The IGAP Movement in Sweden

The IGAP Movement in Sweden

”… the Brothers have suggested that a Get-Acquainted
Program be started on Earth. To help in this movement they have suggested that
I ask the help of one or more men and women in each nation, people who have
proven their interest and sincerity… Those in each locality who have already
expressed an interest in our interplanetary visitors are to be made acqainted
with one another… Information of the Brothers of other worlds with whom I
continue having more or less regular meetings, will be sent regularly to each
national leader, who in turn will forward it to all of his assistants. The idea
is, that the citizens of each nation, through these efforts, will grow into
closer united friendship with their countrymen, without discriminations of
divisions of any kind. In time, it is hoped, that these national efforts will
overflow into world-wide understanding and friendship.”
This quote is from the letter George Adamski sent
out to his co-workers on July 15, 1957. It was the beginning of the
International Get Acquainted Program (IGAP), that for several years engaged
many Adamski supporters around the globe. From a historical and cultural
viewpoint this was an impressive humanitarian project, equaling the
Understanding movement, founded by contactee Daniel Fry in 1955. IGAP did
result in many international friendships and cooperation but also in disunion
and enmity among co-workers, especially was this noticeable in Sweden and
In practise IGAP have had two representatives in Sweden,
Edith Nicolaisen and Thor-Leif Dahnielson (today Thor-Leif Strindberg). But
only Thor-Leif Strindberg was officially recognized as a ”true” IGAP representative.
Edith Nicolaisen was always regarded as something of a heretic because of her
different interpretation of George Adamski´s space people and her support for
other contactees like Daniel Fry.
Miss Edith Nicolaisen (1911-1986) was an exceptional
woman, founder of the Swedish new age publishing house Parthenon in July 1957.
She was strongly influenced by theosophical and anthroposophical ideas and was
a good friend of Theosophist and Danish liberal Catholic Bishop Otto Viking. Edith
Nicolaisen began corresponding with George Adamski in 1954 and the first book
published in Swedish by Parthenon in October 1957, was Flying Saucers Have
by Desmond Leslie and George Adamski. Her second aim was to form as many
UFO and new age groups in Sweden as possible. Parthenon published several of
the classic contactees of the 1950s: George Adamski, Daniel Fry, Ray and Rex
Stanford, Elisabeth Klarer. Edith Nicolaisen corresponded with hundreds of
ufologists, contactees, esotericists and new-age activists from around the
world between 1950-1986.

Edith Nicolaisen 1962

Edith Nicolaisen first accepted Adamski´s assertion
that the space people he met were physical with organic bodies just like us,
but in 1958 she began to doubt this claim and instead adhered to the position
of Meade Layne and Desmond Leslie, that the space people from Venus, Mars etc.
were etheric physical, not normally visible to physical eyes. This was also in
accordance with the Esoteric Tradition. She never debated this issue with
Adamski but she wrote of her conviction to other correspondents. In an undated
letter 1970 to Alice Wells she stated: ”According to my opinion both Rudolf
Steiner and George Adamski are right when they maintain: Rudolf Steiner that
all other planetarian-life enfoldments in our sunsystem are on an etheric level
(physical-etheric levels) and George Adamski that our Brothers manifest on the
physical plane and are in physical bodies – right – but their normal plane is
This view of the space people became the dividing
line in the contactee movement and especially among IGAP representatives. You
were not accepted as a genuine IGAP co-worker if you accepted the esoteric
interpretation. Even though Edith Nicolaisen had spent years in promoting the
books and philosophy of George Adamski in Sweden the leaders of the George Adamski Foundation never really recognized her work and she is, to my
knowledge, never listed as an official IGAP representative. The difference in
opinion is clearly noted in the correspondence between Edith Nicolaisen and
Alice Wells. Up until 1966 Edith always began her letters to Alice with ”Dear
fellow New-ager” On June 4, 1966 she received a reply from Alice Wells with
this sharp reprimand: ”The New-age movement has nothing to do with George
Adamski´s work. His understanding is far beyond what they support.” In spite of
Edith heretic views she was mostly tolerated by other IGAP co-workers and she
corresponded with Adamski supporters from all over the world.

