Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A conversation with Chris Aubeck about UFO's, belief, and everything in between





Back in July, Danish organization UFO Denmark (formerly known as Exopolitics Denmark) hosted one of their regularly occurring UFO conferences in Copenhagen. As usual the program included a diverse and interesting selection of guests from the international field of ufology that you wouldn't otherwise be able to experience in Denmark. This time around the speakers included Tracy Garbutt, who talked primarily about remote viewing and personal experiences, while Richard Dolan did a very matter-of-fact presentation about possible future disclosure, in light of recent developments involving declassified navy UFO footage.

The main attraction for me, however, was the addition of top notch UFO historian Chris Aubeck to the bill - a choice which both surprised and delighted me when I first learned about it. I've known Chris for many years and met and corresponded with him on several occasions, as a member of the Magonia Exchange group. Chris founded Magonia Exchange back in 2003, with the purpose of being an online forum for sharing and studying UFO-related items (newspaper articles, images, books and much more) predating Kenneth Arnold's infamous sighting of June, 1947.

What Chris Aubeck and the many other top ufologists connected to Magonia Exchange have discovered through their collective efforts, is that UFO's have a history that precedes and goes beyond anything we could have imagined 20 years ago. Accounts of things like crashed spaceships and abductions by aliens, which everyone thought were largely a recent phenomenon, have shown instead to extend quite far back in time. And not only that; they have had a much larger impact on our culture and society than we think and collectively remember. This realization has only happened due to the recent advances in digitization and increase in online resources, and Chris Aubeck has been on the forefront of this evolution, setting new standards not only for historical UFO study, but for research in general.



Chris Aubeck presenting at the UFO Denmark summer conference, 2019

After the 2019 conference in Copenhagen I sat down with Chris and tried to dig a bit deeper into his personal beliefs and the main achievements that he feels has come from his many years of studying UFO's in history. As you will learn from the resulting interview, Chris Aubeck is a real powerhouse of knowledge relating to UFO genealogy, but his work and findings are still almost criminally overlooked. Therefore I hope that this interview will help make more people aware of what he and the rest of Magonia Exchange have uncovered, so we can all become at least a little bit wiser about what it all means.

UPDATE: UFO Denmark has now posted the full video of Chris' presentation 

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Thomas: Hello Chris, and thank you for agreeing to this interview. You made a great presentation yesterday at the conference, elegantly presenting your meticulous research and findings, the majority of which people, including most ufologists, are completely unaware of. I really think it was received well, although it was of course a lot to swallow at once, even for me.


Chris: Thanks Thomas, it’s good to be here. I hope you’re right about that, that people received it well. I know many were listening, because they were laughing at my jokes, even towards the end. Ha!


Thomas: (laughing) Yeah, I noticed that too. So, can you give an outline of who Chris Aubeck is and what motivates you to do what you do? Why are you strictly focused on older UFO cases, when most ufologists seem to be more interested in the here and now, or in the future?


Chris: Well, you know, when I was young, about 14 years old, I discovered a book on etymology. I found that I liked to learn the origins of all the words I knew. I’d look around my house at windows, carpets, tables, my cat and so on, and I wanted to know how those words came about. I didn't know what I would use the information for, but I wanted to find out how this vocabulary had been created. And I've applied the same philosophy to many things in my life since then. I've recently moved back to a town where I last lived 20 years ago and I’m fascinated by the differences, how the shops, the buildings and the people I used to know have changed. I like to find out where people are now, the evolution of things. I just instinctively try to trace the origins of whatever I see. That means when if I'm faced with a UFO story, I want to know where it’s from, who created it, for what reason, and so on. A lot of the seeds of modern cases are buried in historical ones, so I work to peel back the layers to get to core truths. Every year the digitization of the world's archives makes that work easier and easier.


Thomas: So, if someone called you a historical detective it wouldn't be completely off the mark?


Chris: I would be happy with that label, yeah.


Thomas: From our correspondence over the years I know that you have researched and accumulated so much groundbreaking data that it would blow most people’s minds. But I've often wondered how on earth you keep track of it all? Do you have Excel sheets where you categorize it, an advanced note system, or how do you do it?


Chris: Well, I'm the kind of person who's always writing a book. I've been writing a book since I was 13 years old, so I probably think very much in chapters. I suppose that is somewhat the equivalent of having a database or notation system, so although I don't work with Excel sheets, I do have a system to help keep track of these cases. I think of them mainly in chronological order.


Thomas: So you're saying that besides writing about them, you can actually manage most of these things inside your head?


Chris: Thats right. If someone says a year, I can usually tell them what happened in that year in pre-UFO history.


Thomas: Okay, that is pretty remarkable.


Chris: I don’t know, what I really have is just chapters that I write in, which occasionally become books. But I'm not really motivated to write books. I'm motivated to write a particular book, which will be the presentation of my thesis. which is to explain the origin of...well, Ufology, in a sense. I mean, I’ve come to see the evolution of the UFO phenomenon from its roots. I can see how it overlapped with stories of meteorites, for example. I can see how literature, culture and the advance of science turned many meteorites sightings into UFO stories, including the ones about passengers, or those with strange writing on them. What I want to do is to finish this one book before I'm hit by a bus or something. Then of course I have minor projects going on as well, so I'm not obsessed with this one thesis and I'm very happy to adapt or change or get rid of things, if need be. Which in fact I have done over the years. The reason I haven't published this one yet is because I've totally rewritten it along the way. And I'm open to that.  And because at the same time, I don't care how much of this turns out to be real or not. I’m happy to be proved wrong. That's OK, I'm just letting the evidence guide me.


Thomas: You are known for your tendency to really stick with a case until It is solved, exploring all avenues of research known – or unknown – to man. But is there ever a point where you give up, where you're like….okay, this is simply taking up too much time and resources, and while it may have seemed important at a certain point, it doesn’t anymore. A point where you are content and you don’t feel you need to really pursue it further?


Chris: Well, the reason that I have been working on the same main book for over 15 years, is that I'm really hesitant to publish a case without reaching a conclusion for it. But I do eventually reach one. Take for example the 1865 case of a trapper in the Rockies called James Lumley. You can even find this story on the internet these days. People think that it's like an old Roswell type incident. I had this case on file for a very long time, researched and wrote notes about it frequently, but I was never happy with it, because I didn't know how or why it happened. But now I know the origin of that story, I've traced its roots. I know the reason why it was published, and so on. Another example is a case I mentioned yesterday that happened in Arkansas in 1847, involving a bust which fell from the sky. I finally know all about that case after many years of research. Now I know the why and how and when. I also mentioned a case from 1862 about a meteorite reported to be covered in paintings and pictures and diagrams, believed to be from another planet. That’s another example of one I’ve research to pieces, as it were. I am actually reaching a point now where I don't need to look for any more cases to support my thesis, because if I did my book would end up being seven hundred pages long!


