UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Alien Abductions: A Mental Aberration


Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.

I’m not inclined to get worked up about alleged “alien abductions” but Gilles Fernandez engaged me at Facebook and I’d like to offer a suggestion that explains the phenomenon and provides caveats for those who proclaim they’ve been abducted…

I’ve always discounted alien abduction stories, and see them as psychological and/or neurological episodes.

The problem for me is Will Buesche, who is not only psychologically whole but highly intellectual also.

But he claims to be an abductee, an experiencer. He was also a close friend and colleague of John Mack, who may have pursued the abduction phenomenon because of that.

Of course there is no smoking-gun evidence for such abductions, and the evidence for such episodes is non-existent, but for the recalled memories by abductees or experiencers, as they prefer to be called,

On the face of it, alien abductions appear to be hallucinatory, ascribed by some to be a kind of sleep paralysis.

Gilles Fernandez cites the hypnogogic intrusions by investigators as an exacerbation of the episodes.

And he’s right to point the finger at what has happened and happens when hypnosis is used to extract the memories of abductees/experiencers.

But there is a neurological element that I see as conducive to such experiences: that is a predisposition to a schizophrenia-like brain configuration.

The brain malfunctions in chemical ways that mimic schizophrenia, and the memories recounted by abductees/experiencers mimic the ramblings of schizophrenics.

I’m not saying that abductees are schizophrenic, but I am saying that they have a brain configuration (mental malfunction) not unlike that of schizophrenics but without the full exposition that schizophrenics are cursed with. That is, abductees are primed for schizophrenia but do not get entrapped by that malady. They do, however, seem to be prone to eventual dementia episodes or Alzheimer’s disease.

(It would be interesting for someone – a qualified neurologist! – to see if an former abductees have experienced or are experiencing signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s.)

Oliver Sacks, in his book, Hallucinations, provides 16+ citations of schizophrenia which one can use to see how abduction stories mimic schizophrenia.

For example, on Page 60 of his book, he writes:

“Until the eighteenth century, voices – like visions – were ascribed to supernatural agencies: gods or demons, angels or djinns … but for the most part, [such] voices were not regarded as pathological, they were simply  accepted as pat of human nature … [then] Around the middle of the eighteenth century … hallucinatory visions and voices came to be seen as having physiological basis in the overactivity of certain centers of the brain.”

Kurt Salzinger in Schizophrenia: Behavioral Aspects [John Wiley & Sons,, NY, 1973] compares thought disorder and schizophrenia [Page 62 ff.] showing that associative processes between “normals” and schizophrenics “share a commonality.”

Theodore Thass-Thienemann in Symbolic Behavior [Washington Square Press,, Inc., NY 1968] recounts how Freud’s understanding of “projection” affects consciousness that is intruded upon by memories:

“…memories of … experiences modify objective perception. These “previous experiences” might have been modified by motives which reach beyond the individual.”

Tha is, there are unconscious, universal memories which, when coupled with current memories, cause a “language” barrier that needs analysis of a thorough kind.

Neurologists complain that the problem is biologic, not psychologic and they attack the problem of misshapen memories with drugs or surgery, not the psychiatric couch.

Schizophrenics are not helped by psychiatry’s couch therapy, and Freud indicated his psychoanalysis, which initially used hypnosis for Freudian sessions switched to free association” techniques.

Hypnosis introduced elements that came from dream-content and the aforementioned memory content. Thus Gilles is right to eschew practitioners, including John Mack, who’ve employed hypnosis to get at the abduction scenario.

But that has little to do with the etiology of the abduction “event,”

The episodes are triggered by neurological (or brain) malfunction, which are supported by the amorphous factors of dreams and memory.

(No wonder neurologists and psychologists are at odds. Both deal with elements that play a part in mental incapacity.)

Schizophrenics hear and see things that are not there, empirically. (But one has to accept the possibility that what schizophrenics experience have a kind of reality that science isn’t attuned to or with.)

My point here is that whatever schizophrenics experience, abductees experience in a like manner and because of the same (limited) mental aberrations, neurological or psychological. (I lean toward a neurological prognosis.)

Salzinger writes [ibid] that “somatic involvement in schizophrenia … [can] refer to a genetic effect, and intrauterine effect, or even a socially produced  biological effect [so] we must take it [the somatic, physiological] into account for a complete description of schizophrenia…The biologically focused theories … [being] the biochemical ones … that concentrate on investigation of the autonomic nervous system.” [Page 143]

Sacks tells us [ibid, Page 289] that “While the sense of ‘somebody there’ is commoner in the hypervigilant states induced by some forms of anxiety, by various drugs and by schizophrenia, it may also occur in neurological conditions.”

