What in recent years thousands of ordinary people have claimed that they have been abducted by aliens.
Many have undergone psychological tests. The results show little deviation, if any, from standard mental profiles. There is little doubt that the people who give these accounts are sincere. Their stories are internally consistent and bear each other out to a remarkable degree. These people are the abductees. There are many of them, and their number is growing.
Most intriguing, perhaps, is the frequent claim that, after the victims witness an UFO, they are surprised to find that an hour or two — and sometimes much longer than that — has passed of which they have no recollection. In the days or months that follow, they may experience nightmares, flashbacks, or extreme anxiety. Eventually they begin to recall — on their own or through hypnosis — that for the duration of the 'missing time' they were abducted by aliens.
The response to this phenomenon varies, from the believers who take it at face value to the skeptics who make strenuous efforts to debunk it. And the faithful believe that the authorities know more than they admit.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly when the abduction phenomenon began. Stories of contacts with UFO crews arose in the early 1950's, and abductees come from all walks of life, every social class, and from every country on Earth. Furthermore, some of the abductees claim to have been snatched not once, but several times in the course of their lives. These periodical kidnappings usually are part of a larger picture, involving wild genetic — and sometimes sexual — experiments, strange subcutaneous implants, probing and examinations of varied types, and even impregnation by extraterrestrials.
Some of the most famous and controversial reported cases include:
October 15, 1957, Minas Gerais, Brazil: Antonio Villas Boas.
September 19, 1961, Southern Canada: Betty and Barney Hill.
January 25, 1967, South Ashburnham, Massachusetts: Betty Andreasson.
October 11, 1973, Pascagoula, Mississippi: Charles E. Hickson.
1973, Maryland: Steven Kilburn.
November 5, 1975, North Eastern Arizona: Travis Walton.
January 6, 1976, Stanford, Kentucky: Louise Smith, Mona Stafford and Elaine Thomas.
January 28, 1976, near Sevilla, Spain: Miguel Fernández Carrasco.
February 5, 1978, near Medicaneli Soria, Spain: Julio Fernandez.
November 26, 1979, Cergy-Pontoise, near Paris, France: Franck Fontaine.
December 26, 1985, upstate New York: Whitley Strieber.
May 1, 1988, Gulf Breeze, Florida: Edward Walters.
August 8, 1993, Dandenong foothills, near Belgrave, Victoria, Australia: Kelly Cahill.
Skeptics regard these reports as downright fabrications or perhaps hallucinations. Some imaginative UFO researchers, in contrast, speculate that if the abduction stories are true, aliens may be conducting long-term studies of humans and performing genetic experiments in hopes of creating a human-alien hybrid. Whatever the merits of this conjecture, psychiatrists who have examined alleged abduction victims find evidence that they have suffered a severe trauma.
Regardless of what the truth may be, abductions continue to be reported to this day by an increasing number of people.
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Sources: (1) Fenômeno OVNI, Editora Século Futuro; (2) Mysteries of Mind, Space & Time: The Unexplained, H. S. Stuttman Inc. Publishers; (3) Mysteries of the Unknown, Time-Life Books.
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