What is truly amazing to me is that even though there are strands of commonality between these ultra-vivid nightmares/memories of mine and abduction phenomena, there's no narrative commonality. Being the little sci-fi geek I was from day one (I taught myself to read at the age of 3 using comics) it's even more amazing.
If the usual "skeptic" flibbledy-floo about alien abductions was true then I should have been an experiencer, or at least believed that I was. A sickly, vulnerable, largely-unprotected child obsessed with superheroes and aliens must have been a prime candidate for alien abduction fantasy/delusion. But I have no memory of any nightmare or hallucination with the usual abduction trappings. None at all.
Then there are the supernatural trappings -- the Leprechaun vision (which again, I only refer to as a "Leprechaun" because of its size) manifesting in the very same place in which my mother suffered from recurring nightmares of a "witch" trying to break into the house. Then the haunting to which I seemed to have been oblivious. None of which have more than a theoretical connection to aliens.
And then there is the similarity to other brain-storms; frontal lobe epilepsy as Reader Gene referred to, near-death experiences, dissociative amnesia, hallucinogen-induced experiences. But again, most of those also differ greatly in terms of narrative from your standard abduction reports. And there are other more significant differences as well.
We also have the issue of the weird lights or lighting that accompany these abduction stories. We see the same thing in hallucinations, whatever their cause, and I reported as such in my nightmare post. In fact the very name of this blog originally arose from such an effect- the odd light of the midnight Sun.
Researchers like Jacques Vallee have pointed to the similarity of abduction and contact reports to historical- specifically Medieval- legends of contact with elves, fairies, trolls, sprites and indeed Leprechauns. Some leap on this connection to dismiss abduction reports or to recast them as some mystical, magical experience that will forever elude explanation. I'm not going there.
Having spent a bit of time in Jacques Vallee's company I can say that he's a mystic as much as he's a scientist, and as such tends to filter his findings through that lens. Don't get me wrong -- I know that Jacques takes the UFO phenomenon seriously as an empirical reality, but I also know that he explicitly sees himself in the tradition of spiritual scientists of the late Medieval period -- the Alchemists, the Rosicrucians and so on.
As to false claims, it's hard to avoid the fact that most UFO hoaxes seem to be created by the Skeptics themselves, like the Randibois in Morristown a couple years back. This should surprise no one. The "Skeptic" movement is an entirely political media construct and nearly all of its luminaries regularly fulminate on topics they have no expertise in at all. They also regularly and studiously ignore contrary evidence, a fact that goes unnoticed by the media poodles that hang on their every word like lovestruck teenyboppers.
Which brings me back to the abduction phenomenon. Now, for years my own opinion on the topic was that it was dissociated recollections of childhood sexual abuse (something which Randi himself is obsessed with disproving for some unknown reason, being joined in this by the Catholic hierarchy and their army of legal beagles) but there's a corpus of contrary evidence which --unlike the Skeptics-- I can't dismiss.
Now, let's just assume that there might be a whole host of abduction reports that can be explained away as delusion or invention. I'm not interested in those. What's more, I don't personally believe that alien abduction is a physical phenomenon as that term might be understood. It may well be something a lot more interesting than that.
And it might shine a strange, greenish light on the whole consensus reality paradigm itself.
Having recently read a book by Jenny Randles on alien contact reports I kept noticing two inconvenient facts (or at least two). First, many of these experiences began with a daylight sighting that soon involved the abductee being shot with some kind of beam of light. Second, a lot of abductees later were diagnosed with mild cases of radiation sickness.
The common media narrative is that most abduction reports took place while the victim was sleeping, leading a lot of sympathetic scientists to offer up diagnoses of sleep paralysis, night terrors and other explanations. The fact that there was a common narrative of aliens, a strangely-lit room and lofty sermons as to humankind's folly is usually chalked up to media contamination. In other words, this is all some artifact of post-war, drive-in movie detritus.
However, there are abduction reports in the historical record- most significantly the Book of Enoch and the Mithraic Liturgy- that have astonishing similarities to The X-Files without even a sliver of a hint of possibility of being influenced by Close Encounters or ET. And media contamination seems a weak hook to hang your hat on given the sheer multiplicity of narratives people see in the media on a daily basis.
What's more, sleep paralysis and night terrors could just as well be considered symptoms and not causes. There's also an incredibly inconvenient corpus of non-sleeping abduction accounts in the record, again many with the attendant evidence of radiation sickness, passed polygraphs and all of the rest of it. There's also the regular defiance of the laws of physics- people levitating, aliens walking through walls -- that feed the "Skeptics'" counterclaims.
But there's a third possibility between the opposing poles of physical abduction and pathological confabulation: electronically-induced memories. Which brings me back to those pesky lightbeams and radiation exposure diagnoses.
Scientists have long known that electrically stimulating certain parts of the brain can change our perception of reality. Researchers like Bruce Rux argue that this avenue of research itself actually comes from abduction reports, especially during the Cold War. And what you notice about abduction reports is that they offer share greater details but often differ on the lesser. It's as if this is a phenomenon that wants to be noticed but also remain elusive. Sort of like the old MIB reports.