So, we can suggest, as I have in prior postings here, that drugs or psychological elements can account for “abduction experiences,’ I really think that a neurological glitch – the same kind of glitch that afflicts schizophrenics – is at work in the experiencer episodes.

And, while experiencers may never become schizophrenic, I think they may be inclined to develop dementia (a mild form or maybe a major form) and/or Alzheimer’s disease.

After all, no one is really being taken aboard extraterrestrial craft and probed, then released back into the mainstream of human life and activity.

The idea is absurd on the face of it.

schizo.jpg
From Wikipedia

RR 

22 Comments:

  • Hello Rich,

    I copy my reply in my FB conversation:

    OK my friend Rich Reynolds I read you entrie in your blog.
    As I stated, I was "surprised" Sacks using Schizophrenia stricto to DESCRIBE "Abductees", but in fact, you ONLY mean Oliver Sacks, in his book, provides 16+ citations of schizophrenia WHICH ONE CAN USE to see how abduction stories mimic schizophrenia ??? Correct ?
    Surprised because the only works I know, "showed" only some personality traits more marked for them, including schizotypy, fantasy prone personality, for example.
    I'm not really convinced at its stage by your (interresting) comparison.
    Same concerning your assumption about dementia and Azheimer proneless for them: I think these deseases touches too much people, so large Humans groups to "conclude" or to assert "abruply" this, but maybe a real study could be interresting using inferential statistics.

    Amitiés,

    Gilles.

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Sunday, October 20, 2013  

  • Gilles,

    My conjecture is only a suggestion for those interested in the "alien abduction" phenomenon. (I am not one.)

    For me the episodes are psychologic or neurologic.

    Sacks does make reference to the alien abduction phenomenon, and I have his citation online here, either in my look at his book or in a posting about hallucinations as a possibility for Jose Caravaca's scenarios.

    (Google should find it, or a search here....a little tedious, I'm afraid.)

    The matter of alleged alien abductions is so psychological (or neurological) for me, that it would only be worthwhile as subject matter for those disciplines.

    To add them to the UFO phenomenon merely confuses that topic.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, October 20, 2013  

  • Rich,

    Certainly a complicated subject, but I've come across more research literature that lump the abductee phenomena with dissociation issues with past psychological trauma stemming from childhood, or PTSD. Of course, that does not fit all of the cases, but there is good evidence to support the dissociate hypothesis.

    The schizophrenia similarities tend to be much more complicated. In most cases, I would tend to be less likely to support this angle due to the hallucinatory issues being the majority of auditory stimuli. It seems to me that the abduction phenom tends to be more of a "regressed" visual experience, or best yet, a perceived visual experience.

    Gilles, is correct that sleep paralysis may be indicated, but again, I don't necessarily believe that it explains every case.

    The bottom line, I too chalk it up to a psychological/neurological issue.

    These are just thoughts off the top of my head, a good post on your's and Gilles' part.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, October 20, 2013  

  • Tim:

    I'm not being very clear it seems.

    What I'm positing is that those who think they've been "alien abducted" may be predisposed to schizophrenia or, at least, dementia or Alzheimer's as that which causes schizophrenia also is the "thing" or process that brings on schizophrenia.

    It's not an explanation that I'm putting online here.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, October 20, 2013  

  • Tim and all,

    Dont make me wrong: never I assumed sleep paralysis explain ALL. But that the "princeps" trauma came from for an "everyday" hypnopompic/hypnagogic, or "feeling", in anyway a "conventional" one which could happen each day to you or me.

    After it depends your own "culture" + if you will go to such (bad) therapists like Hopkins, Mack, Jacobs, Strieber (and so on), persons who will encourage you in idea and thesis they share themselses and will implant to you under hypnosis or by interractions with them.

    They will contaminate you to be short and encourage you to the modern myth of abduction.

    Only to share ONE and only one piece, cause my broken English, and a must to be read, imho :

    http://www.michaelsheiser.com/UFOReligions/The%20Construction%20of%20Space%20Alien%20Abduction%20Memories.pdf

    Regards,

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Sunday, October 20, 2013  

  • Rich, I see no credible link for "alien abduction" and dementia. This delusion does pop up from time to time with my patients, but it is very uncommon.

    Schizophrenia? Maybe, but again, how truly common of a thread? What statistical evidence exist to even venture into a correlational model?

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • Hello,
    Only to signal another "must to read" imho, as I did in French Forums, my FB page, etc :

    Toward an Explanation of the UFO Abduction Phenomenom: Hypnotic Elaboration, Extraterrestrial Sadomasochism, and Spurious Memories by Leonard S. Newman (Psychology Dept., Université de l'Illinois) & Roy F. Baumeister (Psychology Dept., Université Case Western Reserve).

    http://www.michaelsheiser.com/UFOReligions/Toward%20an%20Explanation%20of%20the%20UFO%20Abduction%20Phenomenon%20Hypnotic%20Elaboration%20Extraterrestrial%20Sadomasochism%20and%20Spurious%20Memories.pdf

    Have a nice reading.

