I’m a curious person. Sometimes too curious. This curiosity often shows itself as all me putting all my attention on nonsens. I hear or read something, a few lines here and there, even those in between. A word, a sentence uttered by someone — and I’m stuck. Is there a diagnosis for this? No, joking aside, my curiosity makes me healthy — but can also, if it leads nowhere, or me realizing how pointless it all is, lead me to the brink of depression. Or to be honest, over it — making me fall down into the abyss of self-loathing and existential crisis.
I spend most of my free time, between working on television projects and being panicked about being between jobs, reading books and magazines about flying saucers and humanoids. It’s been a stronger and stronger obsession over the years. It began as a normal childhood interest, became more and more non-existent for some years, until I had my usual edge lord conspiracy phase which grew into boredom over the state of paranoia it just created — until I reached my current state of mind: old, vintage Swedish UFO and humanoid observations.
No, I haven’t always believed in UFOs. Belief is the enemy as John A. Keel once wrote, and I hesitate to use that word even to describe my look at this subject. But let’s say I’m interested in it, with a dash of understanding — based on all my research — that something is out there. What the heck it is I have no idea, but it’s there and it’s fun. Through the years I’ve come to appreciate the hoaxers of UFO culture, those who during the early days manufactured made-up stories about otherworldly encounters to sell more magazines or get speaking gigs at UFO conferences. Or were they totally made up? Gray Barker is a good example, as Uncle Trickster of this subculture. A man who wanted to believe, but turned more and more bitter over the years.
UFO is a bucket of shit
Artists of the fast buck…
And I sit here, writing,
while the shit drips down my
face in great rivulets
In 1970 he wrote to John C. Sherwood, “the kookie books are about what I can sell these days…”, as he found himself to be outdated by a new generation of ufologists — those who didn’t appreciate his more or less speculative ideas and manufactured adventures of aliens vs humans. He might sound bitter, but it was because he was a believer — and he reached the event horizon… and nothing more was to be discovered. What awaited him was another endless void.
In the chaotic field of ufology, tricksters and hoaxers are as important as serious researchers, contactees and abductees, skeptics and debunkers. They’re all part of the grand scheme, triggering each other into new discoveries, ideas and failures. Gray Barker was one of the first who truly monetized his exaggerated vision of the visitors from outer space. In 1956 his book They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers was published, the first book to deal with the Men in Black phenomenon. The publication spawned a whole new mythology, a mythology that somehow became a reality, at least if you choose to see it that way. Barker wrote and (in)directly manifested the MiB’s, still present to this day — from witness statements to Hollywood blockbusters. Ray Palmer was another one. There’s more, and we will get to more into later in the text.
Personally, I always come to think of Robert Anton Wilson, who through his Illuminatus trilogy (co-written with Robert Shea) planted the concept of the mysterious Illuminati society into the collective consciousness. Wilson himself was surprised when later was contacted by representatives of his fictional organization, as they seemed directly connected to what he and Shea once wrote. Another example is when occultist and writer Alan Moore once met his own creation John Constantin in a bar. There’s many more examples of this.
The imagination phases into reality. This form of thought-forms, manifestations and tulpas, fascinates me — and deep inside I hope it one day will happen to me too, or at least something will show there’s something tangible behind it all.
“Dead Alien Humanoid in Sweden”. The four words stuck out from the massive text I just found. A dead humanoid in Sweden, an alien? I thought I knew about all the more spectacular cases about aliens, humanoids and other kinds of monsters on Swedish soil, so I had to dive right into it! Could this be true, or was it just another creepypasta messing with my head? I’ve been through it before. The Pterodactyl at Lake Halen (to be fair, it was mentioned in a 1997 issue of UFO-Aktuellt, but the author, Richard Svensson, have never responded to me about it) and The Ällmora Swamp monster for example, both probably creations of someone that was bored one day at the internet and decided to plant a few articles, forum posts and comments here and there and so created two legends which only exists on the web, and have no ground whatsoever in reality. Was this another one of those stories? Unfortunately I found the story at the site of a podcast I don’t enjoy, Mysterious Universe. It is reported by cryptzoologist Brent Swancer under the full title “A Curious Case of a Dead Alien Humanoid in Sweden”. After glancing through it I had to find the source of the story! After using internet for a while I found a PDF-file at Scribed, credited to a Patrik Gross and something called URECAT — UFO Related Entities Catalog, described as “URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic”.
