Most of the time, I am willing to pin claims of alien abduction on grounded, even if traumatic, happenings.
Sleep paralysis. Episodes of physical or sexual abuse from a family member that have been repressed by the mind. Mental illness that requires medical and psychiatric attention, not hypnotic regression and guest spots on History Channel shows.
But there are those cases that cannot be so easily dismissed. The Allagash Abduction is one of those cases.
The incident occurred in August of 1976 near Allagash, Maine, deep inside a thick area of New England wilderness. Four men just out of college went there on a camping and fishing trip. Their names were Jack and Jim Weiner, Chuck Rak, and Charlie Foltz. On the August night in question, the men built a sizable bonfire on the edge of Eagle Lake, a fire that they hoped would not only last them through the night but serve as a beacon to the shore while they did a bit of night fishing. They paddled out onto the lake in their canoe.
Rak noticed a light in the sky. The men initially thought it to be a helicopter or a weather balloon. The light then began to change colors and behave erratically. Foltz took a flashlight and began to signal to it. The light came closer and the men began to see it as a solid craft. A high-powered beam of light came out of the bottom of the object and engulfed the canoe. Next thing they knew, the men were all on shore and the massive bonfire they had built was at that point mere ashes and embers. None of them knew how they had gotten back there but they were exhausted.
In the years that followed, each of the men began exhibiting symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, including nightmares and dipsomania. Each man described similar dreams; the interior of chamber wherein alien beings with long necks and large heads examined each of them one at a time while the other men could only watch, unable to move. Jim Weiner even began to experience tempero-limbic epilepsy. The four men sought out help from hypnotherapists and UFO researchers.
Under hypnosis, the men described nearly identical experiences. They told of a sterile interior of what they claimed was a spacecraft. There were insect-like aliens with bald heads, big eyes, and spindly fingers, performing medical tests on each one of them, collecting skin and fluid samples as well as conducting other more humiliating tests. Being artists, the men were able to produce detailed sketches of their abduction, including even the instruments that were inserted into them. Each man was pronounced mentally stable by psychiatric professionals and each one passed a lie detector test...not that that last bit means all that much given what we now know about lie detectors but was still a necessary step at the time.
This is an important case for a few reasons. One, there are multiple people involved. Most cases of supposed alien abduction involve only one person at a time. Here there were four. Each man reports the same thing and corroborates the others' stories. This is significant. Two, the description of one of the aliens involved...and I am still working to find a source to verify this as opposed to just my memory of past interviews with the abductees...was a bit of a departure from the typical Grey made popular by Whitley Strieber. This one was taller, much more mantis-like in appearance and seemed to be in charge of the other Greys. This would imply a lack of influence from the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind or the book Communion. Two things that skeptics often point to as subconscious influences. As mentioned previously, the men were artists and I seem to remember one of them doing a sculpture of this alien. Again, I'm looking for a source.
I also think we can rule out collusion between the four men. What would such a conspiracy net them? Money? It doesn't seem that they've made that much from it. Fame? Did you know their names before reading this? If anything, their reputations stood more chance of being damaged by coming forward with such a thing and they do have medical professionals who can attest to the fact that the men have suffered greatly.
Were the four abducted by aliens...or otherwise otherworldly beings? Of course it can't be said for certain that they were indeed victims of such a thing. In fact, someone over at UFO Evidence sure doesn't seem convinced about it, raising a few valid questions about the case. Still, this incident has enough to it to make me curious, far more than I would be about a run-of-the-mill, single-participant abduction claim.
Here's a few sources...for Mr. "Codswallop:"
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