Part 1: Introduction
During a hypnotic regression early on in my research, an abductee told me that the aliens who had abducted her were deliberately shielding her from the shock of having to see what they looked like.* They were concerned about her emotional well-being and although she could see their bodies, the aliens were preventing her from seeing their faces. I listened to this account and felt that it was logical and rational. I found no reason to doubt it, although there seemed to be something slightly «off kilter» about it that I could not figure out. The problem I eventually confronted was whether her memory was correct or not. The solution to this problem lies within the interrelationship between psychological expectations of what takes place in an abduction, and the abduction phenomenon’s objective reality. Often it is this relationship that informs the thought of both abductees and researchers and causes problems.
From the beginning of the abduction phenomenon, debunkers, critics, and proponents have organized their knowledge about abductions based on incomplete evidence and culturally determined attitudes. As knowledge grows, theories must be revised. As we learn more, the verities of the past become the naivetes of the present. All knowledge is subject to change as new evidence is developed. With this is mind, we must revise some of our assumptions in light of new, sometimes disconfirmatory, and even disturbing, information. Although there is much that needs to be rethought, I would like to discuss some theories and thinking that presently need critical reevaluation.
* A version of this paper was given at the 1998 annual MUFON conference.
Part 2: Critics’ Thought
All UFO researchers are aware of the muddled and «shoot-from-the-hip» thinking that non-UFO researchers, skeptics, and, especially, debunkers have employed over the years. They have linked the abduction phenomenon to a myriad of internally generated phenomena with a wide range of causative factors.
These explanatory systems are based on either a fundamental lack of knowledge of the abduction phenomenon or on a systematic disregarding of the disconfirmatory evidence within it. For particularly ill-informed skeptics, the list to chose from is long — psychosis, fabrication, fugue state, science fiction, media contamination, folklore, mass hysteria, hypnosis problems, fantasy prone personalities, suggestive people, sleep paralysis, and so on. The more sophisticated skeptics employ these explanations, or a combination of them, and constantly develop new ones when the older ones are shown to be untenable. Screen memories of sexual abuse, came into currency in the mid-1980s, temporal lobe lability also of the mid-1980s, fantasy prone personalities, current in the late-1980s, sleep paralysis of the early 1990s, false memory syndrome of the mid-1990s, and now in the late 1990s, the trendy «millenialism.» These explanations tend to fallout of favor and then make «come-backs» from time to time as debunkers refuse to let go of the oldies but goodies.»
As disparate as the critics’ explanations are, they have an important commonality — they come in successive fads, one after another. For decades, debunkers and skeptics have attempted to link the phenomenon to abduction accounts to certain causative factors within the society. Debunking explanations tend to be dynamic, changing, and linked to the cultural currents in the society. For example, When sexual abuse became prominent in the press, debunkers seized upon it as an answer to abductions. When False Memory Syndrome became a «hot» problem, its exponents thought they had found the answer to abductions. The same has been true of wave after wave of explanations.
Contrary to the debunkers’ opinions however, like the UFO phenomenon itself, the basics of the abduction phenomenon have, over the years, remained the same regardless of what is current in the society. The essential parts of Barney and Betty Hill’s early 1960s account are operative today. Even the essential parts of the 1957 Antonio Villas Boas case are informative and operative now. Rather than the abductions, it is the explanations that have proven to be societally linked and temporally bound. They are, in essence, faddist. In this way, the explanations reveal more about popular culture and the society from which they spring than they do about the etiology of the abduction phenomenon. They reveal a fundamental lack of knowledge and engagement with the phenomenon on a primary level that nearly all debunkers share. And no one has ever been able to duplicate the complex abduction narrative within a clinical or laboratory situation from a person who was not an abductee.
