UAP Crash Narratives as Iteration of 1990s Alien Abduction Research Conspiracy

 Research Article 

What is the legacy of the UFO Abduction Syndrome defined in 1992 by an extraordinarily funded research effort between Robert Bigelow, Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein, and three best-selling abduction authors?

In 1992, the alien abduction research community defined the UFO Abduction Syndrome on the basis of the 1991 Unusual Events Survey by the Roper Organization (Mack et al., 1992). They concluded that 2% of the population, and their children, were powerless victims of alien abduction for unknown purposes like horrific genetic harvest, resulting in a lifetime of trauma. The group mailed 100,000 mental health professions a booklet titled Unusual Personal Experiences, that publicized the Unusual Events Survey, which was designed to appear like a clinical science paper, but was written by a history professor, a modern artist, and a sociologist. Although it was forwarded by the prominent Harvard psychiatrist, skeptics noted that Mack already signed a $200k book deal on the subject (Stires and Klass, 1993). The group organized the Abduction Study conference at MIT, specifically targeting the mental health community to make aware of their discoveries. The definition and its propagation were directly funded by Robert Bigelow and Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein, through donations totalling more than $250k (around $560k today, see Kummer, 2020 and FUFOR, 1992). It was orders of magnitude more than any other grant administered at that time through the Fund for UFO Research (see FUFOR quarterly reports for 1987-1993 on the Internet Archive).

Like many before me, I argue that the funding of Unusual Personal Experiences and the 1992 Abduction Study conference was based upon pseudo-scientific claims, which may be interpreted as the true conspiracy behind alien abduction. It must be noted that I am using the word “conspiracy” in its rhetorical, not legal, sense for several reasons: 1) it connects the research agenda of the group with popular alien abduction narratives such as from the X-Files, 2) the word highlights the hidden nature of the funding and research agenda, and 3) it raises the question of the potential harmful implications of the promotion of clinical definitions outside of the normal mechanisms of clinical science. I argue that the definition of the UFO Abduction Syndrome is pseudo-science because it appears in the guise of clinical science but was a) written by non-clinical and non-scientifically trained researchers, b) grounded their arguments in folklorish studies, and c) relied upon an unconscious appeal to the authority of so-called abduction body marks to justify the physical abduction hypothesis over dream-related phenomena.

However, I do not believe the group intentionally caused harm, therefore the term “conspiracy” is inappropriate except as an explicitly defined rhetoric device. I will use the term “abduction study cohort” to refer to these individuals. Further, I argue that the same group may be active in contemporary UAP craft recovery narratives, which may turn out to be as substantial as alien abduction. As will be demonstrated, there is a chain of relationships and activities that tie major players of the alien abduction research cohort with the UAP craft recovery narrative. While I used the term “conspiracy” as rhetoric and will discuss a group of people behind abduction studies, it must be noted that the group is a loose and overlapping collection of various people acting in various roles with various perspectives.  For example, Mack only introduced the Unusual Personal Experiences booklet, but was not a co-author of the paper UFO Abduction Syndrome, which was published in the booklet.  The 1992 Abduction Study Conference at MIT was funded by the same people who funded a 1991 conference and the 1992 booklet, but was organized by David Pritchard, a MIT physicist interested in abductions.  There was wide controversy about the Unusual Personal Experiences booklet, even from within the abduction study cohort, which encompassed skeptical and credulous perspectives on the research.

I say that alien abduction may be understood as derived from a meme, urban legend, or faith belief systems that was unconsciously adopted by a cohort of people interested in abduction as popularly defined by Hopkins, Jacobs, and Mack.  This belief system has specific characteristics such as: a) considers “nuts-and-bolt” UFO and physical abductions as possible, b) engages in hypnosis or memory retrieval through extraordinary therapy techniques, c) presents fantastic sexual trauma narratives as veridical or pseudo-veridical, d) expresses aversion to and distinction from the New Age, and e) has intersection with Western elites such as Ivy League professors or billionaires who are predominantly male and white.

What is the legacy of the UFO Abduction Syndrome? I will answer that question by presenting historical context from FUFOR quarterly reports published on the Internet Archive, letters between the group members held within the John E Mack Archives within the Archives of the Impossible at Rice University, and a scholarly review of abduction-related literature. I argue that the legacy involves major impacts on society that may be considered harmful.

My argument is more complex than most other critics of alien abduction or recovered memory. I am an experiencer of the phenomenon, I have training in hypnosis, an MA in East-West Psychology, BA in classical liberal arts, and a PhD student in Integral Noetic Science at an accredited institute and my explicit focus is on ET/NHI contact in dreams. I hypothesize that there is an NHI visitation phenomenon that the Unusual Events Survey accurately described, but one that is primarily psychical and secondarily physical. On the mental or psychic levels, the NHI may appear in a dream that it may control, which may explain screen memories, missing time, oz factor, prophetic visions, similarity to OBEs, and clear derivation from imagination or science fiction. On the physical level, the NHI may appear as structured light capable of self-movement and transformation, but typically as an orb or a figure. I hypothesize that the orb is capable of radiation, which may explain body marks and other trace evidence. The precedent of dream apportation, which is the teleportation of objects from dreams to waking, may be a relevant precedent to genetic harvest or UAP metamaterial. Therefore, my argument calculates the impact of their legacy relative to the possible reality that the phenomenon is exactly as the experiencers reported and requires no expert explanation through extraordinary hypotheses like alien abduction.

The abduction study cohort’s activities in 1989-1993 defined a clinical syndrome for mental health professionals outside of normal science using the credentials of John Mack as Harvard professor of psychiatry and the financial backing of Bigelow and Lictenstein to bypass the checks and balances of science and directly engage mental health professionals. I argue that their message redefined the natural and enriching activities of shamanic dreaming and OBE (out of body experience) as something unnatural and disempowering. I argue that Mack’s therapeutic recommendations, based upon the uncredentialed work of Hopkins and Jacobs, may be as impactful as the recovered memory techniques used in memory wars controversy involving false accusations of sex abuse based upon the myth of repressed memory (see Loftus, 1994). 

Consequently, the entire field of UAP crash retrieval and disclosure may simply be a distraction from the underlying phenomenon in the same way that the alien abduction hypothesis may have been a distraction from understanding the underlying NHI contact phenomenon. I will point out that many of the people credited for bringing UAP disclosure to the public are the same that brought abduction to the mental health community: Bigelow through participation in both events, Kean through her connection to Hopkins, and Blumenthal through his biography of Mack. I will argue that a 2011 article published in the Journal of Cosmology indicates that Bigelow and the Prince may have considered funding dream telepathy experiments, similar to remote viewing, to find the location of crashed UFOs.

To my eyes, all the players in the abduction study cohort acted out of passionate curiosity in the phenomenon with positive intent. Both Bigelow and the Prince had family stories of UFO visitations that they were driven to understand. Mack, Hopkins, and Jacobs believed in experiencers enough to bravely dedicate their careers to the subject. They all did something no one else would: research and discuss extraordinary tales of ET/NHI visitations that the materialist worldview denied as anomalies. I grew up in the 1990s and my nightmares were directly scripted by their research through the TV programs it inspired. Rather than two decades of peaceful OBEs and gentle visitations of light shimmers and orbs, I experienced traumatizing fear of aliens and their technology said to leave marks on the body and wipe the mind of memory. I commend their efforts and am grateful for their courageous actions. I bring light to their actions to inspire them to imagine a narrative that empowers, not victimizes, all dreamers everywhere.

Alien abduction research

The topic of alien abduction has been raising powerful questions since its first mainstream reports in the 1950s and 1960s. It became a serious subject of scientific research in the 1980s through the efforts of the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOC), which supported the work of many notable researchers including Bullard, Jacobs, Hopkins, and Mack. Bullard (1987) compiled a rich set of abduction tales using his craft as a folklore researcher, which chronicled the development of abduction stories in the 20th century and before. The research activities came into public view in the 1990s after a series of conferences and a major survey funded by Bigelow and an anonymous donor later identified to be Hans-Adam II, Price of Liechtenstein. Bigelow is associated with contemporary UAP disclosure because he owned Skinwalker Ranch where $22 million was spent on UAP, cryptid, and poltergeists research on behalf of the US government (see Cooper et al., 2017 and Farley and Greenstreet, 2023). I argue that the 1992 Unusual Personal Experiences booklet is the publication that defined abduction as a clinical syndrome, which will be explored after a brief literature review. The 1990s were dominated by three abduction researchers: 1) Hopkins, the modern artist turned best-selling abduction writer, 2) Jacobs, the Temple University history professor turned hypnotherapist and best-selling abduction writer, and 3) Mack, the Pulitzer-prize winning former head of Harvard psychiatry and best-selling abduction writer.

The prevalence and power of the alien abduction hypothesis is functionally tied to the myth of repressed memory, which suggests that hypnosis, therapy, or other means of interlocution (see Laycock, 2012) may recover memories that have been repressed from the conscious mind. The myth spawned the memory wars controversy (Patihis et al., 2014) regarding the validity of recovered memory as criminal evidence, of which alien abduction was a footnote. Loftus and Ketcham (1994) demonstrated that memory, especially recovered memory, is unreliable and requires additional evidence to support conclusions. In their 1994 book, they described numerous cases of families destroyed by criminal accusations of incestuous sexual abuse, often with Satanic, ritual, or fantastic themes. They described how therapy and hypnosis may produce a suggestible and imaginative state of consciousness, observing that the narratives often satisfy some other psychological need.

