Interview-Alternate Perceptions Magazine, August 2016
An Interview with:
An Interview with Sweden's leading Ufologist Hakan Blomqvist discussing John Keel, Mothman, the contactee phenomenon, and esoteric traditions
by: Brent Raynes
Hakan Blomqvist was born in 1952, in the beautiful Swedish city Karlstad – the City of the Sun, according to local tradition. University studies at Stockholm University: History of Religion, Philosophy and Ethnology. Retired as librarian from Norrköping Public Library in 2016. Married to Margaretha on June 18, 2016.
They have two cats. A large part of Hakan's spare time is devoted to volunteer work at Archives for the Unexplained (AFU), formerly Archives for UFO Research, a foundation of which he was one of the founders in 1973. Presently he is chairman of the AFU board and also board member of the national organization UFO-Sweden. For many years, Hakan has been a student of the Theosophical/Esoteric Tradition and literature. He is the author of ”UFO – i myt och verklighet” (UFO – in myth and reality, 1993), ”Främlingar på vår jord. UFO-kontakter i Sverige” (Aliens on Earth. UFO Contacts in Sweden, 2009), ”En resa i tiden. UFO-Sveriges historia 1970-2010” (A Travel in Time. The History of UFO-Sweden 1970-2010, 2010). Gudarna återvänder. UFO och den esoteriska traditionen (Return of the Gods. UFOs and the Esoteric Tradition, 2013). Also hundreds of articles in magazines and newspapers.
Brent Raynes: During our initial and brief correspondence back in 1978 (my how times flies!), you were mystified too by the psychic component of the UFO phenomenon. In fact, you wrote me then: “There are many striking similarities between UFO humanoids and the devas, elementals and fairies described in the occult literature. It's like some energy zeroes in on certain individuals under certain conditions.” Are you still on the same page, so to speak, with this as you were back then? How may your thoughts have evolved?
Hakan Blomqvist: Yes, definitely. There is a psychic component in almost all the close encounter and contact cases I have investigated. Sometimes the witnesses develop psychic abilities after the initial UFO experience. That there is a close connection both historical and in regard to phenomena between encounters with UFO humanoids and fairies has been obvious since the publication of Jacques Vallee´s classic Passport To Magonia in 1969. Many books have since been published following in the Vallee footsteps. UFO-Sweden has published sightings of leprechauns in various publications as field investigators now and then stumble on witnesses who recount not only UFO observations but encounters with the little people. I presented one of these very intriguing reports, the Helge Eriksson case, 1931, in a blog entry.
The writings of Jacques Vallee and John Keel made mainstream ufologists aware of the close resemblance between some UFO entities and the devas, nature spirits and elementals described in folklore and religion. According to the esoteric tradition devas and nature spirits are a parallell evolution to man living at different levels of the multiverse. In the coming centuries we will, according to the esoteric tradition, become more conscious of each others existence and be able to co-operate. The reappearance of The Fairy Investigation Society is an interesting cultural phenomenon pointing in this direction. I have for some years in my blog and latest book argued that the Esoteric Tradition as formulated by Helena P. Blavatsky, Alice Bailey and Henry T. Laurency constitutes the best and most interesting multiverse paradigm and theory to explain the multitude of intriguing phenomena documented by many researchers.
Brent Raynes: I remember you also were interested in burial mound sites, ley lines, and so-called “window” areas. The late John Keel, in his writings, certainly directed my attention to those areas early on. My friend and co-editor Dr. Greg Little has visited Sweden and came back with lots of pictures of mounds and standing stones. Have you found any connection in your country with these ancient sites and paranormal, UFO type activity? Hakan Blomnqvist: This is an interesting theory but I have not personally been doing any research into this issue. UFO-Sweden field investigators have documented cases in specific flap or window areas but as far as I know found no definite connection between mounds or ancient sites, possibly with one exception in Vallentuna, Sweden.
Brent Raynes: Back in 1978 also, a good friend and colleague of yours named Ake Franzen of Stockholm, corresponded with me for awhile of how in October 1969, he spent nearly four weeks in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, meeting with many major notables in the legendary Mothman saga like Mary Hyre, Connie Carpenter, Marcella Bennett, Linda Scarberry (who he became romantically involved with I learned later), along with Linda's parents, plus many more. He arrived with a letter of introduction from John Keel that he felt “opened almost every door in Point Pleasant” for him. He had helped Keel with research for a chapter that appeared in his Operation Trojan Horse on the Scandinavian “mystery plane” flap back in the 1930s.
You described to me how you had investigated a case in Sweden of a couple who had had hundreds of paranormal experiences and how they claimed that during a UFO flap on the night of October 30, 1965, they saw “several small humanoids floating around their car,” and you added, “The creatures had big, hypnotic red eyes, just like Mothman.” [Did they appear to be self-luminous I wonder?] That story always fascinated me. In addition, you added that the woman in this case was a clairvoyant and that when out in nature she would often see “the little people.”
