Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The George Adamski correspondence

Today arrived the long awaited new book by my old friend and UFO collegue Timothy Good. Earth: An Alien Enterprise is a 466 page tome published by Pegasus Books, New York. Of special interest to me are the many chapters documenting physical contact cases from all over the world. In this respect the book is a sequel to Alien Base, published in 1998. Chapter eleven, The Overlords, in Timothy´s latest book is a summary of the complicated Swedish contact case of Richard Höglund, documented in my book Främlingar på vår jord. Ufokontakter i Sverige (Aliens on Earth. UFO contacts in Sweden). I gave Timothy permission to use the data from my own investigations because this case as very intriguing and should be of interest to ufologists worldwide.

I have been corresponding with Timothy Good since 1984 when his first book, George Adamski - The Untold Story, was published, co-authored with Adamski´s former Swiss representative Ms Lou Zinsstag. What I wrote in 1984 in my review is unfortunately true even today: "For several years I have experienced a growing frustration over the fact that so few of the old contactees have been investigated and their experiences documented." It is a peculiar fact that the only thorough documentations of the most well-known and controversial UFO contactee of all times, George Adamski, has been made by an Englishman (Timothy Good) and a New Zealander (Tony Brunt) - George Adamski - the Toughest Job in the World Where are the American ufologists and biographers?

Based on my own investigations of Swedish physical contact cases of the Nordic alien variety I believe we need to take a second look at the classic contactees of the 1950s: George Adamski, Daniel Fry, Orfeo Angelucci, George Van Tassel, Howard Menger Et al. They obviously were in contact with some individuals who claimed to be extraterrestrial. But there are other options and possibilities than "Venusians". I have mentioned this problem in several earlier blog entries and for many years suggested an alternative working hypothesis based on Jacques Vallee´s esoteric intervention theory.

What is needed in contactee research is competent, critical but open minded ufologists, neither naive believers nor reductionist debunkers. Academic scholars, authors and journalists are aware of the extreme importance of private correspondence when writing theses and biographies. Searching for and collecting correspondence has been something of a priority at AFU. And we are fortunate to have received files and correspondence including many of the early contactees. This week I also discovered we had a copy of The Adamski Documents. Part 1, published by Gray Barker in 1980, donated by Hilary Evans. This is a collection of various Adamski correspondence from 1957 to 1965.

George Adamski in Denmark 1963

In the 1980s I received, from Lucius Farish, a copy of a very unique correspondence between George Adamski and Miss Emma Martinelli. The letters were written between August 16, 1950 and May 8, 1952, i.e. before the famous contact in the California desert November 20, 1952. Emma Martinelli was a member of the San Francisco Interplanetary Club and knew Adamski from 1949 until his death in 1965. In these letters Adamski reveal some very interesting facts regarding his first "science fiction" book Pioneers of Space, published in 1949. "... speaking of visitors from other planets, you see, in the physical I have not contacted any of them, but since you have read Pioneers of Space you can see how I get my information about these people and their homelands." (January 16, 1952). In an earlier letter he presented this explanation: "In this letter I have explained, using illustrations, how one may venture from one place to another, while his physical is one place and he is in another. That is the way I have written this book. I actually have gone to the places I speak of; I actually have talked to the ones I speak of. To you I can reveal this since your letter reveals much, while to others I keep silent about this." (August 16, 1950).

This is very interesting data as Adamski later was very much against any form of psychic communication with space people and strongly objected to the esoteric interpretation of his physical contacts given by Meade Layne and Riley Crabb of Borderland Sciences Research Association (BSRA). They regarded the craft and space people as belonging to the etheric world, normally invisible to us. In The Adamski Documents. Part 1 there is a letter where Adamski gives this view of the problem: "... in reference to Riley Crabb we have met several years ago. I do not support his esoteric views for if the teachings had been correct we would not be in the trouble that we are today... I feel that his research is based on the psychic and his little bearing on the present day events." (December 11, 1962). This is a rather contradictory statement comparing his earlier explanations. Riley Crabb was a Theosophist and the space people teachings given by Adamski in Inside the Space Ships are basically identical to Theosophy so his criticism of Riley Crabb sort of miss the point.