So, what’s the story? What’s this humanoid business? First of all, the case attracted me because it was set in Sweden, and I’m Swedish and I research weird and strange UFO cases in this country. This one I had never heard about before, so imagine how my curiosity grew and grew… until the last notes on the PDF by Patrick Gross, where he kinda pulled the rug on the story. Maybe it was all fake? I’ll get back to that a bit later. Now let’s take a look at the story. I’ve taken the liberty to slightly shorten the original text as found in the URECAT file (behind a paywall), under the less than poetic title “July 1955, Vestra, Norrland, Sweden, Three Lumberjacks’’:
“In 1955 I was working as a lumberjack in the Gulf of Bothnia in Vestra Norrland in Sweden with two brothers who supplied timber to a sawmill in mid-Sweden. One early morning in July, about six o’clock, we were busy cutting trees, when we heard a sound like a big animal thrashing its way through the forest, or like branches breaking and rattling. A moment later we saw a cigar-shaped object flying haphazardly in between the trees and branches as leaves were falling to the ground. My immediate thought was that it was a small airplane, which had lost its wings and was now preparing, without control, for a crash landing. Approximately 300–400 meters away flowed a river, which the aircraft evidently was heading for. It was obvious that the aircraft would hit the ground within a few seconds, so we started to run in the direction where it had disappeared. 15–20 meters before we came out of the forest, the aircraft crashed in a clearing 30–40 meters from the river.
I don’t know what we had expected, maybe a deafening crash, when the impact of the aircraft with the ground caused the petrol to explode. But it did not happen. Not a sound was heard, but a gigantic flash of light engulfed the whole area like a vast flashbulb, so that the sunlight almost disappeared. The light was so intense that we in fact could see through the trees. For a second I could see the grains of the trees and these were more than one meter in diameter, like an x-ray. Seconds later came a vacuum wave sucking everything towards the center of the light. All three of us tumbled forwards, branches and leaves flying past us.
It all probably lasted only a fraction of a second, but I still remember how I crashed into a tree, time stopped, and my whole life was reviewed in my mind in a flash. Even the normal sound of the forest had stopped “When we had recovered somewhat, we went out into the clearing to see what had happened. Nothing was to be seen at the point of impact, only a few piles of timber were scattered around. We looked bewildered at each other and decided to return to work. At the entrance to the forest one of the brothers suddenly shouted: “Here’s a dwarf dressed in uniform.” Obviously the plane has crashed in the river and he must have been hurled out.
For a while we stood paralyzed gazing at the lifeless body. He was small in build, about 110–120 centimeters tall. Around his body a white light vibrated like a halo. When one of the brothers tried to touch the man to see whether he was still alive he retreated with a scream. He was deadly pale and said he felt as if he had received an electrical shock. At the same time the stranger opened his eyes and said in perfect Swedish: ‘ Do not touch me, it will only bring you difficulties.’ His Swedish was so perfect that the brothers who spoke a Swedish dialect could not understand very much from what was later said. Now you know who I am’,” he said. He knew in beforehand what we were going to answer and just demonstrated that his question was correctly grasped. Suddenly I became quite calm and studied him closely.
