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Alien abduction hypotheses, and evidence for and against them.

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posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 09:29 AM
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I'm posting this here in Skunk Works because it is highly speculative merely by virtue of my inability to prove that any of the "evidence" cited is well-documented or empirical in nature.

Nevertheless, I have recently decided that, at least for myself (and hopefully for others) it might be beneficial to discuss the so-called alien abduction phenomenon in a hypothetical context so as to conduct a sort of "thought experiment" with regard to what seems probable and what doesn't.

To that end, I started with the most fundamental and basic premise: either it's real, or it isn't. From there I then made a list of a hand full of hypotheses that might explain either of those two possibilities. What I'd really like is for people to read this, and then contribute additional examples of evidence, hypotheses, or scenarios that I have overlooked (there have to be some, since I don't know everything,) so as to stimulate discussion as to the apparent feasibility of certain explanations versus others.

I have not reached anything even approaching a conclusion personally, and remain completely open minded with respect to the phenomenon. I am at least relatively satisfied that something is happening. What that is and whether it can be definied as "real" (at least as we know it,) is another matter. This is why I felt it would be helpful for us to sort of brainstorm.

I request that in this process of this collective brainstorming, we each refrain from asserting conclusions based purely on personal beliefs or inclinations (on either side of the fence,) and instead limit ourselves to suggesting possibilities and the evidence for or against those possibilities, while bearing in mind that they are precisely that - possibilities. I respect and accept everyone's theories and beliefs whether I personally agree with them or not, and would appreciate it if everyone who takes part in this thread could show everyone else the courtesy of doing the same. Thanks.

I'll start, and from there I'd appreciate it if you all could alter or change what I post as you see fit, as well as posting your own hypotheses and evidence (again, the evidence will be highly speculative/circumstantial rather than empirical in most - but not all - cases, hence my decision to post it here.)

PLEASE NOTE: the point is not to try to prove or disprove anything. It is merely to suggest possible scenarios and assess their feasibility based on what little we do know. While this discussion may make use of scientific terminology at times, I am not a scientist and this does not have to be a purely scientific discussion in my opinion.

POSSIBILITY #1: Abductions are not physically real events.

Hypothesis A: Abductions are the result of hypnagogic (or similar) states during which excessive '___' secretion or other neurologically significant processes may occur in some people.

EVIDENCE FOR: '___' exists in the brain and is believed to be responsible for visual dreaming. '___' has been shown to cause hallucinations of alien abduction-typical imagery and experiences including "greys," scientific or medical settings, physical examinations or procedures (often sexual in nature,) and powerful psychic and/or spiritual connection with the "greys," in laboratory experiments on the effects of this substance on human cognition. Many abduction accounts transpire during near-sleep or sleep, upon waking from sleep, or during disruptions of sleep (waking dreams, etc.) Features of abduction often include hypnagogic features, such as paralysis. The fact that these experiences almost universally are initiated at night (why would aliens with the ability to abduct people right from under the nose of other people and erase all trace of it care whether it was daylight or not?)

EVIDENCE AGAINST / UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: There is great consistency among narratives, and it is not clear whether this consistency would exist if this were the mechanism behind the phenomenon. In some cases there is physical evidence such as scars, and while it is possible that these could somehow be self-inflicted, there is no evidence to suggest that it is, or indeed, how it even could be. Consistency of accounts between members of shared experiences is not uncommon. A psychic or other mechanism for how that would be possible if this were the explanation for the phenomenon has not been established (or even postulated as far as I know.)

EVIDENCE THAT WOULD HELP PROVE THIS HYPOTHESIS: Total lack of abduction experiences that did not involve altered states of consciousness related to sleep or near-sleep. Lack of the "missing time" phenomenon (unless that phenomenon is associated with altered states of consciousness mimicking sleep or near-sleep.) Functional explanations for the aforementioned problems of narrative consistency and shared experiences. The exclusion of all other alternative hypotheses/explanations.

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Hypothesis B: Abductions are the result of contact with psychic constructs, or spiritual and/or multidimensional entities which may or may not physically exist in the sense that we know it.

