Alien Abductions

Have you been abducted by aliens

  • yes

    Votes: 1 3.1%
  • no

    Votes: 20 62.5%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 4 12.5%
  • I wish

    Votes: 7 21.9%

  • Total voters
    32

Jerry_B

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#61
coldelephant said:
So they're all making it up?
:roll:

What's so hard to understand? I didn't suggest that they were 'making it up'. What I'm saying is the fact that they've decided to to tell a leading figure within the abduction wing of ufology about their experiences suggests that they already consider those experiences to be linked to abductions in some way. They already perceive these experiences as being within the framework of alien abductions.
 

Jerry_B

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#62
_Lizard23_ said:
There could be twenty times as many people who had exactly the same experiences and not only didn't write to Schreiber but don't think it is anything to do with aliens or abduction. They are probably saying things like 'man, I get that sleep paralysis, it is really fucking weird and scary' or 'send for the two-headed doctor, I am being plagued by succubi' or any number of other things that don't chime so well with the alien abduction experience described in Communion.
Yes - one could say that one man's abduction experience is another man's rather more mundane sleep paralysis episode, etc.. But if people take their experiences to someone who's known for his books on alien abduction, then it seems to me that they're already pigeon-holing that experience into a certain theme. One could also say that a certain extent they already are willing to believe that alien abductions actually happen, and thus have no qualms reporting this to someone like Streiber.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#63
Jerry_B said:
I'm saying that the fact that all of those people have decided to tell Streiber about their experiences seems to point at their thinking from the outset that they've had an abduction experience. They're already pre-disposing themselves to the consideration that they've had an abduction experience in some shape or form.
I can't escape this feeling that we're talking at complete cross-purposes.

These people wrote to Strieber because he REQUESTED that they do so! Maybe if YOU'D made that request all those canvas mail sacks would have landed on YOUR doorstep.

The fact still remains that 500,000-plus experiencers reported what they interpreted as "alien abductions." They DID NOT report being raped by palm trees, being serenaded by banjo-playing polar bears, meeting dead Presidents in mountain caves, visiting Atlantis, surfing on the Sun or dissecting Chupacabras.

Thus I continue to find half-a-million (plus) more-or-less consistent reports of ANYTHING more impressive and worthy of objective study than half-a-dozen.

This seems to be where you and I differ.

But again (again and again), it does not mean that these putative adventures actually happened!
 

Jerry_B

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#64
I'd argue that 'objective study' isn't going to be carried out by someone like Strieber - although I wouldn't be surpsied if he made it all into a new book ;)
 

barfing_pumpkin

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#65
Okay...so 500,000 people (apparently) read Streiber's book, and became convinced that they themselves had undergone an AA experience.

Bear in mind that, on any given day, 500,000 people (or more, maybe) might consult a medical dictionary, and convince themselves that they have scrofula.

As you can see, when placed in the context of the phenomenon itself, the numbers become pretty meaningless.
 

Jerry_B

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#66
Perhaps, psycho-socially speaking, you have a large group of people who think that they've had some sort of experience, possibly related to what they think is something to do with alien abduction. IMHO, this doesn't say much more than that.
 

James_H

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#67
I'm not entirely sure with whom I'm agreeing with here, but I definitely agree that "alien abduction" experiences should not be taken at face value, but investigated rather as a)a general psychic phenonemon analagous with other stuff like demons and SP and b)a piece of modern folklore.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#68
Jerry_B said:
I'd argue that 'objective study' isn't going to be carried out by someone like Strieber - although I wouldn't be surpsied if he made it all into a new book ;)
The tragedy is that that "objective study" isn't likely to be carried out by ANYBODY.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#69
barfing_pumpkin said:
As you can see, when placed in the context of the phenomenon itself, the numbers become pretty meaningless.
So you're agreeing that half-a-dozen witnesses to Phenomenon X and half-a-million are pretty much the same thing?
 

OldTimeRadio

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#70
H_James said:
...."alien abduction" experiences should....be....investigated....as a)a general psychic phenonemon analagous with other stuff like demons and SP and b)a piece of modern folklore.
Thank you for contributing some genuine common sense to this discussion. I especially agreed with point A.

But let me quibble just a bit over your "folklore" position. "Alien Abduction" testimonies tend to be FIRST-PERSON accounts, whatever that many ultimately mean. "Folkloric" stories on the other hand tend to start out "This is definitely a true story, because it happened to my best friend's cousin's barber's accountant's lawyer's butler's minister's wife's brother."

