Sunday, April 28, 2013

Paralyzed by a luminous globe

One of the problems facing investigators of UFO, Fortean and paranormal phenomena in Sweden is the language barrier. Many interesting cases have been researched and documented but are normally exclusively published in the Swedish language and consequently reach only a very small minority of the international research community. This is of course a problem we share with many of our collegues in the European countries with our multitude of languages. In this blog I will try to remedy this situation somewhat by, from time to time, presenting summaries of interesting cases.

UFO witness Stig Karlsson on the front cover of UFO-Aktuellt

One such case was published in our Swedish magazine UFO-Aktuellt, No. 3, 2007. On January 7, 1995, around 5 PM, Ewy Johansson had finished her work and parked the car at the farmyard in Ulfsryd, Småland. Ewy tell her husband in the barn house that she will take her usual evening stroll. This was the winter time in Sweden, some snow on the ground but still twilight. Arriving at a stone wall she notice a luminous globe coming towards her from the woods behind the wall. It is the size of a football and stop, hovering over the wall.

Suddenly the globe, glowing with a bluish white light, expand to about 15 meter (50 feet) like a large oval. Ewy becomes paralyzed and can´t move. She is like frozen on the spot this winter evening but she can move her head and is also aware of the sounds from her husband working in the barn and a car passing nearby. Ewy experience a feeling of tranquility: "I was very fascinated that this unreal situation could fill me with such inner serenity". Time and space disappear and Ewy has no idea how long she stood in the snow. The globe contracts to its former size and slowly floats back into the woods again. Now Ewy can move and she is very cold. After this experience she goes back to her husband to relate what has happened.

Ewy Johansson in front of the stone wall where she observered the luminous globe

About a week later Ewy and her husband are visited by Stig Karlsson living a few miles from their farm. They relate to their neighbour what has happened and are surprised to hear he has experienced something similar. On the same date but two hours later Stig is sitting in his house waiting for 7.30 PM TV news. Suddenly their is a light shining into his room. Stig believes it to be a car stuck in the ditch and leave his house to help. But instead of a car he is confronted with a luminous globe, shining with a very strong white, blending light. The globe is approximately 3 feet i diameter and all of the garden is bathing in the intensive light.

Standing around 15 meter (50 feet) from the globe Stig picks up a branch to throw at the object. But suddenly he is unable to move his arm and just drops the branch. He is frozen to the spot like Ewy: "I felt like there was some form of radiation reaching me". After only a minute the luminous globe goes straight up in the sky and disappears. Stig Karlsson can move again and he goes back inside to watch the news but his TV is all rearranged and mixed up with channels he never use. Stig has to reset his TV once again to look at the news.

Stig Karlsson showing where the globe appeared

These are classic UFO experiences documented by ufologists and investigators of paranormal phenomena all over the world. Anyone searching the Internet can find hundreds of websites with information and documentation. What is interesting in this Swedish case is that we have two witnesses who unaware of each other experienced the same type of phenomenon with identical physiological effects. So what are the theories? Obviously these luminous globes behave in an intelligent manner. We could speculate on some form of advanced technology or maybe a paranormal manifestation (materialization). Esotericists would probably think of devas or elementals as described by theosophist Geoffrey Hodson. Whatever the answer we need more data on these fascinating types of UFO phenomena.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jörgen Granlie 1929-2013

In just a short period of time UFO-Sweden has lost two of the old guard ufologists. Arnold Idebring, ufologist from Enköping died on December 31, 2012 och yesterday I received the sad news that Jörgen Granlie died at a nursing home in Stockholm on April 20th. Jörgen was for many years one of the leading lights of Swedish ufology.

Jörgen Granlie at the UFO-Sweden board meeting October 12, 1996

He started his ufological career in 1976 as board member of the local group Enköpings UFO-förening (Enköping UFO Society). Between 1978-2011 Jörgen served as board member of UFO-Sweden in several capacities: vice chairman, secretary and treasurer. He was also an active field investigator, always meticulous in research and documentation. The older generation of Swedish ufologists also remember him as a skilled instructor at the annual UFO-Sweden Field Investigator training seminars in the 1970ies and 80ies.

