Part 3 of
UFOs: The Psychic
Alien Abductions - 1
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6. Close encounters
Allen Hynek, the ’father of ufology’,
distinguished 3 types of close
- close encounters of the
first kind: objects seen on the ground or
at a short distance from the observer;
- close encounters of the
second kind: the same, with physical
effects on the environment, instruments, or observers;
- close encounters of the
third kind: sightings of alien entities,
either by themselves or in association with a UFO.
in which humans are allegedly kidnapped and subjected to intrusive
medical examinations inside a UFO, are now sometimes classed as ’close encounters of the fourth kind’.
Studies show that the probability of a UFO close encounter peaks
between 1 and 3 am, and that they are most likely to occur in remote
and sparsely populated areas
. Some examples of close encounters
(mainly CE3s) are given below. They tend to contain elements of
’high strangeness’, and show that credible people sometimes report
The first example comes from 1922, long before the modern UFO age
began. A man in Nebraska saw a large circular object land near his
home and an 8-ft-tall being step out. The man was deeply religious
and thought the being must be Satan. He mumbled, ’Get thee behind
me, Satan,’ and turned his back on it. Then he noticed another disc
coming down from the sky; it hovered above him as if to protect him
from the landed creature. Next the witness heard voices emanating
from the airborne saucer, quoting Biblical texts, causing the other
creature to take to its heels. It left tracks similar to hoofmarks,
and went through a barbed wire fence, which was left burning hot and
severed, as if it had been burned through with a welding torch.
There was a similar report from Nebraska in the same year. On 22
February 1922 a man was out hunting when he saw a large, dark object
fly overhead, blotting out the stars. He hid behind a tree and
watched it land. Next he saw ’a magnificent flying creature’ which
landed like an airplane and left tracks in the snow. It was at least
8 ft tall. The man tried to follow its tracks but never caught up
A central question posed by cases like this is: To what extent did
the events described take place in our physical reality? The best
way to determine their physical reality would be to attempt to
record the events with cameras, videos, tape recorders, etc. In
practice, witnesses rarely have the means to do this while the
experience is taking place. It is noteworthy that although quite a
few photographs of UFOs have been taken, usually from some distance,
there are only a handful of photos of UFO entities, and many of
these can be dismissed as hoaxes
Sometimes researchers find
that expensive cameras and electronic instruments malfunction at the
critical moment or that developed film comes out blank -- a
phenomenon well known to investigators of other weird
manifestations, such as monsters, ghosts, and poltergeists.
Further clues to the reality status of close encounters can be
obtained by comparing the testimony of different witnesses.
Multiple-witness close encounters are unfortunately rather rare, but
where they have happened, reports by different witnesses are
sometimes mutually corroborative and sometimes mutually
contradictory, at least in part. In the above cases we have only the
testimony of a single witness, plus the footprints, and a broken
wire fence that appeared to have been subjected to intense heat.
Something seems to have manifested physically, but the voices, for
example, could have existed solely in the man’s head, and clearly
reflected his own religious beliefs.
If the crafts and beings in these cases were physical
manifestations, where did they come from? From another part of our
physical universe, or from some nonphysical realm? If the beings
originated in our physical reality, and are not robots or other
artificially created entities, they must be the product of a long
process of evolution, just like animals and humans on earth, and the
craft must be technological constructs. But if they originated in
another realm, this need not be the case. Instead they could be
temporary materializations of shape-shifting elemental and psychic
energies from the astral plane.
A parallel can be drawn with the Tibetan concept of ’tulpas’ --
thought-forms that are said to assume life independent of the mind
or minds that create and sustain them. A tulpa may take on a solid
form, and yogis claim they can even carry on intelligent
conversations with these mind-created creatures. The duration of a
tulpa’s life and its vitality are in direct proportion to the energy
expended in its creation
. In UFO close encounters, of course,
the manifestations are not the deliberate creation of the witnesses
In the case of close encounters that leave no physical evidence and
to which there are no independent witnesses, it is possible that the
entire experience was ’hallucinatory’. This in turn raises the
question: To what extent was the experience generated by the
witness’s own mind and to what extent by other entities or forces?
The cases presented below raise similar questions. And the limited
evidence available leaves plenty of room for speculation.
On 18 October 1954, in Royan, France, a couple saw 2 ball-shaped
objects in the sky, one orange and the other red, joined by a bright
beam of light. When the light went out, they landed. A small
creature got out of each craft and went into the other. Both objects
then flew away with a tremendous flash
At 6.30 am on 6 November 1957, 12-year-old Everett Clark of Dante,
Tennessee, opened the door to let out his dog, Frisky, and saw a
peculiar oblong object in a field about 100 yards from the house. He
thought he was dreaming and went back inside. When he called the dog
20 minutes later, the object was still there, and Frisky was
standing near it, along with several dogs from the neighbourhood.
Also near the object were 2 men and 2 women in ordinary clothing.
One of the men made several attempts to catch Frisky, and later
another dog, but had to give up for fear of being bitten. The
strange people talked like German soldiers the boy had seen in
movies. He watched them walk right into the wall of the object,
which then took off straight up without a sound.
Another attempt to steal a dog was made at dusk the same day, this
time in Everittstown, New Jersey. By some weird coincidence, the
name of this town resembles the boy’s name in the above case. A man
named John Trasco went outside to feed his dog and saw a brilliant
egg-shaped object hovering in front of his barn.
In his path he met
a 3-ft-tall being ’with putty-coloured face and large frog-like
eyes’, who said in broken English: ’We are peaceful people, we only
want your dog’ (this sort of absurd dialogue is typical of close
The strange being was told in no uncertain terms to go
back where he belonged. He ran away and his machine was seen to take
off straight up moments later. The being wore a green suit with
shining buttons, a green cap, and gloves
In the evening of 26 June 1962, in Verona, Italy, a woman and her
son and daughter observed a silvery disc, the apparent diameter of
the moon, manoeuvring in the sky for about an hour. They finally
went home. Around 3 am one of them was awakened by a feeling of
intense cold and perceived a greenish light in the room. In the
window a sharply defined human shape, delineating a semi-transparent
body, was visible. The apparition had a huge bald head. The witness
screamed, awakening the two others, and they saw the apparition
shrink and vanish ’like a TV image when one turns off the set’
One morning in October 1963, on Whidbey Island, Washington, a
middle-aged woman who had seen a strange craft near her house the
previous July observed a gray object, 3.5 m long, hovering less than
2 m above the ground. Through the transparent front part she could
see 3 figures. Suddenly one of the occupants was standing on the
grass. He was clothed in ’asbestos-textured coveralls’, and neither
the face nor the hands or feet were visible. When she asked, ’What
do you want?’ the answer, in English, was: ’One of our party knows
you; we will return.’ The object then decreased in size, tilted,
partially sank into the ground, grew to its previous size, and
departed to the east, producing steam, a flash, and a noise
In the early morning of 1 July 1965, a French farmer, Maurice Masse,
was in his lavender field near Valensole, when he heard a whistling
sound and discovered that an object had landed. At first he thought
it was a helicopter or an experimental craft, but when he approached
he found that it was egg-shaped, the size of a car, with a round
cockpit on top, and 4 legs. He then saw 2 small beings examining his
They were less than 4 ft tall, with large slanted
eyes and very large bald heads, dressed in one-piece gray-green
suits. One of them took a small tube from its container and pointed
it at Masse, who found himself unable to move. The 2 beings
communicated with each other by making gargling noises, without
moving their mouths. They exuded a sense of peace. They got back
into the craft via a sliding door, the legs whirled and retracted,
and it took off. First it hovered a few feet from the ground, then
it rose obliquely with the take-off speed of a jet plane. When it
was about 60 yards away, it seemed to vanish.
It was about 20 minutes before the farmer regained control of his
muscles. The ground where the craft had rested was soaked with
moisture, and hardened to the consistency of concrete. Geometrically
spaced indentations were also found. Elevated calcium levels were
found in the soil, and no lavender plants would grow at the landing
site until 10 years later. For several weeks after the incident,
Masse was overcome with drowsiness. The police authorities regarded
him as absolutely trustworthy. He subsequently saw another object,
which he described as ’beautiful, with many pretty colours whirling
At 9.05 am on 19 January 1967, a man called Ted Jones was driving
along a highway in West Virginia when he found his way blocked by a
large object hovering a few feet off the ground. It was a large
metal sphere, 20 ft in diameter, the colour of dull aluminium. It
had 4 legs with casterlike wheels, a small window, and a sort of
propeller on the underside.
