years anniversary. For the young ufologists of today the 1970s probably appear
like a very distant world. No smartphones, no FaceBook, a pre-digital age when
communication was by old type telephones and snail mail letters. And people
gathered in national and local societies to listen to lectures on UFOs. UFO
groups are today almost gone. UFO-Sweden now has three local groups. So follow
me on a journey in time, sharing some UFO-Sweden memories from 1972, when the
UFO movement had a very different agenda than today.
”To successfully present the UFO problem as an
important issue within the political system of today the demand must come from
a broad public opinion.” These were the words of Carl-Axel Jonzon in an
editorial, UFO-Information no. 2, 1972, p. 2. This quote from UFO-Sweden
founder and first chairman Carl-Axel Jonzon (CAJ) is a good summary of how the organization
then planned to work. Information and lobbying became the keyword. The idea was
to create a large peoples movement that would change the public´s view of the
phenomenon. This movement would then be strong enough to demand that the
authorities initiate UFO research.
Carl-Axel Jonzon 1971
years but still now and then writes about UFOs on his blog UFO med mera. He succeeded,
after much hard work 1968-1969, in uniting the then six or seven UFO-groups and
founding the national organization UFO-Sweden. He was UFO-Sweden chairman
1970-1975. The new organization changed the ufological landscape completely.
Local UFO groups were formed at a phenomal pace in most Swedish towns. By the
end of 1972 there were 50 registered local UFO-Sweden units.
Norrköpings UFO-förening in 1970 and I formed the local group UFO-Södertälje
during the same year. By 1972 Anders was in charge of the UFO-Sweden reporting
center and I head of the organizations´s information center. Large groups had
developed in Sundsvall, Stockholm, Ludvika, Södertälje and several other
Swedish newspaper Sundsvalls Tidning, April 8, 1972, presenting the local group UFO-Sundsvall
During the pioneering years in the beginning of the
1970s UFO-Sweden´s ideology was a mixture of a rather naive New Age, contactee philosophy and
research-oriented field investigation. This became clearly evident during the
annual conference in April 1972. Anders Liljegren lectured on UFO reports
during 1971 but there was also a lecture by Raymond Andreasson who with a combination
of mathematics and Bible studies tried to convince the audience that the Holy
City was inside the Moon and The End Times were near.
Part of the audience at the UFO-Sweden annual conference April 1, 1972
Anders Liljegren lecturing during the UFO-Sweden annual conference April 1, 1972
Carl-Axel Jonzon with Raymond Andreasson, Motala Tidning, April 4, 1972
During the Autumn of 1972 I initiated a new form of
meetings in the organization, planning conferences, with the idea to create a
forum for a more open and informal discussions and planning of projects. The
first meeting was arranged in Södertälje, August 26, 1972. Anders Liljegren here
for the first time presented his research project on the 1946 Swedish Ghost Rockets.
Planning conference August 26, 1972. Anders Liljegren to the right.
Plannings conference August 26, 1972. Kent Johansson, chairman of local group UFO-Västerås
The UFO-Sweden magazine UFO-Information improved in
both printing quality and content in 1972, resulting in many subscribers, also
from public libraries. From 1970 organized field investigation and
documentation of UFO observations had been started and were now published in the magazine. Qualified writers begun publishing articles in UFO-Information
and there was a lively debate.
The new improved UFO-Information
In spite of these improvements the ideology and
activites were very much influenced by the information and lobbying idea.
Research was not generally regarded as of prime importance. During the second
planning conference on November 25, 1972 in Södertälje, Anders Liljegren and I tried
to initate a change in policy regarding research and also democracy in the
organization. Unfortunately not with much success. This difference in ideology
and policy eventually led to our forming of AFU on March 17, 1973.
during the next decades. New leaders emerged affecting great improvements in
policy, field investigation etc. Today UFO-Sweden is a large and well
functioning organization with around 600 members. Although there are not many
local groups around today, activities and meetings are organized in several
places, which also function as important social gatherings.
The 50 years anniversary
will be celebrated on April 17-19 at Norrköping. It is a very special and
fascinating experience to have been involved with an organization for fifty
years. A life journey filled with much interesting work and study,
resulting in cherished friendships and many unforgettable memories.