|i dansk språk- kortform link|
(from 1980 - now out of print/sale)
(Some words are translated to Norwegian and there MAY BE some wordmistakes here - because this is scanned from the book. Some headlines are added)
Introduction: (from the books cover)
Late one night in june 1978, while travelling in their car on a lonely road in Oxfordshire, a family of three adults and two small children were intercepted by a large spaceship, and were taken on board for nearly an hour, during which the flying saucer made a short trip.
They saw - inside the ship - on film, how the Janos people lived -their clothes, houses and gardens, boats, lakes, and food and vegetation. They watched, in horror, how a rain of giant rocks fell from the sky, as Saton, their nearest moon, broke up and fell in fragments on to the planet, wrecking cities and covering the ground with a layer of immense boulders. They saw a nuclear power station explode as the rocks struck it, and the chain reaction which caused every power station on Janos to blow up, sending great clouds of radioactive dust swirling around the planet.
They saw the immense ring-shaped ship, which was built in space, with many lesser saucer ships, to evacuate the population and take them to another world.
Finally, they were told of the hopes of the Janos people, people like ourselves, numbering ten million, who now wait in space, in our solar system, waiting to be allowed to land and start life again.
'This book,' says the author, a retired academic with a background in biology and a research interest in the biology of 'humanoids; 'contains so many 'first times' that I have scarcely troubled to indicate them. Ufology looks quite different after experiencing this investigation. The story is sensational.'
THE JANOS PEOPLE
of Frank Johnson (from 1980 - now out of print/sale)
Prologue: Disaster in another world
Chapter 1 Encounter in England
2 John and Frances dream
3 Natasha's testimony
4 Entry into the spaceship
5 Frances examined
6 What Frances was told
7 John examined
8 John in the engine room
9 Pictures in the navigating screen
10 Underground encounter
11 Departure from the spaceship
12 The Janos people
13 Under whose flag?
An open letter to the Janos people
A note on credence and credibility
"IN PRESENTING THIS account of the Janos people, a human community which has been for many thousands of years away from the Earth, living on a remote planet, I am very conscious of presenting something which will upset many comfortably-established habits of thought.
The reader may accept my account as factual, or reject it, as he may choose; it does not concern me one way or the other. The story only seems improbable because it throws a hefty spanner into the works of accepted assumptions about the history of mankind: technically it hangs together in a remarkably convincing way.
It will also upset many ufologists - people who study and enquire into the strange phenomenon of the UFO or 'flying saucer'. Ufology, no less than other, more respectable fields of specialised knowledge, has generated a lot of theories, some of them, to my mind, highly unlikely, and, indeed, in some cases strictly meaningless.
This account, the first published presentation of a straightforward, realistic human background to the flying saucers, sweeps away all the armchair theories, if you take it at its face value; and I am confident that anyone who reads this book without preconception and with an open mind will end by taking the account at its face value.
However improbable the Janos story may seem at first acquaintance - and it is sensational in a way that fiction could not rival - one must consider what probability attaches to any alternative hypothesis. The whole question of probability and credibility will be examined at the very end of the book, by which time the reader will be in possession of the facts, and better able to judge for himself (the male, of course, as always, embracing the female; the English language lacks a common gender, such as Greek possesses, for these general references to humanity, irrespective of sex).
This is the story, as told in my presence, of an English family of three adults and two children, who spent nearly an hour as the guests of the Janos people, on board one of their spaceships, over rural Oxfordshire. One of the senior officers told them: "Our ship is one of those which have been chosen to make the first contacts". (Throughout the book, italic type is used to denote direct verbatim quotations from any of the Janos people in the spaceship; it implies that these were the actual words used, and not a paraphrase.)
The Janos people are, in the literal sense of the term, extra-terrestrial: they come from another world, which they call Janos, a planet "several thousand light years" away from Earth. At the same time, they are terrestrial in origin: their remote ancestors, in the prehistoric past, lived here and originated here; the people seen in this particular incident appeared to be Europeans of a Nordic type. (This is also in some detail decribed in the contactmaterial from the Semjase/Erra-contacts that took place from 1975 through Billy Meier. And also some in one of the books from Daniel Fry and Lyssa Royal - all says that the genetic Earthman came from the starsystem of LYRA - millions of years ago - and that this old civilisation colonised our earth in the far past. So it is to suppose that this JANOS civilisation is from the same Lyranian-Pleiadian cosmic "family". R.Ø.remark.)
This is surprising; but it does not in itself violate probability. It does raise some rather difficult questions, as to how? and why?, which will be discussed towards the end of the book.
This investigation was undertaken at the suggestion of Jenny Randles, Secretary of UFOIN (UFO Investigators' Network), an organisation of limited membership and high standards. I must make it clear, however, that neither Jenny Randles nor UFOIN has any responsibility for the investigation, or for the conclusions I have reached. It has been, throughout, a solo job; my only colleagues have been the five members of the family whose unusual story is told here, and our hard-working hypnotist.