Alice Wells

In 1965 a young man living in Eksjö, Sweden, Thor-Leif
Dahnielson (1949-) had become interested in George Adamski and his philosophy
and entered a correspondence with Alice Wells and other co-workers. In a
newspaper article,
Smålands Folkblad, January 11, 1971 he mention a UFO
observation in the Spring of 1965: ”It had the same shape as a discus and
glided across the sky. The time was around 9 A.M., says Thor-Leif, who narrates
that several others had seen the same phenomenon.”

According to Thor-Leif this observation had a
special significance to him: ”George Adamski´s secretary once helped me when I inquired
whether she could ask the space people to show themselves over Huskvarna (where
I lived at the time), and the same day I received her answer a shining white
object glided over the district around Vättern (lake). I observed it together
with some friends and according to the newspapers it hade even been observed by
the staff at Jönköping Airport. That was enough for me to be convinced of the
truth in George Adamski´s words”. (Letter from Thor-Leif Dahnielson to Jan
Janson, March 4, 1969). When I recently reminded Thor-Leif about this incident
he has no special memory of the occasion. I have not been able to find the newspaper article referred to nor
the letter from Alice Wells.

Thor-Leif Dahnielson with girlfriend, Smålands Dagblad, Jan 11, 1971

Thor-Leif soon contacted Edith Nicolaisen and he
began working for Parthenon, helping with translations, distribution of
information about books etc. When he asked Alice Wells about Parthenon he
received some rather derogatory comments: ”Yes, I know of Parthenon, and Edith
Nicolaisen, and I don´t have a good feeling about it either. I have a feeling
that whatever she receives she uses for her own benefit. She receives the
Cosmic Bulletin because she donated towards it. But she wanted the Science of
Life lessons and this was refused, for I knew she would translate it without
permission, even though they are copyrighted.”

(Letter from Alice Wells to Thor-Leif Dahnielson, Jan. 5, 1966).
An even more unflattering comment on Parthenon was recieved from Danish IGAP
representative Air Force Major H.C. Petersen: ”We have never and will never
cooperate with Parthenon. We don´t consider Miss Nicolaisen worthy of
cooperation, neither has she the ability”.
(Letter from H.C. Petersen to Thor-Leif Dahnielson, January 18, 1966).
In spite of these critical comments from other IGAP
co-workers Thor-Leif continued working for Edith Nicolaisen and they also planned
to publish a UFO/New Age magazine in Sweden. Thor-Leif was rather enthusiastic
about these plans and mentioned the project when he was interviewed in the
local newspaper Smålands-Tidningen, November 15, 1968. He hoped this could
develop into a permanent employment. But the critical comments about Parthenon
from other IGAP co-workers now became obvious in the correspondence: ”I think
there is a difference in our estimation of the ”Brother´s” visits to Earth. I believe
wholeheartedly in George Adamski which means I absolutely do not believe in Rolf
Telano or Fry. But I can be of assistance anyway as the purpose of the work is
a better world. Unfortunately the ”saucers” have become something of a ”religion”,
which was not the wish of George Adamski.”
(Letter from Thor-Leif Dahnielson to Edith Nicolaisen, October 27, 1968).

Smålands-Tidningen, Nov. 15, 1968

It was probably inevitable that the Dahnielson-Nicolaisen
partnership should dissolve when their ideological differences became apparent.
In October 1969 Thor-Leif founded the journal Kosmisk Bulletin (Cosmic
Bulletin), which in 1970 added the subtitle Svensk IGAP Journal (Swedish IGAP
Journal). With the approval of George Adamski Foundation
  he now became the official IGAP reprentative
of Sweden. Edith Nicolaisen now obviously felt deserted and disregarded as
Adamski co-worker: 

”As to the IGAP-center: No one needs to obtain permission anywhere to establish
IGAP-centers, as it was the Brothers and Adamski´s  desire that as many centers as possible were
established in all parts of the world, but above all a wholehearted  co-operation between all centers. For some
years, particularly, during 56/57/58 we were privleged with Adamski´s
confidential messages as to his meetings with the Brothers and to their
suggestions and advice. Therefore, we were among the first UFO/New Age-centers
who got informed about the Brothers´ suggestions to establish IGAP-centers and
thus became the first IGAP-center here in Sweden in accordance with the wish of
George Adamski and the Brothers.”
(Letter from Edith Nicolaisen to Thor-Leif Dahnielson, February 8, 1970).

