from UFORelatedWorks Website
It is in the nature of human psychology that an event as dramatic as contact with extraterrestrial intelligence can not be thought about "neutrally", without deep-seated hopes and preconceptions.
Most of us, I'm certain, prefer to believe that extra-terrestrials would arrive on our planet as friendly, helpful beings, eager to share their technology and to aid us in solving our social and ecological problems. Upon this basic and very human wish certain people have erected a powerful set of interpretations of modern-day UFO reports.
These hopes, hardened into a kind of
theology, can be described as a modern religion, willed into
existence after the decline of our more traditional deities. After
all, we have been told more than once that God is dead.
And so, if the majority opinion, or hope, is that extra-terrestrials would arrive as space brothers, a strong minority opinion fears the opposite - that we would find ourselves taken over by a band of inter-galactic conquerors. Our popular science fiction films spell out these hopes and fears quite literally: We have the kindly Space Brother, Michael Rennie, stepping out of a gleaming spaceship to help earthlings through their troubles, and then we have the Body Snatchers out to do us all in.
I've dwelt on these basic attitudes
about extraterrestrial contact for an important reason: when we
examine reports of actual contact, especially as revealed in UFO
abduction encounters, we must always bear in mind our basic
preconceptions and how they might influence our reading of these
I will concentrate instead on what information we can derive from their accounts that might bear on the question of the moral nature of the UFO phenomenon. Are the UFO occupants, as they are described by their abductees, good or bad, friends or foes, or is the situation just not reducible to such terms? The very first step, obviously, is to analyze what the abductees say they feel about their captors, and that, every investigator knows, is a complex task.
My twelve years' experience leads me to
a distinct conclusion: each abductee's emotions are invariably
intense and many-leveled - and usually mutually contradictory.
Second, there is a kind of awe or wonder at the power and seeming magic of the aliens' technology. This often translates itself into a kind of affection, even love, that an abductee might feel for the particular captor with whom he or she senses a special relationship.
On the other side of the same coin there is an almost universal anger - verging sometimes on hatred - that abductees feel towards their abductors because of their enforced helplessness, their sense of having been used, involuntarily, and even, upon occasion, of being made to suffer severe pain.
According to every broad study of the abduction literature that I know of, and Edward Bullard's is the most authoritative, fear, awe, affection and anger are the basic emotional components of almost every UFO abduction experience.
It is safe to say, then, that "powerful
and confusing" emotions follow such experiences, and that after
their encounters abductees do not believe they have been taken
either by purely malevolent foes nor by selfless, angelic space
brothers. The situation is far too complicated for either simplistic
The weight of each component in the standard emotional mix varies widely from individual to individual, and also changes with time within any one psyche. But the basic components always seem to remain, subtly at odds with one another, in each abductee.
Several things must be kept in mind, however, as we study the abductee's emotional charts.
First, when one is abducted, he or she is in something of an altered state, not unlike a hypnotic trance. The abductee is "controlled" by the abductors and his or her behavior is in many ways far from normal. The abductee may be told things, shown things, that may not be true or "real." So in this context we must consider the abductee's occasional affection for his or her captors.
Psychologists have shown that this phenomenon, the "Patty Hearst" syndrome, all too often appears in earthly kidnapping experiences.
Therefore in evaluating the four emotions commonly described by UFO abductees, three seem appropriate but one must be dealt with warily. Fear is something one would surely expect if the aliens actually look and act as reported by their captives. Feelings of awe at the alien's technological magic, an emotion that again seems appropriate. Anger, often to an extreme degree, seems to be most abductee's reaction to being paralyzed and controlled by their captors.
The physically invasive and sometimes painful operations performed upon them underline this response, which is often deepened because the UFO occupants usually refuse to discuss the purpose of these disturbing procedures.
One has no choice except to submit to needles, lights, knives, "scanners" and so forth, with no power to protest or refuse.
It is the odd affection abductees often report feeling for their captors that seems suspect, under the circumstances.
Is this feeling possibly an artificial emotion, induced telepathically through some kind of quasi-hypnotic control? Is it a version of the "Patty Hearst" syndrome? Is it a genuine reaction?
Obviously no one can answer these
questions satisfactorily, but it seems to me that affection is the
one common abduction response that must be viewed with suspicion.
The fourth and most suspect emotion,
affection for one's captors, if genuine, is a positive one. So the
emotional "score" after an abduction experience does not support
either a simple "Space Brother" or "Body Snatcher" interpretation.
Judging purely by obvious surface reactions we are still in
ethically mixed territory, though to me and to many abductees the
negative effects seem more powerful than the positive.
