UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Jun > Jun 29

'The Scotsman' On Abduction

From: Stig Agermose <stig.agermose@privat.dk>
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 05:56:53 +0200
Fwd Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 16:17:06 -0400
Subject: 'The Scotsman' On Abduction


Source: The Scotsman

http://news.scotsman.com/features.cfm?id=3D698882002

Stig

***

Sat 29 Jun 2002

**

Taken in

Jonathan Ledgard

*

I am Aerial Tellurian (not my real name, the one given me by
Outlander). I am 45, single, and I reside in the Panhandle of
Florida. Since the age of ten, I have been visited by an alien
called Outlander from Regulus - which is 67.0 light years away
from our solar system."

According to believers, Aerial is just one of two million
Americans who have been abducted by aliens. Most of them report
having been raped or otherwise interfered with aboard orbiting
spaceships. Few abductees report these violations to federal
law-enforcement agencies; they believe the government is in on
the alien actions. Why else, they ask, do unmarked black
helicopters flit about America, keeping track of their
movements?

Aerial, alas, has not been spared the abuse, as she reports in a
diary she posts on the internet. Here is her entry for 28
February this year:

"This is my last entry for February, a whole month of keeping
this online journal. I reread it and determined a pattern of
doubt, followed closely by trusting Outlander again. Perhaps his
very nearness, and the implant I must have, creates this trust.
But I know of no way to stay suspicious unless I could get away
from him entirely and that's not possible while I'm pregnant. I
need the pre-natal care the aliens are giving me aboard the
mothership. My pregnancy will only be three months, instead of
the normal nine months of a human pregnancy. That means our
hybrid baby will be born some time in mid- May, a wonderful
springtime birth!"

Lately, Aerial's entries have become more muddled:

"Something horrible has happened during the past month. My baby
was born aboard the mothership - and taken from me! I was
returned home and kept captive for two weeks until I managed to
escape. I'm on the run now, and using cybercaf=E9s and public
libraries to update this journal. I can only do this because I
move on rapidly afterward, fearful for my life and that
Outlander will find me."

It is 55 years since a UFO crash-landed in the desert scrub
outside Roswell, New Mexico, and kick-started the alien
abduction movement. Most abductees see the Roswell incident as
tangible proof of the presence of aliens among us. But no
evidence has been uncovered and the American military
categorically denies the accounts of observers, such as Roswell
air-base intelligence officer Frank J. Kaufmann, who claim to
have seen the crash site. The craft was of unknown origin,
Kaufmann's account has it, shaped like a stingray, perhaps 28
feet long and 18 feet wide, pewter coloured, underlaid with
hexagonal cells pulsing orange, and with five small passengers,
pallid, not quite human, all of them dead. Intriguing,
certainly, but hardly conclusive enough to build an entirely new
world view on.

Fast-forward to 2002, a few hours' drive south of Roswell in a
desolate sweep of west Texas. I can just make out the mountains
in the south, a moon-yellowed jawbone marking the Mexican
border. The firmament above is breathtakingly clear, the
constellations like pieces of silver stitched into a billowing
cobalt sheet. A satellite (or is it?) grazes the stratosphere.
The mysterious Marfa lights, a few miles outside the small
ranching town of Marfa, bounce up and down a mile or so away,
like incandescent tennis balls. They break into two and three
separate lights, sometimes hovering above the desert floor,
sometimes racing about wildly. People come to this remote spot
from around the world to see this unexplained spookiness.

Scientists reckon there has to be a simple explanation for the
lights: static electricity, a quirk of geology, headlights of
distant cars refracted through the desert thermals. There are
plenty of unusual explanations too. In the 19th century, locals
believed the lights to be the spirit of Alsate, a local Apache
war chief. Then came talk of devils, and cowboy ghosts, and
military experiments. Nowadays, most people who come here
believe the lights manifest some alien connection. This is
fitting. Aliens have long since overtaken ghosts and demons in
the Western popular imagination. We are no longer haunted. We
are abducted.

