Friday, September 27, 2013

The change comes from space

Whatever the nature and origin of UFOs the phenomenon has made a deep impact on our culture, both from a sociological and psychological viewpoint. There has been a military response to the sightings, a scientific response and a neo-religious response from various new age-groups. But perhaps most visible to the public has been the establishing of a new sub-culture of societies, the global community of UFO organizations, with books, magazines and conventions. There are now many scholarly studies of the UFO movement and biographies of well known ufologists. But, to my knowledge, very few studies have been made regarding the psychological effects of close encounter experiences. Basically, does the UFO observation result in any permanent change in outlook on life or behavior of the witnesses?

During my many years as field investigator I have met with a wide variety of witness response to close encounters. For many witnesses the experience has been transformative in the sense that it engendered new interests and social contacts. Such was the case with Peggy Robert (1936-2010), a Swedish woman I interviewed in Norrköping on September 1, 1984. She later took the surname Medani.

Peggy Robert September 1, 1984

On a chilly September evening in 1973 Peggy is travelling by car to meet a friend living in Kilafors, in the province of Hälsingland. Between the municipalities Gysinge and Sandviken she notice a bright blinking light on the left side of the road. Peggy´s first thought is that this may be a helicopter. The light follows the car and not far from the small locality Årsunda she gets a closer look at the light and now an object appear in clear view. It has the classic saucer shape with windows around the brim, from which comes a yellow light. The object is of a silver grey colour.

Peggy´s drawing of the object

"The UFO followed gently over the houses in towards the community. I didn´t dare to continue the trip into the forest again but stopped to see what would happen." Peggy parks her car close to a house and decides to alert the people living nearby but change her mind as it is very late, close to midnight. She studies the object for about twenty minutes sitting in her car with the window open. There is no sound as the object is oscillating and bobbing up and down, very close, at treetop level. . Peggy estimates the diameter to about 10 meters. Underneath is a blue white light shining down like a spotlight. In the yellow light from the windows Peggy notice entities moving back and forth. She can´t see them clearly, only the upper part of the entities and in silhuette. "I must confess that I felt very solemn and peaceful. I was entirely exalted and happy."

After some twenty minutes Peggy decides to continue the journey and the object disappears behind the forest. But not far from Sandviken, close to lake Storsjön, the object is visible once again and now makes a turn just a few meters above the car and then fly away over the lake. When Peggy arrives at Kilafors she is totally exhausted. She just want´s to sleep. "When I got into bed it felt like a arrow of force in my body, going from the feet, up the spine and to the head. There it circulated and at the same time my body felt like a big lump of dough floating out over the bed. It was an unpleasant experience. Suddenly the arrow of force turned and went down the spine again and out from the feet." After this had happened Peggy fell asleep.

This UFO observation became a turning point in the life of Peggy Robert. Before this happend she described herself as a typical ego tripping materialist basically interested in expensive clothes, jewellery, cars and the good life. "Now I knew there was something else in other dimensions, life that is different and more evolved... After this contact with the UFO I couldn´t accept Christianity as presented in the churches. Now I started an intensive period of searching." Peggy contacted many alternative religious and spiritual groups. She went to India to meet the Indian guru Sai Baba and for a time found inner peace with his teachings. Back in Sweden she studied alternative medicine, Reflexology, Acupressure and nutrition. After this she started working at various health resorts helping people with both physical and psychological problems.

Peggy Robert obviously had good talents for both physical and spiritual healing and she became quite well known and appreciated among collegues and clients. In a biographical article in the large daily Norrköpings Tidningar June 15, 1985 she was described as a philosopher and health prophet interested in the mysteries of the universe. During her last years she worked at Wettershus resort, owned by the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden. After her death in November 10, 2010 a pastor at the church decribed Peggy in obituary as an open minded searcher who combined wisdom from spiritual teachers from all over the world.  "She doesn´t look like a member of the church, but if anyone has love, it´s Peggy".

So what actually happened to Peggy Robert on that cold September night in 1973? A crisis vision? Misinterpretation of an ordinary object? Or was there interaction with an unknown craft resulting in both profound physiological and psychological effects? Peggy was convinced that highly developed beings from other planets was responsible for her experience. Many times during my interview she reiterated "the change comes from space". We are given a helping hand but it is up to us what we do with this help. Whatever happened to Peggy the UFO experience made her a loving idealist, philosopher and a friend and comforter for many.