Riley Crabb 1912-1994

In several of these early Martinelli letters Adamski mention that he has written another book on "saucers and space ships" and that his manuscript is now in the hands of Henry Holt Co. This was told in a letter of November 24, 1951. I have never heard of this manuscript but if it could be found we may get many more clues to the George Adamski enigma.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What happened to Ante Jonsson?

At almost every lecture on AFU and the UFO enigma one or two persons from the audience comes up after the lecture asking for a private talk. Usually they relate a personal UFO experience and very often they wish to remain anonymous, sometimes not even disclosing their name, address or phone number. This of course makes it impossible to initiate any follow-up investigation. An exceedingly frustrating situation experienced by several of my field investigator collegues in UFO-Sweden. Especially since many of the stories we hear are very interesting and intriguing. There must be hundreds of unrecorded close encounter cases merely in Sweden.

This culture of silence regarding UFO experiences probably have several causes. The most obvious is fear of what friends and relatives will say, fear of losing employment or fear of media exposure. And here ufologists face a difficult ethical dilemma. What shall we recommend to the witnesses regarding anonymity? Although we as researchers advocate openness as much as possible, publishing personal data can actually create complicated and negative situations for the witness. One close encounter witness told me that if she had known how the media exposure would affect her life she had never given out her name. Field investigators must be sensitive to this problem and honestly discuss the issue before publishing personal data. This ethical dilemma becomes a central issue when dealing with humanoid and contact experiences. Here I narrate a classic Swedish case where the witness was very much media exposed but handled the situation in spite of many difficulties.

On the night of February 3, 1984, Mr. Ante Jonsson is travelling by car from Ingelstad to his home in Tingsryd, Småland. The time is around 1 A.M. and 40 year old Ante is driving carefully because of the snow and icy road. After passing the crossroad to Uråsa Ante notice a small figure on the left side of the road and over a meadow a large black object is hovering in the air. Astonished by the sight Ante stops the car but the small figure is gone. "My first thought was that I have to get a picture of this object. I hurried home to get my camera."

Ante Jonsson in 2007

About 1.30 A.M. Ante is back at the site but the object is gone. Disappointed he decides to turn the car around and go home. Then suddenly the object appears again hovering right in front of the car. Ante hit the brakes but the car skids on the icy road and comes to a stop with the headlights shining on the object. He tries to escape the situation but the car gets stuck in the snow. "When I opened the car door a creature grabbed me and almost lifted me out. I just screamed." He tries to run away but is caught and dragged towards the object. The creature is not more than 1 meter in height, wearing some form of dress hiding the face. Ante´s last memory is noticing a lorry passing by. Then everything is blank. "When I woke up I was sitting in my car, cold and wet with a pricking feeling in my hands. And a vague memory of talking to somebody whom I later found out was the police. My next memory is waking up at Sankt Sigfrids hospital in Växjö."

Ante Jonsson at the observation site in 1984

At 1.50 A.M. there is a phone call to the police station in Växjö. A man calling himself Bengt Johanssson claims he just passed Uråsa airfield and noticed a car parked across the road with the headlights turned off. He also observed a person outside the car and "over the car a large black object hovered", as stated in the police records. Bengt Johansson promised to wait for a police patrol to arrive at the site but when Roland Karlsson and Thorsten Persson from the Växsjö police station arrive Bengt Johansson is nowhere to be seen. Instead they find Ante Jonsson sitting in his Saab 99. The car lights are turned off and the car door open.

Ante Jonsson appears very scared and confused. His is holding the steering wheel in a tight grip and the muscles in his hands and arms are abnormally tense. He is shaking violently and when the policemen try to converse with Ante he appears very confused and can´t remember how he ended up at the site. They bring Ante to Växsjö hospital. Here the physician notice that Ante is in deep shock, hyperventilating and his fingers are curved in cramp. He is injected with valium, with little effect. Then he enters a deep sleep. Later he is taken to the psychiatric clinic at Sankt Sigfrids hospital where he recovers and is sent home after a few days.

