Saturday, September 15, 2012

A classic "abduction" account from the '80s

In the late '80s, I kept a paranormal journal, where I jotted down all my strange and paranormal experiences.  Initially, it began as a diary of my OOBEs, which I was having on a fairly regular basis, but it soon devolved into an examination of classic abduction accounts that were entering the UFOlogical mainstream.  I quickly became a "believer" in abductions and bought every book I could find on the subject, comparing the accounts to my experiences.  I now think that many of my observations were naive and I see most of my entries from that phase as ill-informed and credulous.  One entry stood out, however:

(June 8, 1988.  Wednesday)  I neglected to mention the real news that I learned yesterday....  It concerns an abduction that I knew about at the time but have forgotten about since then.  In the fall of 1976, about two weeks before my mother's sighting (according to her), [a close relative] was driving up the steep hill that leads into town one night when she saw a large object hover over her car.  The object was glowing red and green.  Her car stopped and she passed out.  When she came to, she noticed that she had been out for thirty minutes.  Her car still would not start.  Somehow she made her way to the sheriff's office and reported the UFO.  She was returned to her car, which then started.  This is scary, of course, due to its proximity to both my mother's sighting and to my UFO abduction nightmares.

I've mentioned this account earlier, but I am surprised at the detail in my account from the time, and how it mirrors the classic "alien" abduction scenario of the 1980s, with a nod to the stalling-automobile phenomenon from the previous decades.

Accounts like this were legion in the '80s, and UFO researchers concluded that whatever intelligence was behind these experiences was plucking unsuspecting humans from their vehicles for the purpose of doing whatever to them.  Corollary conspiracy theories were developed that implicated American military involvement in these operations, along with the tacit consent of the "government."

When I read this account now, however, I wonder, "Why would aliens go through the trouble of stopping a moving vehicle on a major road, simply to abduct a relative for a few minutes, when they could have simply waited for her to get home?  Seems like a lot of unnecessary trouble to me."

Researchers at the time explained this illogic by arguing that the aliens were on a tight and busy timetable that required them to abduct their victims wherever they might be, regardless of context.  Budd Hopkins in particular argued that the aliens' calendar was so stacked that they dispensed with all niceties and plucked their victims out of Manhattan sky-rises, family picnics, and even in the middle of conversations, artfully covering their tracks by erasing memories and bending time.  The impetus was a deadline, some major event in our near future that explained both the urgency and the behavior.... with the implication that the event involved something unpleasant.

This scenario, however, has not materialized.  There has been no "end game"--no mass population die-offs (of homo sapiens, at any rate), no evidence of widespread hybridization, no "disclosure" of a covert alien agenda.

Bottom line: I think it's stupid to apply contemporary human logic to a phenomenon as slippery as the "human abduction phenomenon."  While it's important to compile these accounts and to speculate, it just might be that not only do we not know, we  are not able to know.