The Andreasson Affair is more than just a classic example of a close encounter. It is—to use the jargon of ufologists—a case of such “high strangeness” that even the most open-minded investigators were at first inclined to dismiss it out of hand. Yet it has become probably the best documented case of its kind to date, the subject of an intensive 12-month investigation conducted for the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) that involved, among other things, the recording of large quantities of testimony given under hypnosis, extensive lie detector testing of witnesses, detailed analysis of corroborative circumstantial evidence, exhaustive comparison with other such accounts, and much more.
The Andreasson Affair includes:
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About the Author
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Prologue to the Incredible
In retrospect, Betty Ann Andreasson considered herself something of a tomboy. The minute she arrived home from school, she'd change clothes and head for pond or brook, field or wood, of rural Massachusetts. "I'd stick my feet in the pond edge or walk through the brook's thick mud. Every season felt so alive to me. I felt as if I was part of it. Even now, I feel total recall. The joy of standing by the cool rushing stream, with soft white dew-covered flowers, and skunk cabbage clustered in the swamp close-by." Betty loved to feast on wild blackberries, blueberries, plums, hazelnuts, and elderberries. "I used to climb large hemlock trees and pick lady's slippers, jack-in-the-pulpit, trilliums, mountain laurel. I would go deep into the woods and stay almost 'til dark. I was never afraid there. It was so peaceful."
At 17 she became engaged to James Andreasson, 21, who had been in the Navy for four years. They were married on June 13, 1954, in Fitchburg. A year later, their first child, Becky, was born, and six other children followed swiftly after.
Finding a house to accommodate their family had been no easy task. Finally they bought a "handyman special," for no money down, in South Ashburnham, a small town in northern Massachusetts. James, although a pipe fitter by trade, used his natural expertise in carpentry to make the former farmhouse comfortable for the bustling family. They tore down a crumbling wraparound porch and repainted the walls inside and out. (See Figure 1 on page 19.)
South Ashburnham is typical of many New England towns. Rolling wooded hills and bordering lakes have gradually surrendered to the Cape Cod houses, ranches, and mobile homes that have usurped their territory, but remnants of a once-active farming community are still evident. Abandoned orchards, tottering barns, and ivy-covered, gray stone walls all bear silent witness to another day. The Andreasson children — Becky, age 11; James, age 10; Mark, age 9; Scott, age 7; Todd, age 6; Bonnie, age 4; and Cindy, age 3 — became accustomed to the neighborhood, enjoying the company of their newfound friends.
Secure in her vibrant Christian faith that had grown stronger over the years, Betty sought to instill the same faith and ideals within her own family. Each Sunday, Betty marshaled her well-scrubbed children to the local community church. "The house and yard were always filled with children. We would sing songs and tell stories from the Bible and have fresh-baked cookies and milk."
But 1966 had been a disrupted Christmas for the Andreasson family, and prospects for the new year of 1967 did not look bright. On December 23, two days before Christmas, a woman had pulled out of a blind side street and collided with the rear of James's gray Volkswagen sedan, sending him into a head-on collision with an oncoming automobile. Severely injured in the crash, James would need weeks in intensive care in the hospital, followed by months in traction.
Eleven-year-old Becky was a great help to her mother in dealing with the many needs of her younger brothers and sisters. But with the prospects of James Andreasson being hospitalized for many months and of Betty being faced with a host of responsibilities her husband had usually shouldered, extra help was desperately needed. Such were the circumstances that prompted Betty's parents to join the busy household to lend a helping hand.
Betty's father, Waino Aho, had immigrated from Finland as a young child when his family, seeking better opportunities in the United States, bought and worked a dairy farm in Massachusetts. Later, while on Army leave from Fort Devens, Massachusetts, Waino had met his future wife, Eva, a native New Englander. Betty was the second-to-youngest of Aho's five offspring.