Field investigators from UFO-Sweden tried to locate Mr. Bengt Johansson from Karlskrona. But in spite of thorough investigation no such person could be traced. There were twelve Bengt Johansson i Karlskrona but no one claimed to be the witness. The man who observered the black object over Ante´s car could never be found. An extremley frustrating situation for the field investigators as this man could have corroborated a very intriguing UFO experience.

Ante Jonsson at the observation site in 2007

The story of Ante did not end with his first encounter. About a month after the traumatic abduction experience Ante enters a period of intense "dreams" and visions where he is contacted by a variety of entities, mostly human in appearance. The take him to different planets and predict coming nuclear wars. Ante´s contact experiences continue for many years but he is not sure whether they are reality or dreams. He enters a different state of consciousness. "It can happen anytime. In the morning, during the day, evening or night. But mostly during the evening. It begins with a grovelling feeling all over the body. Something is moving inside. I don´t know how to explain this. There is something moving in the head and body. And it is always the same. After two or three days something happens."

Ante Jonsson has written hundreds of pages decribing his contacts. In 1989 his story was published in a, not very serious, book written together with Sune Hjorth, Fantastiska resor med UFO (Fantastic trips in UFOs). There have been many articles and interviews with Ante in magazines and newspapers. He has never been afraid of publicity in spite of his fantastic claims and has also lectured to various organizations.

So what really happened to Ante Jonsson? His first observation is quite well documented. To determine the degree of reality of the later contact experiences is difficult but probably they can be interpreted as inner, subjective visions. This scenario is of often observered with regard to contactees. The first encounter is very physical and later experiences mostly visionary. But what was the object and humanoid that triggered this change in consciousness?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Field investigator training

On October 18-20, UFO-Sweden arranged the annual weekend seminar for field investigators. An important activity with the aim to develop a cadre of well educated and competent ufologists. This year no less than 38 old and new field investigators gathered at our new residential study centre, Föllingen Hotel, in the southern part of the Swedish province Östergötland. This new facility proved to be a success, beautifully situated close to lake Föllingen. All the participants were very satisfied with the excellent service by the proprietors Magnus Johansson and Charlotte Andersson. A special credit also to Rickard Andersson and Tobias Lindgren of UFO-Sweden, responsible for all the practical arrangements. Föllingen Hotel will most assuredly be UFO-Sweden´s permanent residential centre.

Föllingen Hotel proprietors Charlotte Andersson and Magnus Johansson

Håkan Ekstrand and Clas Svahn outside Föllingen Hotel

Weekend seminars for field investigators was introduced already in 1977 by former UFO-Sweden chairman Bevan (Thorvald) Berthelsen. This was an important innovation in the history of our national organization, improving the quality of data and documentation of Swedish UFO-reports. These annual weekend seminars are also important and pleasant social gatherings, a meeting place for old and new ufologists.

Picture from the first field investigator seminar September 24-25, 1977

Almost all participants arrived already on Friday evening which has become a tradition, a pleasant way of introducing new ufologists, chatting and relaxing. As there were 16 new ufologists the UFO-Sweden board had decided to present an historical summary of the UFO phenomenon, including the most well known and interesting cases. We did our best giving short lectures on famous cases but of course it proved to be a mission impossible and we had to end by 1971. But hopefully the field investigators got a good overview of the complexity of UFO and Fortean  phenomena. Much appreciated was Saturday´s guest lecturer, Mr. Johan Marcopoulos, head of public relations at Rymdstyrelsen, the Swedish National Space Board. He presented a very inspiring lecture on the relation between the Tintin comic album Destination Moon and what happened during the real Moon voyages.