Brent Raynes: Do you still feel that these experiences indeed may be interrelated?
Hakan Blomqvist: Yes, there are similarities between Mothman and the small creatures observered by Sture and Turid Johansson in October 1965, a case I have documented and mentioned in one of my blog entries. In a taped interview, Sture described the incident: ” When we arrived at the place we were told to visit those entities were already there but we did not observe them until we had parked the car. It was not totally dark but twilight. We noticed them first over the field and then they came very close to the car, about 50 centimeter. We believe they were five or six, between 1,25-1,50 meter with large heads and shining eyes. The eyes were red, phosphorous. The entities didn´t walk but floated around in straight lines. I wished for all my life that another car would come but no one showed up. After some time the entities disappeared over the field and then it was like a saucer tried to land on the car. Our whole car shook and the radio screamed in the back seat. We took cover below the dashboard.”
My theory is that Mothman and entities observed by Sture och Turid were elementals. Elementals was a favourite term of John Keel who interpreted most entity encounters as elementals. But Keel never studied the scholarly Esoteric Tradition as far as I know. Elementals are simply mind creations, made consciously by those who know how and unconsciously by religious devotees of all faiths. A form of multiverse robots - good, neutral or evil.
An interesting example of thought-creation is given in Conjuring Up Philip. An Adventure In Psychokinesis, by Iris M. Owen and Margaret Sparrow. A group of parapsychologists in Canada decided to try to create a fantasy entity named Philip. George and Iris Owen were well known parapsychologists interested in poltergeist phenomena. The group succeeded in creating an entity they could communicate with and who caused several paranormal phenomena. The famous traveller and author Alexandra David-Neel gives a very vivid description of how she created a fantasy monk, a tulpa. This mind-creature became so physical that a visitor took it for a live lama.
In 1976, Sture began his life as a trance medium travelling all over the world together with his wife. He became quite famous and celebreties like Shirley MacLaine and Dennis Weaver visited their home in Sweden. Sture also figures in the 1987 miniseries Out on a Limb, starring Shirley MacLaine.
My late friend and ufologist Åke Franzén visited Point Pleasant in 1969, interviewing about thirty Mothman witnesses and visiting observation sites. Åke didn´t just become an ordinary ufological field investigator in Point Pleasant. During his stay he fell deeply in love with one of the main witnesses, Linda Scarberrry. He later had plans to emigrate to the U.S. but couldn´t find a job. Åke became a good friend of local reporter Mrs Mary Hyre and also several of the local Mothman witnesses and Åke and Mary often went together by car during field investigations. One of the things Åke noticed in 1969 was that several of the witnesses suffered from post-traumatic stress. Linda Scarberry showed the scars she had on arms and legs. After the experience she had suffered from chock and was hospitalized. One morning she woke up at the hospital with arms and legs badly scratched. At AFU we have preserved the correspondence (many love letters) betwen Linda Scarberry and Åke Franzén.
Brent Raynes: American researcher, writer Andrew Colvin pointed out in his writings that John Keel would show MIB witnesses “racial profiling” pictures and that the majority of these people identified their MIBs as resembling Laplanders – looking like people from Northern Sweden. I know that John Keel later visited Sweden, that he was interested in the early “mystery airplane” stories and phantom submarines, but I wonder if he engaged you and your colleagues in any questions regarding this MIB aspect?
And, of course, overall what was it like to have John Keel visiting with you and your colleagues? Did he shed any light on anything for you?
Hakan Blomqvist: I regard John Keel as one of my mentors in our fascinating underground field. To me, John Keel and his books opened up a new world with his knowledge, humour and suggestive language. I corresponded with Keel in the 1970s and 80s and also had the good fortune of having him as a guest in my home when he visited Sweden in October 1976. We were a small group of ufologists who gathered in my small one room apartment in Sundbyberg discussing all aspects of UFO and paranormal phenomena for a couple of days. I was especially interested in hearing of his experiences and theories regarding the Men In Black (MIB) phenomenon and the very physical UFO and contact cases. Keel was intrigued by this aspect and convinced there were aliens among us. “I´d really like to get one”, was his comment. In my copy of Operation Trojan Horse he wrote: “For my good friend Håkan Blomqvist – the secret to the UFOs is on page 321”. Last page in the book is 320. Typical John Keel Fortean humour. After a lifetime of travel and study of UFO, Fortean and paranormal phenomena Keel reached the conclusion shared by many researchers into these areas: we live in a multiverse inhabited by a variety of diverse intelligences. I agree with his view.
Brent Raynes: You've been involved in Sweden's UFO museum for many years now, the AFU, Archives for the Unexplained. Can you tell our readers some about this significant part of your ufological journey?
