Clas Svahn – Archiving The Unexplained

Clas Svahn is a journalist by profession, and also the Chairman of the Archives For The Unexplained, located in Norrköping Sweden. The AFU is dedicated to collecting materials about UFOs, ufology, Forteana, cryptozoology, paranormal phenomena and folklore. It is a nonprofit foundation, and the collections comprise approximately 3.5 kilometers of shelf space in 15 different locations. The collections include over 55,000 books in various languages, 88,000 magazine issues representing 8,000 annual magazines, 650,000 newspaper clippings, 30,000 photographs, films, and tape, vinyl records, as well as memorabilia, scale models, paintings, paraphernalia, posters, clothes, toys, and other items.

Clas has written a book about the archives, entitled “Files of the Unexplained,” which is basically a tour of the archives and some of its rare and unusual holdings. We spoke about the beginnings of the archive, and how Svahn and his staff scour the globe for collections of books and other ephemera. He says he brings in about 2 tons of material every year. Svahn says he “doesn’t take no for an answer” when hunting down obscure material and has even retrieved material from dump sites after relatives told him they disposed of valuable collections. Amazingly, the AFU also holds records of the Scole experiment.

Svahn also told me that he spent a day with famous abductee Betty Hill and learned that she claimed to have seen a UFO crash years before her famous abduction and even to have picked up pieces of the craft.


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