By mid-January, Betty's own seven children had become used to a new schedule of early suppers, designed to allow their mother a nightly visit with her husband at the local hospital. January 25 was one of those days when the warm promise of spring hung dreamily in the air. The snow that had blanketed the ground for more than a month had all but vanished. Much later, under hypnosis, Becky would recall that on that balmy afternoon, she and her girlfriend had been playing in the nearby orchard. They were climbing one of the apple trees when her mother's call to supper echoed up into the orchard.
About an hour later, after eating and helping with the dishes, Becky went out again. But now, as the last vestiges of daylight melted into the darkness, the mild temperature of the afternoon dropped rapidly, and Becky soon returned inside. Already pools of mist were beginning to collect in the hollows around the old farmhouse, bringing the promise of a foggy night.
As on most evenings, James, Jr., Mark, Scott, Todd, and Bonnie had all been fed and dressed for bed and were watching television — on this evening, Bozo the Clown. Three-year-old Cindy was curled up on her grandmother's lap. Betty was in the kitchen, finishing up a few remaining chores.
Suddenly the electric lights began to flicker hesitantly and then blinked out, throwing the house into darkness and confusion, and sending frightened children scurrying into the kitchen to find their mother. Almost at the same time, the family saw a curious pink light shining through the kitchen window
Ten years later, under hypnosis, Betty and Becky Andreasson would describe the scene as follows:
Betty: Suddenly the lights were off, and we wondered: What was it? And we looked over and there was a — by the window, the small kitchen window — I can see like a light, sort of pink right now. And now the light is getting brighter. It's reddish-orange, and it's pulsating. I said to the children, "Be quiet, and quick, get in the living room, and whatever it is will go away." It seemed like the whole house had a vacuum over it. Like stillness all around — like stillness.
Becky: The next thing I knew, Mom was going, "Shhh! Be quiet!" There's some huge pulsating glow that was out in the kitchen. It was outside. Like a big glow!
The Andreasson kitchen had become a kaleidoscope of reflected color and dancing shadows keeping cadence with the flashing light. As the frightened Betty herded her excited children back into the living room, Betty's father hurried into the kitchen to see what was going on. Glancing into the backyard through the pantry window, Waino Aho stared out in disbelief.
What he saw is best described in his own signed statement. Despite the shaky handwriting, the old man's words carry a ring of conviction that is at odds with their bizarre import:
These creatures that I saw through the window of Betty's house were just like Halloween freaks. I thought they had put on a funny kind of headdress imitating a moon man. It was funny the way they jumped one after the other — just like grasshoppers. When they saw me looking at them, they stopped ... the one in front looked at me and I felt kind of queer. That's all I knew.
The Andreasson Affair had begun.
This book you are about to read deals with what is known, in the terminology of UFO investigators, as a CE-IV — a Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the title of the spectacular movie about UFOs, is a designation originated by Dr. J. Allen Hynek to describe specific types of UFO reports. In all, Dr. Hynek has coined six major categories:
NL — Nocturnal Light: lights seen in the night sky
DD — Daylight Discs: distant disc-like objects seen during the day
RV — Radar/Visual: UFOs seen by radar and vision simultaneously
CE-I — Close Encounter of the First Kind: a UFO seen within 500 feet
CE-II — Close Encounter of the Second Kind: a CE-I that leaves physical traces
CE-III — Close Encounter of the Third Kind: a CE-I with humanoid occupants seen
The Andreasson Affair is more than just a classic example of a CE-IV, however. It is — again to use the jargon of the Ufologists — a case of such "high strangeness" that even the most open-minded investigators were at first inclined to dismiss it out of hand. Yet it has become probably the best documented case of its kind to date, the subject of an intensive 12-month investigation conducted for the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) that involved, among other things, the recording of large quantities of testimony given under hypnosis, extensive lie detector testing of witnesses, detailed analysis of corroborative circumstantial evidence, careful character checks (see Appendix A), exhaustive comparison with other CE-IV accounts, and much more.
