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they-are-here-again by bildfabrik via Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/bildfabrik/3659986349/in/photostream/

Abductions: What do we Really Know?

September 19 of this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the famous Betty and Barney Hill UFO encounter – an event that, arguably, ushered in the phenomenon that has become known as “Alien Abduction.” But, almost half a century after the Hill’s firmly added a new category to UFO research, what do we truly know about the real nature of abductions? Let’s take a look.

On the night at issue, Betty and Barney, a New Hampshire couple, were driving home from vacationing in Canada when they were subjected to a terrifying experience. Despite viewing some form of unusual aerial object in the night-sky, and what appeared to be living entities that could be seen through the craft’s portals, until their arrival back home, the Hill’s had little indication that there was far more to the encounter than they realized.

It later transpired, however, that approximately two-hours of time could not be accounted for. After months of emotional distress, sleepless nights, and strange dreams pertaining to encounters with unusual, otherworldly beings, the couple finally sought assistance from Benjamin Simon, a Boston-based psychiatrist and neurologist. Subjected to time-regression hypnosis, both Betty and Barney recalled what had taken place during that missing 120-minutes or so.

Significantly, they provided very close accounts of encounters with apparent alien creatures that took the pair on-board some form of alien vehicle and subjected them to a series of physical examinations – a number of which were highly distressing in nature. The experience of the Hill’s later became the subject of John Fuller’s now-classic book, The Interrupted Journey and a 1975 movie of the same name.  And although claims have been made (and almost certainly highly-justified claims, too) that the phenomenon long pre-dates the Hill affair, it was certainly this incident that paved the way for the massive interest in abductions that ultimately developed in the 1980s and 1990s.

While abduction cases continued to surface now and again in the 1960s, and more so in the 1970s, it was without doubt the 1981 publication of Budd Hopkins’ book Missing Time that really thrust the phenomenon into the public-arena, big-time. Then, with the 1987 appearance of Hopkins’ Intruders, the phenomenon gained further publicity.

By now, there was a growing, widespread belief within the ufological research arena that extraterrestrials from some far-away world were engaged in a secret program to kidnap, experiment on, and exploit the Human Race – possibly for reasons relative to genetic manipulation, and the creation of hybrid entities of a definitively half-human/half-alien nature. And, even though this particular theory continues to be championed beyond all others when it comes to abductions, it is far from being alone.

Whitley Strieber’s 1987 best-seller, Communion – while certainly not dismissing the extraterrestrial hypothesis for abductions – demonstrated that even if aliens were at the heart of the abduction puzzle, there was far more to them than mere extraterrestrial scientists engaged in some other-world research project. Communion, as well as Strieber’s subsequent titles, delved into potential connections between the Grays of UFO lore and the realm of the dead, the similarities (as had been noted by acclaimed ufologist Jacques Vallee in such titles as Messengers of Deception) between modern-day abductions and encounters in centuries-past with magical, ethereal entities like fairies, and much more of a thought-provoking nature.

And, as time has progressed, so have the theories behind what may be present at the heart of abductions. Before his untimely death in 2009, Mac Tonnies was busily chasing down the Cryptoterrestrials. In Mac’s mind, our mysterious abductors might not be from the stars, after all. Rather, he opined, they might very well be a very ancient terrestrial race – albeit one that exists alongside us in deep stealth.

Mac told me: “I regard the alleged ‘hybridization program’ with skepticism. How sure are we that these interlopers are extraterrestrial? It seems more sensible to assume that the so-called aliens are human, at least in some respects. Indeed, descriptions of intercourse with aliens fly in the face of exobiological thought. If the cryptoterrestrial population is genetically impoverished, as I assume it is, then it might rely on a harvest of human genes to augment its dwindling gene-pool. It would be most advantageous to have us believe we’re dealing with omnipotent extraterrestrials rather than a fallible sister species.”

Then there was the research of the late Dr. John Mack, who cited in his published works the intriguing and disturbing testimony of a number of abductees who believed the predatory, black-eyed beings that are so associated with abductions were actually trying to steal their souls, rather than their DNA.

As for me, while undertaking the research for my Final Events book, I spoke with a variety of government-insiders who firmly believe the “aliens” are literal demons, and that the entire abduction experience is an illusion, a sophisticated hologram, designed to convince us we are dealing with extraterrestrials, thus allowing the minions of Satan to get their claws into us.

And what about the story of Jim Penniston? Formerly of the U.S. Air Force, and one of the key military players in the famous UFO encounter at Rendlesham Forest, England in December 1980, Penniston – in 1994 – underwent hypnotic regression, as part of an attempt to try and recall deeply buried data relative to what occurred during one of Britain’s closest encounters. Very interestingly, while under hypnosis, Penniston stated that our presumed aliens are, in reality, visitors from a far-flung future.

That future, Penniston added, is very dark, in infinitely deep trouble, polluted and where the Human Race is overwhelmingly blighted by reproductive problems. The answer to those same, massive problems: they travel into the distant past – to our present day – to secure sperm, eggs and chromosomes, all as part of an effort to try and ensure the continuation of the severely waning Human Race.