The propeller started spinning faster,
and the object ascended into the sky. A few days later an article on
UFOs by John Keel was published, illustrated with drawings of
odd-shaped objects, many thought up by the artist, who had produced
his layout many weeks earlier. His drawings included an exact
replica (or prototype?) of the sphere Jones had seen, complete with
wheeled legs and propeller. Such an object has never been described
before or since in UFO literature
At 9.30 pm on 2 November 1967, 2 Navajo Indian youths, Guy Tossie
and Will Begay, were driving on a highway just outside Ririe, Idaho,
when there was a sudden blinding flash in front of their car.
The flash was followed by the abrupt appearance of an
eight-foot-wide domed saucer with flashing green and orange lights
around its rim. The car stopped as the object hovered about five
feet above the road, bathing the area in a green light.
Through the transparent dome, the witnesses could see two small
occupants. When the dome opened, one figure floated down to the
ground. It stood about three and a half feet tall and had a kind of
backpack that protruded behind its hairless head. Its oval face was
heavily pitted and creased, its ears were large and high, its eyes
were small and round, and its mouth was slit-like. No nose was
visible on the deeply scarred face.
The entity approached the car and opened the driver’s-side door.
When it slid behind the wheel, the two youths moved over to the
right. Then, with the object in a fixed position a few feet in
front, the car was driven or towed well out into a wheat field. When
the car stopped, Tossie opened the door and ran to a farm-house a
quarter mile away. A bright light, apparently from the second
occupant, followed him. Begay, meanwhile, cowered in the front seat
as the entity spoke to him in unintelligible birdlike sounds. When
the second entity returned to the car, the first emerged and the two
then floated up into the object, which rose out of sight in zigzag
Tossie was so frightened that he had difficulty telling the farmer
and his family the story. When they finally accompanied him back to
the field, they found Begay in shock, sitting speechless in the car
with his eyes closed. The car lights were on, and the engine was
running. The youths reported the incident to the deputy sheriff,
and the state police investigated.
Others had apparently seen
lights in the area, and some farmers reported that their cattle
had bolted during the evening for unknown reasons.
Fig. 6.1. Alien encountered by Guy Tossie and Will Begay, November
1967 (courtesy of Harry Trumbore)
In the early morning of 1 November 1968, a French doctor was
awakened by the sound of his 14-month-old son crying. His son was
standing in his crib pointing at the window: behind the shutter a
bright light was moving. After the child had gone back to sleep, the
doctor went out onto the balcony. He saw 2 glowing discs in the sky,
silvery-white on top and bright red underneath.
Each had a tall
antenna on top and one on either side, and they were directing a
narrow beam of white light towards the ground below. The 2 objects
slowly drew closer and merged into a single object, about 200 ft in
diameter and 50 ft thick. It approached the doctor, then tilted 90
degrees so that the beam of light struck him. He then heard a loud
bang, and the object evaporated into a whitish cloud that dissipated
with the wind. A thin thread of light rose high into the sky before
vanishing as a white dot and exploding like a firework.
A few days earlier the doctor had accidentally cut a vein in his leg
while chopping wood, and a decade earlier he had stepped on a
landmine in Algeria, leaving his right side partially paralyzed.
After the above sighting, he found that the swelling and pain from
his leg injury had vanished, and the chronic after-effects of the
injuries he had sustained in the Algerian war improved dramatically
in the days that followed.
A few days after the encounter, the
doctor and his child each developed a strange, reddish, triangular
mark on the abdomen, and this mark recurred in successive years.
Strange paranormal phenomena began to take place around the doctor
and his family, including poltergeist activity and unexplained
disturbances in electrical circuits.
The doctor began to have mysterious meetings with a strange,
nameless man he called ’Mr Bied’. He would hear a whistling noise
inside his head and would feel guided to walk or drive to a certain
location where he would meet the man, who would discuss his UFO
experience and paranormal matters. Mr Bied caused him to experience
apparent teleportation and time travel, including a distressing
episode with alternative landscapes on a road that does not exist.
The stranger also once visited the doctor at his home accompanied by
a 3-ft-tall humanoid with mummified skin, who remained motionless
while his eyes quickly darted around the room
The doctor experienced uncontrolled levitation on at least one
occasion. Several other cases of levitation have been reported in
connection with UFOs. In an incident from 1954, a man who was coming
back from the fields with his horse had to let go of the bridle as
the animal was lifted several feet into the air when a dark,
circular object flew fast over the trail they were following
One night in December 1973, a man in Vilvoorde, Belgium, heard a
strange noise outside his kitchen. Through the curtains he saw a
greenish light, and when he pulled them aside he saw a small
creature, about 3 ft tall, wearing a shiny one-piece suit that
glowed green. It wore a transparent helmet with a tube running down
to a backpack. On its stomach was a large red box that seemed to be
sparking. The witness directed a flashlight beam at the being, who
seemed to be using what looked like a metal detector.
raised its hand and made a V-sign, then turned and walked off toward
the rear wall of the garden. When it reached the wall, it continued
walking straight up it, remaining perpendicular to the surface, and
then apparently walked down the other side! Moments later the
witness saw a small craft in the distance
At about 6.30 pm on 27 September 1989 in the Russian city of Voronezh, 3 schoolchildren and about 40 adults saw a pink or red
light in the sky, which turned into a dark red sphere, about 30 ft
in diameter. It flew away but returned a few minutes later and
hovered over a park. A hatch opened in the bottom and a being
appeared. It was about 10 ft tall, had no neck, and wore silver
overalls and bronze-coloured boots.
It had 3 eyes; 2 were whitish,
but the middle eye -- or lamp, as one witness called it -- was red
and had no pupil. The being scanned the terrain, the hatch closed,
and the sphere descended, brushing against a poplar tree, which bent
and stayed in that position. The object, which measured about 45 ft
wide and 19 ft high, then landed.
The tall being was accompanied by
a small robot. The being said something and a small luminous
rectangle appeared on the ground. It said something else and the
rectangle disappeared. It then adjusted something on the robot’s
chest, causing it to walk in a mechanical way.
One of the boys watching cried out in fear. The being, whose eyes
seemed to emit light, looked at him, and the boy froze. When the
witnesses started shouting, the sphere and being vanished on the
spot. But 5 minutes later the object and being reappeared. It now
held a 4-ft-long tube at its side. When the being pointed it at a
16-year-old boy, the boy became invisible.
The being then reentered
the sphere, and as the object flew away, the boy reappeared. After
taking off, the UFO almost instantaneously became a mere dot and
disappeared in the sky. An investigation revealed that the
radioactivity level at the landing site was double the background
level. Traces were found where the craft’s 4 legs had stood. There
was an area of flattened grass, and the soil was found to have
turned to the consistency of stone.
It was calculated that an object
weighing 11 tons had stood there.
Fig. 6.3. Illustration of the UFO seen in Voronezh
(Russia), September 1989.
Fig. 6.4. Left: The giant alien seen at Voronezh
robot, as drawn by a schoolgirl (courtesy of Jacques Vallee)
Thousands of Voronezh residents observed several appearances of
between 23 and 29 September 1989, and at least 3 landings took
place, witnessed by over 30 people. As in other cases, many of the
sightings occurred in polluted areas: the park used to be a garbage
dump, and UFOs also visited the electricity plant and the site of a
future nuclear plant
In 1967 a woman was driving to New York when her car was stopped by
a humming, domed, disc-shaped object. A bright light beamed down
from the object and she began to hear voices. They didn’t sound like
male or female voices, but were broken and jerky, like a weird
chorus of voices. They named a friend she knew and said that at that
moment her friend’s brother was involved in a terrible accident
miles away. This message proved correct
Although close encounters sometimes have an undeniable physical
component, it is clear that they frequently involve paranormal
phenomena as well. They are sometimes similar to dream and trance
states and ghostly experiences, and can be highly surreal. Michael
in the literature one can find cases in which
UFO entities sing
absurd songs or throw strange objects (such as potatoes) at
witnesses; cases that start out as straightforward abductions aboard
spacecraft but end up as hallucinogenic journeys through a series of Dantesque realities; and cases in which
humanoid aliens shapeshift
into birds, giant insects, and other phantasmagoric creatures.
