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Interview With Clas Svahn UFO Sweden Chair

From: Eustaquio Andrea Patounas <socex.ufobras.nul>
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2007 12:28:54 -0300
Fwd Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 10:33:04 -0400
Subject: Interview With Clas Svahn UFO Sweden Chair

Milton Frank, Brazilian Ufology Center President Interviews
Clas Svahn, UFO Sweden Chair

1 - Why did you become an UFO researcher? Have you ever seen an
UFO? If so, how was your experience?

I became an UFO researcher in 1974 at the age of 16 after I had
read books and articles on the subject for two or three years. I
have never been a "believer" in the sense that I have had any
preconceived ideas about the origin of the UFO phenomenon =96 or
phenol as I see it today. I have always wondered what lies
behind the strange tales and observations coming from ordinary
people. My main drive has always been to find an answer to the
observations, to find out what did really happen. Since I am an
amateur astronomer for as long as I have been an ufologist I
have spent thousand of hours under the wonderful night sky.
During these nights I have seen some odd things that are hard to
explain. But the one observation that really made a lasting
impression on me, and my wife who was with me, happened during a
car drive back from a meeting with friends in the north part of
the Stockholm area. It was November 5th 1995 around one o'clock
in the morning. As we passed a bus stop not far from our house
we both saw two men standing there looking up, one of them
pointing to the sky. Since I was driving the car I asked my wife
to lean forward to see if she could get a glimpse of whatever
had caught the two mens attention. But all she could see was
stars; it was a crystal clear night. We continued our drive back
and after a couple of hundred meters I parked the car on our
driveway and we both went outside. Since we were curious of what
the men had seen we stayed beside the car for a while before
entering our house looking in the direction were the men had
been looking, vaguely hoping to see what had caught their
attention. I think we stood there, my wife a little behind me,
for one minute or so just looking at the black sky that was
filled with stars. But suddenly we both saw something coming
flying out of the darkness. It was three objects, all
illuminated, that came from nowhere, not from the horizon but
from a point 35 degrees up in the sky, a little to the left of
Castor and Pollux. The objects were rather large and looked like
crosses with a white light emanating from them. They were flying
side by side as if they were glued together on an invisible
stick, but you could see the darkness separating them. My first
thought was that they were birds, illuminated by the city lights
and I was waiting for one of them to move it swings. But that
never happened. They were rigid and not moving anything. They
flew over us and over our house and I had to run around the
corner to see them vanish over my neighbours house and into the
darkness. Both me and my wife saw this clearly and being the
chairman of UFO-Sweden I told her that we should go inside and
fill out a form each without speaking to each other. Which we
did. The next day I assigned a field researcher to investigate
our observation but the objects were never identified.

2 - Please, explain to us what UFO-Sweden is? What are the main
UFO cases UFO-Sweden has been researching all those years? What
conclusions did you get?

UFO-Sweden is a nation wide organisation founded in 1970. We
have twenty local groups around the country and around 80 field
investigators. The investigations are coordinated by a report
central situated in Sundsvall. Since more than 30 years we are
helding field trainee courses to educate our researchers.

It is hard to go into any particular cases that we have
investigated since there are so many. Every year more than 300
persons report sightings of alleged UFOs, most of them report
their sighting directly on our web site www.ufo.se where it goes
into our database. The international most well known case is of
course the Ghost Rockets from 1946, a UFO wave before Kenneth
Arnold and the first flying saucer reports. Here I and Anders
Liljegren (AFU) have done both archives research and interviews
with persons involved. For us the Ghost Rockets are still a
mystery. More than 1.000 reports were filed to the Swedish
military during that year, many of them being misinterpretations
of natural objects but others still unidentified. The most
interesting cases are the ones involving objects crashing into
lakes. I have investigated many such reports myself.

3 - You've been writing a couple of books like "The UFO
mystery", Parthenon 1998" , "The Domsten case - a Swedish close
encounter in 1958", AFU 1989, "The encounter in the clearing",
NTB Parthenon, 1995, "Facts about UFOs", Parthenon 1998, "UFO -
 encounter with the unknown", Semic 2000, and others. Are they a
result from yours researches? How was the experience to write
all those books? Can we find it in Portuguese?

Yes, the books are a result of my research and I have written
several other books as well. The latest was published in
September last year ("The Unknown") and has sold in 17.000
copies which is very good by Swedish standards. As far as I now
they have not been translated into Portuguese. It is hard work
to write books but since I am a journalist by profession I have
no trouble when it comes to the writing. The hardest thing
during the process of making a book is to research the facts so
that you know that what you publish is correct so that your
readers could trust you. I always try to publish facts and
research done by myself, I do not like people who write books
from other persons work. My readers must know that when they get
a book from my hand it is something unique, something that they
could not have read anywhere else.

