Frances Swan

Frances Swan was certainly among the most obscure of the classic 1950s contactees, individuals who claimed to have established direct personal contact, or some other form of regular communication, with friendly extraterrestrials.

When Mrs. Swan came to the attention of flying saucer researchers in 1954 she was a housewife living in Eliot, Maine, reportedly not too far from later contactee/abductee Betty Hill. Mrs. Swan, like a number of other 1950s contactees, used somewhat esoteric methods in her communications with space aliens. While others used the Ouija board or channelling, Mrs. Swan used the spirit-medium's old standby, automatic writing. In April 1954 Mrs. Swan began to receive messages from Affa of Uranus, who was in command of spaceship M-4 currently orbiting the earth, and later from Ponnar, commander of another orbiting ship, L-11. (The names of Mrs. Swan's extraterrestrial contacts suggest that she had just finished reading The Saucers Speak (1954), by George Hunt Williamson and Alfred J. Bailey, which reports Ouija-board contacts with many space aliens, including Affa and Ponnar.) Mrs. Swan's Affa had the usual Space-Brotherly messages from his "Universal Association of Planets," such as that earthmen needed to be sternly warned against further experimentation with nuclear weapons. Surviving letters from Mrs. Swan to Canadian saucer researcher Wilbert B. Smith indicate she was hostile to most of the other 1950s contactees, particularly George Van Tassel. She later claimed to have once met Affa in the flesh, when he walked into the Grange Hall in Eliot which she was decorating for a party, and conversed for a few moments about generalities, back in the fall of 1953. At that time he did not identify himself as either Affa or a space alien.

Swan happened to live next door to a retired USN Admiral, Herbert B. Knowles, and used him as a connection to try to bring Affa's messages to the attention of the US government. When Affa conspiciously failed, on June 10, 1954, either to appear personally or to make a radio broadcast, as promised to officials through Mrs. Swan, Affa's five minutes of fame seemed to be over. Perhaps he felt a sense of desperation when on July 28, 1954 he revealed that "This earth is really going to end as stated in the Holy Bible around 1956."

Affa's messages generally had the same complete lack of coherent content as the standard communications from the spirit world conveyed by mediums in the period 1850 - 1930. A sample: "Hello folks…. Always remember I do not work through any forces like the spirits or feelings of compulsion on the part of anyone…. Never fear—- do as you please. All I ask is that you stand by. All is the same as it has been. Now off, love, Affa." Affa's somewhat testy remarks about "spirits" and "feelings of compulsion" were apparently triggered by the fact that a number of other individuals near the US-Canada border, including Wilbert Smith himself, had started "receiving" their very own messages signed "Affa," via automatic writing, Ouija board or channelling.

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