People who say they’ve been abducted by aliens exhibit the same physiological reactions as people who have experienced more conventional kinds of trauma, a Harvard psychologist reported Sunday. He says the research provides evidence that even false memories can leave real emotional scars. However, he doesn’t expect to convince the abductees themselves that they’re wrong.
Alien abductions have become an integral element of American popular culture — due in part to television programs like “The X-Files” and the recent miniseries “Taken,” in which abductions are a common plot element. Surveys consistently indicate that about a third of all adult Americans believe extraterrestrials have visited Earth.
Harvard psychology professor Richard McNally, author of the forthcoming book “Remembering Trauma,” isn’t one of them. Indeed, he said he selected the subject for study precisely because memories of such abductions were “almost certainly false.”
The point of McNally’s research, presented here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was to see whether the emotional impact of a false memory generated physiological signs similar to the post-traumatic stress suffered after authentic experiences. Along the way, McNally developed a profile for typical abductees.
Portrait of an alien abductee
The Harvard research team placed an ad in Boston newspapers to recruit their subjects. Most of those who responded were pranksters, but 10 people were selected as sincere reporters of abduction experiences.
McNally said the screening interviews indicated that the typical abductee:
- Endorsed a variety of “new age” beliefs — for example, a readiness to accept psychic phenomena.
- Scored high on a measure of absorption, or “fantasy-proneness.”
- Described an experience similar to sleep paralysis — in which a person emerges from rapid-eye-movement sleep into a half-waking state, able to move the eyes but not much else. McNally said about 30 percent of the population has had such an experience, which has been linked to jet lag and other sleep-cycle disruptions. In addition, the early stages of a reported abduction paralleled descriptions of hypnopompic hallucinations — nightmares that intrude into the half-waking state. About 5 percent of the population have reported such experiences, McNally said.
- May recover detailed “memories” of being subjected to medical or sexual probing on spaceships.
- May eventually come to regard the experience as positive and spiritually enriching, even though it was terrifying at the time.
Doing the experiment
Once the 10 abductees and eight control subjects were selected, McNally put them through a standard procedure for gauging post-traumatic stress disorder.
The abductees were asked to record their memories of a neutral, positive and stressful event from everyday life, as well as two abduction experiences. Then the abductees listened to their audiotapes while hooked up with equipment to monitor heart rate, skin conductance (which detects sweaty palms) and facial muscle tension. Separately, each member of the control group listened to an abductee’s tapes to gauge an outsider’s reaction to the same descriptions.
When they listened to accounts of their own alien encounters, the abductees exhibited the physiological signs you might expect from someone suffering post-traumatic stress: heightened heart rate, increased sweating. McNally said three of the 10 abductees showed “subclinical” signs of post-traumatic stress disorder — which other experts have said affects 5 to 15 percent of Americans.
All this led McNally to the conclusion that falsely believing you’ve been traumatized could create the same reaction as actual trauma.
“The fact that somebody shows this reaction does not prove that the event actually occurred,” he said. “What it does seem to indicate is the sincere belief in the emotional intensity of the memory, whether true or false.”
He emphasized that the abductees were not considered patients and did not require psychiatric treatment. Rather, they were all considered psychiatrically healthy.
McNally said his findings, which have been submitted to a scientific journal but not yet published, could have an impact beyond “The X-Files.” For example, in child sexual abuse cases, some therapists have argued that if a child shows signs of post-traumatic stress syndrome, that serves as evidence that the child had in fact been abused — a type of claim known as “syndrome evidence.”
“I don’t think you can make that claim, based on what we found,” McNally said.
Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist at the University of California at Irvine who has conducted years of research into false-memory implantation, said McNally’s research is helpful for bringing the question of plausible vs. patently false memories into sharper focus.
“He feels pretty safe in saying these are false memories,” Loftus said. “Of course the individuals who have them don’t believe it, nor do some of their handlers, but most of us would accept that those are false memories. And most of those individuals get there in a way that’s very analogous to the way people get to believe that they were satanically abused.”
This isn’t McNally’s first brush with the UFO crowd: He was involved in another study, published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology last year, that concluded abductees were generally prone to create false memories.
“That caused a big uproar in the alien-abductee community. And now I was told … that they love the psychophysiology study, because they’re going to think, ‘Oh, here it is, it really happened,’” he said with a laugh. “First we’re the bad guys, now we’re the good guys. We’re just trying to do the science on this.”
He said he had no intention of deprogramming his experimental subjects, since they seemed to have transformed their negative memories into something positive.
“These individuals had embraced the identity of abductee in such a way that we felt that they were happy with it,” he said.
McNally said only one of the abductees asked detailed questions about the point of his research.
“I mentioned the sleep paralysis stuff,” he recalled, “and she crossed her arms and said, ‘You scientists need to learn how to think outside the box. There are things outside there in the universe that you really don’t know about.’
