Fairyland's Hunters: Notes Towards a Revisionist History of Abductions. Part One

Peter Rogerson
Magonia 46, June 1993

The thesis of this series of articles is a simple one: it is that the history of the growth of the abduction stories is a far more tangled affair than the ‘entirely unpredisposed’ official history would have us believe. In it I have collected material from my own INTCAT [1], Eddie Bullard’s catalogue [2] and other sources, and arranged them in a rough chronology of reportage and investigation.

These articles constitute notes towards a history; however only a small fraction of potential sources has been examined, and the picture may change radically as wider trawls bring in new material. But I hope they will provide some impression of how the theme of abductions percolated into UFO culture.

In a general sense, as the editors of Magonia magazine have documented, the idea of ‘being taken’ by ‘the Other’ is a very pervasive one in human culture, and it is a testimony to its power that it emerged very rapidly in the ‘age of the flying saucer’. It was a theme in many early science fiction films of a vaguely ufological bent, and perhaps its first post-1947 literary treatment was in the novel Star of Ill-Omen by Dennis Wheatley [3], the well known horror story writer and one of the great spreaders of the Satanism myth.

In this novel the usual melange of stock characters are abducted to Mars from Peron’s Argentina by giant humanoids. It transpires that the giants are little more than beasts of burden for the super-insects who are the real masters of the dying planet. That flying saucers were the vehicles of Martian super-bees had been the theme of the first British flying saucer book, Riddle of the Flying Saucers, by the mystic and science writer Gerald Heard [4], who had been commissioned to write the book by Waveney Girvan, who was later to the the publisher, then editor, of Flying Saucer Review. [5]

As readers of Magonia know, I argue that one can determine two broad strands within ufology: a ’religious’, contactee-oriented, flying saucer tradition; and a secular, ‘UFO’ tradition. Very early on the theme of a race of invaders from the dying planet Mars became one of the staples of the latter tradition. It seemed to follow naturally that potential invaders may want samples of hostages. By early 1954 Harold Tom Wilkins, in a book which his UK publisher gave the low-key title Flying Saucers on the Moon, but which the American publisher gave the more evocative title Flying Saucers on the Attack [6], suggested: “One wonders how many cases of mysterious disappearances of men and women in 1948 – 1952 might be explained as TAKEN ABOARD A FLYING SAUCER IN A LONELY PLACE” (Watkins’ capitals). He backed up this claim with some of the earliest ufological references to a variety of Fortean disappearances, such as Flight 19, the Flannan lighthouse, etc.

He also quotes a billboard erected by one George Sodder of Fayettesville, North Carolina, in July 1953: “I offer $5000 for information about the fate of five children, mysteriously snatched away from a burning house on Christmas morning 1945. The parents escaped, but at first they believed the children perished in the flames, supposed to be caused by faulty wiring. But no remains were found in the ashes. A bus driver says he had seen balls of fire thrown onto the roof”. [7]

Here we can see how the pain of the loss of the children whose bodies are presumably burned right away can be assuaged by the hope that they are not really dead at all, but ‘taken’ to some fairyland whence perchance they might be recalled.

In the following years speculations appeared. Wilkins, in his second book, Flying Saucers Uncensored referred to the story of the two contactees Karl Hunrath and Wilbur Wilkinson whose mysterious disappearance was regarded as an ‘alleged abduction by flying saucers’. Wilkinson’s wife was quoted as saying that they had been abducted by flying saucers in the Californian desert. [8]

To this were added more tales of Fortean appearances and disappearances. M. K. Jessup in Case for the UFO [10] added the legends of ‘the man who crossed the field’ and ‘the boy who went to the well’, disappearing ships and crews, and teleportations, suggesting that they had been “captured by a space contraption for reasons beyond our lien”. Donald Keyhoe’s Flying Saucer Conspiracy [11] highlighted the Kinross air base story in which a plane was seen to merge with another blip on a radar screen and disappear. He speculated that it might have been abducted. Flight 19 was also mentioned as a possible abduction target. That such speculation should lead to personal stories was not unexpected, and three broad narrative strands emerged:
  • The abduction escapee, in which the narrator tells of his narrow escape from being abducted
  • The abduction witness, in which the narrator tells of seeing someone else being abducted, presumably not to reappear.
  • The abduction survivor, in which the narrator tells of his adventures on board the alien craft.
A further set of narratives are those of the on board adventures, which differ from the abductions chiefly in that the narrators were either invited or simply walked on board.
Perhaps the earliest vision of the interior of a flying saucer in the modern age was that of a female hypnosis subject of Harold Chibbet in 1947, [12] who under trance described a ‘psychic voyage’ to what she thought was Mars, where she was subjected to painful procedures by giant humanoids including two women and a bald man. Perhaps this inspired Dennis Wheatley’s giant humanoids. Perhaps the earliest alleged physical on-board adventure was that of Simon Estes Thompson (which appeared, perhaps significantly, in the 1 April issue of the Centralia Daily Chronicle, though Kenneth Arnold subsequently interviewed Thompson and felt he was sincere). His story was that driving down a back-road, he saw an object hovering above the ground and was invited on board by curiously naive, naked beings who said they came from Venus. Though they didn’t seem to know how their craft worked, they could talk about reincarnation, vegetarianism and similar New Age topics.

