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Notes For Unsolved: Three Abductions Q+A

Research Notes for Supernatural Season 3 Episode 2

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**Research compiled for Ryan & Shane on July 28, 2017 by Rachel Schnalzer.

Background Info:

  • UFOs and aliens have been present in contemporary pop culture since the World War II era with varying degrees of interest at any given point.
  • Since the early 1980s, alien abductions have become a part of pop culture, appearing in a variety of media.
  • In the 1930s and 1940s, there were a few instances of alien abductions making their way into pulp magazines.
  • In the 1950s, alien abduction could be seen in low-budget science fiction movies.
  • By the 1960s, alien abduction had gone from being a fringe idea to a common phrase in pop culture.
  • The alleged Betty and Barney Hill alien abduction on September 9, 1961 spurred pop culture’s fascination with the alien abduction phenomenon. Their story became public knowledge in 1965. Their 1964 hypnotherapy sessions that revealed that they had allegedly been the subject of alien experiments helped form several themes that would be present in alien abduction stories going forward.
  • Lost time, strange dreams, and flashbacks became typical experiences for supposed alien abductees.
  • Hypnotic regression as a tool for remembering the abductions became common in future cases as well.
  • In 1966, only 5% of Americans responded to a Gallup poll saying that they had seen a UFO and only 7% of Americans thought that UFOs came from anywhere outside Earth (most took the term literally- just that they didn’t know what a flying object was).
  • But only 20 years later, 43% of respondents to a Public Opinion Laboratory poll said they believed that some reported UFOs were vehicles used by civilizations in space.

Allagash Abductions

What happened?

  • Book Sources: [1] [2] [3]
  • Jim and Jack Weiner (who were identical twin brothers), Charlie Foltz and Chuck Rak, four twenty-something art students, embarked from Boston on a several-days-long camping and canoeing trip on Maine’s Allagash Waterway on Friday, August 20th, 1976.
  • On Tuesday, Jim noticed a light shining low in the sky (that was not the moon). He said, “The light was most peculiar. It resembled that quality of light one sees inside a pottery kiln at cone 10, approximately 2,350 degrees F.” (He was a ceramics student.)
  • The light hovered just a few hundred feet above the trees from what appeared like only a couple miles away. It disappeared shortly thereafter.
  • On Thursday, August 26th, the four camped near Eagle Lake. There, they built a bonfire and decided to go night-fishing for trout (using the bonfire, which they expected to burn for at least two hours, as a way to navigate back to shore in the dark area).
  • Chuck reportedly felt as if they were being watched on the lake, when he saw a large, glowing object and alerted the others.
  • “I turned toward the direction from where I felt this and saw a large bright sphere of colored light hovering motionless and soundless about 200-300 feet above the southeastern rim of the cove.”
  • After he got the others’ attention, they apparently perceived the object to have “plasmatic motion,” with “liquid and enveloping” changes in color.
  • Chuck also explained, “I could see a fluid pulsating over the face of the object as it changed color from red to green to yellow-white … I detected a gyropscopic motion, as if there were pathways of energy flowing.”
  • Jack reported that the object was “not making any noise at all” and was “as big as a house, at least eighty feet in diameter.”
  • Jim identified it as the light he had seen a few days earlier.
  • Charlie blinked a flashlight at the glowing object with the message “SOS” in Morse code and at the same time, the object shined a beam of light down towards the water and moved it closer to the canoe.
  • A beam then enveloped the canoe as they tried to get back to the camp.
  • At this point, the men’s accounts begin to differ.
  • Charlie reported that he paddled to shore quickly and saw the object move away while standing at the camp.
  • Chuck recalled sitting in the boat after the others had gotten back onto land. He was unable to look away from the object.
  • Jack reported that the beam of light chased the boat as they paddled to shore, and he believed it was too fast for them to out-paddle. Much to his surprise, they made it to shore in no time and watched as the object hovered 20-30 feet above, with the beam still shining down on the water for a few minutes. The beam then turned up at the sky, and the object flew into the sky and disappeared in a moment.
  • Adding to his brother’s account, Jim said that the beam was definitely heading straight for them and came as close as 50-75 yards away while they were standing to the shore. He said that after the object shot away from them at a breathtaking speed, they were left completely shocked.
  • The men returned to shore in a sort of mental fog and noticed that, though they were only gone for 15-20 minutes at the most, the big bonfire had basically burned out, suggesting they’d been gone longer than they thought. None of them knew what had transpired during this lost time.
  • Jim explained, “The entire experience seemed to last, at the most, fifteen or twenty minutes. Yet the fire was burned down to red coals!”
  • They slept around the camp’s picnic table.
  • They reported their experience to the ranger at the next campsite, but he didn’t appear to believe them.
  • None of their diaries or memories reveal much detail about the last days of the camping expedition.
  • It wasn’t until years later, after Jim had a head injury that gave him tempero-limbic epilepsy, that he began having nightmares about the four campers nude in a strange space, surrounded by large-eyed humanoid figures.
  • He also reportedly experienced being woken up by these humanoids around his bed, levitated out of his bed by them, and even experienced something “being done to his genitals” while paralyzed.
  • Jim appeared overtired to his doctor and after some convincing, Jim explained his experiences.
  • After explaining the lost time experience while on the camping trip, his doctor referred Jim to UFO researcher, Ray Fowler, who was speaking at an event nearby.
  • According to UFOs, ETs, and Alien Abductions, the other campers were also experiencing frightening nightmares about the experience.
  • In January 1989, Ray Fowler and a few members of MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) began conducting a formal investigation that spanned two years (Fowler later wrote The Allagash Abductions, a book about the event)
  • The four campers were interrogated, their stories were cross-checked, and their credibility was investigated.
  • A conclusion was drawn that the period of lost time occurred between seeing the object and finally getting back to land. Furthermore, the beam of light was thought to be the moment when the amnesia set in for the men.
  • While under hypnosis, all four began remembering the events of a supposed alien abduction and examinations that was thought to have occurred between the time the light beam enveloped their canoe and when they reached shore.
  • They were allegedly taken into the UFO through a beam of light and once onboard, the humanoids could control their minds so that they could not resist.
  • Charles Foltz’s painting of his perception of the abduction
  • They were all forced to strip naked while sitting in a misty area.
  • Their eyes and mouths were examined with a small lighted rod, their arm and leg muscles were examined in a harness, and larger machines were used to continue the examinations.
  • Saliva, feces, urine, sperm, blood, and skin scrapings were all harvested during this period.
  • They were then told to put their clothes back on and go into another room, where they were levitated down into their canoe, which was by the land.
  • Additionally, hypnosis was said to reveal that the twins had been visited by aliens many times before, beginning when they were children.
  • According to UFO Religion, each testimony described the alien’s appearance similarly. However, the book then notes that the there is no proof that the men didn’t get their stories straight prior to their testimonies.
  • Jack supposedly also sustained burns on the soles of his feet and a scoop-mark over his ankle. This mark was located near a scar from when a surgeon removed a lump.
  • His doctor had the surgeon take a look after believing it was a cyst but finding it was impossible to drain.
  • Jack was told it was sent to the CDC because no one knew what it was, but his medical records revealed that it had actually been sent to a military pathologist, specifically a US Air Force Colonel, for analysis.
  • No further info could be gleaned about his lump because the surgeon would not cooperate with any questions.
  • Character checks, medical record checks, examinations of photos and diaries from the trip, and interviews with friends, relatives, and the forest ranger of the Allagash Waterway were all conducted.
  • Polygraph and psychological testing is said to have concluded that all of the men were telling the truth.
  • The men’s experiences fell mostly in line with the accounts of other UFO abductions in a survey of 270 abductions compiled by University of Indiana’s Dr. Thomas E Bullard.