UFO-Sweden board 1979. Jörgen in the middle

Jörgen Granlie worked as an engineer all his life. He was a practical man, a doer and idealist always ready to lend a hand with hard work. At the cottage rented by the local UFO group in Enköping, Jörgen was often seen moving the lawn, fixing the plumbing or doing general maintenance work. He was a regular visitor to AFU, one of our sponsors who always expressed his admiration and support for our work.

Jörgen Granlie was one of the pillars of UFO-Sweden. I will always remember him as an accomplished UFO collegue and good friend. With these pictures I give my tribute to a fine human being I had the privilege to know and work together with for many years.

Jörgen together with former UFO-Sweden chairman Christer Nordin, 1981

Discussing with AFU´s Anders Liljegren at a planning Conference April 22, 1995

Three happy oldboys at board meeting November 28, 2009. Mats Nilsson, Gunnar Karlsson, Jörgen Granlie

Jörgen visiting AFU October 21, 2012, together with Anders Liljegren and Clas Svahn

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Position statement

First I would like to announce that the AFU board today finally agreed on the new name for the foundation. After several months of brainstorming we have now decided to change our name from Archives for UFO Research to Archives for the Unexplained. We tried several combinations of UFO, fortean, paranormal etc but that excluded our large collections of folklore, psychology, esoterica and mysticism so unexplained was found to be the best option as we wanted to retain our acronym AFU. Actually it was our foremost donor, Hilary Evans, who first suggested a new name for the foundation. I hope that he now in his more spiritual abode is satisfied that we followed his intentions.

Some of the shelves at the Hilary Evans library, AFU

In 1980 one of the first comprehensive encyclopedias on UFOs was published, edited by Ronald D. Story. An important part of the encyclopedia was biographical entries on most of the first generation ufologists, including a "position statement". This is often neglected in other encyclopedias on UFOs and the paranormal but of profound importance when studying the theories and history of ideas regarding our subjects. As my blog is now in english I think it appropriate to present a short position statement myself both as to my views on UFOs and UFO research and the more controversial esoteric subjects.

UFOs and UFO research
After more than forty years of experience in the UFO movement both as a field investigator and co-worker at AFU my conclusions are that the rather few real and unexplained UFO phenomena are a mixture of several unrelated phenomena of diverse origin. Some are probably unusual electrical discharges and secret military craft or spy missiles. My study of close encounter and physical contactee cases indicate the possibility that we are not alone on this planet. I keep an open mind whether the reported types of entities and intelligences originate on Earth, are from another planet or parallell world (dimension). In my attitude to the UFO enigma I try to adhere to the "third way ufology", formulated by Clas Svahn, since 1991 director of UFO-Sweden: neither naive belief nor debunking scepticism but an open mind to various theories and claims based on critical investigation and empirical data.

What makes me perhaps something of an outsider among mainstream "scientific" ufologists is my interest in the philosophical and existential implications of UFO and paranormal phenomena together with a lifelong interest in theosophy and the esoteric tradition. Authors and researchers such as Jacques Vallee, John Keel, Allen Hynek, Andrew Tomas, Meade Layne, Riley Crabb, Lucis Farish, Timothy Good  have been a great inspiration. Like british author and philosopher Colin Wilson I admire the intellectual outsider and iconoclast who makes his or her own waves in the ocean irrespective of what is regarded as academically or scientifically correct. A favourite quote from Jacques Vallee´s excellent Forbidden Science II could be a motto: "... the history of ufology should be placed within an esoteric context... The UFO problem, the question of parapsychology, are central to this business. Looking for the solution isn´t just a scientific project; it´s a quest, an initiation, an enigma like that of the Sphinx."

Theosophy and esotericism
As a young university student in 1976 I corresponded with a very erudite, old british gentleman, ufologist and esotericist T. Bryon Edmond. His attitude to the esoteric tradition has inspired me for many years. He wrote: "Basically I am agnostic, but I accept Theosophy provisionally because it answers more questions in a logical and scientific way than any other religion or philosophy that I know of." This could be a summary of my own attitude to this controversial question. Basically a humanist I regard the esoteric tradition as an interesting working hypothesis or alternative paradigm. And the best exponents of the esoteric tradition are in my view  Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Henry Steel Olcott, Annie Besant, Charles Leadbeater, Geoffrey Hodson, Alice Bailey and swedish esotericist Henry T. Laurency.