He was no dwarf. He was very well built with broad shoulders and normal features. His skin was yellowish like that of an Asian. The eyes were deep sockets and black, without any white around. His face was badly bruised with a couple of big wounds on the chin and on the forehead. It did not bleed but the skin watered around the wounds. The top of his head was slightly downy and the hair almost white. The earlobes were one with the neck and resembled a shark’s fin. The lips were wrinkled, narrow and colorless. When he smiled reassuringly, which he did a lot, he revealed a row of small teeth in the upper as well as the lower part of his mouth. I especially noticed that his canine teeth were flat and as broad as two of our front teeth. His hands were small with five slender fingers without nails and when he moved his hand it looked as if the ring finger had grown together to the little finger, if not they moved synchronized. His uniform was of a reddish metal and appeared glued to his body closely. Head and hands were free, but at the feet the clothing continued into a couple of closed shoes, size 35–37. The foot-soles were ribbed and vibrated, and for a moment I thought of caterpillars on a tank. The stranger looked at me and nodded slightly. There was no doubt that he knew what I was thinking. With those shoes he could roll forwards and backwards without moving his feet. Around the waist he had a broad silvery metal belt with an unusually large buckle, which shone slightly in a light blue shade, which later when he was dead, turned dark blue. In the middle of the buckle was a sign in yellow — UV — it looked like a V, which was incorporated in a U.
He knew I was studying him, and he said; ‘ It is because of the clothing I can stay with you for a while. Internally, I am destroyed.’ His right hand disappeared into his clothing at the hip, where no pocket could be seen. He brought out a rectangular object. It was of the size of a box of matches with 12 small indents. With a slate pencil attached to the object, he engaged the different indents several times. When completed he tried to throw it a few yards away. ‘ Don’t touch it’ “ he said smilingly. ‘It will tell my fellow men what has happened, so that they don’t come looking for me. Where I come from somebody is waiting for me. The stranger lay for a while as if asleep. His hands were tightly clasped, and it was evident he went through great pains. Suddenly the brothers became somewhat confused, looked at each other, and then went back to the forest without a word.
Years later when recalling the incident, I am convinced that the stranger one way or the other asked the brothers to leave, without saying a word. I sat talking and listening to him for two hours before he died. What they talked about for those two hours I could not get the witness to reveal. I begged and urged him, but there was nothing to do, just a few fragments like these:
The stranger came from a place in the vicinity of the constellation we call “The Eagle.” Several races from space have visited us, some so far advanced that we could only see them when they materialized or dematerialized to visit a parallel universe in the orbit of earth. Some visitors kept people on earth under surveillance and had done so for thousands of years. Others took samples of the earth, with a view to later settlements. Still others have had contact with mankind for centuries.
In this context it is rather immaterial what was talked about even if it would have been interesting with further information about this conversation. I could understand from the witness that it had not been what was normally being told in connection with other encounters of this kind. The witness continued: “Just before the stranger died, he gave me folded bag from the invisible pocket and said: “ When I am dead, the light will disappear from my body and with the help of the other two men you shall put me in this bag and carry me out into the river where I shall disappear. Then you shall rinse yourself thoroughly in the water, so that you don’t get ill.”
He was now breathing heavily, and I could see the end was near. The halo around him became weaker and gradually disappeared. His light blue buckle gradually got darker. He looked at me for a moment and smiled. Then he said something in a language I have never heard before or since. Suddenly he switched into Swedish, and I got the last couple of sentences. “You have come without any wish to and depart against your own wish. Our life is like vapor.” He said a few more words, but his voice was so weak that I did not catch them. I am convinced he prayed to some deity before dying. I was very moved.
With the help of the brothers we got him into the bag and carried him out into the river. The bag smelled of sulfur and burned our hands as if they were raw flesh. He was quite heavy, between 90 to 100 kilos. When the bag came into the water, it started bubbling around it and we realized that some chemical process had started. After 5 minutes nothing remained, and I thought that maybe the stranger had hoped to crash in the river to a quick death, instead of lying for a couple of hours suffering, whilst a minor in the mind asked some silly questions. He would probably have preferred to die alone, thinking of his home light years away. “I think that was all,” said the witness and prepared to take leave. “I stayed for a couple of years with the brothers, but we seldom talked about that special day. I think, however, each of us went through it every day. The brothers are dead now, but I remember it like it had happened just yesterday.”
