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Abduction Phenomenon

John Mack, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard University and Pulitzer Prize winning author

"UFO abductions are not a rare phenomenon and have been estimated to have occurred to three-million Americans. There is a remarkably precise correspondence to the reports. Abductees exhibit relatively little psychopathology. The author uses a combination of hypnosis and a breathing technique as treatment in helping the abductees confront and move through the terrifying memories of the experiences. Abduction events and descriptions of aliens are relatively uniform. There is both subtle and highly robust physical evidence that accompanies some of the abductions. The aftermaths of these events are usually highly traumatic. But in processing these terrors, abductees are often able to find these events a source of transformation, in connecting them beyond themselves. They can provide a sense of purpose, often linked to an environmental awareness and a sense of mission related to our precarious global ecological situation. Their meaning for all of us may lie in challenging, in a powerful and meaningful way, the species-arrogance inherent in our Western cultural paradigm. They challenge our consensus reality in collapsing the boundaries we have placed between the physical and spiritual domains. Considering the global crisis, they may even represent a cosmic intervention or corrective, spoken to us in the only language we are any longer capable of hearing-that of the physical and of high technology."

From The UFO Abduction Phenomenon: What Does it Mean for the Transformation of Human Consciousness? by John E. Mack, M.D.

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PEER,  Program for Extraordinary Experience Research - Dr. John Mack

A unique organization combining research and education, the Program for Extraordinary Experience Research takes on the scientific yet inescapably social challenge surrounding the study of reports of extraordinary experiences. PEER's work is motivated by the understanding that expansions of human knowledge come with the exploration of unexplained phenomena. Recognizing the social barriers to the study of anomalies, the program seeks to foster conditions for candid inquiry through careful observation, open dialogue, and development of a network of compassionate support for experiencers. PEER was established in 1993 by Harvard professor of psychiatry John E. Mack, M.D., to formalize his work with people reporting experiences of alien abduction.

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PEER Research

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Why the Abduction Phenomenon Cannot Be Explained Psychiatrically
by John Mack, M.D.

...Even psychosocial or cultural explanations, if they were to include all of the major dimensions of the syndrome, would force us to stretch our notions of the collective unconscious to such a degree that the distinctions between psyche and world, internal and external reality, would be obliterated...
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A Brief Review of Issues Relating to the Reality of the Abduction Phenomenon
by John Mack, M.D.

Since the publication of the hardcover edition of "Abduction", questions have been raised about the reality of the alien abduction phenomenon. These questions relate to the nature of the physical evidence which accompanies the abduction reports; the clients' expectations and possible investigator influence; the reliability of memory; the degree to which hypnosis influences the accuracy of memory; and alternatives to the hypothesis that what the experiencers describe is what has occurred. These are questions that can only be answered fully by a great deal more research. This appendix has been added to begin a discussion of these questions...
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The UFO Abduction Phenomenon- What Does it Mean for the Transformation of Human Consciousness
by John Mack, M.D.

The author describes how he got into the study of the UFO abduction experience, a bit of the history of the field, the phenomenology of UFO abductions, who the abductees are, his use of nonordinary states of consciousness in working with them, some of the physical evidence involved, what effect being abducted has on the abductees, and his interpretation of the meaning of the experience. UFO abductions are not a rare phenomenon and have been estimated to have occurred to three-million Americans. There is a remarkably precise correspondence to the reports. Abductees exhibit relatively little psychopathology.
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The Alien Abduction Phenomenon
by John Mack, M.D.

An overview published in Noetic Sciences Review, Autumn 1992, two years prior to the publication of "Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens"  Even though over the past 25 years thousands of individuals throughout the United States and in other countries have reported abduction experiences to UFO investigators and mental health pro-fessionals, the phenomenon appears to be more widespread than anyone might have expected. The fact that a phenomenon defies conventional ex-planation, or even challenges our notions of reality, should not permit us to ignore its existence or prevent us from exploring its di-mensions and significance.In this article I describe the basic features of the UFO abduction experience, the impact these experiences have on the abductees, and the implications of the phenomenon for our profession and society.
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A More Parsimonious Explanation for UFO Abduction
by Caroline McLeod, Barbara Corbisier, and John E. Mack

