Do Alien Abduction Theories Delay Open Contact?
UFO truth seekers should consider this question because open contact with UFO intelligence will in my opinion be determined by both human and non-human factors. Let us assume for argument’s sake that the so-called “visitors” have been watching earth culture for a long time and are very aware of our warlike ways. As ufologist Stanton Friedman has said, “tribal warfare” appears to be the dominant activity on our planet. Given this high level of hatred that we harbor towards one another and the common psychological mechanism of projecting our hostility on to others, it is highly probable that we will project our innate hostility onto the non-human intelligence responsible for the UFO phenomenon.
As more people become aware of the importance of the flying saucer phenomenon, there has arisen a group of UFO investigators who claim that people are being forcefully taken on board “ET spacecraft” and are allegedly subjected to painful and humiliating examinations before they are returned. This is called “alien abductions” that has unfortunately become synonymous with the term “Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind.”
Even though there is no physical proof that these events are occurring, such as “aliens” being apprehended like other “perps” by the police, nor existent photographic evidence clearly showing ET spacecraft hovering over victims as they are “beamed” up to UFOs, this amazing assertion has nonetheless captured the popular imagination. Abductions are a constant theme of sci-fi dramas that typically portray horrific images of alleged alien abuse.
Within the subculture known as “mainstream ufology,” so-called scientific organizations like the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) have openly invited to conferences alien abduction theorists like Dr David Jacobs, a historian, and artist Budd Hopkins (who died in 2011.) For decades now researchers of their ilk have shared wild tales of alleged ET crimes. Unfortunately at such meetings MUFON uncritically accepts the methods of alien abduction researchers that typically involve hypnotic regressions.
I know this to be true because for several years I was a MUFON consultant in medicine and a MUFON California State Section Director for Humboldt County. I investigated UFO sighting cases; I spoke at MUFON meetings and organized free public gatherings at our local public library to discuss UFOs under the MUFON banner. Despite dialoging on this controversial topic with fellow MUFON leaders, I was unable to successfully convince them of blatant errors of the alien abductionist paradigm and the harm that was done and is still being done by researchers like Budd Hopkins and Dr David Jacobs.
Contrary to what abduction theorists would have us believe hypnosis is no magical memory elixir that brings out the hidden truth of suppressed contact experiences. Instead hypnosis is more likely to produce confabulation and the creation of false memories. The power of suggestion induced by a hypnotherapist authority figure contributes to the creation of abduction narratives by individuals who often present with merely vague distorted memories of possible contact or who simply are dreaming about aliens.
Twenty years ago the prominent UFO investigator Dr Jacques Vallee warned us of the ethical pitfalls that occur when abduction researchers apply hypnosis in a totally inappropriate and unprofessional way. In my opinion these practices has caused UFO experiencers to be mislead about the nature of their encounters. In addition the public has been deceived into believing we are under some kind of terrible alien threat.
Dr Vallee was not the only prominent individual in UFO studies to raise concerns about abuses in this field. Prominent author and UFO experiencer Whitley Strieber writing in UFO Magazine (Vol 4 No2, 1989) under the title, “A Technique Out-Of-Control” describes abduction researchers as people,
“who are really nothing more than part-time, unlicensed and unregulated mental health counselors. They are carrying out their activities in an inappropriate misguided and dangerous effort to use hypnosis to build a so-called “credible” case for UFO abduction…”
Mr. Strieber continues by stating,
“The so-called “abduction narrative,” which has gained primarily from hypnotically-induced recall, probably does not reflect actual experience, but rather the application of the subject’s worse fears to their most enigmatic experiences.”
Many valid criticisms of alien abduction theories are spelled out in the important book,” “Abduction Enigma” by Estes, Randle and Cone, published in 1999. As I recall during my tenure as a MUFON investigator I did not meet one fellow member who had read this important book that refutes in detail the “reality” of abductions. I urge every one with a serious interest in UFOs to consider the following points that are presented in outline form.
- Investigators like Hopkins and Jacobs lead their witnesses to elicit narratives that conform to preconceived notions of what onboard experiences are supposed to be. (A related complaint has been voiced within the abduction research community. Author Dr Karla Turner during her all to brief career complained that investigators pick and choose for publication only those narratives that match their particular pet theories and leave out data that contradict cherished views.
