My first teacher or mentor in the strange and sometimes whacky underground world of the UFO movement was Swedish contactee Sten Lindgren. A gentle soul, mystic, esotericist and idealist who told of both physical and telepathic contacts with the space people. Being a naive teenager I was immensely fascinated by his claims and in 1970 became a member of his group of eager students and activists, the Intergalactical Federation (IGF). But after a couple of years in this very special social milieu I began asking critical question which eventually led to the founding of AFU.
One of the first meetings with Sten Lindgren at my home January 2, 1971. From left Kjell Jonsson, Sten Lindgren, Bjarne Håkansson (IGF co-worker)
Still I was deeply intrigued by the many contact claims of Sten Lindgren and decided to gather as much data as possible to determine what was reality and fantasy in the world of Sweden´s most famous contactee. I kept on turning every stone and after several years had acquired quite an extensive file on IGF and its members. Years of research and investigation later made it clear that many of the observations and contact experiences that Sten Lindgren referred to had mundane explanations. I never found any concrete evidence that Sten was in physical contact with an alien group. There were a few UFO observations with group members that are a bit puzzling, but not of great interest. Still I can to this day wonder whether Sten Lindgren was, in spite of all misinterpretations and wild stories, during his early years really involved in some hidden activity with a benevolent alien group? The reason I still keep an open mind on this issue is the story of the enigmatic woman referred to as BEA.
Sten Lindgren (right) at his home 1971. To the left Roland von Malmborg
In the annals of UFO history there are few issues that have created more debate, derision and enmity in the UFO community than the classic contactee cases of the 1950s. The situation is not very much different today. Few ufologists appear to be able to handle these and similar cases today with an open and investigating spirit. The believers believe too much and the skeptics often dismiss empirical data without investigation. Finding weak points in the claims of the true believer is usually not very difficult, but when dealing with complicated contactee cases it is equally important to be critical of the critic and skeptical of the skeptic.
In many interviews, lectures and his book Dialog med kosmisk kultur (Dialogue with A Cosmic Culture) Sten Lindgren narrates the story of his physical and telepathic contacts and cooperation with a group of alien visitors he refer to as CBH, the Cosmic Brotherhood. As a young man he was deeply puzzled by why he so often observed UFOs, cigar-shaped and bell-shaped craft: ”I began reflecting over my luck, having made seven or eight observations of different types of craft since 1957. I thought this was unusual and began wondering why this happened. Who was I?” (p. 18).
Sten Lindgren´s father was an amateur astronomer and because of their common astonomy interest Sten and his father met with ufologist Eric Nordquist, chairman of the Swedish Ifologiska sällskapet (Ifological Society) in the beginning of the 1960s. Sten Lindgren started reading UFO literature and joined the Ifological Society. In 1963-1964 he began receiving telepathic messages, sometimes before a UFO observation. Late one evening in 1964 Sten observe a cigar-shaped craft not far from his home outside Stockholm. There are illuminated windows on the craft which is hovering over some buildings: ”Suddenly I was aware of something. I heard a distinct male voice, perhaps of 30 years age, with a metallic, echoing voice in normal Swedish language say: ”Sten Lindgren, we will contact you in the future.” This communication I perceived as inside my head, hearing. It was a very powerful voice, like someone talking to me from one meters distance. Nothing more was said and the craft disappeared after the communication. Later I was briefed on the technique that had been used, especially for this transmission. They had used a device that with a sort of electrical beam modulated the auditory nerve.” (p. 20) Sten was later told that he had been under observation by the alien group for several years as a preparation for open contact.
Beginning in 1965 Sten Lindgren for the first time encounter the woman who he always referred to as BEA (not her real name). The first meeting was probably, according to Sten, at the Ifological Society in Stockholm: ”From the beginning I didn´t know who BEA was. I found that out eventually. The contact with BEA was intensified and I came to realize that she was in direct contact with an extraterrestrial group. I received a lot of information. She confirmed that the contactees George Adamski, Howard Menger and Daniel Fry were authentic and that they were in contact with the same group she represented.” (pp. 21, 23) Sten Lindgren´s contact with BEA lasted only a few years during the late 1960s and then she left the country and he never heard from her again.
Sten Lindgren together with his former wife Tina, visiting my home August 8, 1971
So who was this mysterious woman that Sten Lindgren claimed was either belonging to a group of alien visitors or in liaison with this group? I have spent many years trying to follow up every lead in this puzzle, interviewing all individuals who met BEA. She was not a figment of Sten´s imagination as several witnesses who met her can testify, but who was this enigmatic woman? From my extensive files on this case I will present some relevant quotes that may shed some light on this enigma.
I have interviewed four people in Sweden who met and talked to BEA. Unfortunately I have not been able to interview Eva Jarring, daughter of former Swedish ambassador Gunnar Jarring. According to one of the four witnesses, Maj-Britt Gustavsson, Eva Jarring met BEA and received a jewellery from her in the form of a Saturn symbol with a golden chain. Maj-Britt has seen and held the jewellery in her hand. (Interview March 11, 1991). I have tried to contact Eva Jarring to get a confirmation of this statement but has received no answer.
Maj-Britt Gustavsson was for a while a member of Sten Lindgren´s group. Sten hade secretly photographed BEA and kept the photo in a metal box. According to Sten this photo mysteriously disappeared. The space people did not, for security reasons, wish to be photographed. Maj-Britt had seen the photo. She remember her as good-looking woman in her thirties. Blond, slender, nordic type. Probably singel. She had a car and foreign correspondence. BEA had a strange kind of watch that somehow was connected with her ”vibrations”. Maj-Britt regarded the messages from BEA to Sten as very much common sense viewpoints. Maj-Britt tried many times to get more information from Sten about BEA but he was very secretive regarding her identity and work. (Interview March 19, 1985).