A comprehensive commentary published in Psychological Inquiry, An International Journal of Peer Commentary and Review, Vol. 7 No. 2, 1996  We present evidence that abduction experiences cannot be readily explained by constructs such as hypnotic elaboration, masochism, and fantasy proneness. Abduction accounts cannot be dismissed as hypnotic elaboration because approximately 30% of these accounts are obtained without hypnosis. Finally, there is evidence that individuals reporting abduction experiences are not more hypnotizable or fantasy prone than the general population.
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Exploring African and Other Alien Abductions
by Dominique Callimanopulos

The Ariel School sighting is one of the most significant in recent UFO history. ...The event lasted about fifteen minutes, the children said, before the spaceships faded from view. But even in their state of fear, many of the children reported also being curious and fascinated by the strange beings they saw, whose eyes in particular commanded an intense attention.
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Bibliography of Relevant Published Research

A research bibliography with an emphasis on the psychological dimensions of anomalous experiences.
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Alien Abduction: Political, Economic and Religious Impliations
by John Mack, M.D., 1992

It is not altogether clear to me why we become so attached to our ways of seeing the world. Perhaps a comprehensive scientific paradigm, like any ideology, gives a sense of mastery and power. Mystery and the sense of not knowing are antithetical to the need to maintain control and seem, at times, to inspire such terror that we fear that we might blow apart, like the frog in the Tibetan story when confronted with a universe too vast to comprehend. This might explain why it is the intellectual and political elite in our culture that seems most deeply wedded to perpetuating the materialist view of reality.
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Budd Hopkins

The Intruders Foundation

"Budd Hopkins is a world-renowned artist, author, and pioneer UFO abduction researcher. Having investigated well over 700 cases, he now heads the Intruders Foundation, a nonprofit, scientific research and support organization. Budd first became interested in the UFO phenomenon when he and two others had a daylight UFO sighting near Truro, Massachusetts, in 1964. In 1975 he carried out his first major investigation which involved a UFO landing and occupant incident in North Hudson Park, NJ. Shortly thereafter, he began to concentrate on the investigation of the UFO abduction phenomenon, which led to the eventual publication of his findings. Taken together, his three books, Missing Time, 1981, Intruders, 1987, and Witnessed, 1996, are widely regarded by researchers and skeptics alike as comprising the most influential series of books yet published on the abduction phenomenon. These works, Hopkins' lectures, and his other presentations have been responsible for bringing a number of other noted researchers-David Jacobs, John Carpenter, Yvonne Smith, and John Mack, among others-into this extraordinary area of specialization. His documented discoveries have become the basis of most later abduction investigations and research. IF, the Intruders Foundation, was founded in 1989 to further facilitate this important work."

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"In films and on TV, gangsters move their prisoners at gunpoint and the cops yell FREEZE. Rambo brings in the captured enemy troops at the end of his hand-held machine gun. By contrast, in the standard UFO abduction scenario, the captured abductees simply walk without will, or float into the ship. Threatening hardware in the earthly sense is missing and obviously unnecessary. The abductees' minds are controlled at the aliens' will, their bodies paralyzed, and that is all. Fantasy, by its very nature, should sometimes produce wildly different scenarios. One can imagine tales in which aliens, wielding lasers and ray-guns, stop automobiles and force the drivers out and into their landed ships. We should occasionally expect to hear tales of perilous escapes from alien captivity, heroic accounts of hand-to-hand struggles in which a brave earthling at least temporarily wrenches a weapon from an alien's determined grip and thereby avoids capture. But no such stories, in my experience, have ever been told. Common sense tells us that the infinite variety of human imagination cannot be the source of these narrowly defined, similarly detailed UFO abduction accounts."

Patterns of UFO Abductions
by Budd Hopkins

An ongoing series in which overlooked aspects of the abduction phenomenon are discussed.

"Anyone familiar with the subject is aware that UFO abduction reports almost always include accounts of physical examinations performed inside the craft. The abductee usually lies naked and immobile on a flat table while one or more of a wide variety of physical operations are carried out. There is, however, one virtually universal detail in these procedures that has never, to my knowledge, been commented upon in the literature: the abductee never seems to feel any degree of shame or embarrassment about his or her nudity."

> Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

On Witness Intimidation - The Debunker's Basic Weapon
by Budd Hopkins

After decades of dealing with debunkers' attacks upon anyone reporting UFO abductions, I am still amazed at the ill-informed and often cruel nature of these published assaults. I am not referring here to diatribes against investigators like myself, because, as Harry Truman pointed out, to be in the kitchen involves a certain amount of heat. Instead, I mean attacks against the abductees themselves, the innocent men, women and children who have dared to report their suspicions of ongoing UFO experiences.