Is there any evidence that extraterrestrial intelligence has actively intervened in human affairs, either helpfully or destructively?
The modern era of UFO activity begins in earnest in 1947, but many UFO reports surfaced during World War II in the phenomenon labeled "foo fighters" by our airmen. No force, either extra-terrestrial or otherwise, put a stop to the Holocaust until the Allied armies conquered Nazi Germany. By then it was too late for millions of innocent people, murdered by a system no one seemed able to stop.
The United States developed nuclear weapons and used them to incinerate tens of thousands of children, women and men. No one, terrestrial or otherwise, prevented those bombs from falling. Continuing Stalinist butchery, international terrorism, American intervention in a Vietnamese civil war - all meant that thousands upon thousands of innocent people lost their lives because of the cruelty or indifference of political leaders of every persuasion.
No one intervened.
Michael Rennie, alas, never stepped out
of his space ship to save us from ourselves. We have polluted our
planet, spreading cancer by industry's greedy indifference to the
consequences of chemical "bonanzas." No one came to our rescue; the
Chariots of the Gods evidently drew up just to watch the
damage deepen. And now we have a new plague - the disease known by
its ironic acronym AIDS... something fresh and new that we
apparently did not have before the advent of the modern UFO era.
If Michael Rennie's alien only
saves us in Hollywood films, the evil, intervening Body Snatchers
seem only to exist there, too. I believe that the cruelty that
mankind has endured in this century has an all too human origin; one
doesn't have to look to spaceships for its cause. And we look to
them in vain even for first aid, let alone salvation.
Apologists for a Space Brothers theory use the same argument as christian Apologists:
As a Humanist I disagree. The death of a child at the hands of a gun-bearing adult is an abomination, not a necessary learning experience.
The only excuse I can offer for
extraterrestrial indifference is some kind of flaw in their apparent
power, some very real vulnerability that might provide them with an
excuse to avoid moral responsibility the way our indolent sunbather
could avoid trying to save the drowning child because he, himself,
might be unable to swim.
However, these rare examples of healing raise more ethical problems than they solve. If the occupants of UFOs "do" have the power to heal, why is it used so sparingly, so arbitrarily? Why save one swimmer and let the others drown?
A woman I've worked with and know well was abducted along with her older sister; each had had childhood abductions, each had lived uneasily with her memories. Last spring the older sister was murdered in a park, by an apparently deranged individual.
The tragedy had nothing to do with UFOs, but my friend said this to me:
And yet in one case I know about an abductee was apparently saved in a similar situation.
The arbitrariness of it all undermines
any attempt to accept a Space Brother reading of the entire
phenomenon. Amorality is the term that comes most quickly to mind.
Dr. Aphrodite Clamar, a clinical psychologist with whom I have worked in many such investigations, has stated that she feels almost every abductee she has dealt with has been psychologically scarred by the experience.
This is surely my opinion also, and I believe that the psychological tests of abductees administered by Dr. Elizabeth Slater, as well as the psychological histories taken through Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City all provide support for this thesis.
Though she points out that cause and
effect obviously cannot be established with certainty, Dr. Slater
describes the psychological profiles of the nine abductees she
tested as resembling those found with rape victims - a low
self-esteem, a distrust of their bodies, their physicality, their
sexuality, and a hesitancy to trust others. Not a pretty legacy from
our would-be Space Brothers.
Two female abductees I've worked with
either planned or carried out suicide attempts when they were ten
years old, and another recent attempt involves a frightened,
despondent fourteen-year-old girl.
I have seen disfiguring scars on the bodies of abductees who have involuntarily been used in the UFO occupant's "medical" procedures. Yet I have also seen abductees whose lives have been undeniably broadened by their bizarre experiences; survivors who have managed the human task of surmounting their traumas and gaining something from them.
The reports, again, are mixed, but the
pain and suffering are immense. Deaths, injuries, terrors and mental
breakdowns must be weighed against a philosophical broadening in
many individuals, an awareness that the universe is larger - and
closer - than anyone had imagined. The cost, of course, has been
tremendous, and the gain due more to human resilience than alien
Eventually I visited him on his farm, and we began a series of hypnotic regressions. He recalled a time years before when his wife had been helping him harvest a crop of hay in a rather isolated field.
She lay down to rest on the wagon while Earl worked a few hundred yards away... but then he saw three small UFOs fly in at tree-top level and hover above his sleeping wife. One of them lowered to the ground as Earl put his tractor in gear and raced to her side to protect her from whatever was happening.
A normal looking blond man, speaking English, stepped from behind the clump of trees where the UFO had landed and asked Earl to stop:
Earl ignored him and leaped off the tractor, continuing on foot towards the wagon where his wife lay, surrounded now by small, gray-skinned figures.