Other theories:

There were alternative theories — that the men had birth-trauma memories, were receiving images from the “collective unconscious,” created a hoax, had fantasy-prone personalities, or were experiencing psychoses.

Recent developments

  • In September 2016, Fiddlehead Focus (owned by Bangor Publishing Company) published an interview with Chuck Rak, one of the four men who were allegedly abducted.
  • In the interview, he claimed that the abduction did not happen, saying, “The reason I supported the story at first was because I wanted to make money.”
  • In the past several years, Chuck did not comment about the incident, unlike the others involved.
  • However, he does still maintain that they saw a UFO, saying, “Oh yes, I saw the craft.”
  • Though hypnosis sessions were said to have led to their realizations of the abductions, Chuck has now recanted that these sessions ever made him believe that he was abducted.
  • When speaking about any money made from the story, Chuck says, “We were compelled to stay together, all speculating that this thing could go into the millions of dollars for each of us … We made very little.”
  • He began claiming that the abductions never happened when he had a falling out with the other men.
  • “I don’t call it a hoax, just brilliant storytelling. It’s not the truth, but I have to admire the storytelling ability of these guys.”
  • When asked about the “lost time” phenomena they allegedly experienced, Chuck said he considers this “complete (manure)...Those logs were maybe three inches. Some of them could have been almost three and a half inches, that’s the biggest they could have been; and most of them were smaller, and as such in that condition those pieces of wood would have burned off very quickly.”
  • Chuck also attested that the four men were high when they allegedly saw the UFO, saying, “I remember Jack brought some Afghan temple ball with him to share with the rest of us … Yeah, we were definitely stoned when we went out on the lake just before we got that sighting.”
  • Charles Foltz had previously said the men had not been on any drugs during the sighting.
  • However, the other men have dismissed Chuck’s denial of the abduction.
  • Charles has said “We definitely steer clear of him because the guy is a loose cannon and a mental disaster area,” and that Chuck has been banned from UFO conventions due to his temper.
  • Jim Weiner told the publication, “I personally believe that Mr. Rak’s self-aggrandizing rationalizations and disparaging accusations are simply the rantings of an angry and resentful individual, on whom his former friends have turned their backs.”
  • Jim explained that Chuck became fixated on making money from the case, even suggesting that the four men denounce the case’s handling by Ray Fowler, MUFON, and the hypnotist to create more media interest.
  • Both Charles and the Weiner twins stand by their claims that the abduction happened.
  • Chuck still believes that alien abductions can occur and said, “ “I’m completely open-minded about it. It’s just that I don’t think it happened in our case.”
  • Research note: It’s worth mentioning that their image looks awfully similar to the aliens in the famous film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, released a year after their alleged abduction. However, the men did not begin sharing this experience until years later, so it’s theoretically possible that pop culture (for example: Close Encounters of the Third Kind) could have influenced their recollections of the aliens’ appearance.

