- Published: November 12, 2022
- Updated: November 12, 2022
- University / College: Washington State University
- Language: English
- Downloads: 14
Chapter Review – Critical Thinking
In this chapter, the author talks about the conditions that might bring about what people sometimes consider an extraterrestrial experience. He begins it with talking about having his own extraterrestrial abduction experience – he does this through recounting a time when he was incredibly sleep deprived in a marathon. As a result of this deprivation, he started to hallucinate things, including the notion that his support crew members were extraterrestrials. The reason he talks about this experience is to highlight the possibility for these highly detailed, committed and convincing alien abduction stories to be false.
I found this chapter highly interesting – the author makes tremendous sense in his observations, and backs them up with plenty of detail. As for alien abductions, while he sincerely thinks they are not true, he believes the sincerity with which they have impacted the lives of the alien abductees he has talked with over the years. He knows that, according to them, this actually happened to them – they are not making it up in the slightest. In this way, it is a powerful psychological experience. However, it is not a true UFO encounter.
He then backs up this claim by talking about the most powerful piece of evidence – the 1995 alien autopsy film. Pointing out the inconsistencies in the production, the behavior of the people in the film, etc., all make incredible sense. In all probability, the special was merely a “ found footage” sort of hoax that was meant to air in the mid-90s during a time when The X-Files was extremely popular. Alien abductions were on the minds of everyone at that time, and therefore this television network wanted to capitalize on it. This led to the obviously fake, though emotionally powerful television special.
It is really interesting what many people are willing to believe, even when an equally plausible alternative presents itself. Many people talk about being molested or sexually touched during their alien encounters – due to humanity’s obsession with sex, that could merely me a projection of sexual desires or the want to be touched; alternatively, it could be a strange repressed memory that is meant to cover up a traumatic abuse. The lack of amusement that the author was met with after telling one abductee that his orgasm during an abduction could have easily been a wet dream was very telling; it shows that people are insistent on believing what they think is true. This is no less correct than with these alien abduction victims.
The overall tone of the chapter is very thorough, with plenty of detail to support his claims. His tie-in of alien abductions to pop cultures, is also extremely interesting, as he points out the similarities between all the abduction experiences. The aliens look the same, the experiences are the same, and so on. However, this could also be due to the fact they all see the same movies, and they talk to each other about their own experiences. It is entirely possible that they are subconsciously (or consciously) taking from each other’s experiences to create a metanarrative that they can all plausibly follow. The grays look like they did on a show called The UFO Incident, and therefore that is what all grays look like now. Everyone was lifted out of bed during sleep, which raises a lot of questions. This makes it seems much more likely that they were experiencing a vivid dream, especially given the sexual nature of many of the abductions.
Each person’s claims of proof are shaky at best; scars that could come from anything, chips in the head that MRIs can’t find, alien human hybrid babies that mysteriously and conveniently vanish, and other such evidence are all recounted with specificity and earnestness, but cannot be found or verified. This makes their stories somewhat fishy; however, it showcases a very powerful part of the human mind – the ability to create experiences so real and detailed that we mistake them for reality, especially under certain traumatic conditions. I believe this is very interesting, as our brains are capable of doing so much for us, but we never really think about what they could do to us.
Hume’s maxim is mentioned often in this chapter; given the evidence, I agree that it is much more likely that people are undergoing powerful hallucinatory experiences that they are mistaking for true alien abductions. Despite the fact it fails to prove life on other planets, it proves we can go to other worlds even inside our own heads.
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