Allagash abductions This was a multiple-witness abduction that involved four art students, whose encounter occurred while on a camping trip in the state of Maine. The case involved identical twins, Jim and Jack Weiner, and their companions, Charlie Foltz and Chuck Rak, who were abducted from a canoe on the Allagash Waterway on August 26, 1976.
The investigation took place between January 1988 and mid-1993. It resulted in a 702-page (10-volume) report and a book entitled The Allagash Abductions written by Raymond E. Fowler and published by Wild Flower Press in 1993. The investigators of the case included: MUFON Director of Investigations, Ray Fowler; a physicist who specialized in UFO entity cases; a MUFON consultant in hypnosis; and consultants in the areas of polygraph and psychiatric testing.
The UFO encounter was initially reported to Ray Fowler by one of the percipients (Jim Weiner) during a UFO symposium at Waltham, Massachusetts, in May of 1988. Jim told Ray that he, his twin brother Jack, and two friends had a close encounter with a UFO while camping on the Allagash Waterway in a wilderness area of northern Maine. Concurrent with the encounter they had experienced a period of “missing time,” which had bothered them for years. Years later, Jim was referred to Ray Fowler by his personal physician during treatment at Both Israel Hospital in Boston. What follows is a synopsis of the abduction accounts and the subsequent investigation.
On Friday night, August 20, 1976, the four young art students (all in their twenties) left Boston, Massachusetts for a canoe and camping trip on the Allagash Waterway. Upon arrival at a staging area, they hired a pontoon airplane, which flew them and their canoes to Telos Lake on the Allagash River. During the next several days they canoed and camped along the waterway.
On the evening of Thursday, August 26th, they reached Eagle Lake, where they set up camp and later decided to go night fishing for trout in a canoe. The pitch darkness of the area necessitated the building of a huge bonfire to mark their campsite, so that they could find their way back. Shortly after beginning to fish, Chuck Rak became aware of a feeling that he was being “watched.” He said: “I turned toward the direction from where I felt this and saw a large bright sphere of colored light hovering motionless and soundless about 200-300 feet above the southeastern rim of the cove.”
Chuck yelled for the others to look behind them. There, rising above the trees was a huge oval glowing object. As their eyes became adapted to its intense brightness, a gyroscopic motion was noted as if there were pathways of energy flowing equatorially and longitudinally from pole to pole. This divided the sphere into four oscillating quadrants of bright colored light. The color changes were very liquid and enveloping, as if the entire object had a plasmatic motion to it, like a thick sauce does as it starts a rolling boil.
Charlie Folz grabbed a flashlight and blinked it on-and-off toward the object. Simultaneously, a tube-shaped beam of light erupted from the object and hit the water. A glowing ring with a dark center reflected on the water’s surface, indicating that the beam was low. The object and its extruding beam of light began moving toward the canoe. Terrified, the campers began paddling frantically toward their glowing bonfire and camp, as the beam swept across the water and engulfed them.
It was from this point on that the conscious memories of the four differed according to each of their vantage points.
The next thing Charlie remembered was paddling for shore and then standing at the campsite with the others, watching the object move away.
Chuck Rak remembers staying in the canoe after the others had piled out in panic onto the shore. Transfixed, still holding his idle paddle, he could not take his eyes off the object.
Jack and Jim were able to consciously remember a bit more about the tail end of the chase. Jack explained that “it was just behind us, and I could see that we were never going to outrun the beam. It was advancing too fast and I remember thinking ‘Holy Shit’! This is it! We’ll never get away.” The next thing I knew, we were on the shore getting out of the canoe looking directly at the object which was now about 20 or 30 feet above the water. The beam was still coming out of the bottom of it like the object was sitting on the beam. It hovered there, right in front of us, completely silent for what seemed like four or five minutes.
“Suddenly the beam was pointing up towards the sky. The object began to move up and away from us towards the southwestern sky and then shot into the stars and was gone in just a second.”
Jim Weiner added: “There was no mistake that the beam was coming directly to us. Then I remember standing on the lake-shore watching the object hovering above the lake 50 to 75 yards in front of us…. Then the search beam went upward into the sky and we saw it moving away at a tremendous speed. We all seemed to be in a state of shock…. We just stood there unable to move or talk.”
The object left with a step-like motion. It would suddenly implode into nothing and than appear further in the sky and then repeat this strange flight path before streaking out of sight.
When the strange anesthetizing effect wore off, Chuck got out of the canoe and joined the others as they trudged dreamily up the beach to their camp. Even in this state, they were dumbfounded when they realized what had happened to the huge bonfire that had just been blazing a seeming several minutes ago.
“‘When we left to go fishing,” said Jim, “we set very large logs on the fire to burn for a good 2 to 3 hours. The entire experience seemed to last, at the most, 15 or 20 minutes. Yet the fire was completely burned down to red coals.”
At that time, they had no memory of what happened during the time it took for their huge bon fire to burn down. This remained a puzzle to them for years.
