© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
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The terms alien abduction, or abduction phenomenon, describe "subjectively real memories of being taken secretly against one's will by apparently nonhuman entities and subjected to complex physical and psychological procedures".
People claiming to have been abducted are usually called "abductees" or "experiencers". Typical claims involve being subjected to a forced medical examination that emphasizes their reproductive system.
Abductees sometimes claim to have been warned against environmental abuse and the dangers of nuclear weapons.
While many of these claimed encounters are described as terrifying, some have been viewed as pleasurable or transformative.
Alien abduction claimants (also called abductees and experiencers) are people who have claimed to have experienced the paranormal abduction phenomenon.
The term "abduction phenomenon" describes claims of non-human creatures kidnapping individuals and temporarily removing them from familiar terrestrial surroundings.
The abductors, usually interpreted as being extraterrestrial life forms, are said to subject experiencers to a forced medical examination that emphasizes the alleged experiencer's reproductive system.
Mainstream academics and members of the sceptics movement generally doubt that the phenomenon occurs literally as reported, and have proposed a variety of alternate explanations.
Such skeptics often argue that the phenomenon might be a modern-day folk myth, or vivid dreams occurring in a state of sleep paralysis.
On the contrary ufologists and researchers hold positions closer to the face-value of abduction claims.
The discovery of common psychological traits shared by abductees would have the potential to determine a neurological explanation for the claims, while other commonalities or differences may serve to reinforce that the claims of the experiencers do in fact correspond with objective reality.

The first major alien abductions have already been described (see above).

While the events themselves were startling and inexplicable, they were relatively simple.
Other abductions, many of which began at the same time, were far less simple, but equally inexplicable.
The Hills, Villa Boas and others were simply 'ambushed', abducted and subsequently released.
These other abductions, however, were not simple 'one-off' events, but a series of events displaying various themes.

The terms alien abduction or abduction phenomenon describe "memories of being taken  against one’s will by apparently nonhuman entities, and subjected to complex physical and psychological procedures."
People claiming to have been abducted are usually called "abductees" or "experiencers." Typical claims involve being subjected to a forced medical examination that emphasizes their reproductive system.
Abductees sometimes claim to have been warned against environmental abuse and the dangers of nuclear weapons.
Consequently, while many of these purported encounters are described as terrifying, some have been viewed as pleasurable or transformative.


A variety of motivations are attributed to alleged abductors. These include:
Numerous reports that form a loose narrative around long-term surveillance and interaction with humans.
The entities state that the abductee has a unique characteristic, resulting in repeated abductions, implanting information subconsciously for later "activation".
Sometimes this is related to major changes affecting the Earth and the entities' desire to help.
When abductees ask why they are being studied or undergoing surgery, the entity may answer with a statement like "We have the right to do this."


In a study investigating the motivations of the alleged abductors, it was found that in each of the 4 cases out of 50 total where the experiencer was over 40 years of age or more, they were rejected by the aliens for "what they (the experiencers) usually inferred to be a medical reason.

This suggests that abduction is essentially a young person's experience and given the reproductive focus of the alleged abductions it is not surprising that one man reported being rejected because he had undergone a vasectomy.
It could also be partially because people over the age of 40 are less likely to have "hormonic" or reproductive activity going on.

Although abduction and other UFO-related reports are usually made by adults, there are many cases of young children report similar experiences.
These child-reports often feature very specific details in common with reports of abduction made by adults, including the cirumstances, narrative, entities and aftermaths of the alleged occurrences.
Often these young abductees have family members who have reported having abduction experiences.
Family involvement in the military, or a residence near a military base is also common amongst child abduction claimants.
With regard to the frequency of abductions, the precise number of alleged abductees is uncertain.
One of the earliest studies of abductions found 1,700 claimants, while contested surveys argued that 5–6 percent of the general population might have been abducted.

Children as Abductees

Although abduction and other UFO-related reports are usually made by adults, sometimes young children report similar experiences.