Part 3: Uncritical Thinking by Scientists
Scientists who are interested in the extraterrestrial life debate have voiced a series of illogical questions and assumptions about UFOs and abductions. For many of them, the UFO phenomenon cannot exist because of time and space problems. This old argument is familiar to all: Space is so vast that even at the speed of light, objects cannot travel here in any time that seems feasible. Therefore, one cannot get here from there and thus UFOs as extraterrestrial phenomena can not exist. J. Allen Hynek and other UFO researchers of the 1970s became caught up in this argument and in an effort to circumvent the space-time problem, they suggested alternative «ultraterrestrial» arguments like «parallel universes» and «other dimensions» as the UFOs origin.
In a sense, the problems of space and time generate tangential questions that are interesting to ask but cannot yet be answered. At this point we do not know the levels of science and technology that ultimately led to the development of a method of transportation to Earth that surmounted what we presently see as insuperable difficulties. The more appropriate question to ask is not, «How could they get here?», but rather, «Are they here?» How they got here is ultimately an engineering question and is unanswerable. Getting sidetracked into arguments about the technological processes by which an advanced civilization has managed to traverse space and overcome time sheds no light on the critical fact of whether they are here or not. Being Here is qualitatively different than Getting Here. We must be clear about that to our uncritical critics.
Similarly, skeptics have suggested that UFOs and abductions do not exist because the aliens are not acting according to a model that the society has decreed they apparently should. If they were acting in the proper manner, the arguments go, they would have already either shown themselves in a formal display, helped humankind overcome its problems, or taken over the world long ago. At the very least, they would not go around covertly flying hither and yon with no discernible reason — and they certainly would not be engaged in this behavior for over fifty years. Thus, their bizarre behavioral characteristics militate against their existence as an extraterrestrial phenomenon.
The critics use the same style of argument against the abduction phenomenon. If they were here, they would not be abducting people over and over again to get eggs and sperm. If they were here, they would not have to use women to gestate fetuses, they would gestate them in vitro without having to use humans. If they were here, they would not abduct average people, they would abduct «important» people.
I can say with absolute assurance that these arguments are based on a total absence of knowledge of extraterrestrial life and motivations. Since by definition the critics are not persuaded that UFOs are extraterrestrial these critics can therefore possess no knowledge of aliens. Thus, their arguments are anthropomorphized theories based on culturally determined notions of how aliens should act. A mixture of science fiction, «common sense,» and ignorance has produced suppositions that have, over the years, calcified into a sort of dogma that has become a litmus test of «reality.» If the abduction phenomenon does not fit that dogma, it does not exist.
But as John Mack says, the phenomenon is what it is. All we can do is investigate and chronicle what is happening, sort what the abductees are describing, and try to make sense of it. Our culturally determined expectations of how aliens should or should not act are of little consequence in the absence of knowledge about their motivations or technological limitations. Investigators must analyze what is happening, not what should be happening.
We have found is that the abduction phenomenon is extremely logical and rational. Everything the aliens do is for a reason. If they insist on abducting people over and over again, then they are doing it for a reason. If they take sperm and eggs over and over again, they have their reasons. If they use a human being rather than an in vitro device as a host for a fetus, it is for a reason. The fact that the phenomenon is widespread and clandestine is for a reason as well.
The evidence clearly indicates that the aliens know exactly what they are doing. They are conducting a physiological program that is well thought-out, and goal directed. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. We have been uncovering the various aspects of this program. Everything that we originally thought was inexplicable, incomprehensible, or even nonsensical has, upon reflection of the mounting evidence, been revealed to be logical, rational, and apropos. We have no evidence that the aliens are doing things «by the seat of their pants.» They do not, for example, stand around during an abduction wondering what to do next. Everything they do with abductees is planned, expeditious, and predetermined. We can only make sense of their activities from their viewpoint. Forcing their actions into a human perspective of what they «should be doing» is pointless.