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

The basic philosophical problem is of course whether it is possible or reasonable, as an intellectual, to even provisionally accept the esoteric worldview? I find the reductionist, materialist paradigm intellectually untenable. The great enigma of consciousness, the well documented cases of UFOs and paranormal phenomena including some personal psychic experiences are for me clear indications of several factors x in the existential equation. I am also interested in the esoteric tradition because of the historical connections to the UFO movement and that very often the same type of phenomena are reported in both an esoteric and ufological context.

Finally I give the last word to that fascinating cultural outsider and iconoclast Meade Layne, founder of Borderland Sciences Research Associates (BSRA) in 1945. In his magazine Round Robin he once wrote:
"Round Robin does not want to argue the case for elementary psychic happenings. It is written for people who already know and accept such things. If people don´t believe in survival and communication, in materialisation, apports, levitation, ectoplasmic phenomena and so on - that is all right - but let them go to the ten thousand books dealing with such subjects. I don´t give a hoot what they believe. If you were publishing a journal on chemistry, you wouldn´t write for sceptics who doubt that H (hydrogen) and Cl (Cloride) will combine. We have a great body of borderline facts, net yet accepted by "official" science, though known to thousands of individual scientists. There are methods of work which are valid and scientific, but still outlawed by official science."

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New books and a donation

This week a parcel arrived with 22 books, various occult classics in english, french and german. It was a donation to the AFU library from Birgitta Nordquist, widow of swedish ufologist Eric Nordquist (1907-1981). Eric was chairman a few years in the 1960s of the Ifologiska Sällskapet (Ifological Society) one of the earliest UFO societies in Sweden, founded in 1958. IFO interpreted as Interplanetary Flying Objects. Besides a ufologist Eric was a famous stage magician performing at the large entertainment venue Berns in Stockholm.

Eric Nordquist performing for a group of school children

But Eric was also deeply interested in other forms of "magic" evident from his book collection, with titles like Magie und Mystik in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (1929) by Kurt Aram and Lehrbuch zur Entwicklung der okkulten Kräfte im Menchen (1912) by Karl Brandler-Pracht. Eric was also a member of the Rosicrucian Order AMORC. His fascinating Ex Libris always has the name Karl Erik which was his actual Christian name.

I have contiued reading Handbook of the Theosophical Current and noticed one small, but in my view irritating, mistake in Sean O´Callaghan´s contribution The Theosophical Christology of Alice Bailey. He refers to Bailey´s contacts as "Ascended Masters", a concept entirely in the wrong context. Alice Bailey (or the Tibetan) would never speak of Ascended Masters as that was a concept advocated by Guy Ballard of the I Am movement. And the Tibetan is very explicit and critical when he refers to the I Am Movement, as a "cheap comedy" and travesty of the esoteric tradition. (Bailey, The Rays and the Initiations, p.16, 1970 printing). Academic scholars are of course not expected to comment on the "quality" of various esoteric teachings but anyone with a minimum of academic training must notice the radical difference in intellectual and "humanist" quality between Blavatsky, Alice Bailey etc and the I Am movement and its offshoots. Librarian and historian K Paul Johnson commented on this in PsyPioneer re Elisabeth Clare Prophet and The Summit Lighthouse: "My interest in Blavatsky and her Masters was inspired by appreciation of the quality of the books she produced under their alleged inspiration; Mrs Prophet´s books by contrast could never hold my attention for more than a paragraph." I can only agree with both the Tibetan and K Paul Johnson.

Recently I received a copy of Henry Steel Olcott´s classic People From the Other World, originally published in 1875. Theosophical scholar Joscelyn Godwin refered to this book as a source for his "Hidden hand theory", the theory that behind the original spiritualist movement was an secret occult order. I did find this reference on page 454 in my Cambridge University Press edition. This claim is very close the "esoteric intervention theory" proposed by Jacques Vallee, as an explanation for part of the UFO phenomenon.