As explained in the text, hypnotic regression, or regressive hypnosis as it is variously called, was employed as a method to aid the investigation, for a dual purpose: to dissolve away the amnesia which (in common with many close encounters) has been a feature of this case; and to enable the witnesses to re-experience episodes within the encounter, several times if necessary, to obtain a more detailed and more sharply defined recall than normal memory alone could give.
The success of the investigation owes a great deal to the professional skill and untiring patience of Geoffrey M'Cartney, hypnotherapist and consultant hypnotist in the city of Gloucester. At the same time, it must be stated that the case does not depend on hypnosis alone; very many items of information, including some of the most important, were obtained in normal recall on occasions when the hypnotist was not present.
I must also pay tribute to the members of the family, especially John, Frances and young Natasha, for their willing cooperation. They have been very strongly motivated to try to understand what happened to them; nevertheless their readiness to submit to seemingly endless questioning, both under hypnosis and otherwise, has been a major factor in bringing to light the story of the Janos people. The fact that their recorded interviews amounted to forty-seven c90 cassettes is an impressive statistic on its own.
One thing, which has distinguished this investigation, has been its sheer size and complexity. Many 'encounters' can be fully described in half a dozen pages; whereas this experience, of less than an hour, has yielded so much detail that I have had to condense drastically to bring it within the compass of a book.
This enormous yield of detailed information has been the reward of sheer persistence on all our parts: it would have been so easy, at many points of the investigation, to be satisfied with what we had, and so miss most of the story.
During the thirteen months of the active phase of the investigation, I have come to know the family very well, and have acquired a considerable respect for the integrity and insight, especially of the two principal witnesses John and Frances, who are brother and sister, with whom I have spent a great deal of time.
By the wish of the family, I have withheld their surnames and postal addresses. This is in accordance with the spirit of the advice given them by officers of the Janos spaceship, who imposed a degree of post-hypnotic amnesia on them, to protect them from the undesirable consequences of immediate publicity. ("It will cause you much trouble.")
The witnesses have checked their own statements, and have occasionally made a minor correction. The conclusions, however, are my own; and they hold no responsibility for them, though they are in general agreement.
I have been greatly helped by the many sketches made by John and Frances, which I have used as a basis for the illustrations. John is reliable and accurate on the shape and arrangement of objects, and has a good sense of layout and orientation; Frances is remarkably good at remembering speech, word for word, and has an excellent memory for detail; while Natasha, for her age, is an intelligent and observant child, whose contribution to the investigation has been by no means negligible.
It has been a great pity that Gloria's amnesia has been so severe and refractory. She is beginning to have odd flashes of visual recall; doubtless her memory of the incident will return fully in time, and will provide a valuable cross-check on the testimony of the others. Tanya has, without doubt, a full memory; but as she was only three years old at the time, she cannot be regarded as a formal witness.
I do wish to make it clear that I make no claims that this book solves all the mysteries of ufology. It gives a detailed, but not a comprehensive account of the Janos people, limited to what one family have been told about them, and to what I think can be legitimately deduced from that telling; but it does not go outside this theme. I think we shall find that many reported encounters, when re-examined in the light of what this book has to report, will be found to be part of the Janos story, especially where they deal with fair, blue-eyed normal people in silver uniforms; but it will be apparent to anyone familiar with the literature of ufology, that there are many other reported incidents which do not seem to fit, as far as our present knowledge goes.
Perhaps the Janos people are not the only visitors to our planet from other worlds. Perhaps the Janos people themselves, when we are able to ask them, may be in a position to throw light on these other extra-terrestrials.
I will now take you back in time some thousands of years, and away in space a few thousand light-years, to a remote planet called Janos by its people, where disaster hangs in the sky.
Frank Johnson Worcestershire, England
Disaster in Another World
JANOS IS THE name of a world that died. (*pronounced 'Jan e-oss', the first syllable stressed)
Janos was a planet, very like our own, with blue seas and lakes, green fields and hills, trees and grass; with towns, cities and quiet countryside; with ships and boats and aircraft; with pleasant single-storey homes and families of men, women and children, people very like us. People who laugh and make jokes; gentle, kindly, sensitive people of deep understanding, who abhor violence and will not make war, even to obtain that which they most desire. People who, even in extreme need, do not want to bring trouble on others. People very like us; but perhaps in all honesty we ought to say, the kind of people we would like to be, rather than the kind of people we of this planet all too often are.
Janos had two moons, both small compared with our moon. One of these, the nearer one, called Saton, (pronounced 'Zaton'; but the spelling Saton was given by the Janos people) imperceptibly slowed, millenium after millenium, by the friction of solid tides raised in its rocky crust by the gravitational field of the planet, had crept nearer and nearer to Janos, until it was too close for stability; the cohesive forces which held it together were finely balanced against tidal disruption.