The results of this investigation filled three volumes of a 528-page confidential report. But even after our disbelief had given way under the sheer weight of the supporting evidence, there remained (and remains) some baffling problems of interpretation. At certain points, Betty's narrative seems to deal with a reality so alien that it can be described only in metaphors, and perhaps only understood in terms of an altered state of consciousness.
Because this book is also the story of how the Andreasson family's account was investigated and substantiated, perhaps I should begin by explaining how I, though skeptical at first, came to be involved.
My own interest in the whole phenomenon of UFOs dates back to the late 1940s, when I began collecting and studying everything I could about the subject before joining the Air Force in January 1952. Since I had an amateur radio license and obtained high scores in radio/electronics, the Air Force chose to send me to a special school involving electronic espionage, after which I was assigned to the United States Air Force Security Service under the auspices of the National Security Agency. My involvement brought me in contact with information that indicated that the military took UFOs very seriously indeed.
I was honorably discharged as an Airman First Class in December of 1955. In 1960 my continuing interest in UFOs prompted me to become an associate member of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP). In 1963 I began conducting personal on-site inquiries into local UFO sightings, submitting written reports of my investigations to NICAP and to the U.S. Air Force on an unsolicited basis. Later, I became an official NICAP investigator and in November of 1964, became chairman of this group.
My report on a classical UFO sighting that took place at Exeter, New Hampshire, instigated John G. Fuller's well-known book Incident at Exeter and became a major topic of discussion during the first open congressional hearings on UFOs in April 1966. In 1971 I became Massachusetts state director for an international group called the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). While remaining with NICAP as a consultant, I also became a scientific associate/investigator for the Center for UFO Studies, directed by Dr. J. Allen Hynek, who formerly had served the U.S. Air Force Projects Sign, Grudge, and Blue Book as chief astronomical consultant for about 20 years.
In 1975 MUFON appointed me as national director of investigations. One of my first tasks concerning this new assignment was to write and edit a detailed UFO investigators' field manual, which was published in 1975 and has since been adopted for use by the Center for UFO Studies and other groups abroad. The manual closely followed many of the investigative procedures recommended by Dr. Hynek.
Unfortunately, many sightings in all categories go unreported to official agencies. It is estimated that only 10 percent of all witnesses to UFO sightings ever file a report. And the stranger the experience, the less likely it will be reported. CE-IVs may be the key to the entire UFO mystery, but of all categories of reports, they are the most inherently unbelievable and the most difficult to verify. And to complicate the problem, the memories of witnesses to a CE-IV often seem to have suffered a strangely selective amnesia. In abduction cases particularly, most witnesses recollect only a close-up UFO sighting. A few may remember seeing alien creatures, but rarely do they recall many details. The actual contact or abduction experience has somehow been erased — perhaps mercifully so — from their conscious minds. Later, vague flashbacks, dreams, and intuitive feelings cause witnesses to suspect that something unusual has happened to them. And nonetheless, details of the abduction experience remain locked in the deepest recesses of their minds.
Where does someone go to report a UFO experience so bizarre that one hesitates to discuss it with either family or friends? Where does one turn when government officials have publicly decreed that UFOs do not exist? Such was the plight of the Andreasson family. During the following years, the hazy yet vivid experience had weighed heavily on the thoughts of Betty. Her daughter Becky thought it had been a bad dream, and yet it seemed so real. At times, Betty would receive mental flashbacks concerning the weird episode. Provocative insights and alien scenes surfaced momentarily from her subconscious, only to slip away as her conscious mind sought to retain them.
Thus in 1974, when the National Enquirer solicited firsthand UFO accounts for consideration by a panel of scientists, Betty was one of those who responded, hesitantly reporting the vague details that she remembered. Her reply was a form letter from the Enquirer expressing no interest in the incident, frustrating Betty's hopes of casting light on what had happened to her family.
Then in August 1975, she read an article about the Center for UFO Studies in a local newspaper. The news story reported that Center Director Dr. J. Allen Hynek was requesting UFO reports for scientific study. Betty sat down and penned a fateful letter, describing the sketchy details of what seemed to have been a CE-IV:
To Dr. Hynek: August 20, 1975
I am so happy to read someone is finally studying about UFOs. Now I can tell someone of ... my experience ... an encounter in 1967 with UFO occupants....
