Alien abduction claims may be based on lucid dreams
A trio of researchers at the Phase Research Center in Moscow has found some evidence that suggests people who claim to have seen or been abducted by aliens may have instead simply dreamed about the experience. In their paper published in the journal International Journal of Dream Research, Michael Raduga, Andrey Shashkov and Zhanna Zhunusova describe experiments they conducted with lucid dreamer volunteers and what they found.
For many years, people have reported that they have seen UFOs or aliens, or have been abducted by them. To date, none of these reports have been substantiated. In this new effort, the researchers suggest that such events may come about in dreams that seem so real that people believe they happened in the real world.
The researchers began their study by noting that many people who report such encounters also report feeling as if in a dreamlike state—and many reported feeling paralyzed as well. Such reports suggest that these events may be happing in people's dreams. To learn more about that possibility, the researchers enlisted the assistance of 152 adult volunteers who described themselves as lucid dreamers—people who can control the action in their dreams. They asked each of the volunteers to try to dream about alien encounters. After each of the volunteers awoke, they were quizzed about their dreams.
In looking at their data, the researchers found that 114 of the volunteers were successful in dreaming about an alien encounter. They also noted that 61% of the volunteers reported that the alien in their dreams resembled aliens they had seen in movies or on television—and 19% of them encountered aliens that looked just like human beings. They also found that 12% of the volunteers had a conversation with an alien in their dreams. Also, UFOs appeared in 28% of the dreams, with 10% of dreamers visiting the alien spacecraft.
Perhaps more importantly, the researchers found that 24% of those describing their dream as realistic also experienced paralysis and great fear—very similar to the language used by many people reporting alien encounters. The researchers suggest that such feelings may be so vivid that the person experiencing them believes they truly happened.
More information: Michael Raduga et al, Emulating alien and UFO encounters in REM sleep, International Journal of Dream Research, (2021). https://journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/index.php/IJoDR/Onlinefirst (PDF)
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