So, where am I going with all this? Well, clearly all the above-scenarios to which I have referred cannot be correct. Maybe one of them is on target. Maybe none of them are. The fact is, however, practically half-a-century after Betty and Barney Hill opened the floodgates, while we know there is an undoubted phenomenon at work, it is a phenomenon that – despite what some researchers might tell you - is still steeped in deep mystery, with respect to its real nature.

In other words, in answer to the title of this post what we really know is…not much at all. I sincerely hope that the next 50 years of abduction research will bring us some definitive answers, rather than just more and more reports. But I’m not holding my breath.

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  • Dawn

    you know I am quite sure that these things are real. I have experienced this quite a few times. I know that these needle marks are real. I know that bruises and burns are real.
    I know that the travesty of the truth has begun to act as the treatment for the ones that have experienced this for themselves. We are real and the war on the other side has begun they are willing to determine their vulnerability by asking the questions but, this planet just doesn’t hear.They will continue to go to the extreme as long as others deny this is happening.

  • Topher

    ‘Satan’ and ‘demons’ are mythological entities. There’s not a scrap of evidence for the objective existence of such things. In the Old Testament, Satan wasn’t even ‘The Devil’ merely a form of prosecutor for Yahweh. Later, this was conflated with the concept of Lucifer and an evil enemy of God. Demons, similarly, are the bogeymen of religious dogma, used to control the minds of superstitious fools.

    There is, however (as we all know) plenty of evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial visitors or probes visiting our planet. Imagining that they are the demons of religious myth is unscientific and utterly absurd, an act of wishful thinking.

    Bring me evidence for the existence of Satan and then we’ll talk.

  • Mfritz0

    OK, here’s my take on this abduction theory. Recent data from the Keppler satellite has indicated that at least 50% of the stars in our galaxy contain planets of one form or another. This translates into vast numbers of planets possible of supporting extraterrestrial life forms with many of them being superior in intellect and technology to humans. Mainly because they have been around a lot longer than we have. With humans what is the first thing that usually happens when we discovered new land occupied by technically deficient people? We conquered them, and made them slaves. In space, this is probably also true. So why haven’t we been conquered? The reason man hasn’t been conquered is because our lifespan is so short, as slaves we are not a marketable commodity and the slavers of the galaxy have not bothered to look at us, however if you can combine our genes with a species that has extremely long lifespans you could make a very marketable product that could be sold throughout the galaxy as an intelligent work force.

  • Nick_redfern

    Topher:

    Well, of course there is no evidence for the existence of Satan and Hell, any more than there is any proof of Heaven or God. Do I personally think the abduction phenomenon is demonic? No, not at all. But I did write a book – Final Events – demonstrating how and why certain people in government do believe that the abduction puzzle is linked to the realm of demons.

    The point of the article was to demonstrate that because the abduction phenomenon is cloaked in mystery, it has led to a situation where we have a lot of reports and data, but no hard evidence. And that has resulted in the creation of countless theories to explain abductions: aliens; time-travelers; demons; inter-dimensional entities; cryptoterrestrials.

    I could have gone on and on with numerous other theories: Tulpas; angels; sleep-paralysis; the list goes on and on and on.

    I would personally dispute that, in your words we have “plenty of evidence for the existence of extraterrestrial visitors or probes visiting our planet.”

    No, we don’t, at all. What we have is a mountain of reports indicating a very real UFO phenomenon in our presence. The theory that the phenomenon is extraterrestrial is based upon belief and interpretation of the data.

    Now, it may well be that the ETH is the best possibility. But, until it’s proven, the ET angle can only be a belief system and an article of faith, a theory, and nothing more – just like every religion that has ever existed.

    And for many people Ufology is a religion – which is why it is so belief-driven, rather than hard evidence-driven.

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  • marcos anthony toledo

    All these theries have possibilties and they in a way all be valid since we may be dealing with more than one extraterreatial spieces with different agendas and prodjects to their adavantage and not ours.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QLLYTCGNPKV6ZY7IBN4VDIO734 SinCityQ

    Pretty obviously, what we think we know on this subject, we probably don’t.

    No disrespect to the many authors who have spun their thoughts into books. They have gone further to address this issue than the entirety of mainstream science in the half-a-century since the B&B Hill abduction.

    Personally, I tend to lean to the demonic school of thought… though that specific bit of terminology may be as faulty as any. But still and all, this is not a new phenomena and is probably related to those events recorded from the distant past and labeled using the terminology and beliefs they had in hand at the time.

    One interesting line of recent centers on human blood types and the commonality of a great number of abductees, as well as their specific experiences. If mankind is something more than an evolutionary product, then that speciality may be at the heart of the matter.

    Our abductors may be seeking an avenue to that certain human uniqueness… our immortal soul, for lack of a better term. It would explain why they are interested in our reproductive processes and why anything resembling such an advanced race of creatures seem to be beating their fat heads against a brick wall in the effort.