For the student of the esoteric tradition the sentence "the change comes from space" has a special significance. In several of the books written by Alice Bailey, as amanuensis for the Tibetan, there are many almost prophetic statements regarding the coming intervention of interplanetary beings. These statements were received before the beginning of the UFO era in 1947. So far as I am aware no ufologist or scholar of esotericism has associated these quotes with the large increase of UFO sightings after 1946/47. Especially in Bailey´s The Externalisation of the Hierachy there is much discussion whether the planetary guardians, adepts or custodians of The Ancient Wisdom will succeed in recieve help from interplanetary sources in the crisis period 1933-1945. Here are a few relevant quotes (1981 edition):

"Thus will the work of the Hierarchy be facilitated and the door opened to the regenerative forces of those extraplanetary beings who offer their help at this time and particularly during 1936" (p. 25, April 1935)

"Hovering today within the aura of our planet are certain great spiritual forces and entities, awaiting the opportunity to participate actively to the work of world redemption, re-adjustment and reconstruction." (p. 222, April-May 1940)

"... the waiting extra-planetary forces... can make their work possible and effective" (p. 223, April-May 1940)

"Certain great energies of extra-planetary significance who stand ready to intervene should the spiritual invocation or the distress of humanity reach the pitch of evocation". (p. 392, April 1943)

"That contact has now been established as a result of the inflow of certain extra-planetary forces". (p. 525, January 1946).

These are only a few quotes from the many Alice Bailey volumes that speak of a coming contact and intervention from interplanetary beings. Whether these quotes have any connection to the UFO phenomenon can only be a speculation. But maybe Peggy Robert had a point when she told me: "Don´t forget, the change comes from space!".

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Board meeting and festivity

This weekend we held the first UFO-Sweden board meeting, after the summer vacation, at the little town of Töreboda in the province of Västergötland. Our hosts were Tage and Christina Bång from the local UFO-Sweden group Skaraborgs UFO-Förening. Sweden is very elongated country so it was a three hour drive by car from Norrköping to Töreboda. The members of the board arrived from different locations and were happy to be welcomed by a beautiful autumn sunshine. First on the agenda was lunch at the local restaurant Peking.

Part of the UFO-Sweden board enjoying the sunshine

New chairman Anders Berglund and former chairman Clas Svahn at the Peking restaurant

We were nine board members who gathered for the meeting at 2.00 P.M., the first to be held by our new UFO-Sweden chairman Anders Berglund. As told in one of my blog entries in May this year Anders Berglund was unanimously voted as the new chairman of UFO-Sweden at the annual meeting May 4th. It is always a personal challenge to be the leader of a national organization but Anders has entered his new position with enthusiasm and dedication. Befor the meeting I took the opportunity to get a signed copy of Clas Svahn´s latest book Osannolikt. Märkliga möten och fantastiska sammanträffanden. (Improbable. Strange Encounters and Fantastic Coincidences).

Anders Berglund preparing the board meeting

Tage Bång and Tobias Lindgren conferring

The new book by Clas Svahn

During the meeting we were informed that UFO-Sweden at present has 311 members and 743 subscribers to the magazine, UFO-Aktuellt, printed together with the Norwegian UFO. 38 participants have applied for the next weekend course for field investigators October 19-20 and of these 16 are beginners, which is very promising for the future of Swedish ufology. UFO-Sweden need many more active field investigators. A new local UFO society, Hudiksvalls UFO-Grupp, was welcomed as a new member group of UFO-Sweden and I presented some of the news from AFU. There was also som planning of the next expedition to lake Nammajaure to search for the missile/UFO that landed an sank to the bottom in July 1980.

Anders Berglund as new chairman

Rickard Andersson and Anders Berglund

After the board meeting we were seven participants who went straight to Christina and Tage Bång´s summerhouse at Sjöfallet. Our hosts served a delicious dinner and as usual the talk and festivity went on for many hours into the night. Unfortunately I developed a bad cold and fever during the evening so I had to abandon the happy company and hit the sack a bit early. But still it was great to meet the old UFO-Sweden gang. 

Our hosts Christina and Tage Bång preparing dinner

Festivitas at Sjöfallet. From left Anders Berglund, Carl-Anton Mattsson, Clas Svahn

Thursday, September 19, 2013

From phenomena to philosophy

Most serious field investigators who have spent years documenting UFO, Fortean and paranormal phenomena sooner or later come to a point where they start asking themselves the basic question: what are the implications of all these phenomena? There are of course ufologists and Forteans who gather cases like stamp collectors, without bothering about paradigm issues or the scientific and philosophical challenges implied by the phenomena. But for investigators with a scholarly or intellectual approach the various phenomena are usually the starting point of a life long search for the deeper existential questions.