Pursuing the abduction theme, if we set aside for lack of real detail and clear, contemporaneous references the alleged kidnapping of Tom Brook in Florida in August 1952 [14]; the claim of Albert Grear, a farmer outside Zanesville, Ohio, that his brother levitated away as a blinding flash sped northeast in December 1953 [15]; or the alleged kidnapping of a girl by two glowing entities with fish-like hands at Brovst, Denmark on 12 September 1953 [16], it appears that the earliest abduction stories emerged from the ‘Great Wave’ of 1954.

The French wave of 1954 was to be significant in marking
the emergence of a broadly acceptable image of the
secular ufonaut: the dwarf with the
outside head as described by Marius Dewilde

The wave was to be significant in a further way, in that it marked the emergence of a broadly acceptable image of the secular ufonaut: the dwarf with the outside head as described by Marius Dewilde, and taken up enthusiastically by other witnesses and journalists. Given in imprimatur of Aimé Michel, APRO and, eventually, NICAP, the Dewilde humanoid was to be one of the main ingredients in the image of the Grey. Dewilde’s story was taken up because, at least as presented by Michel, it stood in stark contrast to the American contactees. Dewilde’s stories were far more complex and he was to emerge both as abductee and contactee. No details of these further developments are available in English.

The earliest so far dated report of an abduction attempt comes from L’Aurore of 12 September 1954, which reports that a M. Fili of Tehran was on the balcony of the second floor of his house when he saw a luminous object hovering 20m. away. Inside was a small man dressed in black, with a trunk like an elephant’s. Fili felt magnetically drawn towards the object, but when he screamed it broke the spell, and the object took off. [17]

Eleven days later, in the unlikely location of the letters column in Paris Match came the earliest know abduction survivor report. Mr GB of Marseille recounted how as a boy he had been walking along the bank of the North Canal when he was seized by two men from behind bushes. They were tall, slender, and dressed in what looked like flexible metal diving suits. They carried him into a strange object which had square or rectangular portholes. Inside was a flexible couch on which he sat. The boy began to weep, and some minutes later an opening appeared in the ceiling of the cabin and he was on the ground again. He found that he had to walk for most of the afternoon to get back to where he had been taken from, though he had been on the craft for only about five minutes. [18]

Even in this third-hand summary we can detect elements of such well known later themes as doorway amnesia and time lapse, but otherwise this narrative at the very origin of the abduction saga is a very bare one: no medical examination, certainly no sex. It is determinedly secular and its antecedents are secular; for surely the story of a boy kidnapped by men in diving suits by a canal and taken to a craft whose escape hatch is in the roof belongs in a children’ adventure story of kidnapping by submariners. The image of being pounced on from behind bushes hints at child abusers. Here we can see the emergence of the UFO abduction story out of a melange of secular abduction themes.

Since the above was written I have come across some interesting additions. The first is another translation of the 23 October 1954 piece in Paris-Match. In an article by Jerome Clark entitled ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1901-1959′ in Strange magazine (no. 10, 1992), he gives an account of the eight-year-old ‘playing among some hills’ rather than walking by the bank of a canal, when he was accosted by two tall, slender men wearing pliable helmets, who dragged him into an oddly shaped tank. After a while an opening appeared in the ceiling of the cabin, and a few seconds later he found himself on the ground.