Newspaper article about the above mentioned Lumley case


Thomas: Ok, so besides your drive for researching cases, I also know that you are actively trying to spread more awareness about the fact that the UFO phenomenon didn't just start in 1947, and that Kenneth Arnold’s sighting was just a more recent point in a very long continuum of similar events. What can you do to create more attention about these, let's say, historical gaps?


Chris: I don't know, because I'd like to put out books, but at the same time I realize that we're living in an age where many people don't read books. So, I am toying with the idea of making videos for YouTube, turning my thesis into…a rap video, maybe? Perhaps that will get people's attention.


Thomas: (laughing) I would love to see that


Chris: I have absolutely no idea to be honest. It's very difficult to make big changes these days because there's so much noise. Whatever I say there will be someone a lot noisier than me telling everybody that the government has a UFO locked away in Area 51 or something. It's extremely difficult.


Thomas: Where do you see yourself fit in the world of ufology? I don't believe many are motivated in the same way as you are, on either side of the spectrum, but besides that, where do you sort of come down on the major issues?


Chris: I would say that I don't, for example, believe that the government has any UFOs in their capacity. And I don't believe the government has all the truth about everything. Which doesn't mean that there is or isn't anything going on related to UFOs. What I mean is, the government might know what's been going on up to a certain extent, but then someone, my mother for example says "oh, I saw a flashing banana-shaped light in the sky yesterday". They can’t automatically know what that was. Therefore, I think it's impossible to say that the government knows the “whole truth” about anything. They might try to give the impression they know things, as a kind of political strategy or to look more powerful. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they like the idea of conspiracy theories floating around and people getting together, like during this weekend, talking about what they think the government is hiding. Because whether “they” are hiding something or not, the fact is people believe it and this fact adds to their power. And the UFO myth is also a convenient cover for the development of secret weapons, as we’ve seen examples of.


Thomas: So, in your research, even if you are only looking into old cases prior to 1947, and especially before the 20th century, you don’t feel that there are any examples where governments could have covered up certain incidents?


Chris: Honestly, I don't. I don't see any real cover-up. What I see is a tangled web of information. We have to remember that a government isn't one person, it's a lot of people. And among them there are going to be individuals who are going to suspect that others working beside them, above them, or below them will have access to information that they don't. So, I wouldn't be surprised if people in the government can also become paranoid about what's really going on. But I don't personally think that behind all of that there's a filing cabinet with the truth in it. I think that it's just a horrible mess and that the same applies for any subject. I mean, there are of course real conspiracies. Like when the military is accused of covering up rape by male soldiers of female soldiers. The word cover-up exists outside ufology, obviously. But no, I don't believe that “they” are covering up anything significant related to UFOs.


Thomas: OK, but then to maybe take a step back further from the subject: So, you don’t see any indications of a historical cover-up of UFO's. But when does this element of conspiracy first start appearing? I mean, this is now an inescapable part of let's say the UFO mythology, but at what point do you see it entering reports and stories?


Chris: Well, I don't know, I suppose that the government sort of suddenly started it by accidentally saying they had captured a flying saucer in Roswell, in July of 1947. And that gave rise to suspicion, because, of course, when at first they say one thing and then suddenly change their mind, it does create doubt. So I wouldn't be surprised if that's really where it started. I mean, before that I haven’t detected any real conspiracy theories. Yesterday I mentioned a case from 1926 concerning a farmer who believed that he'd found an alien skull, who then spent the next couple of weeks with his neighbors looking for the rest of the alien body. He thought a spaceship had exploded near his house. He stated to journalists that he was very sorry, but he wasn't going to give this to the government, or any kind of scientists, because he felt he had a mission to find the rest of the alien first. If he had lived in a social context in which government conspiracies were a possibility, he would have mentioned it. But the fact is that he didn't. So, I don't believe that people distrusted the government in the sense that we see after 1947, at least not concerning these types of events.


Thomas: How do you reconcile that fact that UFO sightings, historical as well as newer ones, for a large part has been "one step ahead" of the current technology? For example, before there were airships, people reported mystery airships, then after the airship was invented, people began reporting even more advanced airships, and then mysterious airplanes...


Chris: Well, we humans are always imagining slightly beyond our means, in the same sense that science fiction is always about technology that hasn't arrived yet. And considering that in the 19th century people were also inventing stories, like they do today, it’s not surprising that they were describing airships or other types of alien technology or whatever that hadn't been invented yet. I mean, that's just the way it's always been…in stories people come up with things that haven't been invented yet.


Thomas: Do you see any kind of “supernatural” element or unknown factor in this evolution at all? Something that falls outside of what science can explain today? I am thinking of something akin to Jacques Vallée’s “conditioning hypothesis”, the idea that someone or something is using the UFO phenomenon to nudge us into new beliefs and perhaps technologies.


Chris: I don't think that people are being guided towards new technologies or beliefs via alterations to the visual imagery presented to them. I think that that's a wonderful excuse that people have, so they can put everything into the same sack. I mean, when I was writing Wonders in The Sky with Jacques, we argued a lot about this. He would say “look, here's a classic close encounter case” and I would say, “but this sounds more like a ghost to me” and then he would present another case, and it would sound to me like a vision of the Virgin Mary. Why try to argue that a virgin is a ufonaut or whatever? I just can’t understand that approach. And in the end we actually agreed to take out a lot of these more ambiguous close encounter stories.



Chris Aubeck with legendendary ufologist and co-founder of the book 'Wonders In The Sky", Jacques Vallée, in 2015.


Thomas: I want to get back to this hypothesis about some overall guiding principle, or however you want to call it. Jeffrey Kripal for example has this idea about a “Superstory” which we are all the time writing collectively as humans, mostly without even realizing it, and which at the same time influences us to continue writing it. Kind of similar to some of Jung’s ideas about archetypes and narratives. Do you subscribe to something like this at all?


