Androids Amok in Argentina

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In 1963, Eugenio Douglas was allegedly attacked by a UFO and chased by robot-like aliens in Argentina.

On October 12, 1963, in the middle of a terrible storm around 3 AM, Mateo Manocchio and his wife, children, and sister were driving home from a visit to the countryside in Monte Maiz, Argentina. Mateo’s brother, Ricardo, was following the family in a separate car. (Sounds like the opening scene of a horror movie, I know.)

While passing along a cemetery road, the Manocchios noticed a strong beam of white light shining behind them. The family figured it came from a̶ ̶g̶h̶o̶s̶t̶ ̶c̶a̶r̶ Ricardo’s headlights, but the light suddenly went out by the time they reached the entrance of Monte Maiz. Mateo, worried, turned the car around to look for his brother.

After backtracking, the Manocchios found Uncle Ricardo perfectly fine. He’d fallen behind, was all. But where did the white light come from? The family wasn’t sure. Ricardo, in fact, had no idea what they were talking about. He hadn’t seen any strange light. The Manocchios shrugged their shoulders and continued on.

Coming into town, however, things only got weirder. Monte Maiz had lost its power and the lights were out. Confused citizens found a hysterical, blanket-wrapped man, running around in the rain, waving a revolver and firing shots. The gunman begged for help, so some presumably terrified bystanders redirected him to the police. 

The man’s name was Eugenio Douglas. He was a 48-year-old truck driver from the city of Venado Tuerto, and he had a perfectly good explanation for why he was publicly shooting and waving his gun like a maniac: He’d been chased by robots and a UFO. 

Hours earlier, Douglas was carefully driving his truck on the slippery road when a red light suddenly flashed in front of him. Startled, Douglas let go of the wheel, sending his truck into a ditch. 

The crash was bad. Douglas briefly lost consciousness, but he wasn’t hurt. He also found that his truck wouldn’t start. Grabbing his revolver, which he kept in the case of a hijacking, Douglas hopped out of the truck to see what happened. 

Far off in the distance, Douglas noticed a kind of vehicle giving off a white light. A door opened, two human-like figures stepping out of it. The light shut off, hiding the figures in the darkness.

A few minutes later, a new light appeared from the opposite side of the road. This light beamed itself at Douglas and prickled his face and hands with a burning sensation. A UFO then appeared with two more goddamn shining lights. Douglas justly shot at these never-ending lights, at which point they disappeared. 

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Just when the UFO was gone, Douglas realized there were three or four figures around him. He couldn’t see their faces too well in the dark, but they were “robot-like” humanoids, with helmets and antennas. Unfortunately for Douglas, these aliens decided the harassment wouldn’t stop until there was a long chase scene. 

Running for his life from the robots, Douglas was every now and then attacked by a red light. It blinded and burned him, so to protect his body, he covered himself with a blanket he’d been carrying. As he ran, it became apparent that there was a UFO in the sky, flying over him.

Douglas jolted through the cemetery and didn’t stop running until he got to Monte Maiz. By the time he’d reached the town, the robots and UFO were gone. Back at the police station, police were skeptical of Douglas’s story, dismissing him as a lying drunk. In the morning, they took him to see a doctor, Francisco Davolos.

Davolos wasn’t impressed much with the story either, but he found the wounds on Douglas’s face strange. They looked like signs of erysipelas (a kind of skin infection) rather than burn marks. Since the police were so disinterested, Davolos only ran a few basic tests on Douglas. Save for the marks, which vanished after a few days of ointment treatment, there was nothing unusual about him. 

Later, the police went to look for Douglas’s truck. It was stuck in a ditch, just as he had said. The authorities also found footprints, confirming the chase part of the story. I’ve read in some places that the footprints were misshaped or obviously nonhuman, but this isn’t true. Douglas was running alone.

In later years, rumors sprang up that Eugenio Douglas, Francisco Davolos, and a few members of the Manocchio died from being exposed to radiation from the lights of the UFO. These rumors aren’t true either. In the 1980s, investigators tracked down the major characters here and found them all alive and well. Even Douglas, at the age of 72, was in fine health.

