As far as I am aware AFU, Archives for the Unexplained, is the worlds largest UFO/Fortean archive and library. But perhaps we also have the oldest still active UFO society in Sweden? On October 1, 1958 Malmö UFO-Sällskap (Malmö UFO-Society) was founded. In 1962 they adopted the new name Malmö Interplanetariska Sällskap (MIS) (Malmö Interplanetary Society). They are still very much active with monthly lectures and what is even more remarkable, one of the original members, Mr. Ebbe Johansson is today the energetic chairman. Ebbe recently celebrated his 85th birthday.
In the autumn of 1958 Karl and Anny Veit from the Deutsche UFO/IFO Studiengesellschaft (DUIST) were invited to Sweden by Edith Nicolaisen, founder of the Parthenon publishing house. Karl Veit lectured in Malmö and Helsingborg. To advertise the lecture a large poster was printed which was carried around in the streets of Malmö by the then young ufologist Alve Holmqvist. Unfortunately no journalist or photographer immortalized this original idea. Partly as a result of the Veit lecture MIS was founded, basically as a lecturing society.
Karl Veit in Edith Nicolaisens´ apartment in Helsingborg 1958
The poster carried around in Malmö by Alve Holmqvist
Alve Holmqvist in June 1972
MIS was not the first UFO society in Sweden. Together with Brita Rodosi, secretary in the Götaland district of the Theosophical Society (Adyar), new age activist Edith Nicolaisen succeeded in founding Sällskapet för interplanetariska studier (The Society for Interplanetary Studies) at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg on March 19, 1958. This group of UFO-interested technology students soon disbanded but it was the first attempt to found a UFO society in Sweden. Not more than four days later, on March 23, 1958 Ifologiska sällskapet (The Ifological Society) was founded in Stockholm. This group was also an offshoot of the Theosophical Society in Sweden (Adyar). Ifologiska sällskapet folded in 1969.
Since 1958 Malmö Interplanetary Society has arranged a lecture every month except during the summer time. Subjects are UFOs, astronomy, space research, ancient mysteries, parapsychology, mysticism and a whole range of other topics, sometimes presented by academic scholars. Besides lectures MIS has arranged many types of social activities: study tours, field trips, Christmas and jubilee festivities, even masquerades. In 1988 MIS published a small jubilee booklet with the ingenious title Thirty Years in the Twilight Zone.
Ebbe Johansson and Svend Pohlman entertaining at a MIS party
Ragnar Olssson and Ebbe Johansson at a MIS lecture September 4, 2009
Ebbe Johansson is one of the real oldboys of Swedish ufology. He joined MIS already in 1958 and has during various periodes acted as chairman and has also been a well known lecturer on UFOs in different organizations and clubs. His interests ranges from astronomy and speleology to electronic voice phenomena (EVP) and philosophy. In 2010 MIS joined the national organization UFO-Sweden which for us felt like a historical moment and an honour to have incorporated the oldest still active UFO society in Sweden - and perhaps in the world?
There are two basic ideas or themes presented in my latest book Gudarna återvänder. Ufo och den esoteriska traditionen (Return of the Gods. UFOs and the Esoteric Tradition). First and foremost I have documented the ideological influences of the Esoteric Tradition on the historical development of the global UFO movement. Secondly the book is an attempt to interpret the various aspects of the UFO phenomenon using the esoteric worldview as a paradigm or working hypothesis. Esotericism as presented by Helena Blavatsky, Charles Leadbeater, Geoffrey Hodson, Cyril Scott, Alice Bailey and Henry T. Laurency.
The perhaps most controversial part of the book is my theory that some of the first generation physical contactees were actually involved in an test by a secret, benevolent, earth based group with access to an advanced "vimana" technology, possibly in co-operation with an extraterrestrial group. I specifically refer to Orfeo Angelucci, George Adamski, George Van Tassel, Daniel Fry and Howard Menger. The test put a tremendous psychological strain on the contactees who sometimes acted irrationally and didn´t understand what was happening to them.