Reconstruction of a Child Abduction
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
These child-reports often feature very specific details in common with reports of abduction made by adults, including the circumstances, narrative, entities and aftermaths of the alleged occurrences.
Sometimes these young abductees have family members who have reported having abduction experiences.
Family involvement in the military, or a residence near a military base is also common amongst child abduction claimants.
Most researchers believe that the reports made by children should be taken similarly seriously to those made by adults.
Several characteristic behaviours of children fictionalizing stories, such as pausing to think, attempting to anticipate the reaction of the listener, or trying to fake convincing eye contact are lacking when children make such reports, and such children can be described as generally more animated than children making up stories, and speaking quickly, as they recall an account without the behaviour that involves story telling.
Some researchers suggest that children do not include the image of the Grey-type alien as part of their "image bank," and consequently their reports are not likely derived from cultural depictions of UFO related phenomena.
When, in tests, young children were requested to draw an alien, it was significant that none of them drew a Grey-like being.
Children seem to react differently to their alleged abduction experiences than adult claimants.
Many alleged adult experiencers report doubting their sanity, or the veracity of what they believed happened to them.
Children, by contrast, never seem to doubt that their experiences happened to them.
For an adult, an abduction experience can challenge much of what they believe about the world.
Children however, by virtue of being in a formative stage of development, more readily assimilate the experience into their developing world-view.
Many 'repeat-abductees' report that, as children from the ages of 2-6, they would be visited by 'balls of light' that would enter their room at night.
These balls of light would seem to play games with children and fly around the room. 
Some have interpreted them as being a way for the alleged abductees to develop their psychic abilities the way a physical ball helps develop coordination and athletic abilities.
As such these intangible orbs have been dubbed "psychic toys."
Although these phantasms are alleged to have appeared regularly, no corroborating sightings from members of the abductees' families or others that may have been expected to see them have been reported.
The Hopkins Image Recognition Test, or HIRT for Children is helpful in verifying legitimate occurrences of alien abduction.
There are ten different illustrated flash cards in the HIRT, nine of which depict "images from myth, from the real world, and from popular culture."
The tenth image is the "grey" type entity commonly associated with claims of abduction.
The images are drawn simply in black and white, featuring characters drawn in what is described as a "neutral and inexpressive" fashion.
This is supposed to be a preventative measure intended to keep the images from affecting the child's responses on an emotional basis.

for more information about a
childhood abduction experience in the 1950s click below

The Abduction Narrative

Although different cases vary in detail (sometimes significantly), there is a broad, fairly consistent sequence and description of events that make up the typical "close encounter of the fourth kind" (a popular but unofficial designation building on Dr. J. Allen Hynek's classifying terminology). Though the features outlined below are often reported, there is some disagreement as to exactly how often they actually occur.

Most abduction accounts feature the following events.
They generally follow the sequence noted below, though not all abductions feature all the events:

Capture - The abductee is forcibly taken from terrestrial surroundings to an apparent alien space craft.

Examination and Procedures - Invasive physiological and psychological procedures, and on occasion simulated behavioral situations, training & testing, or sexual liaisons.

Conference - The abductors communicate with the abductee or direct them to interact with specific individuals for some purpose.

Tour - The abductees are given a tour of their captors' vessel, though this is disputed by some researchers who consider this definition a confabulation of intent when just apparently being taken around to multiple places inside the ship.

Loss of Time - Abductees often rapidly forget the majority of their experience, either as a result of fear, medical intervention, or both.

Return - The abductees are returned to earth, occasionally in a different location from where they were allegedly taken or with new injuries or disheveled clothing.

Theophany - Coinciding with their immediate return, abductee may have a profound sense of love, a high, or "mystical experience", accompanied by a feeling of oneness with God, the universe, or their abductors. Whether this is the result of a metaphysical change, Stockholm Syndrome, or prior medical tampering is often not scrutinized by the abductees at the time.

Aftermath - The abductee must cope with the psychological, physical, and social effects of the experience.

It seems that the entire abduction event is precisely orchestrated.
All the procedures are predetermined. There is no standing around and deciding what to do next. The beings are task-oriented and there is no indication whatsoever that we have been able to find of any aspect of their lives outside of performing the abduction procedures.


Abduction claimants report unusual feelings preceding the onset of an abduction experience.
These feelings manifest as a compulsive desire to be at a certain place at a certain time or as expectations that something "familiar yet unknown," will soon occur.
Abductees also report feeling severe, undirected anxiety at this point even though nothing unusual has actually occurred yet.
This period of foreboding can last for up to several days before the abduction actually takes place or be completely absent.
Eventually, the experiencer will undergo an apparent "shift" into an altered state of consciousness.
External sounds cease to have any significance to the experiencer and fall out of perception. They report feeling introspective and unusually calm.
This stage marks a transition from normal activity to a state of "limited self-willed mobility."
As consciousness shifts one or more lights are alleged to appear, occasionally accompanied by a strange mist.
The source and nature of the lights differ by report, sometimes the light emanates from a source outside the house (presumably the abductors' UFO), sometimes the lights are in the bedroom with the experiencer and transform into alien figures.
As the alleged abduction proceeds, claimants say they will walk or be levitated into an alien craft, often through solid objects like walls or a window.
Alternatively, they may experience rising through a tunnel with or without the abductors accompanying them into the awaiting craft.