The people of Janos had known for a long time of their danger. For a long time they had known that they must eventually leave the planet, as the crew and passengers of a sinking ship must take to the boats.
With a science and technology more advanced than ours, they long ago developed the art of space travel, and constructed spaceships in which they explored the worlds within reach of them, looking for a new home, to which they could go when the time came to leave Janos.
Their exploration ships ranged far and wide among the nearer stars and their attendant planetary worlds. This interstellar househunting took a long time; and the crisis crept nearer. Many planets were surveyed, and some of them would have made possible homes.
But one green, lovely world had attracted them from the first, although they knew it only by tradition; because, they tell us, it is so like Janos as it used to be. There was a feeling of home about it. They had known about Earth for a long time, from their history books; they knew where it was in the sky.
There are differences: both Earth and Janos have land and sea; but whereas Earth's oceans are far more extensive than its continents, in Janos the land areas are greater than the areas covered by seas and lakes. The climate of Janos was mild and gentle; those who have seen the planet from space saw nothing to suggest snow or polar ice.
The few scenes we have of the old Janos paint a picture of sunlit greenery and blue water, flanked by low wooded hills. On the lakes, gaily coloured power boats, pennants fluttering, throw up their smooth bow waves, ripples fanning out towards the shore, where fashionably dressed women, with their menfolk, enjoy their abundant leisure. Nearby, a peaceful community of modest, pleasant single-storey homes have flaxen-haired children in them, and white-fenced gardens around them - a scene so familiar that it touches the heart. And all this was thousands of light-years away.
The Janos people have known about Earth for a very long time - long before a double disaster drove them from their home world. For besides the threat of the fragmenting moon, which they had long warning of, an unsuspected danger lay in wait for them, for which they were totally unprepared; this other peril we will come to presently.
Like everyone else with long warning of the need for action, they ran it a little too long; and the rain of great rocks began before they quite expected it. They were almost ready: out in orbit, above the fragmenting moon, the great fleet lay in its gravitational anchorage, a host of mighty ships, clustered about one really stupendous ring-shaped flagship, a veritable city in space, capable between them of taking in the entire population of Janos, many millions in number, and provisioned and ready for a long interstellar voyage. They had already picked out their destination.
The big ships, built in orbit, could not embark (innskipes) directly from the ground; and hundreds of smaller vessels were needed to ferry the population up from planet to fleet, making endless to-and-from trips, each time carrying a full load of men, women and children, with all their stores and necessities. These smaller vessels, lens-shaped ships of the kind familiar to us as 'flying saucers', were built in huge subterranean shipyards, far below the threatened planetary surface, in vast artificial caverns whose lofty roofs were supported by massive columns cut out of the solid rock, columns which flared out trumpet-wise at the top, to meet the curving roof.
The operation of embarking a whole world of people was well advanced when, ahead of estimated time, a series of minor rockfalls gave warning that the inner moon, Saton, was about to break up.
The English family whose story is told in this book have been shown films taken during one of these earlier rockfalls: they describe rocks "as big as houses" falling from the sky, crushing the buildings and setting them on fire. The film's sound track records the screams of people trapped in the blazing wreckage.
A curiously unexpected detail was caught by the camera. Seated upon the edge of a rocky cliff, gazing up into the sky, a big dog - a wolf, rather - howls inconsolably at the falling rocks. It is dark-coated, not quite black, with long, thick shaggy hair which rises in a fear-generated crest over the head and spine. It has the look of a wild animal; what it is doing there in Janos is a bit of a mystery, which we will go into later: events just now are moving too quickly; we have no time to speculate.
The early beginning of rockfall created a complicated, fast-moving crisis. Those who were not killed outright made, if they could, for the nearest tunnel-mouth; these were entrances, of two very different sizes, to the system of tunnels which led down, far down into the planet's crust, to reach the complex of subterranean shipyards. The small tunnels were intended for workmen to come and go.
Underground, the ships which were in the shipyards and ready to fly hastily took on board as many people as they could cram in, and flew out through the great tunnels, shaped to allow a lens-shaped ship to fly through them with a little room to spare, up to the distant surface, risking the rain of rocks, any one of which would have crushed it like an egg hit by a cricket-ball, and up into orbit with the fleet. Ships returning to the ground from orbit repeatedly entered the tunnels to take on more refugees, until the battering of the rocks caused the tunnel-mouths to cave in dangerously, and the rescue operation had to be suspended until the end of rockfall, several months ahead.
We do not know how many were left underground: they should have been safe enough during the main rockfall which now began as Saton slowly disintegrated, covering the planetary surface with millions of rocks, great and small; for deep underground, the rocks could not hurt them, and they had supplies awaiting transhipment, and uncompleted ferry ships to live in.