Travis Walton

What happened?

  • This is Travis Walton’s account of his own abduction, from his book Fire in the Sky.
  • On Wednesday, November 5, 1975, Travis Walton was working in a seven-men tree-thinning crew in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest near Heber, Arizona.
  • When they were finished for the day, they were all driving back home when Walton noticed a bright light coming through the trees.
  • When the men got closer, they saw that it was “a strange, golden disc” hovering stationary, about 20 feet off the ground with 15-20 foot diameter and 8-10 foot width.
  • Travis, filled with intense curiosity, went to examine the craft, while his co-workers warned him to stay away.
  • When he got very close to the craft, there was a loud sound of vibrations as the craft began spinning erratically.
  • Then, a blue-green light shot out of the craft and hit Travis in the chest and head, throwing him backwards several feet.
  • Travis remembers, “ All I felt was the numbing force of a blow that felt like a high-voltage electrocution. The intense bolt made a sharp cracking, or popping, sound. The stunning concussion of the foot-wide beam struck me full in the head and chest. My mind sank quickly into unfeeling blackness. I didn't even see what hit me; but from the instant I felt that paralyzing blow, I did not see, hear, or feel anything more.”
  • The other men, thinking Travis was a goner, drove away very quickly and while they were fleeing, one of the men saw the saucer fly up to the top of the trees and fly away to the northeast.
  • Some of the men, out of guilt, returned to the area to search where Travis had been hit.
  • Shortly after they began to drive away, Mike Rogers (the driver of the truck) and the other men returned in the truck to discover that Walton was no longer there.
  • Meanwhile, Travis, disoriented, opened his eyes and found himself in a strange room with a triangular ceiling with three humanoid beings with large brown eyes that stood a bit under five feet tall, which he attempted to attack. They eventually retreated.
  • He also mentions that they were wearing soft, billowy, orange-brown overalls and had large heads for their body sizes.
  • Travis said the room appeared to be some sort of medical office or lab.
  • After the beings fled, Travis went nervously exploring other rooms in an attempt to escape.
  • As he was exploring another room, another man, large, muscular and wearing a helmet, entered.
  • This man, silent, grabbed Travis and led him out of the craft, which was in some sort of large warehouse with other saucers, and into another room where three more people, all very good looking, were standing.

“Two men and a woman were standing around the table. They were all wearing velvety blue uniforms like the first man's, except that they had no helmets. The two men had the same muscularity and the same masculine good looks as the first man. The woman also had a face and figure that was the epitome of her gender. They were smooth-skinned and blemishless. No moles, freckles, wrinkles, or scars marked their skin. The striking good looks of the man I had first met became more obvious on seeing them all together. They shared a family-like resemblance, although they were not identical.”

  • The “people” gently pushed him onto a table and put a mask over his mouth and nose, at which point Travis passed out.
  • The next thing Travis knew, he was laying on the ground in Heber, Arizona. He saw a silvery disc-shaped craft hovering above the road near him, which then flew straight up into the sky and disappeared silently.
  • Travis then frantically ran down the highway looking for cars, and eventually found a telephone booth, which he used to call his sister.
  • His brother-in-law Grant picked up, and although he thought it could be a prank call, came to the phone booth with Travis’s brother Duane.
  • Travis explained that he felt as though he had only been in the craft for an hour or an hour and a half, to which Duane replied, "you've been missing for five days!"
  • Travis deduced that he had been abducted by extraterrestrials during this time and continues to considers his experience “unequivocally the best documented case of alien abduction ever recorded.”
  • While Travis was “gone” for those five days, Rogers and the other loggers came under suspicion of foul play
  • An investigation had begun, during with the suspects had undergone psychiatric testing and polygraphs.

