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What happens in the heads of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens? Let’s move on to the glaring cases of deceit as the guru of the Rael sect, who directly plagiarized his abduction story in science fiction books. For others, the case is more problematic: not that one should take for granted, but the explanations in terms of “”mythomania”” or “”illusion”” are insufficient.

Susan Clancy, a psychologist at Harvard, met many “”kidnapped”” people and interviewed them and tested them. She came to the following conclusion: these people are not mythomanes, they have really lived a unique psychological experience, an experience that was reinterpreted, in the form of abduction.

The study of S. Clancy begins with the analysis of a unique psychological phenomenon – sleep paralysis. It occurs during a sudden awakening during REM sleep, when the body is desynchronized from the brain and can no longer be controlled by it. At this point, one may experience the unpleasant feeling of being “”paralyzed”” in bed. This feeling of paralysis is sometimes accompanied by hallucinations, a feeling of levitation and the sensation of a foreign presence.

This experience is far from being rare. 60 % of Americans reported experiencing it at least once. The Japanese call it “Kanashibari”, and it is represented by a demon sitting on the sleeper’s chest. For most people, this experience will leave a bad memory, but some of them will reinterpret this experience in the form of an extravagant narrative. For example, a kidnapping by extraterrestrials: they were tied up (paralyzed), transported (levitated) by strange beings (feeling of disturbing presence). Some say they were removed from their organs or had sex with an alien. These impressions are typical of certain sensations experienced during half-sleep, but which will be integrated into a narrative. They read this story, they saw it, and they felt they had experienced it themselves. This is the thesis of S. Clancy. His interviews with the “”kidnappers”” show him that these people were already sensitive to paranormal stories. Some people suddenly remember their experience of abduction during therapeutic hypnosis sessions.

Neither a simple physiological hallucination, nor a pure invention, it is the encounter between a strange psychological experience (trauma, hypnosis, sleep paralysis) and the initial belief in a paranormal culture that leads to the invention of these abduction stories. This research is part of studies on “”false memories”” that have experienced significant development in the United States since the 1990s. S. Clancy believes that similar phenomena could explain mystical experiences such as apparitions.

An alien abduction story

Role-playing games can sometimes go further than one imagines. Here is the story of Anouk who decided in the greatest calm to play to be kidnapped by (fake) extraterrestrials.

“A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon the brochure of an erotic festival called Erosphere. Many workshops were announced during this event. One of them particularly attracted my attention: a giant role-playing game (organized by Dr. Senzo and Esther Nea) where fake aliens kidnap and do what they want of real humans. Having the taste of adventure and, a certain fascination for the paranormal, I saw in this workshop a golden opportunity to have fun.

So this is how I ended up on Friday, July 14th, half-naked, faking the human being who was abducted by curious extraterrestrials. The alien abduction workshop was at 4: 00. Before, I had the opportunity to try out some nicer activities, such as games on the theme of consent and dating or a talk Group on the theme of jealousy. I didn’t necessarily come to this festival for that, but one thing is certain: these activities gave me confidence for the future. It might have been a little too hard for me to get kidnapped by little green men at 10: 00 in the morning! The highlight of the day was a very large dark dance hall. We were about fifty participants and there were in addition several volunteers very disguised, charged, afterwards to verify that everything is going well.

The first step was to explain at length the scenario and the rules of the game. Basically, the idea was that the humans would wake up in a spaceship, surrounded by Aliens. These would aim to recover human seed (the best in the universe, of course). It would be a question of observing our little people, then eroding them and why not, leading them to enjoyment. To avoid the big mess, we were separated into groups of three victims on one side and three assailants on the other. The six people should stay together throughout the adventure. To ensure the consent of everyone without leaving the game, codes have been put in place in the form of gestures and specific words. For example, if one raised a fist, the person opposite would have to stop immediately what they were doing. Despite all these precautions, I was still very freaked out to see what was going to happen.”

“3, 2, 1 … it’s time to be kidnapped by extraterrestrials”

“The lights in the room went out, leaving room for stroboscopes and other strange light games. A half-psychedelic, half-creepy music started and a bewitching voice asked us, human beings, to close our eyes, to lie down, to feel tired. I remember hearing the alien trios spread out around me and the different groups. I was amused and frightened at the same time. Here we go. After several tens of seconds like that, the master of the game announced that the humans were waking up in a spaceship. I opened my eyes, expecting to see my friend’s amused look. Except I haven’t seen my friend. The person looking at me was a bald stranger, wearing a huge suit of armor, a Venetian mask and holding a whip in his hand.”

When alien abduction is a real scary experience

Skin to skin was not allowed between aliens and humans, which made the thing even stranger. To observe us, measure or clean the body, they had to take latex gloves or various accessories such as chains or wipes.

“So after a few minutes with my eyes wide open and seriously wondering what the hell I was doing here, I decided to let myself go. It was funny, deep down, to be touched by beings who played the astonished. Minutes later, the situation has changed, the master of the game announced in the microphone that humans were taking over the aliens and doing from now on what they wanted from them. I took the Alien that scared me at the beginning of the game. It’s up to me to observe it, to measure it, to have fun with it. That was very funny. And then the game ended, like a dream you wake up from. The lights went back on, the music went out. That was the end. And then, after that, we went back to living our normal lives.”