[The following information is sourced largely from renowned British Ufologist Andrew Collins’s report – The Aveley Abduction – compiled January 1978, along with other supporting online sources. At the time Collins called The Aveley Abduction “probably the most important British case ever” and it still gets heralded today as such by those in UFO research communities]

On late Sunday evening October 27th 1974, a run of the mill Essex family were driving a route between Harold Hill and Aveley to see relatives. The Avis family, consisting of John, aged 32, his wife, Elaine, aged 28, and their three children: Kevin, aged 10, Karen, aged 11, and Stuart, aged 7, were on Hacton Lane about one mile out from Hornchurch with, for them, the roads noticeably quiet even for a Sunday night.

Elaine recalled the car jerking violently as the mist curled around the car

At a point in the journey, it was Kevin, the only one of the children awake, who asked his parents about a light he could see above the country lane houses. Collins reports, “Glancing round, both John and Elaine saw, at an angle of about 25 degrees – 30 degrees above the skyline, an oval-shaped, pale blue iridescent light, like a big star, over the top of the houses to their left”.

John and Elaine standing on Aveley Road

The family remembered the “big star” seemed to be travelling in the same direction as the car, stopping and starting as it moved. The light seemed to “stay with them” but for periods where rows of trees on the country lanes would obscure the view, at which times in the early stages they would relax, thinking it may have gone. At first, John and Elaine thought it might be a helicopter light, but it was not long before the family began referring to it as a UFO.

The Avis family cleared the last of the houses, venturing into open countryside, eventually passing the White Hart pub. They were approaching country lanes near Upminster at about 30mph when they had a “terrible feeling that something was wrong”. Suddenly, the engine and tyres went silent and the only sound that could be heard was from their radio.

Then, as they went through a bend on Aveley Road, they could see, no more than 30 yards in front of them and covering the whole road, a thick mist, or fog, described as “dense green and banked about 8-9 feet high”.

The exact place where the green mist appeared has been drawn in

Just as the mist was seen by the Avis family, the radio started crackling and smoking, causing John to pull out its wires. Then they were engulfed by the fog, still travelling around 30mph. Elaine recalled the car jerking violently as the mist curled around the car.

With two children asleep and Kevin awake, John and Elaine recall it was “very light” inside the fog and that they “felt very cold”. A tingling sensation was felt, and there was dead silence. They recall being in the mist for “what seemed like a second or two” before they were out. There was a jolt described as “like a car going over a hump back bridge” and the “mist” was gone.

Elaine remembered asking “is everybody there?” with herself and John both feeling very nervous and frightened, although no ill effects were remembered and the two children aside from Kevin still asleep. The couple don’t recall talking a large amount about what had happened and the situation instead provoked a “let’s just get home” atmosphere. The couple expected it to be around 10:20pm when they arrived home, but it was 1am, leaving around three hours the couple could not account for.

The family reported unnerving incidents around the family home after the encounter including an object levitating

There were noticeable changes in the family following the incident, Collins reports. Before Christmas that year John had a nervous breakdown and stopped working, before later taking on a job working with mentally handicapped people, something he had wanted to do for years.

The job “fell into his lap”, a different direction from his usual carpentry and construction work; he would also begin writing poems about life. Elaine started attending college and reportedly grew in confidence. Additionally, John & Elaine stopped eating meat and became far more health conscious in their nutrition, with the taste of meat/fish now making them ill. And whereas before the incident they would “enjoy a good drink”, the couple would now not touch a drop of alcohol.

The couple reportedly also became very environmentally conscious, with John also quitting his “60 to 70 a day” smoking habit. Kevin’s reading age at school reportedly was “well beyond his years” whereas prior to the incident it had been reported as “backwards of his age”. The family reported unnerving incidents around the family home after the encounter including an object levitating, “clicking noises” and the sound of “Morse code”, and young Kevin reportedly seeing a strange figure beside his bed on one occasion, similar in looks to that of a clown.


Map of where the incident took place

When questioned by Collins, both John & Elaine would admit to strange dreams in which creatures would examine them on long tables and other visions of that ilk. At this point, Collins sought hypnotist Leonard Wilder to query the couple’s subconscious and see if these dreams were masking real abduction memories. John was first to agree to hypnosis while Elaine declined preferring to try and move on and “forget it” instead. It was decided hypnotising Kevin was not an option due to his age and the impression any memories may leave.

John, the first under hypnosis, began to remember that as the car entered the mist, he found himself in a big room with tall “peaceful” beings, in one-piece colourless suits. John recalled that they had pink eyes and communicated by telepathy. They put him on a table and ran a bar like instrument over his body. He asked where they came from; they showed him “a map but not a map”, and gave an explanation of which he could only remember “Phobos”. They travel, he was told, almost instantaneously. They explained how but he could not understand. A small being was present at the table; it had fur-like covering and made chirping sounds; it served the tall beings. Leonard Wilder remarked to Andrew Collins that John was an excellent subject for hypnosis, and a second session was arranged.

In the second session John remembered that when the car entered the mist, a white beam cut through it, and lifted the car. The next thing he knew was that they were in a very large room. Here, an “examiner,” “smaller than us,” with big eyes and a mouth “not like ours” examined him.

Based on a drawing by John. This is the head and shoulders of one of the tall entities


The tall beings had no visible mouths. John understood that their propulsion system used a magnetic “vortex”, though he had begun to mutter somewhat incoherently his responses at this point. He encountered only three of the tall beings, and only one communicated with him.

When John was asked the reason for the beings visit to earth, he replied, “No visit. They are here always.” Asked where they came from, he said “There was no need for them to say,” and that they have no need to return home; “they have more than one base,” he said.

After being brought out of hypnosis, he said that at this point he felt prevented from saying anything more (following questioning surrounding the beings origin). My understanding is that the sessions were stopped there as memories came flooding back naturally outside of hypnosis. Collins reports to have kept in touch with the family and that John & Elaine would later separate with the former moving to Scotland to live with a new partner.

The case is spoken of frequently in UFO circles and if you wish to know more of what happened, or Elaine’s account – check this link of the original report:


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