The examination phase of the so-called "abduction narrative" is characterized by the performance of medical procedures and examinations by apparently alien beings against or irrespective of the will of the experiencer.
Such procedures often focus on sex and reproductive biology, however, the literature holds reports of a wide variety of procedures allegedly performed by the beings.
The entity that appears to be in charge of the operation is often taller than the others involved.
The abductors' areas of interest appear to be the cranium (see below), nervous system, skin, reproductive system, and to a lesser degree, the joints.
Systems given less attention than a human doctor would, or omitted entirely include cardiovascular system, the respiratory system below the pharynx and the lymphatic system.
The abductors also appear to ignore the upper region of the abdomen in favor of the lower one.
There are also differences in procedure as well as emphasis between human medicine and that claimed to be practiced by the entities.
The abductors do not appear to wear gloves during the "examination."
Other constants of terrestrial medicine like pills and tablets are missing from abduction narratives although sometimes abductees are asked to drink liquids.
Injections also seem to be rare and IVs are almost completely absent.

Subsequent Abduction Procedures

After the so-called medical exam, the alleged abductees often report other procedures being performed with the entities.
Common among these post-examination procedures are what abduction researchers refer to as imaging, envisioning, staging, and testing.
"Imaging" procedures consist of an abductee being made to view screens displaying images and scenes that appear to be specially chosen with the intent to provoke certain emotional responses in the abductee.
"Envisioning" is a similar procedure, with the primary difference being that the images being viewed, rather than being on a screen, actually seem to be projected into the experiencer's mind.
"Staging" procedures have the abductee playing a more active role, according to reports containing this element.
It shares vivid hallucination-like mental visualization with the envisioning procedures, but during staging the abductee interacts with the illusionary scenario like a role player or an actor.
"Testing" marks something of a departure from the above procedures in that it lacks the emotional analysis feature.
During testing the experiencer is placed in front of a complicated electronic device and is instructed to operate it.
The experiencer is often confused, saying that they do not know how to operate it, however, when they actually set about performing the task, the abductee will find that they do, in fact, know how to operate the machine.

Child Presentation

Abductees of all ages and genders sometimes report being subjected to a "child presentation."
As its name implies, the child presentation involves the abduction claimant being shown a "child."
Often the children appear to be neither human, nor the same species as the abductors. Instead, the child will almost always share characteristics of both species.
These children are labeled by experiencers as hybrids between humans and their abductors, usually Greys.

Less Common Elements

These four elements are:

The conference
The tour
The journey
Chronologically within abduction reports these rarer episodes tend to happen in the order listed, between the medical examination and the return.
After allegedly displaying cold callous disregard towards the abduction experiencers, sometimes the entities will change drastically in behavior once the initial medical exam is completed.
They become more relaxed and hospitable towards their captive and lead him or her away from the site of the examination.
The entities then hold a conference with the experiencer, wherein they discuss things relevant to the abduction phenomenon.
There are five general categories of discussion that occur during the conference "phase" of reported abduction narratives: An interrogation session, explanatory segment, task assignment, warnings, and prophecies.
Tours of the abductors' craft are a rare but recurring feature of the abduction narrative.[
The tour seems to be given by the alleged abductors as a courtesy in response to the harshness and physical rigors of the forced medical examination.
Sometimes the abductee report traveling on a "journey" to orbit around Earth or to what appear to be other planets.
Some abductees find that the experience is terrifying, particularly if the aliens are of a more fearsome species, or if the abductee was subjected to extensive probing and medical testing.


Eventually the abductors will return the abductees to terra firma, usually to exactly the same location and circumstances they were in prior to being taken.
Usually, explicit memories of the abduction experience will not be present, and the abductee will realize they have experienced "missing time" upon checking a timepiece.
Sometimes the alleged abductors appear to make mistakes when returning their captives.
One type of common apparent mistake made by the abductors is failing to return the experiencer to the same spot that they were taken from initially.
This can be as simple as a different room in the same house, or abductees can even find themselves outside and all the doors of the house are locked from the inside.

Missing time

Missing time is a phenomenon reported by some people in connection with close encounters with UFOs and abduction phenomena. 
The term missing time refers to a gap in conscious memory relating to a specific period in time.
The gap can last from several minutes to several days in length.
The memory of what happened during the missing time reported is often recovered through hypnosis or during dreams.