This theory is not in line with mainstream "scientific" ufology who usually regard these contactees as totally unreliable frauds and myth makers. But my many years of in depth investigation of physical contact claims in Sweden and abroad finally convinced me that the answer was not always that simple. I noted that in some instances there were circumstantial evidence, witnesses, that contactees actually did interact with strangers from somewhere who obviously possessed an advanced technology. American ufologist Ted Bloecher reached a similar conclusion after studying the Woodrow Derenberger case. A renewed study of the contact experiences and philosophy in the more intellectual and academic presentations of the Esoteric Tradition then added interesting data and new perspectives on the modern ufo contactees. I am of course aware of that this is tricky and controversial territory and to seriously enter this domain for many academic scholars and ufologists equals intellectual harakiri. In this respect I prefer to be a heretic among heretics adhering to the motto of Riley Crabb, for many years director of Borderland Sciences Research Foundation: "If I have one goal in life it is un uncompromising search for Truth, whatever that might be, and wherever it may lead."
Howard Menger, who died in 2009, is one of the more interesting of the 1950s contactees, in part because of his open admission that he didn´t really understand all of what happened to him and his speculation that the people he met could actually have been a secret earth based group and that he was also involved in a sociological experiment conducted by the Pentagon. Unfortunately no American ufologist or journalist have have made an in depth study of his experiences. I have for many years collected documents relating to Menger. Timothy Good kindly sent me the whole transcript of his interview with Howard Menger in 1978 and the 1980s I corresponded with psychiatrist Dr. Berthold Schwartz, who knew the Menger couple and reached the conclusion that "the contact claims or case of Howard Menger is far from being an open and shut or black and white matter."
In several interviews Howard Menger speculated that the individuals that contacted him were actually a benevolent secret earth based group. In the Timothy Good interview he stated: ""It´s possible that they don´t want us to know that they live here on this planet, that they would probably throw us off the track by telling us, you know, Venus or Mars". Relating to this idea is an interesting quote in Mengers´ book From Outer Space To You (1959) p.159: "There are also space craft... which are built by people of this planet. These people are in communication and in service with people from other planets. They are people who possess a high spiritual understanding and have reached an awareness of natural law..."
If there is any truth in this statement this secret group would in contact with ordinary people of necessity have to work like classic intelligence agents, sometimes using mild forms of deception to remain undiscovered. In the case of Howard Menger there are many such clues. Code words were used by his contacts. In The Song of Saturn (1968), Connie Menger mention a meeting Howard had with one of the visitors at the local post office: "He smilingly spoke the code word to Alyn (Howard) which Alyn recognized immediately as one of the means of identification between friends and agents of the visitors from other planets." (p. 109).
There is a very interesting comment made by contactee George Van Tassel in his magazine Proceedings, February-March 1957. Van Tassel personally investigated the Menger contact claims and interviewed several of the witnesses. His defence of the Menger story reveals a fascinating detail: "In my contact with the four men who landed here on August 24th of 1953, they gave me information which they told me to use as a "key" to establish authentic, or phoney, contactees in the future. Howard Menger used the words of this "key" properly and correctly." (p.5).
George Van Tassel
If some of the 1950s UFO contactees actually were involved in a test or experiment orchestrated by unknown benevolent visitors, the really deep mystery is: Who are they? I have made a detailed study of the world view and philosophy presented to the contactees by the visitors and especially the books written by Adamski, Angelucci, Fry and Menger are somewhat simplified but very clear expositions of the Esoteric Tradition, even in specific details as the claim that our planet is quarantined and a sort of interplanetary Alcatraz. Could therefore this test have been made by a group belonging to the hidden custodians of the Ancient Wisdom, the Esoteric Tradition or Science of the Multiverse. If this is the case Howard Menger was not only involved with Pentagon and the CIA but also with what I refer to as the HIA - Higher Intelligence Agency.
The well meaning and naive man or woman on the street naturally ask: if this group actually exist why don´t they show themselves in the open? I think the best answer was given by the "Venusian" Bill to journalist and esotericist Paul M. Vest: "Upon your earth the mere colour of one´s skin - a slight difference of religious belief - merely belonging to a different race or country - in fact the most trivial deviations precipitate animalistic belligerencies, hideous brutalities and the bloody slaughter of millions of your fellow creatures. Can you then truly be surprised when I tell you the the beings of certain other worlds view earth as earthlings might look upon a den of deadly serpents stinging each other to death."