Chris: I do think that humans tend to create stories according to a certain template, and if you study folklore, if you study mythology, or simply literature, you will find that people make stories with more or less the same plot all the way through – like The Hero’s Journey narrative. You have the hero, then you have the problem that the hero has to face. You might be able to insert a love interest, and then there's a point in which he almost loses his bride-to-be, or whatever. I mean it's just like a structure that people always rely on. You can compare a lot of Hollywood films that followed very similar structures. It’s all about tropes and motifs. I think that descriptions of UFO encounters also grow this way. If you take stories like the one I presented yesterday from 1863, where this meteorite crash-landed in Jamaica, the witnesses include a scientist who identifies it as a meteorite, then takes it back to his laboratory inspects it, only to discover that it's made of a strange substance, something totally artificial. It also has writing on it and from there he reaches the conclusion that this is alien technology. It’s a basic story you find throughout modern ufology, and in the end, what do you think happens as a result of these alleged breathtaking events? Absolutely nothing. The meteorite from 1863 was going to revolutionize science, but of course it didn't. It disappeared. Did Kecksburg revolutionize science? Of course not. Did Roswell revolutionize anything? Has anything ever revolutionized anything in the world of ufology? Only if you subscribe to the belief that some of our current technology came from aliens. I certainly don’t subscribe to that theory.


Thomas: Okay, but where, in your opinion, does personal belief fit into the UFO phenomenon? I mean what's the value of it to you?


Chris: Well, I've had a lot of hobbies in my life. I became interested in magic and magic tricks; I've been interested in painting. My levels of interest fluctuate. But one thing that continually motivates me about the world of UFOs is that there's still so much left to discover that it gives me a reason to reopen my files every day. Although I wouldn't say that it's belief-oriented, I’m definitely motivated by knowing that I can add something of value to this field, just as I am in my day job, teaching English.


Thomas: Okay, but actually what I meant with the question was, what is the evidence value of personal belief in ufology and in UFO experiences. Maybe I should ask, to what extent do you feel we can we use individual personal experiences, which in most cases is all we got?


Chris: Okay. Well, there are some cases that don't conform to the general pattern that I find. These are what we can call outliers, and when I find one, then of course it makes me wonder if the people involved really saw something unusual or not. So, my mind is open to the possibility that I will find anomalies in the data. Here in the modern world, I am surrounded by people who “see things.” I am constantly thinking about whether their experiences have a rational explanation. And I will look for one and offer my opinion, even if people don't want to hear it. 

People don’t always like to know the truth. I mean, I’ve been out for a drink with other ufologists when one will suddenly stand up and get very excited about something in the sky. They point to a plane, and say something like “Oh my God, they know we're talking about them!”. Seeing that kind of behavior, and realizing that they're going to write this up as an as another anecdote for their UFO files, worries me a bit. I think that in reality less than 1% of the phenomena that I read about or hear about might have a complex explanation. I think anomalies are much rarer than people think.


Thomas: But they do exist, that’s what you’re saying?


Chris: I'm willing to accept that. But I'm also willing to accept that there's nothing at all mysterious about them in the end.


Thomas: So when you're looking at cases, you are not looking at them to add to a collection of anomalies, you are looking to solve them.


Chris: Yes, I am looking for problems that I can actively solve.


Thomas: Alright. Well in that connection, what would you say is your toughest case. Did you ever encounter one where you found yourself thinking oh s**t, I will do my best to solve this one, but even then, it is just so mind-boggling that I still can’t reconcile the weirdness of it.


Chris: Well, apart from a UFO sighting of my own, which I’ve thought about a lot and never found and explanation for, yeah. There are some historical sightings that make me wonder. There’s one case in a book from 1857 which is so strange, because it doesn't fit into the timeline at all. This is the one where a ship sails over an American village. And I've been there, I've been to this location, which didn't help. I've also been to be the archives located in the nearest town, that didn't help either. What bothers me about this case is that it appears in a book about health. It's a book that does mention things like potions and little bit of magic, but nothing even remotely to do with unidentified flying objects. It's so out of place in this book that it makes you wonder why the author would have inserted it. He doesn't use it in any of his publicity for the book either. It gives you the impression that he came across something that he really wanted to share with his readers, but maybe just didn’t know what to do it, so he just threw it in there. 

I've spent now more than 10 years working on solving it one way or another, together with Kay Massingill (a very active, to say the least, American member of Magonia Exchange), tracing the origin of everything else in the book. So, for example, we now know that pages 25 to 61 were stolen from another publication. We also know that a whole chapter was taken or copied from someone else’s health book, and so on. But the part about the UFO, we haven't found anything similar anywhere at all. And this this bothers me a lot and it'll bother me forever until I’ve solved it. I don't believe that this man invented the story, because he could have invented something a lot better than that! Another thing that bothers me is that the author says that there are thousands of such cases on record. That's something you just don’t hear anywhere until more modern times, long after 1947. So why would he say that? Why would you say there are thousands of cases of record? It sounds so out of place. So that one bothers me.


Chris Aubeck and Kay Massingill in Ohio, 2014

And then there is the story from 1874 that Martin Shough and I included in Return To Magonia, about two farmers from Ohio crossing a field, when they see a black object descending from the sky. When it lands it doesn't crash. Instead the lights go out, the door opens and a man comes out dressed in black holding a lantern. He then jumps into a “buggy” without any horses and drives away. Now, I can trace possible origins for each part of this, I think, but it still bothers me, because it's so odd. Now, it’s important to mention that it was published just after April Fool's Day. But at the same time, the witnesses really existed, I tracked them down through genealogical records. The place existed as well; I’ve been there myself. And visiting the place, it makes you realize that the man who reported the story knew the area quite well.


Chris Aubeck examining a supposed landing site in Ohio, 2014


And then finally this story from 1831 which I mentioned in my presentation. I wasn't that interested in it when we published it in Return To Magonia, but now I've looked at it again and again, I realize just how strange it is. It describes a clock shaped object, sometimes with legs, that scorches the grass, but doesn't burn people. It goes up in the sky, comes down again and so on. That's pretty strange. And there is very little there to indicate a hoax - even the discrepancies between witness testimony is what you would expect if it had really happened. So that one bothers me too. I would put those three into the “unknown” category for now.


Chris Aubeck searching for information in a library in Ohio, 2014


Thomas: Very interesting, particularly the second one to me personally. As you may remember, I have been particularly interested in cases involving strange boxes, and the thing with the lantern sounds very much like you would hear about in more modern encounters with UFO entities. It’s a recurring element in so many of the more documented cases out there, but do you see it appear often in your research?