UFO-Sweden chairman Anders Berglund introducing the seminar

Johan Marcopoulos

Coffee break, stroll and UFO quiz

After a hard days work it was a nice feeling to be invited for a drink and superb dinner in the restaurant section of Föllingen Hotel, enjoying the warmth from the fireplace. And later the traditional Chinese lanterns were launched, giving all new field investigators a chance to view these troublesome lights in action. We succeeded in launching three lanterns Saturday evening. The rest of the evening was spent in various social activities as presenting the winner of our quiz and enjoying a good beer and discussions.

Anders Berglund enjoying a drink by the fireplace

Tobias Lindgren and Johan Gustavsson trying to launch a Chinese lantern

And there it goes

Anders Berglund and Tobias Lindgren presenting the winner of the UFO quiz

Proud winner was Ole Jonny Brænne, chairman of UFO-Norway

The lectures on Sunday consisted of AFU history, purposes and ideology of UFO-Sweden, examples of how various phenomena can be misinterpreted, workshop on UFO reports and a film on the the psychology of perception. This was a successful and inspiring weekend and I believe all ufologists, old and new, left Föllingen Hotel  with extended knowledge of the enigmas of our world. 

All the participants in front of Föllingen Hotel

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rudolf von Linauer and Tibet

Since my latest blog entry on Rudolf von Linauer and the mystery of his Tibetan journey in the 1930s some new information have appeared. I still have not found the smoking gun, definite evidence that he visited Tibet but various types of circumstantial evidence indicating travels in Asia and a wide knowledge of Chinese culture. After many contacts and exchange of data with Rudolf von Linauer´s daughters, Kristina in Stockholm and Monika in Florida, some more pieces to this intricate puzzle can now be added.

The ultimate question is of course whether there is any truth to Rudolf von Linauer´s claim of visiting a secret Tibetan monastery and witnessing a group of lamas lifting heavy stones with the help of sound waves. He told of this experience in an article in the Swedish daily Stockholms-Tidningen, September 17, 1939 and also during a lecture at Internationella Klubben (The International Club) in Stockholm some time in the autumn of 1939. The archive of Internationella Klubben is preserved at the Stockholms City Archives but so far they have not answered my request for information regarding the Linauer lecture in 1939.

Rudolf von Linauer

In my former blog entry on Linauer I mentioned the article from Idun magazine. Unfortunately the issue and year was not correct. When I checked this reference there was no article and photos from the Linauer home in Stockholm. Instead the interview was printed in Idun no. 48, 1942. In this article Rudolf mention his love of Chinese culture and that he spent three years in China. Obviously he was an expert on Chinese art evidenced by his book Solens rike (Das Reich der Sonne) published in Sweden 1939. It is a study of classic Chinese artists and their spiritual message. Searching the internet I also found that Rudolf von Linauer was "advisor" to the 1937 movie Alarm in Peking. This is a clear indication that he was well informed on China and its culture and support his claim of living three years in that country.

This is also supported by his personal biography Inquisition Berlin Alexanderplatz, preserved as manuscript at Houghton Library, Harvard University. I bought a copy of this 48 pages German manuscript which arrived from Harvard University recently. It has this short presentation: "A widely travelled architect, the author expresses his astonishment and disgust towards the Nazi movement after returning to Germany in 1934-1935. In a loosely structured, impressionistic manuscript entitled "Inquisition Berlin Alexanderplatz", he describes the process of Nazi takeover and how people around him make their peace with the new regime. Most of the manuscript is taken up with his description of his sudden arrest and incarceration in a concentration camp."