Dr. Hynek received Betty's letter and filed it for some months before resurrecting it and sending it to MUFON's Humanoid Study Group, which had requested copies of all such CE-IV cases from the files of the Center for UFO Studies in order to prepare a computer-generated listing.
After some discussion, the study group decided that Mrs. Andreasson's account might be worth looking into. Because Betty's UFO experience had occurred in Massachusetts, the study group had asked MUFON investigators in that state to enquire into the case for them. In January 1977 Field Investigator Jules Vaillancourt initiated an investigation.
It soon became evident that to produce any meaningful results, we would have to be able to unlock whatever memories were still buried in Betty's and Becky's unconscious minds. We recalled that a similar problem had come up with the classic UFO abduction case involving Betty and Barney Hill that was described in John Fuller's The Interrupted Journey. Although remembering an initial CE-IV, the Hills nevertheless could not account for a portion of time immediately afterward. It was recommended that they secure the services of a psychiatrist, Benjamin Simon, MD, and during the course of his treatment, Dr. Simon used hypnotic regression to help the Hills consciously recall the missing hours. A similar procedure seemed indicated for the Andreasson Affair.
Harold J. Edelstein, who directs the New England Institute of Hypnosis, is one of few persons who have pursued the art of hypnosis as a full-time career. Patients are referred to him from a number of local hospitals, including the Sydney Farber Cancer Center and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Psychiatric Department. In addition to his work within the institute, he serves as staff member to Comprehensive Psychological Services (Burlington, Massachusetts) and as faculty instructor at three colleges, and also serves a number of law-enforcement agencies. Harold is, in short, a well-recognized expert in the practical use of hypnosis.
He became involved as a consultant in UFO research through the influence of one of our MUFON investigators, Merlyn Sheehan. (While being treated for cancer at the New England Baptist Hospital, Merlyn's doctor referred her to Dr. Edelstein to relieve the nauseating side effects of chemotherapy treatments.) Though this was Harold's first experience with a UFO investigation, his warm personality and keen insight into human behavior soon enabled him to establish complete trust on the part of Becky and Betty — no simple task, as both women initially had severe misgivings about hypnosis.
Both Betty and Becky were good subjects, and after a few sessions, it would only take a few minutes to put either of them in a deep trance. Dr. Edelstein feels it would be unethical to describe in a book for general readers the exact methodology that he used to induce hypnosis. I can report, however, that he employed such devices as key words and slight pressure with his hands. (I remember that he once pointed his finger at Betty to show us her reaction: She went out like a light, and her body went limp like a rag doll.) During deep trance hypnotic regression sessions, Betty and Becky relived their traumatic experience in great detail. They each expressed natural apprehension, fear, wonder, concern, pain, and joy. Their facial expressions, voice tones, and tears were obviously genuine.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Andreasson Affair"
Copyright © 2015 Raymond E. Fowler and Betty Andreasson.
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Table of Contents
Foreword J. Allen Hynek 15
Chapter 1 Prologue to the Incredible 21
Chapter 2 Uninvited Visitors 31
Chapter 3 On Board 43
Chapter 4 The Examination 57
Chapter 5 Trip to an Alien Realm 73
Chapter 6 A Vision of the Phoenix 101
Chapter 7 The Return 113
Chapter 8 Quazgaa's Farewell 129
Chapter 9 Messages for Humankind? 147
Chapter 10 The Blue Book 163
Chapter 11 Preliminary Correlations 177
Chapter 12 Hints of an Earlier Encounter 203
Epilogue: A New Investigation 213
Appendix A Additional Biographical Data for Principals in the Andreasson Affair 233
Appendix B Rekindled Memories 243
Appendix C Fred Youngren's Reconstructions 247
Appendix D A Fifth Entity? 251
About the Author 271