The source used is the tabloid magazine UFO Universe, the August/September issue of 1991, which boasts headlines like “BEWARE THE SINISTER GRAYS — THEY MAY BE OUT TO ABDUCT YOU”, “UFO ABDUCTION HORROR” and “DID ANCIENT ASTRONAUTS BRING ELECTRICITY TO EARTH 2000 YEARS AGO?” mixed with ads for Nina Nostradamus, who is claimed to have “predicted the 1989 San Francisco quake within 11 minutes” and books like Cosmic Top Secret by William Hamilton III and You Can Become A Super-Being, complete with an “actual photo of a fire god created with the powers described in this new book”. It’s not all fun and games of course, within its pages is a good article by English researcher Jenny Randles and several other more thought through works. But I wanted to own this issue for the headline on the cover, Alien Dies in Sweden.
The text is credited to one John La Fontaine and is riddled with sloppy facts — which didn’t just make me suspicious, even Patrick Gross had a theory: John La Fontaine is an alias. According to Gross, UFO Universe was a supermarket tabloid, which is true, and therefore ran a lot of completely made up stories just to sell more. The editor was the (in)famous Timothy Green Beckley, a trickster in ufology and conspiracy theories which balanced between fact and fiction — just like Gray Barker did. Gross also puts forths that John La Fontaine is a version of Jean de La Fontaine, a French author of fables — a so-called fabulist — who lived between 1621 and 1695. He wrote 12 books with 239 fables in total, and was very popular at the time.
So Gross has a point here, the names are similar and the story itself, with a Swedish talking short statured humanoid crashing in the north of Sweden and then being dissolved like an effervescent tablet in a nearby river IS quite outrageous. It bears all the trademarks of a fable, a fairy tale. Living in Sweden, and with the more laidback and mellow UFO culture we have here, I wasn’t that familiar with Beckley and UFO Universe (and the tons of other publications he was behind), so I sent veteran occultist and ufologist Allen H. Greenfield a message on Twitter. If my memory serves me right he’d mentioned Beckley had been a friend of his. I asked him specifically if he knew if Beckley ever had used the name John La Fontaine, and got a very frank and to the point answer: “Not to my knowledge. Tim did publish stuff from an assortment of people with odd names, but his basic modus operandi was to print anything of interest that either wasn’t nailed down by copyright or by his friends who didn’t charge him. I knew him for nearly 60 years. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body and was less cynical than Gray or Jim.”
I trust Greenfield on this, and decided to leave the subject of the dead humanoid in Sweden alone for a while. All my searches on John La Fontaine or John Fontaine in combination with UFOs and humanoids only lead me to rewritten versions of the article in UFO Universe, so maybe it was a dead end street after all? But like broken machines; televisions, recorders, players and so on, when you leave them alone for a while they suddenly tend to work again after a shorter or longer break. A form of passive magick. So goes the universe. Just let it work out some things and it will be there for you sooner or later.
It wasn’t until I was bored one day and I was looking through Archives for the Unexplained’s online database of scanned magazines and fanzines I encountered something interesting. In issue six, 1977, of the Swedish magazine UFO-Information I suddenly saw a very familiar, but yet so modest, headline: “Avled en man från en annan planet i Norrland år 1955?” — “Did man from another planet pass away in Norrland in 1955?”, signed by John La Fontaine. It was translated from Danish by Jan-Ove Sundberg, and the source was issue four of the Danish publication UFO-Aspekt, 1977. I finally found it, the source of the story — and it had been written down way earlier than 1991. The question was still if John La Fontaine was an alias? In regards to Beckley, he had been active during the seventies — but why would he write for a Danish publication?
What really made me happy was that the information in both the Swedish and Danish version, finally was correct. The main issue is the confusion over the actual location. In UFO Universe it is said to have been in “Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Sweden”. First of all, as is well known, Copenhagen is in Denmark, but on the other side there’s a Charlottenberg in Sweden, with a slight difference in spelling. This was solved quickly. The scene of La Fontaine’s encounter with the mysterious man had been at an exhibition Love or Chaos, at Charlottenborg, and Charlottenborg is an art center in Copenhagen. There was no year stated, but using the Danish original name of the exhibition, Kærlighed og Kaos, I found out there actually was an exhibition with that name in 1977.
