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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jan > Jan 22

Interview With Anders Liljegren Of UFO-Sweden

From: Eustaquio Andrea Patounas <socex.ufobras.nul>
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2007 21:42:58 -0200
Fwd Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 23:09:33 -0500
Subject: Interview With Anders Liljegren Of UFO-Sweden

Interview With Anders Liljegren Chairman and Co-Founder of AFU
- UFO-Sweden
By Milton Frank, Brazilia's Ufology Center President

Also see Hakan Blomqvist at:


One of the founding members of UFO-Sweden in 1970, and co-
founder (with Hakan Blomqvist and Kjell Jonsson) of the
predecessor to Archives for UFO Research, in 1973. Involved in
the study of several Swedish close encounters, particularly the
Domsten case (Swedish booklet written with Clas Svahn) and the
Mariannelund (Gideon Johansson) humanoid case. 

One of the first researchers in Sweden to gain access to the
government archives on the waves of "ghost fliers" (1930's) and
"ghost rockets" (1946).  Hundreds of articles published in
Swedish and English; editor of the AFU Newsletter since 1976
(issue #50 published in December 2005). Today the principal
manager and chairman of AFU. 

1 - Why did you start to study and search Ufology? Have you ever
seen an UFO? If so, how was your experience?  

I was born in 1950. I had a brother who was very interested in
everything flying. He died of leukemia when I was only three. I
inherited his box full of books & models of airplanes. This was
the foundation. When I was maybe 10-11 I started to collect
clippings about technological things, including flying saucers
(which I then thought of as a technological construction in a
simplistic way). By 15-16 I started to read UFO books and in
1969 -1970 I was one of several people who co-started UFO-
Sweden, which is now the main Swedish organization with about
1.300 members (to be compared to 9 million citizens in Sweden).
I have never seen anything that still remains a UFO, meaning I
have seen a few things that later on got their perfectly natural
explanation. So my interest is not self-experience-oriented but
more of a collection mania, but of course with overtones where I
have (in vain) tried to fully understand the phenomenon under

2 - Could you explain to us what AFU is? What kind of files and
material do you have in AFU archives?  How did you gather all
those archives?

What a gigantic question! AFU was born in 1973, when a few of us
felt the need for a lending library for UFO literature that
would be open to anyone who pays an annual small fee. This line
of work is still a part of AFU, although we have now diversified
in many other directions. We started with about 350 books
donated by a Stockholm ufologist. Now we have about 8.000 books
in the library, representing about 6.500 different titles. About
700 titles are added each year now.

We have had a fantastic growth especially during the last 10-15
years. From the corner of a room in one of our founding member's
apartment, we now have four archive facilities along the same
city road with a total area of 250 square meters. The collection
represents about 600-650 meters on our shelves.

We now collect almost anything related to UFOs and belief (or
non-belief!) in UFOs and theories related to them or to the
related folklore of extraterrestrial visits =96 now, in historic
and pre-historic times. We, of course, have the national
collection of Swedish UFO reports (at least 20.000 of them) and
now also the Danish collection (deposition by the Danish
national group). We have accepted donations =96 and sometimes we
have even bought =96 from hundreds of Swedish, Scandinavian,
European and international collectors and donors.

Our main collections are: books & booklets, magazines (about
25.000 unique issues), clippings (about 30.000 Swedish plus
growing collections from many other countries), UFO reports &
related documents, audio tape cassettes (about 2.000 including
witness interviews, public talks, media programs), some 600
videos (a part of our collection in large growth right now!), a
small SF collection, an almost complete collection of the maps
of Sweden (to help field investigations), personal and
organizational files from hundreds of groups (mainly in
Scandinavia), paraphernalia (like models, posters, T-shirts, you
name it=85). Most of these things have been donated to us.

The material arrives here in postal boxes from countries like
France, Russia, the United States, and other corners of the
world. Clas Svahn (chairman of UFO-Sweden since more than 15
years) is our "whipper" of materials and his cars have taken
tons of materials to our doors from all across Sweden,
Scandinavia and the UK. In November he made the fourth tour
between UK ufologists and collected another car-load, which has
already been catalogued and filed =96 for the most part, see

3 - I know that you have been writing some UFO articles. Can you
tell us what article you wrote you most like? Do you intend to
translate some of your articles to Portuguese? Do you have any
article published in Brazil? Did you ever write a book?