Hakan Blomqvist: I wouldn´t perhaps describe it as a museum but rather archive and library but we have plans for a regular museum. Our start in 1973 was a very humble beginning, an informal working group. Three young lads, Kjell Jonsson, Anders Liljegren and myself decided we wanted to do serious ufo research. In 1974, Kjell Jonsson began building a ufo lending library in his small one room apartment in Södertälje. Starting with two bookshelves and 300+ books the library expanded steadily until we moved to our own premises in Norrköping in 1980 and also changed our group to a formal foundation - Archives for UFO Research (AFU), later Archives for the Unexplained. Today we are the worlds largest UFO, Fortean archive and library with thirteen premises and between fifteen to twenty people working at the archive on a daily basis. Collections to AFU are coming from all over the world. Hilary Evans donated his entire archive and library to us. We have the Flying Saucer Review archive and presently we are waiting for the archive of Borderland Sciences Research Foundation (BSRF) coming from Eureka, California. Our ambition is to be a sort of world heritage for our subjects. Brent Raynes: In your years of memorable UFO investigations and research, have you had any notable experiences yourself that you might recall for us? Hakan Blomqvist: I´ve never had any UFO observations but several paranormal experiences. In the beginning of the 1970s I participated in a meditation group run by Sture and Turid Johansson. We did some experiments in distant healing. One evening I decided to try sending a ball of energy to my girlfriend who had a cold and lived a few miles away. I didn´t mention the experiment to her but did the concentration and visualizations necessary for the healing and then sent a ball of energy to her. The next day, she called me to relate a curious experience last evening. She was trying to fall asleep when suddenly a ball of light appeared in her room, silently floating into her body. She was not afraid but in the morning her cold was better. Whether I created this ”UFO” is impossible to say but the coincidence is fascinating. I associate this experience with the balls of light created by the so called Kahunas of Hawaii and often mentioned by Riley Crabb.
Brent Raynes: I was just reading through Raymond Andrew Keller II's Venus Rising and saw you referred to in three pages wherein you were quoted describing how the early 1950s contactee movement seemed to have had ties to the Theosophical Society, how an author named Paul M. Vest had been approached way back in the early 1950s by a mysterious Bill (also known as Mr. Wheeler by others) who provided a list to Vest of contactees in southern California. Vest followed up and reached these people, who verified that they had been in touch with this man. Orfeo Angelucci's wife told Vest that the man had given her the "creeps," how he seemed to know everything about them, and she found him frightening. In Vest's interview with "Bill," he discovered that he seemed to have a great deal of knowledge about Theosophy. According to Keller, you suspect that a secret esoteric group may have had a hand in trying to promote the early contactee movement. Would you care to comment further?
Hakan Blomqvist: Glad you asked this question. In my latest book, Return of the Gods: UFOs and the Esoteric Tradition, I advance a rather heretic theory regarding some of the first generation physical contactees, partly based on my research on Swedish contactee cases. This theory makes me something of a heretic among "scientific" ufologists. Here is a summary you may use:
The esoteric intervention theory
Perhaps the most controversial part of my writings is a variation of Jacques Vallee´s esoteric intervention theory. I have advanced the theory that some of the physical contactees of the 1950s were involved in a cultural influence test. An experiment implemented by a group of benevolent aliens, earth based or extraterrestrial, a group with access to “vimana” technology. This test was done in co-operation with the Higher Intelligence Agency, the custodians of the ancient wisdom, using a new type of phenomena as attraction as they used in spiritualist phenomena in connection with the founding of the Theosophical Society in 1875.
A brief summary of my arguments for seriously considering this theory follows:
1. Many years of investigating and documenting physical contact cases have convinced me that some individuals (very few) have actually met and communicated with “aliens” from somewhere.
2. In spite of their faults and personality idiosyncrasies there is circumstantial evidence that the following contactees were involved in a cultural and psychological test: George Adamski, Orfeo Angelucci, Daniel Fry, George Van Tassel, and Howard Menger.
3. The contact experiences of journalist Paul M. Vest indicates that the test was a carefully orchestrated plan by this benevolent group.
4. The message or information presented to these contactees is a somewhat simplified version of the Esoteric Tradition with basic ideas such as: a multiverse reality, reincarnation, universal laws for the evolution of consciousness, Earth a quarantined or “prison planet”, man not alone in the universe, etc. In order to detect and understand the similarity in ideas between the contactee messages and esotericism a thorough acquaintance with the works of Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey is required. Few ufologists have this background.
5. The “hidden hand” similarities between the outbreak of spiritistic phenomena in the 19th century and UFO phenomena in the 1940s and 50s. In the Esoteric Tradition this hidden hand is the planetary guardians, the custodians of the Ancient Wisdom (scientists of the multiverse) using "phenomena" to expand the worldview and consciousness of man, a form of education through astonishment.
6. The assertion, in the 1930s and 40s, by Alice Bailey´s teacher the Tibetan D.K. that "extraplanetary beings "stand ready to intervene" and "offer their help at this time".