Part 4: Researchers’ Ideas — When the Abduction Phenomenon Began
Apart from these familiar debunking criticisms, clarity of thought is sometimes difficult to obtain within the UFO and abduction research community. The developing evidence has led researchers to rethink certain aspects of it. For example, researchers originally thought that abductions were basically of adults and that they were extremely rare. We now know that the phenomenon begins in infancy and continues into old age. Adult-onset single-events are extremely rare, usually occurring in circumstances in which a person is abducted because of being in close proximity to an abductee — and even then, we cannot be sure both abducted people are not «unaware abductees» (the majority of abductees are unaware of their experiences) We can now surmise that the abduction phenomenon is extremely common. There are probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions of abductees in the world.
Many researchers think that the abduction phenomenon is very old, perhaps beginning hundreds (or thousands) of years ago. They find evidence for it in cave paintings, folklore, myth, art, and so forth. Although whether they existed on earth in ancient times is basically unknowable, recently developed theoretical arguments about the abduction phenomenon have given us a new possibility to more accurately date its origins.
We have very strong evidence that the abduction phenomenon is intergenerational. Budd Hopkins first discovered this in 1981. If a person is an abductee then the possibility that his her mother or father has had abduction experiences is extremely high. Unfortunately, this means that all of the children of an abductee and a non-abductee will be abductees. Because of this, we can, with reasonable assurance, trace the phenomenon backward through the generations. By interviewing family members about their parents’ and grandparents’ unusual personal experiences, we can date the phenomenon back to the late 1890s and then we lose sight of it. This techniques gives us indications that the abduction phenomenon is most likely around one hundred years old.
But there are other indications as well. Because of the intergenerational quality, the phenomenon spreads, cone-like, into the population through the generations. If it continues long enough — based on the initial number of people who were selected to be abducted — eventually everyone in America (or the world if the beginning populations was widespread and large enough), will be an abductee. If the phenomenon started in America with, say, one million individuals, how long would it take for everyone to be an abductee? The answer, according to a mathematician who worked it out, is seven generations. Obviously the time would be longer if the initial abductee population was smaller. If the number was substantial, however, it would not take long for it to spread throughout the population.
But, we are not all abductees. Therefore, the abduction phenomenon, as it is presently understood, could not have started in ancient times. Nor could have it started in the sixteenth century, and probably not the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries. If it did start in these periods, a vastly larger percentage of the population, if not everyone, would be abductees. The fact that we are not all abductees automatically means that the abduction phenomenon could not have started very much before the late 19th century.
Part 5: Researchers’ Assumptions — Experiment or Program?
When UFO researchers first confronted abductions, they thought that the evidence warranted the idea that it was an experiment—a study of some sort in which the aliens were learning about the Earth’s flora and the fauna. UFO occupant cases of the 1960s and 1970s seemed to add evidence to this model because the beings were often seen digging in the ground and even taking bark and leaves off of trees for what appeared to be further study.
The Barney and Betty Hill case appeared to reinforce the experiment idea. The aliens seemed curious about human beings. They subjected the Hills to an examination. They asked about Barney’s false teeth. They conducted what Betty Hill said was a «pregnancy test» on her — although it was almost certainly a needle in the naval procedure, which I have investigated many times, and not a pregnancy test. The Hills, and virtually everyone who believed them, assumed that they had been subjected to experimentation or study. As a result, the idea of experiment became so pervasive that even today most people find it difficult to talk about the phenomenon without using this model.
Although some evidence exists that the aliens have a research and development component on board the UFOs, the evidence for the overall experiment model has not held up. Rather than an experiment or study, the evidence seems to indicate that the abduction phenomenon is part of a systematic goal-directed program. Although all the arguments in favor of the program model are beyond the scope of this paper, a few will provide examples that suggest a program is underway and not an experiment. For example, the examination that abductees describe is usually not the reason for an abduction. Most of the time it is only a preliminary procedure before other more important purposes that provide the primary impetus for any particular abduction. Furthermore, the sheer number of abductions that each abductee has, from a few per year to over one hundred per year strongly suggests the idea of an experiment or a study.