I believed this manuscript only covered Rudolf´s years in Germany but it also has a short biography of his life and travels around the world. The manuscript is now being translated from German to Swedish by my old friend Hans Abrahamsson. Here are a few relevant quotes. The original beautiful poetic quality of his writing is unfortunately lost in translation: "All the follwing years were filled with lots of work, living, experiencing, witnessing and searching, wandering and waiting. Many Metropolis offered me work and presented enigmas. Many Nekropolis was even bigger enigmas - Jujuy the old Aztec city on the slopes of Cordilleren-Chanig, the priest city of the buried alive in Himalaya - Tachanio, the underground kingdom of eternal fire at the foot of Kwen-Lun...Behind me was one and a half year of work in Peking... Behind me was nine months travel and residence in Tibet. Weeks of travel on waddling camels, on calm and sluggish oxen and on foot over stone and sand deserts... A month stay at the Dugpa monks monastery, embedded in a deep valley... In this monastery with documents and artifacts from epochs no European ever heard of. "

According to a second interview in Stockholms-Tidningen Rudolf von Linauer could enter Tibet because of help from his Chinese friends who were members of a secret society. He was allowed to visit a secret monastery unknown even to many Tibetans. Of these monks he says in the interview: "A usual opinion is that these monks must know very little of what is happening in Europe, but that is not the case. On the contrary they have detailed knowledge on what is happening and are in constant contact with a secret society in Scotland. Two of the white men who visited the inner of Tibet before me were Scottish."

Stockholms-Tidningen September 17, 1939

Whether it will be possible to find any more details on this mystery is an open question. There are a few more clues to follow up. In the literature of the esoteric tradition there are many references to a now forgotten knowledge of lifting heavy stones with the help of sound. A knowledge preserved by the custodians of the ancient wisdom, maybe one of the secret societies referred to by Rudolf von Linauer. Alice Bailey, amanuensis for the Tibetan writes in Letters On Occult Meditation: "The laws that govern the erection of large buildings and the handling of great weights will some day be understood in terms of sound. The cycle returns, and in the days to come will be seen the re-appearance of the faculty of the Lemurians and early Atlanteans to raise great masses, -  this time on a higher turn of the spiral. Mental comprehension of the method will be developed.. They were raised through the ability of the early builders to create a vacuum through sound, and to utilise it for their own purposes." (p. 249-250)

Whatever the truth of these assertions we can still enjoy the mystery of the Rudolf von Linauer story and his artistic talents. I found many of his illustrations in the Swedish novel Misstänkt (Suspected), published in 1947.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

An avalanche of donations

Finally we can present the new AFU website. It has been many hours of hard work by Anders Liljegren och Håkan Bengtsson. We now also officially announce our new name, Archives for the Unexplained. We are especially proud of the extensive list of donors from all over the world. This list is ample evidence that AFU is now regarded as a world heritage for data on UFO and other unexplained phenomena.

Layout Image
Collage with Fate magazine/locales

For two weeks in September-October Clas Svahn, Carl-Anton Mattsson and Håkan Ekstrand has been travelling around in England visiting ufologists and forteans who wished to donate all or part of their archive to AFU. This UFO-Sweden team has visited our English collegues many times before, always returning with generous donations of books, magazines, clippings etc. But this time was exceptional with donations from many ufologists and forteans. When all the 291 boxes were ready for shipment outside the house of Bob Rickard the team called the collection The Great Fortean Wall.

Carl-Anton Mattsson, Håkan Ekstrand and Bob Rickard with The Great Fortean Wall

We are especially grateful that Edwin Joyce decided to donate the entire Flying Saucer Review (FSR) archive to AFU. This collection is of immense value from a historical viewpoint and we are glad and honoured to be chosen as the custodians fo this treasure trove of data.

Håkan Ekstrand and Edwin Joyce in the FSR archive

Here is a list of the donors: Lionel Beer, Fran Copeland, Dan Clery, Richard and Stan Conway, Philip Creighton, Bob Digby, Omar Fowler, Stewe Gamble, Edwin Joyce, Matt Lyons, Norman Oliver, Bob Rickard, John and Judith Rimmer, Peter Rogerson, Dave Sankey, Staffan Skott, John Spencer, Valentine and Damien Ward, Jean-Luc Vertongen and Tim Vankerkom, John Wickham. On their way home the UFO-Sweden team made a stop in Vejle, Denmark to collect a donation from Lise Søbye Petersen, widow of recently deceased Danish ufologist H.C. Petersen. Well known as a George Adamski co-worker for many years. The material was handed over by Lise Agersnap.