So what on earth do we make of Eugenio Douglas’s story of burning red lights and angry stalking androids? Firstly, I don’t buy the idea that the light the Manocchios saw didn’t come from a car. It was raining and foggy, so perhaps they weren’t seeing clearly.

Secondly, Monte Maiz losing power was a weird coincidence. The power plant was having technical difficulties that night because their equipment was old and outdated. According to an employee named Bonifacio Fernandez, the power had already gone out multiple times that day, long before Douglas’s arrival.

Lastly, Douglas’s solitary footprints should be taken as proof that he was alone that night. Since he apparently ran for hours, I do think he BELIEVED he was being chased. The culprits were not extraterrestrials, however, but hallucinations. Douglas might have been physically unharmed from his crash, but what about mentally? Such a close encounter with death might have sent him into a terrible shock, which could also explain the hysteria he exhibited in Monte Maiz.

 

 

 

Check out my book “Mexico’s Unsolved Mysteries: True Stories of Ghosts, Monsters, and UFOs from South of the Border” for more interesting mysteries of the Spanish-speaking world.  You can buy the book on Kindle here. 

 

Bipedal Octopus Dwarves from Beyond the Stars

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Drawings by Yoshihiro Fujiwara of the aliens he saw in 1974.

Part of the fun in reading UFO stories, at least for me, is the descriptions of the aliens themselves. Outside of the usual grays and reptilians, I’ve heard stories of aliens who resemble robots, praying mantises, elves, demons, and perhaps freakiest of all, Scandinavians. When there are pictures of the weirder ones available, I save them to a folder on my computer. Lately, I’ve had the pleasure of adding a new species to my collection: bipedal octopus dwarves.

The fine creatures you see above come to us from The Nikoro Incident, a series of encounters that took place in Japan in April 1974. According to an article from a contemporary ufology magazine, Yoshihiro Fujiwara was a 28-year-old man who lived in Kitami, a city in Hokkaido. On April 6, 1974, at 3 AM, Fujiwara’s sleep was disturbed by a sound in his genkan, the traditional entryway in a Japanese home.

When Fujiwara went to investigate the sound, he found that his visitor was a three foot tall alien. Though he tried to make a run for it, Fujiwara was suddenly whisked off his feet and levitated to an orange-colored UFO hovering over a field outside.

Once he got to the UFO, Fujiwara was able to jump off and run to a neighbor’s house for help. Nothing out of the ordinary happened again until the evening, when Fujiwara developed psychic abilities. He now had the awe-inspiring power of bending spoons, and he could also talk to the aliens he saw earlier by telepathy. After two days, and what had to have been a countless number of mind-texts, the aliens told Fujiwara that they wanted to meet again.

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A drawing by Yoshihiro Fujiwara of the UFO he saw and later rode in.

At 6:30 PM that night, Fujiwara and two of his friends showed up at the assigned meeting spot, Nikoro Mountain. For whatever reason, Fujiwara’s pals stayed behind, and he went into the mountain alone. There he was picked up by the UFO for a second time, and treated to a trip to outer space. In only an hour-and-a-half, Fujiwara was flown around the moon once, circled around the Earth twice, and then sent back home.

Once back on Earth, Fujiwara’s charitable hosts threw his ass out to the ground so hard that he lost consciousness. Fortunately, he was rescued by a search party, and was apparently well enough to get picked up again on April 13. On this last trip, Fujiwara was flown to a planet that the aliens identified as Jupiter. For proof, he was given an ultra rare Jupiter rock, presumably the only one on the giant gas planet.

Kinichi Arai, the author of my source here, offered some evidence in his article to corroborate Fujiwara’s outlandish account. The night of Fujiwara’s first encounter, for example, a junior high school student named Miyuki Fujita was woken up by a light shining outside her window. Fujita didn’t get up to see where the light was coming from, but she said it was brighter than the moon. Among other things, there were also witnesses who claimed to see Fujiwara’s spoon bending powers and the UFO.

Briefly poking through this case, however, The Nikoto Incident isn’t credible at all. Spoon bending has been repeatedly debunked as an illusion, and though witnesses might have backed up Fujiwara’s UFO, they had no physical evidence. The biggest hole in the story, of course, comes from the third encounter. As everyone knows, Jupiter is a gas planet, and testing showed that Fujiwara’s ultra rare Jupiter rock was actually an extremely common Earth one.