In addition, the global nature of the abductions indicates that something more complex is occurring other than examinations — all humans, regardless of where they are from are, with minor differences, physiologically the same. The aliens have tremendous knowledge of our physiology and neurology — more so than our own research scientists. This is not to say that they are not learning; they might very well be. But that is not the program’s purpose as the abductees describe it. The evidence is compelling that the abduction phenomenon is a widespread, energetic program of physiological exploitation of one species by another. If there ever was an experimentation phase, it has been over for a long time.
Part 6: Common Misconceptions — Doorway Amnesia
Like the phenomenon being an «experiment,» another dubious notion that has entered into abduction research is «doorway amnesia.» This theory holds that abductees almost never remember actually entering into a UFO or going into rooms inside it. Actually, abductees characteristically skip over many areas in the abduction scenario: getting one’s clothes on or off, getting out of bed, moving from one room to another in the UFO, mindscan and other neural engagement procedures, and so forth. Doorway amnesia is just one of these typical «skips.» With patience, the abductee will often remember everything about the entrance into the UFO. I have literally hundreds of detailed accounts of abductees entering into UFOs or into rooms within them. Doorway amnesia is not a significant part of the abduction phenomenon, but it is an important aspect of the memory problems that abductees have.
Part 7: Common Mistakes — Emotion as a Measure of Truthfulness
Another truism of abduction research is that the emotion engendered in remembering abduction events is indicative of the situation’s reality. To a certain extent that is true. Although it is always possible to fake an abduction event by displaying false histrionics, some abductees have sincere, almost complete abreaction during hypnosis. They scream in fear and pain, sometimes bringing themselves out of hypnosis so that they do not have to relive the experience. I try to give them the tools to remember the experience without having to relive the physical and mental trauma, but sometimes, especially in the beginning hypnotic regressions, abductees are so frightened that they react viscerally to their memories and feel the physical pain of some procedures.
The problem is that many abductees remember the events without an outward display of emotion. They might remember the pain of certain procedures. They might remember being very frightened. They might even remember loving experiences. But, they manage to keep the events «at arms’s length,» maintaining a psychological distance from the event and thus preventing themselves from having to re-experience it. Their abductions are no less real than the other abductees who demonstrably relive the emotion, but their abreaction is muted. This is especially true after the abductee has experienced a number of hypnotic regressions. The shock of remembering is lessened and the abductee concentrates more on the procedures that are happening and tries to understand the reasons for those procedures. Therefore, the lack of emotion is not necessarily an indicator of the truthfulness of the abduction event.
Part 8: Common Mistakes — The Reliability of Conscious Memories
It is extremely critical to understand that abductees remember alien abductions without the aid of hypnosis. Their stories are very often consistent with other accounts and they are often relatively accurate. Over the years it has been a matter of faith for researchers that conscious recall is more accurate than recall accomplished with hypnosis. Therefore, consciously remembered incidents neatly sidesteps the problems, and criticisms, engendered by hypnosis.
It is unfortunately true that consciously recalled memories are very often unreliable. Abductees routinely take bits and pieces of abductions without remembering the variety of events and procedures that happened to them in between those fragments of memory, and fashion them into a flowing narrative. What they remember about the abduction is sometimes partially right, but more often it is wrong. This can be further complicated when the event happens at night and the abductee unwittingly incorporates dream material into the narrative. Moreover, abductees are subject to a variety of neurological manipulations during the abduction that can sometimes influence their memories. They may consciously remember events that were purposely placed in their minds but did not happen in reality. It is virtually impossible for the abductee to discriminate between these memories and those events that happened in objective reality. When they do remember narrative flows consciously, they are often heavily emotionally invested in them and they become part of their permanent memory record even though they are not accurate.
Time and again, hypnosis has shown that abductees memories can be flawed in surprising ways. Their memories are not usually wrong about the fact that they were abducted, but the neurological procedures that are performed on them, the altered state of consciousness that they all undergo, and the natural predilection to put memory fragments into logical order, all contribute to the unreliability of conscious memories. Thus, consciously recalled memories must be entered into evidence only with the greatest caution.