EVIDENCE FOR: The psychic and/or spiritual enrichment many claim to derive from these experiences (however this could be a psychological consequence of processing the experience; see hypothesis C below.) Common themes and experiences (if not in terms of visual imagery or the types of entities seen, etc.) among those experienced with other entheogens, not limited to '___'. Again, outside of laboratory experiments involving '___', the majority of these experiences are initiated at night. If the phenomenon is a physical one, why would entities so advanced and so capable of controlling us completely at their whim care whether it was daylight or not before they began their operations? The perception by some abductees that they see their own bodies laying in bed as they are "levitated" through their ceilings to be abducted.

EVIDENCE AGAINST / UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: Physical evidence such as scars in some instances (although there is a seemingly remote possibility in theory of psychosomatic or some sort of "interdimensional" effect on the bodies of abductees.) The seemingly physical and biological nature of the intentions on the part of the "abductors" (although this is not conclusive because there is nothing to prove that there is no mechanism by which to effect the physical/biological/corporeal from a mystical or multidimensional state. Indeed, the opposite may actually be true.)

EVIDENCE THAT WOULD HELP PROVE THIS HYPOTHESIS: Substantive effects on the spiritual, psychological, and/or physical health of abductees. Beyond this already hard to quantify factor, it would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to prove this hypothesis. The exclusion of all other hypotheses/explanations.


(Continued below...)




posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 09:31 AM
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Hypothesis C: There is a mechanism by which the human consciousness can perceive and store sensory memories while in an unconscious or near unconscious state, and in this state, excessive '___' is sometimes secreted from the pineal gland or synthesized elsewhere at a higher than normal rate. This mechanism allows us to recall experiences on an unconscious level, even under circumstances during which we should be incapable of perceiving. It also distorts these memories, resulting in an exotic, but inaccurate narrative, when our conscious mind finally accesses these unconscious recollections of experiences such as undergoing surgeries, near death experiences, possibly birth, etc. This recall may be triggered during states in which the conscious and unconscious minds commingle, such as hypnagogic and "twilight sleep" states. Thus, those inaccurate but exotic recollections of barely perceived experiences such as surgery, birth, etc. coupled with sleep paralysis and other hypnagogic features, colored by the '___' excreted during the initial perceiving of the true experiences, results in an apparently real, and often terrifying alien abduction experience. (That the experience is often spiritually or psychologically enriching or healing may indicate the importance of integrating experiential data and memories fully into our conscious recall in some form, even if it is not entirely accurate or literal.)

EVIDENCE FOR: It has been demonstrated that an as yet unidentified and unexplained (though greatly hypothesized about) mechanism exists which allows perception and recall of events during which conscious recall and perception should be impossible (blind-folding and ear-plugging patients rendered clinically dead for surgical procedures, and displaying imagery above their hospital bed for them to subsequently report, for instance.) This at least allows for the possibility that we might be capable of somehow perceiving and recalling - albeit often inaccurately, or in conjunction with fabrications of the unconscious mind - even while in a seemingly unconscious state, such as during surgery, or even when clinically dead. Thus it is at least conceivable that some abductions scenarios might involve the recollection of such experiences earlier in life, but masked and/or distorted by the hallucinatory effects of '___' (or other) secretion.

EVIDENCE AGAINST: Not every abductee has had surgery or even been anesthetized for any reason prior to their abduction experiences. (This does not rule out the role of the aforementioned mechanism entirely, however, as birth may be a factor) Physical evidence such as scars in some cases. Common themes and content among narratives experienced by different abductees.

EVIDENCE THAT WOULD HELP PROVE THIS HYPOTHESIS: A comprehensive and definitive study of near-death and unconscious recall and perceptions at the edge of consciousness. A point by point correlation of abduction scenario content/features to potential unconscious surgical or birth related details. (i.e. what each common feature of abduction scenarios might represent.) The exclusion of all other hypotheses/explanations.


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POSSIBILITY #2: Abductions are physically real events.

Hypothesis A: Alien abductions are the result of genuine abduction by legitimately extraterrestrial, extra-temporal, or perhaps cryptozoological (i.e. physcically real, but not extraterrestrial in nature) entities.