Though it grieves me to say it, bipedal octopus dwarves from beyond the stars don’t really exist. On the bright side, at least I have a cool new picture in my folder. 

Edit (5/19/17): What do you guys think the Nikoro aliens look like? I’m getting debates about their appearance in my inbox! One source on this English language page describes them as “starfish-like,” another calls them “toad-like.” On the other hand, this Japanese page also describes them as octopuses, while another Japanese page says they seem to resemble true toads.

Be sure to check out more weird Japanese mysteries in my e-book, 20 Unsolved Mysteries of Japan, available on Amazon for Kindle.

 

 

 

 

 

The Airline Stewardess who Starved Herself to Death for Aliens

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A picture of Gloria Lee from her first book, “Why We Are Here.”

In September 1953, 28-year-old Gloria Lee began to hear a strange voice in her head. Fortunately, the voice didn’t claim to be a manifestation of schizophrenia, but a telepathic communication from Jupiter by an alien named J.W. (The Jovians were so utterly advanced that they had no use for names or vocal cords.) Lee, an airline stewardess who had a great interest in UFOs, was understandably thrilled with her psychic visitor. She’d heard stories from pilots and other stewardesses about flying saucers, but in her five years of experience had never actually seen one herself.

Imagine Lee’s disappointment, then, when J.W. refused to physically show himself to her. “Frankly,” she wrote in her first book, I was just plain disgusted J.W. didn’t “drop in for a visit” if he was who he said he was.” For months, Lee decided to ignore J.W., until one day she was hanging laundry outside her home in Westchester, California and suddenly heard a voice telling her to look up.

Not sure what to expect, Lee followed the command, and spotted a giant UFO flying northward. After hearing there were other witnesses who saw the object in near-by Redondo Beach, Lee’s faith was restored, and she took up talking to J.W. again. To further develop her powers, Lee also attended a “psychic development” class. Lee never claimed to have physically met or seen J.W., but a classmate did once sketch his picture after supposedly seeing him stand behind Lee in class.

While this experience by itself was enough to convince Lee, she still had nothing to offer to any skeptics. “I have talked to him in materialized form and via direct voice control, ” she admitted, “but for those of you who may still doubt the existence of a person named J.W., I can give you no concrete proof which would satisfy only the five senses.” Among the 1950s contactee movement, no concrete proof was needed, and Lee put out a popular book in 1959 originally entitled “Why We Are Here: by J.W., A Being from Jupiter Through the Instrumentation of Gloria Lee.”  (The book was allegedly written by J.W., who communicated it to Lee by automatic writing.)

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Lee took her work with J.W. very seriously, lecturing about her communications and even founding an organization called the Cosmon Research Foundation to promote his teachings. On September 23, 1962, J.W. ordered Lee to go on a hunger strike after some government officials in Washington D.C. declined to see her channeled blueprints for a spaceship. The strike was held for world peace, and Lee said she wouldn’t stop until the “light elevator” J.W. promised her would appear on earth to take her to Jupiter.

As everybody else expected, J.W.’s light elevator never arrived, and Lee’s hunger strike lasted for 66 days until her husband William H. Byrd had her hospitalized. Sadly, Lee didn’t recover, and she died in George Washington University Hospital on December 3. This was not, however, the last we would ever hear of Gloria Lee.

 

Shamelessly, or perhaps ingeniously from a marketing perspective, the clairvoyant Nada-Yolanda claimed to have come into psychic contact with Lee two months after her death. In January 1963, she and her publishing company Mark Age, Inc. released “Gloria Lee Lives! My Experiences Since Leaving Earth, Lee’s posthumous account of life on Venus. Mark Age would later release several other books of telepathic messages from Lee, and while these are now long out of print, you can still pick up new copies of Lee’s and J.W.’s first book on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

The Disappearance of Rivalino Mafra da Silva: Alien Abduction or Foul Play?

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Depiction of Rivalino Mafra da Silva’s abduction on an Italian magazine.