Part 9: Abductee Mistakes — Conscious Memories of Abduction Frequency
When people remember their abductions, they sometimes say that they were abducted only once. People have told me many times that they experienced only one or two abduction events in the course of their lives. The evidence clearly indicates that people might have had hundreds of abductions as the aliens continually «mine» them and use them for whatever purposes they chose. In spite of this, the secrecy aspect of the abduction phenomenon is extremely successful. The vast majority of abduction events are buried in the abductee’s memory. Thus, when a person says that they were abducted only when they were a child, the chances are very much against this. When an abductee indicates that he or she remembers only one abduction, the chances are that they have forgotten many more, the latest perhaps being the previous night.
Abductees also say that they were abducted beginning at age five or six, and so forth. Once again the evidence clearly indicates that parents are abducted with their babies. Also, some abductees remember abductions, or parts of them, from before they were three years old. Therefore, because of memory difficulties, it is probably correct to assume that an abductee has had a lifetime of experiences from the time he or she was an infant, regardless of what the abductee remembers consciously.
Part 10: Abductee Memory Problems — Seeing Aliens’ Faces
Abductees have other memory problems apart from those derived consciously. It is important for abduction researchers to understand that sometimes abductees make statements that seem on the surface to be logical but in fact are illogical. This is not to say that abductees are deliberately saying things that are false. They are usually convinced that their memories are reflective of reality. For example, the story that the woman told me about the aliens purposely preventing her from seeing their faces I have heard many times from other abductees. When one looks at this statement from a logical point of view based on other information, its illogicality and irrationality is immediately apparent.
Abductees have had a lifetime of abductions. I have found people who consciously remembered bits and pieces of over three hundred abductions by age 40. I have worked with people whose abduction activity intensified to an average of once every three nights for several months. Even if the number of abductions is only one per year, by age forty that is a large number of abductions. The point is that these abductees have seen the aliens’ faces many, many, times throughout their lives. If out of, say, 150 abductions that a person might have had during his life, I investigate six at random, what is the likelihood that I will happen upon an abduction in which the aliens would be shielding their faces knowing full well that the abductee has already seen them many times? The chance of this happening is extremely low. Moreover, invariably in the «shielding» session the abductee can be gently allowed to «see» the aliens’ faces with a minimum amount of shock, and they very nearly all do. Furthermore, researchers hear the story of aliens shielding their faces only on the first one or two abduction events and rarely on succeeding ones. When a person becomes accustomed to recalling abduction activity, I personally have never heard of this event transpiring. The evidence inexorably points to the fact that the aliens are not shielding themselves and the abductee has interpreted an unconscious desire not to be shocked by having to confront the memories of the aliens’ faces to an action of purposeful will by the aliens themselves. Thus, after becoming accustomed to remembering abductions, abductees no longer report aliens shielding their faces.
Part 11: Abductee Memory Problems — The Message
A common event that abductees sometimes describe is that the aliens have given them a «message.» The idea of the «message» dates back to the 1950s contactees and to the society’s conception of what aliens would do if they were to «make contact» with us. The «message» suggests that the aliens are trying to contact us by establishing a flow of knowledge that would in some way help or inform us. They have imparted important information to the selected person. Receiving the special knowledge makes the abductee or contactee feel «chosen» and the recipient therefore has a special connection to the aliens.
One of the most important stumbling blocks in the idea of the message is that while the abductee might remember if one were given, for the most part abductees forget the vast majority of their abductions. If the hypnotist were not to investigate the event in which the message is bestowed, it is very unlikely that the abductee would spontaneously remember it and thus there would be no reason for a message.
