Sleep paralysis and alien abductions

I was watching a documentary about alien abductions in the Discovery Channel this evening and they explained the phenomena by citing “sleep paralysis“. This kind of abnormal state is known to many cultures under different names. In the middle ages they would say that a demon or a witch was sitting on the stomach of people while sleeping and wouldn’t let them move. In the part of Greece I am from the old ladies are calling it “mora” (in greek: µώρα). Supposedly, it’s a black heavy thing that’s sitting on top of you, you can’t shake it away and you can’t breath. My mother had the experience once, years ago (around 1986 if I remember correctly).

While I am not a (strong) supporter of the alien abduction theory, I must say that the sleep paralysis explanation is not always the best one. On all cultures that identify sleep paralysis one way or another, they always describe the same experience: a thing or creature sitting on top or next to you for a few seconds before you regain control of your movement and breath. But in the alien abduction cases things are much more complicated than this: the subject is moving through walls and in the air, transported in a spaceship and gets undergone all sorts of medical painful exams for hours. The subject can’t move, but he can breath without a problem. And in some cases they can see other humans there too. Obviously, this is not the same thing…

However, the two problems I have with the alien abduction theory are:
1. It’s not proven that hypnosis can recover true memories. This would be so easy to prove (you just need one subject and two hypnotists, one creating the forgotten memory and the other one retrieving it), and yet no one did such an experiement. This is why I even emailed… the Mythbusters last year about it, but no luck with them either. Carrying out such an easy experiement could put lots of doubts to rest…
2. Why is it mostly Americans who think they’re abducted? What’s so special about them? It’s kinda funny actually…

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This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 20th, 2006 at 6:04 AM PST:

>I’m not sure you can be hypnotized to not remember.

You can. All the “circus” hypnotists in Vegas and others who do shows, their subjects don’t remember a thing afterwards.


binarycrusader wrote on August 20th, 2006 at 7:04 AM PST:

2. Why is it mostly Americans who think they’re abducted? What’s so special about them? It’s kinda funny actually…

My theory? Way too much bad television. It is pathetic, I agree.


mikesum32 wrote on August 20th, 2006 at 8:02 AM PST:

1. Hypnosis can do both. It can help make memory clearer and it can also create flase memories. It’s understood to do this. That’s probably why Mythbuster didn’t respond or maybe they get way too much mail. A person can easily lie under hypnosis too.

False memeries have been created in children, though not through hypnosis(I don’t think hypnosis was involved.) During “witch hunts” looking for child molestors. Things like murder, cannibalism and devil worship have been reported and later proven to be false, or recanted.

Leading questions and hours of questioning are the main causes.

Didn’t he touch you? What else did he do? Who else was there?

Some of the ones who confessed have memories they know that are false, but they have them none the less.

If I had that for hours on end I might start believing it too. In fact when went to church camp they locked the doors and we sang and prayed and got saved. I realized later that it was like being brainwashed or like group-think.

If I had that for hours on end I might start believing it too. In fact when went to church camp they locked the doors and we sang and prayed and got saved. I realized later that it was like being brainwashed or like group-think.

2. There have been a number of non American reports of abduction. Americans get a lot of attention in world news at this time and English is the international language(suck it Latin!). America has much more native English speaker than anywhere else. So it makes sense that we English speakers hear more news from America because it is the bigget in news, land area, and population (native English speaking)


mikesum32 wrote on August 20th, 2006 at 8:14 AM PST:

Wow, a sentence fragment and I pasted a paragraph in twice !

Looks like I need some sleep.

BTW, you should read Whitley Strieber’s books. I’ve read them all so far.

The ones describing his encounters with aliens are… Communion, Transformation, Breakthrough, and The Secret School.

The Key is his book about his encounter with a mysterious man.

The Path is hardly worth mentioning.

His new book The Greys is a fictionalized tale of what like to communicate with an alien and a story about what the government knows. It’s isn’t out yet, so I don’t have more info.

On the skeptic side there is Abducted – How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens

and

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience,Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time.

I haven’t actualy read this one.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 20th, 2006 at 8:30 AM PST:

Whitley Strieber has made it all up.

Regarding hypnosis, it is not proven that you can recover authentic memories. The idea of the experiement was to get a hypnotist to hypnotize a subject and make him do funny things. At the end, he would give the command to not remember anything of what he did during the hypnosis. Then, a second hypnotist must try recover these memories that DID happen. If he is successful, then alien abductions can have a sturdier ground.


mikesum32 wrote on August 20th, 2006 at 9:38 AM PST:

Whitley Strieber did not make it all up, he’s had multiple witnesses and at least two lie detector tests which he passed.

He’s also had tests for temporal lobe epilepsy(all came back negative) and a number of psychological tests(found he had a lot of stress).

>At the end, he would give the command to not remember >anything of what he did during the hypnosis

I’m not sure it works like that. I’m not sure you can be hypnotized to not remember.


Thom Holwerda wrote on August 20th, 2006 at 10:53 AM PST:

Life outside of earth exists, that is statistically easily explained, IF you assume the theory that the universie is endless.

If the universe is endless, then there are an infinite amount of galaxies, which means an infinite maount of stars, which means an infinite amount of planets, which means there is also an infinite amount of planets just like earth, which ALSO means there is an infinite amount of planets with life. That’s rather elimentary statistics (but of course it all depends on the assumption that the universe is infinite; but even when the universie is finite BUT *huge*, the above equation can still be pretty valid).

BUT, they do not come here. There is no proof whatsoever, and no, a bunch of American redneck weirdos don’t count, neither do a few lights in the sky. When I see those aliens in “Nature”, then we’ll talk.

As for sleep paralysis– I have it a few times a month, it’s nothing to be afraid of, even though it might freak you out at first. As soon as you learn what it actually is, you learn to relax and just let it pass by.


mikesum32 wrote on August 20th, 2006 at 11:21 AM PST:

Yes, all abductees are rednecks.

So if life exists they just stay at home ?

What about the doctors or writers who are abductees?


Thom Holwerda wrote on August 20th, 2006 at 11:30 AM PST:

Let me repeat myself. When I see those aliens in “Nature”, then we’ll talk.


mikesum32 wrote on August 20th, 2006 at 12:14 PM PST:

If they are even 500 years beyond us (or maybe 50,000) would they want to land on the white house lawn, or fly to the UN?

They might have goals and motivations beyond our current way of thinking.

Think of our world 500 years ago, would we go charging in to change everything. Talk about a new world.

Perhaps we would behave as the cargo cultists did and worship them as false gods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

We might worship the magical(to us) toys they have for thier children, if they have toys or have children or have familial groups.

It might be like someone from our day and age giving a cd player to a cave man. Would he even understand what it is used for, not to mention how it works, or what rock and roll is?

They might see us the same way.


macewan wrote on August 22nd, 2006 at 2:02 AM PST:

🙂

Unless you’ve experienced this terrifying situation you really can’t see why sleep paralysis makes sense.


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