Writing is the part of my life that I have been forced to set
aside due to lack of time. I still have a professional job, six
hours a day, to care for =96 and the administration of the
archives, which takes more than the remainder of my spare time.
I still mourn not being able to bring the rich Scandinavian
material on our ghost fliers (1930s) and our ghost rockets
(1946) to the international audience's attention. This is a
probably a loss to international UFO studies, to some extent,
although Clas Svahn and I have still managed to write a few
lengthy articles on the subject. I have planned a few books but
failed to find the time and concentration to finish them. If
anyone should like to translate some of our articles in English
to Portuguese they are more than welcome! Maybe it has been
done? The best thing I have written is probably about the
investigation of the Gideon Johansson humanoid encounter, which
unfortunately is yet mostly in Swedish. I spent a week on the
phone, interviewing most people connected to the witness and
also hours at the library, and finally I think I found a
psychological solution to the case. Any solution to a case
thrills me.

4 - Could you tell us how your involvement in the study of
Domsten Case was?

I was mainly doing the table work here, like library studies,
while Clas Svahn was the one active in the field with interviews
of everyone involved. Together I think we put together a very
definite picture that the case was a hoax. We also managed to
find the inspirations for creating the story: a local ghost
story and a science fiction cartoon in the Tom Trick series. We
were thrilled by finding the solution (and finally learning
about the death-bed confession of one of the claimants) to this
case which had been one of the primers in Swedish ufology for
decades, and also published internationally. I can still
remember the disappointment it created in some of the audience
in the late 1980s, as Clas Svahn presented the result at a
national UFO conference. Dead silence in the audience. It was
really like killing a darling. I love that. I just wish we could
kill another darling the other way =96 finding positive proof.

5 - You were one of the first researchers in Sweden to gain
access to the government archives on the waves of "ghost fliers"
(1930's) and "ghost rockets" (1946).  How was it? What
conclusions did you get?

As for the ghost fliers I am 99 % confident of a perfectly
natural explanation to the phenomenon. This was between the two
World Wars, the winters of 1933/1934 and 1936/1937. Hitler had
just entered as the modern emperor of Germany. This bears every
sign of an intelligence and training operation by Russian and/or
German air forces directed against the mining ores of northern
Sweden. But we have still failed to find the definitive document
to prove this thesis, in any archive. I must admit that we have
not tried very hard; this is one of the little devils poking at
me from over my shoulder. If anyone should like to fund this
study we would be more than happy to do it, taking leave from
our works for the needed daily money.

As for the ghost rockets of 1946 it's more complicated. There we
still have 150-200 mostly Swedish cases (of more than 1.000)
that remain unsolved, in my mind. It is a start of the modern
UFO era, but not with flying saucers (meaning daylight discs). I
think we have only one case in the whole wave that could be a
DD. The objects were mainly cigar-, rocket- or airplane-like,
sometimes behaving in a very advanced way. The Defense Staff
committee couldn't explain many of the cases in 1946, and I
think we have also failed in a good number of cases. The ghost
rocket phenomenon continues with a few cases pouring in now and
then. At least we have big question marks over our heads. But
the good cases of 1946 are wrapped (as usual) in a plethora of
meteoric phenomena and high-altitude over flights of newly
imported Vampire jets.

6 - What are the top 10 cases of World Ufology in your opinion?

This is a tough one. I would like a few days to concentrate on
that question. I think I would still single out Roswell as one
of the ten. Making a list of the ten would probably involve a
few days of thinking and thumbing through the literature. But
Roswell is a mysterious thing. I am glad that people like Nick
Redfern are trying to find new inklings on the problem but I am
not confident that the mystery is permanently solved and buried.
This summer I have been watching and cataloguing (for the AFU
archives) a good number of Roswell video documentaries and I am
still impressed with SOME of the materials, excluding, of
course, things like the Santilli film and some of the less
believable witnesses. Roswell is the mother of cover-up cases,
although I regularly don't believe in a great cover-up by any of
the governments of the world. If there is a cover-up it's
generally more about ignorance than about knowledge.

7- What is the most important UFO CASE in Sweden in your
opinion? Why do you believe so? 

Since several of the good ones have failed to stand the test I
must single out the Gotland case, reported by AFU donor K.G=F6sta
Rehn in the UFO Encyclopedia by Ronald Story. But we still need
many pieces of that puzzle and it could be a "looser", too. It
rests entirely on witness testimony but is the mother of a very
good daylight disc case with the extremely detailed descriptions
of the two discs. It impressed me very much when first published
by Rehn, and it still does.

8 - In Brazil right now we have the tendency to separate
Spiritual Ufology to Scientific Ufology. What do you think about
that? What do you think about Spiritual Ufology and Scientific
Ufology? Can they live together or separate?

I don't think they can live together, not in one and the same
organization, if that organization is to survive in the long
run... AFU is possibly the one and only exception, because we
are an archives institution that has as an AIM to collect
material from ALL aspects of ufology, including even the extreme
spiritual cults. This is our mission: to care for preservation
of it all, whether "serious", "semi-serious" or anything else.