EVIDENCE FOR: The imagery people recall itself, of alien-seeming entities with apparently advanced technology. Alleged "star maps" provided to abductees which some claim have subsequently been verified (there if great debate as to this contentious issue.)

EVIDENCE AGAINST / UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: '___''s ability to provoke imagery literally identical to these experiences/this imagery (what are the odds of an entheogen/hallucinogen provoking a nearly identical experience to one which is also, simultaneously, physically real?) The fact that these experiences almost universally are initiated at night (why would aliens with the ability to abduct people right from under the nose of other people and erase all trace of it care whether it was daylight or not?)

EVIDENCE THAT WOULD PROVE THIS HYPOTHESIS: Physical evidence of alien technology or biological material in association with abduction experiences. Knowledge or information possessed by abductees that could not be accounted for except by contact with a higher intelligence of some form. The exclusion of all other alternative hypotheses/explanations.


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Hypothesis B: Alien abductions are the result of abduction by human entities.

EVIDENCE FOR: The possibility of administration of '___' which appears to provoke hallucinations of "aliens." The repeated references to anal probing, reproductive experimentation, etc. may suggest a medical or scientific setting while under the influence of such substances as '___' or anesthetics. The fact that these experiences almost universally are initiated at night (why would aliens with the ability to abduct people right from under the nose of other people and erase all trace of it care whether it daylight or not?) Apparent mass-abductions taking place in public places in view of other human beings. Military, government, or other human groups associated with abduction narratives. The use of contemporary existing human technology in abduction narratives (Amniocentesis, RFID-like implants, etc.)

EVIDENCE AGAINST / UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: The perception by some abductees that they see their own bodies laying in bed as they are "levitated" through their ceilings to be abducted (while this could be the result of altered states of consciousness initiated by drugs administered, it is interesting nonetheless, as it may suggest a more mystical or psychic experience than a purely physical one.)

EVIDENCE THAT WOULD PROVE THIS HYPOTHESIS: Evidence of the aforementioned technologies having been used on or in abductees. Direct recollection of human perpetrators masquerading as aliens, or administering drugs capable of provoking memories of something akin to aliens. The exclusion of all other alternative hypotheses/explanations.


That's all I have so far. Please help me and others expand our understanding, and the breadth of our consideration, of this phenomenon, by suggesting additional possibilities and scenarios in the same format as I have above (either by editing mine and pasting, or by making your own.)

Thank-you!

[edit on 1/1/2010 by AceWombat04]



posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 09:39 AM
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Some really good information here, nice job


You might enjoy the following thread:

Alien Abductions: The Real Deal?



posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by LiveForever8
 


Very interesting thread! I read the opening posts. I was familiar with Mack's work, but not McNally et al. I also found of particular note the possible correlation between abduction accounts and tendencies toward dissociation, and temporal lobe abnormalities. The reason I say this is because my mother has had a lot of strang "experiences" in her life which she has recounted to me, however she also used to suffer severely from dissociative personality disorder, and as a child was suspected to have limbic epilepsy! (Temporal lobe epilepsy.) I remain open minded, but this really would make a hell of a lot of sense.

I cannot stress the amount of time, energy, and preoccupation she devoted over the years to trying to explain these phenomena, nor her seeming need to feel as though she were a part of them. Your thread really asks important questions, in my opinion. If some or even all abduction accounts can be explained in such a way, what do we do with that need? Clearly, if that is the case, then there is some overriding psychological need for such experiences, or at least for what they seem to provide: a sense of belonging to something greater than our own mundane lives. How does one go about filling that need in the alternative?

Very interesting and, in my opinion, critical questions for us to ask ourselves as a species and a society.



posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 10:27 AM
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Forget the bull, man. There's aliens, and there's no doubt about it.
You can simply look at world events and see that there's something funny going on.
If you're looking for aliens right outside your door and everything looks normal, then you just don't know what to look for.



posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 10:33 AM
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reply to post by MegaCurious
 


I appreciate and respect your beliefs, but again, just for the purpose of this one thread, I'd appreciate if everyone could extend me the courtesy of respecting the intent behind it. That is to say, suggesting possibilities and offering evidence for or against them.

