Wednesday, December 28, 2022

UFO Abductees

"Supernatural Support Groups: Who Are the UFO Abductees and Ritual-Abuse Survivors?" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion attempts to demographically compare two disturbingly large groups: people who claim to have been victims of usually Satanic child abuse; and UFO abductees.

I started watching an odd indie film Beyond the Sky, which starts as sort of Blair UFO Project, and it rekindled a question.  Why do so many UFO abductee stories sound suspiciously like childhood sexual abuse memories filtered through a less dangerous model?  It wasn't the uncle or Scoutmaster or priest or teacher when Cartman insists  "I know I didn't have an anal probe."

Starting with The Interrupted Journey of Mr. and Mrs. Hill, stories of alien abduction have often involved people taken against their will, subjected to testing or experiments, sometimes seemingly sexual in nature (at least when viewed retrospectively, and not by the abductees).  The repressed memories, the sense of violation (even when not explicitly sexual as with the Interrupted Journey couple), all make me wonder if UFO abductees are attempting to make sense of violations too painful to directly face.

A retrospective study of childhood sexual abuse went back to 153 women who had been hospitalized for sexual abuse as children.  This must have been pretty severe to have put them in the hospital.

In 1990 and 1991, 153 of these girls, now adults, were located and personally contacted. Ten women refused to be interviewed, and seven scheduled but never came in for an interview. One hundred thirty-six women were interviewed (66% of the total sample). Four of these interviews were dropped from the analyses because the initial report did not involve actual sexual contact, and three additional cases were dropped because the women indicated that they or others had fabricated the initial report of the sexual abuse. Thus, the sample for these analyses consisted of 129 women....

Of the 129 women in the sample, over one third (38%) did not report the sexual abuse that they experienced in childhood and that had been documented in hospital records (the index abuse), nor did they report any sexual abuse by the same perpetrator. Although some of these women may have simply decided not to tell the interviewers about the abuse, additional findings discussed later suggest that the majority of these women actually did not remember the abuse.
Some women gave dramatic indications that they really did not recall the abuse and would have told us if they had "known." For example, in one instance, the young woman told the interviewer that she was never sexually abused as a child, and she repeatedly and calmly denied any sexual abuse experiences throughout the detailed questioning. She was then asked if anyone in her family had ever gotten into trouble for his or her sexual behavior, and she said, "No," and then spontaneously added, "Oh, wait a minute, could this be something that happened before I was born?" When told "yes," she said, "My uncle sexually assaulted someone." Later she said the following:
"I never met my uncle (my mother's brother), he died before I was born. You see, he molested a little boy. When the little boy's mother found out that her son was molested, she took a butcher knife and stabbed my uncle in the heart, killing him."

 The interviewer (unaware of the circumstances of this woman's victimization) recorded the details of this account of the uncle's death and completed the interview. Comparison with the original account of the abuse recorded in 1974 revealed that this participant (at age 4), her cousin (at age 9), and her playmate (at age 4) were all abused by the uncle.

Another explanation "Alien abduction: a medical hypothesis", J. Am. Acad. Psychoanal Dyn Psychiatry:

In response to a new psychological study of persons who believe they have been abducted by space aliens that found that sleep paralysis, a history of being hypnotized, and preoccupation with the paranormal and extraterrestrial were predisposing experiences, I noted that many of the frequently reported particulars of the abduction experience bear more than a passing resemblance to medical-surgical procedures and propose that experience with these may also be contributory. There is the altered state of consciousness, uniformly colored figures with prominent eyes, in a high-tech room under a round bright saucerlike object; there is nakedness, pain and a loss of control while the body's boundaries are being probed; and yet the figures are thought benevolent.

There are a lot of traumatized people out there, working through their trauma in different ways.  They all deserve our sympathy even if we do not start hunting the skies over Roswell, N.M.

Beyond the Sky was worth watching.  It has a strange ending that can be read as a MK Ultra follow-on project hallucination or Close Encounter of the Third Kind.

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