Thor-Leif explained that he now intended to publish
the ”cosmic-philosophical” literature of George Adamski himself because of
Parthenon´s bad reputation: ”I also wish to state that I don´t regard Parthenon
as an IGAP center, because within IGAP we definitely dissociate ourselves from
the type of fantasy literature published by Parthenon: Borealis, Fry, Anthony
Brook etc. It is these type of authors who have caused the greatest damage to
the saucer cause.”

(Letter from Thor-Leif Dahnielson to Edith Nicolaisen, February 19, 1970).

Thor-Leif published twelve issues of Kosmisk
Bulletin between 1969-1970. The content was a mixture of UFO reports, articles
and writings by George Adamski and co-workers. There were also plans to start a
UFO reporting center in Sweden. The last issue was published in September 1970.
When Thor-Leif moved to another town and entered a new employment he had no
time for the magazine. In 1972 he settled with his wife in Nässjö and together
with Ernst Wallin founded Nässjö ufologiska sällskap (Nässjö ufological
society) and the publishing house Waldia. They published a Swedish edition of
George Adamski´s Flying Saucers Farewell (Mot nya horisonter, 1974) and
Thor-Leif also published his own book, Sanningen om det övernaturliga (The
Truth About the Supernatural). 
Thor-Leif Dahnielson´s father was a pastor in a
local church and the Christian religion became more and more an influence in
his life and activities. Interviewed in the local newspaper Tranås Tidning he
stated: ”What Jesus said is true in every word. But I do not believe in
spirits. What people experience as spirits is an expression of the force that
govern the universe… Supernatural experiences come from the subconscious”.

(Interview in Tranås Tidning, February 22, 1974.)

Tranås Tidning, Feb. 22, 1974

Beginning in 1974 Thor-Leif Dahnielson worked as
translator for various publishing houses, a.o. Readers Digest. 1975-1979 he
studied at Famous Artist School in Holland and has since participated in many
exhibitions. In 1980 he changed his name to Thor-Leif Strindberg. Interest in
Christianity and theology resulted in the website Bibelfrågan (Bible
As Thor-Leif Dahnielson (Strindberg) was a prominent
exponent of flying saucer reality and George Adamski for several years I was of
course interested in his view of the subject today. In an email March 5, 2020
he stated:
”That was a long time ago. I have not been engaged in the UFO-question since
the beginning of the 1980s (even though I am of course still interested and
read UFO news when I find them), but my attitude is probably the same as
before. The UFO phenomenon cannot be dismissed as a physical or psychological ”natural”
phenomenon or the result of some earthly technology and then we are forced to
consider extraterrestrial visitors. So I still think it is interplanetary
visitors as I cannot find any other explanation. Regarding Adamski I have not
reflected much upon him during the last 40 years, but I have of course read
some articles on the Internet written by persons in his acquaintance or who
were in contact with him when everything happened. I still don´t think he was a
liar but possibly he himself was deceived  – but by whom and why? I have no idea. That
the ”space brothers” he met was no visitors from planets in our solar system is
in any case evident.”

Thor-Leif Strindberg in 2009

Being a supporter of George Adamski and IGAP in the
1960s and 70s often resulted in many conflicts and difficult decisions. The
organic physical versus etheric physical interpretation is still a hot potato
among Adamski supporters. One of the real hardline fundamentalist advocates of
the organic physical interpretation was Danish IGAP representative H.C.
Petersen as evidenced by this letter:

”Your most important guiding principle should be that Adamski NEVER
participated in meetings where other representatives of the UFO cause were
present. Adamski was the UFO cause – all others were freeloaders. But you
decide yourself.”
(Letter from H.C. Petersen to Thor-Leif Strindberg, June 7, 1970.)

It must have been a difficult and frustrating situation for the idealist Edith Nicolaisen to having been more or
less excommunicated by the IGAP leaders. She was more openminded to other
contactees experiences and tried to concentrate on the messages of goodwill and
spiritual evolution. Unfortunately, during her later years, she became involved
in various doomsday prophecies but she did more for the Adamski cause and
contactee philosophy than anyone in Sweden. She does have a few points in her
last letter to Thor-Leif Danielson:
”Nothing has done greater harm to the Brothers and ”the case for the UFOs” than
the lack of Understanding and the BIG ME… Few, – very few of the UFO/IGAP
members seem to understand the true meaning of 
the IGAP-program as it was meant by the Brothers and their
contact-person G.A. – Even many have become sectarian.”
(Letter from Edith Nicolaisen to Thor-Leif Dahnielson, March 2, 1970).



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