Chris: Well, there is one science fiction novel published in 1848 that made me think more about it, published a Christmas book. It's an amazing tale really, every part of it reads like a modern UFO case: An object is seen through a telescope coming from space, which gets larger and larger and eventually divides into at least two lights, red and blue. Then it lands in a garden, and when it lands, people rush outside from their Christmas dinners to see it. After the object lands, the light goes out, just as it did in the other case from Ohio. Then a figure emerges from this dark object. I believe it's carrying a light, I’d have to go back and read it. But it's a very similar story. And it was published 26 years earlier. And I know that it was based on a case about a meteorite that landed in Bavaria. So, it shows that this element already existed in the culture, or, let’s say, within people's imaginative grasp, even back then.


Thomas: Ok. So, with these cases, there is something that I thought about during your presentation yesterday. When you start going deeper into them, then you naturally have to question a lot of things. But on the surface, if you just mentioned the details and the narrative, it can sound to people like you are coming with a lot of evidence about historic alien visitation. How do you reconcile this?


Chris: Whenever you strip a story of the details, it becomes more convincing. Particularly if you put it in with a bunch of similar cases. It's like, oh, another case and another story, another crashed object. But the moment you start to drill down to the details, you realize they contain contradictions and that they were usually inspired by something else. Or maybe the witnesses didn't even exist. You should never base beliefs on fragmented information or case summaries.  So, I was very aware, when I made this presentation, that the people who invited me are part of the exopolitics movement. Some of them might look at the historical cases I’ve presented and think that it’s all nonsense, but some might also think, “wow, this really strengthens my belief”. That's why I did mention a couple of times that if you want to know more about each case, you know, you’ve got to wait for my book. You need to give people the opportunity to get deeper into the data.


Thomas: Ok, so you’ve talked a lot about some cases that are hard to crack, but what is your favorite case, or cases? Are they the one and the same?


Chris: No, my favorite cases are more like my favorite witnesses in a sense. I'm fascinated by the stories of the Mystic Jane Leade, who died in 1701. She was from London and had a massive following. She kept some Diaries called The Fountain of Gardens and she's constantly making references to her own personal UFO sightings. And these are diaries, so you have the date and the place and so on, and her descriptions are very interesting, just like modern UFO encounters. For example, in one entry she's looking at a star through her window, when she loses consciousness. Then she wakes up inside the star, where she says she meets strange beings and so on. And then occasionally she makes references to little children, pregnancies and such…It's just like a whole alien abduction story, except it's from a Mystic who died centuries ago. So if I had a favorite case, I'd say that would be it.



Chris Aubeck illustrating ectoplasm for an article about spiritism. The spiritist movement of the late 1800's and early 1900's played a large role in popularizing experiences that most people today associate with UFO's. 


Thomas: What is the future for the Magonia Exchange project that you started more than 15 years ago now? You haven’t actively posted anything there for years now. Have you given up on it?


Chris: Well, my whole aim when we started the project, was to be the main contributor for as long as necessary. But I was always hoping that it would gain momentum and just carry on without me with no problem. And that's exactly what has happened over the years. I mean, if you if you look at other online historical archives to do with medieval history or science, you find that it isn't normally the guy who founded it that contributes the most. The founder of an organization is the guy who thought it all out, maybe he gets the ball rolling, but then he hopes that it will have a life of its own after a while. And that's exactly what happened, and it worked out very well.


Thomas: So, who's effectively most in control of it right now?


Chris: Nobody's really in control of it, except for me. I still have the last word about what happens with the group, who can join who leaves and so on. Yeah, I mean, I'm just happy that it's still going strong. I always told people at the beginning, that if they suddenly stopped posting, if they stopped contributing, that was fine. I would just use it myself as my personal database. But that didn't happen, it just carried on and got a life of its own. And these days it's a vital tool, I think people really need this kind of thing. The way that I created it was not to have a central database. That was done for various reasons, firstly because I wanted to encourage people to keep their own archives instead of being dependent on an online platform, because web pages are never permanent. The only disadvantage is that new members don't have access to the earliest cases, but to be honest, I don't think that's a problem. Older members will be sure to mention if something has been posted before and anyway, if there's one thing that people have to realize, it is that part of historical research is comparing multiple sources. Even if someone posts the same story as someone else years before, it might have a different date, different wording. It might be from an earlier or a later newspaper. If one was posted in a California paper and the other one in a New York paper, it gives us some valuable info that the story was carried across many thousands of kilometers, for example. And that can be analyzed. Sometimes what seems like different cases turn out to be the same, but they went viral and became altered along the way. And you need different sources in order to detect where this happened, how stories spread.


Thomas: I have not been that active in the group for the last couple of years, but every time I drop in to take a look, I see the level of activity is unchanged, or maybe even has increased. It seems that there is no end to the discoveries that can be made collectively.


Chris: That’s right. And at the same time, more and more digital archives and resources are becoming available to us. So, I don't see any limits to this group and its possibilities. And even if at some point everybody stops writing, then maybe I'll become active for a while again. But we've already collected more than 40,000 items. That's enough for anybody in a lifetime. So now let’s start to analyze it and make more output from it. And this is actually happening also more and more, with books coming out by several different members of the group, largely based on the information gathered there.


Thomas: Indeed, I am looking at some point to do the same, but with more local Danish material. Well, that's pretty much what I had for now. Thanks again for taking the time Chris, sharing your great insights and results from the many years in the field. I wish you all the best with all your future projects, and I am looking very much forward to reading about them in book form.

Chris: Thank you Thomas, it has been a pleasure. Let’s keep in touch.



Together with Chris Aubeck in front of the Copenhagen Mormon Temple, just around the corner from where the conference took place. Mormonism is yet another, little known piece of the historical UFO puzzle.

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For more of Chris' research and methodology relating to historical UFO cases, I recommend reading Return to Magonia, created together with the equally amazing Martin Shough.






Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Ghost Of Louise's Island (Part 2)




Let me first of all apologize for such a late follow-up to the story (more than 2 years, I know). A lot of things have happened lately, and it was just one of those projects that had to be put on the back-burner more than a few times. All in all, however, I have made a lot of progress on the case. I even managed to visit the island last summer, together with Thomas. This post will, among many other things, include a photo report from that trip. But let's start from where we left off, as we have a lot of ground to cover.

Towards the end of my previous post, I hinted at the fact that all of the four people involved in the experience have somewhat diverging memories and opinions about what happened that fateful night/morning. This is to be expected in any recollection of events that happened so many years ago, and it neither proves nor disproves that something spectacular actually took place; it is a reminder that any shared experience will always be more subjective than first meets the eye. Even if all witnesses had been questioned directly following the episode, the story would already have been colored by the personalities involved, their individual sensory apparatus, and state of mind at the time which, I will remind you, was largely one of fear. I mention this simply as a caveat for going so much into detail regarding the discrepancies of the following accounts. This is in no way meant to portray the witnesses as unreliable, but simply to try to paint the clearest possible picture of what happened, from a consensus of their collective statements. 