Lise Agersnap

This week we also received 120 kilo UFO and theosophical magazines from Ole Henningsen of SUFOI in Denmark. According to Anders Liljegren the Schenker lorry will arrive tomorrow, Friday, with the 291 boxes. As usual it will be a tough job for the AFU staff to carry all these boxes down to our basement facility. But opening the boxes is like getting Christmas gifts in October. On behalf of AFU I would like to express our deep gratitude for all these exquisite donations. We will do our best to preserve this valuable heritage for future generations of researchers.

A lorry filled with world mysteries

AFU wouldn’t exist without many hundreds of sponsors who have contributed money to the running of the foundation: money for rents and electricity, phone, shelving, and a multitude of other regular costs. AFU welcome sponsors from anywhere in the world. If you wish to support our efforts to create an international master collection of unexplained phenomena visit our sponsorship page on our new website. All contributions, large or small, are welcome. We hope for your support!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mattias Fyhr and supernatural horror

One of my responsibilities at Norrköping Public Library is arranging academic lectures, inviting Swedish scholars and authors engaged in current cultural and scientific debate. This activity has by now developed into a form of literary salon, opening with a my dialogue with the author followed by a lecture and often a very vivid and stimulating discussion. On October 2, I invited Mattias Fyhr, Assistant Professor in Literary Criticism at Stockholm University and lecturer in Literary Criticism at Jönköping University. He is the author of several books on gothic fiction, also referred to as supernatural horror in literature. But he is also well versed in various esoteric currents and co-editor with Per Faxneld of Förborgade tecken. Esoterism i västerländsk litteratur (Hidden Signs. Esoterism in Western Literature). In this book Fyhr has a chapter on esoterism in the writings of Selma Lagerlöf, one of my favourite Swedish authors.

Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940)

Before the lecture I had promised Mattias Fyhr a tour of the AFU facilities as he was especially interested in studying our collections on ghosts and older Swedish books on paranormal experiences. From Norrköping Central Station we went directly to the archive where we spent most of the time in our two library facilities. Mattias was delighted to discover several volumes of interest for his current research and as a fan of supernatural horror he was of course fascinated by the grey alien in one of our shelves. We could have spent many hours comparing notes and ideas on various aspects of horror fiction and paranormal phenomena but there was only time for a quick AFU tour.

Mattias Fyhr in the AFU library. Notice the Lovecraft titles to the right

Mattias gave a brilliant and erudite lecture on the history of Gothic fiction from antiquity to the present day. On my question regarding the best horror author ever he was somewhat evasive but H.P. Lovecraft came very high up on the list. Mattias is the author of Död men drömmande. H.P. Lovecraft och den magiska modernismen (Dead but dreaming. H.P. Lovecraft and Magic Modernism). This is a study of the themes in Lovecraft´s fiction and his ideas on religion, spiritualism and science. 

Dialogue before the lecture

Mattias Fyhr lecturing

There were several real fans of gothic fiction in the audience so the concluding question-and-answer session resulted in an interesting and well-informed discussion. One woman in the audience also had a real ghost story to relate, where there were several witnesses involved. This made us all feel that the borderline between fiction and reality is indistinct as is actually the case with our subjects. Lovecraft would have loved that. Generally this was an exciting and delightful evening full of magic and mystery. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Jadoo and Esoterica

Anomalist Books continue to publish excellent titles, both new and classics, on UFOs, Forteana and the paranormal. As I have often referred to John Keel in various blog entries I was especially pleased to find new editions of his seminal works in the book list. This week I recieved my copy of the 1957 classic Jadoo, a travel diary of his adventures in the Orient. When the book first appeared Keel promoted it by performing a snake-charming act in a pet store window in New York City. As you immerse yourself in this well written and entertaining book it becomes obvious why chapter one begins with: "I am a professional cliff-hanger".