Other theories:

  • After this case was reported, some have speculated that Travis and the other loggers made up the entire incident to get out of the terms of the government logging contract they were working on at the time of the alleged abduction.
  • It’s possible that Mike Rogers came up with the plan out of fear that they wouldn’t finish their contract in time.
  • However, this explanation doesn’t quite make sense because when Rogers and the other loggers were suspected of foul play after Travis’s disappearance, none came clean about faking the abduction.
  • The police were never able to find any of Travis’s fingerprints on the phone booths he used to call his family.
  • All lie detector tests administered to Travis, Mike, and the others came back as passing or inconclusive.
  • A psychiatrist suspected that the entire abduction was in Travis’s imagination, but could not explain why the others went along with it.
  • This book suggests that it’s possible that the entire crew lied about the abduction to defraud the government.
  • Though Travis originally thought he was being maliciously abducted for the aliens’ own purposes, he has since suggested that the aliens were trying to help him after inadvertently hurting him with the light ray as they attempted to get away from the loggers.

Recent developments:

  • Travis Walton wrote a book published in 1978 about his experience that was later turned into the 1993 film, Fire in the Sky (Micki’s note: *this scared the crap out of me when i was a kid*)
  • More recently, Walton has been on the HuffPost Weird news podcast and in a documentary.
  • In the podcast, Travis explained “About 15 years later, it was discovered that the trees nearest to where [the UFO] hovered had been producing wood fiber at 36 times the rate it had in the 85 years before that ... a complete core sampling revealed that this thickened growth was only on the side of the trees towards, or in the direction that the craft had been.”
  • When asked about alien abduction skeptics, Travis has said, “The scientific evidence of the likelihood of intelligent life in our vicinity has become so overwhelming that the people who believe that we’re alone in the universe — those are the kooks.”
  • In 2015, Travis organized a” Skyfire Summit UFO conference” to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the abduction, where Mike Rogers and John Goulette (one of the men in the car) joined him in speaking about their experiences.
  • When asked about how the experience affected him, Goulette said, “I went somewhere no one knew me or talked about the event. Four out of five people in town let us know they didn’t believe us. It’s the opposite now. I realized about three years ago that a lot of people here have had their own experiences.”
  • Rogers also said, “We shared an experience that should have bonded us, but we spread out. Steve (Pierce) changed his name and hid out for 30 years. I’ve learned a lot about people from this.”
  • In 2009, Travis appeared on Fox’s Moment of Truth game show, where a polygraph determined that he was not telling the truth about his abduction. You can watch this clip here.
  • After his claims were deemed false in the game show, he said, “Polygraph is 97% accurate, not 100.”
  • Research note regarding polygraph accuracy: Polygraphs/lie detector tests are considered over 90% accurate by the American Polygraph Association, while skeptics say that polygraph tests only work properly around 70% of the time. This should be considered when evaluating both recent polygraph tests of Travis Walton and those taken in the aftermath of the abduction.

Linda Napolitano

What happened?

  • In May of 1989, Linda Napolitano (also known as Linda Cortile in the UFO community- it’s unclear why) had been writing to Budd Hopkins (the author of the book about her case) about her repeated experiences with aliens throughout her life.
  • Napolitano reported that she had been repeatedly abducted by UFOs beginning about 22 years prior (she would have been 19), indicating that the famous incident on November 30, 1989, had not been the first time.
  • Symptoms she reported feeling before and during an abduction included feeling numbness in her legs as well as feeling that she sensed a strange presence in her room.
  • Feelings of paralysis, as well as mental images of hooded figures, would come to her.
  • However, she was never able to rouse/call out to her parents (nor her husband in later years), and no one ever noticed anything strange.
  • Then, according to Linda, on November 30, 1989, around 3:15 AM, she woke up and saw short aliens around her bed.
  • She found herself unable to wake up her husband as she perceived the beings to be telling her to be quiet in an odd language.
  • The three small beings then levitated her “like an angel” outside her 12th story window in her apartment overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • She then floated outside in her nightgown, high in the air underneath a blue-white light.
  • The light was emitted from a clam-shell shaped space ship, which she was brought into.
  • When inside, the beings performed medical experiments on her.
  • For example, one involved putting an instrument inside her nose.
  • After the experiments were over, she woke up at 5 AM next to her husband in bed.
  • She detailed this case to Hopkins, which he considered par for the course in terms of alien abductions.
  • However, Hopkins got a letter from a police officer in 1991 detailing an experience with his partner in November 1989.
  • They were sitting underneath the FDR bridge when they saw a blue light, with a woman being levitated alongside three strange beings as they made their way into the light.
  • They then saw the light soar behind the Brooklyn Bridge and then go into the water.
  • They reportedly felt guilty for not helping the woman and one officer had a nervous breakdown, spending nights parked underneath her building.
  • Hopkins identified this as the first instance of a UFO abduction witness confirming an abductee’s account- he believed they saw Linda’s abduction.
  • He told Linda not to speak with the officers if they reached out to her to avoid contaminating their accounts.
  • However, they dropped by her apartment, asking her how she could levitate outside her apartment.
  • One of them, “Dan,” was said to have acted bizarrely, while “Richard” seemed concerned for her.
  • Richard approached her two separate times, including when she was going into church with her family.
  • She was reporting back to Hopkins each encounter and he was instructing her what to say and to direct them to him.
  • Both men reached out to Hopkins in a few weeks.
  • Hopkins then received another letter, signed by Dan, Richard, and someone who went by “Him.”
  • They explained that “Him” was “an important political figure” and that the two other men were his bodyguards who made him lay back in the seat of his car during the abduction.
  • Some ufologists believe that this man was former secretary-general of the UN, Javier Perez de Cuellar.
  • However, Hopkins still will not comment on who “him” was, and Cuellar has denied any connection.
  • Others apparently speculate that it could have been former Canadian PM Brian Mulroney, but this also hasn’t been confirmed.
  • Richard and Dan continued to meet with Linda and members of her family over the next few months.
  • However, no meetings ever occurred between Richard and Dan and Hopkins himself.
  • This is why many believe Linda to have arranged the entire hoax.
  • She was reportedly abducted by Richard and Dan themselves after her son got on the school bus. They forced her into their car and interrogated her, even going as far as asking to see if she had toes.
  • Apparently, they believed aliens didn’t have toes, and they were paranoid she could be “one of them” now.
  • Dan later abducted Linda in broad daylight into his sports car, which she never reported.
  • She said that because it was a matter of national security, the abduction was legal.
  • He supposedly drove her to a Long Island hotel, forced her into a nightgown like the one she wore the night of her November abduction, tried to rape her, and tried to drown her when she fought back.
  • Richard, appearing at the last moment, rescued Linda, with Dan still speaking incoherently.
  • She met with Hopkins shortly after, and he said that she had sand in her hair and was disheveled.
  • “Him” apparently wrote to Hopkins again, explaining that the extraterrestrials were deeply entrenched in world politics, attempting to create world peace.
  • However, Hopkins was cautioned never to directly reach back out to this man.
  • Then, Hopkins began receiving accounts from additional witnesses of the November alien abduction.
  • In 1991, Linda reached out to Hopkins with an X-ray of her nose showing an object with a curly part lodged in her nose.
  • She said the x-ray was taken by a friend that was also a doctor.
  • Some believe this to be a possible tracking implant placed in her nose by the aliens.