Accounting For Differences


So, what do our protagonists - Thomas, Nick, Olsen & Niels - actually agree on, and where do their stories differ? Let's take a look at this point by point while we go through their accounts.

Beginning with the year in question, the general consensus among all of us was that it must have been either 1997 or '98, and probably around midsummer. As to where they found the boat, Thomas, Nick and Olsen are all certain they grabbed one from a small docking area in front of Frederiksborg Castle, close to where the main shopping street begins, while Niels is not so sure. In fact, he even thinks they might have taken more than one boat with them. He also has a notion of a fifth person coming along, but the others dispute this quite strongly.

Regarding how they managed to even get one boat, let alone two, all the way to the island without anybody noticing them, Thomas believes they carried it mostly by hand. Olsen agrees that they had to walk for some distance, but feels certain that they sailed a good part of the way, maneuvering through the many small canals leading from the castle towards Badstuen. Nick's memories are somewhere in the middle, but they all remember there were some places where they could easily drift under the small bridges, and others were they had to take a detour. At the very least, considering that there is no direct water passage between the park canal system and Ødammen, they had to have carried the boat during this final stretch.


Aerial map of the castle area. The red dot indicates the place from where the boat was probably "borrowed", which is more or less directly south of Louise's Island. Sources indicate that while there has never been a boat renting company at this location, it is true that smaller boats used to dock here back during the 1990's.

Thomas recalls that when they finally reached the island, they tied the boat to some small trees near the shore, while Nick, Niels and Olsen told me they were sure they tied it to a small pier on the north-west side of the island. They all agree very adamantly about one thing, though: they made 100% - no, 110% - sure that the boat was secured properly before they started exploring. Both Thomas and Nick are former boy scouts and Nick specifically remembers tying a double granny knot, so he felt completely confident that there was no way they were going to have to swim to get back to the mainland. 

Another part that everyone agrees on is that the first thing they did after tying up the boat, was to try and enter the wooden cabin. Still, there are some conflicting details regarding how they managed to do that. Nick, Thomas and Olsen remembers the main entrance as being boarded up, while Niels has a memory of a large padlock. Whichever the case, this resulted first in an attempt to climb through a window, but without luck. Niels has some memories of hearing noises that frightened them around this time, but none of the others acknowledge this. According to Nick and Thomas, they tried to force open the door a few times (though being careful not to break anything, out of respect for the old building) and eventually succeeded. In fact, Thomas thought it was strange how they suddenly managed to get in that easily after struggling so much at first.

When they stepped inside, they found themselves in what Olsen describes as a kind of foyer or lobby with benches on each side near the entrance. He also recalls some sort of open roof construction around the cabin "tower", to which a staircase was leading. But the place was so full of old wooden planks and similar rubbish, that it was impossible to get past even the first few steps. Thomas remembers that he found it odd with that much garbage lying around, but in retrospect believes it was probably waste after the renovation, that workers had stashed there, since it was out the public's view anyways. After a while they got bored of exploring the cabin, and decided to take a walk around the island instead. 


The Boat House: The first thing you notice upon exiting the cabin

One detail that Thomas told us back then, but which I had since forgotten, was that some time after arriving on the island they all started to pick up on a distinct and unusual odor. Nick and Thomas remembers it as being sort of like the smell of freshly brewed tea. Olsen more specifically described the odor as being similar to chamomile. From what i can gather, Olsen and Nick were probably the first to take notice of the smell. But while they all have different recollections about when exactly it began, they agree that it wasn't there when they arrived. And that it became gradually stronger the more they walked around. Initially this sounded a bit strange to me when i was reminded of it. But then Thomas told me that, even back then, he thought it might have just been emanating from the plants they were stepping in. More about this later.

After walking around for a while - how long is uncertain, but probably 15 minutes at most - the novelty effect of the little island adventure was beginning to wear off, and the guys decided to head back to the mainland. 
This is when they realized, to their abject horror, that the boat they thought they had tied up so neatly, had come loose and begun drifting away from the island. Not everyone remembers how exactly they managed to pull it back again, only that it happened in the very last second. Thomas thinks they used a stick of some kind, Niels that they could still barely reach it with their fingertips. It was around this time that at least Thomas and Nick began getting the feeling that they weren't alone out there.

After comparing all accounts, it seems certain that Nick not only was the first to step into the boat after reeling it back in, but also the first to see "it". This happened as soon as he sat down, looking towards the island. Thomas would have been the second to climb aboard, and just as he was ready to position himself he felt Nick making a kind of panicky jump, followed by a "what the hell is that!". His reaction was so unusual that Thomas instantly sensed something was very wrong, and when he looked in the direction where Nick was pointing, he almost freaked out. 

In Thomas' estimate the figure was about 3 to 4 meters from the shore in front of them, grayish white and partially transparent. He sensed that it was most definitely looking at them. Nick went even further and described it's stare as "intense" - almost as if it wanted to make sure that they never thought of coming back again. The last one to get aboard the boat appears to have been Olsen. He remembers taking a few steps back and pushing the boat into the water, before finally jumping in himself. He didn't see the figure properly before he turned around to take a final look at the island.

Regarding the actual attributes of the entity, I always imagined it being similar to the so-called "Newby Church Spectre". I am of course referring to this most classic of all ghost photos:




Thomas knew exactly which picture I meant even before i showed it to him, but told me that the figure they saw wasn't nearly as detailed in its features. You couldn't see the face properly, as if there was something over its head. It was also darker in the facial area than the rest of the body. It looked like it was wearing a dress. Nick describes it as having a very "alive" and clearly defined body, whereas Olsen thought that while it was undoubtedly humanoid in shape, you could only really see the shoulders and outline of the head, while the rest was more blurry. Thomas describes the body structure as bulky and about 150 to 160 centimeters tall. Furthermore, he had a clear impression that it was female, from its general stature. This did not occur to Olsen at all, and even in retrospect he doesn't agree with this description. Niels only remembers them seeing what looked like a foggy figure near the area of the dock, but also that they suddenly started seeing ghostly shapes everywhere - between the trees, on the other side of the island, etc. Once again, his account differs quite notably from the rest.

