Roy Manifold’s photograph
The Cessna 182 took off smoothly
Four men — Jack Weiner, Jim Weiner, Chuck Rak, and Charlie Foltz — say they experienced a terrifying encounter with aliens while camping in the Maine wilderness. It’s taken the men years to go public. Each has been polygraphed and hypnotized, and their stories hold up.
For years, Jack Weiner was disturbed by reoccurring nightmares. He told no one about them except for his wife, Mary:
It started as a routine flight …
“I was starting to have nightmares, really terrible nightmares that I could not explain. I found myself in a very brightly lit room. I had no idea where I was or why I was there. To my left, I could see my brother Jim, Chuck Rak, and Charlie Foltz sitting on some type of bench, and they were all naked. I was wondering why they weren’t helping me, because I felt like I was in danger, and while I’m trying to figure this out, I notice this figure or a dark, shadowy-type figure emerging from this light– this bright light in front of me. I would wake up, uh, uh, sweating and breathing heavily and just in a– in a state of terror and shock.”
In 1988, Jack’s twin brother Jim confessed that he, too, was haunted by exactly the same nightmares:
“There were always certain elements of the dream that were the same– some type of creature, being helpless, being violated was a feeling I often woke up with.”
Search boats found no trace of the plane
In every dream, the twins were with Charlie Foltz and Chuck Rak, two friends they had met in school. They wondered if these nightmares could be connected to a camping trip 12 years earlier in Maine. In August, 1976, the four men had spent two weeks in Maine’s Allagash wilderness. The Allagash covers thousands of acres in the northernmost part of the state. On the second night out, Jim noticed a bright object in the sky:
“It was just floating above the treetops, didn’t seem to be moving in any direction. And I looked at it through the binoculars for maybe 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and it suddenly just winked out from the outside edges inward. I mean, it literally just went whooht, like that, and it was gone. There was something about this thing that left me with an odd feeling that wasn’t quite right, but I really didn’t dwell on it.”
The men continued through the Allagash wilderness. On the fourth day, they decided to try some night fishing. They built a bonfire to mark their campsite. Once out on the water, Chuck Rak was the first to realize they weren’t alone:
“I had a feeling there was someone staring at me from behind me. I turned over my right shoulder like that, and I saw this large, round globe of light that looked exactly like what we had seen two nights previously.”
“It had this roiling effect to it, like a miniature sun, very, very bright. It lit the treetops up like daylight, and it was absolutely silent.”—Jim Weiner
“After looking at it for what seemed like several moments, we decided to signal this thing. That’s when Charlie picked up the flashlight and squeezed off a message–s.o.s.”
A witness spotted a long, green object
The response was instantaneous:
“Well, when the light started coming toward us, my curiosity was satisfied. And I just dropped the flashlight. The only thought in my mind was to get to shore. I never looked back.”—Charlie Foltz
The men began paddeling back to shore:
“I remember looking over my shoulder, trying to keep an eye on this object as it was coming up behind us. It was getting very close. It was almost on top of us at this point. I remember thinking that we’re not going to outrun this thing.”—Jack Weiner
The pilot reported a metallic green object
Their next memory was being back on shore, just staring up at the bright object:
“I remember thinking, ‘I could pick up a stone and bounce it off this thing’s side.’ That’s how close it was. And then, all of a sudden, it just streaked away very, very fast, and within a few seconds, it was like a star, just another light in the sky.”—Jim Weiner
“I remember stepping out of the canoe, and going up to the campsite… And I remember there was no panic. People seemed to be very relaxed.”—Chuck Rak
All four men agree they were out on the lake for less than 20 minutes. The huge bonfire should have burned for hours. And yet only coals remained, indicating a longer passage of time. Jack Weiner recalls:
“The unusual thing is that we didn’t stay up for hours and discuss this thing, which is what you’d think four young guys on a camping trip would do. We just seemed very fatigued and wanted to go to bed. The next morning, we got up and got our camp together and paddled to the next campsite.”
The men spent another 10 days in the Allagash wilderness but never again saw the bizarre light.
As the years went by, they told friends and family about the UFO sighting, but no one really believed them. The men hardly believed it themselves. Then the nightmares began for Jim and Jack Weiner. Finally, Jim contacted UFO researcher Ray Fowler for help.
Fowler suggested the Allagash four undergo hypnosis with a trained hypnotherapist to recover details of the sighting. Under hypnosis, each of the men experienced terrifying repressed memories of being abducted. They were almost exactly alike.
Independent of one another, each of them drew illustrations of their incredible recollections. All four said they were taken aboard the craft. The aliens forced them to strip naked and seemed to be conducting medical examinations. The aliens took samples of the men’s skin and body fluids, their blood, urine, and semen.
What follows are excerpts from the actual sessions:
“They’re–they’re– they don’t know what to do. I think they think I’m going to come after them. I feel like I want to. I feel like I want to– the first one that comes near me, I’m going to throttle him. I don’t like these things. I don’t care where they come from. They shouldn’t be doing this to people.”—Jim Weiner
“They’re right there. Their face is right in my face. I don’t know why. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know what they want. They’re saying things. In my head they’re saying, ‘Don’t be afraid. They say, ‘Do what we say. Just do what we say.”
“It’s like a doctor’s office. I get that, it’s cold like a doctor’s office is cold. They put the panel over your chest. Then they scrape your arms and your chest, your legs and thighs. We shouldn’t be here. I just—I just keep thinking, “I want to be back in the canoe.” –Charlie Foltz
Chuck Rak could see what the aliens were doing to Charlie:
“I see some sort of device on him. They’ve got a–this looks like a silvery, it looks like the– like it’s got curves on it. It’s almost like– like it sucks something. He’s got his head tipped way back. It’s almost like he’s in pain. We’re–we can’t help him. All we can do is watch him.”
It was not until after the hypnosis sessions that the Allagash four discovered that each of them had recalled the same horrifying events. The each took polygraph tests and passed.
For skeptics, however, stories of alien abduction do not stand up to scrutiny. Some suggest, including clinical psychologist Dr. William Cohn, that images from popular culture or horror movies may have triggered inspiration for memories of alien abduction:
“This movement is media driven. It’s cyclical. People hear about good cases on TV. They think they may have had the same thing happen. It sort of feeds upon itself.”
Dr. John Mack is a psychiatrist and author:
“Usually, these are people who have no interest in abductions, have not read about it, are unfamiliar with the beings, and are shocked and astounded when they hear someone else has had these experiences as well, or that there is material in the media about it.”
“The investigators have a very clear-cut agenda about what they’re looking for. So if you get somebody that’s doing UFO abduction research, this is a person that has already decided that UFO abductions are real, that thousands of people are having them. They have a symptom list. And if you come in the door with those symptoms, then you must have been abducted.”—Dr. Cohn
“It really doesn’t work like that. The person comes because they’ve heard that I’m open to listen to something which other therapists or, uh, other mental health professionals have not been able to listen to. This is not a club anyone wants to belong to.”—Dr. Mack
The four men have never backed down:
“This happened. If you believe it, that’s all right. If you don’t believe it, I don’t care. I don’t care, ’cause it did.”—Charlie Foltz