ARCHIVES FOR UFO RESEARCH
UFO-Aktuellt issue 2/2002
Page 3: Editorial. Chairman Clas Svahn deals with the topic of conspiracy theories in this issue. Needless to say, Svahn is skeptical to such widespread theories such as the alleged hoaxed moon landing, and he says that he is troubled by society’s overall acceptance of pseudoscientific theories and conspiracies. Young people need to be taught critical thinking in school, especially when it comes to reacting to the ways media influences our lives. Critical thinking is a cornerstone in the philosophy of UFO Sweden, and fortunately Svahn never misses an opportunity to promote that.
Page 4-6: A world filled with conspiracies. Svahn explores the bizarre world of conspiracy theories, both foreign and domestic. Such theories, according to Svahn, are the way for the ones without power to describe their powerlessness, and thus EU (the European Union) for instance, is, by some, seen as an emerging super state out of reach for traditional democratic methods. In America, where various theories spread rapidly, people such as radio host Art Bell manages to convince the masses that everything is not quite as it seems when it comes to UFO sightings, strange vapor trails, and cattle mutilations (events he see as aliens cooperating with the U.S. government; CIA performing tests of chemical warfare on the population; and aliens procuring DNA for their experiments). The most debated theory today has, not very surprisingly, to do with the September 11th events in New York, where President Bush is accused of being the one responsible for the tragedy. Swedish theories are somewhat more submissive and have less adherents. The ones most well-known are the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme, the repeated violation of Swedish waters by Russian submarines, and the sinking of the ferry Estonia. The Big Conspiracy is very important to many people, since it wasn’t a lonely kook or lack of maintenance that resulted in the tragedies. Instead it was something bigger; something which makes the incomprehensible meaningful in all its tragedy.
Pages 7-11: A traditional saucer picture. A long article by British ufologists David Clarke and Andy Roberts , translated by Stefan Roslund. From time to time, UFO Sweden writes about older cases; "classics" within the UFO enigma. These cases are two of those, and the article is an excellent example of investigative ufology in its prime. Clarke and Roberts offer thorough analysis of the pictures taken by young Stephen Darbishire in Torver, England, in 1954. According to Desmond Leslie , Stephen felt (as have been reported on many occasions since) that he felt an "urge" to go outside. Eventually his friend noticed something in the sky, and Stephen snapped two pictures of it. They ran back to Stephen’s house and told Stephen’s father about it, and within days their former peaceful house had been invaded by journalists. The pictures, when developed, showed a traditional Adamski ship, and the story was told in numerous newspapers. However, over the years many ufologists have remarked on inconsistencies in the stories told, among others one testimony by Stephen which read: "after I’d taken the picture the flying saucer (which I now believed it to be) sped up into the clouds". This is remarkable, because at the time of the sighting Stephen claimed to know nothing about flying saucers! This was not, however, the only strange thing about the whole story, though it would take up too much space to describe them all here. To this day, Stephen still claims that the story told represents the truth, but nowadays he doesn’t show too much interest in the matter. In the 1980s he told Timothy Good: "It all happened a long time ago, and I don’t want to get involved in the whole thing again". A statement by a truthful man, or by a man who cannot admit having pulled one of the greatest hoaxes in the UFO history?
Pages 12-13: Book reviews. Five reviews this time, and (for a change) not all written by Svahn. The longest review is by Conny Erkheikki, who gives his thumbs up for the latest book about Rendlesham Forest, "You can’t tell the People ", by Georgina Bruni. Interesting to note is that not all books are about the UFO phenomena per se. Birgitta Jonsson, for example, reviews a book which can be used as a dictionary over ancient gods. Another book worth mentioning is "Kooks : A Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief ", by Donna Kossy. This book is published by Feral Books, a notorious underground publisher known for publishing counter-culture books such as the complete bibliography of books from the Church of Satan. Though Kooks might not be the most scholarly written book dealing with UFO phenomena and other subjects from the paranormal world, it still contains colorful descriptions of some of the more extravagant people in the world of ufology, and thus is important, since one is only able to fully understand a subject by learning all of its aspects.
Page 14: Letters from the readers. Three letters are published; the first by a man who asks for (and receives) information about Erich von Däniken and his theories: the second by a man who wishes to see articles about the worrying subject of so-called human-mutilations (to which the editors promise to address in upcoming issues); and the third and final letter sent in by a man who wishes UFO Sweden to publish more than 4 issues a year. The unfortunate answer to this is that there are simply not enough time or money for UFO Sweden to do so, even though we have enough material for more issues.
