By: Benjamin Leblanc
To: Fredric Rice
Re: Alien abductions research
FR> While alien abduction claims are wide-spread, I suspect that the cause
FR> for alien abduction phenomena and much of SRA is based upon the
FR> ever-popular and widely-reported sleep-induced hypnosis.
At least it might be one of the causes. Here is an excerpt of a message I
sent to Christina Barr, a folklorist/ethnologist from Memorial University
of Newfoundland who is exploring (just as me) the relationship between ano-
malous sleep experiences and alien abductions.
Concerning ufo abductions, one of the great causes might in fact be
linked to sleep disorders, or at least a miscomprehension of some sleep
experiences. You will be interested to look at the work of Michael
Persinger, a neuroscientist at Laurentian University of Sudbury, Ontario.
His hypothesis introduces the notion of a link between temporal lobe
lability (which can be detected on EEG) and mystical experiences, strange
feelings, ufo abductions, out-of-the-body experiences. Actually, Persinger
is trying to _induce_ such experience whith his famous magnetic field
Also, you will have to look at the work of a friend of mine, Dr. Tore
Nielsen, working at the Sleep Laboratory of Sacre-Coeur Hospital here in
Montreal. One of his articles is particularly relevant for your (and
my) researches: "Reality Dreams and Their Effects on Spiritual Belief:
A Revision of Animism Theory", published in _J. Gackenbach & A.A. Sheikh
(eds.), Dream Images: A call to mental arms (pp.233-264). Amityville:
Baywood Publishing Company, Inc._. This article involves what we call
Also, from Dr. Tore Nielsen, you may find interesting his work about the
relation between pain and dreams; two articles are relevant: "Pain in
Dreams" (CopyRight 1993 American Sleep Disorders Association and Sleep
Research Society), and "Changes in the Kinesthetic Content of Dreams
Following Somatosensory Stimulation of Leg Muscles During REM Sleep",
published in Dreaming, Vol. 3, No. 2, 1993.
Look also for the persistance of sleep paralysis eperienced by people who
awake, and the psychological reaction it produces. There might be a link
between succubus, incubus, Old Hag (you should know him... ;) ) and ufo
abductions, all of them being maybe an interpretation of some anomalous
sleep experiences, such as this sleep paralysis.
Also (yes, again), get a look at the work of Celia Green, a parapsycholo-
gist with an independant laboratory in Oxford. She worked on "metachoric
experiences", which are basically false awakenings (dreaming that you wake
Finally, the late Nick Spanos (and his colleagues) at Carleton University
in Ottawa worked on the link between sleep disturbance and apparent abduc-
tions. He unfortunately killed himself in a plane crash last Spring (he
was a private pilot).
As you can see, Frederick, there are many possibilities in order to explain
ufo abductions. Hypnosis (FMS) is one, influences from sci-fi culture is
another, and add to this sleep disturbances and possible excessive bursts of
electrical activity in the temporal lobes, leading at one extremity to
epilepsy, and at the other simple weird feelings. If we consider all this at
the same time, we might get the answer soon.
Benjamin H. Leblanc
Myths and modern folklore studies
Montreal University, anthropology / sociology depts.