Rivalino Mafra da Silva was a Brazilian diamond prospector who lived in Diamantino, a town in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. Rivalino’s wife had died in 1961, and he raised his three sons Raimundo (12-years-old), Fatimo (6-years-old), and Dirceu (2-years-old) by himself in a shack. On August 19, 1962, the family was woken up during the middle of the night by a shadow in their shared bedroom. According to Raimundo, the shadow was “half the size of a man and not shaped like a human being.” It quietly moved through the room, looked over the Mafras, and then left their house. 

After the shadow left, the Mafras heard voices and footsteps coming from outside. One of the voices said, “This seems to be Rivalino,” and then Rivalino jumped out of bed and went into the living-room. He asked the voices who they were, but they refused to identify themselves. They told Rivalino that they were going to kill him. Eventually, the voices stopped and seemed to have left, but the Mafras couldn’t sleep after this incident. They were so scared that they prayed all night.

In the morning, while fetching his dad’s horse, Raimundo saw two ball-like objects hovering in the air near the family shack. One of the objects was entirely black in color, the other was black and white. Both objects had antennae and tail-like appendages. They also made humming noises, and flashes of light or fire came out from their backs.

Raimundo shouted for his father, and when Rivalino came outside, the two objects combined into one ball and released a yellow smoke. The smoke covered Rivalino and filled the air with a terrible odor. When the smoke cleared a minute later, Rivalino and the ball-like object were gone. Raimundo looked all over for his father, but couldn’t find him. He ran to the local police station and reported what happened. When the police searched the Mafras’ shack, they found drops of human blood, although it couldn’t be determined whether it belonged to Rivalino.

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Drawing by Raimundo of the objects he saw.

Naturally, the authorities didn’t buy Raimundo’s incredible story. They suspected that he killed his father, or perhaps was covering up for the murderer. Joao Antunes de Oliveira, a psychiatrist, thought that Raimundo was perfectly sane. He seemed to truly believe that he saw a ball-like object abduct his father. The police didn’t buy it though. In a cruel trick, they covered a (still living) volunteer with a sheet and told Raimundo that it was Rivalino’s dead body. Raimundo still refused to take back his account. In tears, he insisted that the story was true and that the ball must have returned his father.

While some believed the boy, other residents sided with the police. Elagmano Marques da Costa, a businessman in the area, thought Mafra ran off and abandoned his sons. One popular rumor suggested that he was murdered. Perhaps Raimundo saw the shadows and voices of the murderers, but hallucinated the rest of the incident due to shock. While he might have been deemed sane, Raimundo wasn’t in the best of health. He was badly malnourished, illiterate, and couldn’t even read a clock. Interestingly, Raimundo related the same story over and over. His account is said to have never changed, perhaps confirming the psychiatrists’ observation that he believed what he saw. (Or, if you will, the veracity of Raimundo’s testimony.)

Five days after his father’s disappearance, Raimundo gave an interview to the press. The next day, an article about the story appeared in the newspaper Diario de Minas. A Rio de Janiero-based paper, Tribuna da Imprensa, covered the case on August 29. In a September article for The A.P.R.O Bulletin entitled “Man Kidnapped by Globes,” Olavo T. Fontes translated Raimundo’s press interview, the first report of the case in English-speaking media. Many other articles and books, as listed here, have since covered Rivalino Mafra da Silva’s disappearance, but with distortions and inaccuracies.

One common piece of apocrypha, missing from the earliest sources, concerns alien dwarves.  Slightly before Rivalino’s disappearance, two of his co-workers are said to have seen a pair of three foot-tall beings while walking past his house. The dwarves were digging a hole, and when spotted, ran into the bushes. A red UFO then emerged from the hiding spot and took off into the sky. Others claim that it was Rivalino himself who saw the dwarves.

Many English sources also neglect the fact that Rivalino’s body might possibly have been found. In October 1963, A Estrela Polar reported that a group of hunters found bones near Rivalino’s house in “a place of difficult access.” Due to the belt that was found with the remains, along with the location, the body was identified as Rivalino’s. Of course, some have questioned whether the bones really were Rivalino’s, but this was enough to (partly) satisfy the foul play theory. To my knowledge, however, nobody could come up with the names of the murderers.  Whatever exactly happened to the Mafra boys after their father’s disappearance is also obscure; Raimundo is said to have died in 2001, and the whereabouts of Fatimo and Dirceu are unknown.