There is also some dispute about how they got away from the island as quickly as they apparently did. Nick believes that they rowed back, but according to Thomas they had no oars or paddles to begin with. If so, it must have taken a while for them to reach land. Olsen and Niels don't remember what they actually did. Thomas saw the entity still standing at the exact same spot when arriving on back on the mainland (southwest of the island), while Nick couldn't see it anymore due to the fog, which had then encapsulated the whole island. Thomas and Olsen are both pretty adamant, however, that the entity was easily distinguishable until they reached land.

According to Olsen the figure was the same basic color as the fog, a sort of grayish white. According to Thomas there was some light mist on the water already when they were sailing away, but he felt it didn't really get thicker until they reached the shore and started running. After that, it became like a massive wall, at least 1½ meters tall, but the figure was still visible through it all, at least to him. Olsen remembers the entity as being the same height as the fog about this point, and that it gradually disappeared behind it. Thomas, Nick and Olsen then ran all the way to a nearby hill that leads to the eastern part of Hillerød, where they lived at the time. Niels, who lived in complete opposite direction, most likely ran that way.

And, as you already know from reading part 1 of this story, a few minutes later I would hear the story straight from the proverbial horse's mouth, as Thomas came crashing home, still in shock from the experience. 



Making sense of it all


With the exception of some of Niels' memories, it is still remarkable how similar the accounts are. In this connection it is important to note, that Thomas and Olsen told me they never really talked that much in the days and weeks following the event, and even less so in recent years, where they have had very little contact with each other. The same is the case with Nick, who drifted away from the group shortly after the event (although for a completely different reason). Of course, there is still a good chance that they could have influenced each other. Niels was never really a part of that group of friends. Furthermore, he lived in the complete opposite part of the city, so he probably did not meet any of the others again until long afterwards. This could, at least in part, explain why his memories are the ones that differ the most. While he was telling his side of the story it also struck me, that he by far has the most disconnected view of the events. According to Niels, this is because his memories from that general period aren't very strong. For the same reason I have been particularly careful to distinguish between his initial memories of what happened, and thoughts that arose after I presented him with details of the others' accounts.

Another important point to mention is that Niels readily admits that he was a bit "off" during that time, and sometimes became like a completely different person when he had too much to drink. So it might just have been one of those nights where no one saw the world quite the same way he did. And while we are on the subject, it should be mentioned that none of the guys tried to hide the fact that substantial quantities of alcohol (and probably marijuana) had gone ahead of the trip to the island. They all agreed that this could have played into what they experienced to some extent, but at the same time everyone, including Niels, feel they have at least some clear memories of that night, that would have been essentially the same without any substances involved. In the end, however, Niels is the one who finds the experience the least supernatural in retrospect, and is much more ready to attribute it to intoxication.

Whatever you may think of their state of mind, it is undeniable that all four guys went to the island with the purpose of finding something, attracted by its inherent spookiness and mystique. Niels in particular pointed out how they had been riling each other up about what they were going to find out there. In that sense they would of course have been geared towards noticing "strange" details even before their arrival, and elements such as the strange smell and the fog could unconsciously have affected them, allowing for a certain narrative to override their senses. This could then have been further reinforced by things they each had read, watched or heard about ghosts prior to, or even long before, the event. Whichever way you look at, it their experience does have almost all the elements of a classic ghost story. So let's try to break it down a bit and see what mysteries still remain.

Regarding the strange tea-like odor: as mentioned previously, even though everyone remembers noticing it, they didn't find it equally compelling. Thomas even suspected back then that it came from the plants they were stepping in, which makes sense considering that they didn't start noticing it before walking around the island. Furthermore, everyone told me that it became increasingly powerful the more they walked, which strengthens the hypothesis further. Taken together with the other details of the story, however, it surely adds in building up a more mysterious narrative. Particularly since strange and powerful smells are a staple of many a ghost story, both "real" and imagined. But when looked at separately it probably did have a very down to earth explanation. Perhaps the smell is also the source of one of the cabin's many nicknames, "The Tea-Brewer House", a name that doesn't make much sense otherwise.

Next we have the presence and gathering of fog, something which is even more prevalent in traditional ghost stories. During the late 1990's, John Carpenter's The Fog was still moderately popular in Denmark and was shown occasionally on TV (the remake didn't come out until 2005), and although the movie doesn't technically involve ghosts (they are more like zombified lepers), it does contain excessive amounts of fog through which figures can be seen, mostly in outline. There is a pretty good chance that at least one or two of the guys had seen this movie some time prior to the event. The fog doesn't really play a big part in the spookiness until the end of the island visit, though. As is evident from the different accounts, there is a dispute both as to when the fog started and about the specific qualities of it, but it was not something that they thought of as being particularly strange until all the other things started coming together.


Still from The Fog (1980) 

The boat untying itself, on the other hand, is viewed by all of those involved, particularly by Thomas, Nick and Olsen, as undeniably weird - and highly unlikely to have happened on its own. As Thomas and Nick told me, they had both been boy scouts for many years, so they were actually trained in tying a suitable knot for something like a boat docking on a quiet patch of water. Nick specifically said that he tied a double granny knot, which is widespread and known for being far better than a normal knot. However, as i would later learn, most active outdoor people seem to swear more to a reef knot (or square knot), as it is considered more stable.




I am no expert on the subject, but viewed in conjunction with the level of intoxication among the group, this would rightly be something to seize upon for skeptics. But again, the timing of the thing itself is certainly striking. It really was the worst thing that could happen and, according to their testimony, the guys discovered it in the very last second before it would have been too late.

But too late for what? Well, we can't know for sure of course, but being trapped on an island with the ghostly entity that they believe they saw next, is not very many people's idea of a good time. Since it isn't possible for us to know exactly how the island looked at the time, it's difficult to speculate about possible sources that could be misinterpreted as a ghost. The buildings - the cabin, the boat house and the ice house - were of course located where they are today. And probably many of the same plants are still growing there. But there may have been trees or bushes that have since been cut down considerably. Also, it would depend on whether the yearly gardening maintenance had happened yet (this usually takes place in August). If it was indeed around midsummer, then it would have been almost a year since the island last had a good trim. Thomas is quite adamant, however, that there was nothing they could have overlooked that would suddenly surprise them and appear as a menacing, human figure. Could it perhaps have been the residue of some long gone, former visitor of the island? Remember, Thomas said that he felt the entity was female. Maybe it was the ghost of the stocky Louise Danner haunting the island, forever concerned about her husbands mischievous activities there? 