Back in Marfa I slouch into a local bar. After a couple of hours
an offhand question about UFOs elicits a surprising response.
The demeanour of the taciturn cowboys I am shooting pool with
instantly changes. A couple of them speak of having seen
spaceships on their remote spreads (out here, ranches are 20
miles across and 30 miles from town). Two of them think they may
have been abducted. It could be a joke at my expense, but if so
these boys are fine actors. For where they have been gruff and
no-nonsense, they now appear withdrawn and vulnerable. They
speak haltingly, embarrassed, self-doubting, and when they
mention the word abduction, it as though they are talking of
childhood abuse. "This is what I remember," they say, pulling on
a beer, "but it ain't true."

Whatever the veracity of their particular stories, something is
clearly going on. People around the world - a disproportionate
number of them in the United States - say they have been
abducted. Some of them are seeking out psychiatrists and support
groups. An abductee movement is forming which challenges our
most basic understanding of the world. But abductees have not
brought forth a shred of physical evidence to support their
claims. Many are manifestly cranks or mentally ill; their
stories are moonshine. But other sincere and perfectly normal
folk risk their careers, their marriages, everything that is
valuable to them, to assert that they too have been abducted.
Why?

The unexplained is potent. It doesn't take much - a strange
light in the woods, the whispering of air in a still room - to
trigger the imagination. There have been sightings of
otherworldly beings through-out human history. Some believe
Elijah was swept up not by a fiery chariot but by a luminous
spaceship. Others state that the ancient monuments were erected
under the instruction of alien foremen. In 1758, a Swedish
scientist and religious figure, Emanuel Swedenborg, published a
"true account" of his travels to Mars. Swedenborg noted the
appearance of the aliens who abducted him (Danish) and their
mode of living (utopian). But it wasn't until the industrial
revolution filled the ether with electrical currents and radio
signals that the notion of aliens began to supplant angels and
ghosts. In 1898, H.G. Wells laid the ground rules of science
fiction with War of the Worlds. There was nothing subtle about
his view of aliens: they were monsters.

UFOs fully entered the public consciousness after Hiroshima. The
aliens doing the abducting were very different from H.G. Wells's
insectoid, amoral creatures intent only on mindless destruction.
The taxonomy of aliens of the atomic age was more complex:
reptilian, amphibian, robotic and spectral, but far more often
Nordic - like those who gave the first well-known abductee,
George Adamski, a tour of the solar system in 1952 - or so-
  called "greys" with the hairless aspect of rhino skin, and
swollen skulls inset with large, almond- shaped eyes.

Ask a child to draw an alien and you are bound to get a grey, or
at least a small weedy thing with a bulbous head somewhat
resembling Steven Spielberg's ET. Greys started abducting
Americans not long after artists developed them - or styrofoam
puppets which looked very much like them - for a 1975 made-for-
  television film called The UFO Incident. Some abductees accept
this connection but turn it back on itself. The artists, they
say, were merely recovering something that was already in their
subconscious: all of us have a faint memory of greys because we
were genetically engineered by them. If they were simply drawing
on American popular culture, believers point out, wouldn't
British abductees find themselves in a Tardis discussing cricket
with Dr Who? And how to explain sightings of three-foot aliens
with large black eyes, not unlike greys, in America in 1896, or
in England in 1901, Australia in 1925, and Spain in 1944?

In America, UFOs have become a new-age religion. Affable gurus
breezily predict aliens will soon be guiding mankind into "the
greater community of intelligent life". Aliens still hector us
on our follies; they fret about pollution and point a grey jelly
finger at the hole in the ozone layer. Some abductee groups even
blend science fiction with religious dogma: spaceships shall
obliterate the unclean while a chosen few will be swept up to
salvation. Thirty-nine members of the Heaven's Gate cult
infamously discarded their vehicles (that is, their bodies) in
the belief that their souls would be taken up to a spaceship
surfing the backwash of the Hale Bopp comet.

Other groups peddle conspiracy theories. They hold democratic
governments to be a front; real power rests with a secret world
order which does the bidding of aliens under pain of
annihilation. Those disposed to such theories cling to anything
that supports their case, like this odd aside from Lord Louis
Mountbatten, of all people: "The fact that [aliens] can hover
and accelerate away from the earth's gravity... shows they are
far ahead of us. If they come over in a big way, that may settle
the capitalist-communist war. If the human race wishes to
survive, it may have to band together."