Several new academic books on the esoteric tradition have been published recently. Esotericism, Religion and Politics, edited Arthur Versluis, Lee Irwin and Melinda Philips is a good introduction to the study of right- and left wing political ideas among esotericists. As I regard the theosophic/esoteric tradition as basically to the left in politics I was especially interested in the chapter on the Theosophical Temple Movement and their socialist ideas. The Temple of the People are still active in Halcyon, California. A study of this group has now been published: Radiance From Halcyon. A Utopian Experiment in Religion and Science by Paul Eli Ivey, associate professor of art history at The University of Arizona. A short notice on this book can be found at the always informative site Blavatsky News.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Millen Cooke, ufos and the esoteric tradition

In the November, 1947 issue of Ray Palmer´s magazine Fantastic Adventures an article, Son of the Sun, was published that has fascinated me for years. It was written by Alexander Blade, a pen name used by many authors but in this case the real name was Millen Cooke. It is a remarkably prophetic article written as a message from a "visitor" belonging to a secret group in possession of flying discs. Notice that this was written in the autumn of 1947, before the first contactees appeared in the befinning of the 1950s.

Here are a few quotes: "We are alrady here, among you. Some of us have always been here, with you, yet apart from, watching and occasionally guiding you whenever the opportunity arose... We have been confused with the gods of many world-religions, although we are not gods, but your own fellow creatures, as you will learn directly before many more years have passed... Some of you have seen our "advance guard" already. You have met us often in the streets of your cities and you have not noticed us. But when we flash through your skies in the ancient traditional vehicles you are amazed... These are our mechanical means of transport. Now that the art of manufacturing plastic materials has reached a certain prefection among you, perhaps you can imagine a material, almost transparent to the rays of ordinary visible light, yet strong enough to endure the stresses of extreme rapid flight."

In 1947 no contactees had yet appeared with tales of meeting visitors "in the streets of your cities" and  semitransparent flying discs was not, as far as I know, reported until the beginning of the 1950s. A semitransparent craft was observered in 1965 by swedish contactee Richard Höglund, as reported in my book Aliens on Earth. UFO Contacts in Sweden. On November 20, 1979 Timothy Good interviewed Lucy McGinnis, for many years secretary to George Adamski. She left him when his stories became too wild but didn´t want to criticize him because she also had seen "those ships". McGinnis relates: "I was in my room lying down one afternoon... for some reason I got up and went out. As I got out of the door I looked up... and here was this great big saucer-like thing. I was amazed. As I looked up I could see through it. It was two stories: you could see the steps where they would go up and down." (Lou Zinstag & Timothy Good, George Adamski. the Untold Story, p. 194.)

How could Millen Cooke report accurate data on UFO observations not known in 1947? What was her source? Millen Cooke (1915-1995) wrote articles for science fiction magazines and The American Theosophist in the 1940s and 50s. Between 1943-1951 she was married to occultist John Starr Cooke. From 1948 she was involved with Borderland Sciences Research Associates (BSRA) founded by Meade Layne in 1945 and wrote several articles for the their magazine Round Robin. Meade Layne made many favourable comments on Millen Cooke and also mentioned that she "has had most exceptional "contacts"  and direct personal instruction for more than a decade past." (Round Robin vol. 5:2, March 1949, p.27).

What form of "exceptional contacts" did Millen Cooke have? Recently I found the answer in an article, A Narrative of Occult Experience" by M. C. published in Round Robin vol. 4:7, Sept-Oct 1948. It is written by Meade Layne, compiled from personal correspondence with Millen Cooke who according to Layne is a "well educated, honest and highly dependable person of exceptional mental abilities". In this article Millen Cooke relates that she has been a disciple of a Tibetan adept since 1930. He appeared suddenly in her room one night. "His presence startled me, but inspired no real fear, and his immediate reassuring greeting put me at ease at once. In appearance he was tall, about six feet... He had a deeply olive skin, no beard, and his black hair was cut very short.... He told me he was a "living" person, just as I was, and that what I was seeing there in my room was a projection, or materialization - a kind of "solid shadow" of him... He stated at once the reason for his presence, informing me that he wanted nothing from me, but that he had come to offer me certain information if I wished to receive it."

The visits continued and Millen Cooke eventually decided to accept his offer of special training and information. But first she wanted to be sure that the man was not "an unusually vivid dream" so she asks to have some proof of his existence. Then he rearranges her room in a very special way and this was left intact the next day. On two occasions she let one of her dogs meet the man and the dog was petted and handled by the visitor. "As I mentioned before, he is a person like ourselves, living in a chemical body in the dense chemical world, and he is a Tibetan by birth, and a Lama."