Earl suddenly found himself paralyzed and helpless. He stood there, unable to move, as the blond man continued speaking, assuring him that "everything is all right. Nothing will happen to your mate."
Earl watched in horror as his paralyzed wife was undressed. A long needle was pushed into her abdomen as she lay on a bed of hay, crying out at the pain, but unable to resist. Skin and hair samples were taken, and a thin probe was inserted into her vagina.
Still frozen in place, Earl cursed and raged, and the blond man seemed genuinely surprised by his reaction.
The scene ended shortly thereafter, and the couple returned home, aware of a period of missing time, but with no memories of the UFO encounter.
In the days and weeks after this event, Earl's wife began suffering from nightmares, clawing in her sleep at the area near the bridge of her nose, between her eyes, and screaming for them to "take it out, it's hurting."
She dug deep gouges in her forehead
while the nightmares continued unabated. Other symptoms of her
terror appeared, half-understood recollections of the events in the
hay field. Eventually she had to be hospitalized, suffering from a
severe nervous breakdown. She lives at home now, tranquilized and
sadly no longer herself.
They seem psychologically blind to basic human emotions.
In my book "Intruders" I recounted case after case in which women were artificially inseminated or endured ova-retrieval operations, but whose reactions of rage or terror seemed surprising to their captors. These impassive UFO occupants seem as remote from our "peculiar" human emotions as they are from our obviously differing anatomy; perhaps more so.
And their basic lack of understanding provides us with a kind of excuse for their callous behavior. It seems to me that we are left with but two possibilities, neither of which is very attractive. If the UFO occupants actually do understand us and can empathize with our needs and emotions, then they are morally deficient - even cruel in their single-minded selfishness.
Not malevolent or deliberately evil, but as callous as the sunbather who watches the child drown in the surf. At some point, amoral behavior becomes immoral behavior.
But if these same alien beings "simply do not understand our feelings", then they have an excuse of sorts for their behavior. And the evidence suggest they really may not know what disasters they sometimes cause.
A female abductee recently wrote me a letter which goes in part:
I thought about her letter, her understanding of the animal's plight and the traumas inflicted by the scientists upon the bear and its cubs.
These zoologists - as well as the occupants of UFO's, one hopes - are all acting from decent, scientific motives. And yet in both cases pain is inflicted, paralysis is imposed, and traumatic terror is the result.
Some animals might abandon their cubs
after such an experience or die of a mis-measured dose of a
tranquilizing drug or even die from pure shock, just as some humans,
like Earl's poor wife, may never recover from the horror of their
experience. Sad though this alternative seems, it is easier for me
to believe that the occupants of UFOs simply do not understand what
they are doing to us, what traumas they are inflicting, than to
believe they do know and are merely indifferent to human suffering.
The bad group, according to this theory, does the abducting and experimenting while the good group really loves and understands us.
Sometimes a kind of sub rosa Aryan racism can be detected beneath these hopes, in that the "grays," as they have been called, are the bad aliens, while the more attractive "blonds" are good. In my twelve years of investigation, however, the more human-seeming aliens, whenever they are reported (as in the cases of Earl and his wife or the Travis Walton abduction), seem to be operating as a team right along with the so-called "grays," participating in abductions-as-usual.
There is not a shred of evidence that I
know of supporting this simple-minded good-guys, bad-guys
dichotomy - but there is plenty of evidence that this kind of
wishful thinking is an all too common psychological habit.
Contactee messages, as passed on through helpful "channels," reduce themselves generally to soft entreaties to love one another, to make peace, not war, and to take care of our plan- ET's precarious ecology - in other words, the kind of cliché even people like Reagan and Gorbachev routinely utter in their formal speeches. (This kind of nebulous message, it should be said, is sometimes also reported in valid UFO abduction cases. What we really need, one abductee said to me, is actual alien help in solving our problems, not just another newspaper editorial pointing them out.)
In short, there is no reason to assume
that any benign group of aliens anywhere has yet done anything truly
helpful to our planet. Such evidence simply does not exist.
Many of us felt that since no answer consistent with the idea of God's omnipotence could satisfy us, there was something seriously wrong with the theology. And so it is with this kind of alien theology, apart from the fact that there is no credible evidence of any kind indicating a struggle between rival alien groups.
If there are various groups of
aliens from different places of origin in the
Universe, they are apparently all cooperatively doing the
same thing to us, the human race - and I for one think that what
they're doing is, in the short term at least, immensely destructive.
The question of which alternative is true cannot be presently answered.
There is evidence to support both interpretations, but I, for one, wish to choose the former.