An Imagination Abducted by the Abducted

Rattle, rattle, rattle – Ding! Cured!

I once discovered how to fix people who were broken in a common way – what is usually referred to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

At least I think I did. The possibility, even if unlikely, is worth a minute or two when you consider how valuable such a thing would be.


It is in the nature of young minds that when confronted with an intolerable emotional situation – a trauma, once or repeated – to make some necessary adjustment to defend against the unendurable, a mental crutch that helps them survive. This is at the time a good thing – but that adjustment too often continues for their lives as an impairment. One can picture, as one of a huge number of examples, a child repeatedly abandoned at a young age adopting controlling mechanisms; if she doesn’t let those she loves or needs actually have free will, they can’t choose to leave, which might work when young and charming but eventually drives at least competent adults away.

Or the adaptation might be crippling avoidance or dependence or an endless number of approaches that made the past survivable but hobble the adult.

It might be that most people end up this way, with mental constructs meant to protect a child but that continue as maladaptions. The phobia, the self-limit, whatever it might be – I think it would be good if that kind of pathology of thought-habit could be removed from the individual without harming or otherwise changing the person treated – a release, not a shaper, of personality. And I think maybe it could be done. At the very least, I think the evidence for this possibility exists, but it’s hiding in a disreputable place.

It’s an odd story to tell, partly because I lack the scientific training that would allow me to use accepted understandable terms for what I’m trying to say – or to know how full of gaseous material it might all be, either – but mostly because of where it starts. The beginning for me was at age 15, a half century ago, when, as a great fan of UFO stories – gosh, the evidence is so clear, how could anyone doubt? – I encountered a fascinating little book in the library. It was charming because the original was in French, written in the late 1950’s, and the translator not entirely comfortable with English; sometimes I’d doubt his grasp of French either, not that I’d know. I’d love to read it again, because I don’t remember now any of it, but it was a joyous read.

It was also a great introduction to what already was a favorite subject – Science – in a way that clearly showed the core of the discipline, of disinterested objectivity and of the use of Occam’s Razor. The author made it clear (in delightful French or maybe confused third-language idioms, and even the fact that I couldn’t tell was fun) that he began with no preconceptions, for or against, and was not planning on coming to any conclusions other than those that were based on solid, testable, falsifiable – a word that I learned later, and you must admit a very odd one until you grasp the gist – fact. He would insist on not worrying about what the phenomenon was. He intended only to observe and collect.

He noted early in his research that this approach required him to expand what he’d originally started collecting – UFO stories – to include all unexplained encounters, because of an interesting observation; that essentially the same kinds of experiences interpreted in previous decades as witches or demons, and as religious encounters in strongly religious countries, were being told as UFO sightings and even alien abduction in the scientific age. And as he told case after case, stories revealed themselves which it was easy to see matched so many from common beliefs; for interviewees of the Western tradition, Jacob’s Ladder (itself prosaically a rare kind of optical illusion akin to sun-dogs) explained instead as a spaceship lowering an escalator.

The researcher author never did come to any solid conclusion, but he did observe that, since there has been a history in all cultures that shows up as far back as written record extends of experiences with similar descriptions but explained in terms familiar to that culture and time, that there is in fact no reason to accept that the modern Alien Encounter explanation is any more reliable than any other. I was converted; there are solutions to these experiences that depend on prosaic facts, not requiring an extraterrestrial intelligence. Which, truly, made me sad for a bit.

But the more I thought of it – it had a powerful effect on my thinking about many things – the more I realized that, much as an earthquake detected by many seismographs around the planet can show us structures deep within the Earth, so these experiences, though not to be seen as demonstrating extraterrestrial intelligence, were indeed illuminating the structure of the intelligence that is inhabiting this planet. In other words, the prosaic explanations were themselves breathtaking. F’rinstance –

Walt Disney learned in college a hundred years ago of what was then called the Mammalian Parental Response – why we mostly don’t drown the noisy little brats, as we ought. It was theorized that all mammals have an instinct to protect in response to comparatively large heads, round faces, big eyes and high voices. Interestingly, shapes and sizes of ears, noses and mouths were less influential in eliciting this response; it was thought this was helpful generalizations as those aspects were more likely to be species-dependent in a generalized mammalian response. And that’s why – Walt has stated this was a conscious choice – Mickey Mouse looks and sounds like he does. You notice people certainly responded, and still do.

