The Tujunga Canyon Abduction Incidents

First Published: May 2, 2018 Last updated: September 5th, 2020 Written by: Marcus Lowth Estimated Reading Time: 9 minutes Posted in: Aliens, Encounters

The Tujunga Canyon Abductions is one of the most intriguing cases of presumed alien abduction on record, not least due to the incidents taking place over two decades and involving five different women. The Tujunga Canyon, near Los Angeles, California, has a long history of paranormal and UFO activity. Many locals even regard the canyon as a “window area” whose, sometimes, dark phenomena bleeds into others and should not be easily dismissed.

Tujunga Canyon with a superimposed UFO

Did alien abductions take place in the Tujunga Canyon

The same might be said for the Tujunga Canyon Abductions, and, in part, for many other such abduction cases. While it certainly doesn’t offer an all-encompassing answer to the UFO and alien question, it perhaps might offer an insight into one aspect of it. An aspect that itself is sometimes referred to as the “dark side of ufology”. And furthermore, one that both clarifies and blurs the UFO picture even more.

The first report wasn’t made to investigators until 1975, 22 years after the incident. All of the women involved remained living in and around the Tujunga Canyon region following their reporting of a lifetime of bizarre and frightening activity. In light of this, NICAP (National Investigations Committee for Aerial Phenomena) would “assign” names to each of the witnesses within their report.

Initial Contact At The Isolated Cabin

The first case on record occurred on the evening of 22nd March 1953. Sara Shaw and Jan Whitley, who at the time lived in an isolated cabin in the Tujunga Canyon, were awoken by a bright light outside their home. The pair went to investigate and the next thing they realized they were outside their cabin, running, scared and confused, and with no memory of how they had ended up outside. Furthermore, according to their watches, two hours had passed in what seemed to them to be only seconds.

It was only when they made their report to NICAP years later, and following hypnotic regression, that the missing time was revealed.

According to Sara, while under regression, several “thin humanoids dressed in black” somehow entered their cabin through the closed window. They were taken to a “Saturn-shaped UFO” which hovered nearby over a stream. Sara cooperated with her unwelcome hosts. Jan, on the other hand, would put up substantial resistance, becoming quite hysterical, and was ultimately “taken away, protesting violently!”

Sara would describe stepping into a “solid beam of light” that would lift her “about the same angle as an escalator” but with no steps. The humanoids would examine Sara, using what she believed to be an “X-ray-type device”. She wasn’t sure how long the procedure took to complete, but the next thing she realized, the humanoids were “informing” her telepathically of cures for cancer. She failed to remember the details, feeling beyond overwhelmed with the situation. The humanoids themselves appeared to have white skin and elongated heads that were neither “wider at the top or the bottom!”

Following this, she and Jan found themselves back in the “beam of light” which returned them to their cabin.

Jan’s Second Encounter, with Emily Cronin

Jan, however, was much less receptive to the regression sessions. She was unable to recall any physical visions of the evening. She did state, however, that the “creatures were invisible to her!” Furthermore, she would state under hypnosis that these invisible entities “harassed” her in multiple homes over the years. Although she couldn’t see them, she could sense them via a “crunching pain” in her head, or by changes to the “atmospheric pressure” around her.

She would further describe engaging in a “mental battle of wills” with these entities. This is an interesting assertion that not only comes up in many alleged “reptilian sightings and experiences” but also crosses over into other fields of the paranormal such as demonic coercion and possession.

In 1956, Jan would experience a similar encounter with another woman, Emily Cronin. The two women were driving home one evening with Emily’s young son in the back seat. The traffic was increasingly heavy, so they decided to pull their vehicle into the layby, and rest for an hour or so. Much like in 1953, a bright, white, light would drag the two women from sleep. However, neither of them could move and remained frozen in their seats.

Emily would struggle but slowly managed to move her finger, which caused the paralysis to break for both of them. They put the vehicle into motion and finally pulled into a roadside café to gather their thoughts.

When Emily agreed to hypnosis, she managed to fill in the blanks of the evening. Following the bright light, a saucer-shaped craft descended near to them. Two tall humanoid figures with “long elongated” heads “circled” the car. Emily would state they seemed particularly interested in her son. They then re-entered the craft and left.

A superimposed UFO on a mountain road

There were several abductions across several months

More Incidents Recalled!

Emily, much like Jan, would also speak of entities attempting to take her over and urge her to “go with them”. Also like Jan, she would also talk of mentally struggling to overcome these entities, which she would further describe as taking a “whitish form”.