Possible Causes

The subject is correct about an alien abduction that has taken place.
The memory of the event, real or imagined, is traumatic so that the mind represses it. 
The event itself did not happen, and the subject instead imagined as part of a hallucination caused by drugs or a seizure (Absence seizure), or implanted during hypnosis.
Highway hypnosis, or losing track of time while driving and having one's mind distracted.
The person slips into a trance similar to Highway Hypnosis under duress, stress, or similar circumstances in which conscious memories are no longer created; during this time the person can perform normally but have no memory of the actions they performed.
They could experience a case of Hypnagogia with out fully realizing it, similar to how one might doze off in the middle of something and have no recollection of the time between just before falling asleep and awaking.
Finally, the event is real, and the time was lost due to the Twin Paradox predicted by Einstein's Special theory of relativity: If the abductee was taken into the UFO which then flew into space at very high speeds, forming a loop trajectory eventually returning to Earth and letting the abducted person free, time would be subject to relativistic effects. According to the special theory of relativity, while many hours or days have elapsed on Earth, the elapsed time experienced by the occupants of the craft will be much shorter if the UFO traveled at a sufficiently high velocity.
Although the Twin Paradox itself is widely accepted as correct and true in physics, this explanation does not prove that UFO abductions themselves are real, it merely provides a plausible explanation for the missing time, should the abduction indeed occur.

Alternatively, it's thought the subject is brainwashed of certain events by the alien abductees.
For example, in the Hill abduction the couple may have had their memory erased from the time the abduction began until they resumed driving.

Whitley Strieber

Whitley Strieber (see left), with his remarkable descriptions of his own abductions, brought the phenomena of alien abduction to the attention of the general public with his book 'Communion'.
He is an American writer best known for his horror novels 'The Wolfen' and 'The Hunger'.
Then he wrote 'Communion', a non-fiction account of his perceived experiences with non-human entities.
Louis Whitley Strieber was born June 13 1945 in San Antonio, Texas; the son of Karl Strieber, a lawyer and Mary Drought Strieber.
He attended Central Catholic Marianist High School in San Antonio, Texas.
He was educated at the University of Texas at Austin and the London School of Film Technique, graduating from each in 1968.
He then worked for several advertising firms in New York City, rising to the level of vice president before quitting in 1977.
On December 26, 1985, Strieber reportedly was abducted from his cabin in upstate New York by non-human beings.
He wrote about these experiences in his first non-fiction book, 'Communion' (1987).
Although the book is perceived generally as an account of alien abduction, Strieber admittedly draws no conclusions about his experience.
He refers to the beings as "the visitors," a name chosen to be as neutral as possible to entertain the possibility that they are not extraterrestrials and may instead exist in his mind.

The cover painting for the book of an alien (see right) was rendered by Ted Seth Jacobs.
The painting is considered one of the most widely-recognized popular culture images of a "grey" alien.
"The Communion cover," Jacobs recounts, "was painted in my small apartment on East 83rd St, in New York City.
Whitley sat with me first for a drawing of the Alien.
As I sketched, he would indicate how to change the portrait so that it would more match what he saw.
It was, I believe, the process used by police sketch artists.
Every last detail was corrected according to his instructions.
At one point, he said the image corresponded exactly to what he had seen.
With Whitley beside me for the subsequent session, I began to paint the image on a wooden prepared panel, going through the same process as for the drawing, until Whitley finally said the image was exact. ... As to the gender of the Alien image, to tell the truth, the subject didn't come up.
I don't even know if the 'greys' have gender as we understand it.
Whitley corrected the developing image to have a certain fragility, a vulnerability.
I suppose we Earthlings usually associate these qualities with femininity."
Strieber wrote three additional autobiographies detailing his experiences with the visitors, 'Transformation' (1988), 'Breakthrough' (1995) and 'The Secret School' (1996).
What makes Strieber's experiences more typical of more recent abduction experiences is that he  had been experiencing alien abduction since he was a little boy.
He remembers being afraid of 'Mr. Peanut'  on the cans of Planter's due to the character's similarity in appearance to the "grey" type of alien.
Interestingly, these experiences date from the 1950s, which is the period when UFO sightings in America became prevalent.
In addition he discusses the fire that was started in his family home due to the faulty wiring in an anti-gravity device that he built in his room. The plans of this device were given to him by the aliens.
Anti gravity devices are mentioned frequently by abductees and, of course, takes us back to German research in the 30s and 40s and the Glocke.


© Copyright Peter Crawford 2012
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