PS. And SP is probably not a psychic phenomenon, per se. What is seems to do, at least in my opinion, is to occasionally act as a trigger FOR psychic phenomena.
 

rynner2

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#71
Q.4(b) Discuss the origin and the development of the 'alien abduction' meme.

You have 40 minutes. Only write on one side of the paper.



:D
 

Jerry_B

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#72
OldTimeRadio said:
But let me quibble just a bit over your "folklore" position. "Alien Abduction" testimonies tend to be FIRST-PERSON accounts, whatever that many ultimately mean. "Folkloric" stories on the other hand tend to start out "This is definitely a true story, because it happened to my best friend's cousin's barber's accountant's lawyer's butler's minister's wife's brother."
Urban folklore tends to work in that way, but not folklore in more general terms. There are folkloric elements to alien abduction as it's generally told - as I've said earlier, different cultures over time have interpreted the experience in different ways, and that continues today. This doesn't necessarily mean that it's any sort of on-going 'psychic' phenomena either.

As to whether SP triggers any sort of 'psychic' phenomena, one would have to ask if that is just as illusory as the experience is in itself in more general terms.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#73
rynner said:
Q.4(b) Discuss the origin and the development of the 'alien abduction' meme. You have 40 minutes. Only write on one side of the paper.
:D
I don't know, but it probably started with an amoeba 3-point-five billion years ago.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#74
Jerry_B said:
As to whether SP triggers any sort of 'psychic' phenomena, one would have to ask if that is just as illusory as the experience is in itself in more general terms.
I suppose it's possible that everything is illusory and nothing is true, in which case this entire discussion becomes more and more and more meaningless - on BOTH sides.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#76
Jerry_B said:
You may want to have a look at the Magonia website...
Yes, I've spent many pleasant hours on Magonia, reading and downloading much. But I hadn't been for some time, and there seems to be a lot of new material, so thanks much for the link.
 

RainyOcean

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#77
I voted "maybe". When I first joined here I put something in IHTM that could be seen as an alien abduction, but which also has other explanations. (I don't feel like dealing with the search function. Sorry). I do believe that aliens exist and that they are visiting Earth though. So while I can't vote "yes" as I'm not so sure there's not a more normal explanation, I can't vote "no" either.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#78
RainyOcean said:
So while I can't vote "yes" as I'm not so sure there's not a more normal explanation, I can't vote "no" either.
That seems to be the only solidly Fortean approach to the matter.
 

Jerry_B

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#79
Or is it, if one also believes that 'aliens exist and that they are visiting Earth'? ;)
 

Dingo667

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#80
Just reading "Supernatural" by Graham Hancock. In short it talks about visions that you get when in an altered state of mind [drugs, trance dance etc]. On his own ayahuasca trips he encountered beings that could easily be described as the typical "grey". Ancient murals which may well depict shamanic scenes [I believe they do, best explanation yet] as encountered in a trance also show domed heads and pointy chins.
He then goes a step furthere and wonders what if these visions are actually a glimpse into another realm, of beings that have actually made us humans what we are today by teaching and guiding us.
One thing about becoming a shaman is the excrutiating torture they sometimes have to go through by these beings and when out of the trance they are reborn as fully fledged shamans with added abilities.

This short account doesn't do justice to the reasoning and the wording of the book as he is quite aware of the audacity of this idea. But I don't want to discuss the book, what came to me yesterday is the fact that those shamanic experiences seem to be quite similar to alien abductions.

Using beings from a different dimension or realm as a basis could explain why abductees can fly through walls, their environment can change dreamlike and there is the element of torture and fear without actually leaving their beds.
Which had always my main concern against alien abduction, the fact that they hadn't moved and their partners handn't noticed anything but this theory would explain even that. If the journey is only in the mind, of course they wouldn't move.

Shamans endure the tortures because they know that it will lead to wisdom. Abductees who don't have the spiritual link or interest will be mortified rather than anything else. Not knowing the why nor the where.

If hallucinogenic drugs could be used for their "intended" purpose [which is to find out more about yourself and the universe we live in or in a shamanic way and used with guidance of experienced individuals] I feel that people could only benefit! It is the same for driving a car, if you drive without much knowledge, you bound to have an accident or at least a few near misses. But the war on drugs and the irrational fear of people of drugs is taking a vital ancient part out of humanity which has been practiced for thousands of years.