Are abduction experiences themselves a similar means of misdirection? After all, the phenomenon seemed to accelerate with the rise of affordable camera equipment, arising in a rash of UFO images taken by ordinary Joes. If there is a presence on this planet that walks a fine line in wanting its presence known but not widely acknowledged, might it not want to muddy the waters and remain just beyond the grasp?
There are several interesting Star Trek episodes in which the crew is monitoring a primitive or pre-warp race and resorts to all kinds of techniques to stay unseen and when noticed do all they can to minimize the damage.
Of course, the more fashionable argument is to credit HAARP or "Project Blue Beam" or Space Nazis or whatever the villain du jour is. However, the inconvenient fact is that none of this popped out of the blue in the late 40s. Not even close. And of course the Fundamentalists chime in with their Pentagon-concocted "UFO demons" propaganda.
Strangely enough, all of these excuses might have an echo of truth in them.
IGIGI-> GRIGORI-> GREY
This is all blue sky conjecture, but we could well be looking at a kind of mind-control technology that uses directed radiation to instill a simulated reality, one that is often not effective enough to be recovered without hypnosis. This is why the stories are the same but different and the witnesses pass all of the required sniff tests. After all, a simple cell phone can interfere with brain function, right?
And if there are aliens flying around up there, it could well be the Igigi of Sumerian legend-- the "Watchers" (or Grigori) who "fell from Heaven" (ie., were "left behind") to keep an eye on the project while the "gods" are away from Endor.
Seeing as how these guys are said to have been around much longer than us, it might make for a far more compelling explanation than vague protestations about elves and sprites - an ultra-terrestrial "Watcher" race would be well aware of its subjects current level of technological expertise and would program its induced hallucinations accordingly (though I'm certainly not convinced that all of these fairy stories haven't simply been overlaid with cultural contamination over centuries of telling).
Sharing the planet with an elusive yet not quite invisible Watcher class also goes a long way in answering the diehard skeptic bromide about aliens from Alpha Centauri traveling light years just to probe Bubba's buttocks, a hilarious joke that just gets more hilarious with every snorting, eyeglass-adjusted re-telling. I admit that I've always had a problem with the interstellar hypothesis, and the interdimensional, "phasing" aspect of this might well be an artifact of some exotic cloaking technology.
Most of the cases in the Randles book are interesting, but one in particular caught my eye, especially since it vividly encapsulates the delicious paradoxes at work in this phenomenon. From a case study at UFO Evidence:
On 5 July 1972, 27-year-old Maureen Puddy saw a ufo on the Alooraduc Road near Frankston, in Victoria, Australia. The object was a huge blue disc, which hovered above, her car as she returned from visiting her son in hospital. Twenty days later, at almost the same spot, it returned. This time it seemed to drain power from the car, causing it to stop; indeed, the car appeared to steer itself to the roadside. A voice in her head told her, 'All your tests will be negative.' It then said: 'Tell media, do not panic. We mean no harm.
Graylien takes up the next part of the story, which gets considerably more harrowing:
Seven months later, in February 1973, the disembodied voice returned. This time, it spoke to Mrs Puddy in her own home. "Maureen, return to the meeting place," it commanded."A golden suited figure?" Straight out of the Mithraic Liturgy, 2000 years earlier. And speaking of which, another old friend from the Widening Gyre then enters this Alien Dream:
Puddy phoned the Victoria UFO Research Society (who had investigated her previous sightings) to ask for their assistance. They dispatched two investigators - Judith Magee and Paul Norman - to meet up with her on the Mooraduc road.
The researchers arrived at the rendezvous point at 9pm to find Mrs Puddy in a near-hysterical state. She told them that whilst driving to the meeting, a golden-suited figure had materialised beside her in the front passenger seat.
Even as she was talking, she saw the same figure materialise outside the car and beckon to her. Unfortunately, neither investigator was able to see it.
Paul Norman exited the vehicle and walked around it without spotting anything out of the ordinary, although Mrs Puddy claimed she saw the entity duck out of his way as he passed it.Now, there's obviously nothing to go on here besides testimony. There's certainly nothing here for the unconvinced, never mind for a narcissistic, priapic old circus clown. But I can't shake the details here- the visionary experience (voices, in this case) following mechanical interference with her car, which certainly corresponds to the various reports of the strange beams that these craft seem to shoot. The disembodied voice, which in the UFO Evidence report turns out to be a machine voice. The strange links to the Mysteries by way of the golden man and the mushroom, something your average housewife in 1972 would be oblivious to.
As they tried to calm her, Mrs Puddy entered a trance-like state and underwent a disturbing out-of-body experience. Still able to speak, she claimed that she was now on board an alien craft together with the gold humanoid and a strange mushroom-shaped machine.
When she returned to normal consciousness, she was mystified to find herself 'suddenly' back in the car. Both investigators were convinced of her sincerity throughout the incident.
If this report is to be believed, something was messing with this woman's reality paradigm and it started with a sighting, leading to a string of strange mechanical events. And this is just one story.
Gene Roddenberry lied- Space is not the final frontier. The Mind is.