And just so were the stories the French scientist had collected. Think of the picture of an alien popular on bumper stickers. The author arranged lists of alien’s physical characteristics these stories had in common; they were big and small though more often small; thin or fat, all kinds of noses and ears, but almost always the head larger than the body proportional to humans, and usually round, the eyes large and round or elliptical, and when there was a voice, which actually was rare (thought transmission was very common, which I think is itself illustrative of where these events actually take place) it tended towards a high piping norm.

Even the stories told by those claiming to have been abducted and probed or operated on were illuminative of common human experiences. You might believe that your mind is ‘off’ when you are under anesthesia, or asleep, but your brain still functions, collects information on surroundings, records experience – but not in words, which is the same as saying ‘not that you are aware of”. This touches on the subconscious; given the need to explain some strong experience in which normal reality appears not to function, it is actually not at all surprising that we will dig up a similar situation to explain it – an operation, or more sinisterly a sexual probing while asleep, things that actually did happen to the individual useful now in a tale of a green alien to explain the brain’s dysfunction to itself. You can see it unfold; in the first moments, just vague shapes and forms made up of really basic structural elements like the protective response and ego structures, building in time to a story closer to dream yet not dreamlike, much terror, often immobility, made up into larger structures such as Bible stories or the widespread belief in E.T. and anal probes.

One other observation of this gentleman struck me powerfully. He collected entire life histories of as many of the UFO ‘contactees’ as he could, and from the people around and related to them. and he began to notice a strong similarity in many, especially from the more extreme ‘abducted’ people. Many had had their entire lives changed, many centered their ensuing lives around the experience; but evidence from their lives and testimony collected about them from friends and family showed a marked tendency to have been alleviated from just the kind of self-limiting twitches that had previously been problematic for them, even if some of those went on to be limited by the new. There were many cases of relief from previous pathologies; acquaintances would testify to how much more pleasant they now were to be around, or that they’d stopped worrying, that they were no longer suffering phobias of a lifetime, or had found new success in their work.

I wondered at that a lot, and went on wondering for a long time. At first I thought perhaps people were being caught in some beam of energy of a natural source and by accident of just the right frequency to set up sympathetic vibrations in human brains (on ‘magic energy beams’, more later); something that would in some way set the brain to ringing, not enough to damage (maybe?) but just right for knocking our ego structures akimbo and tilt our frame of reference. On the other hand, UFO experiences seemed more often to be self-induced, as a normal but strong stimuli misinterpreted. But why would that kind of scare be so scary as to knock the personality into a new stance?

I got a strong hint as to what might be going on when I first experienced a jolt of what much later I would learn is called ‘dissociation’. Whatever the term, the idea is that the brain, once robbed of sufficient references, becomes so shocked that it no longer is able to associate shapes, colors, masses, movement with any meaning. I was very tired, and had to sort through a collection of dull, off-white large cardstock with different sizes of light-gray grid lines. I closed my eyes for a second, and when I opened them again, for just an instant I had no reference that would tell me if the pattern that almost filled my view was a small grid close up or a large one far away.

Seems simple, right? But it was a jolt of absolute terror. Only lasted just a brief instant until I was able to re-establish reference; but I tell you in that moment I was walloped, a tremendous rush of adrenaline and the common mammalian deep-trauma reaction; just a bit, I wet myself. Also nearly pooped. True word.

Simply from momentary spatial uncertainty.

So imagine if that shock continued? In reality a plane landing miles away in the fog, you see a bright light that your brain incorrectly places just behind that tree, where your brain also tells you it simply cannot be – it slowly falls, then hovers, and brightening rises again, all silently, and you dissociate. Our brains must know what’s around them, must be able to relate inputs to known reality, brains depend completely on being able to place information in a workable frame; losing this frame is entirely frightening to the point the brain freaks and desperately tries to fit the unframed input into some, into any, working frame of reference.

