In this article I’m going to give a complete examination of the phenomenon of alien abductions.
I’ll look at the complete breadth of the subject, from whether aliens exist, proof on the subject, whether or not they could possibly have visited us and finally explanations for how they could ‘abduct’ us.
It's going to take several twists and turns - and have an very interesting conclusion.
So, we’ll start right at the beginning.
With the big question.
So do aliens really exist, you naturally ask?
The answer is a huge, loud, staggering ‘YES’.
We now have enough information to state with absolute certainty that the universe is abundant with life.
The question used to be "are we alone in the universe"?
But in the last ten years, the question has gradually changed to "how many other forms of life are there in the universe and how quickly can we get to them?"
The trigger was really the discovery on water on mars.
One only needs to look at the images from the Keppel to glimpse the infinite vastness of the universe. The implications are slowly dawning on our cultural awareness.
Our own galaxy, the milky way, contains somewhere around 30 billion solar systems.
(a solar system is a system of planets orbiting around a sun – just like our sun and the 9 or so planets we have come to know and loves)
And the milky way is just one of around 100 billion or so galaxies estimated in the universe.
Even NASA themselves have slowly come around to the somewhat obvious conclusion that Earth is not the only planet in all of that infinite vastness containing life.
There really has been a big double take in the last 20 years.
In 2015, NASA stated they expect to find proof of life on other planets within the next 20 years.
"It's definitely not an if, it's a when."
- Jeffery Newmark, NASA - interim director of heliophysics
We are bang in the middle of a cultural shift towards this acceptance.
If you’re a hardcore sceptic, then just go straight to the horse's mouth.
"I believe that there is life all over our universe, since it would be the height of arrogance to think that we are alone […] We don't know about each other, simply because the distances are so vast."
-Leroy Chiao, astronaut (completed four missions into space and performed six spacewalks)
Just think back a few hundred years and culturally we had a tough time accepting that Earth wasn’t the centre of the universe!
Now it’s commonly accepted that our planet is but a speck of dust in the scheme of things.
Our grandchildren will accept the fact of alien life, just as readily as we now accept that the earth is not flat – as our technology and and culture continue to evolve.
Imagine a tiny crab - just a few mm long - crawling happily in a miniature rock pool on a small rocky island off the coast of Madagascar. In his minute little pool, the crab has no company, other than algae - which he happily munches.
Mr Crab assumes he is alone in the world. However he often wonders if life outside the rockpool exists.
One day, he summons the might to climb outside of his own atmosphere, pokes his head out of the pool and stares out across the ocean.
He doesn’t see anything, so drops back and thinks to himself:
“I wonder if there’s anything out there.”
“If only I was big and fast enough to travel to the edge of this rock and jump into the water. I wonder what I would see”.
The crab is innocently unaware of dolphins, fish, whales and other entities that surpass his own microcosm of existence, in scale, complexity and intelligence.
But just because the crab is unaware of them, doesn’t mean that whales don’t exist.
In 2016 AD, we are that crab.
Only just beginning to poke our heads out of the water.
One day, we will take it for granted that the universe is as teeming with life as our own ocean.
Just because we haven’t yet developed the technology to see that life, it would be idiotically naïve to assume it doesn’t exist.
So it boils back down to proof.
I’m saying “there is no doubt whatsoever that aliens exist.”
You say “prove it.”
And this is where it gets somewhat tricky.
Because, to anybody that asks me this, I retort: “prove that aliens don’t exist”.
Having seen these images, why would anybody make an assumption that humans are alone in the universe?
But if you’re asking for some visual proof of alien existence, that we can point to and go ‘there, that’s what an alien looks like’, in 2016 AD – you’re going to have to use your imagination.
Besides, the number of alien species in the universe will surely be as infinite and diverse as the number of species in our own oceans.
And how does this all relate to alien abductions?
Well, if you’re following me logically, I’m trying to establish whether or not reported alien abductions are actually carried out by aliens – or whether there could be other explanations.
And the question naturally flows to whether there is any proof of alien life.
There are in fact many claims that aliens have visited Earth. Sightings have been reported as far back as 1857.
But how well do these claims stand up to scrutiny?
We’ve all heard the wild proclamations and crazy fake stunts.
But let’s have a look at those claims in detail.
So what about all the real alien sightings you say?
