DISCLAIMER: This is a personal opinion, not an assertion of fact. I respect everyone's beliefs, worldviews, and stances, and this should not be
construed as dictating to anyone what to believe, think, or feel. Moreover, none of this should be interpreted as an assertion that there is no
truth or validity to the abduction phenomenon and related events per se.
On the contrary, it is an attempt at quantifying the hard kernel of truth
believe exists at the heart of the abduction phenomenon, albeit - in my personal opinion - highly obscured by mythology and quasi-fiction
(and in some cases, outright
What follows will likely rub a lot of abduction lore believers the wrong way, hence the above disclaimer, especially as it takes prominent abduction
investigators - both living and dead - to task regarding their methodology and research ethics. This may be unpleasant, and may challenge existing
belief paradigms for some readers. Please remember while reading this, that my goal is not
to antagonize, discredit, or attack, but merely to
explore the possibility that the emergent mythology surrounding abductions and related phenomena may not be truly reflective of the actual underlying
reality. A possibility well worth considering if our chief interest is, as ostensibly claimed by most intrigued by this area of interest, "the
It should also be noted that this was written many years ago by myself after years of research, in an effort to answer a friend's personal query as
to, "What can we definitively say about abductions without speculation?" As such, the HTML links to the sources and citations supporting what
follows are gone, and I lack the time and health at the moment to track them down. I realize this may weaken my points, however I assure you that
internet searches, relevant published literature, and online videos will bear out what I am saying. Someone suggested I post this here so as not to
"let it go t waste," despite its age and lack of sources in its current form, so... apologies, and take it for what you will. This is just to get it
out. Take it out leave it, and it is only opinion as stated.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS AND OTHER ANOMALOUS HUMAN EXPERIENCES, THEIR HISTORICAL INTERSECTION WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, CONFABULATION, AND
UNSCRUPULOUS INVESTIGATORS (INTENTIONAL OR OTHERWISE)
THE BURYING OF LEGITIMATE PHENOMENA UNDER INCREDIBLE BUNK
The subject of so-called alien abduction phenomena is, like its forebear the UFO phenomenon, one of extreme and justified controversy and incredulity.
Like UFOs, the premise of otherworldly beings contacting or spiriting away human subjects has been confronted by honest skeptics, agenda-harboring
debunkers, historians, and laypersons... but disturbingly (yet understandably) few serious scientists with a legitimate research interest.
There are myriad potential explanations for the phenomena associated with abduction lore, running the gambit from cultural influences commingling with
psychiatric or neurological illness, to literal events happening in physical reality. But for over 50 years, our own imperfect human thought
processes, institutional inclinations, and professional politics have led us down rabbit trails and away from whatever true evidence might exist in
support of these bizarre alleged events.
Herein, I will attempt to cut through this broad swath of possibilities and zero in on what we know, what we should probably dismiss, and what we
don't know. There is a kernel of truth beneath all of the demonstrable bunk, and to find it, it is necessary to take a hard and uncomfortable look at
some of the leading "research" in the field of "alien abduction."
Because it is as I will show, however positive their initial intentions, the work of these "researchers" which serves to conceal the hard core of
evidenciary strangeness underlying these tales and their impact on those who tell them.
The Genesis of a Mythology: Betty and Barney Hill.
Although there are others, the earliest popular, modern account of anything resembling an example of an alien abduction scenario is the Betty and
Barney Hill case. I will not recount the entirety of the narrative, as it is both well known and well documented elsewhere. The most relevant aspect
of this case to my points herein is the physical appearance (and its changing over time) of the UFO occupants reported by the Hills.
Barney Hill originally reported seeing several entities with large heads and slanted eyes, but their eyes were not of the black, extended variety now
commonly associated with the alien beings propagated throughout abduction literature. They were more human, and indeed he originally described one of
them as being a "German Nazi," based on a uniform he was wearing.
Now before we go any further, it is critical to point out what we know with certainty about this case, because beyond this point we get into potential
confabulation, embellishment, memory disparity, and cultural influences.
What we know for a certainty is very limited, but crucial:
- Betty and Barney both saw what can only be accurately called a UFO. They both remember pulling over to get a better look at it.
- Barney consulted a psychotherapist regarding this event who he trusted and liked, and this psychotherapist as well as the hypnotherapist to which
he referred them both, assessed that Barney and Betty absolutely believed that the original event took place as they reported.
- The Air Force confirmed visual and radar sightings of an unidentified object at the time and place of their sighting.
- Both Barney and Betty experienced a loss of several hours of time, and an inexplicable advance in the progress of their drive.
- Perhaps most importantly for what follows, Barney's hypnosis - which preceded Betty's - began before a famous episode of The Outer Limits
containing a grey skinned, large eyed alien aired. So while it can be argued that this influenced his subsequent depictions of the beings he claims to
have witnessed, it could not influence his original account.
- Said hypnosis - recordings of which are available publicly online despite the protestations of his family - reveals a man truly horrified by what
to him, rightly or wrongly, seemed incredibly real, as he relived that experience under the direction of what appears to be a qualified, non-leading,
non-suggesting hypnotherapist. (This does not mean confabulation under hypnosis was not possible, as such confabulation is well known to result from
hypnotic regression. More on this will follow.)
- Barney's hypnotic recollections also included the first (that I can find) reference to an abductor communicating non-verbally through "the
eyes." A striking and distinctive facet of subsequent accounts.
- Neither Betty nor Barney Hill were judged to be delusional, or prone to deception, although their therapist ultimately concluded that they were
suffering from a shared fabrication based on a nightmare Betty had (despite her nightmares beginning subsequent to the originally reported incident,
and the postulated mechanism for the nightmares to have been transmitted to Barney straining credulity given their detail.)