This was the experience of journalist John A. Keel after his years of investigations of UFOs and paranormal phenomena in the Ohio Valley in the 1960s. In his seminal Operation Trojan Horse (1970) he writes: " Previous to all this I was a typical hard-boiled skeptic. I sneered at the occult. I had once published a book, Jadoo, which denigrated the mystical legends of the Orient. I tried to adopt a very scientific approach to ufology, and this meant that I scoffed at the many contactee reports. But as my experiences mounted and investigations broadened, I rapidly changed my views". Towards the end of his book he concludes: "I have dealt with thousands of honest, sincere witnesses by mail, phone, and in person. My skepticism has melted away, and I have turned from science to philosophy in my search for the elusive truth".

What I find impressive with Keel is his iconoclastic, non-conformist approach to the subject combined with a wonderful humour. Necessary qualities if you are to enter the strange underground world of UFOs and the paranormal. When he visited Sweden in 1976 and I had the good fortune of meeting him for a long and interesting chat, he signed my copy of Operation Trojan Horse with the words: "The secret to the UFOs is on page 321." The book ends on page 320. That´s John Keel.

Field investigators who from personal experience have discovered that the orthodox reductionist-materialist paradigm is untenable when confronted with UFOs and paranormal phenomena find themselves facing a dilemma. How to find a world view or paradigm that can be used as a reasonable working hypothesis to account for all the unexplained phenomena? Entering the field of alternative world views is for many a mission impossible with the hundreds of conflicting teachings from different groups and cults. Like entering a djungle full of snakes and swamps. Still, a pathfinder force attitude to this problem is necessary. No other option is possible unless of course you are satisfied with being a "stamp collector". First generation ufologist Aimé Michel expressed this in his own eloquent way, as told to Jacques Vallee: "Ufology is not a science but a process of initiation. One starts with field investigation and ends up studying Arab mystics".

But let´s leave the existential issues and proceed to a Swedish UFO observation I investigated several years ago. This incident happened in May 1970 not far from the village Stjärnhov in the Swedish province of Södermanland. There were two witnesses, Rolf Gohs and Peter Ingemark. Here is Rolf Gohs version of what they experienced: "In the spring of 1970 I was for a two days visit at Peter Ingemark, then living at the Solbacka rectory. It was resplendent sunshine och we went for a long walk together with Ingemar´s dog. After about two hours we came to a bend in the road. We stopped and noticed that the dog felt something and he rushed into the woods. We heard it barking at a distance and wondered what had happened.

Rolf Gohs

Suddenly I heard a sound like an angry wasp close to the ear. I turned around and observed a black, flat or round - maybe oval - object fly across the road and over the woods behind me. The top of the fir-trees were flattened by the object´s speed. And then the strangest of all. The object just disappeared in thin air, like you turn of a lamp. There was a eerie silence. We just stood there for a while, staring and chocked. After quite some time the dog came back from the woods. It was totally exhausted. We didn´t say much during our walk back."

After more than ten years Rolf and Peter finally decided to openly recount their experience and they were interviewed in the Swedish daily Eskilstuna-Kuriren February 7, 1981. I have talked to both witnesses several times and after many years they were still puzzled by what had happened. Peter Ingemark made this final comment as to the origin of the object: "I really have no idea and no specific belief. The only explanation I can think of is some kind of craft, whether extra terrestrial or some military test vehicle. But that would be a sensation."

The "angry wasp" sound, eerie silence and the instant disappearance of the object is classic UFO behavior recognized by all UFO field investigators. But from where did this object come? A visitor from Magonia?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

New data on Rudolf von Linauer

Reality is often stranger than fiction. I was made aware of this old proverb after publishing my blog entry on the enigmatic and fascinating Rudolf von Linauer this summer. With the help of some friends I traced one of Linauer´s daughters, Kristina, living in Stockholm. She has kindly lent me photographs, drawings and other documents relating to her father. I first called her on the phone, August 30th, and we have been in constant contact since then. Half an hour after my first talk with Kristina an email dropped into my mailbox. It was from a lady, Monika, in Florida. She had discovered my blog entry on Linauer and was very glad for the information because she also was one of Rudolf von Linauer´s daughters. Monika had for years been trying to find data on her father. I must admit this was like a perfect synchronicity á la Carl Gustav Jung. For some weeks now Kristina, Monika and I have been exchanging data on their father and much new information has come to light. I will try to present a brief summary of all the new data.

