The AFU team carrying the heavy boxes
A hardworking Håkan Landin
A tired but happy AFU team with all the boxes in place
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
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.