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Alein Abduction? Junk Science Calls It Sleep Paralysis
by Budd Hopkins

This is the way the New York Times should have headlined their July 6 science section piece on the poorly understood phenomenon of sleep paralysis. Unfortunately, however, the headline read "Alien Abduction? Science Calls It Sleep Paralysis" [my emphasis], suggesting to the world that the UFO abduction phenomenon has at last been successfully explained away. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Junk Science is the proper designation for the many outlandish, irrelevant and unsupported hypotheses debunkers have employed over the years to dismiss UFO abductions (some of which I will discuss in future articles). Non-junk Science - the real thing, based upon the scientific method - begins by amassing and studying all the accurate, relevant data before any serious hypothesizing takes place.

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  Articles by Other Researchers and Authors

Clinical Discrepancies Between Expected and Observed Data in Patients Reporting UFO Abductions- Implications for Treatment
by Rima E. Laibow, M.D., Child and Adult Psychiatry

Although it has long been the "common wisdom" of both the professional and lay communities that anyone claiming to be the victim of abduction by UFO occupants must be seriously disturbed, thoroughly deluded or a liar, careful examination of both the reports and their reports calls this assumption into question. Clinical and psychometric investigation of abductees reveals four areas of discrepancy between the expected data and the observable phenomena and suggests further investigation.  These discrepant areas are: 1) Absence of psychopathology, 2) Concordance of reports, 3) Resistance to suggestion under hypnosis, and 4) Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) in the absence of trauma.

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The Scientific Context of the UFO/Abduction Phenomenon
by Don Donderi, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology at McGill University, Montreal, Canada

The purpose of this essay is to explain how to clarify the evidence for or against the reality of UFO abductions. Many workers in this field have modified the conventional meaning of both the word "reality" and the word "abduction." I do not accept these modifications. A UFO abduction, if it occurs, is a physical event. A person is taken aboard an extraterrestrial spacecraft and interacts with its crew. If this event is imagined, then it is not a physical event, it is an imaginary one. If the event happened before and it is being relived in the present, then it is a re-experiencing, not an abduction. There is nothing wrong with either imagining or memory as a description of human experience. A re-experiencing is clearly evidence for an earlier abduction, if it can be separated from an imagining, which is based on the incorporation of other people's experience (through conversation, books, or films) into one's own experience. But in no case is an imagining evidence of an abduction. By misusing the descriptive categories of language, and calling imaginings and re-experiencing "abduction reports," confusion is produced which can only bring the substantial evidence for the physical reality of UFO abductions into doubt.

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NOVA—Kidnapped by UFOs: Complete Program Transcript

featuring Betty Hill, Budd Hopkins, John Mack, Carl Sagan, several alleged abductees, and others.

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Whitley Strieber  

Travis Walton 
Abduction Case

In November 1975, a group of six tree-trimmers were driving home from work in a truck in the Sitgreave-Apache National Forest in Arizona, USA. The driver stopped the truck when he noticed that a flying saucer was hovering about fifteen feet above some nearby trees. Travis Walton approached the craft on foot, despite the objections of his workmates. He was then knocked to the ground by a blue and white light. When the men in the truck saw this, they were terrified and sped off down the road leaving him for dead. Once they had calmed down, they returned to that spot and couldn't find any sign of Travis or the flying saucer. Five days later, Travis was returned to earth wondering what had happened to him for the past few days.

> The Travis Walton UFO Abduction Case - by Geoff Price
> Cy Gilson Polygraph test of Travis Walton
> The Official Travis Walton Web Site
> The Walton Experience - An Ordinary Day


Betty & Barney Hill 
Abduction Case

The first abduction case to be brought to the publics attention was back in 1964. Betty and Barney Hill reported seeing a UFO and experienced a period of missing time while on a long car journey. When they started suffering from bad nightmares they sought help from psychiatrist Dr Benjamin Simon who hypnotised them as to find out what was the root of the nightmares.

Under hypnosis they both seperatly described how they were abducted by Aliens and shown around the spacecraft before under going medical examinations. Betty also spoke of the origin of the aliens which were of the zeta reticuli system but at that time it wasn't discovered until 1969. Afterwards they both went public about their experience and it was then when Alien Abductions were born.


  Skeptical View

Sleep Paralysis 
Associated Hypnagogic and Hypnopompic Experiences 

In this site we describe many of the features of sleep paralysis and associated experiences. The material below has been gathered from many sources, but much of it from our own research into the sleep paralysis experience. As data is collected we update the information provided at this site.