But is there a possibility of a fictional spillover effect here, too? Perhaps. One of my favorite horror movies of all time is The Entity from 1982, which is based on a book by Frank De Felitta bearing the same name. The book itself is a highly fictionalized adaptation of one of the strongest and most highly revered poltergeist cases of all time

---SPOILERS AHEAD--- 

In this very creepy made-for-TV film, a single mother of 3 children, Carla Moran (Barbara Hershey), is stalked and repeatedly raped by an invisible being that can pretty much follow her everywhere she goes, making it all the more scary, as you never know when the next attack is going to happen. In the end of the movie there is an attempt to capture the entity by spraying it with liquid helium. In this scene a fog-like effect is created, and we finally see the outline of the otherwise invisible being, which turns out to be of a huge and bulky shape:


                   

I realize it's a bit of a stretch to think that this movie could have had such a powerful influence, but I do know for a fact that it was shown several times on danish TV in the early-to-mid-90s, because i saw it back then and it scared the hell out of me on more than one occasion. In the movie there are also a few references to odd smells accompanying the entity. Unfortunately I have not been able to get either of the guys to make even a basic sketch of what they saw for comparison, despite repeated attempts. 

Several times during my investigation, I also considered the option that Thomas himself could have acted as sort of a "conduit" for the whole episode. He is the biggest "believer" of the four, convinced that ghosts, in the sense of spirits of the dead, really exist, and that what they saw falls neatly into this category. This way of thought could very well have affected both Nick, Niels and Olsen if he had shared certain ideas and stories with them beforehand. And, depending on how far you are willing to stretch it, there could perhaps be something about his personality that plays an even deeper part, as well. The thing is, Thomas has had strange experiences many times before and since the night on the island. I remember him telling stories from his folk high school - episodes of slamming and self-locking doors, disappearances and other unusual happenings, which he appeared to be the at the center of - years prior to the events. Most recently, upon moving into his new home, these experiences has become almost as commonplace for him as picking up the daily newspaper.

How exactly this supposed disposition towards the paranormal relates to the incident on Louise Island, where several people experienced more or less the same thing, is of course another story. But in the literature on ghosts and related topics, especially regarding the concept of poltergeists (such as in the original entity case mentioned earlier), there are many examples of key individuals being pegged as "activators", indicating a larger probability of experiencing supernatural events and enabling others to share it with them. This is of course wild speculation in our case, but an interesting idea nevertheless. For a more in-depth example of how powerful the mind may be in manifesting such phenomena, I recommend reading the book Conjuring up Philip: An Adventure in Psychokinesis by Iris Owen and Margaret Sparrow.



Similar Cases


I have consistently tried to dig up other stories from Louise's Island for the last many years, but without any luck. The
 expectation was that my first post would have stirred up at least something, but even though i shared it in relevant groups on Facebook and with several locals, nothing has surfaced. At an early point I also tried contacting Hillerød's Historical Society, as well as the parents of an old classmate, who are huge collectors of Hillerød folklore and memorabilia and who arrange local tours regularly. Both sources probably know more about Louise's Island and the castle area in general, than anyone else, but neither could remember ever hearing about any strange happenings at all. I also contacted renowned Cryptozoologist and Fortean researcher/writer Lars Thomas, who informed me that he used to attend university with a guy from Hillerød, who on occasion had told him second or third hand ghost stories involving Louise's Island. But Lars never did investigate it further, nor could he help me get in contact with this person.

Thomas, on the other hand, had mentioned to me early on that the father of his ex-girlfriend used to be a night watchman at Frederiksborg Castle during the 1990's (he died some years ago, so I couldn't interview him). He once told Thomas that the team of gardeners who at the time were assigned to the island, didn't like the place and found it uncomfortable even during daytime. He was always ambivalent about things himself, but at the same time 
often claimed to have seen entities when he was going his rounds in the vicinity of the castle. He supposedly once saw a ghostly figure floating over the big lake, Slotssøen. Often times there was nothing to be seen, but instead he had the feeling as if an invisible wall appeared, through which no one could pass. The latter happened in an attic of one of the castle buildings and may be marginal to the case at hand, but of great interest in general, because another old classmate of mine actually used to lived in an apartment at the top of one of the castle buildings during the 1990's. Her mother held a top position at the castle museum at the time and she experienced several unexplained phenomena - including a nightly encounter with an invisible "wall".

I haven't been successful in tracking down any local ghost stories involving Frederik 7. at all, but it is well known that the king believed in and was fearful of revenants. For example he was always cautious about staying at Fredensborg Castle (another royal residence located about 10 kilometers North-East of Hillerød), as it was said to be haunted by the ghost of former Queen Juliane Maria, who died there in 1796. Who knows, maybe one day a relevant story from an old letter or diary will see the light of day.


Queen Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

I also looked for examples other places in both Danish, and eventually even in foreign, literature, in the attempt of finding similar stories. Regarding the former, i have not had much luck. The closest story I have found from Denmark is in one of folklore writer Gorm Benzon's collections of ghost tales, which goes as follows (my translation/resumé): 

In the 1960's a merchant was staying at an estate called Ørbækslunde. During the night he was awakened by something and saw a bulky and mostly featureless, woman-like figure, bending over him. When the entity disappeared again, he noticed a smell like mouldy apples

There is also what, at least at first, seemed like a highly relevant piece of fiction, discovered with the help of Martin Shough, which I would like to just briefly mention. It's an American children's story called The Foggy Figure, which includes basically all the elements from our little island adventure. This slim volume is all but unknown in Denmark, but it does appear to be enjoy some popularity among grade school teachers in the US. But the real argument against it at least being a potential influence, is that it only just came out a few years ago. So there is no way any of the guys could have read it. But as the book itself might of course build upon a much older story, so I contacted the author Kelly Hashway in the hope of learning something useful. Shortly after i got the reply that her inspiration had simply been the morning fog on the lake near her vacation home. Oh well...



Back to the island


Already early on in the investigation Thomas and I had talked about somehow visiting the island again - both to clear up a few things and out of general interest and curiosity. The only way to do this legally was by making an agreement with the gardening team who attend to the island, and once a year go there to clear it of weeds and other plants. They usually do this in the beginning of August, but back in 2016 we missed the opportunity because i was out of the country. Determined not to let it go again, I made arrangements for the next year in good time. So in 2017 it finally happened that me and Thomas were sitting in a small boat with one of the castle gardeners, on our way out to Louise's Island.




When we arrived it became immediately clear why the place has a yearly maintenance team assigned. You don't so much notice it standing on shore, but the plants grow pretty ferociously. I'm also glad we decided to wear long pants, as there were thorny bushes and other nasty appendages all over the place. We started by walking around a bit while the gardener, Thor, was cutting down the weeds around us. One of the first things we discovered was that there indeed was a small pier on the western part of the island. This surprised us both, as it simply isn't visible from land, but could indeed be where they tied up the boat back then. And as Thor advanced in his task, various things such as dead swans and even Frederik 7.'s memorial stone also became visible. We didn't notice any strange smells, though. 


