Page 15 - The 'X' Chronicles Newspaper - January 2019
P. 15

Alien Abductions Down Dramatically                                                                                     15





           Why alien abductions are

                 down dramatically



              By Linda Rodriguez McRobbie


          Denise Stoner was 2½ years old the first time
          she remembers the alien taking her. She was at
          home in Hartford with her grandfather. Her
          mother was at the hospital giving birth to her
          younger sister. She remembers staring out a
          large picture window and seeing an egg-shaped
          object in the sky, hovering over some power
          lines. “What’s Humpty Dumpty doing up in the
          sky?” she asked. She remembers the fear in her
          grandfather’s face when he suggested it was
          time for bed.
                 Later that night, as she lay staring at her
          nursery rhyme-themed wallpaper, an entity
          walked through her wall. “He looked like a
          monk, he had a robe, and he was carrying a
          light. I wasn’t afraid of him,” she said. “He put
          out his other hand for me to take it, and I did.
          We walked out into the hallway.”  The alien
                                                          stories about Hillary Clinton’s alien baby at the  abduction narrative wound its way into the
          pointed his light at the wall, and they
                                                          supermarket checkout line.  Today, credulous   American consciousness, fed by science fiction
          disappeared through it; she remembers being in
                                                          stories of alien visitation rarely crack the   films like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”
          a large, dome-shaped room with a lot of other
                                                          mainstream media, however much they thrive     and breathless news reports of mysterious
          children, and they seemed to be learning
                                                          on niche TV channels and Internet forums. But  incidents. In 1966, a Gallup poll asked
          something. In the morning, she was back in her
                                                          we also still want to believe in accounts that  Americans if they’d ever seen a UFO; 5 percent
          bed.
                                                          scientists, skeptics, and psychologists say there  said they had, but they meant it in the literal
                 Since then, she says, she has been taken
                                                          is no credible evidence to support.            sense of an unidentified flying object — only 7
          more than 50 times, from her home, from the
                                                                 The abduction phenomenon began with     percent of Americans believed that the UFOs
          street, from her car, the last time only three
                                                          strange case of Betty and Barney Hill. On Sept.  were from outer space. By 1986, a Public
          years ago, driving through the mountains in
                                                          19, 1961, the Hills were driving from Montreal  Opinion Laboratory poll found that 43 percent
          Colorado. Each time, it’s the same being
                                                          to their home in Portsmouth, N.H. Betty spotted  of respondents agreed with the statement: “It is
          responsible. “He looks like your typical gray
                                                          a UFO following them. Barney stopped the car   likely that some of the UFOs that have been
          [alien], but he’s one of the tall ones. It’s just the
                                                          on the highway, near Indian Head in the White  reported are really space vehicles from other
          very subtle shape of his face, his chin is a little
                                                          Mountains, and got out to look at the craft    civilizations.”
          wider,” she explained. She calls him her escort.
                                                          through binoculars. Seeing humanoid figures in         Some experiencers said the aliens were
          “There’s no friendship. . . . He comes to get me,
                                                          Nazi-like uniforms peering through its         here to save us and study us, some said they
          and I know I’m going to be safe,” she said.
                                                          windows, he ran back to the car, screaming, “Oh  were here to harvest our organs and enslave us.
          “He’s also going to oversee whatever is done.”
                                                          my God, we’re going to be captured!”  They     But by the late 1980s, people whose stories
                 Stoner, 68, lives in Florida with her
                                                          drove off, but two hours later, they found     would have been dismissed as delusional a
          husband. Now retired, she works with fellow
                                                          themselves 35 miles from the spot where they’d  generation earlier were being interviewed by
          “experiencers,” people who feel they have had
                                                          first seen the craft (there is now a           Oprah and “true stories” of alien experience,
          contact with intelligent nonhuman entities. She
                                                          commemorative marker at the site), with little  such as  Whitley Strieber’s “Communion” and
          also conducts investigations on behalf of the
                                                          memory of how they’d gotten there. Soon after,  Budd Hopkins’s “Intruders,” were bestsellers.
          Mutual UFO Network, or MUFON. Being an
                                                          Betty began having nightmares.                 By the 1990s, those who believed in the literal
          experiencer is very much part of her identity.
                                                                 In   1964,   the    Hills  underwent    truth of alien abduction stories gained an
          Her story is coherent, she doesn’t ramble or get
                                                          hypnotherapy. Under hypnotic regression —      important ally in John Mack, a Harvard
          lost in the telling.
                                                          hypnosis with the intent to help a subject recall  professor and psychiatrist who compiled his
                 Do you believe her?
                                                          certain events with more clarity — the couple  study of the phenomenon into a 1994 book titled
                 If you said yes, then you might be
                                                          said that they had actually been pulled on board  “Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens.”
          among the 77 percent of Americans, according
                                                          the vessel by aliens and subjected to invasive  He later told the BBC, “I would never say there
          to a 2012 National Geographic poll, who
                                                          experiments.  The Hills’ story, revealed to the  are aliens taking people away . . . but I would
          believe that aliens have visited Earth, or the 30
                                                          public in 1965 with an article in the Boston   say there is a compelling, powerful
          percent of  Americans who believe that the
                                                          Traveler and a year later in the book “The     phenomenon here that I can’t account for in any
          government has covered up evidence of alien
                                                          Interrupted Journey,” launched a flurry of     other way.”
          visitation, according to a 2015 YouGov poll. Or
                                                          public fascination with abductions.                    “These books sold really, really well,
          maybe it’s happened to you: There are few hard
                                                                 Barney died of a cerebral hemorrhage in  they were on book racks in airports and railway
          numbers, however, a 2014 survey for a British
                                                          1969, but Betty went on to become a kind of    stations. You couldn’t really avoid it,” said Dr.
          talk show found that one in 25 respondents
                                                          sage of paranormal experiences.  Their story   Chris French, head of the anomalistic
          believed they’d been abducted by aliens.
                                                          became the blueprint for alien abduction       psychology department at Goldsmiths College
                 Belief that alien life exists on other
                                                          experiences in the years that followed,        in London and author of a study on alien
          planets is persuasive, sensible; nearly 80
                                                          especially after the airing of the 1975 made-for-  abductees. And it wasn’t just books — one of
          percent of Americans do believe it, according to
                                                          TV film “The UFO Incident,” starring James     the most popular television shows of the 1990s
          a 2015 poll. But belief that the aliens are already
                                                          Earl Jones as Barney Hill. Subsequent          was devoted almost entirely to alien conspiracy
          here feels like something else, largely because it
                                                          experiencers would describe similar missing    theory: “The X-Files.” “All of these things
          requires a leap of faith longer than agreeing that
                                                          time or have bizarre dreams and flashbacks of  influence people’s beliefs about what might be
          the universe is a vast, unknowable place.
                                                          things they couldn’t understand. Many would    true, what might be plausible,” said French.
          Abduction and contact stories aren’t quite the
                                                          use hypnotic regression to recall their
          fodder for daytime talk show and New  York
                                                          experiences.                                                          (Continued on Page 17)
          Times bestsellers they were a few decades ago.
                                                                 Over the next two decades, the alien
          The Weekly World News is no longer peddling
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