In the same year, Mack (1994) published his definitive work Abductions, which relied upon hypotheses informed by hypnosis. In 1996, Lynn and Kirsch applied similar reasoning as Loftus to the alien abduction narrative. In 2002, Clancy et al. studied memory distortion in self-identified abductees, eventually linking abductees with schizotypy through higher rates of hypnotizability and proneness to false recall. Schizotypy is defined as personality disorder involving magical thinking and eccentric behavior, with a prevalence rate around 4% (Rosell et al., 2014).  Mack (1999) and Clancy (2005) appeared to agree that alien abduction narratives may arise from spiritual yearnings, observing that the tales may serve a social function within a society that rejected spirituality and religion.

Even though science has demonstrated that hypnosis is an unreliable means of memory recovery and that abductees may be schizotypal people who have mistaken sleep paralysis dreams for reality, the field of abduction research sporadically continued into the 2000s, supporting the mainstream media fascination with the subject. Bigelow repeated the 1991 poll in 1998 (Bigelow, 1998), which was repeated for the Sci Fi channel in 2002 (Stien, 2002). It appears that the myth of repressed memory is deeply embedded within culture as 58% of clinical psychologists believe in it (Otgaar et al., 2021), despite law court rejection of its reliability. Mack was killed by a drunk driver in 2004, leaving only Hopkins and Jacobs to represent abduction research. In 2011, the Skeptical Inquirer (Sheaffer, 2011) announced the “implosion of abductology” precipitated by an article written by Rainey, an award-winning documentarian and Hopkins’s former third wife. Rainey (2011) presented testimony Hopkins’s and Jacob’s clients, as well as her companionship with Hopkins, that clearly demonstrated the researchers compromised their integrity. 

Given that the two previous decades of abduction research has produced minimal physical evidence, direct original research on the topic seemed to have evaporated. However, abductions are still a topic of conversations, Jacobs published another book in 2015, hypnotherapists continue to offer regression hypnosis for alien abduction, and abduction reports are still collected by MUFON. In 2018, Hernandez et al., published a survey of several thousand experiencers of extraterrestrial (ET) contact, although the study explicitly rejected testimony from dreams and hypnosis. Blumenthal (2023) published contemporary abduction narratives that described abductees as experiencers of a variety of phenomena, which traces the emerging experiencer identity back to the abductee identity of the 1990s through abduction research.

UFO and ET contact research shifted in 2017 with the New York Times article on the secret AATIP program, through which the US government spent $22 million to study UAPs and other supernatural phenomena in part at the Bigelow-owned Skinwalker Ranch (Cooper et al, 2017). Around that time, the terminology of UFO became UAPs, ETs became NHIs, and abductees became experiencers. It appeared that these topics were now acceptable to discuss in mainstream media and whispered in the halls of academia. Blumenthal and Kean (2023) transformed the field again by introducing Grusch, the so-called UAP whistleblower and former intelligence official, who testified before Congress that there is a secret UAP recovery and reengineering program hidden throughout the military and aerospace industries. There is a strong cultural expectation that governmental UAP disclosure will confirm the reality of the phenomenon and therefore will transform society, likely by enabling public scientific research and free-market exploitation of the recovered technology (consider Dr. Nolan’s claims through the Sol Foundation).

There is an inherent paradox within the notion of alien abduction experience. On the one hand, they are clearly dreamlike because of their typical timing around dreams, lack of memory, and the presence of fantastic beings. On the other hand, experiencers testify to their reality. When researchers like Bullard, Hopkins, Jacobs, and Mack considered the possibility of their dreamlike nature, they all turned to a) the consistency of content and themes across disconnected individuals and b) the presence of body marks or other trace evidence. The consistency of themes is only support for the physical alien abduction hypothesis within a materialist worldview. Experiences like shared dreaming or OBEs may help explain the consistency of themes. The use of anomalous body marks as physical evidence for supernatural encounters is the subject of my book Galethog the Grey’s Field Guide to Anomalous Geometry, which surveyed dozens of body marks associated with ET/NHI intuitions and several body mark types, including those researched by Hopkins.

Missing time and abduction body mark research

I entered the field of NHI/UAP research in 2020 through three different modes of inquiry. First, I supported the CE-5/HICE communities by developing report forms, analysis tools, community software, and reports about HICE experiences. Second, I wrote a chapter on lucid dreaming for A Greater Reality, which was a four volume book published by CCRI as a follow-up to Beyond UFOs that presented the FREE Survey data (Hernandez et al., 2022). The book put forward the hypothesis that consciousness is a primary (greater) reality and that humans make contact with that greater reality through the contact modalities, which are envisioned as different spokes on the same wheel. The contact modalities include near death, out of body, mediumistic, extraterrestrial, and otherwise supernatural experiences. Third, I offered regression hypnosis for missing time experiencers with a psycho-spiritual framing based in dreamwork, which culminated in my publication of Missing Time Found.

My inquiry has been directly guided by my dreams. In addition to their scholarly literature reviews and theory, my books are a documentation of my dream interactions with ET/NHI characters who may actually be ontologically distinct entities. My entire inquiry into body marks is inspired by my supernatural interactions with these characters. They, not me, have injected body mark research to my missing time research by marking my body, inspiring mystery, and instructing me on its interpretation through geometry, which is a journey described in Galethog the Grey’s Field Guide to Anomalous Geometry.

Body marks demonstrate some paradoxes of alien abduction. On the one hand, abduction research has been conclusively discredited by false memory research (see Loftus or Lynn and Kirsch) and researcher controversy (see Reiney or Sheaffer). The extraordinary claims of physical alien abduction, defined as the UFO Abduction Syndrome in 1992, are not supported by defensible methods in my opinion as an experiencer, certified hypnotist, and researcher. Therefore, the claims of physical alien abduction are supported only by the trace evidence of residue, materials, implants, and body marks. However, no major research has been done on such materials. In scanning the FUFOR reports from 1984-1992, I noted that they tested a small implant with an unknown researcher and testing of residue collected by Jacobs (FUFOR, 1987b).  Leaked NIDS memos suggest that Kit Green has conducted medical studies (Perry, 2019), although I have found no additional supporting evidence beyond hearsay.

Additionally, there has been research into alien implants by Leir (1998) that described the implants as a highly strange phenomenon. Interestingly, his book was sponsored by Bigelow’s NIDS. Skeptical scientists noted that the descriptions of implants by Leir may be explained by natural reactions to foreign bodies and that Leir’s research materials have been mysteriously lost preventing future study (Perrotta, 2020). Both body marks and implants epistemologies clearly suffer from confirmation bias, in which the researcher searches for something to confirm their hypothesis and finds it because the world has many anomalies and much variation, not because the hypothesis is accurate. Therefore, abduction research relies upon faith claims that feel certain and clear because of the natural, yet unexplained, authority of fantastic sexual trauma narratives substantiated by epistemologies developed in medieval witch-hunts, which is termed carnal knowledge (Laycock, 2012). In other words, I must follow the conclusions of Mack (1999), Clancy (2005), Hernandez et al. (2018), Pasulka (2019), and many others that claims related to human abduction phenomenon ar primarily spiritual, religious, or faith-based claims.

However, humans are transrational creatures not limited by the bounds of good science, as demonstrated by the fact that the myth of repressed memory is thriving today within clinical psychology (Otgaar et al., 2021). Just as dreams may arise from personal attitudes and intentions, so too may waking experiences of dreamlike phenomena may arise from personal attitudes and intentions. If the alien abduction experience is a real phenomenon, but one that is co-creative with personal beliefs like dreams or OBEs, then alien abduction research may have actually caused the amplification of the phenomenon through an undiscovered feedback loop. Therefore, we must dive into body mark research to resolve the paradox of alien abduction research.

Alien abduction body mark research has focused on documentation of anomalies. Body mark photos and data are often noted in abduction reports as anomalies, for example in the 1961 Hills case or the 1967 Falcon Lake Incident. Bullard (1987) observed their prevalence in abduction reports and their similarity to fairy and witches’ marks, which Vallée (1988) also noted. While many individual cases have included body mark data, there is little research that considers the body mark phenomenon as a whole. Several abduction related websites present compilations of body mark photos (such as Alien Jigsaw, 2024) and I have found one publicly available recording of Hopkins’s 2004 lecture to MUFON that presented a dozen or so cases (MUFON, 2015). Galethog the Grey’s Field Guide to Anomalous Geometry presents the only print catalog of body mark data in association with ET/NHI contact intuitions, although most cases do not imply alien abduction. The authority of body marks as evidence is derived from religious, not scientific, claims and therefore must be dealt with both a religious and rational approach, which is one reason I used the religious or spiritual methodology of trance channeling and my integral research practice of data collection and geometric analysis to integrate rational perspectives.