Several years after the Allagash incident, Jim suffered a head injury, which caused tempero-limbic epilepsy. During treatment, Jim began to have nightmares about he and his camping companions being nude and in a strange place with bug-eyed humanoids around him. He also awoke at night to see strange creatures around his bed. Sometimes he felt as he were being levitated from bed; and other times after being overcome with paralysis, he felt something was being done to his genitals. Jim’s doctor noticed that he was overtired and asked him what was the matter. Jim refused to tell him at first but when the doctor told him that it was affecting his medical treatment, Jim confessed to what was happening to him. He also told the Doctor about his prior “missing time” experience on the Allagash waterway. Jim’s physician was familiar with the abduction phenomenon and advised him to contact a UFO researcher. At that time Jim was reluctant to do so. However, later the doctor saw a newspaper story about Ray Fowler lecturing at a symposium in the area in May of 1988. He phoned Jim and convinced him to attend the lecture and talk to Ray about the UFO experience.
In January of 1989, Ray Fowler initiated a formal investigation with MUFON UFO entity specialist and physicist David Webb and MUFON hypnosis consultant Anthony (Tony) Constantino. The investigation was conducted in a careful and meticulous manner over a period exceeding two years. After the four witnesses completed and signed MUFON UFO-sighting forms, they were interrogated. Their stories were cross-checked for consistency and a character check was performed to check their credibility.
It was obvious that the period of missing time had to be sandwiched between sighting the object and reaching shore. The beam of light engulfing the canoe seemed to be the dividing point between memory and amnesia. During the first of a long series of hypnosis sessions, it was decided to concentrate on this segment of the terrifying encounter.
Under hypnosis, all four witnesses relived detailed and traumatic UFO abduction experiences during the period of missing time. All were transferred from their canoe into the UFO by the hollow tube-like beam of light. On board, they encountered strange humanoid creatures that exerted some kind of mind control over them, so they could not resist their demands.
All four were made to take their clothes off and sit on a plastic-like bench in a misty area illuminated by diffuse white light. After looking at their eyes and in their mouths with a pencil-sized rod with a light on its tip, the entities placed them in a harness and flexed their arms and legs. Then, one by one they were made to lie on a table where each was examined by a number of strange handheld and larger machine-like instruments that were lowered over their bodies. During this segment of the examinations, the entities removed samples of saliva, skin scrapings, blood, feces, urine, and sperm from each of the abductees.
After the physical examinations, the abductees were made to dress and enter another room, which had a round portal in one of its walls. They were lined up and made to walk into the portal. Strange sensations surged through their bodies as they found themselves floating down the hollow beam of light into their canoe, which was now floating in shallow water at their campsite. The tube-like beam of light seemed to hold the canoe steady as each person was placed in it, in the same seating position that they were in prior to their abduction.
Artist’s impression of Jim and Jack Weiner on a bench, in the UFO, with one of the aliens
As the hypnosis sessions continued, much detail was recovered about their onboard experience. Also, it was discovered that the twins had undergone bedtime visitations by alien creatures and had abduction experiences since early childhood—in addition to being abducted a number of times during their adult life. These experiences were relived in vivid detail while under hypnosis.
Their UFO experiences left physical evidence behind in the form of burns on the bottom Jack’s feet. Jack also received a biopsy-like scoop mark above his ankle during one of his adult abductions. The scoop mark was located just above a scar left behind during an operation for an anomalous lump that had appeared overnight on Jack’s leg. Jack’s local doctor thought it was a cyst, but was unable to drain it, so referred Jack to a surgeon who removed it.
Jack was told that local pathologists did not know what it was and that it had been sent to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, for further analysis. However, when Jack’s medical records were checked, it was discovered that the removed object was sent to military pathologists in Washington, D.C., where it was analyzed by a United States Air Force Colonel. Attempts for further information about the anomalous lump were thwarted, as the surgeon would not cooperate with the inquiry.
In addition to character checks of the four abductees, a number of other checks were made to ascertain witness credibility. Medical records, camping diaries and photographs were examined. Friends and relatives that first heard about the experience were interviewed. The head forest ranger who supervised matters on the Allagash Waterway was located. He remembered the incident and had reported it to the then active Dow Air Force Base located in Bangor, Maine.
Psychological profile tests were administered to each abductee. Each was also subjected to polygraph tests. All of these checks indicated that the four percipients were honest and telling the truth about their experience.
The many-faceted and intriguing elements of the Allagash abductions also provided a catalyst for a detailed correlation of the witnesses’ experiences with benchmarks exhibited in other abduction reports being investigated and studied. Such reports were derived from an exhaustive survey of 270 reported UFO abductions in the United States and abroad by Dr. Thomas E. Bullard of the University of Indiana. It was found that the four abducteas had experienced many of the typical benchmarks of the UFO abduction phenomenon.
A number of alternate theories for the abduction phenomenon were also examined in light of the Allagash abductions. These included hoaxes, fantasy-prone personalities, psychoses, birth-trauma memories and archetypical images form the so-called “collective unconscious.” Each of these was critiqued and eliminated in the light of the evidence collected dueing the investigation.
The final 10-volume investigative report was made available to other researchers for peer review. Public information about the case was accomplished through Ray Fowler’s 1993 book, The Allagash Abductions, a Time-Life book on the UFO-abduction phenomenon, and several TV documentaries.
Charlie Foltz lying on the examination table; Jim and Jack sitting on a bench
Fowler’s report concluded that the moral character of the witnesses, the graphic reliving of their experiences under hypnosis, and the extraordinary correlations between their experiences and those of others provided overwhelming evidence that their experiences were objective in nature. Such evidence combined with the positive results of polygraph and psychological tests, together with the typical physical effects found on the witness’s bodies, prompted Ray Fowler to place the Allagash abductions in MUFON’s great significance category.