Governor Edwin Chick Burleigh

42nd Governor of Maine (1889-1893)

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The Allagash Abduction of 1976

Introduction It’s one of the most famous alien abduction cases of all time, and it happened right here in the deepest reaches of the North Maine woods.  Four young men from out of state traveled by float-plane into a remote backcountry region, known as the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, for a week of canoeing and fishing, only to return home with a story of a weird encounter with a light in the sky and lapse of time none can explain.  Was it a UFO?  We’ll lay out the foundation of the case, and let you draw your own conclusions.

So let’s talk about the facts of the case

It was August of 1976 when Massachusetts College of Art students Chuck Rack and Jack Weiner, along with Jack’s twin brother Jim and their friend Charlie Foltz took to the Allagash. Their first encounter with something unusual in the sky happened at the very end of their first day of canoeing and was witnessed by numerous Waterway campers who had beached their canoes for the evening along the same shoreline as the art students.

It was Chuck who first noticed the red star in the sky which caught his attention, and after noting aloud he thought it might be Mars a neighboring Waterway camper corrected his assumption and clarified that Mars wouldn’t be visible for another month, and then some.    By this time numerous beachside campers – all strangers to the art students – had stopped what they were doing and had fixed their gaze toward the dusky skyline, enamored by this mysterious star with the red glow that seemed to stand out from all other visible stars among it.  And then, without warning, and taking everyone by surprise, it simply “blinked out” and disappeared from sight.

On the 3rd night of their expedition the young men wound up on the shore of Eagle Lake where they made camp and had little more than trout fishing on their minds.  By nightfall all 4 had piled into a canoe and headed out onto the flat, calm, water in the hopes of bringing in a boatload of fish.  But not before they made a conscious effort at picking up sticks and cutting up small logs with Chuck’s Swedish handsaw for their campfire.  They wound up building a fire with flames so high Jack was concerned they’d accidentally burn the forest down if they left it unattended.  Chuck assured them all that the fire was in a perfect spot.  With the lake on one side and a large span of sandy ground on the other, the fire wouldn’t spread and it wouldn’t get out of the control.  And with the flames being roughly 10 feet high, according to Chuck, they could use it as a sort of beacon they could see from the darkness of the lake.   They’d use that beacon of light to guide them back to their campsite.

Out on the lake that night the water was as calm and peaceful as it could be.   Fishing wasn’t exactly a success, but at least the wind wasn’t chopping up the water and blowing their canoe all over the place like it was earlier in the day.  When they had set out first thing on their 2nd morning they were on their way to Allagash Lake but they never made it because the wind was such a force it prevented them from making headway along their chosen course.  This is why they had to turn back, and this is why they wound up camping at Eagle Lake, instead.  But tonight they experienced nothing but calm waters and warm summer air.  They could clearly see the campfire from the roughly half-mile distance of their fishing spot.  The flames burning brightly, reaching toward the sky, the young men would eventually paddle back to shore to enjoy its warmth and stoke its tinder into submission, but for now they just floated along on the flat-calm waters of Eagle Lake, under a sky full of stars, a few clouds, and a whole lot of emptiness.

As Chuck sized up the clouds in the sky he had this feeling he was being watched.  He turned around and, above the canoe hundreds of feet in the air, he saw the same light anomaly hanging above them as he had originally pointed out, and all witnessed,2 nights earlier.  It seemed to be making its way along the bank of the lake, hovering silently above the trees, and glowing in colors of red, yellow, green, and white. Chuck described his state of mind as “euphoric” while in the presence of this light anomaly.  He was mesmerized.  And while his 3 friends were initially captivated by the possibility of what it could be, even attempting to make intelligible contact with it by flashing an SOS signal with a flashlight, all 3 became suddenly and decisively terrified when it became clear the object had changed its trajectory and was now pursuing them in their tiny canoe.   As the brilliantly colored object began moving toward the young men Chuck became more enthralled with the possibilities of what this “thing” could be, and how they could make understandable contact with it.  In the midst of this confusing and exciting moment the brightly pulsating object emitted a beam of light down toward the lake that the young men could only describe as being “hollow”, because when the circular edges of the light beam hit the surface of the water the inside of the circle was void of light – giving it a ‘tube’-like affect. Chuck sat, gazing up at it in awe and amazement, with his paddle laid nonchalantly across his lap – he was relaxed, and blissfully captivated.  While in that exact same moment Jack, Jim, and Charlie were in a complete and utter panic, desperately trying to move their canoe away from the slowly pursuing beam of light, and making very little headway in the process. Chuck reasoned the object was coming closer to the canoe because the men signaled it, and since they asked for communication he seriously questioned why they were in a panic when they received a response.  He wanted answers and to make contact with this beautifully captivating “thing” in the sky, and all the others wanted to do was run from it – something he simply could not understand. Amidst all the commotion and panic the orb of light which caused all of this curiosity and terror had begun moving, purposely, in the sky in a direction that was clearly away from the canoe – until it finally disappeared over Mt. Katahdin. The Controversy