This new edition has additional material not found in the 1957 version. A few typewritten pages of manuscript found in John Keel´s apartment after his death and edited out of the old edition. It is the story of Keel´s German girlfriend Lite, called Ingrid in the book, whom he met while working for the American Forces Network in Frankfurt, Germany in the beginning of the 1950s. It is a heartbreaking story of love found and lost, partly because of lack of money and also a young man´s dream of breaking free of a restricted life to look for adventure and mystery. "I wanted to see Timbuctu and Baghdad, not Stuttgart and Mannheim. I wanted to walk among the ruins of temples, not factories. I wanted to dig into the dark secrets of Egypt and India and write about jadoo instead of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization."

Later in life, after his involvement in the UFO enigma, Keel referred to Jadoo in Operation Trojan Horse: "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." But this is not quite true. Although it is written in typical Keel fashion with a critical and humourous spirit there are several experiences and phenomena in the book which he can´t explain and truly puzzles the young adventurer. He hear the sound of and get a short glimpse of what could be the abominable snowman. A mystical lama give Keel a demonstration of levitation while other lamas move chairs bo mental power and prove their ability of remote viewing by telling of a fire going on in a distant village. When Keel checked later, there had been a fire in the village. Instead of "denigrating" these claims he writes: "There was no explanation for these things. I thought I knew all the tricks of the phony western mediums, but this demonstration stymied me." Although a hard-boiled skeptic, Keel does not appear as the typical debunker in Jadoo, rather as the inquisitive romantic adventurer. And I love his humourous comments, like this one: "One lama told me the way to vanish into thin air is to make the mind a complete blank. (If this is true, then I know several people who should have disappeared long ago.)" If you haven´t read Jadoo you have an evening of mystery and adventure waiting. And this world will probably get one more John Keel fan.

This week has also seen some additions to my collection of esoterica. Scholarly volumes on what is in the academic world named Western Esotericism is appearing at a increasing pace. An interesting cultural change regarding this earlier taboo subject which I have commented upon in an earlier blog entry. Introduction Series to Western Esotericism is a new project to serve as basic handbooks for students and scholars. There are seven volumes projected and the first, The Academic Study of Western Esotericism, has just been published, written by Dr. Tim Rudbøg, who holds an MA research degree in History of Religion with Philosophy at the University of Copenhagen. The cover illustration of the first volume is a real wet blanket but the content is a good introduction to the subject.

The academic term Western Esotericism is in my view something of a misnomer as a basic idea in esotericism is that it represents an ancient and global tradition. This problem is noted by Rudbøg who in his introduction asks whether Western "should or will be considered valid in the future". An esotericist would probably answer that the teaching is universal, the "knowledge of reality" or worldview presented by the elder brothers, the planetary hierarchy, the inner government of the world who since time immemorial have been the custodians of the Ancient Wisdom.

One chapter in the book is devoted to the Traditionalist Perspective on Esotericism. Traditionalism, or Perennialism is a radical conservative offshoot of the esoteric tradition and is usually critical of modernism, humanism and empiricism. Rudbøg notice that many of its adherents are academics, which has had an influence on the academic study of religion, philosophy, art and esotericism. But he does not mention whether there also are adherents of classic esotericism within the academic community. Perhaps that is still one of the taboos to be overcome. An esotericist can of course be just as eminent a scholar of esotericism as a buddhist studying Buddhism.

As ufologist and student of the esoteric tradition I have now and then been asked of my own view regarding esotericism. In an earlier blog I tried to give a position statement on this issue. Basically I consider the esoteric tradition the most interesting and intellectually best formulated alternative hypothesis or paradigm when trying to explain many UFO and paranormal phenomena, including the enigma of consciousness. Esotericism in my definition is foremost the writings of H.P. Blavatsky, Alice Bailey and Henry T. Laurency. The only tenable position though, as an intellectual humanist, is to regard the Ancient Wisdom as a working hypothesis. "Belief is the enemy", as John Keel often stated. He was not an esotericist but definitely one of the most fascinating reductionist/materialist paradigm crackers of our time.