As already stated, in the absence of evidence of physical effects on
the environment, of independent testimony, and ideally of
photographic and film records as well, it is impossible to be
certain how much of a UFO sighting or close encounter took place on
the physical plane and how much on the astral/mental plane.
In cases involving multiple witnesses, the witnesses sometimes tell
the same story, but not always. In one case, a boy saw a hemisphere
with 3 windows and 3 entities inside, while his friend saw only a
white light. And even though he was 200 yards away he saw one of the
faces in detail as if it were very close
In another case, a woman in England saw a UFO over a major road
during the rush hour, yet no one else reported it
. There are
several possible explanations for this. It could be that the UFO
existed only in the witness’s mind, being either a self-generated
hallucination or one induced by another agency. Or the witness might
have seen the UFO clairvoyantly. John Keel writes:
It is most likely
that some UFOs are masses of plastic energy normally
invisible to us, but which can -- when conditions are just right
-- alter their frequencies and enter the visible spectrum. In
other words, UFOs are always present in the skies but can
only be seen at certain times ... or by certain people; people
with latent or active psychic abilities whose eyes are tuned to
see slightly beyond the visible spectrum.
Keel points out that a sighting often begins with a reddish glow
marking the emergence of the object from the invisible band of the
spectrum into infrared and then into the narrow band of visible
light. Or, if the object is passing through the visible band to the
higher frequencies it is cyan (bluish-green) before it fades into
blue and then enters the ultraviolet range
In some close-encounter cases, witnesses were later unable to
relocate the site of their experience. Buildings and landmarks
clearly seen at the time seem to vanish, and roads and highways seem
to disappear. As Keel notes, this is a well-known phenomenon
in psychic lore, probably because some people are prone to psychic
hallucinations. Here, too, witnesses might sometimes be tuning in to
the ’superspectrum’, i.e. to astral realities. In some UFO reports
the aliens apparently could not see the witnesses or expressed
surprise that humans could see them
Alien entities sometimes make use of paralyzing rays and similar
devices. In a case from August 1947, a geology professor on a
rock-hunting expedition in the mountains of northeastern Italy came
upon a red, lens-shaped object, about 30 ft wide and 18 ft high. He
saw 2 small, green-skinned humanoid creatures and shouted out to
them, asking them who they were. As he did so he raised his
alpinist’s pick. One of the 2 creatures then put its right hand to
its belt, and there was a puff of smoke or a ray of some kind.
pick flew out of the professor’s hand, and he found himself on the
ground, paralyzed. The beings retrieved the pick and returned to
their craft. As the witness struggled to sit up the craft shot into
. If cases like this are more than just hallucinations,
they could involve the use of paranormal forces rather than
high-tech physical gadgets.
Witnesses who find themselves immobilized may be in a trance state.
John Keel points out that a close-encounter experience commonly
begins with a sudden flash of light or a sound -- a humming,
buzzing, or beeping. Witnesses’ attention is riveted to a pulsing,
flickering light of dazzling intensity, and they often find
themselves rooted to the spot, unable to move.
The flickering light
then goes through a series of color changes and a seemingly
physical object begins to form, such as an unusual flying machine or
an entity of some kind.
The percipient is first entranced by the flickering light. From the
moment he feels paralyzed he loses touch with reality and begins to
hallucinate. The light remains a light, but his or her mind
constructs something else. The paralysis is a form of hypnosis. ...
When he comes out of his trance and looks at his watch he finds that
hours have passed even though he thought he only watched the light
for a few seconds.
In a religious miracle such as that at
Garabandal, Spain, in the
1960s, crowds surrounded the small children as they entered trances
and conversed with entities only they could see. The children
sometimes remained motionless for hours, but when they came out of
their trances they thought only minutes had passed.
Keel adds that if hallucinations really are part of the
close-encounter phenomenon, ’a large part of our descriptive data is
completely false and worthless’
. On the other hand,
hallucinations alone cannot of course account for the many radar
sightings, photographs, and landing events which leave physical
Close-encounter witnesses often report that a variety of paranormal
events, especially poltergeist phenomena, start happening following
their sighting, and sometimes shortly before it. Some develop
psychic powers such as telepathy and psychic healing, while others
have a past history of paranormal experiences. Some witnesses report
visits by sinister ’men in black’, who make threats in an effort to
silence them, or they see apparitions, which sometimes attack them
Not only witnesses, but also some ufologists claim strange
things started happening to them after they began to study the
phenomenon, including UFO sightings or abductions, harassment by
mysterious persons, and a wide range of paranormal experiences.
Several surveys have been conducted into the type of people who
report UFO experiences. Since the samples tend to be fairly small,
the results have been somewhat contradictory. However, a general
finding is that UFO experiencers tend to be mentally healthy
individuals with no obvious neurotic or psychotic symptoms, though
they may have more psychological problems than the general populace.
One study found that UFO experiencers in general were not more
psychopathological, less intelligent, or more fantasy prone and
hypnotizable than other people. However, intense UFO experiencers
did tend to be more fantasy prone and to have a higher belief in
UFOs and paranormal phenomena
Close-encounter experiencers are often, though by no means always,
. According to a survey by the British UFO organization
BUFORA, close-encounter witnesses have a high rate of
ESP, a high rate of self-reported UFO and ’flying’ dreams, and they
tend to be status inconsistent (i.e. to hold jobs not consistent
with their intelligence or social status). Witnesses exhibiting
status-inconsistency had severe difficulties adjusting to virtually
all areas of life -- marital, social, business, and professional. A
reasonably high number of witnesses reported having religious or
mystical experiences, but tended to turn away from the conventional
Kenneth Ring found that although UFO encounter experiencers and
near-death experiencers are not especially fantasy prone, they tend
to be sensitive to nonordinary realities and their denizens, even as
children. Both types of experiencers describe a wide spectrum of
enduring psychophysical changes following their encounters, such as
allergies, mood fluctuations, disturbances in nearby electrical
equipment, and paranormal abilities and healing gifts
Ring also found that those who had undergone a UFO or NDE encounter,
and even those who merely took a deep interest in them, tend to
report that it has made a positive difference in their lives; they
speak of having a greater appreciation for themselves and others,
for the environment, and for the world at large, and undergo a
marked shift towards religious universalism. They tend to believe
that ’higher forces’ or a purposive intelligence are orchestrating
these experiences and propelling the human race towards a more
spiritual level of consciousness
On the other hand, close-encounter witnesses sometimes react to
their experiences very negatively. They may become nervous wrecks,
divorce their wives, lose their jobs, or go bankrupt. After a close
encounter, a West Virginia high school teacher soberly informed his
students that he was really a Venusian. Many of the entities
encountered in close encounters seem to practise deception, and to
strengthen any tendency to self-delusion on the part of witnesses.
As John Keel notes, many of the ’gods’ and other unusual entities
encountered throughout the ages have caused similar havoc in
1. Jacques Vallee, Confrontations: A scientist’s search for alien
contact, London: Souvenir Press, 1990, p. 196.
2. John A. Keel, Strange Creatures from Time and Space, London:
Sphere, 1979, pp. 212-3.
3. Kevin Randle and Russ Estes, Faces of the Visitors: An
illustrated reference to alien contact, New York: Fireside, 1997,
4. Brad Steiger, Mysteries of Time and Space, West Chester, PA:
Whitford Press, 1989, p. 206.
5. Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, folklore, and
parallel worlds, Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books, 1993 (1969), p.
233; Faces of the Visitors, p. 270.
6. Jacques Vallee, Dimensions: A casebook of alien contact, New
York: Ballantine Books, 1989, pp. 61-2.