    Gilles.

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • Tim:

    Let me write this one more time!

    I'm NOT saying that Alien Abductions are related by schizophrenics or are schizophrenic generated.

    I'm saying that those who claim alien abductions may be predisposed to schizophrenia, but more likely dementia or Alzheimer's as their accounts mimic schizophrenic babblings, especially the early ramblings that have been recorded of those who ended up debilitated by schizophrenia....in the literature!

    Dammit....my post and comments make my suggestion and point clear.

    That you (and one other) are trying to imply I'm saying schizophrenia is the premise of alien abduction accounts confuses the issue.

    Geez, you guys know how to read and comprehend, don't you?

    Dammit, again!

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • Tim & All,

    Some searchers have administrated personality battery tests (ie the famous MMPI personality Test). There is no evidence of psychotic problems, only some traits more prononced, but Fantasy Personality Proneless too.
    That's why I was "surprised" by Rich (interresting) proposition.

    Such studies are available, and if you want, I can list them in a near future, but I like to read before in its integrality (and not only the abstracts we have with our University Computers/softwares) the articles I "recommand" or "list".

    Anyway, page 103 (second colomn) the previous link I shared, Newman & Baumeister wrote the same constat: no psychotic disturbances.

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • In no damned way am I stating that you have implied such!

    This was your comment to mine:

    "What I'm positing is that those who think they've been "alien abducted" may be predisposed to schizophrenia or, at least, dementia or Alzheimer's as that which causes schizophrenia also is the "thing" or process that brings on schizophrenia."

    I've merely rendered an opinion on THAT comment...where am I wrong?

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • TIm....

    You comment was:

    Rich, I see no credible link for "alien abduction" and dementia. This delusion does pop up from time to time with my patients, but it is very uncommon.

    Schizophrenia? Maybe, but again, how truly common of a thread? What statistical evidence exist to even venture into a correlational model?

    "Link? Schizophrenia? Maybe?"

    The implication is that I'm saying schizophenia is involved.

    I'm not saying that or implying it.

    I'm saying that is one looks at what experiencers are saying, they can conclude that those accounts have the ring of schizophrenic babblings, which would allow one to think that the abductee may be prone to neurological (or psychological) predispositions that are like those that schizophrenics exhibit.

    Your comment indicated to me you misunderstand my point.

    (And I'm cranky today, obviously)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • RR wrote - "And, while experiencers may never become schizophrenic, I think they may be inclined to develop dementia (a mild form or maybe a major form) and/or Alzheimer’s disease."And, while experiencers may never become schizophrenic, I think they may be inclined to develop dementia (a mild form or maybe a major form) and/or Alzheimer’s disease." - - -

    Rich, There are now genetic/ancestry tests available to the general public at reasonable prices which can reveal a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease (as well as many other diseases). Last holiday season a relative gifted me and several other of his relatives with the 23andme genome testing 'kit', which yielded lots of fascinating results -genetically and ancestrally. No particular surprises, but it supported what we knew or our heritage and some medical conditions.

    It would be ideal for 'abduction' researchers to have a basic genetic test for people who claim abductions. This might show anomalies or it might not. Genotypes (like for Alzheimer's disease or other diseases/conditions) could be revealed in genetic SNPs.

    As for Will Buesche, I don't seem to know of him and would like to read more about him. I can't find anything on him in searches.

    Gilles wrote: "Dont make me wrong: never I assumed sleep paralysis explain ALL. But that the "princeps" trauma came from for an "everyday" hypnopompic/hypnagogic, or "feeling", in anyway a "conventional" one which could happen each day to you or me.
    After it depends your own "culture" + if you will go to such (bad) therapists like Hopkins, Mack, Jacobs, Strieber (and so on), persons who will encourage you in idea and thesis they share themselses and will implant to you under hypnosis or by interractions with them. They will contaminate you to be short and encourage you to the modern myth of abduction." - - -


    ** Gilles, Whitley Streiber isn't a researcher and only Mack was a therapist (psychiatrist). At best Streiber's influencial (though controversial) in the 'abduction community'. I suppose the closest thing to research that he's done is the co-editing & publishing, with his wife Anne, of 'The Communion Letters' - a selection of letters to Streiber by self-proclaimed abductees from around the world and their (mostly daytime) experiences. He and Anne thought it important to present the awake, daytime experiences because most debunkers and some skeptics lazily attribute
    abduction events to sleep paralysis and/or nightmares.

