Dr. Susan Clancy, in her book Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens, discusses how there were no reports of alleged alien abductions until science fiction books, movies, radio and TV shows about alien abductions started appearing. The first film in which people are abducted by aliens was the 1953 B-movie Invaders from Mars, followed by This Island Earth in 1955. With the 1960s came the TV series The Outer Limits that included some stories of alien abductions. In fact it was just 12 days after the airing of the 1964 “Bellero Shield” episode of The Outer Limits that Betty and Barney Hill “recovered” memories through hypnosis of their alleged 1961 abduction in the White Mountains. Following the Hill story the reports of these so-called abductions proliferated.
If alien abductions were real, why would these extraterrestrial space travelers wait until the 1960s to start abducting people for their own research? Why not in the 1700s or 1800s? Another interesting observation that Clancy makes is that there are virtually no reports of alien abduction outside the United States. Why wouldn’t these space travelers be interested in people from Asia, Africa, Europe and South America? Continue Reading
Spoiler Alert! If you are convinced you were abducted by aliens, please do not read any further. I have neither the desire nor the ability to change your belief. That said, the research shows that the event perceived as an “alien abduction” is an altered state of consciousness. The belief that one has been kidnapped by extraterrestrials is not.
I just finished reading an engrossing study called Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens by Susan A. Clancy, PhD, published by Harvard University Press. Dr. Clancy, a post doctoral fellow in psychology at Harvard, was doing research with people with “recovered” memories of childhood sexual abuse. She became frustrated because there was no way to know with certainty whether these people recovered memories of actual abuse or factitious events. She decided to “repeat the study with a population that I could be sure had ‘recovered’ false memories. Alien abductions seemed to fit the bill. (p. 20)” Continue Reading
Her name was not Sybil; nor was it Ting. But little did I know that Ting (a pseudonym) was to become the first of three patients whom I treated for Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) now called Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Ting first visited me 15 years ago when she applied for a job as office manager. Although I did not hire her, she returned six months later as my patient. She presented with complaints of intense anxiety in response to work stress, panic attacks, migraine headaches and obsessive thoughts. The treatment plan was to include typical cognitive-behavioral therapy including relaxation training. It wasn’t until the sixth visit that I had not so much of a hint that she was suffering from DID. She began the session telling me that when she practiced the Relaxation Response (a breathing exercise), she didn’t like the empty feeling she felt. Then suddenly her face and voice changed dramatically and in front of me was a young child in absolute terror, crouched in the chair as if she were watching a horror movie on the wall (autoscopic hallucination). For not finishing her food, her mother was locking her in the bathroom in total darkness and telling her that cockroaches would come out of the toilet and crawl all over her. In front of me she was screaming and thrashing in her seat. My heart started pounding. “Was I dealing with my first case of MPD?” I wondered. Most psychologists go an entire career without ever seeing one case, no less three. Continue Reading