Many UFO occupant incidents have a surreal flavor that initially seems to contradict the phenomenon's physicality. If some run-ins with ufonauts are staged events engineered to encourage belief in (and subsequent dismissal of) the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis (ETH), "they" perhaps couldn't have done a better job than the 1955 Hopkinsville "invasion."
Arthur C. Clarke's maxim notwithstanding, the Hopkinsville "goblins" are an intriguing fusion of the "real" and the "magical." Their abilities seem calculated to tarnish an empirical approach to the ETH by introducing elements of the fantastic; indeed, these same elements would eventually be used as ammunition by would-be skeptics determined to denounce the account.
For example, the diminutive "goblins" reportedly levitated and proved immune to gunfire. While not necessarily out of the realm of possibility for genuine ETs, the entities' goblin-like appearance argues for an origin in keeping with folklore. If they were "real," then their reality might not be as amenable to the ETH as researchers would like. Conversely, the desire to debunk the Sutton family's claim appears little more than a protest against the episode's surreal nature.