7. Passport to Magonia, p. 285.
8. Ibid., p. 294.
9. Dimensions, pp. 24-5; Confrontations, pp. 107-11; Timothy Good,
Beyond Top Secret: The worldwide UFO security threat, London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1996, pp. 111-2.
10. John A. Keel, The Mothman Prophecies, London: Hodder &
Stoughton, 2002 (1975), pp. 119-20, 127-8.
11. Patrick Huyghe, The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, London:
Hodder and Stoughton, 1997, pp. 36-7.
12. Ibid., p. 37 (illustration by Harry Trumbore).
13. Confrontations, pp. 113-20; The Field Guide to UFOs, pp. 126-7.
14. Dimensions, pp. 156-7.
15. Faces of the Visitors, pp. 59-61.
17. Faces of the Visitors, p. 53.
18. Jacques Vallee, UFO Chronicles of the Soviet Union: A cosmic
samizdat, New York: Ballantine Books, 1992, p. 44.
19. The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, pp. 52-3; UFO Chronicles
of the Soviet Union, pp. 41-61.
20. Richard L. Thompson, Alien Identities: Ancient insights into
modern UFO phenomena, Alachua, FL: Govardhan Hill Publishing, 2nd
ed., 1995, p. 166.
21. Michael Talbot, The Holographic Universe, New York: HarperPerennial, 1991, p. 278.
22. John Spencer, Gifts of the Gods? Are UFOs alien visitors or
psychic phenomena?, London: Virgin, 1994, pp. 186-8.
23. Ibid., pp. 328-9.
24. John A. Keel, Disneyland of the Gods, Lilburn, GA: IllumiNet,
1995, p. 140.
25. The Mothman Prophecies, p. 47.
26. Ibid., pp. 212, 273; Strange Creatures from Time and Space, pp.
27. The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, pp. 38-9.
28. The Mothman Prophecies, pp. 205, 207.
Strange Creatures from Time and Space, p. 197.
’Visitors from the twilight zone’,
31. James R. Lewis (ed.), The Gods Have Landed: New religions from
other worlds, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1995,
p. 235; Charles F. Emmons, At the Threshold: UFOs, science and the
new age, Mill Spring, NC: Wild Flower Press, 1997, pp. 173-4.
32. Kenneth Ring, The Omega Project: Near-death experiences, UFO
encounters, and mind at large, New York: William Morrow and Company,
1992, pp. 114-5, 136-7.
33. Gifts of the Gods?, pp. 167-8.
34. The Omega Project, pp. 129, 137, 146-7, 156, 161.
35. Ibid., pp. 178-9, 183, 190.
36. Disneyland of the Gods, pp. 146-7.
7. The visitors
The ’aliens’ described by witnesses over the past 50 years display a
great diversity of shape, size, skin colour, and other features.
Patrick Huyghe writes:
Through the years there have been aliens of all colors: black,
white, red, orange, yellow, blue, violet, and of course, gray and
green. They can be minuscule, just a few inches tall, or tower above
the witnesses, standing 10 feet tall or more. They range from small
hairy dwarfs to bald giants. Some look nearly human, others
comically alien. A few are living manifestations of a nightmare.
While they often look like flesh-and-blood or metallic beings, many
can perform ghostlike feats such as walking through walls. They
display various eccentricities in their dress, behavior, and speech
content. Some act like saints, others like demons. And when it comes
to telling fibs, it has been noted, no politician on Earth could do
Most aliens are described as
bipeds, though there have been a few
reports of unipeds as well. Some aliens have been seen to float in
the air rather than walk. Some appear to have no arms, others have
more than 2, and occasionally the upper limbs take the form of
tentacles or wings. The arms usually end in hands, which commonly
have only 3 or 4 fingers. Some entities have unusually long fingers
and arms extending below their knees. In a few cases, claws or
strange tool-like instruments have been reported instead of hands.
Nearly all aliens have heads, often abnormally large, but a few have
been described as having no head, and some appear to have no neck.
Nearly all aliens have 2 eyes, but a few have 3, one, or none. They
are often larger, rounder, or more slitlike than a human’s, and tend
to wrap further around their heads. They are usually solid black,
with no pupils, whites, or irises. Sometimes their eyes are
described as glowing, as multiple like a fly’s, or as possessing
vertical pupils. Aliens often lack a nose, having only nostrils, or
they may possess an extremely prominent one. Their mouths are
usually small and lipless. Reports of teeth are extremely rare. Some
aliens have no ears, or mere orifices, or have ears resembling those
of a calf or mouse.
The skin of aliens also shows great variation. The ’grays’ usually
have smooth, pale, hairless, skin, either pasty-looking or
translucent. Witnesses are often unsure whether they are seeing the
aliens’ naked skin or tight-fitting clothing. Some aliens have
wrinkled skin, pockmarked or ruddy skin, or scaly, reptilian skin.
There are also many reports of extremely hairy aliens.
Huyghe divides the
’visitors’ into 4 main classes, subdivided into
1. humanoid (types:
’human’, short gray, short non-gray,
2. animalian (types: hairy mammalian, reptilian,
amphibian, insectoid, avian)
3. robotic (types: metallic, fleshy)
4. exotic (types: apparitional, physical)
The dominant popular image of aliens today is that of short
humanlike beings with lightbulb-shaped heads, almond-shaped black
eyes, and fragile bodies -- the ’grays’. But even among grays there
are many variants. Although most are about 3.5 ft (1 m) tall, others
are 5, 6, or 7 ft tall. And while most have a pasty, hairless skin,
some have brown or black skin and wispy hair. Significantly,
although short gray entities are ubiquitous today, they were largely
absent from UFO reports prior to the 1960s.
The very earliest reports of entities involved primarily humanlike
beings. And while the human types in the form of the blond ’Nordics’
were once responsible for about a quarter of the total cases, since
the 1960s they have not been quite as common. Similarly, the hairy
dwarfs that were reported so frequently in the 1950s are rather
infrequent in contemporary accounts.
... [P]rior to 1987, when
Communion and Budd
Intruders were published in England, less than a quarter
of the entities reported in Britain’s abduction cases were of the
small, bald-headed entities. But after the books appeared there,
more than half of the cases involved the ’American standardized
alien’ ... Because American abduction cases get more publicity than
any other such cases, it seems as if the image of the Gray has
been more or less imposed on the rest of the world as the
standard alien type.
Fig. 7.1. The front cover of Strieber’s
and Hopkins' publications.
The fact that the mass media and popular culture (books, films, TV
programmes, etc.) have influenced the appearance assumed by ’aliens’
clearly shows that we are not dealing with purely physical
manifestations; popular beliefs and expectations play a major role
in shaping the UFO phenomenon. It is also interesting that, on the
whole, the UFO phenomenon has tended to keep one step ahead of human
technology, progressing from aerial ships to dirigibles to
rockets to flying saucers, with aliens’ current activities including
Alien types also reflect national characteristics, though this
influence has diminished somewhat through the media’s role in
turning the Gray into the prototypical alien:
From South America came reports of small swarthy dwarfs who were
fairly aggressive, while from Europe and in particular, England,
many reports were of tall blond blue-eyed beings with a much
friendlier disposition. Meanwhile in North America the standard
Short Gray with its shockingly indifferent disposition predominated.
This once apparent geographical difference among alien types
presents a major stumbling block to the reality of UFO
extraterrestrials. The phenomenon seems to mold itself to conform to
the culture and time in which it appears. This implies that the
encounters are more likely visions than visitations by
In a South African case from 1974, when asked by the hypnotist what
the aliens looked like, the witness made the telling comment:
’They looked how I wanted them to look.’
Many early reports, especially from France and South America,
mentioned beings in diving suits and helmets with tubes extending
down into backpacks, reflecting the prevailing belief that aliens
would be unable to breathe our atmosphere. Later, as the contacteé
phenomenon began to spread and Star Trek suggested that earthlike
planets existed throughout the galaxy, the diving suits and
breathing apparatus gave way to silver jumpsuits. Some accounts
feature entities wearing strange costumes with sashes, capes, and
insignia, but it seems unlikely that outmoded human clothing styles
are the latest fashions on distant planets!
