The Andreasson Case

   It was while under hypnosis in 1977 that Betty An­dreasson first revealed her extraordinary story: she had been taken on board a UFO, then transported to what seemed to be a distant, alien world. For 10 years she had been haunted by memories of that bizarre night when 3- to 4-foot-tall beings with pear-shaped heads invaded her Massachusetts home. The strange encounter was similar to other UFO reports: as it occurred, a stillness came over the house, lights dimmed, and a red glow could be seen outside.
   Yet Andreasson could remember little more of the incident. Then in 1975 she read an advertisement prepared by Dr. J. Allen Hynek asking about UFO experiences and, relieved to find that someone was studying the phenomenon, she responded. Hynek gave her name to a UFO investigation team, and the team, along with an independent hypnotherapist, helped An­dreasson relive her abduction. In a series of painful and exhausting sessions, she told how the alien beings had drifted effortlessly through a closed kitchen door, while most of her family began to enter a state of suspended animation. Then, she remembered, she had floated in a semi-trance aboard the UFO, where her body was scanned and a needle probe was inserted into her head. After the examination she visited an alien world filled with monkey-like creatures and bright, floating crystals. There, she believes, she was given a special message for mankind.
   As a deeply religious person, Betty Andreasson remains convinced that her experience had great significance. An investigation of her background allegedly revealed a reputation for honesty; a psychiatric exami­nation found her free of "symptoms of active thought disorders or psychiatric problems." And yet whether her experience was real or a form of self-hypnosis or hallucination, it remains a haunting example of the closest of UFO encounters.