Treasures of the Valley » Mike lawler

Local Alien Abduction Stories Told in “The Tujunga Canyon Contacts”

One of the earliest modern stories of extraterrestrial abductions came out of our own Big Tujunga Canyon! These abductions, which began in 1953, predate the more famous Betty and Barney Hill abductions of 1961, but weren’t publicized until 1980 with the publication of “The Tujunga Canyon Contacts” by Ann Druffel and D. Scott Rogo. Whether you believe in the whole UFO phenomenon or not, this book is fun to read as most of the incidents in the book take place locally. “The Tujunga Canyon Contacts,” recently updated and reprinted, is available on the Internet and through our local library.

The book details the stories of several women abductees, starting with the story of two young women sharing an isolated cabin in Big Tujunga Canyon on March 22, 1953. In the middle of the night the two women were awoken by a very bright light that seemed to surround the cabin. Time seemed to stand still until they were finally able to break their trance-like state and flee. As they ran, one of the women spotted the filmy apparition of a long-haired man. Later on, hypnotists delved into the memories of these women and those regressions unlocked stories of what happened during the period that “time seemed to stand still.” Tales emerged of being taken onto alien craft and undergoing medical examinations by large-headed grey-skinned humanoid creatures. The women also reported further visits from the alien entities in subsequent years.

Four other cases involving alien contact with women in the Tujunga area are studied in the book, ranging from the original 1953 event up into the ’70s, with more fantastic tales of entities moving through solid walls and the abductees being floated into waiting spaceships. One of the women even reported being given a cancer cure by the aliens. In most of these cases the abductees were visited repeatedly.

One chapter is titled, “The Tujunga UFO Milieu.” This portion of the book reports the many strange doings over the years in and around Big Tujunga Canyon. Other strange sightings reported in the canyon included soundless black helicopters, daylight flying discs and misty gray figures called “light people” as seen by school children on camping trips. In fact the entire area around Tujunga Canyon is considered by ufologists to be a “window” area for UFO phenomenon.

The later portion of the book details the various defense techniques to resist being abducted that these women developed throughout their many years of contacts with the extraterrestrials. Most involved mental strength through prayer, mantras or other such mind mastering tricks to ward off unwanted contact with these aliens.

In fact, author Ann Druffel expanded this portion of her study of these cases into a subsequent book entitled, “How to Defend Yourself Against Alien Abductions.” So if the first book gets you worried about living so close to a hotbed of alien abduction, her second book will calm your fears.

But Tujunga isn’t the only Foothill community to have “close encounters.” I picked up a 1955 article in our old local newspaper, The Ledger, titled “Deputy Sheriffs See Flying Discs.” Three sheriffs from the Montrose Sheriff Station watched several flying saucers maneuvering over La Cañada and Flintridge in the late afternoon. According to the deputies, for 45 minutes they watched as the strange craft hovered, bunched, formed into figures and flew over each other. Other calls were received by the sheriff’s station reporting the strange sight. In keeping with the Cold War mind set of that era, a call was made to Norton Air Force Base and fighter jets were scrambled. Just before the jets arrived over CV, the objects merged into one and disappeared from view. The three deputies would not refute their sighting.

As I said at the beginning of this column, whether you believe in the paranormal or not, stories about flying saucers, ghosts, premonitions, Bigfoot – whatever! All those stories are fun to hear and retell. Even more so when they happen in our own neighborhoods!

Mike Lawler is the president of the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley. Reach him at