The controversy of the Allagash Abduction comes in a few forms.  First, the actual memories of the event, and how those memories were obtained.  Next, there is the fire they left on the shore, how big the logs were, and how long it was expected to burn.  And finally, whether or not the witnesses desired to, could, or would, capitalize on making their experience known publicly.

The conscious memories of the event differ slightly from witness to witness.  Charlie remembered paddling back to shore and being on the shoreline while they all watched the object float off, and out of sight. Jack remembers the event of seeing the light over their canoe and staring at it for a few short minutes, in front of them, before it shot off into the sky in the blink of an eye.   Jim remembers seeing the beam of light emitted from the object and then suddenly, while still having the object in his direct sightline, standing on the shore watching it shoot off into the darkness of the sky.   While Chuck remembers sitting in the canoe for a long period of time, transfixed on this light in the sky and mesmerized by the experience, even after watching the object dart off and disappear into the darkness – somehow having arrived at the shoreline. The memories of what unknown events may have taken place during the “missing time” between being tracked by the object’s light out on the lake to their arrival at the shoreline where their now burned-out fire was sporting flames 10+ feet high just 15 minutes ago, were obtained by the least reliable method possible – and that’s hypnosis.

Hypnosis is one of the most controversial manners of obtaining memories as evidence because of the possibilities for unwittingly introducing false data, or memories that actually are not memories at all, but rather “suggestion” accidentally imparted by the hypnotist simply by the word choices used, or the manner in which their questions were formed.

As an example, let’s assume there are 4 witnesses and all were put under hypnosis by the same person months apart from each other. If the hypnotist learned from 3 of the witnesses they had contact with alien beings, and assumed the 4th had similar contact, the hypnotist might ask the first 3 witnesses the question “what do you see in front of you” and they might respond “beings with a long neck, large head, and large eyes”.  But with the 4th witness, having been interviewed months later, the hypnotist might form the question differently, as in “how many beings are in the room with you?”.  This question is not without bias, for starters, and completely negates the possibility that there were no alien beings present, and there was no encounter to be remembered while under hypnosis. It’s not that the hypnotist is assertively manipulating the person under hypnosis, but rather the power of suggestion being the force that it is, it simply just “happens”.

The timing of when the first of the 4 witnesses began remembering his alien abduction experience has also been called into question.  It took about 12 years for twin brother Jim Weiner to start recalling memories of what happened during the span of “missing time” between being targeted by the beam of light out in their canoe to standing on the shore next to their burned out fire.  And these memories came in the form of nightmares which he started having immediately after he obtained a traumatic brain injury which left him with epileptic seizures, as a result.  Shortly after Jim began “remembering” his experiences, his twin brother Jack also started having abduction related nightmares.

The Fire is probably one of the most important aspects of this experience because it can offer a sort of timeline for how long the guys were out on the lake.

When they left the shore the flames were shooting towards the sky, upwards of 10 feet or higher.  Yet, when they returned to shore, after the event, the fire had burned down to embers.  The issue that has been raised by skeptics and non-believers points directly to the size of the logs that were used to keep the fire lit.  Jim has made statements attesting to the fact that this fire was built to last a solid 2 to 3 hours, and the experience they had with this unidentifiable object in the sky lasted only about 15 to 20 minutes.  Yet, as stated previously, when they arrived back on the shore their fire had pretty much burned out.

Chuck has advocated against the nationally televised comment made by Jim Weiner on the “Joan Rivers Show”, that the logs used in the fire were a foot in diameter.  Chuck claims to have cut every piece of wood placed on the fire, with his Swedish handsaw, and further claims that the size of the handsaw blades restricted the size of the logs he could cut to less than 3 and a half inches in diameter.