The nature of the contacts between humans and aliens has evolved. In
the early days UFO occupants often acted like shy strangers. They
were seen repairing their craft, collecting samples of soil, rocks,
or plants, and often fled if observed. Some did, however, talk to
humans, or paralyzed them, or occasionally tried to abduct them. The
1950s were also the heyday of the contacteés and friendly ’space
brothers’. Nowadays, aliens are much less likely to take evasive
action if humans come across them. In fact, the past 2 decades have
seen an explosion in the number of abduction reports.
Animals tend to be afraid of alien entities, as well as of their
craft. For instance, after seeing a disc-shaped UFO one evening, a
man was awakened in the night and saw 2 small creatures wearing
silver suits outside his house, gathering soil and vegetation
samples. He ordered his German shepherd to attack but it refused and
ran back into the house
Aliens’ linguistic skills vary markedly. They may speak the language
of witnesses perfectly, or they may speak it with a ’foreign’
accent, or they may speak an unknown language. Other aliens are
described as making whining, growling, gargling, cackling, buzzing,
or birdlike sounds. Reports of telepathic communication are common,
both among aliens themselves, and between aliens and humans.
UFO entities have claimed to have some interesting names: e.g. Affa,
A-lan, Ashtar, Ausso, Kronin, Orthon, Quazgaa, Semjase (pronounced:
Sem-ya-see), Xeno, Zandark. Their names often seem to be adopted
from mythology. For instance, ’Kronin’ resembles ’Cronus’, the Roman
god of time, and ’Ashtar’ resembles ’Ashtoreth’, the Phoenician
goddess of love
The statements made by UFO entities frequently seem to be a cross
between disinformation and sheer nonsense, and sometimes have a
distinctly surreal quality. Consider, for example, the following
enigmatic comment made by Semjase, allegedly a female alien from the
’General public contacts are not in our own best interests
at this time, and besides, they would not convey a correct
significance for the state of mind in which we now exist’
following alien message is more revealing:
’We refuse to be your
answer. Just when you think you have us pinned down, we’ll tell you
something else. No one belief system can encompass all of reality in
a complex universe’
Aliens often claim to have visited earth in the past, and to have
helped to create humankind by genetic manipulation. Sometimes they
say they have hidden bases on earth. In the early days, they warned
against the dangers of nuclear tests, but nowadays they warn against
more general environmental disasters, as if reflecting changing
Sometimes they claim our activities affect them,
which would make sense if they are closely associated with our
earth. They frequently point out the deplorable qualities of human
beings, and many have stressed the importance of universal love.
They have repeatedly forecast war and mass landings but all such
predictions have failed to come true.
In one case, the aliens claimed they stole electricity from power
lines but in amounts too small for power companies to detect! On
several occasions in the early days they claimed that our use of
radar had caused several UFOs to crash -- an equally unlikely story.
On the other hand, the large-scale use of radar, which emits
high-energy microwave pulses, must be causing major disturbances in
the ethereal borderland, and this could be a factor in the increased
sightings of UFOs since the Second World War.
One woman recalled under hypnosis that aliens had shown her a
special motor. She was determined to build it, but the design proved
to be completely unworkable. There are 2 cases in which aliens
promoted an ineffective cancer cure, namely injecting vinegar into
cancerous tumours -- an old folk remedy
Channelled messages from ’aliens’ are common nowadays and need to be
treated with as much skepticism as other channelled messages (even
in the 19th century a few mediums claimed to channel messages from
Martians). The messages could come from the recipient’s own
subconscious or superconscious mind, or from denizens of the astral
world, who seem to delight in play-acting and tend to mirror ideas
found in the recipient’s mind or the wider mind of Gaia. The
communications sometimes contain technical gibberish about UFOs’
means of propulsion. References to the soul, reincarnation, and
higher planes or ’dimensions’ are commonplace in channelled material
and reflect the resurgence of these ’new age’ (or rather timeless)
During the 1954 UFO wave, which one researcher called ’a festival of
absurdities’, a Frenchman was suddenly confronted with a UFO
occupant who pointed a gun at him and said something he could not
understand. When the Frenchman spoke to him in Russian, the ’alien’
answered in the same language, and asked whether he was in Spain or
Italy, and how far he was from Germany -- though he was in France at
the time! He then asked the time, and the Frenchman replied, ’It’s
2.30’, only to be bluntly told, ’You lie, it’s 4 o’clock’
Clearly we are not dealing here with a member of a superintelligent
Aliens frequently ask about the time, and this could reflect the
confused and disoriented mental state of such visitants. At the same
time, such communications may be prompting us to question our
conventional notions of reality. Vallee says that alien
communications ’often have the deep poetic and paradoxical quality
of Eastern religious tales’ (such as the Zen koan, ’What is the
sound of one hand clapping?’)
Speaking of the UFO phenomenon
in general, Kenneth Ring says:
’Mind at Large has given humanity a
cosmic koan to dwell upon, for we are all disciples in the mystery
school that life itself represents’
UFO occupants definitely seem to want to give us the impression that
they are of extraterrestrial origin (or perhaps we want to give
ourselves that impression). They have variously indicated that they
are from Mercury, Venus, Mars, Titan (a moon of Saturn), a ’galaxy’
near Uranus (!), the ’galaxy’ of Ganymede (Ganymede is actually a
moon of Jupiter!), ’Clarion’ (a planet allegedly hidden from us by
the moon), the Pleiades, Sirius, Orion, Reticulum, ’Hoova’ (wherever
that might be), and ’a very distant planet with many advantages for
By contrast, the occupants of the mysterious airships
sighted over the US in 1896-97 reportedly claimed to come from
Kansas, from Cuba, from ’a place where it doesn’t rain’, and one
witness was even told, ’We are from anywhere . . . but we’ll be in
1. Patrick Huyghe, The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, London:
Hodder and Stoughton, 1997, pp. 6-7.
2. Ibid., p. 129.
3. Jacques Vallee, Dimensions: A casebook of alien contact, New
York: Ballantine Books, 1989, pp. 140, 148.
4. The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials, pp. 129-30.
5. Kevin Randle and Russ Estes, Faces of the Visitors: An
illustrated reference to alien contact, New York: Fireside, 1997, p.
6. John A. Keel, The Mothman Prophecies, London: Hodder & Stoughton,
2002 (1975), pp. 141, 198-9.
7. Richard Grossinger, The Night Sky: The science and anthropology
of the stars and planets, Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1988,
8. Charles F. Emmons, At the Threshold: UFOs, science and the new
age, Mill Spring, NC: Wild Flower Press, 1997, p. 185.
Richard L. Thompson, Alien Identities: Ancient insights into
modern UFO phenomena, Alachua, FL: Govardhan Hill Publishing, 2nd
ed., 1995, p. 179.
10. Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: On UFOs, folklore, and
parallel worlds, Chicago, IL: Contemporary Books, 1993 (1969), pp.
11. Dimensions, p. 158.
12. Kenneth Ring, The Omega Project: Near-death experiences, UFO
encounters, and mind at large, New York: William Morrow and Company,
1992, p. 246.
13. Dimensions, p. 159.
8. Alien abductions - 1
Reports of people being abducted by aliens were very rare in the
1950s and 60s but started to multiply during the early 70s.
began to assume epidemic proportions following the publication of Budd Hopkins’
Missing Time in 1980 and Whitley Strieber’s Communion
in 1987. Whereas abductions initially seemed to be one-time
happenings, abductees began to report multiple experiences going
back to their childhood, and in some cases even as far back as the
late 19th century. After 1980 the abductees also began to talk of
being subjected to much more invasive medical procedures.
surveys -- which critics have dismissed as hopelessly flawed -- have
been interpreted by abductionists to mean that over 3 million
Americans might have been abducted over the past 50 years
* The fact
that witnesses who take lie-detector tests usually pass them shows
that they firmly believe the tale they are telling.
without exception there is no compelling evidence that they have had
an objective physical experience.