Following Emily’s revelations in 1975, two other women from the Tujunga Canyon region would contact her. They too had experienced a similar episode which involved missing time, paralysis and a “vague perception of tall white entities!”

The two women, Lori Briggs and Jo Maine, would agree to the hypnotic regression sessions the other Tujunga Canyon women had undergone. Lori would recall tall, white humanoids taking her and Jo on board a craft. Like the initial encounter in 1953, an examination of the two women would take place with a strange device, and there were also persistent thoughts in her head during the incident, asking her to “come with them!” Lori would claim to use a technique she described as “internal sound” to block the thoughts in her minds. The humanoids appeared to be surprised at her ability to do this. And concerned, it would seem, as they quickly terminated the procedure and transported her instantly back to her apartment.

Jo, similarly to Jan, struggled to remember any detailed memories of the event. Instead, she recalled broken memories such as “bright lights” shining down, and of being on a table and seeing a “dome-shape” above. She would also recall hearing a “high-pitched sound” that came from the humanoids on occasion.

The video below features Ann Druffel, one of the prime investigators of the Tujunga Canyon Abductions speaking a little further.

Perception Of A Malevolent Extraterrestrial Race?

Aside from the varied witnesses and the length of the timeline of events, the Tujunga Canyon Abductions seem to suggest enticing entities that are seeking to trick and even take over possession of a person’s thoughts and actions.

Some UFO researchers, particularly but not exclusively, those of a “religious” outlook or background suggest that aliens are not extraterrestrial but demonic forces. Perhaps entities that are arriving here, not from another planet, but from another realm or dimension.

However, is it possible that elements of all of those things are at work here? The idea that aliens are “demons” is perhaps (and likely) another way that we perceive them. Perhaps this perception is different for each person? Similarly, “Hell” could actually be a planet, one perhaps where fire does flow instead of water, and, for reasons unknown to us, stories of that planet have filtered down the ages, been “rationalized” and turned into a domain where evil spirits reside. The book, ‘Round Trip To Hell In A Flying Saucer” by Tim Beckley, offers just such an account.

The account tells of “spacemen” who appear at of nowhere and “practice all types of experiments” on an unfortunate auto-mechanic. They eventually take him on board a spacecraft and arrive at a “bleak red planet with a lake of fire”. It is certainly an interesting theory and one that should really attempt to make sense of the religious connections to ufology in the same way the Ancient Astronaut Theory has. In short, demons are not necessarily the “work of the devil”. Rather our perception of a malevolent extraterrestrial race that, in turn, uses that perception against us.

Energy-Based Entities?

Many researchers have alluded to this notion, and not just recently. Respected UFO researcher, Jacques Vallee would state in his book ‘Passport to Magonia” that “UFOs are real but not physical”. He would further state that they were “messengers of deception”. And that the UFOs witnessed in modern times, and those behind them, “belong to the same class of manifestation as the occult entities that were described in centuries past!”

In the introduction of a 1969 publication titled ‘UFOs and Related Subjects” by the US Printing Office for the US Air Force and the Library of Congress, Lynn Catoe states there is a close link between the UFO phenomenon and “mysticism and the metaphysical”. She would also state that “mental telepathy, automatic writing (channeling), and invisible entities” appear regularly within such accounts. Further still, she would claim many UFO reports “are strikingly similar to demonic possession and psychic phenomenon…long known to theologians and parapsychologists!”

One of the main researchers and investigators on the Tujunga Canyon incidents was Ann Druffel, a highly respected UFO researcher. She would state it to be her firm belief that what we know as aliens are “unwholesome entities who have deceived and interacted with humans since the dawn of history!” She would go on to say that every culture across the planet, whether major or small, have legends and myths of “interfering, shape-shifting, other-worldly entities” that reside in a “hidden world which somehow exists in or alongside our own Earth plane!”

Controversial author, David Icke, describes the “reptilian entities” in much the same way. As does researcher and author, John Keel, who refers to them as “ultra-terrestrials”.

While these theories might not be relevant to all alien races, it might perhaps be a valuable perspective. If only of the “Grays” that most associate with extraterrestrials.

A depiction of a demonic entity

Might aliens and demons be one and the same thing?

The Mind-Power of Non-Human Entities

Another theory, and again one found in numerous works in many different ways is the “gray alien”, as well as multiple other “aliens”, are actually manifestations of energy. Some researchers would include ourselves, animals, and perhaps everything we can see and touch at any one time in this. That all we are is energy, vibrating at a certain frequency. All the while existing around other energies that vibrate at frequencies invisible to us. Remember, Jan would claim that the entities were invisible. Some believe there is a connection to these terrestrial entities and claims of the Hollow Earth. This would perhaps also explain perceptions of Hell and demons.