But there was a complication, which the Janos people now admit they had completely overlooked. The world of Janos was one which used a lot of electrical power to supply its highly-automated industries and its domestic needs, more developed than ours. The main, if not the only source of energy was a network of huge nuclear power stations using uranium, scattered over the planet on the exposed surface; wisdom after the event would no doubt have put them deep underground. It had been assumed that they would be destroyed by the rockfall, like everything else, and would simply cease to operate. With the destruction of all surface industry and the abandonment of the planetary surface, electricity would not be needed: almost certainly the subterranean shipyards had independent emergency generators of low power, which would provide some lighting and ventilation for the entombed survivors.
But it was not as simple as that. The ship people showed one member of our English family pictures of what happened. She saw, first, a typical Janos power station, so sharply defined that she was later able to make a detailed drawing of it; she described it as "like a gasometer inside the Eiffel Tower" - a very apt description. It is shown in figure 19 on page 144; you will see a massive dull grey cylinder supported within a four-legged tapering pylon of shiny metal lattice-work construction.
Then, as she watched, the whole structure disintegrated in a tremendously brilliant flash. A second or two later, there was another flash, far away in the distance; then another still further away; and more and more flashes, very remote. The Janos man who showed her the picture said: "There was a chain reaction".
All the power stations of Janos exploded, one after another very quickly; as one disintegrated, we are told, it caused the nearest also to explode, and that detonated the next, and so on. What exactly went wrong in terms of nuclear engineering, we cannot explain in detail; but it seems likely that the massive protective shell, which had withstood the earlier, lighter rockfalls, was finally ruptured by the later tremendous battering, and that the control mechanism was wrecked, causing the pile to run out of control and to 'go critical'. Engineers must explain this more fully than I can.
What is quite clear is that the heavy biological shielding was explosively ruptured; and that thousands of tons of intensely radioactive dust swirled around the planet with the turbulent winds created by the multiple explosions. The swirling dust clouds were seen in later pictures; and we know that a lot of this heavy, gritty dust, sucked down no doubt by ventilation machinery still operating, found its way down the tunnels into the underground shipyards, where the people left behind were still living. The entire planet, surface and underground alike, was drenched in radioactivity.
Communications between the planet and the fleet in orbit had failed with the loss of power; and the people in the ships had no idea what was happening in the shipyards. They were in orbit, waiting, for a long time; when the rockfall finally ceased, they still thought it would be possible to send rescue ships down to pick up survivors, and they sent powerful anti-gravity equipment capable of lifting heavy rocks and clearing the choked tunnel-mouths.
When the rescue ships finally penetrated to the underground shipyards, their crews were horrified to find that, although many were still alive, they were already doomed to a slow death by severe radiation poisoning. Not one could be saved. They could not be taken in by the rescue ships; it would have been dangerous, even to touch them. They had to be left to die.
The rescue ship crews did what they could to organise for the needs of the sick people, without becoming themselves contaminated. Somebody invented a new type of clothing -rather like a monk's long-skirted habit, with a deep hood or cowl over the head - to give better protection against the lethal dust. The sad routine began, of regular daily visits to collect the dead bodies, and remove them for disposal.
As the survivors became fewer in number, they were concentrated into a few localities, until finally only one shipyard-refuge still had men and women living in it. At this point, a film record was made, by a camera mounted behind the windscreen of one of the last float-vehicles to make its melancholy rounds; the film shows a half-dozen of those still able to walk, carrying a roughly-made coffin to the vehicle, where it was loaded into a cargo-space underneath. While it waited, the vehicle still hovered a few feet above the ground.
The bearers looked like very old people; they shuffled slowly and hopelessly about, "as if they had given up". Some were blind; all had lost their teeth, so that their cheeks were sunken; and their hands were deformed and claw-like, with huge lumps on the knuckles.
The ships remained in orbit until the last of the sick people died. Then the great migration fleet moved slowly out of its orbital station, leaving Janos for the last time. Gradually its speed built up, as the navigators set course for Earth's star -what we call the Sun, thousands of light-years away. They knew its galactic coordinates, and how to find it. The acceleration was maintained until the fleet was flashing across the Galaxy at a velocity close to the speed of light. In this way, a journey which, as measured by "Earth time," took many thousands of years was completed, according to the ships' clocks and calendars, in just two years.
The traumatic stress of the double disaster - especially their grief over those who were left to die - affected the Janos people deeply; but gradually, as the voyage went on, their natural buoyancy of spirit returned. Today, they show the emotional effect of all that befell them - loss of their home, the rock fall, and their shocked grief over the fate of those left behind - only when talking of these things to visitors, and showing them films, brings it all back.
Encounter in England
JOHN, HIS WIFE Gloria, their daughters Natasha (then aged five) and Tanya (then aged three), and John's sister Frances were travelling together by car from Reading, where they had been attending a family funeral, to their home near Gloucester. It was late evening, Monday 19th June 1978. They followed a route familiar to them, 417 through Wantage, Stanford in the Vale, Faringdon and Cirencester.