You've already reached your conclusion, which I respect. I haven't yet, though. I am, however, open to all the possibilities, including the one you have embraced.



posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 01:07 PM
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A great effort Ace


Because of my skepticism with abduction phenomena, I've ruminated on the possible demographic relationship of abductees.

I think it would be interesting to submit a questionnaire aimed at teasing out the commonalities - if any - of abductees. I have actually started forming questions, but am too feckless to take it any further at the moment. ;-)

Just to clarify: I've read and watched the late John Mack in interviews, and whilst I did state that I am skeptical regarding abductions, I nevertheless think Mack has some very solid conclusions from his abductee research. I was very saddened by his death. It was not only and untimely tragedy, but also a huge loss to Ufology.

Thanks for a great thread mate



posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 07:12 PM
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Accidental double post.




[edit on 1/1/2010 by AceWombat04]



posted on Jan, 1 2010 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by mckyle
 


I agree. He seemed to be approaching the phenomenon in a very scholary manner. He said many times that he was not trying to claim that people were literally being abducted by aliens, but rather than his recounting of their experiences was intended to be told with the same intensity and reality that it seemed to present for the abductees themselves. Hence a lot of people thinking he was a proponent of literal abductions. In fact, he was merely saying that something was happening.

I actually also think a questionnaire would be a great idea. Do you have any hypotheses of your own not covered above, or points you'd like to add to them?

I know I can't possibly have covered every possible scenario by a long shot lol.



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 06:08 PM
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I hate to bump topics, but it's been close to 24 hours.

Does anyone have any alternative hypotheses, modifications to those already suggested, or possibilities to suggest?



posted on Jan, 4 2010 @ 01:47 AM
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reply to post by AceWombat04
 


Aww Shoot!

I'm sorry mate, I simply forgot about this post. Please forgive me.

This is going to sound wishy-washy, but whilst I do feel something is literally taking place with a number of abductees, I don't feel I've seen enough data to allow me to confidently support a solid conclusion.

That's why I would like to survey people, to identify any potential traits shared by abductees, and those who rigorously support the hypotheses.

Again, so sorry for the late reply mate. I'll be sure to check more regularly.

Regards,
Matt



posted on Jan, 4 2010 @ 02:26 AM
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A couple of thoughts (I'm not going to edit these into your original thread, as some of them could go in multiple places).

Regarding the similarity of '___' (or other mentally-induced) events: I'm not sure that the consistency of the events speaks to the fact that they aren't mentally-induced. Neurological structures often have completely disparate effects, but there are also cases where the symptoms, despite seemingly arbitrary, have a remarkable degree of consistency. I am reminded of a friend who had been seeing weird spots in her vision for several years, and while browsing Wikipedia, she came across the article for the "aura" symptom of migraines, and was taken aback with the image on that page--it was exactly what she have been seeing!

Further, if these were real events, and being conducted by multiple alien races (Greys, Reptilians, etc.), why isn't there more variation? Are all of the aliens using exactly the same technology? One can imagine a comparison to human hunting strategies, of which there are a ton. Do all aliens in the universe really only use one method?

One other thought along roughly these lines: why are all of the alien races encountered humanoid, while also having close analogues to species on Earth (lizards, praying mantises)? This is, to me, one of the strongest pieces of evidence that the abduction phenomena is not true (or, at least, not true in that aliens are taking people). Nature is quite the elaborate seamstress, yet all of the aliens appear to be cut from the same cloth...

Regarding anal probing/sexual experimentation: Regardless of whether one believes such experiments are being conducted by aliens or humans, one needs to consider the basis for these experiments. What does the government/aliens have to gain by conducting these experiments? Although claims of "gene splicing" and assorted ideas are often bantered about, one wonders how an alien civilization advanced enough to splice genes from a completely unrelated species does not have the technology to simply create from scratch whatever gene sequences they might need.

