Jim Morris
Jim Morris

Jim Morris has worked for newspapers, radio, television and various Websites for more than 47 years. He has been a writer, an editor, an editorial writer and a columnist. For 23 years, Morris worked for the Troy Daily News as sports editor, managing editor and executive editor. In 1994 he began working at the Dayton Daily News as an outdoor sports columnist and night sports desk editor. He retired from the DDN in January of 2010 and is now a freelance writer with his own Website for outdoors stories.

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Monday, Aug. 21 won’t be just another Monday for many Americans. It will be a day when an eclipse travels diagonally across the U.S. For most of us, it will be partial, but it’s still a special day.

I am excited about the upcoming eclipse. I’m not sure why. I mean a person could pop a movie into the DVD player or pull something off of the DVR at about 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 21 and miss the whole thing.

When the movie – and the obligatory nap – have finished, so will the eclipse. Around here, the extra-terrestrial show will be over just before 4 p.m.

I have been burning up the Internet these last few days, getting up to speed on this solar eclipse. Believe me, there is more information than you will ever need out there about the eclipse. You can’t possibly digest all of it, but there are plenty of good tips. If you go to whio.com you will get the best info I found. Meteorologist Eric Elwell does a great job of explaining it.

As he points out, we in the Miami Valley will see a partial eclipse – about 90 percent. If you want to witness a total eclipse, you will have to go to Hopkinsville, Ky. (way down in Kentucky, almost to Tennessee) or anywhere along the path from Oregon through South Carolina. But good luck getting a room. Even the campgrounds and RV parks are booked. There is a Hopkinsville Eclipse Festival scheduled for Aug. 18-21. Lots of bourbon and bluegrass.

You could go to the nearby little town of Kelly, Ky. (about 5 miles north of Hopkinsville), but they’ll have a festival going on, too. It’s the “Kelly Little Green Men Days Festival,” the highlight of which this year will be the raffling off a 2007 (you guessed it) Mitsubishi Eclipse! I understand they’ll also have an array of “intergalactic souvenirs” for sale.

Little green men? It seems that in 1955 at a farmhouse on Old Madisonville Road, between Hopkinsville and Kelly, two families allegedly witnessed the landing of a flying saucer and the appearance of small creatures. The families got out their guns and shot at the “visitors,” but the pellets just bounced off. The event was thoroughly investigated by police and military and widely reported by the news media. But nothing was ever proven.

Still, it will always be remembered in that part of Kentucky.

Oh, and by the way, that extra-terrestrial event took place on August 21, 1955. Spooky, isn’t it?

Even though the families never said the creatures were green, the event is known as the Kelly Green Men or the Hopkinsville Goblins Case. Whether or not these or any other visitors from another planet will decide to drop in on Hopkinsville 62 years to the day later remains to be seen.

One of the things I wondered about is the effect the eclipse will have on animals, domestic or wild. From what I read, animals will likely treat the eclipse as an unscheduled nightfall and adjust accordingly. Birds, for example, will become quiet and go to roosting spots, then begin chirping again when it’s over.

Bats should become more active. I’m wondering if nocturnal animals like deer and predators will, too. It will be interestingly to see.

If you plan to participate in eclipse festivals or other events, be smart. Learn about viewing an eclipse. Your regular sunglasses won’t be enough. And viewing a partial eclipse like we will see around here is more harmful to the eyes than viewing a total eclipse when it’s at its peak like they’ll see in Hopkinsville.

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