Other theories:

  • This account has been criticized by some who believe Linda is not credible and that Hopkins is not objective and the victim of a hoax. She could have been responsible for mailing the Dan and Richard letters, and any of the other “witnesses,” or at least coordinated a hoax involving others.
  • Others suggest that the entire event bears a resemblance to Nighteyes, a sci-fi book published a short time before contact with Hopkins was first initiated.
  • However, Linda maintains that the truth lies in the witnesses, and says of the incident, “If I was hallucinating… then the witnesses saw my hallucination. That sounds crazier than the whole abduction phenomenon.”
  • Linda’s Facebook: [redacted]

Additional info from Ryan’s research:

  • In 1991, two years after the abduction, Linda reached out to Hopkins with an X-ray of her nose showing a cylindrical object that Hopkins describes as having “spiraling extensions...that curl out away from her face.” The X-Ray was taken by Podiatric Surgeon podiatric surgeon and Linda’s niece, Lisa Bayer. A week Shortly after, Linda claimed s the object was removed during another abduction. Hopkins reports that Linda visited a nose and throat specialist who confirmed the object was gone but that “a conspicuous ridge of built-up cartilage showed where it had once been embedded.”
  • One takedown of the story, in the book The Trickster and the Paranormal, cites a person who formerly served in dignitary protective services who explained s that details of the night of the abduction from provided by Richard and Dan didn’t line up with security protocol for moving UN officials.
  • According to Sean F. Meers, a UFO and alien abduction researcher who worked with Hopkins, there are 23 witnesses on the public record, ranging from family and friends to complete strangers. 3 Three of these strangers were workers worked at the nearby New York Post, one of whom was an investigative reporter named Steve Dunleavy.

Frederick Valentich

  • Book Sources: [1] [2] [3]
  • Front page of The Australian from 10/23/1978
  • His destination was only about an hour away, visibility was good, and there were only light winds.
  • Valentich, 20 years old at the time, reportedly wanted to get more flight hours in.
  • Valentich reached Cape Otway at 7pm. He made contact with Steve Robey at air traffic control in Melbourne between 7:06 and 7:12 p.m.
  • Valentich asked whether there was any known aircraft in his area. After air traffic control said there was not, Valentich claimed a large, unknown aircraft was flying about 1,000 feet above him at a fast speed, with four bright lights.
  • Valentich then reportedly said "It seems to be playing some sort of game. He's flying over me” and then added, “It’s not an aircraft.”
  • He continues to describe the craft, saying, “It seems like its stationary. What I’m doing right now is orbiting, and the thing is just orbiting on top of me. Also, it’s got a green light and sort of metallic. It’s shiny on the outside… It’s just vanished”
  • His last message, around 7:12, to air traffic control was: “Ah, Melbourne, that strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again...It is hovering, and it’s not an aircraft.”
  • After 17 seconds of silence, there was a loud sound of metal scraping.
  • Authorities are said to have searched the area for four days but found nothing. Eventually, Valentich was presumed dead.
  • In May 1982, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Summary’s cause of the accident read “The reason for the disappearance of the aircraft has not been determined.”