After Stanford in the Vale, they began to notice a bright light in the sky, in front of and somewhat to the right of them, which seemed to keep station with the moving car. John was driving at less than fifty miles an hour (80km/h), and it seemed impossibly slow for an aircraft. They discussed it idly: could it be a helicopter? It did not seem likely; and they could not hear anything.
Picture of the people involved: back left: GLORIA right - FRANCES. JOHN in the middle and left front TANIA and NATASHA right
John suggested, more as a joke than anything, that it could be a flying saucer. John is rather given to joking, and nobody took much notice of this. They drove on, still watching the light. Presently they noticed a smaller red light to the left of the white light; their constant relation suggested that the two lights were carried by a craft of some kind, which they could not see, though the sky was clear, and there was a full moon high in the sky. They were still thinking it must be some kind of aircraft, but were puzzled by the way it seemed to pace the car.
John said he was going to stop and have a look at it, to see if he could make out what it was and what it was doing. He slowed down; but Gloria said: "You can't stop here; there's a house by the side of the road all lit up, and the people might think we were funny stopping outside, and come out to see what we are doing".
John accordingly drove on a little way; and then he determined to stop, come what may. He said he was going to stop, even if a police car was coming. This was an odd thing to say, because there was no reason why he should not stop by the roadside if he wished to. The road was quiet, with only occasional traffic.
Gloria's reaction to the lighted house was also a little illogical; because if there were anything untoward, they might feel that the presence of other people would be reassuring (beroligende). But it seemed logical at the time.
There is something odd about the lighted house; because the next time they travelled along the same stretch of road, a few days later in daylight, they were able to pinpoint the exact position where they had seen the house - but there was no trace of a house anywhere near, although as they remembered seeing it, it was only some fifteen to twenty feet back from the road.
There was nothing remarkable or unusual about the house they saw that night, except that it simple wasn't there. It was just an ordinary house, of a type not uncommon in the area; in fact, much later on, on another journey along the same road, they realised that they had already passed a house like it - but this one was on the other side of the road, and some way further back; that is to say it was further east, and on the right hand side of the road as they went east to west; whereas the 'house all lit up' that Gloria spoke of was on the left hand side of the road, going in the same direction.
Later, under investigation, John and Gloria independently made drawings of the lighted house, which agree closely. They show two windows upstairs and two downstairs, all four windows, they said, being uniformly lighted as if a translucent screen were drawn across them. No curtain or interior details were visible. On the occasion much later, when they first realised that they had already passed a similar house on the other side of the road, one of the four windows was lighted, and it was filled by a translucent blind which completely filled the opening, showing no detail.
Later in this book, in Chapter II, the reader will find that there was another occasion when visual impressions were transferred from one side of the road to the other. I feel that, in the present incident, what probably happened is that the people in the spaceship, who were already watching the car and probing into the minds of its occupants, gave them a hypnotic suggestion that they should see again the house with four lighted windows (which they had already passed without at that time consciously noticing it), but that they should see it on their left - the side the car would draw up to - and at the same time feel in their minds that this was not a good place to stop. I think the flying saucer people, for their own convenience, wanted the car to stop at a point which they had already decided upon, a little further down the road; and when they came to it, John was given a strong urge to stop the car.
To continue with the story: the light in the sky seemed now to be approaching them; John pulled up by the roadside, and, leaving the engine running and the headlights on 'dip', he got out of the car and looked in the direction where the light had been seen, but at first failed to find it. (Non-British readers should remember that in the United Kingdom, traffic drives on the left; this is necessary to an understanding of this part of the incident. John was thus standing on the right of the car.)
John scanned rapidly up and around to find the lights, and in a moment saw that the craft had moved very quickly into a position directly in front of the car, but up in the air, at an elevation of about sixty degrees of arc. He could now see the shape of the craft; it appeared, he said, to be a very large circular object, completely black, the under surface, all that he could see, being curved like a shallow bowl seen from below. The white and red lights could not now be seen. There was no visible detail of any kind on the craft. The bowl shape was more curved in its central part, with a flatter extension all round it.
The circular craft now moved quickly over the car, and away to the right of the road, somewhat behind the standing car; it sank down to a low level behind a thin row of trees, but could still be clearly seen through the gaps between the trees. A row of small coloured lights now appeared all round the extreme rim of the disc; the lights were of different colours, the same colour not appearing twice in succession. The whole ring of lights was revolving slowly from left to right. The craft rose and fell slowly several times, but did not quite reach the ground. Gloria and Frances could both see the craft through the rear right hand side window of the car. In profile it was a typical flying saucer - a biconvex lenticular disc, tapering at the edges to a fairly sharp rim where the lights were; the central part was more curved, both above and below. It was all dull black except for the lights.
It is of some interest to note that more than a year later, in mid-August 1979, a local newspaper stated that a taxi-driver had reported to the police that he had seen a UFO at about 2 a.m. over Stroud in Gloucestershire, quite near the home of one of our witnesses. He described it as a large disc surrounded with multi-coloured lights, moving slowly and silently. Even this sketchy description is enough to suggest that this was either a re-visit from the same spaceship, or one very like it. A similar spaceship was also reported, on a subsequent occasion, over Cirencester, not far away.
