimed them as well.

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While experts continue their attempts to corroborate the testimony of these witnesses, nearly a century later no conclusions have been reached, and no trace of excessive radiation has been detected in Gibbon or the surrounding county. Oddly enough, however, investigators found no trace of larger mammals or birds within a roughly five-mile radius of the region where the fireball was first seen. Only insects and other small creatures have been found… and, according to a biologist studying the case, a few of these appear to be previously unknown species.

Despite the area being ruled safe for human habitation, not a single person has resettled in Gibbon to this day. Not even the animals have returned.