The stories of the battles with the ‘little hairy aliens’ in Venezuela in December 1954, most particularly the Flores/Gomez case, can be fitted into escape narratives. More to the point, an unnamed Naples newspaper of 13 December 1954 introduced the second known abduction story. A 57-year-old peasant, absent from home for two days claimed on his return that he had been force-marched for the missing period by two strange beings, sometimes small, sometimes tall, in the colours of the rainbow. He had felt weightless as if flying, and although it had been raining he was quite dry, but wild and incoherent. [19] This is much less like the standard abduction story than the French one. It is also far less secular, since it introduces an altogether magical night-journey in the company of shape-shifters, deeply rooted in the traditions of the region, with almost no secular ufological imagery.

What could have been the third abduction of 1954, if details of just when the investigation took place, or if contemporaneous reports could be found, was supposed to have happened on 2 November at Santo Amaro in Brazil. A taxi driver walking home from work saw a glowing circular object about 30-40m. in diameter at a street corner, and when he tried to flee, found himself paralysed, speechless and in the grip of a strange feeling. This was replaced by great curiosity, and somehow he walked through a sliding door into the object. Inside was a circular room lit by a soft, lamp-less, illumination. On a curiously-shaped table were various maps and charts, including one of South America.

He suddenly found himself faced by three human-shaped beings less that 3ft tall, with dark brown skin, and dressed in light grey, one-piece coveralls without buttons or zips. In their belts were what looked like guns. He stared at him intently without speaking, but conversed amongst themselves in a language “with a lot of k’s”. The taxi driver found himself paralysed again and back outside the object. [20]

As the earliest date of publication for this story is 1967 it may well not have surfaced until that time, and been subjected to inevitable contamination; but we can see hints of doorway amnesia and mental control, though again, sex and medical procedures are absent. Emphasis instead is on military plans, perhaps for the invasion of Brazil, which was one of the obsessions of Olave Fontes, the investigator. The lampless light has been hailed as some sort of evidence for authenticity, but it should be noted that it also appears in the contactee stories of Truman Bethurum [21] (of which more later) and George Adamski. [22] As far back as the seventeenth-century Robert Kirk recalled meeting a woman who had been taken to a place “full of light without anie fountain [source] or lamp from whence it did spring”. [22A]

Perhaps the earliest reference to medical procedures in these stories comes from the mid-fifties with the fragmentary story of Fred Reagan, a pilot who was supposed to have crashed into a flying saucer in July 1952. He was rescued by the crew, who cured him of cancer, although not very thoroughly, it would seem, as he died of a brain tumour a couple of years later. These extraterrestrial Samaritans are said to have resembles 3ft. tall asparagus stalks. Who says these stories don’t vary?

A 1956 abduction featured in the Todd Kitteridge affair. Kitteridge had claimed that, awoken by his dogs, he saw a golden ball descending behind the branches of a tree as the dogs ran around barking. From it emerged three tall beings dressed in ski-suits, with long blonde hair, and strange protruding eyes. At first he felt afraid, but his fear disappeared and it seemed he was no longer thinking his own thoughts. One of the men said he was from Venus, but left when the dogs continued to harass him. The object returned three days later. The same thing happened to a woman schoolteacher and to a linesman. The women later rang the investigators in hysteria, saying ‘they’ were visiting and threatening to abduct her. [24]

The rumours of aircraft being taken were bound to produce an eyewitness sooner or later. In May 1957 he arrived in the person of Eugene Metcalf of Paris, Illinois. He claimed that two years earlier, in May 1955 he had seen from his back yard a bell-shaped object, which he had seen on many previous occasions, swallow up a jet aircraft "like a hawk catching a chicken". Needless to say, no planes were reported missing.

Other abduction stories were on the airwaves if not in the air, for the March 1957 edition of the Long John Nebel radio show featured John Robinson, a sidekick of Jim Moseley reporting a dramatically spooky, if not very plausible, abduction tale. The gist of it was that in 1944 Robinson had a neighbour named Steve Brodie who one day saw (in Robinson’s apartment) a copy of one of Ray Palmer’s magazines featuring the Dero. Brodie yelled out “He speaks of the Dero!”, and proceeded to tell Robinson how he had been prospecting out west with a companion in 1938.

One day they encountered two mysterious cowled figures who paralysed Brodie by pointing a rod-like device at him. When the companion tried to flee, they fired at him and Brodie heard him scream, and smelled burnt flesh. When one of the figures placed ‘small earphones’ behind his ears he lost consciousness. From time to time he came to, in a place which fellow prisoners told him was the cave of the Dero. Each time his brain began to clear, the cowled one adjusted the earphones and he lost consciousness again.

