Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens

Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens

by Susan A. Clancy

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674029576
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 07/01/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 954,051
File size: 244 KB

About the Author

Susan A. Clancy is a postdoctoral fellow in psychology at Harvard University and a Visiting Professor at INCAE, the Central American Institute for Business Administration.

Table of Contents


1. How Do You Wind Up Studying Aliens?

2. How Do People Come To Believe They Were Abducted by Aliens?

3. Why Do I Have Memories If It Didn't Happen?

4. Why Are Abduction Stories So Consistent?

5. Who Gets Abducted?

6. If It Didn't Happen, Why Would I Want To Believe It Did?



What People are Saying About This

Susan Clancy's provocative study of the abductee population offers a thoughtful perspective on the spiritual and psychological elements of abduction stories--and is so entertaining that it reads like a novel.

Carol Tavris

Susan Clancy's book bursts out of the chute right on page one and keeps going at full gallop until the end. It's fabulous! Anyone who thinks that scientists are cold and uncompassionate, or that people who believe they have been abducted by aliens are plain loony, should read this book. With warmth, humor, empathy and eloquence, Clancy illuminates the soul of science--and shows why everyone resists its revelations if they challenge our deepest beliefs.
Carol Tavris, author of The Mismeasure of Woman and Psychobabble and Biobunk: Using Psychology to Think Critically About Issues in the News

Michael Shermer

Twenty years ago I was abducted by aliens, or so I thought at the time. Actually, I had just gone without sleep for 83 hours. Now at last Abducted--brilliant, humane, and funny--gives a scientific explanation for how the mind concocts such remarkable experiences as being probed and impregnated by aliens, visiting the mother ship, or traveling to distant planets. Writing with sympathy and understanding for the abductees, Susan Clancy delves into their stories to offer a superb contribution to our understanding of human memory, mental anomalies, and how the mind works.
Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic Magazine, and author of Why People Believe Weird Things

Elaine Showalter

Susan Clancy's provocative study of the abductee population offers a thoughtful perspective on the spiritual and psychological elements of abduction stories--and is so entertaining that it reads like a novel.
Elaine Showalter, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University and author of Hystories

Elizabeth Loftus

Abducted is an enormously brave, smart, original book. Susan Clancy's innovative study of why and how people come to believe that they've been abducted by aliens has become a gripping read, with keen insight into the emotional and spiritual lives of the 'abductees'--and how easy it is for anyone to remember things that never happened.
Elizabeth Loftus, past president of the American Psychological Society and author of Eyewitness Testimony

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Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
ericwojo More than 1 year ago
First comes the feeling or belief that something is different about you. Something troubles you, you feel anxious or have trouble sleeping. You maybe have sexual dysfunction or dreams of disturbing natures. You may suffer from sleep paralysis and register above the mean on schizotypy testing and fantasy proneness. You may or may not be scientifically literate but in any case, you'll probably go searching for answers if you're part of any of what I just said. For some people, they rationalize their trauma and experiences with alien abduction. What may seem odd at first, we must remember, some people think they can talk to god. And more importantly, that god talks back. Or they channel spirits? Or are regularly visited by ghosts. And not long ago, the cause of the trauma was attributed to demons. Not so much anymore, but still around. In searching for answers, the answer for some leads to thoughts that their experiences can be attributed to alien abduction. What's interesting is that those who end up alien abductees, usually do so without first having any memories of abduction. It begins with trauma or any of the definers expressed in the opening paragraph of this review. And if the person comes to believe there may be some fire where there is smoke, many end up in the hands of therapists who help the abductee retrieve/construct these memories through hypnosis, the worst confabulation tool of memory still in practice. Memory research has shown that first, memory is unreliable and second, when manipulated with by techniques like hypnosis or other leading imagery practices, even more unreliable. In other words, it's the interaction between therapist and patient that starts making this up. This is where the alien abductee memories are created. Constructed, not retrieved. The important thing for the abductee, like anyone who finds themselves belonging to any other narrative that fits unexplained events, is that as long as meaning is attached, satisfaction and stress reduction is provided for. And these retrieved memories or terrors from sleep paralysis are very real to those who have gone through it. Seems objective truth isn't always the goal. The goal for most people is weaving a tapestry about their lives that makes sense. Even if it doesn't to others. Susan Clancy's “Abduction” is a must read in the pursuit to understand why people come to think they are in touch with beings from another world. For me, it helps understand the archetype (excuse my use of the word but even Jung couldn't define it coherently and it's a nice place holder until something else becomes more defining). Something in the human mind, from time immemorial, likes to attribute life events, especially traumatic ones, to other worldly beings. And beings who are smarter and more in control, no less. It appears the latest rendition of this for our space age is the alien abductee. The present volume examines who might choose alien abduction as an explanation as opposed to the countless other beings one could attribute, but doesn't quite scratch the surface of what causes the human brain to leap to the otherworldly. Clancy acknowledges alien abduction research is in its infancy and I'd suggest we not study it in isolation of other, similar human experiences. We'll find out much more about the condition of human needs and brain activity if we examine it along with people who believe they've come to be possessed, undergone shamanic journeys and the like.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago