UFO encounters happen all over the world and come in a variety of forms. Our story here begins on the evening of May 18, 1946, when a 28-year-old ice hockey player by the name of Gösta Carlsson was walking along through a forested area of Kronoskogen, Sweden, near a place called Ängelholm, on his way back from a trip to a beach called Skälderviken where he had gone to do some birdwatching. As he hiked through the peaceful forest taking in the sounds of the night, a bright light through the trees caught his attention as he passed over a hill. It was a strange thing to find out there in the darkened woods, and he decided to hike down to investigate and came to a clearing at a place that would later be known as Kronoskogen. Sat within that clearing was a brilliantly illuminated, vaguely disc-shaped object that he at first took to be a lit up carnival carousel until he realized how unlikely that was out there in the middle of nowhere. Carlsson would describe the object in quite a lot of detail to the Swedish UFOlogist Clas Svahn as follows:
The object has a shape that is somewhat similar to a disc and it rests partly on a strong fin in the direction of the furan, partly on two telescopic supports, all distributed so that it seems as if these supports are placed at equal distances from each other on the circular craft. Directly in front of the fin on the lower part of the vessel is a hatch lowered with a ladder and ladders similar to those seen on boats. The hatch is one and a half meters above the ground and I see how light flows out of the cabin. I make an attempt to look into the craft but the angle is too narrow. All that is visible is the strong light. On the upper side of the vessel is a streamlined cabin that I estimate to be about eight meters in diameter. At about one meter intervals I see oval windows, maybe half a meter long and about 30 centimeters high. While I look at the craft, I cannot help but think that someone is trying to joke with me. One thought that goes through my mind is that it may be German pilots who have fled from some camp. But deep down, I do not believe in it myself.
On top of the cabin is a telescopic mast, almost like a periscope on a submarine. The height is about the same as the pine and I estimate the thickness of the vessel in the middle to be about four meters, at the sides to almost one meter and the height of the mast should be about five meters. At the top, it is divided into four parts. A bit down I discover the lamp that emitted the strange violet glow that I discovered from the path. It is directed downwards and covers the entire craft like a cheese dome with a few meters to spare outside. The light cone itself pulsates from the lamp almost like the water from a fountain. And strangest of all: in this way the light has a curved path. Where it hits the ground or the grass, it disappears with a spark phenomenon similar to that caused by sparklers. An odor that of ozone spreads through the air. It is as if an electric curtain has sunk over the craft. The hull and cabin appear to be made in one piece. You can neither see joints nor rivets anywhere. Around the lower edge of the vessel’s circumference there are a number of holes, not different from those found on turbines, directed downwards and provided with dampers.
As the startled man looked upon this outlandish site, things got even more bizarre when he noticed what appeared to be the figure of a man standing outside the circle of light the craft was projecting. This mysterious stranger was apparently dressed in a skintight white suit with no visible buttons, zippers or other fasteners, with black boots and belt and what looked almost like a camera hanging from his neck. He then noticed that there were other figures around the ship, including both men and women, the women with light colored hair, and he says of the completely surreal scene that unfolded:
Up on the craft by one of the windows are three more men, apparently busy with some work. Just below, I see two more assisting and inside the circle of light, facing me, stand three girls. Everyone is dressed in the same way, in the same all-cast white aviator suit, with the same color on boots and waist belt. Everyone inside the circle of light has the transparent hood folded back in the neck. The strange thing was that everyone turned to me when I entered the clearing. It was as if I was expected but not wanted …The man standing outside the circle of light – and who I now understand afterwards served as some kind of guard – makes a perfect stop sign with one hand raised. It is an event that cannot be misunderstood and I will stay too. The guard turns his black bellows camera-like thing towards me and I get the impression that it is to take some kind of picture. I’m about to go a few steps closer to him, but he immediately raises his hand and at the same time I think I hear a click from my headlamp. I stand still and at the same time the guard makes a turn around the craft, all the time on the outside of the circle of light. The two men and girls return to work at the cabin window. It is possible that there are two guards with one placed on the back of the vessel. This might explain why there is always a man against the side where I stand.
I kind of feel like a wild animal has to do outside the circle of light that safari hunters usually make in Africa. Then suddenly a dark-haired girl comes down the stairs of the cabin under the craft. In her hand she has something resembling a bag and she hands out cups to both men and women. Everyone quits their jobs and drinks from these cups. Then I suddenly feel like walking up to them and talking a little, but as soon as I have taken a step, the guard stands in front of me again with his hand raised to the stop sign and everyone looks at me seriously. The guard also looks serious, like a determined policeman – here but no longer! He does not let go of his gaze for a second. It is as if the “cheese hive” of light shields the craft from the surroundings and that the sentry is placed outside to ensure that no one tries to enter. Maybe I would have been hurt if I tried to pass the light. When I take a step back, everyone continues with their job and I feel a little flattened. Two of the girls smile so beautifully at me and I see their sparkling white teeth. I can boast that I am not usually afraid of anything, and I have spent enough time in the woods and on the ground to believe neither the devil nor the trolls. But this is still too strange.
Carlsson decided that he had seen enough and left the meadow in order to head back to the beach from which he had come in order to regain his composure and get his head straight. At this point he was under the impression that he had been merely hallucinating, and he thought that calming down would make that unearthly scene with the spaceship and its occupants go away. He waded through the cold water, sat upon a dune for some time, and then noticed a red light through the trees back the way he had come. He would explain of what happened next:
At first I think it’s the moon that is rising but then I see that this is not the case. Slowly and majestically, the heavy craft rises, which I can now see clearly. It’s almost like a balloon rising. Only a whistling sound heard from a vacuum cleaner motor. Higher and higher it rises with a wreath of red light from the turbine holes. At an altitude of 400-500 meters, it slows down a bit, oscillates a little sideways, and I can now see that the antenna is pulled down and that the fin and landing sites are probably also recessed.
It’s a bit hazy but the whole maneuver is clearly visible and the whole craft radiates light from the force field and the cabin windows. Then it skews so that it is at an angle to the bright night sky. The red light becomes more intense and then it begins to shoot violently. After a while, the red glow turns purple and now it seems to move at almost the same speed as a sun cat. It oscillates a bit, just as if it were looking for something. Then the glow begins to turn reddish, the craft slows down for a moment, then the violet light comes again and the same terrible speed. Three times I see the craft do this maneuver before it definitely disappears over Ängelholm. I stay on the dunes for a while and am quite overwhelmed and shaken by what I have seen.
Carlsson managed to make it back to his home without further incident, and the next morning he went back out to that clearing he had found the night before. He claims that he found evidence of the landed craft, such as impressions in the ground and browned grass. He also would say that he had found some strange objects the crew had seemingly left behind forgotten, including two mugs containing a yellowish-white, fragrant liquid, a gold ring and, a transparent crystal rod or staff with rune-like characters engraved into it. He would later go on to exhibit these objects, although he never let anyone get too close to them or give them any sort of proper analysis. He also claims that he later had the site tested and found that there was a high amount of radiation present there in the clearing.
In 1963, a concrete monument in the shape of the spaceship Carlsson claimed to have seen would be erected in the very same clearing outside Ängelholm in which it had supposedly originally appeared. The monument has become a popular tourist attraction, and it is often visited by those passing through to go bird watching at the nearby bird sanctuary. In later years Carlsson become a wealthy CEO of pharmaceutical companies Cernelle and Allergon, partially built from what he said were secret medicinal recipes he had learned from the aliens. He would also come into contact with the Swedish UFOlogist and chairman of UFO-Sweden, Clas Svahn, who worked closely with him and spent years interviewing Carlsson and investigating the case, culminating in his 1995 book on the matter titled The Meeting in the Glade.
Carlsson and Svahn actually formed a close friendship, although they had different takes on the whole UFO affair. While originally very intrigued and lending the story credibility, over time Svahn came to the conclusion that Carlsson’s tale had too many problems with it and had to be taken with a grain of salt. Svahn would lament that the witness’ story over the years lacked consistency, details would change or contradict each other, and many of the “facts” that Carlsson cited often turned out to be false or unverifiable, for instance, he was never able to prove that radiation had ever been detected in the clearing and gave references to people who could not be confirmed to be who he said they were. Most suspicious of all was that Svahn and his team were never able to get a good look at the alleged artifacts left behind by the aliens, nor did he allow access to his own personal documents on the matter. Svahn would say:
As early as 1995, Gösta promised that UFO-Sweden would be allowed to analyze the staff at an independent laboratory, a promise he repeated on the radio during our National Assembly and exhibition in Ängelholm in 1996. He also promised that I would receive it when everything was ready. But the promises never materialized. Maybe because he understood that an analysis would not strengthen his story. Nor did I get to see the papers he kept in his archive in the basement and which later when Gösta was taken into a retirement home in Strövelstorp were moved to another room inside Ängelholm. Although I explained to him how important it was to be able to take part in the analysis that he himself once had done, to be able to read the letters from all those who must have written to him over the years or to see original notes from the years after the event met I constantly of half promises and evasions. I actually managed to get a few original documents, but considering how much more there was, it was a quiet gutter.
Svahn would come to the conclusion that it was unlikely that the event had happened as Carlsson had described it, if at all. Carlsson would end up passing away in 2003 of a stroke, and take any secrets he had to the grave with him. We are left to wonder just how real any of this really was, and just what happened to those amazing artifacts the witness claimed to have found. Is there anything to this, or is it just the ramblings of a delusional mind? There is no way to really know, but the incident has gone on to become one of the most famous UFO encounters in Swedish history.