By Sean Casteel
Raymond E. Fowler is one of the most prolific and respected investigator/authors in all Ufology. He is widely known for his work with Betty Andreasson Luca, a New England housewife who experienced multiple encounters with grey aliens, both in her home and onboard alien spacecraft. His reports on the UFO phenomenon have been entered into the Congressional Record as part of a congressional inquiry into the subject. In the course of his many years as a UFO investigator, Fowler would discover his own hidden personal history as an abductee and experiencer.
So it goes without saying that Fowler’s worldview would get a bit shaken up over the years. But in spite of the strange UFO-related events he would both research and experience over his lifetime, Fowler, in all things, remains an earthbound human being. However, one must also take into account the fact that Fowler suffered a traumatic brain injury as a child yet would come to have an IQ of 140.
Thus the title of his latest book, “Buster: Growing Up With HI IQ TBI.” “Buster” was Fowler’s boyhood nickname. He suffered the traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a very young child when his mother let him play in a new baby walker in the backyard while she read a book in the sunshine.
“Suddenly she glanced up,” Fowler writes, “to see me heading for cement stairs leading to a grassy path below the yard. Terrified, she screamed for me to stop and ran to stop me, but it was too late. I rode the walker down the stairs, tipping me and it over and over, hitting my head on the cement stairs.”
Fowler was rushed to the hospital with his head split open and bleeding profusely. The doctor stopped the bleeding and stitched up the wound, after which Fowler was hospitalized for several days. His parents were told that he had suffered a traumatic brain injury and would never be the same again.
“In essence,” Fowler writes, “they would be responsible for bringing up a child with incurable mental and emotional problems.”
Fowler’s mother left the meeting with his doctors in a state of shock, and his father could not console her. She felt guilt and confusion and extreme self-recrimination, emotions she could not cope with, finally deciding to pack her things and flee her family. It was the only solution she could see at the time. Fowler would daily ask where his mother had gone and was told she would return soon. Though he cannot remember how long his mother was absent from their home, she did return, was forgiven by Fowler’s father and rejoined the family.
Fowler writes that he was told about his having an accident while playing in his walker but not that he had had such a debilitating injury to his brain. Nor did he connect the accident to his personality.
He grew up a loner and antisocial, but he believed those thoughts and feelings were basically normal. However, when he reached high school, he began to feel he was different from his peers in obvious ways and longed to fit in with the other kids. To paraphrase Nobel Prize winning songwriter Bob Dylan, “they mistook his shyness for aloofness, his silence for snobbery.” Or they would sometimes dismiss him as simply “slow.”
At that point, he did not attribute his “otherness” to his childhood accident. It wasn’t until many years later that his father told young Fowler about the severity of his injury, but prefaced his remarks by loudly declaring “You proved them wrong!” in reference to the doctors’ prognosis of his condition.
As a child, Fowler seemed to be perpetually at war with bullies at school and in his neighborhood. Fistfights and rock-throwing battles were pretty much a regular occurrence. Fowler would also experiment with fireworks using his own homemade gun powder and nearly set his house on fire. He built crystal radio sets with his father’s help and hoped to have a career as a radio technician.
In high school, he was approached by a few females who hoped to go further than he felt comfortable in doing given the strong religious beliefs he had had beginning in childhood. After graduating in 1952, he joined the Air Force and was again confronted by women seeking what he felt was the wrong kind of relationship. Meanwhile, his fellow airmen proved to be what the Bible calls “drunkards” and “whoremongers” who asked Fowler to join them in a night of debauchery. He declined and went to church that night instead.
Fowler met his future wife Margaret while stationed in England. She was intelligent and spiritual, the kind of woman he could be with in good conscience. They married in England and returned to the U.S. after Fowler left the service. There was some precognitive dreaming associated with the trip back to America, but perhaps it is best to leave that for the readers of the book to discover. Fowler and his wife are parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, raising a big family.
In the early 1960s Fowler began working for GTE Sylvania and would rise up the ranks there until his retirement in 1986. His knowledge of the components of the electrical system of the Minuteman II/III ICBM resulted in his being chosen to be the in-house member of the Minuteman Production Board as well as being the Task Manager of Program Planning and Scheduling for Minuteman and other programs. This was a far cry from what one would expect from someone who had suffered a traumatic brain injury. He did indeed prove his doctors wrong, having a highly successful career at GTE Sylvania and throughout his life as he excelled in a variety of endeavors.
It was also in the early 60s that Fowler’s interest in UFOs developed and he interviewed many a witness to local sightings and landings near his home in Danvers, Massachusetts. He started corresponding with Dr. J. Allen Hynek, an astronomer who investigated UFO sightings for the Air Force. Hynek would later sing Fowler’s praises, calling him a respected and thorough researcher of UFO events in New England. Fowler came to be a high-ranking member on the board of the international organization The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).
In addition, Fowler would come to write more than a dozen books on UFOs, alien abduction, anomalies in time and synchronicity. His impressive catalog of work continues to be a classic bedrock of crucial research that has stood the test of time and is ranked among the best that UFO literature has to offer.
Included with Fowler’s gut-wrenchingly honest memoirs, with absolutely no warts concealed, is an overview of the relationship between traumatic brain injury and high-level intelligence written by medical specialists in the field.
Fowler is not alone in that regard. There are numerous cases of the pairing of brain injury with near genius IQ and the phenomenon will surely be the subject of future study by brain specialists and other medical researchers.
“Buster: Growing Up With HI IQ TBI” is not another story of adventures in alien contact, but it is an adventure story nonetheless, as a young boy navigates through an often frightening world he neither understands or can be counted on to understand him. The book has undercurrents of earthbound “high strangeness” that rival even the most bizarre accounts of the paranormal.
RECOMMENDED READING, BOOKS BY RAYMOND FOWLER
THE ANDREASSON AFFAIR: PHASE TWO
THE CASEBOOK OF A UFO INVESTIGATOR