There was of course one main object of our curiosity: the cabin. We quickly concluded that the main entrance was the only realistic way to get inside without doing any serious damage to ourselves or the building. The only problem was that the door was blocked...again. Actually, it is wholly due to Thomas' stubbornness that I have something to write about beyond this point. I initially worked with him to find a way to open the door, but gave up fairly quickly, worried that we might break something. We discovered that it was actually just a question of removing a few nails and then it would be possible to pry it open. But as you might imagine, this was not an easy operation without the proper tools, and that wasn't something we had thought about bringing. After about 20 minutes of twisting and prying with whatever we could collect lying around us, Thomas managed to get the door open just enough for us to enter.


Thomas (me on the left) and Thomas, before entering the cabin. Notice the "decoration" behind me. 


Inside view of the cabin entrance
Upon entering the "lobby" we saw to our right an area with a pile of discarded wood, which looked like it came from some sort of renovation work. This could be the remnants of what Thomas remembered from his previous visit. There was also a hole in the ceiling of the almost empty room in front of us, where we could place a nearby ladder. We tried to climb up and take a look, but there was nothing immediately of interest on the top floor. In the end we decided not to go up there, as the floor simply was too old and brittle.


Thomas checking out the top floor

Then we proceeded into the next room, which was about the same size, but filled with a lot of different objects like old fishing ruses and boxes that might well have been lying around ever since the days of Frederik 7. All over the place there were signs of long deceased, as well as more recent, visitors. Primitive graffiti was scrawled all over the walls, some dating back over 150 years. This was quite fascinating, thinking about who might have been here over the years. Maybe some of it was even the work of the king himself!


Top: Some of the objects we found in the cabin. Bottom: Graffiti indicating the year 1883

Thomas at the spot where he remembers the ghostly figure to have been standing

All in all, the visit was quite interesting, even if it didn't bring any huge revelations or breakthroughs, and as we were sailing back I pretty much imagined in my head how I would use it to round up the post. But, as so often before, one thing led to another and soon I was led down one more trail.

Our gardener friend Thor had not initially seemed very curious about us tagging along. Only on our way back to land did he actually ask us about our interest in the place. He found Thomas' story fascinating, but had not personally experienced anything strange that he could contribute with. And from what he knew, neither had his colleagues. But then again, he had only recently been assigned to island duty, after the former caretaker had left his job a few months earlier. Thor suggested that we instead get in contact with him, because he had been going to the island for at least 20 years. Furthermore he was an interesting character, so there was a high probability he could tell us something of value to our investigation. 

Thor was clearly quite fond of this ex-colleague, whose name was Palle, and lived in an apartment in the western part of Hillerød where I grew up. As soon as i heard the name it rang a bell, but it wasn't until later that day, after talking with my mother, that I realized Palle was the father of a childhood friend of mine. I clearly remembered him; I not only used to hang out with his son, his wife had also worked at my school, and our families even saw each other personally on several occasions, back in the early 90's. But mostly I remembered him for accidentally breaking my precious Commodore 128, once during a visit to our house.

A few weeks later I looked up Palle in the phone directory and called him. He was of course very surprised to hear from me after all those years, and confirmed that he was indeed the former caretaker of the island. More than that, it became clear to me that besides having extensive knowledge of the plant life on Louise's Island, he also knew a great deal about the local history. Maybe more than any other single person i have met so far. Alas, when it came to the subject of ghosts or other paranormal phenomena connected specifically with the island, he drew a blank. He did however remember a period where they often found leftovers from what he could only describe as rituals: burnt out tea candles, rocks placed in certain patterns and even drawn pentagrams. But he never thought that it was really something that serious, i.e. involving human sacrifices, although he jokingly said that that it could maybe explain the weird smell that night. And what about that bird skeleton thingy on the cabin door, from the photo earlier in this post?

On a more serious note, Palle did actually present me with a few plausible suggestions for what could have caused the strange smell. First of all, he said, there is a type of perennial plant on the island that can release a sweet odor. Also the sieves around the island, when bent and crushed, can give off a pretty distinct scent. Finally, a herb known as Cheledonium is found there, which can set off a pretty a harsh allergic reaction in some individuals and is best avoided all together. If we imagine four people walking around the island in the late summer, before the yearly maintenance, when the plant life has been allowed to grow wild for almost a year, it's not hard to imagine that one or more of these could be the culprit. So i think that we now definitively can put that part of the story in the "normal" box.

There was one more thing I had hoped Palle could clear up for me, namely the issue of the open roof construction that apparently was in progress when the guys visited. Narrowing this down to within a precise year would help immensely. Unfortunately Palle could not remember when this might have been, but he told me that he and his colleagues often tried to make measures to prevent visitors from going upstairs and prevent the risk of a collapse and possible accident. So it might be that what Thomas and the others interpreted as leftovers from construction, was more of a deliberate obstruction made by Palle and his crew.

Palle then told me one last, highly interesting fact. The stone seat of Frederik 7 that I included a picture of in part 1, and which is clearly visible on the island today, was thought for many years to have been removed and shipped away to some other place, without a record. For ages nobody could figure out what had happened to it, and any hope of finding it again had long since been abandoned. But one day when Palle was out on the island working, he discovered the top of what seemed to be a large rock under the soil. He started to uncover more and more of it until he finally realized that what he had discovered was the notorious, "lost" stone seat. It had been there all along, hidden by the island herself! He was subsequently in contact with the Danish National Museum, who thanked him many times for making the discovery. 
So while we may not have solved the main mystery of our story, there most definitely has been many interesting findings along the way, this being just the latest.


The End?


Speaking with Palle was a nice way to round up w
hat I initially thought would be a pretty straightforward account, but which has steadily evolved into something much larger, connecting many people I grew up with in the most unforeseeable ways. It has made me grow a lot personally as well, and greatly expanded my historical knowledge of my home town and country, something that would probably otherwise never have happened to the same extent. At the same time, while I do hope and believe that more things of interest will eventually surface, I don't see myself making a part 3 anytime soon. But let's see.

Probably we will never know what really happened on Louise's Island during that summer night at the end of the previous century. But it is the kind of story that resonates strongly with many people, whether they believe in ghosts or not. I for one am glad I've had the opportunity here to raise it to a more national, and even international, level of awareness, and I hope it will continue to be told for many years to come. It deserves it.