Rudolf von Linauer was married in Stockholm 1939. His wife Ebba gave birth to a daughter, Kristina, in August 1940. Rudolf moved to California in 1947 and the marriage ended in divorce 1948. Kristina was only seven years when her father left and has not so many memories of him. Her mother Ebba died in 2007. She related to Kristina about Rudolf´s experiences in Tibet but she was skeptical of his tales. An article and interview with the Linauer family was published in the Swedish magazine Idun 1941 with photos of their home in Stockholm.

Part of the Idun article

Rudolf and Ebba Linauer in their home in Stockholm

In the Idun article Rudolf von Linauer is presented as film architect and he relates spending three years in China doing historical documentaries for Metro Goldwyn. Much of the article is a presentation of the unusual Chinese flower decorations and furnishings in the apartment crafted by Rudolf. "The Chinese love of flowers helps him to forget himself and it has helped me on several occasions". He prefers China because of its culture but regards America as the land of possibilities. Rudolf left a home in Berlin because of the war and he appreciates that Sweden has given him a refuge. Kristina has lent me some drawings made by his father. He was obviously a very talented artist.

The Linauer home in Stockholm

Drawing by Rudolf von Linauer

Monika was also born in Stockholm in 1940 and she had heard rumours of a half-sister but was never able to locate her. Monika was the result of Rudolf´s secret love affair with another woman, Hildegard, living in Stockholm. Because of my blog Kristina and Monika are very glad to have finally made contact. Monika has several old letters from her mother where she tells of Rudolf´s travels in Tibet. She also talked to and has several letters from her father. In America he changed his name to Roy Rulin and married a woman named Madalyn in 1952. They had two daughters. Rudolf von Linauer died in Los Angeles 1966. Because of all the new data I am now trying to find documentation verifying the Tibetan travels. Hopefully some of the clues will yield result.

Another fascinating co-incidence is that Monika had a close encounter with a UFO in 1959 or 1960. "The UFO experience I had was when I was in College 1960 or thereabout. I was driving from my mother's house in Connecticut back to my college in Massachusetts on a stretch of road/highway that had two lanes and was deserted of other cars at 1:00 in the morning as it was.  All of a sudden on my right and out of the passenger side window, I could see on the open field an enormous amount of light. So enormous... it was blinding. A lot of light and flashes of light were coming from below as well from all around whatever it was. I immediately pulled the car over and stopped on the side of the road, right by it.  I opened my door and stood there in amazement. I walked around the car to the side of the road so as to be standing right in front of it.

Monika´s drawing of the landed object

I was looking at an oval - flat but not completely flat - big object. The light was all around the right side and around the left side. Also light radiating from it toward the back and light underneath. It was now sitting on legs - not tall legs, more medium to short leg length -  so the light, bright before, was not as bright as it was when it was coming down onto the field by the highway.  I stood there and IT stood there.  We stood together for sometime...I have no idea how long....but I just starred.  Now when I think back I  remember shadows inside....but  no one or anything ever came out.  IT stood there and I stood there and I was absolutely fascinated and fearless.  After a time it lifted off right in front of me and away it went.  It left me standing there and did not leave in a hurry or with a thrust into the sky - it gently took off on a bit of an angle. As it left the angle became more of an angle and up.

I returned to the car and all I can say is that it was one of those experiences that I instinctively knew I could not tell anyone, no one would believe me.  I was amazed and deep in a thoughtful cloud of closeness to whatever this was, for years. I never once doubted what I saw, how long we stood there together, where it was and how it all looked."

The distance to the object was not more than 30-40 feet, according to Monika. "As for dreams or a psychic experience I do not think so. I am a pretty realistic type person."

Speaking of Jung and synchronicity, the Evans library is now getting more and more in order. Last week every book in our classification system P (paranormal phenomena, parapsychology, occultism, Theosophy, Spiritualism) had been cartalogued by the AFU team Katarina, Ingrid and Anders. As for Jung and Freud we have all their collected writings. My part of the project has been decorating the Evans library with various illustrations and photos. Tobias Lindgren, head of UFO-Sweden´s reporting central, is living right above the library and he often drops in for a chat.