Another respected author and researcher, Nick Redfern, in his book ‘Final Events And The Secret Government Group on UFOs and the Afterlife’ would make some similar, and chilling claims along such lines. He would state this secretive group was aware that “gray aliens” were “non-human entities”. And furthermore, they were looking to use their “mind-power” as a “mind-weapon”. As a side-note, does this lend credibility to the apparent deal made with “the Grays” in 1954 by President Eisenhower? What is perhaps also interesting are claims of meetings with “several different races”, all of whom had apparently different agendas.

According to Redfern’s work, “the more the Pentagon got into it” they quickly realized the deceptive nature of the Grays. Redfern would offer that the belief is that “these entities (Grays) are here to harvest and feed upon the energy of our soul at death”. Quite simply, they were “energy based and our energy feeds and fuels them!”

Again, this is a claim numerous researchers make. Many paranormal investigators also state that “manifestations feed from human emotion and energy!”

Alistair Crowley’s “Contact” With Lam

The point made about feeding on the human “soul at death” is another interesting, if bleak one. Going back to David Icke and his claims of reptilians, he stresses that these reptilians are “energy frequencies”. They manifest in reptilian form and then in turn, in human form, incidentally, often in positions of power. Who we collectively refer to as, the elite.

Icke also writes extensively across his books about “occult or satanic” ritual. These often involve human sacrifice so that the elite (reptilians) can feed upon the release of energy upon death. While many shun Icke’s claims, it is an interesting claim when placed alongside those of Redfern’s. Icke also contends this is the reasons for vast amounts of missing people, particularly children, in the North American continent, and to a lesser degree throughout Europe.

Perhaps it is also worth looking at the famous occultist, Alistair Crowley, and in particular, his apparent communication with an “entity from another realm”, Lam. The communications took place between January and March 1918 in furnished rooms of the Central Park West in New York.

These sessions, referred to as The Amalantrah Working, would use incantations and esoteric knowledge (of which Crowley was very adept). Ultimately, he would open a portal, and the entity known as Lam communicated directly with him.

The sketch that Crowley would produce of his contact from another dimension looks remarkably similar to what we would describe as a “gray alien” today. And remember, this was at a time when such an image was simply not in the collective human consciousness.

Crowley wouldn’t elaborate to any great degree as to what Lam would tell him. He had, however, already produced several books the decade previously, supposedly through “automatic writing” of an invisible entity.

Gray Alien and Lam

Gray Alien and Lam

Did An Occult Ritual Open A Portal To Another Dimension?

While Alistair Crowley is largely considered a skilled and extremely efficient occultist, some of his followers weren’t. So much so, that when two such followers, Jack Parsons and L. Ron Hubbard, conducted their own occult rituals in an attempt to open portals to interdimensional entities, he was said to be horrified, writing at the time that he gets “fairly frantic when I contemplate the idiocy of these louts!”

In the early days of January 1946, the two men performed a similar ritual to those performed by Crowley in his New York hotel when making contact with Lam. Apparently, they succeeded, at least according to their writings. Perhaps it is interesting to note that Parsons would go on to start the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Hubbard, meanwhile, would begin the Scientology movement. Were these two successes thanks to assistance from entities from another world or dimension?

According to some, however, the two amateur occultists were not as successful when it came to closing the portal. Although it is pure speculation, some researchers assert that this opening of space-time allowed the surge of UFO sightings. These would begin, incidentally, eighteen months later with the Roswell crash in New Mexico. As would, more interestingly, the sightings of the entities that we refer to as “gray aliens”. They further point to the closeness of lines of latitude. The crash site sits on the 33rd line, while the location of the ritual in Pasadena, resides on the 34th.

It is an interesting theory, to say the very least.

The video below looks at the claims of Crowley, as well as Parsons and Hubbard. Did they open a portal that is, in part, responsible for the surge of UFO sightings and alien abductions?


The stories, accounts, and discussion in this article are not always based on proven facts and may go against currently accepted science and common beliefs. The details included in the article are based on the reports and accounts available to us as provided by witnesses and documentation.

By publishing these accounts, UFO Insight does not take responsibility for the integrity of them.  You should read this article with an open mind and come to a conclusion yourself.

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About Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years experience. Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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