Alien Abduction Analysis

Terence M. Hines in the Skeptical Inquirer:

Abduction1The one question that my students always ask when I introduce the topic of alien abductions is how could anyone possibly really believe that such a thing had happened to them if they weren’t just plain barking mad. It takes a fair amount of background in memory and related subjects to understand the psychology of the alien-abduction experience. In Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens, Susan Clancy has masterfully combined this background information with her own important research on alien-abduction claimants. She writes with the skill of an experienced novelist telling an exciting story. Consider the opening paragraph:

“Will Andrews is an articulate, handsome forty-two-year-old. He’s a successful chiropractor, lives in a wealthy American suburb, has a strikingly attractive wife and twin boys, age eight. The only glitch in this picture of domestic bliss is that his children are not his wife’s-they are the product of an earlier infidelity. To complicate matters further, the biological mother is an extraterrestrial.”

Following that opening, it took me only a very pleasant fall afternoon to read this book from cover to cover. The title of each chapter is a question, and the first chapter is titled, “How do you wind up studying aliens?”

More here.