UFO-Sweden was from the start of the spiritual type, with me and
a few other types trying to balance with some "science"
thinking. It didn't work at that time, so we split up. This was
not the only split from UFO-Sweden =96 until it was, finally,
"completely" on the "scientific" side and with the spiritual
ufologists offside. Now it works, at least in my mind! Spiritual
ufology is now very low profiled in Sweden, but still existing
to a degree where it doesn't interfere with serious
investigations and attempts to find explanations for the
phenomena reported.

9 - What would you say to a young man that intends to be a
Ufology searcher?

A very good question this one. I have myself asked it of people
I have interviewed. A few points: Never expect to make a living
from serious ufology, unless you maybe combine it with a broad
academic or journalistic career. Question every belief, even the
most "self-evident" (like extraterrestrial spaceships!). A good
point would be to work more from a semi-folkloric viewpoint of
collecting a large number of stories and materials into a
catalogue before taking a stand on the origin(s) of it all. The
complete picture is formed by the individual cases so be careful
with the minute details of EVERY case.

10- Dou you read about Brazilian Ufology Cases? What Brazilian
cases do you know? What do you think about them?

I remember a few, mainly from the repertoire of Olavo T. Fontes,
like the Itaip=FA case and, of course, the sexual abduction of
Antonio Villas Boas. Rehn translated many APRO cases for his
books in Swedish. I also read a lot of Brazilian humanoid
stories in the 1960s =96 1980s, the golden age of the Flying
Saucer Review under Charles Bowen's editorship.

Brazilian ufology seems to me a lot like Finnish ufology, the
stories coming from the country neighboring us to the immediate
east. At least the multitude of contactee stories!! There is a
lot of spiritual undertones, both positive and negative. The
very negative stories of blood-sucking chupacabras, ray-burned
people & mutilations (a large wave of this in Argentina, don't
know about Brazil in this sense=85) makes you think about "devils
in the skies".

11 - What is your opinion about Ufology future?

With so many wild-brains in the field (particularly the American
conspiracy scene that has such a big influence on us all) I can
see no future for ufology as a science, except for being,
perhaps a part of ethnology with outside actors studying our odd
behavior (in place of us studying the very UFO phenomenon!).
This is bad, and sad, because there is obviously a strong core
of truly mysterious cases & materials that should not be

There is also a tendency for repetition every decade or every-
other decade. Every new generation of ufologists repeats the
mistakes of the "elderly" and view us as overly skeptical, even
as debunkers. The people that survive this process, still taking
a part in active ufology, and learning by doing, are very few,
but they can make a difference by joining forces, nationally and
trans-nationally. Some small such nucleus of people can be found
in many nations and it's very much up to us. The internet and
its mailing-lists is now strong glue between us all. So let's be

12 - I really would like you to live a message to The Brazilian
Ufology Center. Right now we have more than 26.400 members and
they really would like to hear what you have to say to them.

26.400 means 125 ufologists in every million (counting 188
million people living in Brazil). By comparison, we are about
1.300 paying members out of 9 million people in Sweden. So we
are on roughly equal terms! Effective work can be accomplished
on a few levels: case collection (maybe you should view and
pride yourself more as modern folklorists?), data analysis (is
there a database of Brazilian cases, we have one of 12.000
Swedish cases) and recruiting intelligent and hard-working
people with good general contacts in the society for the boards
of your organizations.

Of course, if there was a Brazilian Archives for UFO Research
(maybe there is, without us knowing it?) we would support it
because having a chain of national-international archives to
preserve the material and traditions of every generation of
ufologists will strengthen us and give ufology a permanent
history, tradition and good reputation even in academic circles.

AFU in Sweden cannot possibly cover the complete globe with our
work, even though we have that ambition in some ways! The
ambition is effectively stopped by such "minor" things as our
lack of understanding what has been written in a foreign
language, such as Portuguese!! We are currently working our ways
into the ufology's from countries like Finland, Russia and
France, where we can't fully appreciate and understand what we
collect and preserve without the help of native ufologists from
those countries.

This is a weakness that can only be countered, in the long run,
by creating a chain of national or regional archives, which
would unite through the internet. From our point of view the
creation of a sister AFU-Brazil (specializing in collection of
Portuguese materials) would be a good thing and we could send
you hundreds of kilos of European materials in exchange for the
extra copies created within your own donation "system" and which
we would be happy to receive here.

We've just had our first big grant of 82.000 SEK from the
Swedish National Archives for buying new shelves for a new
archive we are just inaugurating, see www.afu.info/projects.htm.
We have worked more than three decades for this success so you
have to be very, very patient.  January/07

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