He eventually came to, walking the streets of Manhattan two years later. Brodie showed Robinson scarred patches behind his ears, a little smaller than a silver dollar. Since his ordeal Brodie claimed he was unable to eat meat (cf John Avis). Time passed; Robinson left the apartment but on returning for a visit found that Brodie had disappeared. Another neighbour told Robinson that he had seen Brodie in Arizona, wandering about like a zombie. We are presumably supposed to conclude that he was back under the control of the Dero. [25]

It is in this unlikely tale that we first encounter the implants (behind the ears, as in Invasion of the Martians) and other abductionist staples such as the paralysing rods and the doorway amnesia. Publication of this story in Allende Letters – New UFO Breakthrough in 1968 may have led to the first wave of implant stories, or so Steiger hinted in some later works, although no details survive.

If the ‘Great Wave’ of 1954 had produced the first ‘true’ abduction survivor story, then the great wave of 1957, which generated a number of rather secular occupant stories, produced the second survivor story, that of the Salzburg Soldier. This story first appeared in the obscurity of the Prince George Citizen (British Columbia), subsequently in Ralph Sandbach’s Ufology News and the May 1958 edition of Ray Palmer’s Flying Saucers.

It was a poorly crafted story in which an American servicemen in Salzburg was captured by a bug-eyed monster and taken on a trip to Mars, on board a flying saucer. The alien was described as being smaller than the witness, with a high, cylindrical forehead, large eyes with smaller eyes in them like an insect’s, two holes for a nose, a slit mouth, holes for ears and a white skull. The torso was round like a tin-can; it had no neck, proportionate legs, but short arms which terminated in three-fingered hands. The story contained one major scientific error: that the narrator and his captor flipped over as they reached the zone of gravitational neutrality between the Earth and the Moon. [26] In this bug-eyed robot there are hints of future things: the slit mouth, the absence of nose, and the three-fingered hands.

What is more significant is that this was the first abduction to be published in a book which circulated beyond the narrow world of ufology. This was W. Gordon Allen’s Spacecraft from Beyond Three Dimensions, published in 1959, two years before the Hill abduction. Now one must concede that it was a turgid work of pseudoscience, not the first choice for a riveting read, but UFO books were in short supply in, say, 1962, and this book was in bookshops and libraries (I remember it being sold in Wilshaw’s bookshop in Manchester in the mid 1960s).

Even if Betty Hill hadn’t encountered it in her library trawl, Allan’s pseudoscientific speculations about ether, the ‘vortex theory of atoms’ and Nicholas Tesla, were, it strikes me, precisely the sorts of things to appeal to Robert Hohmann and C. D. Jackson. These were the two original investigators of the Hill case, responsible for suggesting to the couple that they had experienced missing time. [28] Even more interesting is that Allen, in his better publicised version of the Salzburg story edited out references to the cylindrical forehead and the bug-eyes; instead he describes the abductor as having “a high forehead, big eyes, a slit for a mouth, two holes for a nose, white skin, large skull, no external skin around his ear hole openings” – much closer to a Grey, isn’t it?

Abduction motifs appeared in some of the contactee cases in 1957, such as that of Reinhold Schmidt, the Pajas Blancas motorcyclist (Diario de Cordoba, 1 May 1957), and Professor Guimares of Sao Sebastio, Brazil (O Cruzeiro, 1 December 1957).

It was as a result of another article on UFOs in the previous month’s O Cruzeiro that the next abduction story emerged, that of Antonio Villas Boas, who wrote to the editor Joao Martins. This classic story was to be much closer to later accounts. Though in many ways AVB’s sexy lady is no more credible as an alien that the Salzburg soldier’s bug eyed Martian, there is a much greater sophistication of imagination at work: the bird-shaped craft; the Arabian princess woman; the sense in which the beings reconcile opposites, piloting sophisticated spaceships, but passion-red in secret places and barking like dogs or werewolves; and the attempt to seize the souvenir from fairyland – in this case a clock that does not tell the time.