Regarding mysterious scars/injuries/etc.: Based on personal experience, I often have wounds on my body I can't explain. This is presumably because I am clumsy. If I had had a strange experience last night and checked my body today, I would have found a weird cut on my leg. If scars and the like are to be used as evidence, I think we need a more controlled environment where the lack of injuries/bruises/etc. is verified before the person goes to bed. Since this seems impractical, I'm not sure that this line of evidence will reveal anything.

Two nit-picky things:

First, you said "... recall and perception should be impossible (blind-folding and ear-plugging patients rendered clinically dead for surgical procedures, and displaying imagery above their hospital bed for them to subsequently report, for instance.)" If I understand the experiments you are referring to here, they haven't ever yielded a positive result. In every case where some stimuli is placed so that some having an out-of-body experience would see it, none have reported it. If I've missed a study somewhere, let me know, but I'm pretty sure there is no evidence for this (if there was, after all, it would be major news).

Second, you put sleep-related events in the non-physical category along with more "psychic" phenomena--I'd propose that events such as sleep paralysis are in fact very real, physical phenomena (far more so, in my opinion, than anything psychic or actual abductions). And one more thought about the psychic ideas: if we're really trying to do something scientific here, is it worth considering these ideas, except as a footnote that they might have to be resorted to if no other explanation exists? I don't know how you're going to get evidence of anything psychic happening, unless people report knowledge they can't possibly have (but, note, people have looked at this--beyond alien abduction phenomena as well--and no one has ever actually been shown to have knowledge that couldn't otherwise be explained).



posted on Jan, 4 2010 @ 04:10 AM
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Here are some reasons why aliens mostly abduct people at night.Most abductions occure on people who are already asleep.Its easyer to abduct people who are asleep and not awake.In most cases they will not remember anything and if they did they would proberly relate the memory as a dream and not a abduction.Its easyer to parylise a person while they are asleep and if they do happen to wake, the memories can be related to sleep parylisis and not alien abduction.Most alien abductions are not really abductions at all.70% of the alien intrusions on sleeping people are only conducted to take blood samples,seaman samples and alien implant data.The aliens move very quick and very quite when they do this.The aliens can be in and out of your house with a sample within 30 seconds.They can even retreave a implant and replace another implant within the same short time period of 30 seconds.The big question is do the aliens really move this fast or do they slow down time within a small area like your house.



posted on Jan, 5 2010 @ 02:35 AM
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reply to post by suomichris
 


I absolutely agree with you that we cannot draw conclusions based on what we know (or think we know.) That's why I made it a point to state that I am not trying to prove anything or reach any conclusions; merely suggest possibilities, scenarios, and what little (if any) evidence there might be for them.

I also agree that consistency of experience is not proof of a single cause (neurological or literal.) That's why I offered multiple hypotheses and scenarios for consideration. I'd like it if everyone would do the same, so that we can be thinking and brainstorming about as many possibilities as we can imagine based on presently available information (which is, of course, not conclusive regardless.)

I just thought it would be an interesting and worthwhile thought experiment of sorts.



Two nit-picky things:

First, you said "... recall and perception should be impossible (blind-folding and ear-plugging patients rendered clinically dead for surgical procedures, and displaying imagery above their hospital bed for them to subsequently report, for instance.)" If I understand the experiments you are referring to here, they haven't ever yielded a positive result. In every case where some stimuli is placed so that some having an out-of-body experience would see it, none have reported it. If I've missed a study somewhere, let me know, but I'm pretty sure there is no evidence for this (if there was, after all, it would be major news).


I can't find reference to the specific study in which people were blind-folded and ear-plugged (I read it in a book a few years back; there were references I looked up which led to actual studies.) However, according to Wikipedia:

"The first clinical study of near death experiences (NDE's) in cardiac arrest patients was by Pirn van Lommel, a cardiologist from the Netherlands, and his team (The Lancet, 2001),[42]. Of 344 patients who were successfully resuscitated after suffering cardiac arrest, approximately 18% experienced "classic" NDE's, which included out-of-body experiences. The patients remembered details of their conditions during their cardiac arrest despite being clinically dead with flatlined brain stem activity." (It references the Van Lommel study explored in the article here: www.skepticalinvestigations.org... )

That is by no means conclusive, but is one example of the sort of evidence I was referring to.


