Alien abductions, once lauded as proof of a genuine alien presence on Earth, are now largely a thing of the past. But, as with all elements of ufology, the abduction craze had its ‘big’ cases – and few were as big as the Andreasson affair. Beginning in 1967, Betty Andreasson, together with members of her family, claimed they had been in regular contact with alien beings. Betty’s experiences, which began in childhood, include the usual trips on board a spacecraft (see illustration) and medical examinations, all laced with religious and mythological symbolism.
No evidence, for or against, has been forthcoming to explain or debunk the mystery, which has been chronicled in several books by investigator Raymond Fowler, who believes that extraterrestrials have visited the family. Betty is a devout Christian, and knowledgeable American ufologist Jerry Clark has said: “The sincerity of the participants seems beyond dispute.”
The perfect case? Well, perhaps not any more. In February 2007, Robert J Luca, Betty’s stepson, alleged that the lengthy and detailed experiences related by his parents were a hoax. Robert alleges his stepmother is a religious nut, obsessed with the belief she is a modern-day prophet, and that his father, Robert A Luca, has manipulated the abduction scenario to make money out of books and artwork. Trouble in paradise!
Needless to say, this claim threw the UFO community in America into a tailspin. Raymond Fowler argued vehemently against Robert J Luca’s revelations, claiming this was the outcome of a messy and bitter family dispute that has spilled over into the public arena. Fowler cites Robert J Luca’s previous problems with the police and drugs as evidence he is unstable and a compulsive liar. He may be; but we, as sceptics, still have to ask why vast numbers of UFO buffs are prepared to accept as truth stories of alien abduction, but won’t believe the close family member of an abductee who claims he has exposed a hoax? We know hoaxes happen, but we have no proof that alien abductions do. For us, this sort of infighting is fascinating and part of the core, human phenomenon that lies at the heart of the UFO mystery. As they say in these parts, there’s nowt so queer as folk!