Physical evidence for the supernatural as literature

My comprehensive body mark research yielded a major insight, which is that body mark and abduction reports are intertextual literature that are generated by the dynamic between the experiencer and interlocutor, which derive their meaning from reference to authoritative original reports of supernatural conjecture supported by documentation of anomalies. Intertextuality refers to the interplay of ideas within literature, which is pointed to by the connection between the Hills’ description of an alien and the Outer Limits TV presentation of the same alien before their hypnotic recall of their encounter (as noted by Dunning, 2008). An interlocutor is a social role for one who questions an experiencer to generate a public testimony, such as an investigator, researcher, hypnotist, or priest (see Laycock, 2012). Every report of a supernatural event occurs through the dyad, otherwise we would not be aware of the event. An authoritative original report is a document that inspires other reports. For example the Target Symbol Mark Phenomenon (TSMP) has several original reports within several different research communities that collected dozens of similar marks, which inspired Vallée (2021) to conclude it was a global unexplained phenomenon, although it is highly congruent with hair dryer burns as discussed by Metabunk (West, 2022).

Even though abduction and body reports are intertextual literature, which are clearly influenced by science fiction and pseudo-science, the ET/NHI contact phenomenon appears to be real at some level. Over the course of my research, I have falsified some claims, which has left me with a greater conviction that something is truly happening and that we already have enough data to figure it out. It is not just sleep paralysis, OBE, or fantasy, but it is not alien abduction either. People say that research is highly strange and that it is impossible to make conclusions, but those people apparently ignore their nocturnal dreams, therefore are unacquainted with the clearest precedent for ET/NHI missing time, which is unremembered dreaming. If the phenomenon integrated all phases of consciousness (waking, dreaming, sleeping) into a singular experience, then its reality is sustained must be through the dreaming phase of consciousness. Therefore, the subjective and psychical experience of the phenomenon is as real and meaningful as the physical or sensor data level. Vallée and Davis (2005) offered a 6-layer model of UAP encounters that described both a physical and psychical layer. What if the materialistic abduction researchers (Hopkins, Jacobs, and Mack in 1992) simply could not discern which elements were dreams, confusing the physical and psychical layers of the experience? What if the physical experience of ET/NHI contact was generated in the same way as dreams?

If dreams are relevant to the experience of the phenomenon, then the original authoritative reports of abduction and body marks must be interpreted as religious documents akin to scripture. The original authoritative reports, no matter how accurate or scientific, have unconscious authority over our imagination and beliefs, which in turn influences our direct experience of the phenomenon. For example, scoop marks are indentations of the skin that appear as if an instrument scooped out the skin, which people discover but have no memory of wounding. Hopkins (1987 and 2004) presented scoop marks as typical body mark evidence supporting alien abduction. However, I have found them independently described as evidence for reincarnation (Stevenson, 2017) and witchcraft (Darr, 2009). The authority of body marks as physical evidence appears to be a function of the social reach of the researcher, not the quality of their science, which is a primary reason to engage the funders of the 1990s abduction research with contemporary NHI encounter research.

Upon realizing that alien abduction and body mark evidence may be considered religious or literary documents, the question arises, what was the original authoritative document that associated body marks with alien abduction? The question is important because it may elucidate the cause of the 1990s alien abduction frenzy, which I personally must address before I can study the phenomenon behind the phenomenon of ET/NHI encounters. Perhaps others can by-pass alien abduction, but I am a child of the 1990s and my nightmares were scripted by the sensationalist TV presentations of alien abduction. If alien abduction is not real, then someone or group of people in this world are responsible for injecting fear into my childhood by presenting alien abduction research as science. Equipped with my new insights, I could now find who was responsible for my fears of alien abduction by finding an original authoritative association of body marks and alien abduction literature.

 The inquiry to uncover the human “conspiracy” behind alien abduction was swift and occurred in less than a week using public documents. My first step was to identify that Hopkins was the main authority on physical evidence for the main abduction researchers, primarily because he inspired Jacobs and Mack. Jacobs sought to collect residue and stains from experiencers as described by Rainey (2011), which was noted as inconclusive in the FUFOR reports on the Internet Archives. The authors of Unusual Personal Experiencers appear to have relied on solely Hopkins’s scrapbook of weird marks (see Bunn, 1999) to justify the claim that puzzling body marks are a key indicator the UFO Abduction Syndrome, which in turn was used to justify the physical alien abduction hypothesis.

While other researchers like Bullard (1987) and the Lorenezens (1977) noted the connection of individual cases with body marks, I have only found evidence that Hopkins (MUFON, 2015 and Bunn, 1999) collected photos and considered body marks. I argue that Hopkins was the body mark authority because he carried around a folder of photos and showed them to people claiming that they may be evidence for alien abduction. Such evidence is much more persuasive, especially to the unconscious, than Bullard’s 1987 folklore study of abduction tales, which was a printed text that references other texts, but offered no photos or general study of body marks like Hopkins. Therefore, I argue that Hopkins’s collection of puzzling body mark photos was the primary physical evidence by which anomalous body marks became definitively associated with alien abduction through the clinical definitions presented in Unusual Personal Experiences.

To this day, body marks continue to be associated with alien abduction, which I track through hundreds of social media posts inquiring about the possibility of abduction due to an unexplained mark. Hopkins alone did not have enough authority to generate the alien abduction frenzy of the 1990s. As a sensationalist mass-market author, Hopkins work is more similar to the Lorenezen’s Abducted!, which is barely remembered as a precedent for his work, than the credentialed academic work put forward by Jacobs or Mack. Therefore, I argue that the authoritative original report of abduction body marks occurred in collaboration with academics, which established the connection for our entire culture, not just small groups of researchers or UFO enthusiasts.

Roper Poll

I say that the 1992 publication Unusual Personal Experiences is the original authoritative report that established the connection between alien abduction and body marks for our culture, as well as the notion of alien abduction in general. This document was used by all the abduction researchers to justify their hypothesis to national audiences and mental health professionals. It claimed to be sent to nearly 100,000 mental health practitioners by the Bigelow Holding Corporation. I argue that it is the authoritative definition of the alien abduction phenomenon that inspired the 1990s fascination with, or perhaps panic about, the subject of abduction. If my traumatizing fear of alien abduction in the 1990s had a cause outside of myself, this document would be that cause. I argue that its authors, funders, and publisher are responsible for creating the 1990s alien abduction panic. Given its small role in the memory wars controversies and its similar epistemologies (as noted by Laycock, 2012), we may expect that the alien abduction panic similarly impacted individuals, families, and society. Further, I argue that its impact may be entrenched like the myth of repressed memory and may require similar research to address, which is why I have crafted a proposal to the original funders of that research.

I personally testify that the pseudo-scientific definition of the UFO Abduction Syndrome, which was systematically and intentionally publicized to national audiences, has directly resulted in traumatizing fear that inspired my research journey. Unusual Personal Experiences classified symptoms common to OBEs (Blackmore, 1998) as the UFO Abduction Syndrome. I have personally experienced spontaneous and consciously-induced OBEs. I testify that OBEs are a closer fitting model to the indicators used in the report. Further, I testify that the traumatic fear caused by media presentation of alien abduction as a scientific, not folklorish or spiritual, phenomena prevented my exploration of the fascinating, inspiring, and natural experience of OBE and NHI contact. I argue that the systematic publication of the UFO Abduction Syndrome to the mental health community through Unusual Personal Experiences and subsequent conferences and lectures, along with claims based upon it, may have clear and quantifiable impacts for which individuals are responsible. These individuals include:

  1. John Mack, M.D., author of the forward that associated his credentials with the UFO Abduction Syndrome, Pulitzer-prize winning Harvard professor of psychiatry, and best-selling author of Abduction: Human encounters with aliens and Passport to the Cosmos
  2. Budd Hopkins, project director, modern artist, famed abduction researcher, best-selling author of Missing Time, Intruders, and Witnessed
  3. David Jacobs, Ph.D., project director, Temple University professor of history, best-selling author of Secret Life, The Threat, and Walking Among Us
  4. Ron Westrum, Ph.D., project researcher and Eastern Michigan University professor of sociology
  5. John Carpenter, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, author of commentary that argued against the strict psychological interpretation of abduction and licensed mental health professional
  6. Robert Bigelow, project funder, publisher of the report, wealthy supporter of UFO and life-after-death research, and said to be motivated by childhood UAP narratives
  7. Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein, project funder, wealthy anonymous supporter of UFO research and energy research, and said to be motivated by childhood UAP narratives

The 64-page booklet is titled Unusual Personal Experiences, subtitled An analysis of the data from three national surveys conducted by the Roper Organization. The Roper Organization is a polling center that conducts national surveys, generally for marketing, research, or political opinions. The Roper Organization’s data is now held by a non-profit institute at Cornell University as an archive of public opinion. The booklet cover is printed in blue and features a line drawing of six people wearing business attire looking over a desert landscape. The horizon is indistinct, with no clear boundary between earth and sky. The title is bold printed above the horizon in the line drawing, while the subtitle is printed below the frame of the drawing in white text on the blue background. The booklet was copyrighted in 1992 for the Bigelow Holding Corporation based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The table of contents outlined the booklet. It began with a note from the publisher, Robert Bigelow. John Mack introduced the UFO Abduction Syndrome and offered clinical commentary and admonishes mental health professionals to prepare for an influx of clients who may explore the notion of abduction after the airing of a CBS miniseries docudrama in May of that year. Hopkins, Jacobs, and Westrum presented the report through their definition of the UFO Abduction Syndrome, offering a clinical description and therapy recommendations. The next chapter reprinted the Roper Report on the national surveys. It is followed by discussion and interpretation by Hopkins, Jacobs, and Westrum that argued for the association of the key indicators with UFO abduction, even though the survey did not ask about alien encounters. The penultimate chapter was commentary by John Carpenter, who offered his testimony as a credentialed and licensed mental health practitioner as authority for his argument that the syndrome is a physical reality for which therapists must prepare. Finally, Robert Bigelow discussed his involvement and offered funding to engage mental health professionals. The booklet included a mail-in card to indicate interest in attending a free conference on the phenomenon.