More directly, Jim claims the fire was built to last hours so they could use it as a beacon to find their way back to the beach in the dark of the Maine Wilderness night.  But Chuck claims, quite adamantly, that their fire was built for a rapid burn.  One has to wonder though, if Chuck’s statement is the more accurate of the two, then how were the 4 amateur campers planning on finding their way back to their campsite?  Have you ever been in the Maine Wilderness at night?  It’s a very different kind of ‘dark’.

And finally, what did these men have to gain from publicly releasing the details of their abduction account?  Especially more than a decade after it happened?

Some say they did it for the fame and celebrity.  Others say they did it for the book deal and the TV circuit they’d surely be traveling.  Others say they did it to sell more of their artwork, and they’d be raking in the dough from their notoriety, alone. But logically speaking, it has to be considered that this experience was released to the public during a time when the internet and social networking were not “things” – not considerations.  So spreading the word of this experience would have been a hit or miss ordeal for them.  Add to that, that no one knows what attracts the attention of the public, so assuming these people thought they’d get rich off the sharing of their experience is a bit of a stretch.

Why we might be believers

Under hypnosis all 4 men described very similar experiences of being lifted out of their canoe into the beam of light, seeing alien beings with large heads and small necks, and being examined on a table in a room while the other 3 witnesses sat on a bench, unable to stop it or help in any way.

All 4 witnesses were art students, so they were able to draw out their visions and memories, and all depicted their visuals and experiences in very similar ways.

 There is that nagging question that remains:  “what about the fire?”  It makes sense they’d leave a bright visual to help them find their way back to their campsite.  The wilderness is extremely dark, even under the moonlight.

Jack Weiner claimed he and his wife were abducted from their “remote mountain home in Townshend, Vermont” in 1988, and he actually had burns on the bottom of his feet to back up that claim.

Under hypnosis, both Jack and Jim brought forward previously unknown experiences of abductions, and Jack had even come back with a lump on one of his legs as a result.  Because of how it presented to his doctor, the lump was removed by a surgeon and the sample sent off to be identified by the CDC in Atlanta.  Interestingly enough, that sample was sent on to be further analyzed by a U.S. Air Force Colonel and the results were subsequently “lost”.   While the sample and the results conveniently disappeared, the scar from the surgery to obtain the sample was not.  Later in Jack’s life he also had noticed the sudden appearance of a “biopsy-like scoop mark above his ankle” which was obtained during a separate abduction experience.

Multiple abductions all with accompanying physical evidence; scar, scoop mark above that scar, and burns on the bottoms of his feet. And, finally, while not admissible in court, all 4 men did pass a lie detector test regarding this incident.

Now let’s ask the questions we need answered

 Twins Jack and Jim Weiner had uncovered alien abduction memories during their past life regression hypnosis sessions.  Is there a possibility this object witnessed by all 4 young men was actually there looking for Jack and Jim?

 If Jim’s head injury was the reason he started having memories which some have suggested were not real, then why did Jack start having nightmares and memories as well?

Our Theories

The fire being made as a beacon of light to guide them back to their campsite makes sense.  We’ve been in the Maine wilderness at night.  The darkness is all encompassing.  What doesn’t make sense is creating a fire set for a rapid burn and taking a chance at having to float around on the lake all night because they couldn’t find their way back to their campsite.

Chuck was the only one among the 4 who seemed particularly sensitive to the presence of this “light anomaly”, and the only one who seemed happy to be in its presence.  We think his behaviors indicate he may have had a previous alien encounter, and maybe he’d even been abducted before.

Jack and Jim Weiner uncovered abduction memories that reached all the way back into their childhood.  There is a possibility they were implanted with a sort of tracking device, given that Jack seemed to have a recurring experience of being physically marked after a number of abductions.  This tracking device could have been the reason this UFO incident happened while they were in the remote wilderness of the North Maine Woods.  And if our initial theory about Chuck is to be humored, consider that all 3 men had been previously abducted at separate times, but all were tracked via tracking devices.  The interest this may have brought to the “trackers” – the “aliens” – could have been why this event took place.

A completely contrary theory – The 4 men had 2 different sightings; the first was of the light anomaly, when Chuck suggested it was Mars, and the 2nd was when they watched it hovering over the trees while it floated silently along the lakeside.  Now consider how apparent it is that this “UFO” didn’t recognize there were people in the vicinity at all.   No one tried to make contact with the light anomaly during the first sighting, and it “blinked out”.   And during the 2nd sighting it continued to do what it was doing, uninterrupted, until they tried to communicate with it.  It was then that this craft changed its course and began pursuing them.

We want to know what you think.

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