Entrance hall to the Evans library

Tobias Lindgren in the Evans library

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"I believe it is the Russians"

There are around 20.000 documented UFO sighting reports in the AFU files. Most of these are of course misidentifications of ordinary objects. But several hundred remain unexplained after investigation. Perusing these files there is one question in the report form I find particularly interesting: "What is your personal opinion regarding the object you observed?" Here we often find answers like, "I don´t know" or "UFO". But in a few cases the witnesses themselves are more skeptical than the field investigators even though they are reporting a classic close encounter. These cases are interesting from a psychological and sociological perspective. Here is one example from the AFU files.

At five minutes past two on the night of August 21, 1983, Mrs Siw Fester wakes up with a strange feeling of unease in her body. She is staying with her son at the family`s summerhouse in Haverdal on the Swedish west coast, not far from the city of Halmstad. Her husband, the physician Dr. Christian Fester, is at his work in Norrköping. When turning on a small lamp beside the bed she notice that it is unusually light in the room but sweaty and thirsty Siw goes to the bathroom for some water. Looking out of the window in the bathroom she beholds a sight she would never forget. "Even today I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night terrified with nightmares from the memory of what I observered", she told a magazine in 1987. Not more than 120 meters from the house a large saucer shaped object is hovering over a meadow. It is surrounded by a very bright yellow-white light, so strong that the whole area is lighted up. The saucer-shaped object appears to be around 10-15 meters in diameter and is emitting a humming sound.

Drawing by artist Deszö Sternoczky

Siw Fester

Siw is terrified by this unknown intruder and also experience some form of "magnetic" influence from the object. She is unable to move. "It felt like I was standing in syrup and after a while I became paralysed and couldn´t move a muscle." There is an intense heat coming from the object and Siw is sweating profusely. To her this thing above the meadow appears almost alive. Suddenly ten to twelve legs protrude making the object look like a giant spider in the air and it descends to the ground standing on the legs. The humming sound stops and Siw can move again after watching the objects for thirty minutes. Trembling with fear she goes to another room in the house to see whether some of her neighbours are awake but there is no light in any window. Her young son is sleeping in an adjacent room but Siw refrains from waking him up as she doesn´t want to frighten him. Instead she goes back to her bed and pull the blanket over her head, hoping the object will go away.

The object according to Siw Fester

Unable to sleep Siw spends the night listening for sounds and wondering what she has witnessed. Early in the morning she calls her husband and relates what has happened. The couple have been married for thirty years and Christian asserts, in an interview later, that his wife is not suffering from hallucinations, sleep walking, nor is she interested in UFOs or the paranormal. She is a very realistic woman, not the fantasy type. After talking to her husband Siw visits her neighbors and relates what she has witnessed during the night. Together they walk up to the field where the object landed. They discover a large circle, around eight meters in diameter, where the grass i flattened and burned. There is also a small trail in the grass, from the burned circle, leading to the woods. This trail has not been seen before.

Dr. Christian Fester during an interview at AFU October 14, 1996

Siw was not the only witness to the unknown this night. Another of her neighbors, a woman in her thirties, was coming home by car from Halmstad around midnight. Not far from home she experienced a strange feeling of unreality. In an interview some years later she told me it was like "entering an inflated plastic bag, a vacuum world". After parking the car the woman notice a figure standing by the fence at her house. Believing at first it is her fiancé, wearing a white shirt, she calls him but there is no answer. Coming closer an oviformed luminous figure appear, shining like a neon light. Trying to enter the house the woman is met by an invisible wall, like some kind of energy field. She has no memory of what happened after she entered this field, but she "wakes up" in the same place when one hour has passed. The entity is gone and the woman enteres her house and starts reading a book in the middle of the night - something she has never done before. She felt no fear during this unusual episode.

There were several observations of strange lights in the sky around Halmstad this night. Further investigation would even after so many years probably discover more close encounters during the same night. There are rumours of another landing nearby. In 1984 Swedish ufologists Carl-Anton Mattsson and Dan Mattsson interviewed Siw Fester in her home in Norrköping. Here are some excerpts from the conversation:
Siw: Ok, but what do you belive, I want to know your opinion?
Dan: It is easieast to believe that this was visitors from outer space.
Siw: So, that is what you believe?
Carl-Anton: No, but it is the first we come to think of.
Dan: The most simple solution.
Siw: So, that is your belief?
Carl-Anton: Yes, it is a possibility.
Siw: Well, if I am allowed to express my personal opinion on this thing, I believe it is the Russians... I definitely believe it is the Russians, they are doing a lot of strange things down here. I believe the Russians are doing some kind of research here on the west coast.