Christiania is a free zone in Copenhagen, created by hippies and free spirited supporters — and a huge amount of hashish. When it was decided that Christiania was to be closed down by the Danish government in 1976, the community appealed to the supreme court in 1977 and lost. One of the measurements they took to keep Christiania going was the art exhibition Kærlighed og Kaos. It was a big success, and among the exhibitors was FUFOS — Frederiksbergs UFO Studiokreds and/or Frit UFO Studium. According to UFO Universe, the organization had 5000 members at its peak and was led by the charismatic channeler, psychic and ufologist Steen Landsy. He’s been a professional in the field since 1969 and since 1976 he runs Kosmos Center together with his wife, Ingelise Landsy. But the question was still there, who was — or is — John La Fontaine? I sent Landsy an email to ask both about the incident about the dead humanoid and the author of the article. The answer didn’t give me much, but at least I know I was on the right track: “Unfortunately, I do not remember anything about the incident — but I can tell you that John La Fontaine was an employee — volunteer in the association FUFOS. Unfortunately, I do not know if he lives more.”
At least I had confirmation that La Fontaine had been a real person and that he had been active within FUFOS at the time. I headed to Facebook and became a member of the group Skandinavisk UFO Information — Debatforum, where one member told me he remembered John La Fontaine very well since his teenage years. John had been a master of telling stories, maybe being a former sailor was one of the reasons he knew so much about the world and UFOs. He was very active in FUFOS and traveled around Denmark to talk about the subject to the public. He had now passed away.
As Fontaine had no means to capture the interview, neither by pen nor any electronic recording device, he fully admits that he wrote it down only from memory. At the end of the article in UFO-Aspekt he calls out for the witness to contact him again, so they can discuss it more. But if he ever got an answer is unknown. The original witness, the man telling the story to John La Fontaine, had been in his sixties at the time of the encounter at the exhibition, and must be dead by now. The few details in his story seem right, but aren’t enough specified to identify either the exact location or the other two witnesses.
It might all have been a hoax or the imagination of a man who needed some attention, and what the truth is we will never know as everyone involved is either unknown or dead. This is what ufology is about, at least partly, storytelling — imagination — a delicate walk on the fine line of truth and fiction. Stories like this belong as much in the UFO culture as Tic Tacs, bright dots in the sky, contactees, abductees, field investigators and boring, office bound researchers as me. It’s another trigger into the realm of the unknown and the curious concept of “What if…”.
Swedish researcher and author Håkan Blomqvist has another theory, which he shared with him — or at least hinted to — in a recent email, “A certain parallel can be drawn to Albert Coe’s book The Shocking Truth” together with a PDF version of it.
Albert Coe’s book is the alleged true story of Coe, out in the wilderness for months, when encountering a humanoid — wounded from a crash. Coe helps him and they become dear friends. The basic setup is actually quite similar to what the unknown man told La Fontaine in 1977: the wilderness, the wounded humanoid, the communication between the two — but then it differs drastically. Where Coe’s friend, Xretsim (“Mister X”), or Xret as Coe calls him, survives and continues to have contact with him (they even go on a fishing trip together), and it’s all a secret between them, the Swedish story ends with the humanoid dying in front of the man and his two logger colleagues and is then dissolved in a nearby river. Could the man have read Coe’s book and taken the initial premise from it? Maybe he read it and somehow, with the help of a vivid imagination, it became a real event in his own life? It’s perfectly possible, but yet — we don’t know.
This is as far as I can get with the story, but to paraphrase John La Fontaine himself at the end of this original article: “Dette er højst intressant, og når/hvis du, ukendte vidne, læser dette, bedes du venligst kontakte mig, så att vi kan uddybe detta emne nærmare”, or as the translation reads: “This is very interesting, because when / if you, unknown witness, read this, please contact me so that we can elaborate on this topic further.”
I can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fred Andersson is a Swedish story producer, researcher and writer with over twenty years of experience in commercial television and the author of three books. He lives in Märsta, outside Stockholm, with his photographer husband Grzegorz and two overly active cats. Join him on Twitter and Instagram.
Fred Andersson is a Swedish story producer, researcher and writer with over twenty years of experience in commercial television and the author of three books. He lives in Märsta, outside Stockholm, with his photographer husband Grzegorz and two overly active cats.