Allagash Abductions

Allagash Abductions


The Allagash Abductions is one of the most famous alien abduction cases of all time. It was well-researched and documented by noted ufologist Raymond Fowler and chronicled in his classic book, The Allagash Abductions: Undeniable Evidence of Alien Intervention (Wild Flower Press, 1993). The following is an excerpt from Taryn Plumb’s New England UFOs: Sightings, Abductions, and Other Strange Phenomena (DownEast Books, 2019). I highly recommend both of these books if you’re into this kind of thing!


It was supposed to be a two-week expedition of hiking, canoeing, and rustic camping; a getaway from the hubbub of the city and busy schedules. Ultimately, that’s exactly what it turned out to be – but not at all the kind of “getaway” the four young men were expecting (or so they claim).


In August 1976, twin brothers Jack and Jim Weiner and their friend Chuck Rak, all students at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, set out with guide and US Navy veteran Charlie Foltz. They first climbed Mount Katahdin, then chartered a plane to Shin Pond, where they set out by canoe on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Their first bizarre encounter came about several days in, as they set up for the night at a camping area known as Mud Brook. Looking across the water, they saw a blazingly bright star – much brighter than all other celestial bodies around it. According to Jim, it “displayed a strange quality of light.” Assessing it with binoculars, he determined that it was not a star at all but an object a few miles away, hovering about 200 feet above the treetops. Suddenly, it blinked out, and the men soon dismissed it as they went about their night.


What happened two nights later, though, was much harder to put out of mind.


The group canoed into Eagle Lake, setting up at a remote campsite known as Smith Brook. Wanting to do some night fishing, they built a huge bonfire to serve as a beacon and then hauled their canoe into the water and paddled out into the dark night. But about a quarter mile out, Chuck got the “spooky feeling” that he was being watched – highly unlikely with the four men being, as it were, in the middle of nowhere. He turned to see a large, pulsing sphere of colored light; as big as a house, easily 80 feet in diameter, it hovered 200 or 300 feet above the cove. Chuck described it as a “very, very bright globe of light” and changing color “from white to red to green in a liquid kind of melding motion.” The men stared at it, confounded. Thinking that it might provide some kind of answer, Charlie (the guide) picked up his flashlight and started signaling SOS in Morse code.


In response, the fiery orb flew at a terrifying speed. It stopped about 50 feet above the canoers and shot out a cone-shaped beam that swept the water like a searchlight. Frantically, the men began to paddle, using both their oars and their hands. But they didn’t get far: The bright bean fixed fast on the canoe; they were absorbed in a warm glow. And then the canoe was sliding back onshore, its bottom scuffing along the sand. The men stared back at their illuminated intruder, which now hovered a few dozen feet from them. It bobbed subtly in the sky, as if contemplating them – and then shot across to the treetops on the other side of the lake; finally it zoomed up into the sky and disappeared.


Feelings exhausted and drained, the men turned to see that the large fire they had built had burnt down to mere embers. Charlie would alter marvel at the sheer impossibility of this, as “some of the wood we put on there was about the diameter of my leg,” he told reporters. A good 10 inches in diameter or more, he estimated. But with nothing much to say – and not feeling in the mood to talk – the men went to bed.


The next day, Chuck said, they talked about it but not for long or in any great depth. When they encountered a ranger on duty, they struggled to explain what they had seen. He quickly dismissed the sighting as lights from the grand opening of a hardware store in the town of Millinocket: Two guys in the back of a pickup were operating a searchlight. Chuck later scoffed, “there was no way this could have been any hardware store grand opening.” Not to mention that Millinocket was a good 75 miles away.


The outdoorsmen wrapped up their trip – welcoming devoid of any more bizarre events – and returned to school and work. They never discussed “that night” at any length. But soon Jack began having nightmares; in them he saw four-fingered, insect-like beings with long necks, large heads, and metallic glowing eyes with no lids. In one of his more vivid night terrors, he was being examined by them as Jim, Chuck, and Charlie sat on a nearby bench, unable to intervene.


He and his brother started reading up on UFOs and strange phenomena, and Jim eventually attended a conference hosted by noted ufologist Raymond Fowler. He approached Fowler, recounting the story; intrigued and excited, Fowler convinced the four to undergo regressive hypnosis. And that’s when their ordeal came out to vivid, disturbing details.


Under hypnosis, according to transcripts, each of the men described being trapped inside a tube. It was dark and swirling with sparkling, dustlike particles; at the end of it, they were somewhere with numerous machines, silver examination tables, seemingly endless hallways, and chambers. Jim caught sight of the creatures, which were thin, spidery, and clad in bodysuits. “They’re like bugs! They’ve got, ah, bug eyes,” he exclaimed. Chuck, on the other hand, found he had difficulty focusing on the aliens – whenever he tried, it was like “trying to tune in a fuzzy radio station.”


Pencil sketches the twin brothers drew later would depict beings with elliptical eyes, beaky mouths, turkey-wattle necks, willowy arms, and thumbless hands. All the men recounted being naked and in a zombie-like, almost paralyzed state. They obeyed telepathic commands. They submitted to intrusive, sometimes painful pokes and prods of their eyes, fingers, legs, toes, and genitals. They didn’t speak; they didn’t move.


Toward the end of the agonizing experience, Chuck recalled reentering the portal, the sensation of downward movement. Then they were back in the boat. None of them paddled; the canoe seemed pushed by an ethereal force. When finally back onshore, they watched the fireball disappear – it was over. There was no way to know how long they were aboard the craft. Later they would say it was maybe two hours.


Fowler found their descriptions to be mostly consistent. They all passed lie-detector tests, and all were deemed mentally stable. The men were also able to make detailed sketches of the entities, the craft, and the examining instruments. All of this would eventually be outlined in Fowler’s book The Allagash Abductions: Undeniable Evidence of Alien Intervention, published in 1993. The men would soon gain international fame – and ridicule. They appeared on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries and The Joan Rivers Show. All except for Charlie would report other alien encounters; Chuck would later recant his affirmations about the abduction part of the story, although he would affirm undeniably, “Oh, yes, I saw the craft.”


The other “witnesses” remain steadfast in their stories, despite the wide range of response that continues to this day. “This was the 1970s, so the reaction from others was to ask what we were smoking, drinking, or dropping,” Jack told the Bangor Daily News years later. “It’s hard for people to understand, but I don’t blame them. If someone told me a story like that, I’d say show me a picture, give me some physical evidence.” He added that was exactly what he hoped would occur – evidence to prove the “Allagash guys’ weren’t crazy after all.” Because, ultimately, “we don’t even understand what the hell went on there that night.”


If this story is right up your paranormal alley, please consider joining us for the Boothbay Harbor Paranormal Pedal E-Bike Tour or the Boos Ghost Walk.