For those abductees who are not UFO fanatics, abduction is an
involuntary and, by all accounts, painful experience. Dr John
Mack, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard University, argues
abduction is not a matter of belief but a clinical reality which
abductees usually try to deny and suppress. "Abductees do not
say it is possible," Mack told me, "they say it is true." His
investigations are thought-provoking, not least for the Harvard
establishment which has investigated and cleared him of the
charge of using shoddy scholarship. His first book on abductees,
Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens, remains a standard text
on the subject. "I'm not claiming that everyone I work with has
been taken into a spacecraft - it could be an astral body; the
point is that something powerful has happened to these people.
It may or may not have been in this material world. What is
certain is their experiences demand a more sophisticated
ontology than we have now, one that questions the whole way we
think about reality."

Mack outlines what most abductees feel happened to them. "They
feel themselves being removed from wherever they are. They float
through a wall or out of a car, carried up on this beam of light
into a craft and there are subjected to a number of now familiar
procedures which involve the beings staring at them and probing
their body orifices; and a complex process whereby they sense,
in the case of men, sperm being removed, in women, eggs being
removed; some sort of hybrid offspring is created which they're
brought back to see in later abductions."

Mack hotly rejects charges that he prompts his subjects to
invent abduction stories while under hypnosis. He says he
applies strict clinical criteria to his work. Still, for all his
undoubted brilliance, Mack's narrow focus can make him sound
suspect. "The experiencer," he writes, using the word he prefers
for abductees, "may at first call what is happening a dream. But
careful questioning will reveal that the experiencer has not
fallen asleep at all." Careful questioning or leading
questioning?

One of the most troubling facts about alien abduction is the
number of people who discovered they were taken only after being
regressed by hypnotists who accept the reality of alien
abduction. Whitley Strieber, the author of Communion, a best-
  selling account of abduction, falls into this category. But are
these abductees imagining spaceships in the way some others
imagine sex abuse? Is it really a coincidence that abduction is
far more common in countries like Brazil and the USA, where
hypnosis is used routinely by psychiatrists? Alvin Lawson, a
professor at California State University, has demonstrated the
power of suggestion under hypnosis by planting the idea of
abduction in his hypnotised subjects. The resulting stories
mirrored those of abductees.

"The abductee movement is confabulation," says Robert Baker, an
expert on hypnosis. "It's making up a good story to satisfy the
promptings of the hypnotist." Baker points out that most
abductions happen during sleep. He believes abductees are
actually suffering identifiable states of sleep disorder.
Hypnopompic hallucinations occur just before waking up and
hypnogogic hallucinations just after nodding off. Paralysis - a
common feature of abductee accounts - is a natural function of
sleep, as is the reported feeling of a heavy weight on the
chest. Baker also points out that these stories are not new;
medieval nuns sometimes reported waking to find a demon or
incubus on their chest, having sex with them.

Sex is standard fare in abductee accounts. Even Mack's
relatively sober case studies read like a series of sexual
fantasies: a woman is fondled by a grey with cool, steady hands,
a man has great sex with a silvery blonde Nordic alien in a pod.
But the pornographic element also helps explain the popularity
of the abduction movement on the internet by mixing successfully
with two other proven money-spinners: UFOs and therapy.

Once inside the abductee subculture, people feed off each other
with alarming credulity. This advice appeared recently on one
internet chat group:

"Yes, Gail, the reptilian aliens do rape. I have been raped by
them. If I ever feel they are about to come into or are in my
energy field, I put up a protective shield around myself.
Unfortunately, there is another type of reptilian we have
serious problems with - the reptoids. This group works in
conjunction with the human faction who abduct and interrogate. I
have not been able to stop this kind of abduction because this
group does not follow any Universal Law and can take us and
harass us at will."

David Hume laid out the most sensible approach for studying a
phenomenon like alien abduction. "No testimony is sufficient to
establish a miracle," Hume wrote, "unless the testimony be of
such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the
fact which it endeavours to establish." Which is more likely:
that we are abducted and molested by aliens in ever larger
numbers, or that the human mind gives birth to aliens as it once
gave birth to trolls, demons and fairies?

Yet no matter how we try to explain away these 'memories',
abductees still fully believe they have been taken up by aliens,
perhaps even given birth to a hybrid. Even if the aliens and the
abduction are imagined, sceptics say, clinical studies of
abductees can help further our understanding of the brain and
expand our sense of what it means to be terrestrial.

**

=A92002 scotsman.com


[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp


Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com