Mufon Launches Study Of UFO Abduction Experience
- Mufon Launches Study Of UFO Abduction Experience
by Marcia Jedd
The woman describes floating through her bedroom wall, as if levitating into
a beam of blue light. She recollects only portions of her experience later
while under hypnosis: being brought onto a small ship by short gray beings. One
of the intruders appears to direct the team of abductors. Once led onto the
craft, a taller being leads an examination where intricate procedures are
performed. Nearby, she senses a female being who uses gestures to comfort her. She
sees no other humans present.
To many, that story may be a familiar one in the realm of the
human-extraterrestrial encounter. But delving into the nuances and minutiae across cases is
where some believe real discoveries may be made. One large research project in
the U.S. today attempts to get at the particulars of the alien abduction
phenomenon and to unravel, if possible, any alien agendas.
The Abduction Transcription Project, sponsored by the Mutual UFO Network, or
MUFON, is perhaps the most comprehensive and ambitious research study to date
in the field of alien abductions. Dan Wright, MUFON member and board member,
launched the project in 1992 with the goal to uncover commonalities in alien
When people scattered across the country refer to a short being in terms of
the same physical characteristics, garment and a certain musty smell, one must
pay attention, says Wright, project director of the Abduction Transcription
Project. Or if a tall being is wearing a black wetsuit-type garment, is he
wearing a belt? If so, does the belt have a black box on it? Such levels of detail
are required to begin to grasp more fully and even, perhaps, begin to make
sense of the phenomenon.
Descriptions of an entity may include height, skin tone, garment type and
garment color. That entity's behavior may be described as caring, manipulative,
threatening or humorous. Entity Behavior and Entity Communication, for
example, are among the 53 general categories Wright tracks. The project uses verbatim
transcripts from the abductee's or subject's actual descriptions, which are
fed into Wright's database to glean over 2,000 words and phrases used as
descriptors. These descriptors are then classified into the general categories or
what Wright calls root factors. Topics here include references to the subject's
description of entity appearance, a ship's outward appearance, interior
layout, paranormal elements and post-event effects.
The Abduction Transcription Project is a private study which relies on
transcripts of audiocassette-recorded sessions from some 19 of the U.S.'s leading
abduction researchers, many of whom are psychology professionals, licensed or
registered hypnotherapists, doctors, scientists and engineers. The project's
contributors have included: Ann Druffel, Richard Haines, Richard Hall, David
Jacobs and the late Karla Turner. Many contributors are testing their own
abduction hypotheses. By not publicizing certain hypotheses, researchers continue to
test their ideas separately and attempt to make sense of the seemingly random
or anomalous abduction data.
At present, the Abduction Transcription database consists of 254 cases,
incorporating over 700 sessions between researchers and subjects, primarily in
dialogue from regressive hypnosis sessions, and some interviews with the subject
in a fully conscious state. While each researcher may use different methods
and procedures, Wright says the typical case may stretch beyond 100 pages of
data. Some researchers, such as David Jacobs, may just do one interview session
with a subject, while others, such as Richard Haines, often ask the same
question three different ways to determine the validity of an answer.
Regressive hypnosis is not an exact science. However, because of the nature
of abductions where much of the experience may not be easily or consciously
recalled, it remains one of the best tools available. Cognitive interviewing is
another recognized technique where the subject is asked questions. As Wright
admits, there is a level of contamination associated with any research project;
however, the project helps to overcome that by using a multitude of skilled,
Wright is in the unique position to draw conclusions or make detailed
observations from the data, uncovering both commonalities and anomalies or what he
calls odd factors. One example is a finding that the great majority of abductees
don't report seeing any railings within the spaceship or tour area. But
Wright found several cases where rail guards were reported and within these cases
research has found commonalities such as the types of beings found on these
From his analysis of the case data, Wright is in a position to make
fascinating observations about alleged alien entities, their behavior and how they
work. One thing is clear from the data: there appear to be a number of different
types or groups of entities with varying abilities and significant evolutional
differences. For example, some aliens may simply place their hand on the
subject's forehead to induce loss of consciousness or memory, while others
administer a liquid syrup as anesthetic.
Interestingly, Wright says it is clear most entity groups use short grays
for performing the actual abduction. An away team of short white, gray or blue
beings abduct the subject from the home or auto, but usually have no other
observed function, says Wright. Additional entities aboard the ship likewise seem
to have more narrowly defined duties. Taller beings are often contained within
the ship and nearly always appear to hold the most authority. One taller
being usually doesn't leave the ship. He is often referred to as a doctor; but
he's clearly in charge, says Wright. Assistants to the doctor may be short or
tall, but usually tend to be taller. Less appears to be known about the taller
beings who stay on the ship, and certainly the media and abduction stories tend
to focus on the short grays.
BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY
Depending on the type of being, technological advancements and perceived
missions may vary widely. In the majority of cases, abductions are made via a
beam of light used for levitation, as a way to get the subject into the ship,
whether from the home or by being led outside to walk into a beam. Beams are
often white or bluish white. Odd factors among light beams appear in several cases
where subjects describe dust flecks or particles within the beam. The
particles tell me that this is probably a completely separate mechanism for
levitation, says Wright. Or, in a smaller number of cases, the subject physically walks
onto the ship without observing light beams.
Wright has found few predictable patterns or broad commonalities across the
database of abductions. However, in addition to the generalizations made here,
Wright has been able to make some other findings. While a large number of
abductions involve small craft with a single round room, a significant number
involve larger ships with numerous rooms, each for a particular purpose and
separated by hallways. The majority of cases are solo abductions, where the subject
sees no other humans or human-like beings. Interactions with or sighting of
other humans and humanoids by the subject have occurred in one-third of the
cases. Distinct commonalities exist across numerous cases such as details of a
hybrid's appearance or humanoid's uniform, or an immense cave to which the
subject is led. Paranormal activity is somewhat common to abduction events,
primarily in auditory form, such as unexplained footsteps or crashing noises heard in
the abductee's home.
Odd factors include subjects looking down and seeing four long fingers, but
being unable to find a mirror to look at themselves. There are also instances
where subjects are seemingly lured by animals, such as a deer or owl, which
are soon recognized as alien. The notion of an animal is what is first plugged
into their mind, says Wright.
Mental telepathy or thought transference is often described. Information is
conveyed to the subject in an instant from the entity. The aliens also have
some mysterious ways at getting subjects to forget all or parts of an abduction
experience, apparently achieved by manipulating the subject's concept of time.
In many cases, the beings use telepathy both for general communication and
to communicate to the subject the need to forget the experience, rather than
any spoken post-hypnotic suggestion. In a few cases, the being places his hand
or fingers on the subject's forehead, seemingly to erase memory of the event.
Most subjects are unable to recall the entire event, but the great majority
remember some of the onboard experience. Some don't recall getting there or
coming back; they just remember a few minutes on the examining table, says
Of the proverbial alien agenda', Wright stresses that groups of beings, each
with varying levels of abilities, skill sets and technologies, often
communicate disparate missions to the subject.
Contrary to belief that all abductees are traumatized, probed or otherwise
harassed, Wright says reproduction is only one of several themes which dominate
the cases, and a case may have more than one theme. The major underlying
>Some 19 cases involve underground caves and in a few of these the subject has
> Reproduction, sperm and ova are removed, with the most common procedure the
> removal of ova. In some cases, embryo implants are made and/or aborted from
> female subjects.
> Connection to the aliens or kinship, the subject reaches the conclusion of
> an innate connection with alien captors which transcends this lifetime as a
> human. The abductee feels like a fish out of water in their own family, or
> otherwise disconnected from humanity.
> A mission, beings communicate to abductees that information is being planted
> in their minds which they'll later use, whether technical concepts, notions
> of some great contribution to society, human-alien liaisons, or other
> high-minded purposes.
> Destruction of the earth, the subject is shown images of future events,
> often involving geophysical catastrophe. This save the planet theme has nearly
> replaced that of nuclear destruction from earlier cases. Some are led to
> believe they will be safe or otherwise removed from any earth disasters.
> Government's involvement, the subject sees military or para-military
> personnel working alongside entities or is otherwise led to believe that the
> government is involved in working with alien entities.
observed military working alongside entities, often sitting at computer
equipment. Separately, only two cases involve underground facilities where the room
appears manmade and not a cave. Men In Black', despite the popularity of the
mysterious government agent image, are a thing of the past, says Wright. They
don't appear in his database. However, straight military intelligence or other
type of agents do appear, often to intimidate the subject as guys in
fatigues, says Wright.
Wright stresses that while the ongoing study uses quantitative analysis
techniques, at this point the data isn't statistically reliable or projectable
because of the low sample numbers. However, patterns and odd factors found will
over time, it is hoped, help to unravel the giant mystery of the abduction
phenomenon. To that end, Wright says, The ongoing objective of the project is to
provide quality data to participants and other UFO researchers with a legitimate
interest. ULTIMATE ENDS
As to any grand purpose for abductions, Wright says, I believe we are a
progeny of one or more of these groups of beings, that we are in effect their
genetic cousins. That is why they travel great distances of space and time to get
Wright and many others, such as the late Carl Sagan, have argued that
abductions beg the question of why aliens would care to come to our star system
toward the edge of this galaxy to interact with humans, who, by all accounts, are
not at their level of intelligence or evolution? One salient answer comes back
to Wright's suggested rationale: we are connected at a fundamental level with
these beings going back to our evolutional beginnings.
Wright plans to continue the project indefinitely. Of the denial of the
abduction phenomenon by many today, he says, over time, the great numbers getting
plugged into my computer are going to wash away all the criticism.
Marcia Jedd is a journalist and marketing researcher. As a journalist her
specialties are earth-bound transportation and travel. She watches the skies from
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