Returning to our story: during this time, a sound was heard, coming from the craft, which the witnesses described as a mixture of two different sounds: one was a soft, sibilant rhythmical sound, like someone whispering "swish - swish -swish"; the other was a continuous metallic drumming noise, like that of a distant railway train. These sounds were quite distinct from the familiar quiet purr of the idling car engine. It is an unusual feature of this case, that at no time did the close proximity of the flying saucer cause any malfunction of the car's electrical systems; engine and lights functioned normally throughout.
The flying saucer's downward movements, close to the ground, alarmed Gloria, who said: "John, get back in the car and let's go; it's going to land". Throughout the whole encounter, Gloria was frightened, though by no means hysterical; of the five, she was the only one who experienced any fear.
John did so; and drove on. By now, the children were awake; Natasha said: "Is it a naughty boy with a kite?" She said this just as the car began to move.
From this point, the recollection of events by the adult witnesses divides into two parallel and different experiences, which reunited when they reached Faringdon. We will distinguish them as the 'real story' and the 'cover story'. At the time, only the 'cover story' was remembered; but even at the time, it had a feeling of unreality, and the witnesses found it strange, puzzling and unconvincing as a real experience. We later came to the conclusion that it was a synthetic memory, put into their minds by the flying saucer people to account for the loss of time; the point of this will emerge presently.
In the 'cover story', as soon as John drove on, they were all puzzled by a total change in the character of the road. One should remember that the road was thoroughly familiar to them, from the regular visits which these five people made to the parental home near Reading. It could be said that they knew every inch of the road. The deception (villedningen), whatever its purpose, might have succeeded with strangers who did not know the road well; but to this family, the departure from reality was sharp and unmistakable.
The road they now found themselves driving along was very much narrower than the road they knew, and was closely set about with tall hedges, too high to see over; whereas the sides of the real road are open, giving extensive views across country. All three adults were aware of a sense of strangeness and unreality.
John was very uneasy, and could not understand how they came to be on an unfamiliar road, since there was no possibility of his having taken a wrong turning; the real road went straight to Faringdon, little more than a mile away, without any branch or junction. (kryss)
But this narrow, closely-hedged road seemed interminable (endeløs). It seemed to all of them to go on and on: the two women had a floating sensation (characteristic of some hypnotic states); and all felt the car's movements to be unnaturally smooth, as if it, too, were floating along, not in contact with the road, which looked rough and ill-made. The real road is broad, smooth, well-maintained, and almost completely level and straight; but this narrow dream-road (as it seemed) went up and down hills, and curved to left and right.
There seemed to be a lot of repetition in the details of the road; there was a characteristic pattern of a bend at a rise, followed by a dip that repeated endlessly. The hedges and trees, which lined the two sides of the road, seemed the same, as if they were mirror-images.
John had a sense of having gone back in time. He said it was as if someone had been told: "Paint a picture of a country lane"; it was old-fashioned and conventionalised - note the similarity, in this respect, to the 'house that wasn't there.
The car belonged, not to John but to Frances (his sister); but John was driving because Frances would have a further journey to make that night. He was not familiar with the car, and had driven it for the first time that week-end; this journey was the second time he had driven it. Frances said afterwards that the car seemed strange and unfamiliar; "it didn't seem to be our car at all".
John seemed to have no control over the car; he said afterwards that he felt that if he had taken his hands off the wheel, and his feet off the pedals, the car would have driven itself. When the car climbed a hill, he did not change gear or press the accelerator down for more power; and when it swung left and right, although he was aware of turning the steering wheel, it seemed not to need his volition. (The same is described on a ufo- encounter in South Africa - seelink here.)
During this curiously unreal and long-drawn-out journey, they could see the single white light of the UFO following them; Frances at the time found this reassuring; she said later:
"I didn't feel that I needed safety; it wasn't that we were being chased by something that was going to hurt me - just that we were being followed". This makes sense only if one assumes that this unreal drive was planted in their minds after the whole of the spaceship experience was over, but appears at this stage in their memory sequence to account for the time lost. A remark made by the ship's captain in his speech of welcome (reported at the end of Chapter 4) has some bearing on this.
Subjectively, they all agreed when questioned later, this curious 'journey to Faringdon' had seemed to take well over half an hour, perhaps three quarters of an hour. No one had thought of looking at a watch - this would have given it away as an unreality - and, although John repeatedly glanced at the speed indicator "to see if I was making any progress", it did not occur to him to look at the mileage recorder. The speed indicated did not vary; it stayed at a figure between 35 and 40 miles an hour.
Suddenly, without warning, they were in Faringdon; it is significant that they failed to see the very conspicuous sign bearing the town's name, a hundred yards before entering the town. Their minds were so much on Faringdon, that as the name flashed up brightly in the car's headlights, they could not have failed to notice it; but we learn from the rest of the story that they were never on that section of the real road at all, and did not pass this sign; their real re-entry into the road was beyond the sign.