From that brief moment of visual puzzlement and how instantaneously terror-filled it was, I could easily see how the next step would be a breakdown of internal mental function so severe that the brain stops storing the immediate three-second-long chunks it deals in into long-term memory. But the urge, the vital need, of the brain to have a frame of reference will cause it to thrash about seeking for some acceptable explanation of events while the body is in real shock. It should not surprise us then that it finds things that reflect basic inherited or common structures – faces as baby-like (though not actually seen as babies); the Grey Ones, large frightening beings with a powerful presence but vague outlines, often seen as looming over or just behind, this in actuality being nothing more sinister than our own ego structure seen as a separate thing, so frightening and powerful because it’s us, but we are outside of it; subconscious memories of other times we were ‘unconscious’ such as operations and when asleep; even some rare reflections of a part of our ‘mind’ that is actually outside the brain, in the synapses and nerve bundles that control, say, just the hand, or the arm as a whole, or our genitals, shown in cases where people recall being told (by aliens) that some lover is untrue which turned out to be the case in fact, which itself in reality was probably information picked up from the millions of cells on our genitals that sample and test molecules. And many many more; soon enough, the brain fashions a meta-explanation filled with the kind of storylines most familiar to that individual, the Madonna to the religious or Antareans to the more science-minded.

That’s what I mean by alien encounters, and the previous generations’ ghosts and saintly emanations, being a powerful illuminant to the human mind. The whole discussion, really, is about the place of Mind in Brain, and about how what we think of as ‘Mind’ is a function distributed throughout the body. And – maybe? – a reset button.

I know this gets us well into the realm of speculation. But think of how much it explains. You know that, in pursuit of blessed release for those most tortured minds, especially schizophrenics like my dad in the late ’50’s, for a time some mental patients were treated with shock therapy. A torture now, and horrible to contemplate – it stopped the worst of his obsessions but pretty much removed his personality – nonetheless there were some successes. Could that massive jolt of electricity through the brain have been a curative shock hidden in a more massive damaging one?

In the ’70’s, a university in (I think) Toronto did experiments with an electrified helmet that put out a selectable range of electromagnetic transmissions which drew from the tested some strong reactions and most notably the emergence of their own Grey One looming up behind them, which scared the crap out of them. (See, I told you magic beams would come into it again!) Unfortunately I was never able to follow up on this; were any of those tested given character assessments before and after? Since it was in a university setting, one would expect so. Where did that research go? Did they have any such success stories as my French scientist had found? I don’t recall what the researchers were actually looking for – I think perhaps just an explanation for the spiritual, of ghosts or something.

Could it be that this selective narrow band of EMT sets up, say, a sympathetic response in that part of our brain that is most responsible for maintaining our frame of reference? Or perhaps the brain as a whole, not enough to damage the parts yet enough to ‘knock us off balance’?

Think of it this way; a small child is knocked out of its frame of reference by some event so disturbing that he must adopt some sufficiently powerful belief or characteristic – an adjustment to the frame – to explain it and allow him to re-establish balance, a new workable frame. In a sense, such an invasion goes on forever; it’s a makeshift balance, and re-balancing becomes an ongoing task, forever losing and regaining it. Could it be that a sufficient, selected jolt in a professional setting might just knock out that false balance and allow the establishment of a new, successful one that they can relax with and not continually have to commit resources to maintaining?

(I have a confession. Yet another embarrassment about this idea is that right about here I see Monty Python’s Dr. Gumby brain surgeon trying to knock a ball bearing into just the right dimple in a little tin game in the patient’s head. Rattle, rattle, rattle – Ding! Cured!)

I know that seems a leap, and it is; but in truth I think ‘aliens’ are telling us so. If this might be – think of the relief it could bring to so, so many. Just wild speculation, true; but I believe the evidence is there, though hidden in a field of research doomed (rightfully, frankly) to mockery and derision. Would a professional, persuaded by this to look a little into it, feel silly explaining it to, say, a boss, or worse a research board?  I think yes.

And yet the facts are there. UFO and other such encounters are deeply illuminative of not alien but our intelligence, and those many who had their lives changed and often improved by what they believed they went through, and that I believe was the result of their frame-of-reference-maintaining brain function being jolted out of an old rut and enabled to find a new, more helpful footing, a base they can stand on and not a bicycle they have to keep balancing – those many might be telling us something, a message waiting for research with the courage to scrape off the veneer of ET to find the truth.

Or possibly I’m deluded.

Of course, it could also be both and neither, and probably is. Such is, or appears to be, reality.