AVB’s description of the woman’s face, large, elongated blue eyes, high cheekbones and pointed chin [29] suggests a derivation from Adamski who described his visitor as having slightly slanted eyes and slightly higher cheekbones. [30] The motif may have been transmitted by another O Cruzeiro story, that of a farmer’s encounter in Linha Bela Vista with a landed UFO and three men with long blonde hair, extremely pale skin and slanted eyes. [31]

One reason why the AVB story gained credibility was the racist assumption that any farmer in the Brazilian interior had to be an illiterate peasant who ‘couldn’t make this up’. As Eddie Bullard pointed out to me, the fact that the Villas Boas family possessed a tractor put them well above the peasant class. In fact, AVB fits well into the ‘classic’ abductee pattern of the highly intelligent, artistic individual in a status-inconsistent occupation. We now know that AVB was a determinedly upwardly mobile young man, studying a correspondence course and eventually becoming a lawyer (at which news the ufologists who had considered him too much the rural simpleton to have made the story up, now argued that he was too respectable and bourgeois to have done so!).


One reason why the AVB story gained credibility was the
racist assumption that any farmer in the Brazilian interior had to be an illiterate peasant who ‘couldn’t make this up’

Reading between the lines of Fontes account, it seems pretty clear that AVB was hoping to sell the story to O Cruzeiro, and was disappointed when they refused to buy it, and perhaps was taken off-guard when he started to be interrogated.

Another aspect of the AVB case which is not as clear-cut as is often portrayed is how the story circulated and whether the Hills could have got to hear about it. The story first emerged in February 1958, and later that year Fontes appeared to have sent a report to APRO [the now-defunct American UFO group] where it is not clear how many people saw it. Rumours must have been circulating around Brazil, at least, for Walter Buhler had heard about it in that year, though it appears to have taken another couple of years for him to track down Antonio.

There is, admittedly weak, evidence that rumours about this case had got wider circulation in that year. This depends on the claim made in 1967 by Australian ufologist Colin McCarthy that in 1959 George Adamski had heard about “funny landings and kidnappings”, though that may have referred to the Salzburg case. McCarthy also claimed to have investigated a 1960 contactee who spoke about ‘negative forces from Orion’ seeking to interbreed with us. If McCarthy was not making that up, it looks as though some contactee circles had got to hear about AVB and were mobilising their ideological responses. [32]

The earliest known publication of the Villas Boas story was in the SBESDV Bulletin of April-June 1962; this Bulletin was exchanged with a number of similar publications and one presumes APRO received a copy. Is it possible, given that his interest in the Hill case was sparked off by its similarity to Brazilian car-stop cases, that Walter Webb, the NICAP investigator, saw copies of this magazine, and if so could he have mentioned AVB in casual conversation?

Though it is often stated as a fact that the earliest English language version of the story was the famous ‘Most Amazing Case of All’ article in the January-February 1965 issue of Flying Saucer Review, this is not quite certain. An independent translation from Buhler’s version appeared in Grey Barker’s Book of Saucers, published in 1965. [33] It is not clear whether this was original material, or reprints from his magazines, a suggestion encouraged by the reference to AVB appearing in a ‘recent issue’ of SBESDB Bulletin. 1962 would hardly be ‘recent’ for a book published in 1965, but would be appropriate for a magazine article published a couple of years earlier. Can anyone throw any light on this?

In issue ten of Strange magazine, referred to above, Jerome Clark suggests in an article ‘Were where the Greys’, that the report on Antonio Villas-Boas by SBEDV in July-August 1962 was in English, or at least had an English summary. If so this would have very interesting consequences.

In a letter dated 3 March 1993, Richard Heiden has drawn my attention to an Argentinean book, which he considers almost certainly a hoax, entitled Yo Fui Raptado por un Plata Volador (I was kidnapped by a flying saucer), by ‘Leslie Hoover’, published by Editorial OIR, c.1954-6. (Eberhardt 7708). Heiden has only seen an advertisement for this book. Has anyone ever seen an actual copy?

There is no doubt about the widespread distribution of the abduction escape narrative of Stig Rydberg and Hans Gustavsson, relating their attempted kidnap by wholly inhuman grey ‘things’, 1.35m. tall, 60cm. thick, which caught them in an inhuman grip. They were associated with a high-pitched hum, and the witnesses arms were pulled up to their elbows in a featureless blob. This story, from Domsten in Sweden, appears to be the first abduction case involving hypnosis. Details appeared in Fate for July 1960, and in the Lorenzen’s Great Flying Saucer Hoax. [34]

The year 1959 saw not only the appearance in the Latin American press of the first car teleportation stories, but may have seen the appearance of a much more modern story. Alas, it is another case in which varying sources give different dates. One is October 1959, another November 1961. Though the case was aid to have been investigated by a Colonel Schneider “some months afterwards”, the earliest versions I can trace date from Lorenzen’s Flying Saucer Occupants, of 1967, and Felipe Carrion’s Disco Voladores Impresvisuals e Conturbadores (1968), the latter quoted in Jader U. Pereira’s Les ETs, giving his primary source as GGIONI, Porto Allegre (Argentina). So in the absence of a definite pre-October 1966 publication or checkable source the possibility of post-Hill contamination must remain

With that caveat, the story goes as follows: C.M., a retired police officer and real-estate dealer, staying at his beach house, one night had a strong compulsion to go for a walk along the beach. He then felt drawn towards a strange light, and as he approached it he saw that it was from a disc on the beach. One or two helmeted individuals approached, but the light obscured details. They seemed to communicate the command, “Do not resist. You can’t”. He felt paralyzed but strangely unafraid. He then had a fragmentary memory of someone scratching his arm with an instrument, then he had a two-hour time lapse. When he recovered he found himself back in the beach house; the light had gone and the beach was deserted.

He later became depressed, anxious and antisocial. As of 1967 he was said to be reusing hypnosis. Trying to clarify just when this story emerged would be most useful, for if it does predate the Hill’s, it would mark the first emergence of time-loss and post-encounter trauma.


  1. Peter Rogerson (compiler) INTCAT: a century of UFO landings 1880 – 1980. Unpublished manuscript.
  2. Thomas E Bullard. UFO Abductions: the measure of a mystery. (2 vols.), Fund for UFO Research, 1987
  3. Denis Wheatley. Star of Ill-Omen, Hutchinson, 1952
  4. Gerald Heard. The Riddle of the Flying Saucers. Carroll and Nicholson, 1950.
  5. Waveney Girvan. Flying Saucers and Common Sense. Muller, 1955.
  6. Harold Wilkins. Flying Saucers on the Moon. Peter own, 1954 (Published in the USA as Flying Saucers on the Attack. Citadel Press, 1954.
  7. Ibid., p.262.
  8. Harold T. Wilkins Flying Saucers Uncensored, Citadel press, 1955, p/47.
  9. Ibid. pp. 100 – 105
  10. Morris K Jessup. The Case for the UFO. Arco, 1955, p.144.
  11. Donald Keyhoe. The Flying Saucer Conspiracy. Holt, 1955.
  12. Harold S. W. Chibbett, ‘UFOs and parapsychology’ in Charles Bowen (Ed.), UFO Percipients, Flying Saucer Review special issue, no. 3. September 1969, pp 33-36 (first published in Ouranus magazine, August 1954; reprinted in Mystic Magazine, February 1955.
  13. Jerome Clark, ‘the Coming of the Venusians’, Fate, January 1981, pp.49 – 55
  14. Jacques Vallee. Anatomy of a Phenomenon. Spearman, 1966, p.134
  15. Otto Binder. Flying Saucers are Watching Us. Belmont, 1968, pp.39-40, and Paris Flammonde, The Age of Flying Saucers, Hawthorne, 1971, p.61. Binder gives the source as Grey Barker’s Saucerian magazine which, according to Eberhart, was published between September 1953 and spring 1955. Has anyone got the original?
  16. Jacques Vallee. Passport to Magonia, Regneray, 1969, Appendix: ‘A Century of UFO Landings’, case 118. Vallee gives the source as Guieu, which seems to refer to the French edition of Flying Saucers Come From Another World, Hutchinson, 1956. A search of the English edition failed to find this case.
  17. Ibid. case 211. Cf Gordon Creighton, ‘Attempted Abduction by UFO Entity’, FSR, 13,2, March-April 1967., pp.23-24, quoting the Iranian newspaper Ettela’at 15 October 1954.
  18. INTCAT files, Supplied by Alain Garnard from research by D. Guarden.
  19. Paolo Fiorino, ‘Abductions in Italy’, UFO Times 13, May 1991, quoting Naples papers of December 1954, and investigated by Umberto Telarcio in 1974.
  20. Coral and Jim Lorenzen, Flying Saucer Occupants New American library, 1967, p.198. Investigation by Olave Fontes and others.
  21. Truman Bethurum, Aboard a Flying Saucer, De Vorss, 1954, p.42.
  22. George Adamski, Inside the Space Ships, Arco, 1956, p.46. 22A Robert Kirk, The Secret and a Short Treatise of charms and Spels [sic], (ed. Stewart Sanderson), D. S. Brewer for the Folklore Society, 1976. CF modern language version of Secret Commonwealth incorporated in R. J. Stewart, Robert Kirk.
  23. Gordon Creighton, ‘Healing from UFOs’, FSR, 15,5, September-October 1969. The story was said to be circulating in the early days of Flying Saucer review. Any earlier published versions?
  24. INTCAT files. Civilian Saucer Intelligence Newsletter, 5, p.15, quoting Hollywood Citizen 20 July 1956, and investigated by Isobel Epperson.
  25. Brad Steiger and Joan Writenour, New UFO Breakthrough, Tandem, 1967.
  26. Charles Bowen, ‘Fantasy or truth; a new look at an old contact claim’, FSR, 13,4, July-August 1967
  27. W. Gordon Allen, Spacecraft from Beyond Three Dimensions, Exposition Press, 1959.
  28. John Fuller, Interrupted Journey, Dial Press, 1966, pp.42-58. Hohmann and Jackson were authors of an American Rocket Society pamphlet entitles ‘An Historic Report of Life in Space’. (Eberhardt, 15284)
  29. Gordon Creighton, ‘The Amazing Case of Antonio Villas Boas’, in The Humanoids, Spearman, 1969, p.216.
  30. Desmond Leslie and George Adamski, Flying Saucers Have Landed, Werner Laurie, 1953, p.195.
  31. Creighton, op.cit., ‘The Humanoid in Latin America’, pp.94-95; Coral Lorenzen, The Great Flying Saucer Hoax, William Frederick Press, 1962, pp. 46-47.
  32. Eileen Buckle, The Scoriton Mystery, Neville Spearman, 1967.
  33. Grey Barker, Grey Barker’s Book of Saucers, Saucerian Books, 1965, Chapter 8, ‘Visitors from the Bird Planet’.
  34. Jim and Coral Lorenzen, Great Flying Saucer Hoax, op.cit. Pp. 56-61.