 

 

 

 

Ochate: Aliens, Epidemics, and a Possible Hoaxer

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The ruins of Ochate.

According to legend, the little Spanish village of Ochate was struck by three different epidemics in a period of only ten years. The village suffered a deadly outbreak of smallpox in 1860, and the population was further devastated after being hit by typhus in 1864. A final attack of cholera in 1870 encouraged the last few survivors to leave Ochate for good. Amazingly, none of the other villages in the area were touched by the epidemics. Only the people of Ochate were affected.

Ochate, a Basque word meaning “secret door,” has sat in ruins ever since. A variety of different paranormal activity is said to haunt the place, from ghostly voices that shout for visitors to leave and “close the door” to mysterious lights and passing UFOs. As infamous as the place is today, it was relatively obscure until the magazine “Unknown World” published a picture of a UFO taken above the village in 1981. The photographer, a bank employee named Prudencio Muguruza,  later wrote a popular article about Ochate and its legends three months later in the same magazine.

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Prudencio Muguruza’s picture on the cover of “Unknown World.” (The article about the story translates to “UFO in Treviño.”)

Nobody’s quite sure about the meaning of Ochate’s name, but some paranormal enthusiasts believe the village is a “door” to another dimension.  In 1868, four years after the typhus epidemic, a local priest named Antonio Villegas vanished without a trace. About a century later, in the early 1970s, a farmer passing through the area also inexplicably disappeared. In August 1978, a man named Angel Resines saw a white light emerge from Ochate and break into three other lights. As he hid in his shed, Resines watched the lights fly into some mountains and disappear.

In 1987, a researcher pursuing the dimension gateway theory committed suicide while conducting a group investigation in Ochate. Why the researcher decided to do it here isn’t particularly clear, but he apparently killed himself in his car by carbon monoxide poisoning. The man’s ghost is now said to haunt the town. Later that year, another investigator named Mikel Colmenero claimed to have seen two human-like beings dressed in black suits and standing at least ten feet tall. Colmenero watched the creatures pass by in his car, so terribly frightened that he couldn’t bring himself to move.

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Another picture of some ruins in Ochate.

Other paranormal researchers who have investigated Ochate have run into nothing out of the ordinary. Some believe there’s nothing supernatural about the town at all. There aren’t any historical records, for example, that can verify the mysterious epidemics that destroyed Ochate in the 19th century. One skeptic, Enrique Echazarra, traced an 80-year-old man who lived in the town before the Spanish Civil War. Echazarra said in an interview with the Spanish newspaper ABC that the man “was very surprised at what was said about his town. He said that there had never been any witches, ghosts, or UFOs.”

It seems that Ochate was only abandoned during the first three or so decades of the 20th century. By the early 1930s, the population had fallen to only four inhabitants. Prudencio Muguruza, the man who popularized Ochate, has been accused of making stories up and faking his UFO picture. In 2014, Muguruza published a book about Ochate in which he claimed that aliens became stranded in the village in the 13th century. Some of the aliens died and were buried in an Ochate cemetery, while the survivors were eventually saved by a UFO that rescued them 34 years later. Alternatively, Muguruza also reported an even stranger second theory, in which the aliens fought the Templars.

Luis Alfonso Gámez, a journalist and blogger, has accused Muguruza of making a living off exploiting believers’ naivety. After popularizing his UFO picture, Muguruza sold the negative and quit his job. He opened a bookstore, made media appearances as a ufologist, and later dabbled in parapsychology. Of course, other people have reported seeing strange things in Ochate, and they haven’t made a living off it. Perhaps these witnesses really do believe they encountered ghosts, lights, and UFOs. Personally, I’d say they misunderstood natural phenomena and tried reapplying local legends to make sense of what they saw. (Muguruza’s picture, for the record, is believed to be a cloud.)

Check out my book “Mexico’s Unsolved Mysteries: True Stories of Ghosts, Monsters, and UFOs from South of the Border” for more interesting mysteries of the Spanish-speaking world.  You can buy the book on Kindle here. 

The Alien Cyclops of Sagrada Familia

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Comic book depiction of the Sagrada Familia Cyclops, an alien encountered by three boys in Brazil in August 1963.

