Alien Abduction Interviews and Study
Alien Abduction Interviews and Study
The terms alien
abduction or abduction phenomenon describe "subjectively real memories
of being taken secretly and/or against one’s will by apparently nonhuman
entities and subjected to complex physical and psychological
When abductees ask why they are being studied or undergoing surgery, the entity may answer with a statement like "We have the right to do this."
People claiming to have been abducted are usually called
"abductees" or "experiencers." Typical claims involve the experiencer
being subjected to a forced medical examination which emphasizes their
Abductees sometimes claim to have been warned
against environmental abuse and the dangers of nuclear weapons.
Consequently, while many of these purported encounters are described as
terrifying, some have been viewed as pleasurable or transformative.
Alleged abductees are seen by many pro-abduction researchers to have a higher incidence of non-abduction related paranormal events and abilities.
Following an abduction experience, these paranormal abilities and occurrences sometimes seem to become more pronounced.
Abduction claimants report unusual feelings preceding the onset of an abduction experience.
These feelings manifest as a compulsive desire to be at a certain place at a certain time or as expectations that something "familiar yet unknown," will soon occur.
Abductees also report feeling severe, undirected anxiety at this point even though nothing unusual has actually occurred yet. This period of foreboding can last for up to several days before the abduction actually takes place or be completely absent.
Eventually, the experiencer will undergo an apparent "shift" into an altered state of consciousness. British abduction researchers have called this change in consciousness "the Oz Factor." External sounds cease to have any significance to the experiencer and fall out of perception.
They report feeling introspective and unusually calm. This stage marks a transition from normal activity to a state of "limited self-willed mobility." As consciousness shifts one or more lights are alleged to appear, occasionally accompanied by a strange mist.
The source and nature of the lights differ by report, sometimes the light emanates from a source outside the house (presumably the abductors' UFO), sometimes the lights are in the bedroom with the experiencer and transform into alien figures.
As the alleged abduction proceeds, claimants say they will walk or be levitated into an alien craft, often through solid objects like walls or a window.
Alternatively, they may experience rising through a tunnel with or without the abductors accompanying them into the awaiting craft.
scientists and mental health professionals overwhelmingly doubt that
the phenomenon occurs literally as reported and instead attribute the
experiences to "deception, suggestibility (fantasy-proneness,
hypnotizability, false-memory syndrome), personality, sleep phenomena,
psychopathology, psychodynamics and environmental factors.".
Robert Sheaffer also sees similarity between the aliens depicted in
early science fiction films, in particular, Invaders From Mars, and
those reported to have actually abducted people.
The first alien
abduction claim to be widely publicized was the Betty and Barney Hill
abduction in 1961. Reports of the abduction phenomenon have been made
around the world, but are most common in English speaking countries,
especially the United States.
The precise number of abductees throughout the world is uncertain.
The contents of the abduction narrative
often seem to vary with the home culture of the alleged abductee. Alien
abductions have been the subject of conspiracy theories and of popular
science fiction works such as The X-Files.
One of the earliest studies of abductions found 1,700 claimants, while
contested surveys argued that 5-6% of the general population might have
As a category, some studies show that abductees have psychological characteristics that render their testimony suspect.
Dr. Elizabeth Slater conducted a
blind study of nine abduction claimants and found them to be prone to
"mildly paranoid thinking," nightmares and having a weak sexual
identity. According to Yvonne Smith, some alleged abductees test
positive for lupus, despite not showing any symptoms.
A variety of motivations are attributed to alleged abductors.
reports that form a loose narrative around long-term surveillance and
interaction with humans. The entities state that the abductee has a
unique characteristic, resulting in repeated abductions, implanting
information subconsciously for later "activation". Sometimes this is
related to major changes affecting the Earth and the entities' desire to
- When abductees
ask why they are being studied or undergoing surgery, the entity may
answer with a statement like "We have the right to do this."
Harvard psychiatrist John Mack approached filmmaker Laurel Chiten
(Twist & Shout, The Jew in the Lotus, Twisted) asking her to make a
movie about encounters with aliens, she thought he was crazy.
meeting some of the so-called "experiencers" she was intruiged; they
seemed rather normal and spoke about feelings of connection and longing
for these uninvited intruders to return.
She had stumbled into a
world filled by people who had been touched by something ... and had
their lives blown apart because of it.
"I realized I could not
figure out the origin of these bizarre stories, nor could I prove or
disprove the existence of alien. Instead, I wanted to explore the human
drama: who are these people, what has happened to them, and why does
this distinguished Harvard professor believe them?"