In the first survey,
it was assumed that anyone who had had at least 4 of the
following 5 ’unusual experiences’ had probably been
abducted by aliens: an hour or more of missing time, seeing unusual
lights in a room, finding puzzling scars on their body, seeing a
strange figure in their bedroom, having a feeling of flying through
Abduction stories typically begin during the night while the
’victim’ is driving on a lonely road or after waking up in bed. In
some cases a ’spacecraft’ or just a bright light is first sighted,
but in other cases strange humanoid beings appear without a UFO
being seen. Victims are often paralyzed or otherwise immobilized at
They occasionally remember being carried or escorted on
board the craft, or ’floated’ through solid walls and roofs or
closed doors and windows, sometimes in a beam of light. But more
commonly abductees cannot recall how they ended up inside what they
assume to be an alien spacecraft.
Abductees typically find themselves in a strange, brightly-lit room,
often filled with sophisticated equipment. After they have been
stretched out on a table, a painful ’medical’ examination is carried
out: cuts are made, blood is often drawn, ova or sperm are
extracted, and various bodily orifices are probed. Genitals receive
special attention, and reports of sexual activity between the aliens
and their victims have become increasingly common in recent years.
The aliens who perform the examinations are grim and businesslike,
and others stand around and watch.
At the end of the examination,
victims’ memories of the entire episode are erased, or they are
asked to refrain from telling anyone what has happened. Finally,
some abductees describe tours of the spaceship, discussions of
ecological and geopolitical crises on earth, and even journeys to
other worlds, with the exact details varying widely from one case to
UFO sightings involve an average of around 2.5 witnesses, whereas
abductions usually involve only the person directly concerned. If 2
or more people are present, they may later recall similar
experiences, or only one may claim an abduction while the others
deny that the person concerned ever left their presence. For
instance, an Australian woman believed she was being periodically
taken on board a spacecraft. On one occasion investigators were with
her when she began to describe being abducted, yet everyone else
could see her still seated in a parked car
Whatever the event
entailed, it clearly did not take place on the physical level.
Whereas most UFO sightings seem to occur while witnesses are in a
’normal’ state of mind, abductions often seem to have a quality
about them -- even to most witnesses -- that suggests an altered
state of consciousness. When modern abductees report being ’floated’
out of their bedrooms or cars through solid walls and roofs to
waiting spaceships in a beam of light, without feeling cold as they
travel upward, there is good reason to suspect that this is not a
Many abductees and some researchers believe that alien abductors are
’extradimensional’ rather than extraterrestrial. This is usually
interpreted to mean that the aliens have evolved on another plane of
reality or in a ’parallel universe’, and have developed an advanced
civilization and a technology that enables them to materialize and
dematerialize at will. However, this hypothesis is just as
problematic as the extraterrestrial hypothesis. The genetic and
reproductive experiments reported are crude and primitive and are
certainly not the work of superintelligent beings.
What’s more, the
idea that an essentially ethereal race would be genetically
compatible with physical humans is as unlikely as the idea that
aliens who had evolved on another physical planet would be. Genuine
abduction experiences may well involve paraphysical levels of
reality, but the ’abductors’ show no sign of being highly evolved
Abduction memories rarely emerge unaided. People who suspect they
may be abductees commonly seek out help for a variety of reasons,
such as vague anxieties, specific phobias, bad dreams, fragmentary
and disturbing memories, or what seems like an inexplicable episode
of ’missing time’. It is usually only after consultation with a
psychotherapist or UFO investigator that they can articulate an
elaborate ’memory’ of being abducted by aliens.
The fact that most abduction memories are at least partly recovered
under hypnosis is the main reason critics cite for challenging their
authenticity. Hypnosis can enable people to remember more details of
an event; for instance it has enabled crime victims to remember
details such as a license plate number or a mugger’s clothing.
However, it also enables people to ’remember’ things that have never
happened, leading to wild confabulations; this is known as the false
memory syndrome. Hypnosis can make people more suggestible and eager
to please the questioner.
Many critics therefore argue that the vast majority of abduction
stories are pure fabrications produced under hypnosis
. They give
examples from the abduction literature showing how researchers ask
leading questions, and subtly and unconsciously induce witnesses to
create a tale that fits in with their own beliefs and expectations
-- and indeed with the abductees’ own beliefs, since people do not
approach abductionists unless they are already open to the idea that
they have been abducted by aliens.
Abduction researchers often claim that the experiences related by
abductees are so horrific and the emotions displayed so intense that
they must be literally true. Randle et al. say that this is
demonstrably false. They draw a parallel between tales of abduction
and tales of satanic ritual abuse. The latter are based almost
exclusively on testimony recovered through hypnotic regression,
visualization, and other memory enhancement techniques.
people who believe that they are the victims of satanic ritual abuse
tell horrible tales of murder, mutilation, and human sacrifice. But
as with abductions, there is virtually no physical or corroborative
evidence, and in some cases it has been proved that the events
remembered could not possibly have happened. Many of those who once
believed they had been abused begin to doubt the reality of the
memories after leaving therapy or finding a new therapist
Interestingly, abduction researcher
Richard Boylan took a woman who
believed she had been abused based on her work with another
therapist and managed to convince her that she had been abducted by
aliens instead! He provided her with books and articles on
abductions, discussed his beliefs in extraterrestrials with her, and
finally turned vague dreams into an abduction experience. The satanic ritual abuse was supposedly a
The agendas of the various abduction researchers are reflected in
what they find:
Budd Hopkins finds cold, calculating aliens who are
carrying out genetic manipulation
John Mack finds aliens that have
a new age philosophy and provide positive experiences
Jacobs finds Hopkins-type aliens but they are now pursuing an agenda
Jacobs says he belongs to the
’Realist’ school of abduction
researchers, and attacks ’Positives’ like Mack who believe that
abductees may be tapping into an alternate reality and may undergo a
positive transformation. He says that the Positive position is ’based on unproven metaphysical assumptions and incompetent
hypnosis’, and that ’hypnotists with specific New Age agendas could
slant hypnotically recalled testimony to the hypnotists’ beliefs’
Mack acknowledges that the quality of abductees’ experiences
varies according to who does the regression, and says that Jacobs
and Hopkins ’may pull out of their experiencers what they want to
see’ . It is noteworthy that while abduction researchers often
accuse their colleagues of incompetent hypnosis, they never apply
the same criticism to themselves!
Abduction ’memories’ are often utterly implausible and preposterous.
In a case studied by Jacobs, for example, ’Tom and Nancy’ were
making love when Nancy felt ’an electric jolt’ go through her hips.
Tom, however, felt nothing, but when he looked at the clock he was
surprised to find that he had been engaged in lovemaking for about
45 minutes. ’Lucky Tom and Nancy!’ you might think. But
unfortunately the ’missing time’ was regarded as potential evidence
of alien kidnap, and under hypnosis Nancy ’remembered’ being
abducted -- her husband had not noticed as the aliens had ’switched
him off’ ! (Presumably when Nancy returned she
’turned him on’
again, and the performance continued as if it had never been
Some abductees even claim that they were abducted from
crowded urban settings or removed from their apartments in a beam of
light without anybody else noticing thanks to the aliens’ remarkable
ability to ’switch people off’.
Mack tends to accept whatever
’abductees’ tell him, no matter how
outlandish. For instance, he regressed a young man called ’Paul’ to
an abduction in 1972, when he was 6 years old. Paul estimated he had
already been on the ’spacecraft’ about 70 times, yet he is given a
standard tour as if he had never set foot on it before.
tell him that he is an alien spirit in a human body and that there
are many dual-identity aliens on earth. His home planet -- which is
very far away but ’in this universe’ -- is very peaceful, and the
aliens are here to try and help humanity (by abducting and violating
them?!). But humans have been very violent and hostile and have
killed many aliens. The aliens allegedly came here thousands of
years ago, and communicated with dinosaurs who had great
intelligence, compassion, and powers of precognition!
In further regressions,
Paul is ’shown the world’ by a hooded figure
with a pointer and sees many people dying, but he is told that he
himself is ’going to fix it’. Regressed to the age of 12, he
’remembers’ a battle in a cellar with what ’some people call Satan’.
He recalls that he was abducted at the age of 9 and a piece of bone
was removed from his leg -- but Mack gives no sign that he has
bothered to check this detail. The aliens tell him they want him to
form a group that can meet with them to enter into an ’exchange of
love’. He says that the aliens have shown him ’where the creational
force is’, and claims to have notebooks full of ’solid’ information
on their ’unbelievable’ technology.
