”Perhaps you are still skeptical. Perhaps you think that some perfectly mundane answer will be found for all these events at some time in the future. We are not trying to turn you into a believer or disbeliever. We have only tried to lay out the facts before you. Belief – or disbelief – will come to you from another direction. Next week, next month, or next year you may be driving along a deserted country road late at night and as you round a bend you will suddenly see…”.
Aficionados of Forteana recognize this suggestive quote as coming from the pen of legendary author John A. Keel. It is actually the last words in his book Strange Creatures From Time and Space (1970). Keel coined the term silent contactees for people who had personal contact experiences with ”space people” but never publicly revealed their encounters. Based on his extensive field investigation he surmised there must be hundreds of silent contactees in the U.S. But it is not only many contactees that are silent and unknown. In Sweden there must be literally hundreds of close encounter witnesses who have never gone public nor contacted any UFO organization. This is of course a frustrating situation for the field investigator but fully understandable as ”coming out” being a UFO witness can have some unforeseen and not very nice social and media consequences.
Another interesting aspect to this problem is if and how has the UFO experience affected the silent witnesses in the long run? Change of interests, worldview, psychological health a.o.? People who are normally intelligent and inquistive and who suddenly are confronted with an object or entity that officially does not exist must somehow come to grips with what actually happened. A few like Rolf Gohs and Peter Ingemark wait more than ten years before they dare to recount their close encounter. But what of the rest, that we never hear about? I will give a few examples of cases where we know there are more, but silent, witnesses.
End of 1970s. A couple are travelling by car in Dalarna on a winter evening. Not much traffic. Ahead of them they notice what looks like a bus standing across the road, blocking the way. It is a large object, probably around 15 meters covering the whole road and more. They stop the car some 25 meters from the object which is standing on three or four legs around 150 cm in height. The colour appears to be grey blue metal and there is a row of windows on the upper part. Suddenly the legs are retracted and the object simply disappears. Only some snow is swirling. Another car has stopped behind them and after the incident they regret that they didn´t talk to the driver. But they were chocked of what had happened. The man is dead today and his wife refuse to discuss the incident as she believed there was something evil about the incident. But how about the witness or witnesses in the other car? They must have observed the same craft on the ground and its ascent. What do they think of the encounter today?
At 6.10 P.M. on September 9, 1989 Kerstin Jonsson and her daughter Tina are travelling by car not far from their home in Björkvik. They have just left Tina´s friend at the local bus station. Kerstin is driving and 13-year old Tina is sitting in the back seat. A couple of hundred meters from home Kerstin notice an object hovering above the trees beside the road. She tells her daughter and they drive very slow, closer until they are right below the strange object. Tina is afraid and wants to go home but Kerstin stops the car and roll down the car window. No other car show up and there is a strange silence all around. No sound is heard from the object. The shape is a classic saucer, about five meter i diameter and of dark metallic colour. Three lights are seen on the underside, blinking at regular intervals. Some form of hatch is also visible. Kerstin and Tina get a very god look at the object which is not more than 15-20 meters above them.
Kerstin wants to have a better look so she opens the car door and put one foot on the ground. But now Tina is very agitated, crying "you´re crazy, don´t go out". At the same time the object begins to spin counter clockwise and move out over the road. Kerstin can now see the object from the side. There is a dome on top with several windows from which comes a yellow light. The object makes a fast turn and disappears towards lake Yngaren. Kerstin and Tina drive home and Kerstin´s husband Sture notice that they are both very upset.
Kerstin and Tina Jonsson
The frustrating aspect of this observation is that there are at least six more witnesses to this object, neighbors to the family, but they refuse to talk to us. But in july 2008 UFO-Sweden received an anonymous letter from one of the other witnesses. He was 16 years at the time and, together with his mother and sister, observerad the object over lake Yngaren. They travelled by car and noticed the object hovering over the lake. It was dark metallic and had lights blinking underneath. The object suddenly moved very fast and disappeared. There are at least two more silent witnesses to this craft. Has this encounter changed their life? Perhaps we will never know.
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 in Karlskrona but no one claimed to be the witness. The man who observed the black object over Ante´s car could never be found.
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."
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 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 Växjö 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.
Drawing by Ante Jonsson
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 Växjö 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.
The way we as human beings react to a close encounter is obviously very different, depending on a variety of circumstances and psychological disposition. For some it will change their whole life and worldview, like Peggy Robert who on a September evening in 1973 observed a UFO with windows at close range. This event resulted in her entering a life long spiritual journey. Others, a woman, a silent witness in my acquaintance, who some years ago observed a landed craft and small beings with spindly legs, simply told me: ”Why should I tell anyone. I was alone at the time. Who would believe me? It is too incredible.”