Chris French, head of the anomalistic psychology department at Goldsmiths College in London and author of a study on alien abductees. Other social currents, some of them peculiarly American, informed these stories and our interest in them. Alien abduction stories absorbed those strains, re-inventing them as anal probes and sinister hybrid breeding programs.
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Meanwhile, psychologists like French were examining alien abduction narratives from a more skeptical perspective. A small but stubborn percentage of alien abduction experiences defy clear scientific explanation, but many of the rest can have a number of different physiological or psychological explanations, including epilepsy, which can be preceded by visual disruptions, narcolepsy, or sleep paralysis.
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In normal sleep, your body is relaxed nearly to the point of paralysis, presumably to keep you from acting out your dreams. Sleep paralysis is a disruption of lucid dreaming in which the mind partially wakes but finds that the body has not. It can be terrifying: Individuals report sensing entities in the room with them and being unable to move, pressure on their chests, out-of-body-like sensations coupled with intense, heightened emotions.
In the past and in other cultural contexts, this experience was attributed to demons or evil spirits or a religious phenomenon. In America, science fiction was increasingly part of mainstream entertainment, and stories about alien contact experiences were covered as news, so aliens seemed like a plausible explanation for these experiences. Though now largely dismissed by mainstream psychology, hypnotic regression remains popular with experiencers. Psychologists say that discerning true memories of actual events from true memories of imagined events is impossible, especially if the individual was predisposed to believe in paranormal or alien experiences.
A recent international survey of more than 30, people, none of who were diagnosed with schizophrenia or other mental health issues, found that 6 percent of them reported experiencing a hallucination unrelated to drugs, alcohol, or sleep. By the end of the s, the alien abduction bubble had burst. Five months later, two planes crashed into the Twin Towers and no one cared about little green men anymore. ET has gone home. Not really. Skeptics want to believe that fewer people believe, that more people are aware of explanations like sleep paralysis or false memories.
Experiencers want to believe that public skepticism is subsiding. This is validating, that they can talk about it and not be ridiculed. Yet if periodic polls are any indication, Americans have remained consistent on the subject of aliens for the last three decades. American disbelief of the government line on UFOs has also remained steady. In , 71 percent thought the government was hiding something; it was 79 percent in , according to a National Geographic Survey.
It also points to a strange moment for us humans, for how our understanding of our place in the universe has changed over the last 50 years. On that point, some skeptics and some believers agree. Those experiences point to something common in human consciousness. Or maybe not. So, it would seem that geographic correlations are probably the result of skewed religious preference in the southeastern U.
An ontology of psychedelic entity experiences in evolutionary psychology and neurophenomenology
UFO sightings are not correlated with the percentage of Hispanic or Asians in a state see table , below. However, there is a highly significant negative correlation of the number of African Americans with UFO sightings. Again, the graph, right, shows that the correlation is due to the presence of large percentages of Blacks in the southeastern, Bible belt states.
In addition, Blacks have a higher percentage of believers compared to other racial groups, 13 which would be expected from the hypothesis. So, again, the differences in frequencies of UFO sightings based on ethnicity are really the result of religious differences. Surprisingly, there are correlations between education and frequencies of UFO sightings, although the correlations are not what one would intuitively expect.
First, there is no correlation between the percentage of those with college degrees and UFO sightings see table , below. The saying, "A little learning is a dangerous thing" 15 just might be true. Surveys have shown that those with high school degrees believe that UFOs really are the result of aliens compared to college graduates. There is a highly significant negative correlation between the percentage of those who didn't graduate high school and UFO sightings.
Do we really think that less educated people would see fewer UFOs? A closer examination of the graph, right, shows that this correlation is also due to lower high school graduation rates in the Bible belt states, suggesting that this correlation is also the result of religious differences.
We have examined several other demographic measures that would not be expected to correlate with UFO sightings according to our hypothesis see table , below. The data shows that UFO sightings do not correlate with per capita income, 16 age, 17 percent underemployed workers, 7 percent government workers 7 or percent that lean toward the Democratic party.
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Instead, there is a barely significant negative correlation between commute time and the frequency of UFO sightings. If UFO sightings are the result of demonic supernatural appearances, our hypothesis predicts there would be increasing numbers of UFO appearances as the United States continues to become more secular. The correlation between the frequency of UFO sightings and lack of religious preference should also increase. We will test these predictions in future years.
In the United States, the frequency of UFO sightings is strongly correlated with the percentage of unbelievers within a state, and negatively correlated with the percentage of believers. In addition, the tremendous rise in UFO sightings in recent years parallels the rapid secularization of the U. No other demographic factor is as strongly correlated with UFO sightings as religiosity.
These data, coupled with biblical insights, leads us to conclude that supernatural demonic forces are responsible for at least some of those UFO sightings. The model makes testable predictions about the future UFO sightings frequencies.
The implications of the study suggest that demonic supernatural beings exist, providing further evidence that God exists and that Christianity properly describes the spiritual nature of the universe in which we live. Reflections We are what we think. Science News Flash.
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Christian Life Issues. Evidence for God from Science: Christian Apologetics. UFOs and the Existence of Supernatural Demonic Forces by Rich Deem Introduction Supernatural Demonic Forces There is a television show called Supernatural , in which the world is haunted by demonic supernatural forces that the main characters are attempting to eliminate.
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