Perhaps the most important problem with the message is the same problem as that of the aliens shielding their faces; the great number of abductions a person endures. If one has many abduction experiences during the course of his or her life, what are the chances that they would give a special message to an abductee while at the same time doing their routine abduction procedures? And, what are the chances that the hypnotist would hit upon that particular incident out of the many that the abductee has had? It is certainly within the realm of possibility, but the older the person, and the more abductions he or she has, the more unlikely it gets. Furthermore, the large numbers abductees militates against an average person being singled out from the other abductees. While it is always possible that the aliens are busily giving a message to an abductee every time he or she is abducted, this is not born out by the evidence. I have never gotten a formal message imparted to an abductee, although I have received reports of conversations which could be interpreted as a message in a very general sense.
These conversations constitute areas in which investigators must be exceptionally careful. One of the great «red flag» areas of confabulation is when abductees recount alien dialogue. When all communication is telepathic, it is easy for abductees to «hear» his or her own thoughts and think that they are coming from the alien. This can happen both in the abduction event itself and in the hypnosis session. Thus, by tapping into one’s own cultural expectations of what «should» happen during an abduction, a «message» can emerge, especially if the hypnotist is naive or inexperienced and/or does not have the skills to understand the dynamics of the hypnotic session. The evidence indicates that the phenomenon is random and that the aliens do not particularly care about the average person’s life or status. Messages are not part of the abduction phenomenon in any significant way.
Part 12: Abductee Memory Problems — The Tour
Another doubtful idea voiced by some abductees is that the aliens gave them a «tour of the ship.» The «tour» idea suggests that this is the first time that the person was abducted, that the person is interested in the ship’s workings, that the aliens have nothing better to do than to show the abductee around, and that they obliged, as if the abductee were on a friendly visit.
In actuality, if a person has been abducted many times, the idea of a tour is somewhat illogical. In fact, I have only one case in which a person was given a tour, but it was in an entirely different context than what virtually all abductees say [it involved a young hybrid child who wanted to show the abductee the areas of the ship in which he lived]. What usually happens is that the person is led down the hallway from room to room in which different procedures are performed upon him. When an abductee has conscious memories without the benefit of a competent investigator, he tends to remember bits and pieces of an event which tend to assume more importance than they would if he were to remember them in context. Thus, when a person is walked down a hallway and sees, or purposely goes into other rooms, his altered state of consciousness, his conscious fragmented memories, and his cultural expectations easily allows for him to interpret this as a «tour.»
Part 13: Abductee Memory Problems — Military Abductions
The newest false thinking caused by the abduction phenomenon is at present quite controversial. Many abductees have said that the American military has been either working with aliens in a program of abduction, or they have their own abduction program in which they can accomplish things that the aliens do. The people who say this are genuinely sincere. They have no hidden agenda. They have only a desire to get to the truth of what has been happening to them. No matter who is causing the abductions to happen, they are the victims. But what are we to make of these claims?
Apart from abductee testimony, some researchers have suggested that the government has signed a «treaty» or «contract» with the aliens and are allowing the aliens to abduct people, and even helping them, in order to gain productive knowledge of extraterrestrial technology. I cannot stress enough that no evidence of this exists. The aliens can do anything they want. They do not need a contractual arrangement with the United States. They have been doing what they want with absolute impunity for perhaps over 100 years. Their technological superiority over us is supreme. They gain no advantage to show themselves, reveal their plans, take the government into their confidence, and then take the chance that the government will possibly discover a means to stop them because of its now greater knowledge of the aliens and their abilities. Furthermore, they have been abducting people around the world. Have they signed treaties and contracts with each country’s leaders? Once again, there is not a shred of evidence to support these contentions.
Furthermore, that the government would be randomly targeting individual abductees for its own abduction program seems unlikely. First, government operatives would have to identify who the abductees are. This is virtually impossible because most abductees themselves do not know that they have had these experiences. There are some well-publicized abductees whom the government could target, but most military-style abductions take place with anonymous abductees.