After many visits by the Lama, Millen Cooke also starts attending "night-school" by other teachers. "Sometimes there would be a lecture or a discussion. At other times the instruction would be given by means of pictures such as my friend had shown me during his first visit. Sometimes we would go to other places with the teachers, or visit a large and varied museum of knowledge, with fascinating exhibits embracing every conceivable subject."

Anyone acquainted with the esoteric tradition immediately notice the similarity between the experiences of Millen Cooke and those of Henry Steel Olcott and Alice Bailey. or night classes is also very well described in Through the Curtain by Viola Petit Neal and Shafica Karagulla (1983). Even though Millen Cooke claimed to have received many years of instruction from the Tibetan I have never found any book or teachings resulting from this contact. The only exception is her article Son of the Sun. 

What conclusions can we make from these data? I have for many years proposed the hypothesis that some of the first generation ufo contacts could have been a test by a secret earth based group. Jacques Vallee has called it the "esoteric intervention theory". Academic scholar Joscelyn Godwin, an expert on theosophy, use the expression the "hidden hand theory" in discussing a secret group behind the spiritist phenomena in the 19th century. This is of course a conspiracy theory, but very different from the popular and evil conspiracies of todays occult underground. Perhaps we could call it a conspiracy by the Higher Intelligence Agency (HIA). Remember what Connie Menger, wife of contactee Howard Menger wrote in their book From Outer Space to You: "Let us assume that there is on this planet a group of scientifically minded and spiritually dedicated men and women who are working to accomplish this great task. And let us further assume that they have already established contacts with equally dedicated people of other planets. To continue their work and remain effective, they must of necessity remain behind the scenes" (p.7)

Whatever the ontological status of these experiences the claims of Millen Cooke forms an interesting connection between the esoteric tradition and the early ufo contact movement.

Monday, April 8, 2013

AFU, anniversary and a new name

March 17th, 2013 marked the 40th anniversary of Archives for UFO-Research. We celebrated this event with a dinner at the beautiful marble hall, part of Norrköping public library. 23 participants enjoyed an exclusive and delicious italian buffet, while I held a short speach on AFU history och future plans and expectations. Local television made a serious and good presentation of "the largest ufo archive in the world".

Happy guests mingled before the dinner, Tobias Lindgren and Benny Dahl

My speach at the dinner

Our start in 1973 was a very humble beginning, an informal working group. Three young lads, Kjell Jonsson, Anders Liljegren and myself decided we wanted to do serious ufo research. In 1974 Kjell Jonsson began building a ufo lending library in his small one room apartment in Södertälje. Starting with two bookshelves and 300+ books the library expanded steadily until we moved to our own premises in Norrköping in 1980 and also changed our group to a formal foundation - Archives for UFO Research (AFU).

Kjell Jonsson with our two bookshelves in 1977

Our development and expansion since 1980 has been exceptional. We now have ten premises and between 15-20 people working at the archive on a daily basis. There is 24 000 books, 45 000 magazines and something like 1,5 kilometers total shelf capacity. Archives for UFO Research is since many years an internationally recognized and firmly established archive institution. A world repository for books, magazines, clippings, organisational & personal files, photos, audio- and audiovisual material etc on ufos, forteana and paranormal phenomena of all kinds. But we also collect objects, models, artwork, t-shirts, posters etc.

One of the AFU libraries

Donations of rare and exclusive collections from all over the world are reaching AFU on a constant basis. A sample of our donors speaks for itself: Hilary Evans, Robert J M Rickard, Mikhail Gershtein, Luis Schönherr, Janet and Colin Bord, Willy Wegner, Peter Rogerson, Loren E Gross, William Caulfield and many many more.

Hilary Evans during a visit to AFU October 7, 1996

Donations of very extensive collections of forteana, parapsychology, folklore, theosophy, esoterica and other borderland subjects have initiated a discussion within the board of eventually changing the name of the foundation to give a more accurate description of our collections and work. We have not reached a decision, yet. We want to keep our acronym AFU but somehow also perhaps include words like fortean, paranormal or unexplained. The board will present our new name when we initiate our new AFU homepage this summer.