On August 28, 1963, 7-year-old José Marcos Gomes Vidal went to play with his friends Fernando and Ronaldo Gualberto at their home in Sagrada Familia, a poor neighborhood in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Around 7 PM, after eating dinner, the boys went out to the backyard to wash a coffee strainer. While Fernando stood a small distance behind him, José dipped his head and arms into a barrel to collect some water. (I believe Ronaldo was hanging around the side of the house, away from the other two boys.)  Suddenly, Fernando noticed a glow coming from the top of an avocado tree. When he looked up, he saw a UFO hovering above the tree’s branches.

The craft, which was spherical and had a pair of antennas on top, was completely transparent. It held four human-like passengers sitting inside, one of whom sat in front of a machine that appeared to be a control panel. The passengers were about six feet tall and dressed in spacesuits. They all four had only one eye. Three of them were thin and bald, while the other looked like an overweight woman with blonde hair.

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As Fernando gazed at the sight in awe, the UFO shot out two rays of yellow light. One of the cyclopes then appeared between the lights, slowly floating down onto the ground. Once his boots touched the earth, the creature began to walk toward José, who was completely unaware of what was happening since he was still collecting water. Worried that the cyclops was going to abduct his friend, Fernandos panicked and tackled José. José fell to the ground, and Fernando got back up and faced the cyclops. Now all three boys were aware of their visitor.

Instead of moving any farther, the cyclops moved his head and made hand signals. Its mouth moved and spoke a few sounds that was nothing like the boys ever heard before. The creature then turned around and stared back at the UFO. Fernando, spotting a brick on the ground, picked it up and aimed it at the cyclops. The cyclops suddenly faced the boys again and shot Fernando’s hand with a yellow light from a triangular crest on his chest. Fernando dropped the brick, and all three of the boys became calm and frozen.

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A newspaper photo of Fernando using a stick to show how tall the cyclops was.

The cyclops spent the next few minutes talking to the boys in his language. The boys didn’t understand anything that the cyclops said, but he sounded like he was serious. After pointing one of his fingers at the moon, the cyclops began to walk back toward the UFO. (One source places Fernando’s attempt to hit the creature with a brick at this later point.)

As the cyclops walked away, José asked if he would ever come back. He shook his head affirmatively, plucked a plant from the ground, and then waved his hand at the UFO. The UFO shot out two rays of yellow light again,  and the cyclops slowly floated back up into the vehicle. As the boys continued to watch, the UFO flew eastward and disappeared out of their sight.

After the UFO was gone, a wave of fear settled over the three boys. José ran into the Gualbertos’ house and hid under a bed. Fernando and Ronaldo were also badly spooked, and told their mother María José about what happened. She sent a neighbor girl to fetch her husband, Alcides, from the bar. When Alcides returned home to check the backyard, he found large footprints, like those of a boot, near the water barrel. José and his friends reportedly never saw the cyclopes again. While the case was at one point investigated by a Brazilian ufologist, it has remained mostly unknown to the wider world.

Did you find this article interesting? Be sure to share it on your social media and leave me any comments, questions, or theories you might have in the comments section. 

The Betty Andreasson Abduction

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In January 1967, Betty Andreasson was abducted by a group of aliens who told her that worshipped Jesus Christ.

Until January 25, 1967, Betty Andreasson was a pretty ordinary housewife living in South Ashburnham, Massachusetts. That night, around 6:30 PM, Betty was working in her kitchen when her house’s power went out for a brief second. As Betty rushed to her front room to check on her seven children, a red light suddenly flashed through the kitchen window and caught her father’s attention. When Betty’s father went up to the window to check out the source of the light, he saw a group of small gray aliens apparently hopping toward the house.

Once they reached Betty’s home, the aliens floated through the kitchen door and put everybody except Betty into a state of suspended animation. To show Betty that her family was all right, the aliens snapped her 11-year-old daughter Becky back into animation. Becky told her mother not to worry, and then the aliens froze her again. While communicating with Betty by telepathy, the aliens took her outside to a silver spacecraft. This smaller vehicle took off and entered a mothership.

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A drawing of the Andreasson aliens from one of the five books Raymond Fowler wrote about the case.

