Let's take a few steps back from the previous post, to the years immediately before Kenneth Arnold's sighting of 1947.
Many are not aware of it, but there are several accounts on record from the World War II period (some even further back), that fit the model of later UFO landing cases perfectly. For all intents and purposes, they are just that, but we have to be careful, as the majority of them were told many years after the fact. However, as i have said before, since these posts are more about finding trends rather than ultimate truths, any amount of later confabulation just shows something different about the origin of a given box, than what seems immediately apparent. In other words, as long as the details of how and when the stories came about are made as clear as possible, there should be no problems.
Various boxes, during and immediately after World War Two
The first incident worth mentioning involved John Warren, who was a British RAF armourer during the war. It first came to light in BUFORA's research bulletin (vol. 4 no. 2, July 1973), in the form of a letter from Warren himself (every word and comma as printed in the bulletin):
In May 1943, I was stationed at R.A.F. Ludham in Norfolk, I missed my last train to camp, so I set off to walk 16 miles back. I was about 4 miles from camp in the country with no houses for maybe 2 miles, the lane I walked up was a slight bending right, when suddenly I saw a person standing at the edge of a field with something strapped non the chest which gave a glow to the face, greenish in colour. Believe me my hair stood on end I was terrified. I walked passed as best I could and half noticed about 20-30 yards away in the field was some kind of object, which seemed alight, in colours. I thought I saw two other persons probing about the ground near the object. I never spoke to the person I walked passed. I was shaking with fright. I never reported the affair to anyone at camp, I was about 2 1/2 hours late. I can describe it more in detail when I told it to my boys 20 years later.
The grammatical errors and inconsistencies make parts of the account hard to decipher. Did Warren mean he was 2 1/2 hours late, thereby implying some missing time, or did he just mean, that because he was late, he was less inclined to report it to his superiors? Furthermore, his last sentence is somewhat cryptic. Warren added more details 15 years later. In an interview with ufologist Philip Mantle from 1988, he recounted that the humanoid he saw most clearly, wore a greyish-white "boiler suit" and what looked like an oldfashioned diver's helmet or goldfish bowl. He described it's face as round, without any noticeable cheekbones or chin, and clearly states that the attached object that lighted it up was a box of some kind.
In this case, the box did not appear to be of superior technology. Instead, it seems to have served no other function than to make certain that the face of the disturbing entity was visible, which in itself is unusual. Warren never specified who or what he thought the beings were at the time, but he makes it quite clear to Mantle, that the idea of spacemen never entered his mind.
|Sketch of the grinning entity, made by John Warren in connection with the 1988 Philip Mantle interview.|
The next account is often filed as a crash and retrieval case, and has been covered by Leonard Stringfield and others dedicated to this particular area of ufology. It can be viewed as such, I suppose, depending on how much of the story one reads (and believes in):
|Donald "Don" Worley, the first ufologist to learn of the Oahu incident|
The witness was standing on the shore in a blizzard, waiting for a boat to return to the mainland, when a silver dome with a square base descended from the clouds and landed on the water. It was surrounded by purple lights and made a whirring noise like a drill. It rose again & landed in a field, crushing two cattle. The top slid up, & 2 humanoids with “squarish legs,” wearing gray black rubber suits, came out. One of these walked to the shore & onto the sea, where he placed a large phial. The other fired a red ray at a cow, burning through it. A farmer’s dog came up, barking; the humanoid pointed “a box with lights & antenna” at it, and the dog, apparently hypnotized, walked up to the UFO & was put on board. 5 or 6 similar craft streaked overhead. A mist then enveloped the craft & both beings “floated” up into it. One noticed the witness & waved at him; he ran from the scene. The farmer advised him to tell no one about the experienced. (HUMCAT 1945-4, Source: Northern UFO News # 31)
According to Albert Rosales, the case appears in a somewhat different version in the book Conspiracy Of Silence - UFO's In Ireland. Until i get my hands on that book, I'm going to just take a wild guess that this account, like the previous two, was related many years after it happened. It would be particularly interesting to learn if there is a record mentioning the box, from before 1970 (year of the Imjärvi case). In the Warren and Langer incidents we know they came out in 1973 and 1974 respectively, when the box trope (a new term I've learned recently, courtesy of Bob Skinner) had really kicked off.
The last case for now, is yet another of these late revelations, but it has been so extensively documented that it deserves a long chapter of its own: The Gösta Carlsson encounter from 1946.
The mysterious box in the clearing
Gösta Carlsson (1918-2003) was a nationally famous Swedish athlete and businessman, who in the 1950's founded the succesful company Cernelle, known primarily for producing natural medicine based on pollen extracts. This endeavor earned Carlsson the nickname "The Pollen King". Many years later, in 1971, Carlsson came out and told where he really got his inspiration for the medicine: it could all be traced back to an encounter with a landed spacecraft and its occupants, in the southern part of Sweden, in the summer of 1946.
The Gösta Carlsson story is not really that well known, even in ufological circles, although some may remember it being featured in Jerome Clark & Loren Coleman's classic 1970's book The Unidentified. The definitive investigation into the matter, however, was undertaken many years later by ace Swedish ufologist Clas Svahn, in close collaboration with Carlsson himself. This resulted in the excellent book Mötet i Gläntan ("The Meeting in The Clearing"). The book is only published in Swedish (which is why many of the details still remain obscure), and builds on Gösta Carlsson's own account - with critical interjections by Svahn throughout the book.
For the non-Scandinavian readers interested in knowing more than what I write here, Svahn talks about the case at some length in a 2009 episode of Binall of America.
|THE book documenting the Gösta Carlsson experience from every conceivable angle|
On the 18th of May, 1946, at around 22.00 military time, Gösta Carlsson was visiting one of his favorite spots: the beach area called Sibirien (Siberia) near the small town Ängleholm (not far from the city of Helsingborg). This was, and still is, a great place for watching birds, and Carlsson himself had a secret dream of some day making the area into a bird sanctuary. Around 22:45 it became dark, and he began riding his bicycle back towards Ängelholm, through the woods surrounding the beach. At some point he looked towards a large grass clearing which he often visited as a kid, and noticed a strange light. Carlsson used a small headlight to make his way through the woods into the clearing. When he reached the area, he was surprised to see a large object, which he at first interpreted as some kind of ride you would find in an amusement park. But it turned out to be something very different.
|Rough sketch of the box, made by Gösta Carlsson (Copyright: Clas Svahn)|
|Vintage Folding Camera|
Carlsson was now standing 10 meters from the craft itself, and about 7-8 meters from the guard. As soon as he tried to get closer, the guard signalled him to stop, and turned the box-like device towards him. Whatever the device's function was, it affected the circuitry of Carlsson's headlight. Carlsson stood back and remained observant, but when a female crew member began handing out what looked like drinks, he once again became curious and moved in closer. The guard now turned to him with a firm look in his eyes and a hand gesture that signalled: "Stop. No further". The rest of the crew were also looking seriously at him by now, as if something terrible would happen if he came too close. As soon as Carlsson took a step back, they resumed their activities.
- Albert Rosales' Humanoid Catalogue
- BUFORA research bulletin vol. 4 no. 2, July 1973
- Svahn, Clas and Carlsson, Gösta: Mötet i gläntan - Sveriges mest kända närkontakt med UFO. NTB/Pantheon (1995)
- UFO Data Magazine Issue 4, June/July 2006)