Saturday, October 29, 2005

Alien abductees prone to false memories

It is a widespread story that alien beings have traveled to Earth from some other planet and are doing reproductive experiments on a chosen few. If you believe in this nonsense, then you probably have been hit by "false memories".

The term confabulation is often used to describe the "memories" of people claiming to have been abducted by aliens. Proposed explanations of the abduction phenomenon can be found here.

Here's a great article that appeared in Yahoo. The article explain that we're dealing with false memories rather than evidence of life in other planets:

LONDON (Reuters) - Do you have memories of being abducted by aliens and whisked away in a spaceship?You wouldn't be alone. Several thousand people worldwide claim to have had such close encounters, researchers say. But in a new study, a psychology expert at London's Goldsmiths College says these experiences are proof of the frailty of the human memory, rather than evidence of life in other galaxies.

"Maybe what we're dealing with here is false memories, and not that people are actually being abducted and taken aboard spaceships," says Professor Chris French, who surveyed 19 self-proclaimed alien abductees.

Several of the abductees reported being snatched from their beds or cars by alien creatures around four feet high, with spindly arms and legs and oversized heads, French said.

Some men said they were subjected to painful medical examinations by the aliens, during which their sperm was extracted.

Many of the alien experiences could be explained by sleep paralysis, a condition in which a person is awake and aware of the surroundings but is unable to move.

Sleep paralysis often leads to hallucinations and 40 percent of people experience the state at least once in their lives, French said.

A rich imagination was also at play. Several of the alien abductees were already prone to fantasising and also claimed to have seen ghosts and have psychic or healing abilities.

"People have very rich fantasy lives," said French, who is due to present his findings at a public seminar at London's Science Museum on Wednesday.

"So much so that they often mix up what's happening in their heads with what is going on in the real world."
I'd like to hear what fellow skeptics are thinking about recovered memory these days.

See who links to your web site.