Alien Abductions

Introduction: Who or What are We Dealing With?

by Mac Tonnies

"I'd tell all my friends but they'd never believe me; they'd think that I'd finally lost it completely."

--Radiohead, "Subterranean Homesick Alien"

If "aliens" (whatever that word ultimately means) want to interact with us, they may choose to do so in an archetypal language, showing us, in effect, what we expect to see. The diminished physique of the ubiquitous "Gray" may be partly, or even mostly, invented by the media. But the fact remains that we equate big-headed, big-eyed bald creatures with literal extraterrestrial aliens. Why shouldn't an alien intelligence exploit a pre-existing image if it helps it interact with us?

As Jacques Vallee writes, "The visitors seem willing to conform to whatever mythology or beliefs they find; they become what we want them to be and tell us what we want to hear. Modern mythology having shifted from the magical to the scientific, it's only logical that the visitors would pose as scientifically advanced beings from space."

Paranoia by Maria Burd, used with permission.

I don't have any problem with the idea of extraterrestrials. But I doubt that our visitors are "space people" in the conventional, flesh-and-bone sense. Humans are already making remarkable progress with nanotechnology, neurology and quantum physics. If we are being visited, the aliens are likely thousands or millions of years ahead of us and conceivably possess a technology "indistinguishable from magic."

Perhaps our visitors, assuming they're here observing us for unknown reasons, manifest on a level of consciousness where they can work with fewer distractions as well as appeal to our individualized sense of reality. This would help account for cosmetic differences in eyewitness descriptions of aliens and their vehicles (assuming a "vehicle" is present during or prior to an abduction).

The "Gray" alien we all know and love might be a mask. But that doesn't make the intelligence wearing it any less real.

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John Velez's UFO/abduction Information Center offers "experiencer" artwork and resources for "abductees."

Whitley Strieber, author of the riveting 1987 bestseller "Communion," maintains Whitley Strieber's Unknown Country, which features news, commentary, audio from Strieber's online radio program, and merchandise. While well-produced, this site is easily eclipsed by many fringe news sites, and the quality of the original material tends to vary.

Beyond Communion is an impeccably updated independent appraisal of Whitley Strieber's claims, including an online interview I conducted with Strieber via his now-defunct "Ask Whitley" BBS. This is an essential compliment to Strieber's official website.

Typical "Gray" alien, as drawn by a CE-IV experiencer.

Budd Hopkins is a noted artist and author of two of the most influential books ever written about alien abduction: 1981's "Missing Time" and 1987's "Intruders" (which, along with Whitley Strieber's bestselling "Communion," placed the abduction phenomenon firmly on the cultural map). For ten years, Hopkins' Intruders Foundation has been seeking to establish the reality of apparent contacts with aliens. Whether one agrees with Hopkins or not, he is one of the field's most articulate and compelling thinkers. (Harvard University's Dr. John Mack began his exploration of alien abduction after encountering Hopkins' work.)

The Hickson/Parker abduction is one of the most unnerving accounts of its kind on record.

Plagued by recurrent alien abductions? Wish those damned "Grays" would just get back in their spaceship and leave you the hell alone? Fortunately there's hope . . .

Dr. Roger Leir, podiatrist and author of "The Aliens and the Scalpel," has assisted in the sugical removal of nine anomalous objects from the bodies of professed "abductees." Some of these "implants" share unique physical preperties and appear to be intelligently manufactured. But for what purpose?

Close Encounters of the Sixth Kind: Cases Involving Injury, Death, or Healing of the Experiencer

Harvard University's Dr. John Mack

Pulitzer Prize-winning psychiatrist Dr. John Mack was one of the most articulate voices in the "alien abduction" field. The John E. Mack Institute continues to further efforts to understand "alien encounters" and similar bizarre experiences, drawing from diverse cultures and disciplines.

Michael Shermer's Skeptics Society religiously invokes the idea of alien kidnappings in pop culture (such as the fictional scenario above) as an explanation for the uniformity of abductee reports.

Abductee Katharina Wilson's Alien Jigsaw.

The International Center for Abduction Research (ICAR), headed by David Jacobs, reflects the "nuts and bolts" perspective on the abduction phenomenon, which holds that flesh-and-blood aliens are literally abducting people out of their beds and cars and subjecting them to reproductive experiments. Jacobs, in his book "The Threat," makes it clear that he perceives the UFO phenomenon as an "Independence Day"-style menace to the human race. While I disagree with both his methodology and conclusions, his site deserves inclusion.

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