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Abductions? Not likely. By Michael Berkowitz, Josh Liljedahl, Ryan Narus, and Grayson Farrar.

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Presentation on theme: "Abductions? Not likely. By Michael Berkowitz, Josh Liljedahl, Ryan Narus, and Grayson Farrar."— Presentation transcript:

1 Abductions? Not likely. By Michael Berkowitz, Josh Liljedahl, Ryan Narus, and Grayson Farrar

2 Why do people believe in UFOs???  Consistency of the stories told by the victims.  Quantity of testimonials claiming abductions  Apparent sincerity of those who experience the abductions  Testimonials from young children

3 Consistency of Stories  Victims have similar stories without prior knowledge of each others experiences  Share very similar detailed stories, many people comment on the eyes of the aliens.  Many people claimed to have been probed all over the body in the same sort of manner.  People have similar descriptions of being sexually abused with vivid descriptions of the examination room.  Almost all abductees claim they were paralyzed and kidnapped in their sleep from their rooms.

4 Quantities of Testimonies  Testimonies come in mass quantities from different people worldwide.  Testimonies come from all different types of people. (No just wackos!)

5 Apparent Sincerity of Victims  Many victims show great emotion and have difficulty talking about experiences  When victims speak or write about it sincerity is evident  Dr. John Mack, Harvard University said “case after case there is consistence in the power of the stories, self doubt, and sincerity  Dr. Mack also opened hundreds of letters from claimed victims and said, “its is very convincing that these stories are from absolute reality because the victims are truly traumatized  He was convinced to the point of jeopardizing his personal reputation as well as his reputation as a Harvard professor

6 Testimonies of Children  “Mommy I saw the shadows again last night”  Children with abduction stories too young to have knowledge of abduction scams  Small boy and his toddler sister each gave a testimony.  Testimonials from small children are more convincing, because they seem more sincere.

7 Memory  episodic memory –Memory for one’s personal past experiences  confabulation –False recollection of episodic memory  source misattributions –When people misremember the time, place, person, or circumstances involved with a memory; false fame effect  source amnesia –A type of amnesia that occurs when a person shows memory for an event but cannot remember where they encountered the information  Memory can be very unreliable and even malleable for these reasons

8 Hypnosis  suggestibility –The development of biased memories when provided with misleading information –While under hypnosis, if the person doing the hypnotizing is charismatic enough, the person undergoing the hypnotism will do or say just about anything to please the hypnotist –With a hypnotist pressing for information and details, a subject is very likely to use their imagination rather than actual memory –Hallucinations and dreams can engender real emotions, and critics say that hypnosis and therapeutic suggestion can transform these emotions into traumatic abduction memories

9 Lost in a Shopping Mall Experiment  Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus set out to prove that memories are malleable and unreliable by the well known “Lost in a shopping mall” experiment  The experiment attempts to implant a false memory into a subject using hypnosis  The subject is told under hypnosis that she was lost in a mall at a young age, then the subject elaborates and memories are formed  The experiment was a success  One week later, the subject had constructed a detailed account of an event that never took place

10 Support Groups  Suggestive influence could also be in effect in support groups  People reveal things about themselves that they clearly find embarrassing and the therapist helps them explain these things away as the product of their alien abduction  Also, whatever story the person imagines and reveals to the group is then accepted as a memory, and when the person offers it to the group and is rewarded for finding what was expected, it all makes sense –Example: one woman testified that she did not recall being sexually violated during her abduction, but said that it is very possible she blocked it out

11 Sleep Paralysis’s Relation to Alien Abductions

12 What is Sleep Paralysis?  Sleep paralysis consists of a period when one cannot perform voluntary movements.  It occurs either at the beginning (hynogogic) or at the end (hypnopompic) of sleeping.  REM sleep- The stage of sleep marked by rapid eye movements, dreaming, and paralysis of motor systems; sleep with an activated brain

13 Symptoms  Patient is unable to move their limbs or torso  Short periods of partial or full paralysis of the body  Vivid dreams that can seem real to the patient

14 Effects of Sleep Paralysis Patients who suffer from sleep paralysis, may experience dreams that seem extremely real. They often report realistic hallucinations, hear a variety of sounds, have out of body experiences, feel a presence or entity is in the room, and may feel this presence or entity touching or moving them.

15 Hag Phenomena Occurrences of the Hag Phenomena, in mythology, date back to the Greeks and Romans. It is also recorded in many religions and cultures across the world. The basic concept is that a spiritual, magical or mythical creatures attacks sleeping persons.

16 Hag Phenomena Usually climbing on top of their chest and attempting to crush or suffocate them. In Europe it was believed that small ghoulish hags or witches were the attackers. The attackers can be seen by their victims and feel real, however they usually suddenly disappear the instant the victim regains control of their body. UFO sightings could be modern version of this phenomenon.

17 What it Means Victims of sleep paralysis and “alien abductions” report highly similar experiences. If a psychiatrist or other individual trusted by the victim offers being abducted by aliens, it fits all the details of the event, and seems plausible.

18 Cultural Impact

19 Close Encounters?  After successful movies such as E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind reports increase  Betty Hill’s experience

20 Problems With Testimonials and Current Evidence  Observer bias  Confirmation Bias- most cases of “UFO”s solved  Hindsight Bias- people read books like “Intruders” or see movies, and recall memories from long ago  Reactivity- The knowledge that one is being observed alters the behavior being observed- children


22 Bibliography

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