Further thoughts on “Notes towards a revisionist history of abductions – Part One”
Peter Rogerson:

I have now found some details of the alleged kidnapping of Tom Brook or Brooke. As you will see it is not an actual UFO abduction story.

The Florida state police would be next in line for bemusement, this time resulting from the (14th August) 1952 disappearance of Tom Brook, his wife, and his 11 year-old son. According to the report, the Brooks had visited a friend some 30 (60km) miles away from Miami, and got into their car to return home at 11:40 p.m. They never completed the trip: local law enforcement found their empty car, headlights ablaze and doors open, just 7 miles away from their friend’s house at just before 7.15 the next morning. Mrs. Brooke’s handbag was found in the back seat, containing a considerable amount of money. Police records indicate that the family’s footprints led to a meadow at the edge of the road, stopping abruptly after a few dozen steps. (a waitress Mable Twinn disappeared on the same night in the same way 11km away)

From Scott Coralles on http://rr0.org/data/1/9/5/2/2.html with additional details from the auto translated site of Guy Tararde at http://ufoweb.free.fr/GTarade1.htm

Almost certainly Guy Tarade was Vallee’s source, and it is perhaps significant that this story does not appear in Jay Nash’s Among the Missing, Simon and Schuster, 1978, a fairly encyclopedic account of missing persons and mysterious disappearances. The are no references in any US English language web sites either.

There may be an earlier story or stories, as suggested by this paragraph from the end of chapter 12 of Donald Keyhoe’s Flying Saucers from Outer Space (1953)

“Letters from readers of my book and articles gave me another cross section. Most of those who had seen saucers were soberly concerned, though only a few admitted fear. Some showed the effect of certain scare stories published since ’47. One of these stories reported that a nurse and a salesman, driving along a desert road, had been kidnapped by spacemen. Another described how a private plane had been stopped dead, suspended in mid air, apparently under study by a saucer crew. A third fear provoking story was built on the theory published by AMPRO Labroratory Associates, which suggested spies from Saturn were circulating on earth, working for our downfall after a saucer invasion”

The context clearly suggests that the story of the nurse and the salesman was a published story of some sort. The second story, that of the pilot Jannsen was well publicised and appears in books by Harold T Wilkins etc and can be found, for example, here:

Of course we cannot assume that the nurse and salesman story was anything like the post Hill abduction survivor stories, or even an actual UFO kidnapping story, it may have just been speculation surrounding the disappearance of a couple, possibly just another version of the story above. But even that would mean the idea that “flying saucers” might kidnap people was floating around from the earliest days of the UFO era.