I argue that Unusual Personal Experiences performed two functions. First, it reported on data from national surveys by the Roper Organization. The organization’s methodologies are well established and we may assume that their reports are accurate within the margin of errors they report, just as the skeptics accepted the data (Stires and Klass, 1993). The Roper data is interesting in itself on the basis of its questions also. The survey was repeated by Bigelow in 1998 and by the Sci Fi Channel in 2002, enabling comparison over time. Second, the booklet defined and promoted the clinical definition of a syndrome outside of the normal process of peer-review or scientific orthodoxy, which may be justifiable due to the anomalous nature of the phenomenon. Rather than publish their findings in an academic peer-reviewed journal, the project used its sponsor’s significant financial resources to directly engage the mental health community through mailing, lectures, and conferences. The document was used to gather attendees for the 1992 Abduction Study conference at MIT. Mack, Hopkins, Jacobs, and other members of the abduction research community cited the poll on national television.

The Roper poll is titled Unusual Events Survey, which was conducted in 1991 on behalf of Bigelow Holding Corporation, in 1998 again for Bigelow, and finally in 2002 for the Sci Fi Channel. As explained in their report, the Roper Organization conducted in-home surveys about a broad range of opinion and lifestyle, to which they appended the Unusual Events Survey questions as part of their trademarked Limobus service to their trademarked Roper Reports. Roper originally conducted the survey of 5,947 over three months in late summer of 1991. They claim a +/- 1.4% margin of sampling error. The organization described their polling methodology, which appears to be robust. The organization’s polling data is now held at Cornell University as a database of public opinion, which suggests that its methods are academically acceptable, called the Roper Center for Public Opinion.

After the survey results, Hopkins and Jacobs explained the survey design. The Unusual Events Survey asks the respondent to indicate how many times something has happened to them: never, once or twice, or more than twice. The survey focused on indicators of UFO Abduction Syndrome and direct questions about abduction because it was assumed that most respondents would classify their dream-like memories of abduction as dreams or would be too shy to say. Much of their discussion on survey design focused on the specific wording of the questions, justifying their use as key indicators of abduction. For example, the authors emphasized the importance of the word “puzzling” in the question “do you remember finding puzzling scars on your body…?” Similarly, the word “actually” in the question “do you remember feeling that you were actually flying through the air…?”. The emphasis words were supposed to separate true UFO abduction syndrome events from merely out of body experiences or dreams or “wannabe” experiences as Hopkins would later call them (Davis et al., 2013).

Five topics were selected as key indicators of the UFO abduction syndrome, five were related topics, and one question intended to test positive response bias. The questions are:

  1. Seeing a ghost 
  2. Feeling as if you left your body 
  3. Seeing a UFO
  4. Waking up paralyzed with a sense of a strange person or presence or something else in the room (key indicator)
  5. Feeling that you were actually flying through the air although you didn’t know why or how (key indicator)
  6. Hearing or seeing the word TRONDANT and knowing that it has a secret meaning for you (positivity response test)
  7. Experiencing a period of time of an hour or more, in which you were apparently lost, but you could not remember why, or where you had been (key indicator)
  8. Seen unusual lights or balls of light in a room without knowing what was causing them, or where they came from (key indicator)
  9. Finding puzzling scars on your body and neither you nor any one else remembering how you received them or where you got them (key indicator)
  10. Having seen, either as a child or adult, a terrifying figure, which might have been a monster, a witch, a devil, or some other evil figure-in your bedroom or closet or somewhere else 
  11. Having vivid dreams about UFO’s 

The results of the poll surprised the researchers, which may have inspired their actions to bypass scientific prudence to propagate their findings directly to the mental health community. The percent of respondents who experienced at least one indicator for abduction was around 18% (1,033) and with all five was around 0.3% (18). The authors decided that four of the five indicators were sufficient to classify the respondent as a victim of the UFO Abduction Syndrome, which suggested that around 2% (101) of the respondents were abductees. The authors conclude that “one out of every fifty adult Americans may have had UFO abduction experiences”, claiming that the survey statistically implies that at least 3,700,000 people have been abducted.

We must take a moment to discuss the context of this survey in order to understand the drastic response of the stakeholders to directly engage the mental health community.  Although the Monroe Institute was founded in 1974, there was no mainstream consensus on OBEs and sleep paralysis.  In 1998, Blackmore published an essay in the Skeptical Inquirer exploring the connection of the UFO Abduction Syndrome with sleep paralysis.  Many of her references to sleep paralysis literature were published after 1991.  Earlier studies often involved small surveys of undergraduate populations.  At the time, dream studies was an extremely small field as its only professional and academic association, the International Association for the Study of Dreams, was founded in 1983. It is reasonable to assume that the researchers may not have seriously heard of sleep paralysis, OBEs, or other exotic consciousness phenomena that may contextualize the key indicators of the survey.

Finally, the Roper Report included statements from the organization about the survey methodology, summary of results, comparison with known demographic segments, and tables of results. While I have already discussed the results, the demographic comparison requires attention. Roper used eleven standardized demographic breakdowns and additional key analysis groups to conclude that “Influential Americans are significantly more likely than the rest of the population to report all items on the list.” Influentials are defined as trend setters, better educated, and wealthier than most Americans.

The Unusual Events Survey, often called the Roper Report or Poll, forms the center of the Unusual Personal Experiences booklet. It is surrounded by commentary from the project authors, mental health professionals, and a project sponsor. The authorship of some sections is not clear, for example, the Analysis of the Survey Results section immediately follows the Roper-produced results tables. Although I have read the booklet several times, I frequently mistook Hopkins and Jacobs for Roper and needed to scan forwards and backwards to discern who was the actual author of the text.

While the document reads like a scientific paper or clinical definition of a syndrome, its reference list is extremely sparse. It contains only six references to other materials in a bibliography, but not clearly cited in the text. Hopkins and Jacobs each have a book on the list, but neither are clinicians or scientists. Bullard’s research appeared on the list, but again, he is a folklorist and not a clinician. The only reference that appears clinical is the Final Report on the Psychological Testing of UFO “Abductees” by Maccabee, Westrum, Bloecher, Clamar, Hopkins, and Slater, which applied a psychological testing to Hopkins’s subjects to show that they do not suffer from mental disturbances. 

Critics, such as Stires and Klass (1993), did not find fault with the poll methods because the organization was credible and effective. However, they found fault with the conclusions, which were supported by appeal to authority claims instead of references to relevant literature, as one would expect with a clinical definition and therapy recommendations. The major authority claim is based on John Mack, who introduced the booklet with the warning that mental health workers may have an influx of patients inquiring about abduction “after the intensely promoted CBS miniseries docudrama”, which was a science fiction program based on Hopkins’s Intruders. Mack concluded his introduction with a recommendation to heed the contents of this book, and a personal invitation to a lecture or conference. John Mack, M.D. was a Pulitzer-prize winning author and professor of Harvard psychiatry. The second major appeal to authority is to John Carpenter, a credentialed and licensed mental health worker (MSW, ACSW, LCSW), who admonished the reader to take abduction narratives seriously and addressed concerns about hypnosis, fantasy, or psychological explanations.

Klass’s observation that Mack signed a $200k book deal on abduction prior to this publication may be relevant. Hopkins, Jacobs, and Mack all eventually published books that their major publishers described as bestselling. Regarless of validity, they used the apparent credibility of this report to establish their book careers. Mack did not warn therapists about the possibility of alien abduction, rather he warned therapists that many of their clients may respond to the suggestion that they were abducted. He warned that their memories may be recovered by watching the fictional “miniseries docudrama” based upon Hopkins’s research. Just like the therapists that caused the incest sex abuse recovered memory controversy described by Loftus (1994), the UFO Abduction Syndrome authors used clinical language to suggest that the traumatic memories of abduction are repressed but may be recovered through hypnosis or other creative therapy activities.

It must be noted that all the researchers argued for the physical reality of abduction based upon several factors. First, independent reports of abductions are consistent, although this would be expected if abduction was primarily an OBE or dream. Second, some abduction events are corroborated by witnesses such as seeing the abductee levitate through the window, which may be explained as a shared dream. Third, the researchers pointed to the “massive weight of evidence, both physical and psychological”, particularly puzzling scars and residue. The only record of physical evidence I have found for abduction is Hopkins’s body mark collection (see Hopkins, 1987 and 2004 and Bunn, 1999) and failed tests on residue collected by Jacobs (FUFOR, 1987), although Bullard (1987) noted that many abduction reports include reference to unexplained body marks.