’Unbelievable’ is perhaps an understatement. For Paul recalls that
at the age of 9 he was present at the scene of the saucer crash near
Roswell, an event that is supposed to have happened in 1947, 19
years before Paul was born! (It can’t get much more ’unbelievable’
than that!) Apparently, soldiers shot the aliens who had crashed,
but luckily Paul came along in another craft to rescue them! Mack
says that he finds Paul’s fabulous tale ’compelling and persuasive’
due to his ’intensity of feeling and bodily movement’. Peter Brookesmith, on the other hand, labels it
It would of course be wrong to assume that everything remembered
under hypnosis must be false. Moreover, about a quarter of abduction
accounts are said to be recalled without resorting to hypnosis, and
abduction experiences recalled under hypnosis are very similar to
those recalled without hypnosis.
Newman and Baumeister, however,
argue that ’Enacting the kind of "imaginative role-playing"
characteristic of hypnosis is possible even without intentional
induction of a hypnotic state.
... The key to implanting false
memories ... is the protracted imagining of events in the presence
of authority figures who encourage belief in and confirm the
authenticity of the pseudomemories’
Where abductions are recalled without hypnosis, the memories often
come from dreams or nightmares. In a survey of over 150 abductees,
Randle et al. found that many abductees have difficulty
distinguishing between reality and dreams or fantasy. Through
hypnosis, they are encouraged to believe that their vivid dreams are
memories of actual experiences.
We all dream about the things we
experience and think about during the day, and thinking about aliens
and abductions in the daytime increases the likelihood of dreaming
of them at night.
Randle et al. believe that about 50% of UFO abduction reports have
their origin in sleep paralysis. This refers to the temporary
inability to move or speak when awakening, and less commonly when
falling asleep. It is sometimes accompanied by hallucinations (known
as ’hypnagogic’ when falling asleep, and ’hypnopompic’ when waking
up), such as sensing the presence of a threatening entity in the
room or sitting on one’s chest. It affects as many as 1 in 5 or 6 of
the general population
Abductions often contain dreamlike elements, including jarring
discontinuities. Abductees frequently report being outside their
body during certain stages of the event, or view themselves in the
third person throughout.
They report very common dream imagery, such
as floating or flying, falling endlessly, or appearing naked in a
public place. Typically, the aliens appear, and then the experiencer
is suddenly inside the UFO. Day instantly becomes night, the inside
of a room or craft appears far larger than its exterior dimensions
would allow (some see this as a sign of the aliens’ advanced
technology!), and events which subjectively seem to have taken hours
are found to have taken minutes, or vice versa
No photographs or films of an abduction have ever been made, despite
the concerted efforts of some abductees to document their
experiences on videotape. Videotaping in bedrooms where regular
abductions supposedly occur has only delayed abductions, until
people get tired of setting up the camera or the abducteé sleeps
somewhere else. Attempts by abductees to steal souvenirs while on
the alien craft are usually unsuccessful, or if a souvenir is
supposedly brought back it later can’t be found
too, point towards a psychological or psychic experience rather than
a physical experience.
80% of abductees are women.
Randle et al. found that a high
percentage of abductees reported gender identity problems,
dysfunctional families, and broken lives.
As many as 90% of the
abductees in their sample had some kind of sexual dysfunction, and
their tales of rape and sexual activity on UFOs could be seen as
evidence of these problems.
Nearly all of them claimed that they
were either sexually penetrated by an alien creature or forced to
sexually penetrate one.
One female abducteé said that, while lying immobile on an
examination table, a 5-ft alien mounted her, looked deep into her
eyes and said, ’What you need is a good fuck!’ (The manners of this
particular ’alien’ bear a striking resemblance to those of a sexist
male earthling!) The woman said that the alien then proceeded to
give her ’the most profound orgasm of my life’. She also said that
no abduction researcher had ever asked her about the sexual aspect
of abduction, as they were only interested in genetic experiments
Most of the male abductees interviewed by Randle et al. reported
that a female alien mounted them, but they couldn’t understand how
they achieved an erection under the stressful circumstances (this
probably points to a ’dream’ experience). They all reported that the
sex act was completed but without the pleasant sensations of orgasm.
Significantly, gray-type aliens are normally described as having no
obvious sexual differences or genitalia. Yet when the time for alien
sex arrives, female grays with breasts and a vagina appear, and male
aliens conveniently sprout penises -- and very human-looking ones,
too, according to eyewitnesses! Clearly all is not as it seems in
the weird world of alien abductions.
Newman and Baumeister draw parallels between UFO abduction accounts
and the fantasies of sexual masochists
. The main features of
masochism are pain, loss of control, and humiliation -- three
dominant themes in abduction stories. Victims are often strapped to
an examining table, their rectums may be probed, and rape is
frequent. But despite the painful, humiliating, and degrading
experiences they have been subjected to, they often leave their
captors with a sense of affection for them and sadness, feeling that
they have had an extraordinary, transforming experience.
authors say that such sentiments make sense if abduction narratives
are viewed as being about the fulfillment of an intense desire to
escape from ordinary self-awareness in demanding, individualistic
societies -- especially the US, where the vast majority of
abductions are reported. Both masochists and abductees tend to come
from higher socioeconomic classes and are mostly whites. Many
abductees start reporting explicit masochistic fantasies after their
The similarities between the abduction experiences reported by
different people is at first sight very impressive. However, the
fact that people tell similar stories in similar ways is not
conclusive evidence that the stories are true. An important factor
behind similarities in abduction accounts is that researchers know
what they expect to find and may subtly influence abductees through
their questions and how they react to the answers.
also be influenced by investigators telepathically -- whether
hypnosis is used or not. In a classic work on the communication
theory of telepathy, psychiatrist Joost Meerloo explored the
’non-verbal conversation and communication between the unconscious
minds of therapist and patient’
John Whitmore suggests that
Jung’s idea of a collective unconscious, a fund of ideas and imagery
shared by all people, may help to explain the similar patterns that
abduction researchers claim to find among their subjects
Abduction researchers often claim that if abductions were purely
imaginary we would expect to find far greater variety in abduction
accounts. It is important to realize that there is in fact far
greater variety than most abductionists like to admit. Whitmore says
that the numerous first-person accounts of abductions ’reveal a
wealth of bizarre detail which is not wholly amenable to the neat
theories of many ufologists’
. Many abductions do not involve
the well-defined phases described by abductionists, and many are not
traumatic, do not involve short gray beings or medical examinations,
or devices that look like spacecraft.
The literature contains references to a bewildering variety of
beings. In addition to the grays, there are reports of beings with
’golden, strawlike hair’, others that look like ’a combination of
earth animals’, ’creatures with wrinkled skin, crab-claw hands, and
pointed ears’, and a woman with ’long red hair and violet eyes’
Jacobs, however, insists that the only genuine aliens are the
grays, and that if other types of beings are reported, it may be
because the grays have made abductees see illusions! This
illustrates how selectively some abductionists deal with what is
In multiple abduction cases, the alleged victims often have a close
relationship of some sort with each other and have had a chance to
talk about the incident and influence each other before any
investigation takes place. However, in one case 2 witnesses, who had
gone their separate ways after their abduction experience and had
never discussed it, were hypnotized separately many years later and
corroborated about 70% of each other’s description of what happened
. This need not mean they had an objective physical experience,
as shared ’dreams’ are not unknown.
If there really are alien abductors at large, it is curious that the
vast majority of abduction reports come from the US, even though it
makes up less than 5% of the earth’s land surface. Although similar
reports have been made in Great Britain, South America, and other
parts of the world, they do not seem to have aroused as much fervour
as in the US. Non-American abductees seem to have contact with a
greater variety of entities than Americans, but such differences are
often glossed over by those seeking to emphasize the similarities
between different stories.
