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Taken With the Night: UFO Abductions and the Human Factor

Admitting you’re active in the field of UFO research, in all likelihood, will not serve you well as a pickup line when visiting a bar. After all, anytime a subject like alien abduction lands on the table during a conversation with someone you’re just getting to know, you’re bound to get a few strange looks… and if you’re lucky, you might even get a few strange stories, also.

To put it simply, I got lucky last night. But before I have to drag your mind back out of the gutter, I should make it clear what I mean: I was lucky enough to be able to share a conversation with someone who, rather than getting squeamish when the conversation drifted to the subject of alien abduction, responded by calmly saying that, “oh yeah, well that happened to a family member of mine.” The details that followed were incredibly interesting… and perhaps even a bit unsettling.

The conversation took place during a break between sets at a pub I visit once a week near the North Carolina/Georgia border, where my acoustic group is the house band on Wednesday evenings. My friend Amy had stopped in to watch us play, and since she was waiting for a few of her friends to arrive, I started chatting with her at the bar after she came over and told me “she had seen a wolf” on her way into town earlier that evening.

“A wolf,” I said, admitting a bit of skepticism. “Are you sure that wasn’t a coyote?”

She argued that coyotes she had seen were always more scrawny and physically smaller, and soon, a couple of the locals had chimed in with information about wildlife programs where Timber Wolves had been reintroduced in certain areas throughout the region. From this point, the conversation went on to sightings of weird or unusual animals, and before long, a full-on discussion of the unexplained had been initiated. When I admitted my primary area of interest dealt with UFOs, Amy told me something I had hardly expected.

“Well, I believe there’s evidence for that sort of thing. My dad’s mother actually said she was abducted by a UFO back in the 1970s.”

“Oh really?” I replied with genuine interest, though I’ve grown accustomed to people telling these kinds of stories by now.

“Yeah, but they say she’s a little crazy. And the weird thing about it was that she said that when they took her on board, they did all these tests on her… but they weren’t aliens or anything,” Amy told me, grasping for words a bit. “She said they were people on board that thing.”

“Wait, you said people? You mean humans?”

“That’s right,” Amy said. “She lives in Florida now, but if she’s ever in town, I’ll try and bring her by to speak to you.”

“I may just want to speak to her before then, if it could be arranged!” I told her. While there are a plethora of interesting reports of alleged alien abduction, the more seldom reports where people have claimed that there is a human connection to the entire UFO mystery have always intrigued me. Such reports are often connected with stories of underground bases, secret military projects, and a number of other conspiracy theories; but also of interest are studies that have emerged over the years which seem to suggest altered states of consciousness might be capable of inducing strong hallucinatory experiences where an individual might misinterpret things about their environment (such as with the research of Dr. Rick Strassman, outlined in his book DMT: The Spirit Molecule). Could it be even a remote possibility that some accounts of “alien abduction” involve something far more terrestrial going on, as perceived by abductees who filter their experience through the distortions some kind of altered state might present? Furthermore, what could be the reason for such an altered state (which could lend itself to the reasons for “dreamlike” experiences reported by many abductees)? Is there a chance they could be the result of some variety of hallucinagens that victims of abduction scenarios might be introduced to in some way?

While this is all mere speculation (and stemming from a conversation this author had with a friend at the pub), it does remind me of the countless other experiences reported by abductees that seem to bear these sorts of characteristics. What could be the real story behind the abduction phenomenon, and might certain aspects of the mystery remain far closer to home than most of us are willing to accept or realize otherwise?



Micah Hanks is a writer, podcaster, and researcher whose interests cover a variety of subjects. His areas of focus include history, science, philosophy, current events, cultural studies, technology, unexplained phenomena, and ways the future of humankind may be influenced by science and innovation in the coming decades. In addition to writing, Micah hosts the Middle Theory and Gralien Report podcasts.
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