personal library of a reader interested in the UFO subject
in general and the abduction phenomenon in particular
is complete without Ray Fowler's books. One reason the
so-called "Andreasson Affair" is
important to the study of the abduction issue is because
when the case was researched in the 1970s the patterns
later uncovered by other independent researchers were
unknown and much of this information was new. Some
of the details described by Betty Andreasson still
seem unique to this case, though increasing knowledge
about the phenomenon in later years meant that when
seen retrospectively many aspects are now seen to fit
a common pattern.
The book describes in detail a single extended event
which happened during the evening of 25 January 1967,
when Betty Andreasson was apparently abducted by five
small, hairless and large-eyed grey aliens from her
isolated house in South Ashburnham, Massachusetts,
whilst the rest of her extended family - with the exception
of her eldest daughter Becky, who witnessed and remembered
most of what happened inside the house - were "shut
down" for the duration. The report of the resulting
abduction qualifies as "high strangeness" by
any standards and at the time was unique and extraordinary.
There was extensive communication between Betty and
the entities and she was subjected to a real rollercoaster
ride, described in full in the book.
The incident took many years to reach investigators
because, as the author Ray Fowler states: "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." Eventually
a letter from Betty to J. Allen Hynek found its way
to Ray Fowler and a local MUFON investigative team
who thought it might be worth looking into. The case
is still one of the best documented ever because of
the large quantity of detailed recorded testimony,
extensive polygraph testing of the key witnesses, detailed
analysis of corroborative evidence, careful character
checks and comparison with other CE3 cases. The eventual
528-page report, signed by five investigators, was
distilled down to this 200-page book.
Betty Andreasson is a competent artist and the case
is also unusual because she was able to render her
memories of the aliens and their technology into detailed
drawings which, reproduced in full, add much to the
descriptive text in the book.
The story is problematic to some investigators because
Betty, a committed Christian, sees her experiences
through the prism of religious belief and of overriding
importance to her is to know if the alien entities
are "Angels" of God or "Demons" of
The Devil. In recent years it has been learned that
in order to ensure better compliance the aliens tend
to play to the belief-system and values of the abductee
to make the experience more acceptable, and they convinced
Betty she was having a positive, God-inspired encounter.
Ray Fowler wrote at least two follow-up books on the
Andreasson case, and it transpired that Betty's experience
was in fact more similar to others than was evident
when the story originally came to light, in that she
turned out like most abductees to have serial experiences.
The event described in this original book, the subject
of this review, was the "trigger event."
This landmark book should be read by anyone interested
in the abduction phenomenon and the history of its
investigation. It stands out amongst the plethora of
new-age mush and "channelled" nonsense in
being cautious, grounded and non-judgmental about the "strangeness" aspects.
Ray Fowler deserves major credit for sticking his neck
out and publishing this original account at a time
when he was virtually guaranteed controversy and even
ridicule no matter how rigorous the scientific method
employed and how careful the controls used. The introduction
to the book is written by J. Allen Hynek and that alone
should tell the reader that the content is likely to
be close to best scientific, investigative practice,
and so it proves.