The true alien abduction “conspiracy”

I argue that the 1992 publication and mailing of Unusual Personal Experiences defined a clinical syndrome and used wealthy sponsorship to intentionally influence mental health practice based upon unfounded and unscientific claims. Up until this publication, most abduction research was mass-market or pulp writing and performed by professional or amateur author-researchers who had no clinical or mental health training, like the Lorenezens, Fuller, or Hopkins. The fact that the Fund for UFO Research provided a grant for $500 to Bullard, a folklorist, in 1987 demonstrates that abduction narratives were like ghost or angel stories rather than clinical symptoms. I argue that the true conspiracy of alien abduction involved Hopkins, Jacobs, Mack, Bigelow, and Lichtenstein, which was not a conspiracy at all because they seemed well-intentioned. However, I say that these people are responsible for the alien abduction frenzy of the 1990s, which obfuscated the study of the phenomenon for decades and may have conditioned a generation to fear natural dreamlike experiences like OBEs, astral projection, and entity visitations.

Hypothesis of alien abduction

Before I continue, I must offer some clarifications and my own hypotheses. I am not arguing against the testimonies of abductees or against the fact that physical alien abductions may occur. Rather, I hypothesize that an NHI visitation event occurs, which may be physically modeled as structured sentient light such as an orb or light being and psychically modeled as a shared dream. The NHI has the capacities of a dream shaman, capable of generating and controlling shared dreams. Krippner (1994) lists documented dream anomalies including shared dreams, precognition, and apportation (teleportation of objects from dreams to physical waking reality). In Missing Time Found, I argued that missing time may happen for the same reason that dreams are forgotten, not because of alien mind control or repressed trauma. I hypothesize that the dream shamanic skill of dream control, informed by the experience of false awakening, sleep paralysis, and shared dreaming may explain the lived experience of abductees.  Further, I hypothesize that the physical manifestation of the NHI as a structured light capable of radiation may explain body marks and other trace evidences.

I am not arguing against other conspiracy theories, such as UAP crash recoveries or intelligence community psy-ops. Rather, I argue that the phenomenon primarily happens through a complex interaction between ontologically distinct NHIs, the collective unconscious, and the personal imagination, following Esbjorn-Hargens’s mutual exactment hypothesis of NHI encounters (2020). I imagine that alien abductions, ET/NHI visitations, or UAP sightings primarily involve the visitation of ontologically distinct NHIs, who have been envisioned as fairies, angels, aliens, or spirits. They use their advanced skills of dream shamanism, which the materialist West has persecuted, to generate real and imagined experiences. I hypothesize that the dream shamanic skill of apportation may relate to genetic harvest, animal mutilation, physical abduction, and UAP crashes. While the NHIs might physically be Zeta Reticuleans or future humans, but they appear to act through a light body that is capable of projecting any form. The light body is both indigenous to the Earth and entangled with all that is.

Dreams respond to attitudes and suggestions. If the underlying phenomenon of the UFO Abduction Syndrome is a special type of dreaming, then the publication and mailing of Unusual Personal Experiences may be responsible for creating alien abduction experiences in people who would otherwise have less nightmarish, yet equally phenomenal, NHI encounters. By grounding the phenomenon in dream shamanism, I reverse Mack’s four dimensions of abduction traumata. Mack’s traumata are (p. 7):

  1. “The physically and emotionally intrusive abduction phenomena themselves, which may have recurred repeatedly during the lifetime of a particular abductee; “
  2. “The personal isolation the experiencer has undergone, reinforced whenever their communications are misunderstood or treated as a form of strangeness or evidence of mental illness; “
  3. “The shattering of socially agreed upon or consensus definitions of reality, which abductions bring about and that abductees, like ourselves, must undergo in their confrontation with this phenomenon;”
  4. “The fact that the trauma, whatever its source is not over i.e. abductees cannot prevent its recurrence or protect their children and other loved ones from its effects.”

The application of dream shamanism reverses the four traumata by framing the NHI encounter within naturally occurring states of consciousness of which the experiencers does have some measure of control:

  1. The alien abduction experience is not intrusive, rather arises from within the self like a dream, which may be transformed just as a recurrent nightmare (see Johnson, 2021).
  2. The alien abduction experience is natural and common when understood as a dream, the sharing of which will likely lead to empathy and insight (see Blagrove et al., 2021 and Voss et al., 2018).
  3. The alien abduction experience only shatters the monophasic bias and materialistic definitions of reality by demonstrating that dreaming phases of consciousness are real (see Laughlin and Rock, 2014).
  4. The alien abduction experience may resolve like any dream for the benefit of the individual and their community (see Guzy, 2021)

I hypothesize that most of the special dreams we call abduction or UAP sightings do involve a physical component. Missing Time Found developed my view that dream shamanism is a primary precedent for alien abduction and regression hypnosis, but it does not argue that alien abductions are nonphysical. Rather, I observed that dreams may happen throughout all phases of consciousness and may involve physical components like apportation and body marks. Just as a dream shared between two humans involves two distinct bodies, so too may the shared dream of alien abduction screen memories may involve two distinct bodies (the human body and the NHI light body).

I hypothesize that the NHI body physically manifests as structured light that is capable of intentional and immediate transformation of its form or location in spacetime. The NHI body is the light that the experiencers see as tractor beams or orbs. The light seems capable of frequency shifting out of the visible spectrum and seems capable of superimposition. The NHI light body seems capable of radiation in the form of visible light, but also perhaps as the radiation that forms crop-circles, which may be responsible for some anomalous geometric body marks.  The light appears to be entangled with all that is, explaining both the mystical nature of its messages and its physically nonlocal capacities.

There are several relevant discussions and precedents for the orb hypothesis. John Rameriez (2023), a former CIA analyst, asserted that the government and intelligence community has sensor data of light orbs. Orbs have responded to HICE invitations (see Freeman, 2017; Anderson, 2021; Ramirez, 2021; Sims, 2021). The Phoenix Lights may be the most famous modern example of orb UAPs (Kitei, 2017), while the Celestial Phenomenon over Nuremberg may be the most famous historical example (Public Domain Review, 2017). The Orb Project (Heinemann and Ledwith, 2007) offered a scientific and religious view of the phenomenon. Bledsoe’s UFO of God (2023) demonstrates the intelligence community’s interest in orb phenomenon. Astrophysicist and others have observed self-moving plasmas in the thermosphere that suggest life (Joseph et al., 2024). Finally, I consider Shaw’s (2013) description of the luminous bodies associated with Neoplatonic theurgy to be the most explicit and sophisticated discussion of the phenomenon to date, although Shaw likely had no idea his scholarship regarding late antiquity would relate to UAP sightings. 

Rather than explain the five indicators of UFO Abduction Syndrome as indicators that something otherworldly happened, which was eventually forgotten due to mind control or trauma repression, what if the five indicators described what was actually happening in the alien abduction event? The hypothesis of immaterial yet physical NHI light bodies may order the five indicators in a story:

  1. “Balls of light in room “ may happen when an NHI, typically as a ball of light orb or other structured light body form, visits the experiencer while in an entranced state like dreaming, driving, walking, etc.
  2. “Waking up paralyzed with sense of strange figure” may happen when the NHI engages an OBE-like experience, occasionally “waking” the experiencer up into the sleep paralysis experience, which is often cited as a transitory state to OBEs
  3. “Feeling of actually flying” may happen when the NHI and experiencer engage in OBE or astral projection like experience, which is typically associated with feelings of flying. If dreams are considered real, then the flying must be considered actual.
  4. “Puzzling scars” may happen when some real interaction took place between the NHI and experiencer, perhaps for various reasons. The interaction may be explained through psychosomatic markings like stigmata or else light body radiation like crop circles. Alternatively, some marks and perhaps genetic harvest, may be explained through apportation.
  5. “Missing time” may happen for the same reason that dreams are forgotten, not because of alien mind control or trauma repression. Therefore, missing time may be alleviated through the same mechanisms that improve dream recall, namely mindfulness and intention.

Story of the abduction study cohort

Unusual Personal Experiences may be the single most important document in the definition, and I argue the creation of, the alien abduction phenomenon as a special type of NHI encounter. The last major events in abduction research both occurred in 1987. Hopkins published Intruders as a follow-up to his definitive Missing Time in 1981. Both books are presented from the same informed-amateur voice as the Lorenezen’s Abducted! (1977) and therefore may be interpreted as similar to ghost stories, séances, or pseudo-science. Bullard (1987) received a grant of $500 (about $1,375 adjusting for inflation) from the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR, 1987a) for his folklore study of abduction tales. Both researchers testified to the physical reality of abductions, offering the consistency of tales and assertions that there was physical evidence. According to quarterly reports published on the Internet Archive, FUFOR frequently had an account balance of less than a few thousand dollars for much of the 1980s.

