Ever had a “UFO” moment?

There we were, sitting in the living room, probably watching an episode of Stranger Things, when my daughter says, “Wow, look at the UFO.”

Out the front window we could all see it clear as day. (See photo below.)

Hovering in the sky was a classic UFO-shaped light. Maybe it was the time of night, what I’d been watching on TV, or what I’d had for dinner, but the sight made me wonder,  “What would happen if this truly was a UFO abduction?”

My first thought was that it would make great research for a future sci-fi book series I could write. (Okay, that’s a lie.) I actually had no idea what I would do. I’ve watched enough episodes of the Twilight Zone to imagine myself strapped to a steel table being poked and prodded, but what if they were friendly and simply stopping by to say “hello?”

The experience sparked my curiosity. I decided to do a little research about the history of alien abductions (“just for fun” as Nacho Libre would say) and this is what I found:

  • Hundreds of thousands of Americans believe they have been abducted by aliens. [Wow, I had no idea that many.]
  • Psychologists think abductions are lucid dreams or hallucinations, triggered by an awareness of other people’s similar experiences. [They’ve even done experiments showing this can happen.]
  • Even if alien abduction stories are dreams or hallucinations inspired by others’ stories, there had to be a beginning. When was the first alien abduction story born in the United States?
  • Sci-fi writers from the 1940s and early 1950s are to blame for starting what has become a “psychological phenomenon.” During this time in American history, sci-fi literature was soaring in popularity, and one of the favorite storylines was the “human-alien encounter.”
  • In 1954, two Venezuelan teenagers reported finding a spaceship in the woods near their village. Hairy aliens attacked them, injuring one of the boys before they escaped. Psychologists say a magazine article describing the incident most likely triggered the first alien abduction claim three years later. [While I couldn’t find a copy of the actual article, I did find this interesting site summarizing many of the “hairy alien” reports from 1954.]
  • From there, alien abductions started popping out all over the place—like bunnies having babies.

Moral of the story? I have no idea. I think the scientific explanation has some gaping holes, but then again, comic books are pretty powerful things. What do you think?

If you’re willing to risk your mental health on a tale with ghosts, legends, and hidden treasure, check out my “Legends of Treasure” series. I just published a box set of the first three books at a discounted rate.

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