As many readers of Mysterious Universe may know, I have recently undertaken the bold task of attempting to reevaluate the UFO enigma, starting with a sort of deconstruction of what is considered our most fundamental knowledge base, and working my way up from there to attempt to discern consistencies that either agree (or perhaps more importantly, disagree) with conventional standards in the field.
That said, I've recently been contacted by a wide variety of individuals, ranging from those who have had experiences themselves, to those who hold degrees in the sciences, all of whom have been kind enough to share their insights into this phenomenon. I must say that many of the ideas and perspectives I have been offered are fascinating; but among them, the notion that certain people might literally see the world differently from others keeps cropping up. Is it possible for one group of individuals, perhaps due to age, sex, race, or some other determining factor, to literally be capable of perceiving things in different ways than others do?
One reader named Crystal recently offered her ideas that children, particularly newborns, might do just that; in other words, other people seen through the eyes of an infant may look far different than the same people would appear to you or I. Furthermore, she expressed the idea that remembrances of early experiences from our infant years could even account for some presumed memories of alien encounters. I noted during our correspondence that I am familiar with theories very similar to this (Google something along the lines of "alien abduction birth memories" for more on this). Clearly, studies have shown that the child's mind interprets strange things from time to time, and in ways a grown-up mind simply would not.
To illustrate a few examples of this sort of thing, I am able to recall a number of instances where friends of mine have described seeing odd things at various times during their youth, particularly during circumstances involving snakes. One example involves my younger brother, who claims to have stumbled onto a snake in a thicket while playing outside at around age five. As he had been crawling through the brush, he maintains that he discovered a black snake, which "puffed", "snorted" or otherwise grunted at him somehow. None of the black snakes (even hognose snakes or similar species) in Western North Carolina where we grew up would likely be capable of making noises similar to what he described. There are, however, videos that clearly depict the popular "hissing" sound associated with various species of snakes, such as this one. Again, the hissing noise can't be easily likened to a grunt or snort, but we might consider that a child's mind could be prone to exaggerating any such sound.
Another friend, at around the same age, claimed to have seen a snake that, in his memory, had been two or three inches thick, but only about a foot long. The critter, as remembered, was also equipped with antennas, hence appearing somewhat slug-like. In this circumstance, the snake allegedly even spoke to the witness, who said it asked him, "hey, how ya doin'!" Again, clearly the child's mind exaggerated the experience greatly (and again with noticeable exaggerations involving sounds).
A final example: my Grandmother Lucy swears she saw a "hoop snake" when she was a child; that is, a snake that took its tail in its own mouth, stood up straight, and proceeded to roll like a wheel. Though frontier legends often describe so-called hoop snakes, no known species are said to have ever been witnessed engaging in this sort of behavior or particular mode of transportation.
Though these instances remain interesting and quite vivid as memories in the minds of the individuals who saw them, even the witnesses themselves recognize that these stories don't represent realistic perception of the events described. Perhaps this could be the case with some claims of alien abduction as well: they stem from unique memories of circumstances interpreted vastly differently by the child's mind, rather than by that of an adult. With the careful aid of hypnosis, is it possible that this experience is somehow further justified in the adult mind, and thus accepted as a valid interpretation of one's surroundings? We can only imagine what recalling such things vividly as an adult could lead to... if, of course, there is indeed any validity to claims made by hypnotists with regard to successful regression with their patients. With the level of scrutiny that hypnosis and its practitioners have undergone over the last several years (and recently in the field of ufology), this remains highly questionable.
Regardless of the truth behind the mysteries presented by UFOs and other strange phenomena, one thing is clear: there are a wealth of unique opinions being expressed today with regard to unexplained research, and the growing body of speculation is as fascinating now as it has ever been. With measured skepticism and a constant focus on reason and logic applied to our understanding of things, perhaps we'll continue to draw closer to unraveling some of this world's most intriguing phenomena in the coming years.