Second, you put sleep-related events in the non-physical category along with more "psychic" phenomena--I'd propose that events such as sleep paralysis are in fact very real, physical phenomena (far more so, in my opinion, than anything psychic or actual abductions).


Perhaps I should have phrased it as "not literal," rather than "not physically real." That's closer to my intent. I just meant that in those cases, the experiences are neurological in nature and not literal events as they are experienced (in that particular hypothetical scenario, at least.)


And one more thought about the psychic ideas: if we're really trying to do something scientific here, is it worth considering these ideas, except as a footnote that they might have to be resorted to if no other explanation exists? I don't know how you're going to get evidence of anything psychic happening, unless people report knowledge they can't possibly have (but, note, people have looked at this--beyond alien abduction phenomena as well--and no one has ever actually been shown to have knowledge that couldn't otherwise be explained).


As I said, I'm not trying to be strictly scientific. It's more of a hypothetical brainstorming that at least tries to make use only of evidence, but which permits evidence of a purely experiential and subjective nature for, at least, consideration. I do agree with you though, which is why I listed that as one of the criteria that might help prove that particular hypothesis, but as you point out, we don't have such proof yet if it indeed exists or is possible.

Again, I'm just suggesting possibilities and hypothetical scenarios. As I said, while I'm using scientific terminology for the sake of the discussion, I don't feel that this has to be an entirely scientific discussion. It's more of a hypothetical brainstorming which favors evidence (but allows unprovable evidence at least for consideration and discussion) over pure speculation without any evidence whatsoever.

reply to post by GORGANTHIUM


Here are some reasons why aliens mostly abduct people at night.Most abductions occure on people who are already asleep.Its easyer to abduct people who are asleep and not awake.In most cases they will not remember anything and if they did they would proberly relate the memory as a dream and not a abduction.Its easyer to parylise a person while they are asleep and if they do happen to wake, the memories can be related to sleep parylisis and not alien abduction.Most alien abductions are not really abductions at all.70% of the alien intrusions on sleeping people are only conducted to take blood samples,seaman samples and alien implant data.The aliens move very quick and very quite when they do this.The aliens can be in and out of your house with a sample within 30 seconds.They can even retreave a implant and replace another implant within the same short time period of 30 seconds.The big question is do the aliens really move this fast or do they slow down time within a small area like your house.


This is an interesting hypothesis. What do you feel the evidence for and against it would be in your opinion?



posted on Jan, 5 2010 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by AceWombat04
I can't find reference to the specific study in which people were blind-folded and ear-plugged (I read it in a book a few years back; there were references I looked up which led to actual studies.) However, according to Wikipedia:

"The first clinical study of near death experiences (NDE's) in cardiac arrest patients was by Pirn van Lommel, a cardiologist from the Netherlands, and his team (The Lancet, 2001),[42]. Of 344 patients who were successfully resuscitated after suffering cardiac arrest, approximately 18% experienced "classic" NDE's, which included out-of-body experiences. The patients remembered details of their conditions during their cardiac arrest despite being clinically dead with flatlined brain stem activity." (It references the Van Lommel study explored in the article here: www.skepticalinvestigations.org... )

Ah, okay. Those are distinct from what I thought you meant. There have also been some experiments where they've tried to determine if consciousness is separable from the body, versus a possible explanation for the above, which is simply that the brain is doing things we don't know about.

The studies I thought you meant had, for example, an LCD reader board on the top of a cabinet with a nonsense phrase. If people were actually leaving their bodies and floating up, it stands to reason they could see these things and report the message when they returned. But these studies haven't ever had a positive result.



posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 04:54 AM
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reply to post by suomichris
 


No, you're absolutely correct. No such studies have ever had a positive result thus far. There have, however, been reports of patients able to describe in great detail conversations, surgical instruments used, and even music playing. Of course, we have no way to verify those reports. We just have the patient, the surgeon(s,) and their word.



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