Although different cases vary in detail (sometimes significantly), some
UFO researchers, such as folklorist Thomas E. Bullard argue that there
is a broad, fairly consistent sequence and description of events which
make up the typical "close encounter of the fourth kind".
Though the features outlined below are often reported, there is some disagreement as to exactly how often they actually occur. Some researchers have been accused of excluding, minimising or
suppressing testimony or data which do not fit a certain paradigm for
the phenomenon. Bullard argues most abduction accounts feature the
They generally follow a common sequence, though not all abductions feature all the events:
Abduction Sequence of Events
are most widely associated with the alien abduction phenomenon, wherein
claimants allege that Greys are intelligent extraterrestrials who visit
Earth and secretly perform medical experiments on humans they have
Capture - The abductee is forcibly taken from terrestrial surroundings to an apparent alien space craft.
When describing the "abduction
scenario", the entire abduction event is precisely orchestrated. All the
procedures are predetermined. There is no standing around and deciding
what to do next.
Examination - Invasive medical or scientific procedures are performed on the abductee.
Conference - The abductors speak to the abductee.
Tour - The abductees are given a tour of their captors' vessel.
Loss of Time - Abductees rapidly forget the majority of their experience.
Return - The
abductees are returned to earth. Occasionally in a different location
from where they were allegedly taken or with new injuries or disheveled
Theophany - The abductee has a profound mystical experience, accompanied by a feeling of oneness with God or the universe.
Aftermath - The abductee must cope with the psychological, physical, and social effects of the experience.
The beings are task-oriented and there is no indication whatsoever that
we have been able to find of any aspect of their lives outside of
performing the abduction procedures.
There have been a variety of explanations offered for abduction
phenomena, ranging from sharply skeptical appraisals, to uncritical
acceptance of all abductee claims, to the demonological, to everything
in between. Some have elected not to try explaining things, instead
noting similarities to other phenomena, or simply documenting the
development of the alien abduction phenomenon.
Others are intrigued by the entire phenomenon, but hesitate in making
any definitive conclusions. The late Harvard psychiatrist John Mack
concluded, "The furthest you can go at this point is to say there's an
authentic mystery here. And that is, I think, as far as anyone ought to
Putting aside the question of whether abduction reports are literally
and objectively "real", literature professor Terry Matheson argues that
their popularity and their intriguing appeal are easily understood.
Tales of abduction "are intrinsically absorbing; it is hard to imagine a
more vivid description of human powerlessness."
After experiencing the frisson of delightful terror one may feel from
reading ghost stories or watching horror movies, Matheson notes that
people "can return to the safe world of their homes, secure in the
knowledge that the phenomenon in question cannot follow. But as the
abduction myth has stated almost from the outset, there is no avoiding
Matheson writes that
when compared to the earlier contactee reports, abduction accounts are
distinguished by their "relative sophistication and subtlety, which
enabled them to enjoy an immediately more favorable reception from the
Skeptical perspectives assert that reports of people being kidnapped and
subjected to forced medical examinations by non-human creatures do not
occur literally as reported.
Although being only one of many
competing explanations for the phenomenon, it is the only one that is
widely accepted by mainstream scientists and historians. Alternative explanations, such as the extraterrestrial hypothesis, are
largely dismissed by academics as being pseudoscientific.
hypotheses have been proposed by skeptics to explain reports without
the need to invoke non-parsimonious concepts such as intelligent
extraterrestrial life forms.
These hypotheses usually center on known psychological processes that
can produce subjective experiences similar to those reported in
abduction claims. Skeptics are also likely to critically examine
abduction claims for evidence of hoaxing or influence from popular
culture sources such as science fiction.
UFO Files - UFOs Then and Now Nightmare
A study of the famous 1961 Betty and Barney Hill and 1976 Allagash, Maine alien abduction cases.
One example of a comprehensive, skeptical analysis that focuses on the
effects of mass marketing is art historian John F. Moffitt's 2003 book
Picturing Extraterrestrials: Alien Images in Modern Mass Culture.
It has been argued that if actual "flesh and blood" aliens are abducting
humans, there should be some hard evidence that this is occurring.
Proponents of the physical reality of the abduction experience have
suggested ways that could conceivably confirm abduction reports.
One procedure reported occurring during the alleged exam phase of the
experience is the insertion of a long needle-like contraption into a
woman's navel. Some have speculated that this could be a form of
If this is true, after the abduction there should
be free gas in the female's abdomen, which could be seen on an x-ray.
The presence of free gas would be extremely abnormal, and would help
substantiate the claim of some sort of procedure being done to her.