“We have no interest in disabusing them of their beliefs.”
NASA records again a large cube shaped UFO next to the Sun (Video)
A new photograph taken by a NASA satellite is giving enough to talk about, because in it you can see, again, a strange cube shaped UFO near the Sun.
The alleged finding was made by researcher Scott Waring, editor of the popular UFO website “Ufo Sightings Daily”. According to this ufologist, in the image taken last February by SOHO, belonging to NASA, we can see an enormous cube-shaped object that, according to him, would be an extraterrestrial spaceship.
NASA’s SOHO Science Archive, where Waring found the alien cube, is a downloadable program that allows anyone to track the photo file of NASA’s sun.(cube shaped UFO)
Waring believes that this anomaly in space is very similar to one already seen in October 2018, but this time appears with less brightness and with a presumed design of lines on its surface.
The files contain a combination of real-time data and solar telemetry with images and films from the Sun. However, NASA has mentioned that the alleged ship is not such, since it would only be an optical defect caused by cosmic rays that hit the lens of the SOHO.
What do you think about this UFO “cube” near the Sun? Watch the following video and leave us your comment below.
Mysterious huge white orb flew over Texas
The following video, published recently on YouTube by Mexican ufologist Pedro Ramirez, was received on April 8 of this year in the US city of Stephenville, Texas. It is reported that a group of local residents suddenly saw in the sky a strange anomaly and captured it on the camera of a smartphone.
Video shows a strange white object flying among rare clouds on daytime sky. UFO are suspiciously similar to some mysterious sphere that does not fit into the framework of ordinary celestial phenomena.
Some netizens stated that this is just a small cloud. However, such a theory does not hold water. Firstly, it is unlikely that nature has created a perfectly smooth spherical cloud. Secondly, the clouds are not so dense and do not have clear boundaries.
Pedro Ramirez and many of his colleagues expectedly concluded that this was an aircraft of representatives of an extraterrestrial civilization. According to ufologists, most of these “alien guests” are UAVs, controlled from distant space, and they can be the most bizarre forms and states, including disguised as clouds.
Such drones study our Earth, ufologist says. They collect various samples and data, but do not affect people’s lives in any way. Why all this is necessary for aliens, remains a mystery to researchers.
Mysterious Art depicting Ancient Aliens and Intelligent Ancestors
We are immersed in the immense theme of UFOs on Earth, which, according to some, has begun since the beginning of the human race and, according to the same, some have since been proven to have seen UFOs . Whether it is so I think it is a matter of personal judgment.
While living in Ecuador, a father received a lot of gifts from the local, some of which were quite ancient and not so typical of ancient art. In this photo depicted deity seems doubtful to today’s cosmonauts.
And of course, after all, we can not miss the very famous crystal skull, which is said to be legally hand-drawn for hundreds of years and almost impossible. In fact, in one of his first studies a scientist looking at him under the microscope said that he really should not exist.
We continue the theme from the previous road that was for ancient mysterious sculptures, and today we will also be acquainted with the strange drawings of the past.
On the drawing below, the author drew something strange on November 4, 1697. in the German city of Hamburg.
The illustration below shows something drawn by Admiral Blyu in his book Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, published in 1660. Something strange is seen, which hovers over two Dutch ships.
Strange looking is the next illustration, which shows large black and white circles over Basel in Switzerland in 1566. Notice the reactions of people.
What exactly is shown in the following illustration I think everyone should decide for themselves, but it is certainly quite controversial.
Little by little, we reach our latitudes, where we see a strange image below in Vysoki Dechani Monastery in Kosovo.
We also reach the borders of our country, where there are also many similar images as perhaps the most famous in the church “Transfiguration of the Lord”
In the 15th Century in Ben, France, strange images could also be found, like the lower one depicting something that remarkably resembles our contemporary concept of a flying saucer.
Drawn in 1710. and today exposed at the Fujivian Museum in Cambridge , the picture “The Birth of Christ” shows something very strange.
After the first two articles related to strange engravings and sculptures and the strange drawings of the past today, we are focusing on the next quirks that this time relate to cave paintings in ancient times.
The picture below, painted in a cave in Tanzania, shows two figures strangely reminiscent of flying saucers . The painting of the cave wall dates back to about 29,000 years.
Found in a cave near Kimberley, Australia, the next two cave drawings show strange creatures drawn there more than 5,000 years ago by the Aborigines in these lands.
Found in a cave in the Sahara Desert and created around the 6th millennium before the harvest, the following drawings again puzzled more than anything else we are used to seeing.
The next cave paintings were discovered in a cave in France called “Pech Merle” and are believed to have been created 17-19 years ago by the ancient people inhabiting these places.
And the last one found today in Peru and created 14-16 thousand years ago by the Indians in the region. There is more perplexity than anything that remains.
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