4 - What is the most important UFO case you've been involved
with? Does it give you a hard time? Was it difficult to

Besides the Ghost Rockets I think that must be the Gosta
Carlsson case from 1946 (the same year as the Ghost Rockets). A
full report of that investigation can be read in my book "Motet
i glantan" ("The encounter in the clearing", only published in
Swedish I am afraid). In short Mr Carlsson was out walking along
a road outside his hometown of Angelholm on the evening of May
18th 1946. After observing a strange light coming out of an area
to the left of him he went into the woods to see if there was a
fire. After a couple of hundred meters he found himself in front
of a large landed craft, very much looking like a saucer with a
large antenna from were a bright light was pouring down
engulfing the object which seemed to be protected inside the
glow. On the hull several men were working trying to repair a
window. A woman came out from the inside of the craft throwing
out some things. Gosta Carlsson himself tried to walk closer but
was stopped by a sentinel standing outside the glow. Gosta then
decided to walk down to the sea and later to sneak up another
way, from behind, to see if he could manage to get nearer
without the guard seeing him. But before he was able to do that
the craft started to raise and he could see it hover over the
tree tops for a while as the antenna was sliding down inside the
hull and the craft went of with a tremendous speed. The next
morning he went back to the place of the landing and found
markings on the ground and several objects left by the crew; two
plastic looking cups with liquid, a golden ring and a burnt
staff of crystal. All this he brought with him back home. The
same night, in bed, he experienced a most vivid "dream" were he
was taken aboard the craft and met the commander. The commander
informed him that he had decide to land in the clearing because
of an accident aboard that had killed several of the crew and
damaging a window. After repairing the craft they lifted and
buried the dead crew on an asteroid. The experiences continued
for several years and in the mid 80's I started to investigate
the case which 1995 resulted in a book. My conclusion is that
Gosta Carlsson did experience much of his story not in the
physical world but within himself. On the site he erected a
monument of the craft and it is now the number one tourist

5 - After all these year researching, what is your best
definition to the UFO phenomenon?

I do not want to give just one definition since UFO encompasses
so many different phenomena. During my more than 30 years
investigating them I have learned much about the human mind and
of its limitations when it comes to interpret and objectively
register the world around. I should say that the UFO enigma
consists of not one phenomenon but many phenomena. It is
important to have in mind that UFO just stands for an object
that after a careful and thorough investigation still has defied
identification. UFOs are by definition an unknown =96 but not
unexplainable =96 phenomena. To solve that riddle is one of the
most intriguing challenges a person can devote his time to.

6 - Have you ever thought that UFO phenomenon could not be from
the space? How do you feel dealing with UFO phenomenon?

Sure, the option that UFOs are not aliens visiting us is
something I have always considered. You could say that the ET
solution never has been my main theory. Instead I try to look at
the UFO enigma without any prejudices and during the more than
30 years of investigations I have seen to many reports that
indicates other answers to the At this moment we have almost
32.500 members. Our members is people who loves to talk about
UFO, people who loves to discuss about UFO and people who loves
to learn about Ufology. What would you like to say to them?
question too settle for just one solution. Instead I urge anyone
researching UFOs to leave many doors open since there will be
more than one answer.

What I mean is a little complicated:

First, many of the observations and reports can be attributed to
mistakes made by humans. Even though some may think that pilots
and policemen are better and more reliable witnesses than the
average person my studies have shown that they make the same
mistakes and misinterpretations as anyone else.

Second, a large part of the reports coming in to UFO
organisations around the world are of mundane objects seen under
unusual circumstances.

Third, most UFO groups do not have access to experts such as
meteorologists, military radar personal, physicists, rocket
engineers and others when it comes to investigation and
evaluation of reports. This makes it very difficult to rule out
the more complicated solutions to seemingly unexplainable

Fourth, single witness observations and observations made during
a very limited time are not the best cases when it comes to draw
any conclusions from the data.

All this said, there are several very hard to explain cases in
our files, cases that shows that we may deal with something new
and not completely understood =96 what we call UFOs. But to say
that these unexplained observations therefor should consist of
aliens visiting Earth is a leap that, as I see it, can not be
substantiated by the data.

I always try to look at the reports without having the answer
first. You must be open, but also well educated and equipped
with a critical mind. To be a skeptic or a believer is hampering
your research since both of the two extremes already "knows"
what they are looking for. In my opinion a third way, between
the two extremes, is the only way to go if we are to get any
real solutions and real knowledge about this most interesting

7 - Do you believe in abductions? What is your opinion about
abduction's cases? Do you believe in hypnosis to explain
abduction's cases? What do you think about it?