Everybody greeted the lights of the town with cries of relief. "Civilisation at last," said John; "I thought we were never going to get here". Faringdon, a small town they knew well, seemed unusually quiet, with hardly anybody about; they did not realise that the time was nearly an hour later than they imagined it to be.
They passed through Faringdon; then, as they came out into open country, Gloria, who was watching through the rear window, reported that the light was still following them. They all looked at it; John took a quick glance over his shoulder and saw it. Frances said afterwards that each time they passed through a village or town, the light disappeared, then reappeared again when they were once more in open country. She is positive that it was not a case of the light passing behind buildings; it was switched off as they approached any inhabited place, and switched on again after they had left it.
The light followed them all the way to Cirencester, about eighteen miles beyond Faringdon; after Cirencester they lost it, but it did not lose them, as we shall see presently.
They arrived home (that is to say, at John and Gloria's home) without further incident. It was not until they were inside the house that anyone realised that it was very much later than they thought. The journey was so familiar to them that they always knew, reckoning from the time of their departure from Reading, at what time they would arrive, generally within a few minutes. On this occasion, their 'expected time of arrival' was about twenty minutes past eleven. Instead, the house clocks showed fifteen minutes past midnight. John used the telephone to check the time. In fact, the 'interminable' imaginary journey through the narrow, closely-hedged lane would have lengthened their journey by something like this amount of time, had it been a real experience; but it is clear that the family were, at this stage, tending not to accept it as a real experience, and they were accordingly puzzled by the loss of nearly an hour.
It should be explained that none of the family had any previous knowledge of flying saucers, and had read no books about them, though John and Gloria (but not Frances) had seen the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Frances, particularly, later confessed that at the time of their own encounter, she did not believe in flying saucers and had no interest whatever in such things. None of them were aware that in published accounts of CE4S (close encounters of the fourth kind, such as the one they themselves had experienced, though they had not yet recovered memory of it) it is often the loss of time unaccounted for which first alerts investigators to the possibility that a CE4 has taken place; loss of memory, partial or total, is a frequent, but not invariable feature of such cases, and we shall learn presently how and why this occurred in their own encounter.
John then telephoned a Royal Air Force station in the area of the encounter to ask if they could throw any light on their sighting. They were still reluctant to believe it was a flying saucer, and thought they might have seen some experimental aircraft with a circular appearance. The RAF took down the particulars, and asked some questions. Later they told John that they had made extensive checks with other service airfields, with the civilian airports, and the police; they were satisfied that no aircraft of any kind had been in the Faringdon area at the time. However, they did say that several people had telephoned in to them and to the police, to complain of a low-flying aircraft in that area.
Frances finally went on to her own home near Stroud, about nine miles away. It was now very late, and John and Gloria tried to persuade her to stay the night with them; but she was anxious to return to her own family. Before she left, Natasha said to her: "Auntie Frances, be careful you keep your windows tight shut; or you might get sucked up into a spaceship".
John and Gloria went to bed, feeling rather sick, as if something had disagreed with them. They were still awake when, about half past one, they heard the familiar and unmistakable sound of the flying saucer (the same flying saucer, they insist) passing slowly over the roof of the house.
During the next few days, all three adults (but not the children) experienced itching (kløe) of the skin: John and Gloria itched on the arms and legs; but Frances did not itch until the Friday of that week, when she went to the hairdresser, and the shampoo stung her scalp painfully.
Another physical symptom developed at this time which affected all three adults, but again, not the children: all three developed marks similar to bruises (blåmerker) in appearance but more sharply defined; the discoloured areas did not hurt when pressed, as a real bruise would. Frances had a 'bruise' on the outer side of the lower right leg, oval in shape, about three inches long, dark blue in colour, which remained for two days, then "just went". Gloria also had a dark blue mark, smaller than the one on Frances, and round in shape, situated just below the right knee on the inner side; this also disappeared after two or three days. John had a mark similar in size and shape to Gloria's, but on the outer side, just below the right knee; this was not blue but light brown in colour, and was one inch in diameter.
Two months later, I mentioned these marks to a physician with 'close encounter' experience; he suggested that, in association with itching, they may have indicated prolonged contact with some object which was slightly radioactive, and advised that blood tests be carried out as a precaution. This was done by arrangement with the family doctors concerned; both red and white cell counts were by that time found to be normal.
As we shall learn later, John did have something clamped around his right leg, just below the knee, during the medical examination which commonly features in such experiences; Frances remembers quite a lot about her own 'medical', but she does not remember a leg clamp (klemme).
