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.

From Wikipedia


Another sea serpent?

Another sea serpent? (Does this confirm the old sailor myths?)