Over the course of four hours, Betty was subjected to some medical experiments and a surgery which removed a tracking-device that had been put in her nose in an earlier encounter that happened in 1950.  During her abduction, the aliens told Betty that they worshipped Jesus Christ. They claimed that the Second Coming would happen soon, and then they took Betty to a room where she talked to a tall being she would later call “The One”. After meeting The One, Betty was taken home and had her memory wiped clean. Her family was unfrozen, and aside from Becky, would forget everything they saw that night.

It wasn’t until years later, in the 1970s, that Betty would remember what happened to her. In 1975, Betty wrote a letter about her experience to J. Allen Hynek, a well-known astronomer and UFO investigator. Hynek had little interest in Betty’s incredible story, but a hypnotic session was eventually organized by a group of investigators in 1977. After more than a dozen sessions and some other tests, Betty and Becky were able to unravel what happened to their family that night in 1967. Betty also recovered memories about some incidents in 1944, 1949, and 1950, and the hypnotist, Raymond Fowler, soon came to believe that he was once abducted by aliens too.

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In 1979, Fowler turned the exhaustive notes taken of Betty’s experiences into a book called The Andreasson Affair. By that time, Betty was living in Florida with two of her daughters after a divorce from her husband. After her case became publicized, she met a man named Bob Luca, who also claimed to have some abduction experiences. (It seems like everybody Betty comes into contact with realizes they once had an abduction experience.) Betty and Bob were soon married, and their subsequent experiences have provided for four more books by Raymond Fowler. They are both still alive and active in the UFO community.

Due to the hundreds of pages of research that went into investigating Betty Andreasson’s experiences, her story has long been regarded by enthusiasts as one of the more credible abduction cases. There are plenty of troubling details and problems with her case, however, and I don’t just mean the part about the aliens practicing a 2,000-year-old religion whose holy book doesn’t even mention life on other planets.

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A sketch of the spaceship Andreasson went on-board.

As pointed out by Dr. Aaron Sakulich, of The Iron Skeptic, Betty’s description of her abductors is strange and inconsistent. Over the years, Betty went from describing the aliens’ eyes as white with pupils to being entirely black like the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The uniforms the aliens wore also don’t make much sense. According to Betty, they wore heavy boots, but what would have been the point since the aliens apparently floated everywhere? Furthermore, hypnosis sessions and “recovered” memories are notoriously unreliable and should not be taken as serious proof that an abduction actually happened.

In February 2007, Betty and Bob Luca’s son Robert Jr. announced that the Andreasson Affair was a hoax. In a 2,000 word email available on UFO UpDates, Robert Jr. claimed that his father was a compulsive liar who had drinking problems, while his mother needed “serious psychological help” and had “serious issues.” According to Robert Jr., Betty had been experiencing emotional shock because two of her sons had earlier died in a car accident. After meeting her second husband, Betty  would write about every dream she had as though it were an abduction, and Bob encouraged her and even manipulated investigators into believing the story.

At the end of his email, Robert Luca Jr. had this to say about his parents: “These two people have used the ufo society for years and only to gain book sales, money and own self satisfation of feeling as if they are in the public. They give people out there with real and true stories a big black eye!”

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The Andreasson Affair, the first of five books about the Betty Andreasson case written by Raymond Fowler, is currently the only book still in print.

I believe Robert Jr. had much more to say on his website, Luca Land, but this site is no longer available. Naturally, his accusations came as a great shock, and Betty’s defenders slammed him as a liar incapable of using spellcheck. (As you can see in the quote above, he wasn’t particularly strong on his grammar and spelling.) The official Andreasson Affair website has an open letter from Bob Luca rebuking his son’s claims. According to the elder Luca, his son was estranged from the family and struggled with drugs and alcohol. He also announced that his son was now deceased, although he didn’t specify the causes.

Personally, I have no idea whether Robert Luca Jr.’s claims were legitimate. But his comment about Betty’s emotional state is interesting and deserves some attention. From an interview on the UFO Case Book, Betty had this to say about how her experience and the publicity affected her family:

“Yes, many things changed in my family. My father passed on, my ex husband disappeared, my two sons died in an auto accident, my mother came to live with us, I moved to Florida with her and my two youngest daughters. I was told not to speak to any reporters. I had to sell my home, the children had to attend other schools. My whole life, and my family had changed and went through some very difficult times.”

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