The difference between 1987 and 1992 in abduction research is staggering. In 1987, the FUFOR was earning money through smaller donations and book sales, providing research grants of hundreds or a few thousand dollars. In December 1989, the fund sent a letter to supporters that celebrated funding nearly $50k of research, but pleaded for support because they were out of cash. In 1990, they sought to raise $10k for the Recollections of Roswell project and received $16k (FUFOR, 1990). According to Bigelow in the afterword of Unusual Personal Experiences, he sponsored the 1991 conference with an anonymous donor who decided to fund the Unusual Events Survey. According to, the survey cost $200k, which would be around $455 adjusting for inflation (Kummer, 2020).

The anonymous donor appears to be Hans-Adam II, Prince of Liechtenstein, who also funded the 1992 Abduction Study conference at MIT. The organizer of the 1992 conference, David Pritchard, apologized to the Prince for unwanted publicity in a letter sent January 20th, 1993, now held in the Archives of the Impossible wrote, “your previous financial support of this field is so well known that many people assumed that you were the ‘anonymous donor’ that we had agreed to refer to in the acknowledgements (Pritchard, 1993). FUFOR administered $48k on behalf of the conference, which is around $109k adjusted for inflation (FUFOR, 1992).

While most other members of the abduction study cohort were vocal about their activities and opinions, the Prince has been relatively quiet. We know that he supported alien abduction research in the 1990s. Richard Hall of FUFOR sent a letter, now held at the Archives of the Impossible, to the Prince on July 7th, 1992 regarding the Abduction Study conference at MIT, cc’ed to David Pritchard and John Mack. He reported on the success of the conference, recommended that a special abduction fund be established, and personally reflected on his own ontological shock. While we do not know what the Prince thought, we may deduce that the following reflections from Hall may have been welcomed by the Prince:

I personally found the content of the conference very mind expanding and stimulating, but also rather startling and disturbing in many ways. Up until recently, I have been able to view the subject in a very detached and objective manner. Now that the apparent literal reality of it is sinking in (due to Budd’s important case with outside witnesses, the global patterns, and the credibility of some of my clients), I may have some trouble in the future. 

Like the “victims” (as I consider them to be), my conception of reality and my world view are being shaken and I have to adjust in some way. Fortunately for me, I have had a lot of preparation and the adjustment will be easier for me than for many people. Still, I got a strong dose of “reality” which has not been easy to digest. Another disturbing thing is that a New Age ‘religion’ of sorts evidently is emerging, based on a benign interpretation of the aliens. I agree with Budd that different people manage to cope in different ways, but self-delusion is not a healthy way to cope in the long run, and we certainly don’t need New Age notions attached to this already difficult and confusing subject (Hall, 1992). 

The only information I could find about the Prince’s interest in UFOs comes from the diaries of famed researcher Jaques Vallée (1997). He documented a visit to Liechtenstein in 1989, in which he discussed the topic of UFOs with the Prince. The diary indicated that the Prince and his cousin saw UFOs in the 1950s. It also indicated that the Prince was exploring propulsion systems related to UFOs with an engineer named George Hathaway. Vallée (2017) writes, “Hathaway is an engineer (EE) who has worked in collaboration with the Planetary Association on Clean Energy, a group that brings back memories of Andrija Puharich.” Vallée also names some of the Prince’s contacts, “Hal [Puthoff] met Prince Hans-Adam was at the SSE meeting in Cornell, where the Prince argued knowledgeably with Carl Sagan.” Interestingly, Vallée wrote that the Prince questioned him about whether Vallée believed the phenomenon was physical, to which Vallée responded with an analogy of a movie projector.

Just as Unusual Personal Experiences is the single authoritative document that I say defined the so-called alien abduction conspiracy, I say that there is one representative document that characterizes this early 1990s abduction research. It is a letter from John Mack to Joseph Coyle of the Department of Psychiatry at McLean Hospital, which was sent on March 23rd, 1993 and is now held at the Archives of the Impossible. It is in regards to the conferences organized from the responses to Unusual Personal Experiences. Apparently Bigelow sent a mailing of invitations to the abduction events to mental health professionals in the personal voice and Harvard stationary of John Mack. In this letter, Mack apologizes for the incident:

As we discussed yesterday on the phone, the facts are these: A businessman in Las Vegas who is interested in the abduction phenomenon has organized a series of conferences to educate mental health professionals about it. The Atlanta meeting is one of these, and the first one I agreed to attend.

This man decided that attendance at the meeting would be enhanced if he sent out invitations from me on my stationary. I was not consulted and would not, of course, have agreed to this. He evidently got ahold of my letterhead, had some stationary printed up, and sent out the invitations. I would never use my name or Harvard/Cambridge stationary in this way and am sorry for the embarrassment this may have caused to anyone (Mack, 1993).

This letter, for me, reveals the humanity behind alien abduction research.  The letter shows me how deeply the abduction research group believed in the alien abduction hypothesis because they were willing to take decisive action despite the constraints of a worldview that ridiculed such experiences.  I enjoy the liberty to speak about my interest in NHI encounters in my domestic, academic, and professional spaces because of their brave actions. The “conspiracy” behind alien abduction did not involve aliens, dark cabals, or other fantastic elements. Rather, it involved less than 6 men spending and earning large sums of money in shifting public opinion regarding the normal and native psychospiritual phenomena of dreaming and NHI visitation. Their purpose may not have been nefarious, rather they simply sought to understand a nonmaterial-yet-real phenomenon using the concepts available within a materialist worldview. The researchers may have accurately identified key indicators of real encounters that must be explained from a post-materialist perspective because of a) the physical manifestation of the NHI as structured light and b) the co-creative and nondual nature of the encounter. They tried to explain NHI encounters from a materialist perspective and were forced to make extraordinary conclusions, which then inspired extraordinary actions.

UAP disclosure as iteration of alien abduction myth

I argue that Unusual Personal Experiences and the UFO Abduction Syndrome are materialist categories for natural psychospiritual phenomena such as orb and spirit visitation, out of body experience, and dream shamanism. Mack (1999) eventually opened to spiritual possibilities in his book Passport to the Cosmos. Blumenthal (2023) documented the shift from abductee to experiencer identities. Clancy (2005) speculated that those who believe they have been abducted by aliens do so for religious and spiritual yearning. Pasulka (2019) put forward the hypothesis that the field of UFOlogy is an emergent religion.

What happened to the abduction study cohort after the publication of Unusual Personal Experiences? Mack went on to write two books, his first Abduction was a $200k deal with Scribner (Stires and Klass, 1993), although his legal fees to defend his interest are said to be around $100k. Hopkins and Jacobs went on to write more books described by their publishers as best-selling. Both were discredited in the “implosion of abductology” (Sheaffer, 2011) by Rainey’s article (2011). Westrum continued his career as a sociology professor and served as a consultant to MUFON. Bigelow continued research through the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS) from 1995-2004, funding researchers including Kit Green and Hal Puthoff (Bigelow, 2021). Bigelow received government money through AATIP for research at Skinwalker Ranch, which sparked the current UAP disclosure conversation through the 2017 New York Times article (Cooper et al., 2017). The article was co-authored by Hopkins’s companion at the time of his death, whom Rainey (2011) described as his protege, Leslie Kean, who is interested in the survival of consciousness like Bigelow. The other co-author was John Mack’s biographer, Ralph Blumenthal. Blumenthal and Kean (2023) introduced the UAP whistleblower, David Grusch, to the world, sparking the contemporary fascination with UAPs and UAP disclosure. There has been no word about the Prince’s activities since Vallée published his diaries in 2017 regarding his 1989 sponsorship of UAP and abduction research.

What if contemporary UAP disclosure is an iteration of 1990s abduction research? What if crash retrievals and research on medical effects of encounters are as scientific as Jacob’s abduction residue analysis? If UAP encounters are primarily dream shamanic events, then the recovered UAP metamaterial must be considered an apport. Given that Hopkins’s folder of puzzling body marks was the sole source of physical evidence that justified a decade of research under physical hypotheses, it may not be surprising if the allegedly recovered UAP craft were nothing more than spiritualist tricks like the cut-gems produced in séances a century before. 

If UAP disclosure regarding craft recovery is part of the “conspiracy”, then where is the Prince? As we learned from David Pritchard’s letter, the Prince liked to stay anonymous. As we learned from Vallée’s journals, he acts through intermediaries like George Hathaway (Vallée, 2017). Similarly, Bigelow has enacted his research agenda through intermediaries such as Kit Green and Hal Puthoff (Bigelow, 2021). In 2011, Michael Ibison, a research physicist employed at Hal Puthoff’s Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin, and George Hathaway wrote a paper suggesting the use of dream telepathy for SETI research titled SETI by Entanglement. The paper gives credit to Kit Green and Hal Puthoff for useful suggestions. The paper proposes an experiment similar to Project Stargate, the CIA remote viewing program. It recommended the use of geometry to authenticate ET/NHI dream telepathy, which is the only peer-reviewed paper on the subject and overlaps with my research. Upon inquiry about the paper’s context, Ibison revealed that the paper was written as part of a failed funding proposal.