It is always remotely possible that the government is abducting non-abductees at random for reasons that are unknown. But, most military-style abductions victims are also victims of alien abductions. Thus, the government would have to be working with selected «true» abductees thus making it in league with the extraterrestrials. Also, if the government had its own abduction agenda complete with an enormously sophisticated program of neurological manipulation from afar, one would expect that it would be using this knowledge in a variety of military and civilian ways — convincing political opponents to do one’s bidding, forcing international antagonists to cooperate with the United Nations, and so forth. To control the mind is to control the world. (The government admitted that it experimented with the military use of remote viewing. But remote viewing is extremely primitive when compared with the aliens’ enormously advanced and sophisticated neurological abilities.) There is no evidence that the exceptionally useful neurological manipulation so common in alien abduction procedures, has ever been used by the United States in any situation for any purpose.
I have investigated several of these «military» cases. In each case, the abductors turned out to be adult hybrids wearing uniforms and engaged in behavior that could be easily mistaken for American military activity. These hybrids «interrogate» abductees, as if there were some «information» they want. They sometimes act threateningly and even violently. They «look» the part — young, short hair, athletic. They sometimes appear to travel in helicopters or even in military-style vans. They abduct people to abandoned buildings, offices, and even to unused military installations. They may even abduct soldiers in uniform to do their bidding. Thus, people are being abducted by adult hybrids wearing military-style uniforms, but there is little evidence that they are members of the American military, although the confusion is understandable.
Part 14: The Abductees’ World
Abductees live in a strange world. They have a series of bizarre experiences which, if they are unaware of the connection to the abduction phenomenon, can constitute a world that others do not recognize. They see ghosts routinely, their relatives come back from the dead to give them a message. They travel on the astral plane, they have unwanted and unexpected out of body experiences, they have guardian angels, devils plague them, balls of light terrorize them. They see religious figures. They might be in one place and then seemingly a few seconds later they are in another place and they have no idea how they got there. They seem to be in touch with an «alternate reality.»
For many abductees, sleep can be filled with vivid dreams so life-like that they remain frightened of certain nightmares even years after they happened. They continually have what they interpret as «waking» or «lucid» dreams. They have bizarre paralysis at night that they interpret as hypnagogic or hypnopompic experiences. They have missing time sequences. They see UFOs.
But, all is not as it seems. One woman confidently told me that she could «bend time.» She claimed that she could make time compress so that she could be somewhere in a much shorter time than it normally would take her. She accepted this without question as just a facility that she possessed.
One day she arrived at my house at 10:00 a.m. right on time for our regression appointment. She explained to me that she had left her house at 9:30 for our appointment at and expected to arrive at 10:30 or later (she lives one hour away). We had done many hypnotic sessions and she knew exactly how long it took to get to my home office. She interpreted her arrival at 10:00 as evidence of her ability to «bend time,» which she said she had done many times before.
We decided to do a hypnotic session on her trip to my office. We discovered that she was abducted in her car and when it was over, the aliens put her and her car down on a highway much closer to my house than from where they had abducted her. Even though the abduction was short — about twenty minutes — she was able to arrive at my house thirty minutes early. She had not bent time.
When abductees explore their experiences with a competent investigator, over time their world tends to normalize. They realize that most, if not all, their bizarre experiences can be explained through the abduction phenomenon. When that happens and when they reassess their lives incorporating the new abduction information, they understand that the world in which they live is mainly rational, logical, and comprehendible, just as it is for the majority of people. Their ghosts, angels, devils, time displacements, and so on now become understandable. Their worlds become what non-abductees’ worlds are like: normalized.
Thus, we must be careful about how we think about the abduction phenomenon. We must ask ourselves whether we are thinking about aliens and abductions based upon our own expectations and culture, or upon the evidence that has been collected. It is important to separate the signal from the noise in our analyses. The alien phenomenon is difficult to understand but with care, logic, and close attentiveness not only to the evidence, but to the problems of that evidence, we can get on with the business of solving the UFO and abduction mystery.