A major problem in assessing abduction accounts is that witnesses
who seek out abduction researchers do not represent a cross-section
of close-encounter observers. As Mack says, ’The population that
comes to us ... is certainly self-selected’
says that ’abductees’,
have preselected themselves in seeking out sensational researchers
whose books or television appearances had already provided a
template for the witnesses’ experiences. These artificial,
preexisting patterns are reinforced under hypnosis, which is often
performed under conditions of scandalous incompetence. And the
resulting statistics draw from a data base where only the cases that
fit the preferred model have been admitted. This is not science, it
is a childish and indeed a dangerous game, played on the real
tragedy of witnesses’ lives and fears.
He adds that the professionals he consulted considered it unethical
for anyone who had already reached a strong personal conclusion
about UFOs to interrogate a witness under hypnosis. Yet some
abduction hypnotists now claim that they themselves have been
abducted by aliens and have a ’mission’ on their behalf!
Abductees often claim they find marks or scars on their bodies after
an abduction. Since many people have blemishes on the skin, it’s
always possible that after a suspected abduction one or more of them
is noticed for the first time. Most abduction researchers assume
that physical injuries and symptoms are the result of physical
examinations by aliens.
However, it is well known that trauma on a
subtle, mental level can bring about gross physical symptoms. For
instance, there are cases in which devout Christians (mostly
Catholic women) have developed bleeding wounds (stigmata) resembling
those supposedly suffered by Christ during the crucifixion.
usually appear suddenly during an ecstatic trance, and can disappear quickly without leaving any scars
Fig. 8.1. Antonio Ruffini received the stigmata in 1951 after seeing
a vision of the Virgin Mary
Also, hypnotic suggestion can cause a pattern of reddened skin, such
as a cross, to appear on the skin, and can cause physical symptoms,
such as warts, to disappear.
A man who had a near-death experience
in which a man touched him with very hot hands, felt a severe
burning sensation in his left arm on returning to consciousness.
This area developed the appearance of a boil and left a residual
mark after healing. Similarly, a woman abducteé who claimed under
hypnosis that she was forced to undergo a physical examination,
including a vaginal probe, later developed a life-threatening
Other characteristics of abductions, according to some researchers,
include the implantation and later removal of fetuses, and the
presentation to women of their hybrid children.
These events are
fairly recent developments found primarily in the works of
researchers who are convinced that extraterrestrials are producing a
hybrid race, and who may be influencing their subjects’ testimonies.
The medical documentation required to support the hypothesis of
’missing fetuses’ is lacking. Moreover, many of the women making
such claims are post-menopausal women and women who have had
hysterectomies or are unable to bear children
and other mind-generated bodily marks, false pregnancy could be a
sign of the body’s extraordinary responsiveness to mental images and
It is interesting to note that themes of missing fetuses and fetal
aliens have grown apace with the practice of abortion since the
early 1970s. Some researchers suggest that ’the clinical experience
and emotional pain of abortion have burrowed into the psyche to
haunt a guilty society with alienated fantasies of the unborn’
Many abductees claim that ’implants’ were inserted into their bodies
during their abduction
. These are allegedly tiny metallic
devices for tracking, controlling, or monitoring abductees. They are
often hard nodules just under the skin, and it’s possible the
abducteé simply hadn’t noticed them before. Abductees often report
nosebleeds, and believe that something has been shoved up their
nasal passages. X-rays sometimes reveal objects, but usually do not.
In one case x-rays showed something near a person’s nose but it
vanished before surgery to remove it could be arranged.
’implants’ have, however, been removed from the body and analyzed by
reputable independent laboratories and scientists, but in each case
they have been found to be organic material or slivers of glass or
other completely terrestrial material.
None of the ’implants’
recovered to date appear to be high-tech devices.*
sidelight on this phenomenon is provided by the 16th-century physician and alchemist
Paracelsus, who said that
nails, hair, needles, bristles, pieces of glass, and many other
things had been removed from the bodies of some patients. This state
of affairs sometimes continued for many weeks or months, without the
physician knowing what to do. He said that these things were made to
enter the patient’s body by the power of the evil imagination of a
sorcerer, or practitioner of black magic
Whatever the reality status of each abduction experience, abductees
tend to believe they have been specifically ’chosen’ by the aliens.
And though they often claim they wish the abductions would stop,
each abduction reinforces their own perceived worth and strengthens
their sense of self. By becoming an abducteé, people can attribute
their problems to an external cause and feel absolved of any
responsibility. Those who feel unattractive and unwanted attempt to
find anything that will bring them the attention they seek, even if
that attention is negative. This explains why many abductees are
eager for media attention. Many abductees join abduction support
But whereas being a member of a support group used to be
part of a healing process, it has now become a badge of identity,
and recovery has become a lifelong process. Members who think about
leaving the group are not seen as recovering but as defecting
Support groups therefore play an important role in perpetuating the
1. Peter Brookesmith,
’Roper’s latest knot: the 1998 abduction
survey’, The Anomalist, no. 8, 2000, pp. 32-8.
2. Paul Devereux, Earth Lights Revelation: UFOs and mystery lightform phenomena, London: Blandford, 1990, p. 204.
3. Robert Baker, ’Alien dreamtime’, The Anomalist, no. 2, 1995, pp.
4. Kevin D. Randle, Russ Estes and William P. Cone, The Abduction
Enigma: The truth behind the mass alien abductions of the late
twentieth century, New York: Forge, 1999, pp. 263-84.
5. Ibid., p. 339.
6. David M. Jacobs (ed.), UFOs and Abductions: Challenging the
borders of knowledge, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas,
2000, p. 207.
7. The Abduction Enigma, p. 245.
Peter Brookesmith, ’Do aliens dream of Jacobs’ sheep?’, Fortean
Times, no. 83, Oct/Nov 1995, pp. 22-30 (p. 22).
9. John E. Mack, Abduction: Human encounters with aliens, London:
Simon & Schuster, 1995, pp. 217-40; ’Do aliens dream of Jacobs’
sheep?’, p. 27.
10. Leonard S. Newman and Roy F. Baumeister,
’Toward an explanation
of the UFO abduction phenomenon: hypnotic elaboration,
extraterrestrial sadomasochism, and spurious memories’,
Psychological Inquiry, v. 7, 1996, pp. 99-126 (p. 108).
11. The Abduction Enigma, pp. 130-42.
12. John Whitmore, ’Religious dimensions of the UFO abductee
experience’, in: James R. Lewis (ed.), The Gods Have Landed: New
religions from other worlds, Albany, NY: State University of New
York Press, 1995, pp. 65-84 (p. 69).
13. Charles F. Emmons, At the Threshold: UFOs, science and the new
age, Mill Spring, NC: Wild Flower Press, 1997, pp. 155-6.
14. The Abduction Enigma, p. 97.
15. ’Toward an explanation of the UFO abduction phenomenon’.
16. Joost A.M. Meerloo, Hidden Communion: Studies in the
communication theory of telepathy, New York: Helix, 1946.
’Religious dimensions of the UFO abductee experience’, p. 68.
18. Ibid., p. 66.
19. ’Toward an explanation of the UFO abduction phenomenon’, p. 101.
20. Richard L. Thompson, Alien Identities: Ancient insights into
modern UFO phenomena, Alachua, FL: Govardhan Hill Publishing, 2nd
ed., 1995, pp. 118-24.
21. UFOs and Abductions, p. 247.
22. Jacques Vallee, Revelations: Alien contact and human deception,
New York: Ballantine Books, 1991, p. 248.
23. Marco Margnelli,
’An unusual case of stigmatization’, Journal of
Scientific Exploration, v. 13, 1999, pp. 461-82.
24. Stuart Gordon, The Paranormal: An illustrated encyclopedia,
London: Headline, 1992, plates (pp. 230/1).
25. Alien Identities, pp. 316, 348, 350.
26. The Abduction Enigma, pp. 322-7.
27. Thomas E. Bullard,
’UFOs: Lost in the myths’, in: UFOs and
Abductions, pp. 141-91 (p. 174); Dennis Stacy, Journal of Scientific
Exploration, v. 7, 1993, pp. 200-2.
28. The Abduction Enigma, pp. 255-9, 318-22.
29. Franz Hartmann, The Life of Paracelsus and the Substance of his
Teachings, San Diego, CA: Wizards Bookshelf, 1985 (1887), pp. 115-6.
30. The Abduction Enigma, pp. 272-3, 290-1, 307-13.