Carl-Anton Mattsson, November 1, 2008

Dan Mattsson July 2, 2011

This answer from a witness is of course rather unusual after such a close encounter. A statistical study of what the witnesses themselves belived they observered would be interesting both from a psychological and sociological point of view. It would also yield more data on paradigms and cultural influences.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

AFU and the Evans library

December 13, 2010 was a momentous day in AFU history. We were celebrating our annual festivity on Saint Lucy´s Day with coffee, mulled wine and gingerbread when a truckdriver from Schenker called and said he was waiting for us to unload some pallets. The AFU staff put on their winter clothes and walked up to the lorry and were met with a sight the like we have never encountered before. In the snow stood eleven pallets with 235 large and heavy boxes. Luckily we were ten AFU people who helped carrying these boxes. But it was a tough job in the snow and icy stairs down to our basement premise. Still it didn´t take us much more than an hour to get everything in place. We sure needed more coffee and mulled wine after this exercise.

The AFU team carrying the heavy boxes

A hardworking Håkan Landin

A tired but happy AFU team with all the boxes in place

We now had a double reason for celebrating, because the 235 boxes contained the largest donation of material received in AFU history. More than 9.000 books and thousands of rare magazines from all over the world. This superb collection was donated by Hilary and Mary Evans of London. We are honoured och proud that AFU was chosen as the custodian of this immensely valuable collection covering subjects like UFO, forteana, folklore, parapsychology, paranormal phenomena, ancient mysteries, mysticism, esoterica and a host of other subjects. Mary Evans died in 2010 and Hilary in 2011 but I hope that from their celestial spheres they are satisfied with our work to preserve this important heritage.

During 2011 we worked hard to build up the Evans library in a special premise. We bought new shelves and when the books were in place it certainly looked like a very nice, classic library. Then fate struck. During the night of July 23, 2011, Norrköping experienced one of the worst rainfalls in history and three of our basement premises were flooded, one of them the new Evans library. Luckily one of the neighbors living in the same house as the Evans library called my AFU collegue Anders Liljegren in the middle of the night and thanks to his heroic efforts only a few of the books from the Evans collection were damaged. I dare not imagine what would have happened if our neighbour hadn´t made that telephone call. Four days after this deluge, on July 27, Hilary Evans died - a tragic and absurd co-incidence.

The first Evans library -before the flooding

Because of the flooding two of our premises needed a total reconditioning, an archivist nightmare. All books, shelves and furniture were cramped in other premises. When the restauration was finished we decided to move the Evans library to a larger and safer premise. Better safety measures will hopefully not get us into this situation again. The new Evans library is now being structured and catalogued according to our new Phenomena Code classification system. And I have also started decorating the library with photographs, paintings and other illustrations.

Part of the new Evans library

As librarian I find it a feast both for the eyes and mind to peruse the shelves in the Evans library. Hundreds of rare and unusual books I have never seen or even heard of before, many early tomes from the 18th and 19th century. A treasure trove for scholars of various disciplines and anyone researching the unsolved mysteries of our world. This collection is in some respects even pre-eminent what can be found at the largest university libraries in Sweden. Regarding magazines I notice for instance a complete set of Proceedings for the Society of Psychical Research from 1882 in clothbound volumes and the beautifully illustrated magazine The Medium 1872-1882.

SPR Proceedings in the Evans library

Hilary Evans visited AFU in October 1996 and we discussed his research and theories, later printed as an interview in UFO-Aktuellt. He didn´t want to be labelled ufologist as his foremost interest was paranormal phenomena. Already in 1960 he had joined The Society for Psychical Research, later becoming a member of the board. Hilary Evans was an advocate of the skeptical psycho-social theory regarding UFOs, but he represented skepticism at its best: erudite, open minded, humble. He was no debunker but stressed several times during our talk the importance of looking at new data and possibilities. When asked for an advice to Swedish ufologists and field investigators he said, never become a rigid dogmatist, be open minded - totally open minded.

Me and Hilary Evans at AFU October 7, 1996

Several books came from the pen of Hilary Evans. Two of my favourites are Visitors, Apparations, Alien Visitors (1984) and Gods, Spirits. Cosmic Guardians (1987). But he was also, together with Dannis Stacy, editor of UFOs 1947-1997, published by Fortean Times (1997). We oldtimers here at AFU will always remember him for his kindness and generosity. And I believe he would have approved of our new name Archives for the Unexplained, a name which actually was suggested to us by Hilary.