When Australian UFO researcher Bill Chalker interviewed A. Woodward, who signed off on the Aircraft Accident Summary Report, Woodward offered a range of unverified theories which included an accident caused by pilot disorientation, suicide, and even a meteorite crash (though he said that in pure, unfiltered speculation- not really being serious).

Suicide/Planned Disappearance

  • Some theorized that Valentich either committed suicide or had at least planned to disappear.
  • Reasons for this theory include discrepancies in his plans that evening; for example, according to his father, Valentich left 40 minutes late that evening. He also apparently never told King Island that he planned to fly in that night, so they weren’t ready with the airport lights on for him.


  • Valentich was fascinated with UFOs, and even had a UFO scrapbook with him when he disappeared.
  • Someone reported that he was later seen working at a gas station in Tasmania, though this was never verified by the police.

Pilot Error

  • A feature story from a 2013 issue of Skeptical Inquirer has other theories.
  • According to this article, Valentich was inexperienced as a pilot, with only roughly 150 hours of flight time.
  • He had obtained a private pilot license about one year before he disappeared and had been rejected twice from the Royal Australian Air Force.
  • Valentich had also supposedly been cited twice for deliberately flying blind into a cloud, and was warned once after he flew into restricted airspace.
  • The young man had also apparently read up on UFOs, discussed them with his father, and had claimed to have seen one before this incident.
  • This report suggests that what Valentich saw was some mixture of wanting see something, being easily led to believe that anything he didn’t recognize was a UFO, becoming disoriented, and/or mistaking stars and the Cessna’s own lights as lights from another object.
  • Though the wreckage was never found, this was the first time Valentich had flown alone at night and in his messages, he seemed confused.
  • (research note: there appears to be some confusion with how experienced Valentich was — this source says this was his first solo night flight while others contest that he was experienced)


  • Historian Reg Watson has been following the case for years and believes, along with many others, that Valentich was followed by a UFO and abducted.
  • Watson believes there wasn’t sufficient reason for Valentich to have wanted to disappear or commit suicide; he had a girlfriend and got along well with his family.
  • Watson says his research has found that there were numerous reports of UFO sightings, including reports of cigar-shaped lights seen near King Island, in Australia for two months prior to Valentich’s disappearance.
  • It’s also worth noting that the Cessna 182 planes were designed to float in the case of a water landing.
  • In 1998, Valentich’s family built a memorial plaque on Cape Otway to commemorate Valentich. They had Steve Robey, the last person to speak to Valentich, introduce the plaque.
  • On the same night of Valentich’s disappearance, a couple out on a drive noticed an object over the sea, near where Valentich disappeared. It was shaped like a starfish and was green.
  • It’s worth noting that Valentich’s family did not think it was plausible that he’d stage his own death.
  • A farmer allegedly saw a craft flying over his land near Adelaide the morning after Valentich vanished.
  • He claimed that Valentich’s plane was stuck to the side of the craft, but when he was mocked by friends about the story, he decided not to go forward with reporting what he saw.
  • In 2014, The Victorian UFO ­Action group was attempting to get in contact with this farmer, but it was unclear whether the farmer was even still alive.
  • A photograph taken off Cape Otway that evening, 20 minutes before Valentich vanished, shows a strange shape in the sky.

Antônio Villas Boas

What happened?

  • Book Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4]
  • On the night of October 16, 1957, Antônio Villas Boas, a 23-year-old Brazilian farmer, was allegedly abducted by a group of five-foot-tall aliens when he was plowing his fields.
  • There does seem to be some confusion about when exactly the encounter happened- some say it happened about a week earlier while Abductions and Aliens says that it happened at 1 AM on October 15th and The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Extraterrestrial Encounters maintains that it happened the night of October 15th.
  • This farm was just outside Sao Francisco de Sales, Minas Gerais. In that area, it was common to have night shifts in the fields.
  • Previously, on the night of October 5, 1957, Villas Boas and his brother saw an odd light from outside light up their entire bedroom after a farmhouse party.
  • The night of his alleged abduction, he saw what he thought was a large, bright, red star that was actually a large, egg-shaped craft which a rotating cupola on top.
  • The aliens were wearing silvery jumpsuits and helmets. When aboard their craft, gas emitted from the walls began making him nauseous.
  • Other accounts say that he was covered in a liquid and that the aliens took a blood sample from him.
  • Then, a beautiful female alien forced him to have sex with her. She apparently had long blond hair, slanted eyes, white skin, bright red pubic hair, blue, cat-like eyes, and was naked.
  • Accounts like Abductions and Aliens emphasize Villas Boas’s willingness to have sex with the alien, saying, “Villas Boas was extremely aroused and immediately had intercourse with her twice.” She apparently wanted to create a human/ET hybrid offspring she could raise. He was told that she was pregnant after they had sex.
  • According to The UFO Book of Lists, the alien took a sperm sample from him as well.
  • This book says that he knew he impregnated her because she pointed at her stomach. She then pointed at the sky, which he took to mean that she would raise their child in space.
  • It also notes that the female alien “growled like a dog” while they were having sex.
  • According to Walking Among Us, Villas said he suspected that the aliens were using him as a “stallion to improve their stock.”
  • When Villas Boas returned, after what felt like about four hours, he sought treatment for rashes/burns he sustained, which experts identified as radiation burns.
  • He said he didn’t know how he sustained the burns.
  • Dr. Olavo Fontes, his doctor, apparently had ties to APRO (Aerial Phenomena Research Organization), a UFO research group from the US.
  • In the late ‘50s, the case grew in notoriety around the globe, with many believing that it must be true because a simple rural farmer would not have the ability to make up a story like that.
  • However, Villas Boas was actually relatively well off and later practiced law. He died in 1992.
  • The Villas Boas abduction case was the first alien abduction case to be deemed “credible” and “documented.” Villas Boas never recanted any of this story.
  • Ufologists believe that his “lifelong refusal to profit from his story” as evidence that he was telling the truth.