    Cheers :)

  • Daface77

    There are some things we can’t forget when studying the mystery of abductions. Remember that Betty HIll was shown a star map. Years later, Marjorie Fish concluded that Betty’s depiction of the star map matched the Zeta Reticuli 1 & 2 star system. Zeta Reticuli wasn’t discovered until eight years after the Hill’s abduction. That is a very important clue. Most abduction reports indicate seeing an arial craft and being taken inside the craft. Another major clue. Another hint is that many reports from abductees claim that they see the Earth from space.

    Ufology encompasses various fields of study including ancient astronaut research. We can not forget about the evidence provided by these fields. The ancient astronaut researchers theorize that we humans are descendants of ETs. That would explain how these beings can mix genes for the hybrid program. Many ancients refer to these entities as “star beings” or brothers that descend from the stars or sky. While the Devil and demons pertain to people with a Judeo/Christian background, other groups such as Native Americans, have a different view as to who these entities are and where they come from. Let’s not forget that some ancient artworks depict odd craft and strange beings, some of which resemble grays.

    We also can not forget about the craft filmed in outer space by NASA. Do demons or extra-dimensional beings need to be buzzing around outer space if they can just pop in and out of our realm on earth?

    There seems to be commonalities between the various sub-genres of study within Ufology and they are: fantastic arial (sometimes water) vehicles, strange humanoids and their connection to stars/outer space.

  • Nick_redfern

    Daface:

    You say re the Betty Hill map (see a more post and comments from on “UFO absurdities” on this very site), that the map is a “very important clue.”

    Why could it not be a very important lie instead, one designed to make people believe the very thing that it has led many to believe, such as you, namely that the phenomenon is extraterrestrial, rather than something else?

    Are you really saying that if unknown intelligences of unknown origin and unknown intent may have shown Betty a map, then we should somehow, and illogically, trust them at their word?! Why should we take at their word, entities that reportedly kidnap people, traumatize then, tell them it’s for their own good, and then attempt to wipe their memories clean?

    Young children – all across the world – are told that Santa Claus is real, and they are taught by their parents to put out food and drink for him. By Christmas morning, the morning that food and drink is gone. The little kid is wide-eyed with wonder.

    That the food is gone, is seen as evidence by the kid that Santa visited. But, it’s nothing but an utter lie (granted, not a malicious lie at all, of course; it’s all in good fun), told to millions of kids every year. But the food is an integral part of ensuring the ruse works. And the map could be an integral part of a ruse too.

    By the same token, that the map shows what appears to be stars is irrelevant. As with Santa, instiling certain imagery, and providing certain evidence (whether a map, or a plate of crumbs) is not evidence of anything.

    Rather, it’s a way and means to help create, nurture and bolster belief-system in the intended target, whether that belief system revolves around a bug-eyed alien or a fat geezer with a white beard and a red suit.

    The Santa thing is a harmless decption, and great fun for kids. If some intelligence is trying to instil ET-themed scenarios via maps (and let me assure you, imagining that ET would need a map to navigate the stars is ludicrious – see my “absurdites” post and comments as to why), then that may not be a harmless deception.

  • Nick_redfern

    Daface:

    You say re the Betty Hill map (see a more post and comments from on “UFO absurdities” on this very site), that the map is a “very important clue.”

    Why could it not be a very important lie instead, one designed to make people believe the very thing that it has led many to believe, such as you, namely that the phenomenon is extraterrestrial, rather than something else?

    Are you really saying that if unknown intelligences of unknown origin and unknown intent may have shown Betty a map, then we should somehow, and illogically, trust them at their word?! Why should we take at their word, entities that reportedly kidnap people, traumatize then, tell them it’s for their own good, and then attempt to wipe their memories clean?

    Young children – all across the world – are told that Santa Claus is real, and they are taught by their parents to put out food and drink for him. By Christmas morning, the morning that food and drink is gone. The little kid is wide-eyed with wonder.

    That the food is gone, is seen as evidence by the kid that Santa visited. But, it’s nothing but an utter lie (granted, not a malicious lie at all, of course; it’s all in good fun), told to millions of kids every year. But the food is an integral part of ensuring the ruse works. And the map could be an integral part of a ruse too.

    By the same token, that the map shows what appears to be stars is irrelevant. As with Santa, instiling certain imagery, and providing certain evidence (whether a map, or a plate of crumbs) is not evidence of anything.

    Rather, it’s a way and means to help create, nurture and bolster belief-system in the intended target, whether that belief system revolves around a bug-eyed alien or a fat geezer with a white beard and a red suit.

    The Santa thing is a harmless decption, and great fun for kids. If some intelligence is trying to instil ET-themed scenarios via maps (and let me assure you, imagining that ET would need a map to navigate the stars is ludicrious – see my “absurdites” post and comments as to why), then that may not be a harmless deception.

  • http://bit.ly/yeWDwt Charles Frith

    I love Nick’s reserved and cautious analysis but I’d be the first to buy a book of Nick Redfern’s wild speculation based on gut feel and experience. Hope you write that one up and save it till last Nick.