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Posted on Monday, June 28 - 2004

Recalling a traumatic memory may provoke severe distress in people, even if the memory may be a product of their own imagination, according to a new study. The study showed that people who claim to have been abducted by aliens show the same signs of distress, such as increased heart rate, sweating, and muscle tension, shown by people recalling more plausible traumatic events, such as wartime experiences. Researchers say these signs of distress are often viewed as a testament to authenticity of a person's memory of a traumatic event, such as childhood abuse. But the researchers say these results show that physiological responses should notbe used to verify traumatic memories in the evaluation of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In the study, researchers recruited people who said they had been abducted by aliens and had them describe their alien encounter as well as other stressful, happy, or neutral memories. The researchers converted those recollections into 30-second narratives and played them back to the "abductees" while measuring their heart rate, sweat production, and facial muscle tension. For comparison, researchers also played the tapes to a group of people who had no memories of alien abductions. The study showed that people who said they had been abducted by aliens had strong distressful reactions to the stressful and alien abductionnarratives and weaker reactions to the others. The comparison group had little reaction to any of the stories. The study also showed that people who said they were abducted by aliens also scored higher on measures of psychological traits that make them more likely to experience alterations in consciousness, to have a rich fantasy life, and to endorse unconventional beliefs. Researchers say that for people who believe they have been abducted by aliens, recalling their abduction can provoke physiological reactions similar to those evoked by more verifiable stressful memories. Therefore, they say physiological responses are not a valid indicator of whether a memory is real or not. "Although improbable traumatic memories (e.g. beingsexually. ...

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Posted on Friday, May 28 - 2004

It is not your average missing-persons inquiry, but a Beckington farming couple have this week issued a mooving appeal for help. Geoff and Kim Bowles, who own Ivy House Organic Farm, say one of theirJersey cows has mysteriously disappeared, leaving no clues to its whereabouts.

They do not think that Jennie the Jumping Jersey has been attacked by one of the area's "big cats", but say that because they live near Cley Hill, alien abduction is one possibility. But whatever hashappened, they are desperate to find her so that she can be reunited with her temporarily orphaned baby calf, Juniper. Read FullArticle

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