Other theories:

  • According to Peter Rogerson, a UFO skeptic and researcher, it’s possible that Villas Boas was inspired by ufologist Georges Adamski’s popular stories, as well as an article about extraterrestrial abduction published in a November 1957 issue of O Cruzeiro.
  • Because the Villas Boas story’s hype spiked in 1958, Rogerson suspected that Villas Boas could have simply said that his encounter happened in 1957 to make it sound more believable.
  • In fact, it was only in February of 1958 that Villas Boas even reported the incident to the authorities.
  • He said that he reported the incident because his health had been declining since this incident.
  • The Villas Boas case has the same sexual/reproductive themes that many alien abduction cases have.

Todd Sees

What happened?

  • Todd Sees, a Little League coach and father of two, left his home at 5 a.m. on Sunday, August 4th, 2002, to go hunting somewhere on his property in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.
  • He left his house on an ATV.
  • He did not return, and after a quick search by his family, authorities were alerted. Tracking dogs, helicopter searchers, and volunteers on foot were all set out to look for him.
  • His four wheeler was found on the first day on Montour Ridge, approximately two miles away. The search was paused at 10pm that night.
  • On the second day of searching, Sees was found dead close to his home in a heavily wooded area near Montour Ridge. The autopsy didn’t reveal cause of death.
  • Gary Steffen, Point Township police chief reportedly said, “It’s just a waiting game. Something certainly caused his death. The answer has to be in the blood,” before any toxicology reports were released.
  • According to the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC), sources called in to report that a farmer apparently witnessed a flying disc with a blue and white beam suck a man inside of it over Montour Ridge.
  • This anonymous source apparently also said, “Two days later a naked body except for his underware [sic] was found.”
  • Though Peter B. Davenport, the director of NUFORC, expressed an apology for any disturbance the organization caused for Sees’s family, he continued to question different aspects of the case that he found suspicious.
  • For example, the FBI was allegedly involved, according to unverified reports.
  • In addition, Sees had allegedly been mutilated, with rumors that his face was been “frozen into a grimace of terror.”

NUFORC’s involvement

  • NUFORC published an official case brief on September 30, 2002 regarding the alleged abduction of Todd Sees.
  • It takes responsibility for being the origin of rumors that his death was related to extraterrestrial involvement, saying “ It has never been our intention to cause family members of the late Mr. Sees' any distress over this matter, although we understand that the information originating from our website, because of its nature, may have been upsetting to them.”
  • Their reporting on the incident began because they received a short, written criticism for not covering the Lewisburg, Pennsylvania alien abduction (that is where the anonymous writer believed the abduction to have taken place).
  • NUFORC responded to the criticism asking for more information. The anonymous writer claimed that the entire death and investigation were unusual. They reported that family members were not allowed to view Sees’s body and that federal authorities came to investigate.
  • Perhaps most importantly, the NUFORC report says, “The individual went on to assert that the death had been related to UFO, and/or alien, activity.” All communication with this person took place over email, though NUFORC attempted to organize a phone conversation.
  • They reached out to both local paper The Daily Item and the Point Township police for confirmation, but Sgt. Cotner, the investigating officer on the case, would only confirm that Sees’s death was considered an “unexplained death” that he would not discuss any further.
  • They also reached out to County Coroner for Northumberland County James Kelley, who only confirmed that he had performed Sees’s autopsy, where photos were taken, and that no cause of death had been decided. He noted that photographs taken at autopsies are not released to the public. Beyond that, he was not willing or able to discuss the case.
  • NUFORC released all the information it had on September 8th. In the official case brief, NUFORC says, “we had not anticipated the effect that the release would have in the public forum.”
  • A family member reached out to NUFORC, apparently saying “they had had no inkling that there might be such grossly unusual circumstances, as asserted in those reports, surrounding his death.”
  • Chief of Police for the Point Township police department Gary Steffen later communicated with NUFORC and confirmed that there was an investigation into the “unexplained death” and that he was "following developments" regarding the information published on NUFORC’s report.
  • He also explained that Sees’s family had not been brought in to identify Sees’s body because he himself knew Sees and could identify him.
  • NUFORC also notes that the search party was made up of approximately 200 people.
  • However, NUFORC identified several issues with the case that it considers “unresolved”:

