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Observations placeholder

Hans Buchmann - 15 November 1572, Romerswil, Switzerland - A farmer’s abduction



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

As quoted in Wonders In The Sky - Unexplained Aerial Objects From Antiquity To Modern Times - and Their Impact on Human Culture, History, and Beliefs - Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck

Hans Buchmann, a 50-year-old Swiss farmer from Romerswil, had gone to Sempach, a nearby village. When he failed to return, his wife sent out their two sons to look for him. The boys found their father's hat, coat and gloves. They also found his saber and its sheath, lying on the path. This frightened them and they suspected that Klaus Buchmann, their father's cousin, who had for years been an enemy to the family, could have murdered him. The authorities had Buchmann's property searched, in vain.

Four weeks later, the family received news about Hans Buchmann's whereabouts: he was in Milan! On 2 February 1573, two and a half months after he disappeared, he came back. His wife and children were astonished to see that he did not have a single hair on his head, his face or his chin. His face was so swollen that they didn't recognize him at first. When the authorities learnt that the man had returned they interrogated him, as so much trouble had been caused to cousin Klaus. The town chronicler, Renward Cysat (1545-1614), was present at the interrogation.

Buchmann explained that on the day he disappeared he carried money to pay Hans Schiirmann, the owner of the Romerswil inn, to whom he owed sixteen florins. Schiirmann was not at home so he decided to go to Sempach on other business matters.

There he stayed until dawn, drinking something but very little, and then set off for home. As he was passing through the forest he suddenly heard a strange noise. At first he thought it was the buzz of a swarm of bees, but then he realized it sounded more like music. He felt afraid, and was no longer sure where he was nor what was happening. He unsheathed his sword and swiped at the air around him, losing his hat, gloves and coat in the process’ Before losing consciousness he could feel that he was being lifted up into the air. He was taken to another country. He was disoriented and confused, with no idea where he was. He felt pain and swellings in his face and around his head.

Two weeks after his abduction he found himself in Milan, with no idea how he had got there. He was weak because he had not eaten or drunk anything in days, but he was determined to find his way home. Hans Buchmann neither knew the city nor spoke the language, and had no way of communicating his situation to anyone until he came across a guard of German origin who took pity on him.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items


Activities and commonsteps