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Vale UFO Visionary Betty Andreasson Luca (1937-2022)

Last weekend news began circulating over social media announcing the death of Betty Andreasson Luca (nee Betty Waho); a name that may not be instantly recognized outside the (still fringe) subculture of UFO aficionados, and yet thanks to the decades-long study of her numerous alleged close encounters with non-human entities –the subject of several books written by Raymond E. Fowler, beginning with “The Andreasson Affair” (1979)– her story constitutes one of the most fascinating –AND challenging– in the annals of UFOlogy.

What makes Betty’s experiences challenging –even to people who are willing to accept the reality of UFOs, and even the possibility that what is currently known as the ‘alien abduction’ experience is triggered by agencies outside the mind of abductees– is not just the fact that Betty’s accounts, which were mostly retrieved through a highly questionable use of hypnotic regression*, not only covered the whole gamut of details that became familiar to abduction research in the 80s and 90s –‘missing time’, ‘Oz factor’, paralysis, non-verbal (telepathic) communication with small black-eyed beings, painful medical and gynecological procedures, insertions and removal of small ‘implants’ and even the removal of ‘hybrid babies’– but that her purported recollections went far beyond what you would expect, if you were to interpret those aforementioned experiences as evidence of a highly advanced extraterrestrial race conducting genetic experiments with a sample of human families on a long-term basis.

Indeed, the puzzling narration collected by Fowler over the course of several sessions with Betty in “The Andreasson Affair,” which focuses on the event of January 25, 1967 –the detonator which opened the floodgates to a whole lifetime of close encounter experiences– is nothing short of mystical: After 4 small ‘Grays’ moving in single file who were wearing dark blue tight-fitting uniforms entered her home (by way of passing through a solid wooden door) asked her (telepathically) to come with them while the rest of the household –Betty’s seven children, plus her two parents who were helping her out while her first husband was recuperating from a car crash in the hospital– remained in a sort of ‘suspended animation’, she was transported (without the need to physically walk(!)) to a circular metallic craft, and after all sorts of strange procedures she was taken to a (never more adequately used) alien realm where she ultimately was shown an allegorical vision of a giant phoenix-like glowing bird, which suddenly turned into a pile of ash from which a fat gray worm crawled out. After which a great booming voice told Betty that she had been chosen to carry a very important message to mankind.

Joseph Santangelo (part of Fowler’s team) listening to Betty while she was under hypnotic regression

After reading “The Andreasson Affair” some years ago –I was already familiar with the generalities of the story, but now I wanted to study the particulars– the thing that struck me the most was the deep ontological conflict between Betty’s personal interpretations of her own experiences, and that of the MUFON-affiliated group led by Fowler who was investigating her. Throughout all her life –and I would assume until the very end– Betty held on to her deep Christian beliefs, and where Fowler and his associates were determined to fit her experiences into a more ‘down to Earth’ (pardon the pun) extraterrestrial framework, to Betty all the signs and portents she was appointed to witness were a testament to God and his angels dutifully overwatching over Creation. Everything they were doing, the beings told Betty countless times, was done “for the good of Man;” including the apparent manipulation of Betty’s recollection of the events, until the intelligences behind them deemed appropriate.

In chapter 12 of TAA it is described how Becky –Betty’s older daughter, who was also somewhat involved in the experiences haunting her mother– developed the ability to fall into a trance and perform ‘automatic writing’ at the age of 8. The strange symbols she would cover page after page with, Fowler mentions in passing, “was found to be very similar to the so-called spirit writing practiced by the Shakers, an early American religious sect.”

The Shakers –named thusly due to the ecstatic dances they would perform during religious ceremonies– are indeed a most peculiar Christian sect which originated in the United Kingdom and moved to the new Continent in the 1770s, establishing themselves in Massachussets –where Betty Andreasson was born and lived until the late 1970s– among other places in the upper United States. They practiced celibacy and held egalitarian views between genders, allowing women to hold leading positions in their communities like Mother Ann Lee, who was said to have had ‘the gift of spiritual revelation’.

I saw in vision the Lord Jesus in his kingdom and glory. He revealed to me the depth of man’s loss, what it was, and the way of redemption therefrom. Then I was able to bear an open testimony against the sin that is the root of all evil; and I felt the power of God flow into my soul like a fountain of living water. From that day I have been able to take up a full cross against all the doleful works of the flesh.

Mother Ann Lee

One gets the feeling that, had Betty Andreasson lived in the early 19th century, she would have ended up being revered as another Shaker visionary. But by the 1970s any type of mysticism needed to be coated with the veneer of technology –the new religion– and Betty will remain relegated to the ill-fitting rank of ‘UFO abductee’ for the time being.

Betty also encountered tall humanoids along with the small ‘Gray’ beings so characteristic of abduction lore

There are a great deal of fascinating details involving Betty Andreasson’s experiences, and grabbing a copy of Raymond Fowler’s books –despite my personal misgivings regarding his investigatory techniques and conclusions– is highly recommended.

Descanse en Paz.

(*)At the beginning on the investigation of her case Betty was hypnotized by behavioral psychologist Fred Max, but by the 1980s due to logistical reasons Fowler’s team decided to train Bob Luca –Betty’s second husband and a UFO abductee himself– on how to regress Betty to continue the sessions all by themselves without any supervision; something many professional psychologists would probably frown upon.

  1. When “The Andreasson Affair” first came out, I attended a small group in the Chicago suburbs where J. Allen Hynek and Raymond Fowler spoke about the book and Betty’s experiences. It was my first real introduction to the more mythological possibilities of the phenomenon. I remain on the fence about the “reality” of her experiences, but it certainly shifted my thinking in important ways.

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