“If the death of Mr. Sees is being investigated as an "unexplained death," and not a homicide, why are the local authorities involved in the investigation refusing to comment on the case? If the death, in fact, was the result of a snake bite, a bee sting, a diabetic coma, or exposure, all of which have been proposed as the cause of death, why are the police, the coroner, and the district attorney all refusing to comment on the case?”

“If the victim's remains were so badly decayed or disfigured that the family could not have an open casket funeral ceremony, why was no family member, or representative of the family, e.g. a family physician, summoned to establish positive identification of the body? Also, under what authority did officials act in their apparently informing the family of the decedent that the casket containing his remains should not be opened before its burial? In addition, how could a body become so badly decayed in 39 hours, or less, of exposure that it was unfit for viewing by the family, or at a funeral? “

“If, indeed, unconfirmed reports that special agents from the FBI, or from another federal law-enforcement agency, were summoned to the site where the victim's remains were found, why were they summoned, and by whom? What interest would federal authorities have in an allegedly accidental, or "unexplained," death, if there were not extenuating circumstances? Moreover, why would members of the Point Township police department refuse to comment on whether federal authorities had been involved in the investigation?”

“If tracking dogs were used during the search for Mr. Sees, it seems unusual to us that they would not be able to immediately track the path that the victim presumably took, as he walked, perhaps barefoot, from his vehicle to the location where his remains ultimately were found by searchers. Tracking dogs are very adept at following a scent, and it seems unusual that they could not locate remains that reportedly were badly decayed at the time the body was discovered.”

“The apparent absence of any apparent cause of death seems unusual, given that the decedent was a seemingly quite healthy and fit young man.”

“In addition, it is unclear to us why an experienced outdoorsman, as Mr. Sees apparently was, would abandon his vehicle, shed his outer garments, doff his boots, and walk an estimated two miles toward his home, leaving his vehicle, still in good working condition, on top of the nearby mountain.”

  • In summary, NUFORC concludes the brief by stating —

“we certainly have no evidence, aside from unsubstantiated assertions, several of them from anonymous sources, that there was anything "unworldly" associated with his tragic demise. However, in light of the many recent reports from South America that have come to our attention over recent months of allegedly strange deaths, and possible human mutilations, we feel that further investigation into this case is justified.”

  • NUFORC also included a copy of an article originally published by The Daily Item on August 5, 2002 in this brief. According to the article, Sees’s property was made up of 80 acres of land.
  • Ty Sees, his brother, apparently said, “When he didn't come back by 12:30 p.m. , four of us went out looking for him...It's not like him to be gone this long."
  • His father, Harold "Brub" Sees, added, “Todd knows this territory like the back of his hand. What bothers me is that he's been gone too long." and expressed concern that the day’s 90 degree plus heat could have harmed his son.
  • According to Josh Newbury, the Northumberland Borough Fire Chief, Sees originally planned to scout for deer with someone else who never ended up going with him.
  • According to Nate Fisher, a Northumberland No. 1 Fire Department volunteer, it was common for Sees to “walk for hours” and that he was known as an outdoorsman.
  • Point Township Fire Chief Leon Geise warned volunteers, "Be aware, rattlesnakes are in abundance," prior to beginning the search.
  • Some volunteers were concerned that Sees could have injured himself by falling on a rock, which could have inhibited his ability to cry for help.
  • According to an article published in The Daily Item on Aug 7, 2002, an autopsy on the 39-year-old did not provide a conclusive cause of death following his discovery on Monday night in the woods close to his house.
  • NUFORC also included a copy of an article originally published by The Daily Item in September of 2002 in this brief.
  • The only other information is reveals is: Sees’s body was found only 150 yards from his house at Montour Ridge’s western base. The autopsy indicated that Sees had no signs of coronary disease or trauma, and that he had been dead for 24-36 hours, according to James Kelley, the Northumberland County Coroner.


  • Sgt. Seth Cotner, the investigating officer, apparently told reporters that there were no federal authorities were involved in the investigation.
  • The coroner, instead of forbidding the family to view the remains, apparently only suggested that it could be upsetting for them to do so. There are a few reasons why this could be:
  • If Sees had been lying on his face, his face could have been disfigured from blood settling in the area.
  • An animal may have gotten to his body before searchers did
  • James Kelley, the Northumberland County coroner, eventually ruled Sees’s death to be caused by “cocaine toxicity.”
  • Police deemed his death to be an accident.