AFU has a complete collection of Proceedings of the Society of Psychical Research from 1882-

Friday, April 5, 2013

Handbook of the Theosophical Current

On several occations I have commented on the fact that there are no doctoral thesis on the history of the Theosophical Society in Sweden. This lack of academic interest is certainly surprising seen in the context that theosophy had a very extensive cultural impact in Sweden between 1891-1930. Theosophical ideas influenced authors like August Strindberg, Gustaf Fröding and Selma Lagerlöf. Well known members were countess Constance Wachtmeister, psychologists Sidney Alrutz and Bror Gadelius and painter Gustaf Fjæstad, member of the Rackstad colony of artists in Värmland. Swedish king Oscar II (1829-1907) was strongly influenced by theosophy and invited both Henry Steel Olcott and Annie Besant for audiences at the royal castle.

Academic research on theosophical history and the esoteric tradition is sadly lacking in Sweden but international interest has been on the rise for several decades. The latest example is the 494 page tome Handbook of the Theosophical Current with contributions from twenty scholars specializing in religion and philosophy. Editors are Olav Hammer, Professor of the History of Religions, University of Southern Denmark and Mikael Rothstein, Associate  Professor at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

That theosophy and its many off-shoots are important chapters in cultural history is very clearly emphasized by Hammer and Rothstein in the introduction. They even place theosophy as “one of the modern world´s most important religious traditions” and “vastly understudied”.  Handbook of the Theosophical Current covers classical theosophy, Alice Bailey, Rudolf Steiner, the I Am movement, Summit Lighthouse and the Roerichs. But there is no mention of the Swedish esotericist Henry T. Laurency, which is surprising as his books have now been translated in many languages and his contribution to the esoteric tradition has been noticed from many countries.

Handbook of the Theosophical Current is definitely an important and basic textbook on the esoteric tradition. But why the extreme price? $220 from Amazon (SEK 1.626 from Bokus). This makes it a tome  of interest only to the real connoisseur, collector of esoterica or the university libraries. So far I have only read six of the twenty contributions. As my special area of interest is the historical and "phenomena connection" between the ufo contactee movement and the esoteric tradition I will just give a few comments on the chapter Mahatmas in Space by Mikael Rothstein.

Unfortunately Mikael Rothstein´s contribution is the weakest chapter of those I have studied. A peculiar tendency among academic researchers of the ufo contactee phenomenon is to concentrate on the peripheral and extreme ufo cults like Unarius, Aetherius Society or the Rael movement, while more or less ignore the most important and influential contactees like George Adamski, Orfeo Angelucci, Daniel Fry, George Van Tassel and Howard Menger. Mikael Rothstein concentrate on George King och his Aetherius Society. As a first introduction to the connection between ufo contactees and theosophy Rothsteins contribution gives a rather misleading view of the subject. What should have been included is a study of theosophical themes and ideas in the philosophy of the five contactees I mentioned. George King was regarded as an outsider and quite "far out" even among mainstream contactees. King never, to my knowledge, participated in the large Giant Rock Spacecraft Conventions hostad by George Van Tassel. A good popular book which presents the mainstream ufo contactees is Flying Saucer Pilgrimage (1957) by Bryant and Helen Reeve.

Even more remarkable is that Rothstein never mentions the large influence of Borderland Sciences Research Foundation (BSRA), created in 1945, on the ufo contact movement. Already in 1946 BSRA declared that an unknown flying object observered over San Diego was an extraterrestrial spacecraft. An information received by the unusually gifted medium Mark Probert. BSRA´s first two directors, Meade Layne and Riley Crabb were much influenced by theosophy. During his stay at Hawaii Riley Crabb was leader of the Honolulu Lodge of the Theosophical Society.

Riley Crabb (1912-1994)

Mikael Rothstein writes that the Theosophical Society and theosophists "normally disregarded or even actively opposed" the "Space Brother perspective". This is a misleading statement as there were many  theosophists who took an active part in the ufo movement. In Sweden the ufo movement in the 1950ies was actually started by members of the Theosophical Society (Adyar). Boris de Zirkoff, E.L. Gardner and N Sri Ram wrote articles where they were very open to the possibility of visits by "flying saucers". Danish theosophist and Liberal Catholic bishop Otto Viking wrote an article, Flying Saucers and Religion, for Flying Saucer Review in 1955. In 1964 his theosophical ufo novel, A World Intervenes, was published by Exposition Press in New York.