That’s the most obvious type of evidence or proof one could ask for, right?
Look, I'm the biggest skeptic out there. I joyfully demand scientific evidence, for any claims that come my way.
So, when some random Internet user claims he saw an alien in amoung the gnomes in his backyard - I'm a little dubious.
But, it’s not just individuals who have sighted aliens. There are documented cases where multiple, even hundreds of people have simultaneously reported seeing the same thing.
And to me, this carries a degree of substance that needs to at least be listened to.
Here are my top 3 examples of supposedly real alien sightings:
So, it’s certainly plausible.
But are any of these cases juicy enough to convince me the sightings are genuine?
The evidence just isn’t there I'm afraid.
It remains plausible to me - yet tantalizingly out of touch.
If we accept the premise that our universe is as teeming with life as our own ocean, it is not such a far stretch to consider that some of these alien intelligences may have visited our own planet.Perhaps, then, they could still be here - hiding among us?
But is it any more than a possibility?
Any more than wild speculation, with as much fact behind it as fairies and goblins?
There are certainly some sane, intelligent and rational humans who believe it.
Here are the top 3 claims relating to aliens on Earth.
So, the jury’s out.
Are aliens on Earth?
None of these claims satisfy me enough to believe that.
I’d certainly like to believe it.
I can look up at the night sky and know that aliens exist. But it’s a stretch too far to believe they're here amoung us – without any more than the above as actual evidence.
At the end of the day, the truth about aliens is simply this:
But we live in interesting times and in the next 50 years we will be making some very interesting discoveries...
And after all that – if you're still following me - let’s circle back around to our starting point: alien abductions.
And the whole point of this article:
To answer the question of whether alien abductions are real.
Well, new research confirms there are some major similarities between reports of abductions and those of sleep paralysis.
Indeed, these hallucinogenic nightmares may even be classified as a type of dark lucid dream.
To the uninitiated this may sound like an odd claim, but those who are familiar with sleep paralysis and the nature of lucidity could draw some compelling connections.
So if you believe you are the subject of an alien abduction (or similar experience involving any kind of night-time visitation by demons, shadow people, ghosts and ghouls) you can take heart that your terrifying experience may all have been a cruel trick of the mind.
Let’s read on.
The phenomenon of alien abduction has been around for over half a century - with the first famous report originating in 1957.
Never before in history did anyone talk about slender aliens with big heads stealing us away in our sleep.
Until the phenomenon was first reported in the mainstream media and the idea got into our heads.
The timing, of course, coincided with The Space Race and Yuri Gagarin's landmark achievement of becoming the first human in space.
The media excitement probably helped fuel the ongoing sci-fi literature boom.
Indeed, it was science fiction that gave us the first example of alien abduction.
In 1946, Planet Comics published a strip in which aliens used a luminous tractor beam to kidnap a female earthling they called Specimen 9.
But these facts alone are certainly not good enough reasons to dismiss the claims of alien abductees.
According to studies, millions of Americans believe they have been abducted in their beds at night.
Why so many?
Do aliens really have an insatiable need to probe our puny human bodies that much?
Biologically, we're all members of the same species so why the need for 1,000,000+ separate abductions?
The numbers just don't add up.
I'm not saying millions of people are lying about the whole thing. I believe their experiences are real - at least, real for them.
The real reason millions of people feel they have been visited by aliens is because there is something fundamental in human nature causing this experience.
Many sleep researchers believe that night-time abductions are a culmination of natural physiological and psychological processes of the human body.
In other words, it's a freaky-ass mind trick.
Alien abductees are not crazy, delusional, or insane.
They're the victims of cultural influence (the way horror movies infect your nightmares) combined with a common sleep disorder called sleep paralysis.
Every night, we all enter a bodily state of REM atonia - where our muscles become unresponsive to the firing of motor neurons in the brain.
This safety mechanism prevents us from acting out our dreams.
The few parts of the body which remain untouched by REM atonia are the eyeballs (hence, Rapid Eye Movement), chest (so you can breathe normally) and perhaps some extremities like fingertips and lips.
Sometimes - on the verge of sleep, or when you are stirring from a slumber - you can mentally awaken and become aware of the REM atonia before it wears off.
It's a slight disconnect between brain and body - and while not dangerous, the results can be extremely disturbing if you don't understand what's happening.