This is clear from the serialisation of Jessup’s books in the Empire News where under the heading “Kidnapped by Space Men!” we see a drawing bloke being dragged away by an alien who had a more than passing resemblance to one of Dan Dare’s Treens, into a UFO.

We now know that SBESDV Bulletin did publish an English language version of the AVB story back in 1962, and that a fragmentary version appeared in English in the UFO Critical Bulletin back in 1959.

Further to my last comment I have now located my original update in Magonia 54. Here I note that our correspondent Luis Gonzalez had kindly supplied me with photocopies of the AVB story from SBEDV Bulletin of April/July 1962, which was in English, as this was actually the export publication of the group.

Earlier the UFO Critical Bulletin of January/February 1959 had noted that “a woman (but not monstrous) and a peasant had sexual intercourse aboard a flying saucer”. UFO Critical Bulletin was co edited by J. Escobar Faria of Brazil and Richard Hall. If this fairly staid publication could include the story who knows what some of the wilder fringes might have been doing with it. What is of course of interest is that Walter Webb, the person who originally investigated the Hill case, was one of the people who may well have had copies of the SBEDV Bulletin, because they were featuring the sort of car stopping cases Webb was interested in, cases very similar to the Hill’s own story.

I had also come across another pre Hill abduction story. This is from a very strange book called Homecoming of the Martians by Robert Dickhoff, a self proclaimed Buddhist monk, and first published in 1958. The narrator of this “allegorical tale” is supposed to be an airman:
I had walked away... and could see (my plane) when a terrific sensation overtook my senses, as if my body had been suddenly pushed into the deep freeze compartment of a refrigerator.

I could not move a muscle but noticed that a beam of light started encircling me, and then this beam revealed…a metallic object above me, the size of which I was unable to determine. The beam was pulling me towards something the sight of which made me feel like screaming for my comrades…but…like in a nightmare, I was unable to make a sound. I was then grabbed by small but unusually strong hands and grabbed into the compartment of the metallic object, where the numbness left me along with my consciousness

When I came to I realised what had happened. I wore a helmet which fitted snugly atop my head, and again I got the shock of my life. I found that the little men spoke me mentally and in English. I was then told why I was taken by these midgets, whose appearance reminded me of (Disney’s) seven dwarfs.

You are going to the home of all men, Mars,” he told me “and you will undergo a change which will protect you from bodily harm for as long as you have life and will be useful to us…”

I was then told to look out of a peep-hole slit which acted as a porthole, only to see the earth had shrunken away to the size of an orange. It was then that panic overtook me.

Again these little ones guessed what I was about to do (so) they pointed a little pencil at me and I immediately fell numb again, thus disabling me from striking down one or two of my captors
Dickhoff’s strange book is full of references to abductions and spacenappings, and he says he gave a talk on the subject at the Steinway Hall New York and refers to an article “Are Flying Saucers Kidnapping Humans” by Leroy Thorpe in Man to Man in October 1953.

This is an important clue, because this looks it might be the source of Keyhoe’s “salesman and nurse” story. Man to Man, which described itself as “the stag magazine” ran from about 1949-1973. The sample front pages shown here:

MANTOMAN just about say it all. However as this listing from Project 1947 shows it also featured tales of UFOs and the like http://www.project1947.com/shg/m1.htm

Leroy Thorpe seems to have written a number of ufo/occult pieces in a variety of Men’s Magazines of the 1950s, as well as articles with titles like 'Island of Sex Starved Women'. Any further information on Leroy Thorpe and this article would be appreciated. There is a discussion of the Brovst story here, indicating its probable source is Peter Kolosimo, a notorious ancient astronaut type sensationalist:

For Dewilde, there is a mass of primary material here, but largely avoids his later alleged encounters
http://ufologie.net/1954/10sep1954quarouble.htm. See also http://www.ovni007.com/id85.html (in French, English “translation” is incomprehensible).

Just after writing the above I finally came across this giving the original source of the story of Mr GB of Marseille: http://sumatra.globat.com/~patrickgross.com/ufologie/ce3/1921-france-marseilles.htm

Can anyone do a really good translation from the French and post as a comment