- By combining research with group support activities, abduction investigators provide a continuous source of contamination of their database. This takes the form of exposing new members to others’ narratives during group sharing. Then the older material shared by other experiencers is subsequently incorporated into the new members’ hypnotic regression narratives.
- Taking on the identity of being a victim of “alien abduction” can be a source of secondary gain in some troubled individuals. Those who have a weak sense of self and are looking for a support group can find within the alien abduction community a sympathetic audience for what may be little more than want-to-be fantasies of alien abuse.
- Researcher’s like Hopkins and Jacobs dismiss any narrative that describe positive encounters as “screen memories” or examples of “the Stockholm Syndrome” in which real kidnap victims who are scared to death start to identify with their victimizers as a psychological defense mechanism. This of course denies out of hand the validity of experiences described by contactees who uniformly describe positive encounters with UFO intelligence.
- Ascribing to the alleged aliens the power to create positive “screen memories” to cover up their alleged nefarious activities raises a disturbing question never discussed in detail by abduction researchers. If the so-called aliens can create “memory blocks” and “screen memories” in victims of their abductions, why can’t the ETs create the entire abduction scenario as an implanted memory? Such a mechanism if operational might explain why no abduction has ever been documented by photograph or on videotape. There is no physical evidence of this kind because many, perhaps most encounters being described are primarily psychic in nature.
- Similarly multiple reliable third party witnesses have not been described as observing so-called aliens carrying out an abduction.
Dr. John Mack I believe alluded to this point when at the very beginning of his investigations he acknowledged that we truly don’t know how much of the abduction experience is purely physical, and how much is psychic with some physical characteristics.
In my judgment there definitely exists a physical component to this mysterious and enormously complex phenomenon. Credible investigations have documented the presence of small scars that numerous experiencers claim were the result of interactions with non-human beings.
As a former ER physician I witnessed injuries that resulted from human criminal assaults. The evidence submitted by victims of alleged alien abuse in my experience pales compared to those committed by human perpetrators, nevertheless the continued reports of such anomalous scars indicates there is a physical aspect to these experiences that should be studied further.
The same applies to so called “alien implants” that have been removed from the bodies of experiencers. Some of these appear to be mere foreign bodies. Others exhibit however highly anomalous physical and pathological aspects that again require further investigation.
This uncertainty as to how much of these encounters are physical vs. psychic is the dilemma at the core of my objection to the very term “ alien abduction.” If some advanced non-human intelligence with tremendous psi abilities is staging theater of the mind productions for experiencers, then perhaps very few “abductions” have actually ever taken place. A real abduction is a violent physical act. If experiencers are interacting only at the level of consciousness and never leave their beds or their homes or their cars, are those events abductions? In my judgment they are not!
If this critique is accurate then the entire alien abductionist paradigm is an outrageous rush to judgment, one that labels a wide range of mysterious and anomalous experiences as being the results of proven criminal activities. I suggest that a better way to describe such encounters might be by referring to them as “unsolicited psychic interactions.” Granted this is not as catchy as “alien abduction” but may better describe what is going on.
Given this analysis, what does the popularity of alien abduction theories mean in terms of achieving open contact with UFO intelligence?
It seems that they (whoever “they” ultimately turn out to be) know us far better than we know them. If perceptions of our limited interactions with the “visitors” are being distorted by a fear based, conflict oriented and false paradigm, this situation has probably been noted by UFO intelligence. If their motivations are benign as many hope within the UFO truth movement, then our having a fair and balanced analysis of their activities might convey a signal that humanity is ready for more contact. Conversely if we are convulsed with fear and loathing and are hoping to, in the words of the hero in the movie Independence Day, “kick some alien ass,” then the message would be that we are far from ready for open contact.
Within the contact movement there is the growing understanding that careful preparation is required to achieve a more profound relationship with the intelligence behind the UFO phenomenon. Teams of contact workers are proactively engaging UFOs in many countries as part of the work of Rama and the Global CE-5 Initiative. To strengthen this process I urge all people who are interested in the UFO subject, to educate themselves about the pitfalls of the so-called “alien abductions.” I imagine that by spreading this information all mankind will benefit by making open contact more likely in the future.
This position paper is the first of many blogs on the subject of what I call “alien abductionism.” In the months to come I hope to engage in a productive dialogue on this important controversial topic.
Joseph Burkes MD