Now that I have found a different angle on the abduction scenario I can go back and imply it and see if it is of any worth.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#81
Fortean Approach

Jerry_B said:
Or is it, if one also believes that 'aliens exist and that they are visiting Earth'? ;)
The Fortean approach must be at least a willingness to consider evidences in favor of, say, the literal existence of the Easter Bunny. But to pontificate that "the Easter Bunny absolutely exists and that physical existence has been indisputably proven" is NOT Fortean.
 

crunchy5

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#82
Here's an interesting article about the late John Mack an the subject in hand 8)

http://www.fatemag.com/issues/2000s/200 ... cle1a.html

But even as courageous as Dr. Mack was in asserting that abductees were not suffering from mental disorders and that they were not hoaxers or in any way delusional, he could not come forward and tell all he knew about the reality behind the UFO mystery. In the months before his untimely and tragic death (he was run down by a drunk driver in London in September 2004) he asked me to join him and California hypnotherapist Barbara Lamb in a project to make public the information we had each collected independently, but which he had not previously discussed in his two books on the abduction phenomenon.

This project was to deal with the three forbidden “Rs” of ufology. Mack’s concept was to write a joint paper for publication, perhaps even a book, dealing with a variety of topics, including the many cases in which individuals report contact with non-human entities with distinctly reptilian features. Such reports have been known to researchers since at least the early 1990s, but few have been anxious to write about them or to speak on the subject publicly.

Religion and UFOs

Additionally, Dr. Mack wanted to discuss the problematic issue of the ancient history of a sentient serpent race that is found in ancient texts, such as the Vedic literature from India and the Sumerian texts from Mesopotamia, as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible. I say problematic, because ufologists, in general, struggle to maintain the notion that the UFO mystery began only 50 or so years ago. By maintaining this arbitrary timeline, they are able to profess that the phenomenon is either a scientific study by aliens from nearby star systems, or the early stages of an alien invasion. Those are the only conclusions one can reasonably come to if UFOs are something relatively new. But what kind of study or invasion takes thousands of years? What if these so-called “aliens” have always been here, and ancient writings portray encounters with them? What if the gods of old are the aliens of today?

If this is so, the study of ufology cannot avoid delving into both ancient religions and contemporary ones. This is a terrible dilemma for those wishing to make the study of UFOs an acceptable mainstream science. Debunkers already love to claim that those interested in UFOs are cultists, or that ufology is itself a religion and, therefore, not a science. Now an eminent scientist and UFO researcher was about to state publicly that reptilian beings exist and that they may have been here for thousands of years! That would certainly have rocked the ufology boat and made waves in the scientific community.
and it continues.
 

James_H

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#83
Dingo667 said:
Shamans endure the tortures because they know that it will lead to wisdom. Abductees who don't have the spiritual link or interest will be mortified rather than anything else. Not knowing the why nor the where.
I think I see what you mean. What I'd think is that the torture would be symbolic of the gruelling soul searching one'd have to go through in order to achieve a state of wisdom, or even of spiritual receptivity. This wouldn't have to be purely metaphorical, it might be experienced as well. But yer typical abductee might not be going through that same process.
 

Jerry_B

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#84
There is a definite process to the shamanic experience - I don't think this is anything to do with what abductees claim to experience.
 

James_H

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#85
There's a definite process, also, to the abduction experience. If, from my point of view, the Shamanic experience reflects something internal, on a symbolic scale, then, arguably, also from my point of view, "abduction experiences" could do the same, but probably in doing so reflect a different internal process.
 

Jerry_B

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#86
Well, I dunno - the process behind shamanic experience is preparatory to quite a large extent. I think that the only way that abduction stuff could be similar is via the hypnotist-abductee relationship, mixed in with belief priming the whole situation.
 
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#87
Patrick Harpur does a fairly good job of equating alien abductions with various other kinds of mystical experiences (including Shamanic journeys) in his book Daimonic Reality.

He expands on these themes in the follow up The Philosopher's Secret Fire, but I'm afraid that one went completely over my head and I have no idea what he was going on about.
 

Jerry_B

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#88
Ah, but I'd argue that shamanic journeys aren't the same as shamanic rituals which prepare for that journey. The odd disassociative aspects of shamanic journeys and abduction experiences may have some similarities, but how either percipient gets to that point is very much different.
 
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#90
Jerry_B said:
Ah, but I'd argue that shamanic journeys aren't the same as shamanic rituals which prepare for that journey. The odd dissociative aspects of shamanic journeys and abduction experiences may have some similarities, but how either percipient gets to that point is very much different.
I suppose one key issue here is whether abductees are merely remembering their 'journeys' through hypnotic regression or are actually creating them under hypnosis. If so, one might view the act of hypnosis itself as being equivalent to the Shaman's preparatory rituals. Or at least as being a short-cut to attaining the same altered state of consciousness.
 
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