Pages 15-18: The mysterious sphere of Biskopsberga. The UFO phenomenon is not a new occurrence, in that mankind have always seen strange things in the skies which he by the standards of the day haven’t been able to explain satisfactorily. However, the older the sighting is, the harder is it to investigate, but Johnny Ljung and Conny Ljung , brothers and ufologists, have dug into a 194 year-old mass-observation from Biskopsberga, Sweden. Due to lucky circumstances, the original report including statements by a key witness, is still in existence today (and the entire report, written in Old Swedish, is published along with the article). In short, the sighting consisted of several villagers for two straight hours witnessing numerous sphere-like objects traversing the skies at 4 o’clock on the 16th of May, 1808. According to the written report; "millions" of these spheres could be seen during the two hours the observation lasted. Some of the spheres even fell to the ground, only to dissolve and without leaving any traces behind. However, the Swedes were never able to solve the mystery, and no one got closer to truth even after the story was published in North American Review in 1816. Today there are some theories to what it really was, but just as when it happened, about 200 years ago, no one really knows for sure.
Pages 19-21: The power of the curse. Richard Svensson, UFO Sweden’s fortean expert, dives into the strange world of curses. The belief in evil curses is a very widespread phenomenon, and Svensson not only offers concrete examples of people who have been exposed to such things, but also writes about the cultural and social significance of the phenomenon; important things to discuss when dealing with human activities. A few cases are also presented, among them the story of the mummy which, perhaps, was responsible for the sinking of the Titanic. As always, the article is accompanied by a drawing by Svensson himself, and also, is rounded up by some wise words; this time the statement that: "The power of the human will is, as we all know, something which must be shown respect". By that he reflects over the fact that contemporary psychologists argue that the human psyche is capable of producing strong emotional reactions to that which we don’t understand or comprehend. And that is something which is often present in the world of the paranormal.
On page 21, there are furthermore three short articles; about the possibility of water present on Mars, a bolide sighting in Sweden in early March, and information about the Norwegian UFO scene.
Pages 22-23: Media watch. C Göran Norlén examines the presence of UFO related articles in Swedish media from the middle of February to the middle of May, 2002. He is happy to present articles with higher quality than usual. Norlén often expresses his disappointed views about how the UFO phenomena is treated by Swedish media, and even though there are some decent articles presented, "the quality of UFO related articles is [still] nothing to be happy with. The traditional way to describe UFOs are by seeing it as stupid, dull, and without scientific importance". Good thing, then, that at least some of the articles present the phenomena the way it deserves to be treated.
Pages 24-25: International ufology. This time Stefan Roslund has eleven news notes about the international UFO scene. Some of the news concern the famous Coast Guard photograph from 1952, an article about UFO Sweden in the Australian UFO magazine Australasian Ufologist, the movie Mothman Prophecies , based on investigations by John Keel about sightings of some sort of monster-like creature in Point Pleasant 1966-67, Chinese UFO research, and the online auction of what is known as the world’s oldest UFO photograph (a bidding which UFO-Sweden unfortunately lost).
On page 26 there is also an ad for the upcoming class for UFO Sweden field investigators, beginners as well as more experienced ones.
Page 28: News in short. Three short paragraphs about miscellaneous UFO related news from Sweden and elsewhere.
Page 29: Airplane circled by UFO. Svahn writes about a sighting in Grängesberg, Sweden, on the 8th of May, 2002. At 3:45 PM, two witnesses watched how a strange light in the sky seemed to play hide-and-seek with a passing airplane. The light, looking like a bright star, performed maneuvers "which no human pilot could ever have been able to do" according to one of the (ground) witnesses. On the radar screens at Arlanda International Airport, an echo could be seen, but according to the operators, the echo was due to a technical error and doesn’t display a physical object.
Pages 30-31: Material for sale. Ads for UFO material by members of UFO Sweden. Some of the books and pamphlets available are the often updated Dictionary of UFOs (ed. Clas Svahn), a thorough investigation of UFO religions by Stefan Isaksson, UFO Sweden’s own t-shirts, a book about the mysterious lights at Martebo (on the Baltic island of Gotland) by Inga-Lill Wallin , and much more.
Back page. Two short articles; the first about the successful annual conference and exhibition held by UFO Sweden on the 11-12 of May, 2002, in Sundsvall. Several newspapers reported from the conference, interested people listened to lectures by Svahn (about the history of UFO sightings) and Isaksson (about a personal visit to the desert outside of Area 51), and many stories and experiences was shared by visiting people. The other article shows a photograph, on which something strange can be seen. UFO Sweden’s explanation is very mundane; it’s simply dust and damage to the film.