I do not believe in hypnosis as a tool of getting the truth from
alleged abduction witnesses. I fully agree with British
ufologist Jenny Randles that hypnosis should be banned
altogether from abduction research since it induces information
into the witness story and creates a focus for the witness to
tell the story in a very specific frame. Hypnosis could very
well be the last thing you should consider. As for abductions as
a physical event I am not convinced. At the same time I am not
an abduction expert since reports of abductions are very rare in
Sweden. But I should recommenced everyone trying to investigate
abduction reports to look into other explanations than the alien
solution as well.

8 - What kind of advices would you give to an ufologist? What
would you say to new UFO researcher that will be going to start
to work together with you?

I once wrote eleven suggestions for a ufologist. I think they
give you the guidelines everyone should consider before starting
to investigate UFOs. They may seem a little harsh but
nevertheless they are the only way to get to the core of the
phenomena. If they are followed what is left should be the very
best cases. Here they are:

i. Don't invest your soul in a case. When new facts surfaces
that may explain the observation you may not be able to see

ii. Never get too friendly with a witness. You may well get into
a position where you find yourself defending the person instead
of the facts.

iii. Don't read just UFO books and choose carefully of what you
are reading. The solutions to most of the cases you will ever
investigate are to be found in other sources. (With the exception
of Allan Hendrys "The UFO Handbook" and some other rare items.)

iv. Always remember to distinguish between facts and opinions. A
persons description of what he or she has experienced is just
one of many pieces to build an investigation on - not the

v. Never stop looking for new facts. The more facts you have the
more likely it is that you will find the answer - the less facts
you have the more likely it is you will turn up with a "UFO".

vi. Real UFOs are very rare. If you think you have found one you
have probably not investigated the case thoroughly enough.

vii. Always make your results available to other researchers
even if they do not share your views. It happens that other
people may be right and you wrong.

viii. A UFO is an Unidentified Flying Object - an object that
has not been identified in spite of a rigorous investigation
made by an objective researcher. Never forget that.

ix. "Kill your darlings". Always be prepared to give up your
favourite ideas when new facts emerges.

x. In UFO research there are no authorities, just hard working
private investigators with the same flaws and problems as any
person, but - hopefully - with more experience and knowledge
about a topic that has so many answers.

xi. Your task is not to defend UFOs or ufology but to make a job
so good that your work does not have to be put in question.

9 - In Brazil right now, we are living an UFO battle between two
sides that study UFO phenomenon. This battle has been happening
between the spiritual side against the scientific side. Can in
your mind Spiritual Ufology lives together with Scientific
Ufology? What do you think about it? What do you think about UFO

I know many persons inside the spiritual ufology corner and have
no problem discussing UFOs with most of them. At the same time
one must realize that spiritual ufology does not investigate
UFOs but just tend to believe in them =96 as in visitors from
outer space.

The only way to get any real knowledge is to use the scientific
methods. There is a clear and huge gap between looking for
knowledge and just believing. On the other hand you must listen
to what kind of experiences people have when they "meet aliens"
in their dreams or during altered state of consciousness. What
they feel and see may be important since we do not know all
about the human mind and how it works. Why do people experience
encounters with otherworldly beings? Why do they think that some
of them are physical entities?

We have learnt from folklore that entities of different kinds
have been seen and reported for centuries but in a non-alien
context. Are they coming from the same source? We do not have
the answers to this yet but I am sure that it is important that
we keep looking for them.

Scientific and spiritual ufology will always be there side by
side even though a great wall keeps them apart for the most
time. But we must study this spital side of ufology with
scientific methods. UFO sects are in many cases bad news. Some
of them, as Heaven's Gate (1997) and Order of the Solar Temple
(1994) both were convinced that an alien space ship should take
their spirits away to another planet before committing suicide or
killing each other. The most recent sect, the Raelian movement,
is another example of how people can be misled and manipulated
by a strong leader how strange and nutty his story may be.

10 - Well, our community is growing a lot here in Brazil and in
this moment of the interview I would like you to leave a message
to the Brazilian Ufology Center. At this moment we have almost
33,000 members. Our members are people who love to talk about
UFOs, people who love to discuss UFOs and people who love to
learn about Ufology.

12 - What would you like to say to readers?

I would like to thank you for letting me write in this forum. It
is important that we share and discuss our different opinions
even though we may not always share the same views. This is the
very core of an open and democratic society. None of us have the
complete picture or the answer to the UFO enigma. But by
discussing it we may put another brick in the wall of facts that
may eventually bring us some unexpected answers.