We have no positive certainty about what happened to Gloria, though the fact that she had similar symptoms to the other adults suggests that the experience which produced the symptoms was also similar; but Gloria's amnesia has been so strong and so persistent that she herself remembers very little, and (since the other adults were separated) we depend mainly upon Natasha for an account of her mother's examination. She only saw the beginning of it, for she was also taken to another room; but she stayed long enough to see her mother laid on a couch, and that a clamp was attached to each of her legs, just below the knee, with wires connecting the clamps to instruments.
Natasha, after the manner of young children, was inclined (tenderte) afterwards to be impatient (utålmodig) with her mother, and her own memory being clear could not understand that her mother's loss of memory was something she could not control. "Don't you remember, Mummy?" she would say. "You were there. You were sitting in a chair, and Tanya was on your lap, and I was sitting next to you on another chair. Don't you remember, Mummy?"
It seems that at this stage, within the first week following the incident, only the two children had a clear recollection of what really happened. Later we shall understand why this is so. The younger child Tanya, who was only three years old at the time, was too young to be questioned independently; but I was satisfied from her reactions to the talk of her elders that she also had a clear recollection. Later, she began to volunteer (komme med..) remarks which made this quite clear.
The day following the incident, Natasha went to school, and mentioned to her teacher that her mummy and daddy had seen a flying saucer. The teacher did what any teacher would do in the circumstances, and told her to draw a picture, in coloured crayons, of the flying saucer. Later I saw this picture and photographed it.
The interesting thing about this picture is that it shows a feature - a broad double yellow beam diverging downwards towards the ground - which was not recalled by any of the adults until John saw it in his 'dream' a week later. Natasha's parents did not know she had spoken to the teacher, and did not know that she had made the picture, until the end of term much later, when Natasha brought her books home from school. So that John, when he dreamed about the yellow beam (see Chapter 2) did not know that Natasha had drawn a yellow beam coming down from the flying saucer; and Natasha, when she drew the picture, did not know about her father's 'dream' experience of a yellow beam because it had not yethappened. It is also interesting that this theme of the downward-diverging beam turns up again much later in the story, where it features as part of the design of the badge (emblem) or insignia worn on their uniforms by the crew of the spaceship; clearly it was a symbolic significance for them.
It is also surely significant that Natasha, when they had arrived home and Frances was about to leave for her own home, warned Frances not to get 'sucked up' into a spaceship. Note that, in the 'cover story' which is all that the adults had conscious recollection of at that stage, nobody had knowingly been 'sucked up' into a spaceship. Her use of the term spaceship' is perhaps significant, because hitherto the grownups had used the term 'flying saucer'. As will appear presently, Natasha would have heard the craft they visited referred to by its own crew as a 'spaceship'; the Janos people, when speaking English, spoke of it as a spaceship, or more often, simply as a 'ship'.
It seems useful at this point to quote from the tape recording of a conversation which happened much later - on the first of October 1978 to be precise - when John, Frances and I had just been driving slowly along the section of road concerned with the story, checking locations etc. We had arrived at the entrance to Faringdon, at the place at which Frances and John felt they had 'switched back' into reality, and the 'cover story' and the 'real story' had abruptly reunited.
We had parked the car - almost exactly, as it later turned out, at the 'set-down point' at which the spaceship set them down back on the road - and we were talking over the incident. I quote from the tape:
JOHN: "Well, we were discussing last night between ourselves, and we remembered that Natasha had made a remark, when Frances went to leave our house. . . to keep her windows shut and mind that she doesn't get sucked up inside a spaceship on the way home; and we were talking about this, and I realised and said to the others that it was something like that on our journey; that if they could imagine that after I got back in the car and we drove off, that we were as if sucked up inside something, and all sat in the car, imagining we were driving with like a picture screen at the cinema in front of the car, so that you could see hedges and bushes go by, and stayed in that position for the time that we lost, and were then dropped back down on the road without realising it, just as we came into Faringdon, and we saw the houses that we knew and were familiar with, at that point . . . because the road that we came along, as we said just now, certainly wasn't this piece of road here.
FRANK: [that is, myself, the author of this book) I don't think you were ever on that road at all.
JOHN: "I know myself, though, I'm quite convinced that nowhere on that journey did we turn off or turn back on to a road. When we drove off, we stayed on that road. There was no possible turn. And we came back to reality, still on this piece of road, facing those houses".
What John said on that occasion is of interest in showing how, even at this early stage of the investigation, his mind was definitely turning towards the idea that they had actually been 'sucked up' in a spaceship, and away from the idea of the interminable closely-hedged road being a real experience. He did not get it quite right at that stage; but he was beginning to think of the experience of the 'cover story' being an artifact, a visual memory planted in their minds for a purpose. The 'real story' was beginning to take over from the 'cover story.
It follows logically from this new pattern of thought, that the five people in our story had been for a time under the control of intelligent beings - the people of the spaceship. John at this time was leaning towards a realisation that the five of them had been actually in the spaceship. He speaks of being "dropped back down on the road" at the point where we were talking in the car, which is exactly what did actually happen.
Link to next part - janos2b.html