    Also, psychiatrist Dr. Benjamin Simon, who specialized in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of combat veterans, fleshed out under hypnosis the same reproductive-themed sex scenarios often found in abduction accounts - Barney Hill having his semen extracted and Betty Hill having a needle-into-the-ovaries egg extraction. As you know, Simon did not believe the Hills were abducted and did not believe (or know anything about) abduction scenarios; yet through his hypnosis he pulled this up out of their memories.
    I find that very interesting.

    And about a decade earlier, Antonio Vilas-Boas, in a mostly consciously recalled abduction event in Brazil, claimed the female humanoid (which looked remarkably like what many so-called "hybrids" now are described as) after forcing herself on him for sex, rubbed her abdomen and pointed to the sky.

    The sex mixed with sado-masochism scenario is a fairly common theme that repeats in alot (but not all) so-called 'abduction' events. The theme seems to have existed before it was noted by Hopkins/Jacobs/Mack.

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • Susan...

    As an (important) aside, I suggest you read Chapter 20 in Nick Redfern's Contactees book.

    It presents the view that Villas Boas was subject to a government/military sponsored experiment, according to a CIA/AID guy who was in on it: Bosco Nedelcovic.

    It's an interesting account with substantive evidence.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • Thanks Rich for the suggestion. I know Redfern's idea about Vilas-Boas was presented here before. I may get that particular book of his and read it.

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • Susan...

    I had a few extra copies around here.

    If I find one, I'll let you know and will send it off.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • That would be great! If you don't still have my address, let me know and I'll send it along to you.

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • Will do...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • RRRGroup said... I suggest you read Chapter 20 in Nick Redfern's Contactees book.

    Ordered a copy from amazon yesterday. In the meantime, I'll continue reading G.Fernandez's Roswell : Rencontre du premier mythe., a superlative work.

    By Blogger kolyma, at Monday, October 21, 2013  

  • Thank you so much Susan for the precisions.

    There are the several articles I shared above or others and which I'm actualy translating /commenting for our French readers in order to have a "state of the art" (mainly coming from Psychologists & peer-review".


    Streiber influence is proposed/hypothezed in several articles I'm reading or rediscovering, due to his best-seller "Communion", yes.

    For "awake" reports, there are other conventional pists and potential explanations. I mean psychologists dont attribute all the abduction experience to Sleep Paralysis-like, that's more complex and richer than the image vehiculated/caricaturized by some "believers" or abduction proponents about what state (or not) the cogntive psychologists in the scientific litterature.

    As I regret, but I have a Red flag or important bemols regarding the "methodology" used by Hopkins, Jacobs, Mack, etc. and have a more conventional opinion and view about such experiences called "abductions".

    Well, there is many many to say, of course, but that's difficult or impossible in a simple reply of a blog, and mainly with my English.

    Amitiés à tous,

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Tuesday, October 22, 2013  

  • kolyma: In the meantime, I'll continue reading G.Fernandez's Roswell : Rencontre du premier mythe., a superlative work.

    Hello,

    Hoo well, merci. If you have comments, questions, remarks, critics, suggestions, etc., I'm easy to join via the French Forum "UFO-Scepticisme", as you can leave something in this French forum or privatly. Merci encore.

    Gilles

    By Blogger Gilles Fernandez, at Tuesday, October 22, 2013  

  • Gilles wrote to me: "As I regret, but I have a Red flag or important bemols regarding the "methodology" used by Hopkins, Jacobs, Mack, etc. and have a more conventional opinion and view about such experiences called "abductions"." - - -

    We most definitely agree on the lack of better methodology amongst abduction researchers.

    Thankyou for your response, Gilles!

    ~ Susan

    By Blogger brownie, at Tuesday, October 22, 2013  

  • While true alien abductees may be off-balanced, it does not make them mentally ill. I did plenty of research on this topic. What's pivotal is hypnosis. But it does help tremendously that good candidates tend to be suggestible and creative. Seemingly, they have an uncanny and vivid imagination. This was what I found after concluding my research. Then, I published my book.

    As of August of 2015, I published "Why Modern Society Invented UFOs." It's available on paperback and Kindle, at amazon.com

    I should add that abductees, after several hypnotic sessions, develop PSTD. If they have any form of mental illness, it became worse. UFOs and alien abductions are products of post-WWII anxiety. It is guilt for dropping the Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These aliens act like ghosts; they can go through solid walls.

    Nonetheless, "Why Modern Society Invented UFOs" is available at amazon.com

    Regards,
    Albert Ramos

    http://www.amazon.com/Why-Modern-Society-Invented-UFOs/dp/151233717X/ref=sr_1_1/175-3100168-8858847?ie=UTF8&qid=1443332964&sr=8-1&keywords=albert+ramos

    By Blogger Modern Society, at Sunday, September 27, 2015  

Post a Comment

<< Home