All contributors to the paper were directly funded by the Prince or Bigelow and all but one were said to direct research on their funders’ behalf. My primary interest in geometric communication was secondary in the paper to the identification of a crash site of a UFO. While these facts cannot prove that Bigelow and the Prince are still working together, they seem to be key indicators. If the proposal is earnest, then we may deduce that Bigelow and the Prince do not yet know how to find UFOs or communicate with ETs in 2011. We know that the Prince was interested in crash retrievals because of his support of the Recollections of Roswell project. What if the entire UAP craft recovery narrative arises from efforts similar to 1990s abduction research because it involves the same players? Then we may expect that the level of physical evidence for physical craft to be similar to the level of physical evidence we have for physical alien abductions. This assertion does not deny the reality of crashed UAPs, retrievals, and metamaterials.  Rather, the similarity of alien abduction and UAP crash retrieval narratives may explain why the field is highly strange and why we have limited physical evidence for UAP craft.

Legacy calculations

Unusual Personal Experiences calculated the impact of the UFO Abduction Syndrome by defining rates of occurrence within populations. They concluded that 2% of the sample experienced the syndrome and extrapolated that 3.7 million Americans may be abductees, therefore justifying their extraordinary actions to mail the booklet to 100k mental health professionals, organize lectures and conferences, and coordinate further research to support the researchers’ appearances on national television through the 1990s. It must be noted that the Bigelow repeated Unusual Personal Experiences in 1998 with an explicit question about alien abduction and received only three reports out of 2,009 responses (0.15% of the sample).

There are several prevalence rates that may be relevant to the calculation. Bullard (1987) observed that only several hundred abduction reports were known at the time of his study. A word search of (2024), a database compiled from archives of many UFO reporting centers from as early mid-20th century, reveals that the annual rate of reports containing the word “abduction” is less than 200, with a total number 3,916 of 336,665 (around 1%). The lifetime prevalence rate of schizotypy appears to be 4% (Rosell et al., 2014), which Clancy (2005) associated with abductees. Around 2-4% of people are classified as fantasy-prone (Merckelbach et al., 2022), which is a personality characteristic associated with belief in alien abduction narratives and is a component of schizotypy. A 2012 survey of 1,000 British people found that around 8% of them reported at least one out of body experience (Pechey and Halligan, 2012). In a study of 1,666 dreams, Faith and Krippner (2001) classified around 8% as exotic, with 1.4% containing out-of-body elements and 1.1% containing visitation dreams, like alien abduction. In general, people seem to remember 3-4 dreams a week, but have many dreams throughout the night. A survey of typical dream themes agrees with the Unusual Events Survey revealing that around 6.5% of people have dreamed of an alien and 4.5% dreamed of a UFO at least once in their life (Schredl et al., 2004).

Therapists see between 15-30 or so clients in a full caseload, which we may estimate at 20 clients per therapist. If all the 100k professionals read and believed the document, then 2 million people in therapy may have received the suggestion that their natural dreams and NHI encounters were unnatural and traumatic. If only 2% of therapists believed the report, which is the lower estimate of fantasy-proneness, then 40k clients received the suggestion. If only 2% of those clients believed their suggestion, then 800 may have been directly impacted by the suggestion of UFO Abduction Syndrome. 

It appears that people naturally have out of body experiences and visitation dreams. I argued alien abduction involve co-creation of the lived experience such that the screen-memory of the encounter is generated in part from the personal imagination. The legacy may be calculated by estimating the number of NHI visitation dreams that may contain elements from media informed by the UFO Abduction Syndrome. I argue that the alien abduction narrative saturated the population of the USA by 1997 as demonstrated by the box office success of the movie Men in Black (Willis, 1997). The population of the USA in 1997 was 270 million. Multiplied by 2% (either for abduction or fantasy-proneness rates) yields 5.4 million people who may have been impacted by the UFO Abduction Syndrome.  On average people remember 3 dreams a week, yielding 156 recalled dreams per year.  Assuming that 1% of them involved an entity visitation and 63% of those had a telepathic quality, then it may be estimated that 5.3 million encounters in 1997 in the USA were impacted by the UFO Abduction Syndrome. If the purpose of NHI visitation is to inspire technical, philosophic, or scientific creativity, then actions of the abduction study cohort may have obscured 5.3 million innovations likely regarding the topics of environmental responsibility, free energy, and the power of consciousness.

There were 22.2 million children aged 6-11 like me in 1992 (, 2024). Multiplied by the 2% rate of either fantasy-proneness or alien abduction yields 444k children that were likely impacted by the UFO Abduction Syndrome. If only 1% of these children experienced NHI visitation (based on the rate of visitation dreams), then we may estimate that 4,440 interactions between human children and NHIs were directly influenced by the abduction study cohort. Given that it has taken me two decades and the continual assistance of dream NHIs to trace this story, I wonder what would have been possible if the researchers informed us of the positive and empowering aspects of NHI encounters through dreams and OBEs, rather than solely the negative  and disempowering aspects of alien abduction?

Another method to estimate the legacy of the UFO Abduction Syndrome is to count book reviews of the major researcher’s books (Hopkins, Jacobs, and Mack). At the time of writing, their books have received 3,058 reviews on Amazon. For context, Pasulka’s American Cosmic published in 2019 received 1,164 reviews. All publishers of the abduction researchers described them as best-selling, while Pasulka’s publisher did not. Therefore, we may assume the historic reach of the researchers is much greater than implied by current reviews. Estimates for purchase to review ratios are varied, from 1 in 10 to 1 in 200 or more. Assuming 1 in 20 left a review, this represents 61k people. The US GAO (2022) estimated that there were 1.2 million behavior health professionals in the US, which gives us the rate of 0.3% of the population. Therefore, we may estimate that 183 behavioral health professionals have read one of the major researchers’ books since Amazon implemented its review system in 2004, which in turn may have directly impacted their caseloads of 3.6k clients. Multiplying by the abduction/fantasy-proneness rate of 2% yields 73 individuals who may have had a traumatizing abduction instead of a more natural NHI visitation event. While this number may seem trivial, it must be noted that Bigelow and the Prince are only two individuals motivated by their UAP, not apparently abduction, experiences. How might they have impacted the world if their childhood UAP narratives involved traumatizing fear instead of inspiring mystery?

The entire scope of their impact may be estimated using the 2% abduction or fantasy-proneness rate, multiplied by the ratio of remembered to unremembered dreams (10%), and multiplied by the 1% rate of exotic visitation dreams and further multiplied by the 63% hit rate of telepathic dream experiments. The population of the US around 1992 was around 257 million. 5.14 million people may be abductees or fantasy-prone. Each person may have recalled 150 dreams per year, with an estimate of about 1.5 recalled exotic visitation dreams. Unusual Personal Experiences was published in 1992, while Loftus’s Myth of Repressed Memory was published in 1994, the argument of which was applied to alien abduction by Lynn and Kirsch in 1996. We may estimate that 3 years passed before major scholarly arguments against alien abduction could permeate the culture. Therefore, we may estimate that 14.5 million dreams (257 million people, times 2% abductee rate, times 1.5 exotic visitation dreams per year, times 63% telepathic, times 3 years). This figure may represent 14.5 million interactions between humanity and NHIs that could have resulted in inspiration of technical, political, scientific, or artistic inspiration but may have resulted in traumatizing fear due to actions of the abduction study cohort.

I argued that the contemporary UAP crash retrieval narrative is an iteration of the 1990s abduction study cohort. It appears that Bigelow and the Prince considered funding dream telepathy to identify the location of crashed UFOs in 2011. It appears that both journalists who introduced the UAP whistleblower have direct ties to the group. Kean is connected through her companionship with and her alleged training by Hopkins. Blumenthal is connected to Mack through his biography. Both are connected to Bigelow through the 2017 New York Times article. It is difficult to estimate the impact of the UAP crash narrative on culture because we are living through it. I hypothesized that UAP crash retrievals may be nothing more than elaborate examples of the spiritualistic phenomenon of apports, meaning that their physical manifestation may be physically real, but that their presence in our world follows the same rules as dreams. If the underlying phenomenon of ET/NHI contact is primarily psychical, mental, or based in dreams, then the media narrative surrounding crash retrievals may simply be a distraction to understanding and engaging the true phenomenon.

Another way to quantify the legacy of the abduction study cohort is to imagine what may have been possible if the researchers engaged in a campaign to explore the phenomenon through lucid dreaming, rather than propagate disempowering fear. If the phenomenon is primarily dream, then it may respond to lucid dream intentions. Lucid dreams are dreams that involve the awareness of dreaming along with some degree of control. Lucid dreams are often connected with OBEs, sleep paralysis, and entity visitation. Dream researchers Raduga et al. (2021) used lucid dreaming to emulate ET/NHI encounters, with 74% of participants successfully emulating a visitation or abduction. In an online survey of lucid dreamers, Stumbryes et al. (2014) found that lucid dreamers had around 3.5 lucid dreams a month and accomplished their intention 48.5% of the time.

