11 comments on “The Psychology of Alien Abduction: An Altered State of Consciousness?

  1. Pingback: Push! | eitheory.com

  2. Profoundly underwhelmed. People who believe in esp believe they’ve been abducted by aliens. This thesis sheds zero light on those who believe they’ve been abducted by aliens and a great deal of light on those supporting this thesis. Pure materialists demonize any data that suggests that pure materialism explains everything.

    In any case the thesis is fatally flawed. Those who believe in esp and those who believe they’ve been abducted by aliens are not significantly overlapping populations.

    There is data supporting esp, including during controlled experiments carried out by professional researchers in laboratory settings; there is none supporting alien abduction.

    Better insight into alien abduction narratives can be found in folklore scholarship, for example lauri honko on memorates and folk belief

    on sleep paralysis of course. One would read David Hufford.

  3. P.S. If modern psychiatry / psychology claims that people who honestly believe that they have been abducted by space aliens are “not crazy,” or not mentally ill, then the problem is with psychiatry’s / psychology’s definition of, and ability to diagnose, recognize and describe mental illness.

    Exploiting this population and its pathology, evident perhaps to everyone except psychologists, in materialist triumphalism does not advance understanding.

  4. Pingback: Other Possible Explanations | coreycoughlin

  5. Pingback: Could There Be Psychosis Behind Alien Abduction? | Top Secret Writers – Conspiracy Theory, Strange Stories and Truth

    • I guess it depends on how you define delusional. The research I reported was trying to understand people who believed they were abducted by aliens. The research shows that most such believers are not psychotic. People hold onto beliefs in many things for which there is no evidence, but they accept on faith. Does that mean they are delusional? If I have a memory of an event that actually didn’t take place, would that mean that I am delusional? I would rather think of people who believe they were abducted as having developed false memories, rather than automatically categorizing them as delusional.

  6. I was discussing hypnagogic hallucinations with a friend the other day and she mentioned her aunt’s claim of having been raped by a ghost. Most of the usual descriptions obviously apply to this incident, seeing the room, being unable to move, some sort of dark shadow entering, and sensory impressions of being groped. However, my friend said right after the incident her aunt had shown my friend’s mother some hand-shaped marks on her legs that were larger than her own hands, and I’m wondering what could account for those if they weren’t merely imagined. My friend seems to really believe her aunt was violated by a ghost although she admittedly didn’t dare look at the “evidence” herself.

    • My immediate reaction is that you are hearing the story fourth hand. Friend’s aunt – friend’s mother – friend – you. And, I am hearing it fifth hand. Stories can get intentionally or unintentionally embellished along the way, not to mention the possibility that memories get a little altered each time a story is told, much like sending a fax of a fax of a fax. If the purported events happened exactly as described, there is always the possibility of a more parsimonious explanation: that a living person had sex with the aunt. Thank you for reading the blog and sharing with us. EBG

  7. Actually I was looking for an alternative explanation for why people “lose time.” I don’t buy in to the alien abduction theory, but there have been people who apparently lose time and even disappear for a period of time. They are awake, they are with other people, they are driving, they are actively engaged in doing something or going somewhere, etc., so I’m not talking about those who wake up in a hypnagogic state. I’ve looked up fugue states and dissociative amnesia, but these seem to require some sort of extreme stressor, pre-existing mental illness, or trauma to cause them. What might explain a time loss in someone who is healthy, sober, and has nothing going on that would stress them into a psychiatrically significant dissociative state? I’m thinking that people who believe they were abducted because they experienced “missing time” may, for no apparent reason, have simply slipped into a dissociative state for an hour or two. Could such states be more common than we think, perhaps something that we all might experience at any time for any reason as simply a consequence of possessing such complicated brains? Could there be subtle causes such as allergies or chemical sensitivities, some unknown seizure or migraine disorder, unusual responses to sensory inputs (sounds, smells, lights), that might affect an otherwise normal, sober, healthy person such that they perceive a period of “missing time?”

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