Undeniably many people believe they have been abducted by aliens, and why they should do so is a subject worthy of some serious study. It is interesting to contrast Susan A. Clancy's excellent recently published Abducted : How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens with Anne Druffel's credulous drivel.
Clancy's is a thoughtful and careful study of the phenomenon, which sheds some light on how otherwise quite sane and balanced individuals come to share this particular modern delusion. I would not want to oversimplify her conclusions but I think she would concur with the view that the most common cause underlying these experiences is sleep paralysis. This is a state in which the sleeper becomes partially awakened, unable to move while at the same time subject to terrifying hallucinations. In the past witches, ghosts or incubi were often blamed: now it is aliens.
Clancy takes a sympathetic, yet sceptical, view of her subjects' recollections and is able to demonstrate convincingly how media reporting and television science-fiction shows have contributed to the mythology of abduction stories. By contrast, Anne Druffel starts from the assumption that alien abductions are real and the only area of uncertainty she admits is in whether the aliens actually come from Outer Space, or, alternatively, they enter their victims's bedrooms through interdimensional portals. Likewise, she places an equal value on all of her interviewees' countermeasures against abduction, no matter how banally superstitious they may appear; she presents us with an catalogue of defences against imaginary beasties in which no attempt at quality control has been made, her one noticeable intellectual engagement with the material being to have ordered it under a series of loosely-defined headings - of which the first is:
#1. Mental Struggle
In the early stages of abduction the victim feels helpless and paralysed.
“Mental Struggle involves sustained willpower while attempting to move some small part of the body such as a finger or toe”.
The abducting aliens are often deterred by this, as one would expect.
“A sense of outrage against the entities' violation of the witness's human rights must be maintained as well”.
Obviously the sort of alien who is put off so easily is at the more wimpish end of the scale; unfortunately some require more drastic measures, so we turn to:
#2. Physical Struggle
Before they can paralyse you, set about them with your fists or a heavy implement. Firearms can be handy too, though they
“are not recommended in urban or suburban areas where small children and/or innocent bystanders may be jeopardized”.
Wise words, indeed. Bear in mind, though, that
“the intent should never be to kill or seriously injure the intruders, but to inform them that their presence is violating the witness's right to privacy”.
Take the case of Billy Wolfe, whose abduction in 1974 left him with “a small, hard object” in his groin and an inability to socialise with women. Understandably, he blamed the UFOs which visited him regularly thereafter for his lack of success in finding a wife. In August 1988 things came to a head:
“... Billy's mother awoke, hearing a scratching noise on the side of the house. Mrs. Wolfe called for help, and Billy instantly came running with his gun and flashlight. ... one of the entities was standing before [the hall window], outside the house. Billy shot at the window, and the creature disappeared from view. Since there was no dead alien body left behind, the creature either dematerialized or the bullet passed through it in a paraphysical manner - or it was fast enough to get out of the way of a speeding bullet. Unexplained mysteries like this make up the UFO phenomenon. If each tiny mystery could be solved, scientists could possibly find the broad answers ufologists have been seeking for fifty years.”
Not only does she entirely believe Billy when he says he saw an alien, she takes his shooting abilities on trust as well. The illusionist Derren Brown once did a show in which he met Anne Druffel and managed to convince her that he had psychic abilities; on the strength of this book I reckon any of us could do the same. Her critical faculties seem woefully under-developed.
For those less disposed to outright violence, there is:
#3. Righteous Anger
Again before paralysis sets in, it is useful to get very annoyed about the violation of one's rights. Shouting “Leave me alone” or “Go away” may also help. If such expressions are too mild for your temperament don't worry as you can let fly when you employ:
#4. Protective Rage
This is displeasure expressed on behalf of other more helpless members of your household, such as children, cats, husbands, guinea pigs and so forth. Some well-chosen cursing may be in order, which Ms. Druffel terms “strong, rejecting language”, as long as it is combined with “a wish that the intruders not be harmed”. Perhaps “Kindly fuck off gentle visitor, you are alarming my gerbils”?
Don't worry if you cannot face the peril alone, you snivelling weed, but get:
#5. Support From Family Members
Assuming you can find a family member or friend who believes your story, you can ask them for help. In one touching case the husband of one unfortunate lady installed ceiling fans in every room “of his own volition” because she felt they helped keep the intruders at bay.
Even more powerful than a ceiling fan is one of the most subtle forms of defence:
Sometimes, when you feel that intruders are approaching, the mere act of mental preparation for their coming repels them. Ms. Druffel does not mention that this technique works just as well for attacks by other unwanted types of intruder: for example, one recent night I intuited that a gigantic centipede was trying to get into my house through the letterbox, but when I went to look it wasn't there.
Even this powerful technique won't always work, but don't despair, you can always employ:
#7. Metaphysical Methods
“Envision protecting, bright white light coming from a source above you, flowing through the top of the head, spreading downward through the entire body, and extending out a few inches around you”.
Or, as one might put it: 'get lit up'.
Other metaphysical methods include “internal sound”, which I can vouch for as effectively repulsive, and “out of the body experience”.
Tried those and still bothered by troublesome abductors? Why not:
#8. Appeal to Spiritual Personages
When several four-foot high grey entities enter your bedroom with the aim of taking you away and implanting metal objects in your anus - pray. (You'd never have thought of that yourself, would you?)
In case of last resort, turn to:
A category which includes such potent stuffs as
“Herbs, flower oils and essential oils ... yarrow, St. John's Wort and pennyroyal ... salt ... iron bars, crucifixes, and crosses of iron ... metal fans and bar magnets ...”
These aliens are a feeble lot aren't they? “Oh no! Essential oils! Urgh! Let's get out of here! Ooh! Aggh! Salt! Oh crikey, bar magnets! Lor, lumme, geroff!”.
There you have it. If you believe Ms Druffel, you are now fully equipped to fend off any extra-terrestrial or inter-dimensional beings who are after your body for horrible unstated purposes. (One defence she does not mention is to keep a container full of the sort of emissions they seek beside one's bed, as a sort of offering: apparently that is invariably effective in keeping them away.)
Some might feel that - rather than maintaining the delusion - it would be better to deal with the underlying causes, though when she enquired Susan Clancy found that many of her subjects were actually attached to their abduction experiences and thought them valuable, albeit terrifying. If aliens have travelled millions of miles just to ram a silvery metal rod up your bottom, that presumably makes you more interesting than someone who merely has a sleep disorder. Personally, I'd prefer any aliens I encounter to be hallucinatory rather than real, but I'm strange like that.
Scribbled by Alfred Armstrong 16 years 7 months ago