layout of a flying saucer as pieced together from abductee's
Alien abductions, which are sometimes referred
to as "close encounters of the fourth kind," form an additional
category of incidents. Here witnesses claim they had very close
contact with, or were abducted by, the occupants of UFOs.
One of the earliest reports of an alien abduction
is the story of Betty and Barney Hill. Dr. Benjamin Simon, a
prominent Boston psychiatrist took the Hills as patients in
January of 1964. Three years earlier, in September of 1961,
the Hills had been driving south on U.S. 3, in New Hampshire,
when they saw a moving light in the sky. It seemed to be traveling
on a parallel, though somewhat erratic course, to their car.
Near the town of Indian Head the object suddenly appeared directly
in front of them, seventy feet overhead and one hundred feet
distant. Barney got out of the car to observe the object with
binoculars. He could see between five and eleven figures, dressed
in shiny black uniforms, moving behind a row of windows. Fearing
the creatures would try and capture them, Barney jumped back
in the car and drove off at high speed. Then they heard a "beeping"
noise and felt suddenly drowsy. Two hours later they found themselves
35 miles further south and had no idea what had transpired.
They drove home and the next day reported the incident to Pease
Air Force Base, and a few days later to the National Investigations
Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP).
Unbearable feelings of anxiety persisted after
the incident for both Hills thus leading them to consult Dr.
Simon. Under hypnosis the Hills recalled
being stopped by the aliens, taken aboard a ship, and given
a medical examination. Samples of hair, fingernails, and skin
were taken. Then the couple was returned to their car and allowed
to go. Dr. Simon expressed the opinion that the couple actually
believed they were taken aboard a spaceship, but that the account
is actually a shared fantasy. The details of their stories,
which matched closely, came from dreams Betty had recounted
to her husband before treatment started. People do not necessarily
tell the factual truth while they are under hypnosis, only what
they believe to be true.
After the Hill incident hit the press and was
dramatized in a television movie, many similar stories appeared
from a wide range of people from different walks of life. How
many of these, if any, represent actual experiences, as opposed
to fantasies or outright hoaxes, is unknown. Some psychiatrists
suggest that abduction experiences are the result of the witness's
mind slipping into an altered state of consciousness. The change
could be triggered by any number of stimuli such as drugs, a
shock, or even a real UFO. Some evidence for this can be seen
in a series of experiments performed in California in 1977 by
Alvin Lawson. In these tests hypnotized subjects were asked
to imagine being kidnaped by a UFO. The resulting fantasies
were indistinguishable in form or detail from actual cases.
A significant number of abduction stories start
not with a UFO on a roadside, but with the victim at home in
bed. A common theme is waking to find several aliens standing
at the foot of the bed. They may enter the room by walking through
walls and the victim is paralyzed by some mysterious force.
Carried to the UFO they are examined, poked and prodded. Later
they are returned to their bedrooms and upon waking only a hazy
memory of the nights events remain, though the victim may have
unexplained bruises or marks.
Such a scenario suggests that many of these visitations
are actually vivid dreams. Paralysis during deep sleep is normal;
it is the mechanism that keeps our bodies from acting out our
dreams and hurting ourselves. Indeed failure of the paralysis
mechanism leads to sleep walking and other, potentially hazardous
sleep disorders. Occasionally a sleeper enters a state soon
after waking or falling asleep where sleep paralysis is complete,
and dreams are vivid and seem real. If the sleeper's dream consists
of an alien abduction he or she might awake thinking the experience
was real. Marks on the body that might normally go unnoticed
suddenly take on a new significance in the light of the "abductee's"
Of course, not all abduction experiences happen
in bed, or even at night. Still, until some abductee returns
with an inconvertible piece of evidence, say a twenty-fifth
century equivalent of a hand calculator, most scientists will
continue to suspect that the abductee's experience, as real
as it may have seemed, was psychological rather than physical.
"UFO Abductions: A Dangerous Game"
Copyright Lee Krystek 1996.
All Rights Reserved.