Date: Mon May 09 1994 01:28:00 To: All Subj: Abductions=trick of sleep UFO - Alien abducti

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Date: Mon May 09 1994 01:28:00 From: Sheppard Gordon To: All Subj: Abductions=trick of sleep UFO ------------------------------- Alien abductions a trick of sleep? 05/03/94 THE FRESNO BEE Q: Why do some people think they've been abducted by aliens from space? A: Normally, being calm and rational types, we greet tales of alien abduction with hoots, sneers and guffaws, then quickly return to our previous work on behalf of the Zorgon Empire. But lately the alien thing has gotten out of hand. Getting abducted by little gray men with large eyeballs is to the '90s what disco dancing in white suits was to the '70s. The alien-abduction stories recently got a big boost with the publication of a book by a well-known, Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard psychiatrist, John Mack, who says he believes that these stories, however far-fetched, are actually true. Maybe so. How can you disprove it? The aliens are doing it secretly, remember, so the absence of footprints, photographs, or direct alien confessions merely corroborates the scenario of a covert UFO operation. There are probably many factors at work here. Some stories are probably hoaxes. Some are probably the result of madness. A few may be artifacts of therapy. There's another explanation that we find particularly intriguing: the theory that some abduction fantasies are a function of a sleeping disorder called sleep paralysis. It so happens that a key Why staffer has this very disorder, and, indeed, the symptoms match up with some of the symptoms of alien abduction. The aliens usually strike at night while people are in bed; so too does sleep paralysis. The abductees report that their first sensation is apprehension, the sense that someone is in the room; that is precisely what happens with sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is a screw-up of the brain's normal awake-asleep mechanism. Normally people lose muscle tone only when they are asleep. But if you have sleep paralysis this loss of muscle tone can kick in too early, before your brain is asleep, or persist after you've woken up. It's creepy! In fact it's a lot like being zapped with a suspended-animation ray from the Mother Ship. You have to shake yourself out of it, no easy task. All the while you tend to have auditory hallucinations or dream-like thoughts, usually with menacing overtones. In Whitley Streiber's book "Communion," he describes waking up, being unable to move, seeing strange beings, then, incredibly, going back to sleep. Sounds just like sleep paralysis. Our Why staffer has never imagined himself abducted. But he has felt, during these sleep paralysis attacks, that they were being done to him by someone else, some Other. It's all the more frustrating then to realize, when the attack goes away, that it is just one's own self that is doing this, that the Other is just one's own brain.

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