Thinking Clearly About the Abduction Phenomenon

by David M. Jacobs, © 1998


Part 1: Introduction

During a hypnotic regression early on in my research, an abductee told me that the aliens who had abducted her were deliberately shielding her from the shock of having to see what they looked like.* They were concerned about her emotional well-being and although she could see their bodies, the aliens were preventing her from seeing their faces. I listened to this account and felt that it was logical and rational. I found no reason to doubt it, although there seemed to be something slightly "off kilter" about it that I could not figure out. The problem I eventually confronted was whether her memory was correct or not. The solution to this problem lies within the interrelationship between psychological expectations of what takes place in an abduction, and the abduction phenomenon's objective reality. Often it is this relationship that informs the thought of both abductees and researchers and causes problems.

From the beginning of the abduction phenomenon, debunkers, critics, and proponents have organized their knowledge about abductions based on incomplete evidence and culturally determined attitudes. As knowledge grows, theories must be revised. As we learn more, the verities of the past become the naivetes of the present. All knowledge is subject to change as new evidence is developed. With this is mind, we must revise some of our assumptions in light of new, sometimes disconfirmatory, and even disturbing, information. Although there is much that needs to be rethought, I would like to discuss some theories and thinking that presently need critical reevaluation.




* A version of this paper was given at the 1998 annual MUFON conference.

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