Academic research on the ufo contact movement and its relation to the esoteric tradition is to a large extent uncharted territory. Good contributions have been made by J Gordon Melton, David Stupple and Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke. But my wish is that scholars will start researching the mainstream contactees of the 1950ies. Hopefully they will then also discover that much of the basic empirical data can be found at the Archives for UFO Research in Norrköping, Sweden.

Monday, April 1, 2013

UFO-Sveriges fältundersökare

Påskhelgen bjöd på vackert vårväder som lockade till aktiviteter både ute och inne. Förutom den traditionella påskmiddagen och avkopplande filmtittande har jag hunnit läsa några kapitel i den nyinköpta Handbook of the Theosophical Current. Ett besök på AFU blev det förstås i dag också där en del av tiden har gått åt till att sopa bort allt grus och löv som samlats i trapporna och ingångarna till våra källarlokaler. Jag var inte ensam på arkivet. Trots helgdagen infann sig både Leif Åstrand, Anders Liljegren och Tobias Lindgren. Tobias letade data om en uforapport från Högsby 1973.

Anders Liljegren och Tobias Lindgren höll igång verksamheten i AFU trots helgdag

Tobias, som basar för rapportcentralen, söker efter ett gammalt ufofall

Men största delen av helgen har jag ägnat åt ett projekt jag tänkt på länge. En förteckning över samtliga ufologer som gått UFO-Sveriges kurser för fältundersökare från 1977 till 2012. Med uppgift om år och antal kurstillfällen för varje person. Förutom att det är historiskt intressant är uppgifterna bland annat av betydelse när det gäller att identifera gamla foton från fältundersökarkurser. Ett problem är att det flera år saknas listor över deltagare. Det blir att försöka pussla utifrån artiklar, foton och andra arkivalier. Listan är ännu så länge långt ifrån färdig men hittills omfattar den 380 personer.

När UFO-Sveriges dåvarande ordförande Thorvald (Bevan) Berthelsen startade kurserna 1977 var det ett viktigt steg i UFO-Sveriges utveckling till en mera seriös och professionell organisation. I Cristoffer Olssons nyligen publicerade avhandling i idéhistoria, Den tredje vägens ufologi, framhålls betydelsen av fältundersökarna med orden "UFO-Sveriges ryggrad", den del av verksamheten där organisationens vetenskapliga ambitioner tydligast manifesteras. Mellan åren 1977- 1995 hölls kurserna på Lersätersgården utanför Arboga. Det var trivsamt men med dagens mått synnerligen primitivt med sovsalar och egen matlagning. Lersätersandan blev trots det ett begrepp som hållit i sig sedan dess för att beskriva dessa trivsamma tillställningar där UFO-Sveriges medlemmar träffas för både studier och fest.

Nerikes Allehanda 16 september 1977

Samling framför kursgården i Lersäter 24 september 1977

I helgen har jag också fortsatt skanna bilder från Karl-Olov Petterssons bildsamling där det ingår många foton från de första årens kurser i Lersäter. Här nedan några exempel.

Överstelöjtnant Anders Hjulström berättar om försvarets radar- och luftbevakning på kursen 1978

Owe Lewitzki, UFO-Center Karlskoga, föreläser om fotodokumentation kursåret 1980

Fikapaus på Lersäter (början 1980-talet). Tecknaren Dezsö Sternoczy i samtal med Carl-Anton Mattsson

Den skicklige underhållaren Åke UFO Gustafsson, som kunde spela på allt. Lersäter september 1978

Förra året var tyvärr sista gången som UFO-Sverige kunde arrangera fältundersökarkurserna på Hållsta konferens utanför Eskilstuna. Kursgården skulle läggas ner. Men vi har flera intressanta alternativ på gång så till hösten hoppas jag det blir fortsättning på en trevlig kursgård där UFO-Sverige kan fortsätta utbilda nya ufologer och också hålla den goda Lersätersandan levande.