Some people experience this every single night; others will never experience it in their entire lives.
Being awake during REM atonia is known as sleep paralysis and the likelihood of it happening is thought to increase when you suffer from narcolepsy, sleep deprivation or jet lag.
If you wake up in the night and are unable to move, what happens?
Most people tend to panic.
The harder they try to move their arms and legs, the more obvious it becomes that something is blocking their will to move.
It can feel like a lead weight holding your body down and your chest may feel like it is being crushed.
(It isn't, of course, but the feeling of paralysis can be so alien in itself you become wholly focused on that restricted movement)
Sleep paralysis can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, and while not dangerous, it can be extremely mentally disturbing.
But where do the aliens come in?
As if the experience of sleep paralysis wasn't disturbing enough, your mind (in a state of panic and confusion) can take it to whole new levels of horror.
Fuelled by the bizarre circumstances of waking up paralysed, your half-asleep mind may try to make sense of the experience by creating nightmarish hallucinations to "explain" what's happening.
Like dreams, these explanations are drawn from our unconscious beliefs about reality - including religious and cultural interpretations.
In the 18th century, John Henry Fuseli was led by Germanic folklore and his experiences to paint The Nightmare - which features a woman in sleep paralysis.
Like many reports of the time, her chest was compressed by an incubus (male sex demon) while the head of a horse (mare) looked on with ghoulish, featureless eyes...
The experience of hallucinations during sleep paralysis is so old, in fact, that even the original meaning of the word "nightmare" relates to this phenomenon.
Nightmare is derived from mara, a Scandinavian mythological term referring to a spirit sent to torment or suffocate sleepers by pressing weight on their chests.
As our science and literature developed over the ages, so did our cultural beliefs.
In the Western world, we're not so much enslaved by the idea of sexual demons, as we are extra terrestrials and pan-dimensional beings.
It doesn't take a giant leap of the imagination to go from incubus attacks to alien ones.
The blueprint is already there.
Many alien abduction reports share the same features - which you can now relate to a typical experience of sleep paralysis:
It occurs in the night, waking the victim from sleep.
If you enter a dream from a half-awake, half-asleep alien abduction experience, it will likely follow the thread of being taken aboard a spaceship.
You may go on to dream vividly about floating out your bedroom window, aboard a ship, and being prodded and probed - just as science fiction has taught us to expect.
As with lucid dreaming, the course of this semi-conscious dream is largely directed by your expectations.
How, then, do alien abductions and sleep paralysis relate to lucid dreams?
It was Dr Stephen LaBerge, a leading lucid dream researcher, who famously pointed out that sleep paralysis is not something to be feared, but to be encouraged and embraced and used as a stepping stone to the world of lucid dreams.
The main reason sleep paralysis is so scary is because people don't understand what's happening.
They may think they are dying, passing into the afterlife, going to hell - and, yep, even being abducted by aliens.
So now that you know the biological explanation for sleep paralysis, is it really as scary?
You are primed with knowledge that - while the paralysis is genuine - it is a safe and natural mechanism, created to protect your dream sleep.
And while any hallucinations may be disturbing, they are no more real than a vivid nightmare.
What's more, you can control the outcome of these hallucinations. Much like a lucid dreamer controls the outcome of his dreams.
Instead of allowing fear to take over your thoughts, flood your mind with warm and positive emotions - like love and happiness.
Sounds cheesy? Absolutely.
But it will stop the intruder in its tracks.
Then imagine yourself entering a beautiful dreamscape. Perhaps a beach or mountain top. You will suddenly arrive there - and quite possibly convert the experience into a vivid lucid dream.
No complaints there.
So in conclusion:
I hope you think my conclusions are reasonable!
As explorers of the sleep-wake border, we are more prone to encountering sleep paralysis from time to time.
This is not a bad thing!
As experts point out, your beliefs and attitudes to sleep paralysis directly affect the outcome.
Bring your fear along and it will predictably turn into your worst nightmare.
Bring peace and courage, and you will turn it into incredible lucid dreams and unimaginable states of bliss.
This too, can apply to the alien abduction experience.
If you suffer from sleep paralysis or are worried about this happening to you, check out Ryan Hurd's Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions and Visitors of the Night.
In this sanity-saving resource, long time sleep paralysis sufferer and lucid dreamer Ryan Hurd explains how to:
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