Sten Lindgren at his home in Stockholm December 25, 1984
Another member of Sten Lindgren´s group who also met and talked to BEA was a good friend of mine who wish anonymity, partly because his involvement in some work for an unnamed Intelligence organization (no connection to his UFO interest). Sten used three alias for this man, Bertil, Roger and Besic. During his lectures Sten always referred to Bertil as a contactee, a liason man with CBH, which he vehemently denied to me and I have found no evidence indicating such a contact. In 2010 I published an interview with Bertil which may be of interest to Swedish readers. Bertil met BEA together with Sten once in Stockholm. It was a short meeting and not much was said. BEA had friendly brown eyes, slender and about 28-30 years old She spoke excellent Swedish. Dressed in ordinary clothes and carrying a brown attache case in her left hand. (Interviews January 2, 1987, April 27, 1990).
The third person to have met BEA is Christer Janson, who together with Sten Lindgren founded the Intergalactical Federation in 1965. He met BEA a couple of times and once fixed her car. Together with Sten he visited her apartment in Stockholm but Christer has very few memories of what transpired and is doubtful whether she was an alien visitor: ”Well, of course the girl in the dairy can also be a marsian, that´s possible. She was very kind and very pretty, but as for an extraterrestrial I must confess there are others more likely.” (Interview August 11, 1986).
The last person to have met BEA is Jan Sannerstam. He only remember her as a rather ordinary, reticent woman. (Interview January 31, 2012).
August 15, 1985. Sten Lindgren showing where he once observed a landed craft
To get an idea of Sten Lindgren´s claims regarding BEA here is a summary of a few quotes from the many interviews and phone conversations I have had with Sten.
Bea knew the American ambassador and did work connected with the American Embassy. She had a very unusual special electronic camera and took pictures of Sten but he was never allowed to study the camera.
BEA once demonstrated that she could bend her fingers as much forwards as backwards. This is a very unusual and specific statement which I have not found in the classic contactee literature. But it must have been mentioned in early contactee circles as this feat is described in Cosmic Top Secret, published 1991 by William Hamilton: ”The human-like, or Nordic, aliens bear specific differences from our own species. Several contactees have mentioned that Nordics have very symmetrical features; their skin is clear and almost translucent… their fingers are flexible in the backward as well as forward direction suggesting more pliable bone tissue…” (p. 38). This reminds me of a comment by American contactee Paul Vest when meeting and shaking hands with the alien visitor ”Bill” in 1953: ”We shook hands and I recall being aware of the peculiar feel of his hand-as though it were without any underlying bone structure... I recalled how odd his hand had felt in my grasp. Looking at his hands, I noticed that his fingers were long and tapering and so smooth that they seemed to be without joints or underlying bone structure.” (Paul Vest, Venusians Walk Our Streets, Mystic Magazine, August 1954, no. 5).
There is a UFO base used by the alien group about twenty Swedish miles from Stockholm. It is rather small and can harbour two or three craft.
Bea confirmed that George Adamski and Howard Menger were authentic contacts. She once browsed in Menger´s book From Outer Space to You and commented that there were two levels in the book. The Moon pictures were not authentic. Bea also once made underlinings of what was important in George Adamski´s Inside the Space Ships.
Sten Lindgren lecturing
Sten Lindgren is convinced that he in 1964, together with his friend Bertil, was taken aboard a bell-shaped craft and flown to a carrier ship. In the autumn of 1964 Sten Lindgren and Bertil went by car to a mine called Yxkullsgruvan in Västmanland, Sweden. The reason for this excursion was to find Lapis Lingua, sometimes called the psychic stone. The mine was closed and they didn´t find any Lapis Lingua but on their way home a cigarshaped mothership and several small bell-shaped craft appear over the car. One of the small craft makes a landing close to the road and Sten and Bertil are led aboard and are then taken to the mothership. Here they meet a group of five or six people, among them two women and a man dressed in a suit. The spacepeople ask Sten if they are allowed to erase his memory of this visit. He believes he was somehow programmed on this occasion. Sten and Bertil are then led back to the car and continue the trip to Stockholm. According to Sten there were several hours missing in their journey. They came home very late. This is corroborated by Bertil. but he has no memory of any UFO observation or contact. Sten was later put under hypnosis by an unknown physician and then became aware of what had happened during the missing hours.
Sten Lindgren interviewed in the Swedish daily Västmanlands Läns tidning March 17, 1994
Looking back today on my two years involvement with Sten Lindgren and the Intergalactical Federation I feel priviliged for this life experience. To have been a member of a very unique contactee group, sharing the members mindset and activities have been an invaluable asset in understanding contactee cases. It was also an excellent lesson in what esotericists would call discrimination or development of the critical faculty. What Sten told me in interviews and personal conversations was often different from what he claimed in his lectures, writings TV- and radio appearances. His activities and statements were sometimes fantastic and without foundation. In 1985 Sten told me during a private conversation that he felt disappointed, abandoned and used by the space people. After BEA had left Sweden he received no information and planned to end his UFO activity.
So what was the real truth behind the enigmatic BEA? I have no definite answer. It was either a result of Sten´s ability to project fantasies on ordinary people and events or perhaps he really was involved in a psychological contact experiment initiated by a benevolent alien group? Sten Lindgren was, and is, a gentle soul, a mystic, idealist and a man of true goodwill. Even if his contact claims were fantasies his philosophy was a worthy mixture of contactee philosophy and esotericism. He was a deep inspiration for my contactee research and involvement in the UFO movement. Whatever the truth of his stories he was a positive catalyst in my life. In his own special way a guide and mentor that put me on a quest that still continue. For this I will be forever grateful.