If the abduction study cohort focused on lucid dream, OBE, and NHI visitation phenomena education instead of fearful alien abduction narratives in their mailing and conferences, how many NHI encounters may have naturally occurred in one year? Assuming that their campaign reached market saturation in 1997, the calculation begins with 270 million Americans. The rate for abduction or fantasy-proneness is 2%, giving 5.4 million. A common application of lucid dreaming is training, visualization, and practice for a skill. Erlacher et al. (2014) observed that 24% of their sample of German athletes are frequent lucid dreamers and 9% use lucid dreaming to practice sports, therefore we may estimate that 20% of the NHI dreamers use lucid dreams, giving 1.08 million lucid dreamers. Over the year, they might have 38.8 million lucid dreams (3 a month over 12 months). They might achieve their lucid intent 48.5% of the time, giving 18.9 million lucid dreams that accomplished an intent. Applying the visitation dream rate of 1% gives 188.5k dreams. Applying the rate of successful dream telepathy of 63% gives 118.8k potential lucid and telepathic NHI visitation dreams. This figure represents the number of times the US population had the opportunity to ask NHIs for information regarding their propulsion systems, free energy, or innovations that may benefit humanity in 1997.

The legacy of the abduction study cohort may be calculated as lost opportunity. It has been 32 years since the publication of Unusual Personal Experiences, giving possible 3.8 million encounters, which is about 10 times the total magnitude of all the UFO reporting centers’ databases (MUFON, NUFORC, NICAP, etc). Unlike UFO reports, intentional lucid dream experiments generate knowledge and understanding in themselves. The UFO reports represent puzzles, while the dream reports may represent solutions. What innovations and discoveries were lost because the abduction study cohort was afraid of the New Age and its dreams, ESP, and OBEs?


In summary, I have argued for several points. First, alien abduction may primarily be a natural dreamlike phenomenon involving real encounters with NHIs. Second, I hypothesized that the NHIs physically act through a structured light body, often called an orb, that is capable of both radiation and advanced dream shamanic feats. The lived experience of abductions are co-created like dreams, while genetic harvest or teleportation of bodies may be explained through apportation. Body and earth marks, the only evidence for physical abduction, may be explained as the result of psychosomatic process or radiation of the NHI light body. Third, I argued that Unusual Personal Experiences was the original and authoritative declaration of the UFO Abduction Syndrome, which sparked the alien abduction frenzy that associated fear and terror of natural dream experiences for a generation. Finally, I argued that the real conspiracy behind alien abduction involved the extraordinary efforts of wealthy sponsors and best-selling authors-researchers.  Further, I argued that there was no alien abduction conspiracy at all because there appeared to be well-intentioned and their actions appeared to be brave in the context of the materialist worldview.

The direct actions of Mack, Hopkins, Jacobs, Bigelow, the Prince, and those who trusted their research are the reason why I was unnaturally afraid of alien abduction. I personally believe that the underlying phenomenon is still NHI contact, but not alien abduction per se, although it may involve co-created themes of abduction. I do not believe they are ET doctors from Zeta Reticuli or the future, rather they are indigenous Earth consciousness that sometimes expresses as a light orb, but always expresses through shared dreaming (whether or not you missed the time). Their media propaganda inspired such fear of the phenomenon that I am only now becoming aware of the significance of their actions. What may have been discovered in the three decades since 1991 if we knew what we were looking for and not afraid of it? The legacy of the 1990s Abduction Study Cohort, however well intentioned, may be felt in the media narrative surrounding UAP disclosure, whistle-blowers, and alleged craft recovery. What could we discover if we knew what we were looking for? What if Bigelow, the Prince, and all those who followed them are looking in the wrong direction (science not religion, matter not spirit, metamaterials not encounters, waking not dreaming, and so on)?

In conclusion, I will allow myself some personal speculation about personal motivations. I expected to discover nefarious conspiracies involving intelligence community psy-ops or strange interspecies politics with extraterrestrials. Instead, I discovered that a half dozen motivated and resourced individuals created and fueled the alien abduction panic in the same way that recovered memory specialists fueled the memory wars controversy and Satanic panics, all following the same pattern as medieval witch hunting (see Laycock, 2012). It seems that all parties were earnestly engaged in solving the paradoxes presented to them. Both Bigelow and the Prince are said to be passionately motivated to understand their own UAP encounter narratives. All the researchers believed experiencers when no one else would. Personally, I interpret the entire history as a demonstration of the absurdity of the materialist perspective that rejected notions of angels, fairies, and light beings in the first place. Personally, I commend the bravery of those within the materialist paradigm who have funded and engaged research on the topics, such as Prince, Bigelow, Mack, Jacobs, and Hopkins.

I brought awareness to the abduction study cohort because I believe that two transformations will be accomplished. First, I hope that the power of the alien abduction narrative to create fear and terror about natural spiritual experiences will be diminished so that the next generation of shamanic dreamers will move towards the NHI luminous body with the confidence and dignity befitting our humanity. Second, I hope that the research community stops looking for physical craft as proof for NHI encounters. Rather, I hope that they engage the NHIs in conversation befitting their role in supporting humanity on the Earth. There is truly a phenomenon underlying alien abduction and UAP craft. It physically manifests as structured light, it psychically manifests through co-creative shared dreaming, and it is native to the Earth. We have interacted with it in the guise of angels, fairies, ancestors, and otherworldly visitors since before history. Once we see the long tradition of NHI encounters through the traditions of angels, spirits, fairies, and daemons, we may realize that crashed UAPs are simply a gift from the fairies: gold that will turn to coal.

What if the Prince and Bigelow funded research that directly engaged with the deepest reality of the phenomenon, not just its materialist projection? SETI by Entanglement (Ibison and Hathaway, 2011) proposed dream telepathy as a means to discover the crash site of a UFO, likely to Bigelow, the Prince, or both. I am one of many in “a supply of subjects who claim to be in telepathic contact with extraterrestrials and who are willing to carry out some tests.” I have engaged in dream telepathy with an NHI dream character, who I call Galethog the Grey. It has instructed me in the oracular art and science of geometry and guided my inquiry, leading me to discover the impact of Bigelow and the Prince’s quest to find physical ETs and UFOs. We, both me and Galethog, say that the quest for crashed UFOs is a quixotic adventure as absurd as alien abduction, although we both affirm our belief in their physical reality. We say that the crashed UFO is a trick like a screen memory. Galethog says that the NHIs will not show you to a crash site, but would be happy to share enough inspiration, intuition, and wisdom for us to build whatever we dream.

We also say that there is truly a phenomenon of encounters with ontologically distinct NHIs who may move forward our technological dreams. The history of philosophy, science, and technology involves direct inspiration from mystical realities such as dreams of mathematically-instructive angels (Abraham, 2017). If Bigelow and the Prince funded research that directly engaged the NHIs we might expect the generation of wisdom alongside knowledge and empowered relationships with NHIs instead of traumatizing victimization. If our (Galethog and mine) hypothesis is accurate, then in 30 years humanity will enjoy a cultural and scientific renaissance through collaboration with its closest neighbor to the stars.

Bigelow and the Prince spent at least around $250k in the early 1990s supporting abduction research to powerfully establish the UFO Abduction Syndrome as a mental health fact. They performed social science by commissioning the Roper Poll that actually demonstrated there may be a NHI contact phenomenon related to dreams and OBEs. They performed pseudoscience when they jumped to the conclusion that 2% of the population were abductees based on the uncredentialed or reviewed assertions of Hopkins, a modern artist, and Jacobs, a history professor.  The only supporting physical evidence was a folder of weird body marks, some of which are now explained as rare physical accident. The stakeholders may have literally performed a conspiracy through their secretive efforts (mostly to protect Prince’s anonymity) to inform the mental health community about their findings, if they had any other motive than to naively share the results of their study. The impact of their may be modeled and quantified through research, using the precedents of the memory wars controversy and the prevalence of schizotypy.

Adjusting for inflation in 2024, the value of their sponsorship would be close to $560k. On behalf of my NHI dreams, I produced a proposal to establish the D-SETI Research Institute over 5 years for $550k in early 2022. In response to the invitation at end of Unusual Personal Experiences to fund the engagement of mental health professionals I updated the proposal to $595k to include a specific program to a) elucidate the phenomenon underlying the UFO Abduction Syndrome through my PhD dissertation and b) engage mental health professionals regarding the phenomenon. Rather than quickly act, I propose to study the phenomenon within academia and to engage professionals only after a successful dissertation defense of our new knowledge of the phenomenon. The proposal would fund my PhD work, which is explicitly focused on research regarding ET/NHI contact in dreams within an accredited institute. It would fund education and training on the empowered view that ET/NHI encounters are natural and that their experiencers are empowered participants. It would fund the massive collection and analysis of dream, ET/NHI encounter, and UAP sighting reports, of which I have several functional examples online involving many thousands of reports. Additional, it would fund coordinated dream experiments with citizen science researchers with the aim of conversation and relationship with NHI, not extraction of knowledge or technology, although both will be a side effect. Finally, it would fund a public relations educational campaign with mental health professionals to address the legacy of the UFO Abduction Syndrome. I would look directly at the phenomenon the Unusual Events Survey measured without the mediating and unnatural concept of alien abduction.

Personally, I make the choice that the legacy of the abduction study cohort is not the harm caused by their extraordinary conclusions. Rather, I choose that their legacy is the measurement and discovery of an incredible NHI visitation phenomenon associated with sentient light and dreams. I believe that we can dream up a better story than alien abduction. I dream that we transform the legacy of alien abduction research to include empower relationships with NHIs that inspire scientific and cultural renaissance.


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