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.
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.
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.
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!”
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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