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Posted on Thursday, December 07 - 2006

IN 1965 Betty Hill and her husband Barney found themselves afflicted by nightmares, and Barney was suffering a rash on his stomach. They sought medical advice and, after hypnosis, conducted by a Boston psychiatrist, Dr Benjamin Simons, it was suggested that the ailments were a consequence of the couple’s having suppressed their memories of being embarked in an alien spaceship, where they conversed with — and were minutely examined by — small, grey beings. This incident was deemed to have occurred some four years earlier, on September 19, 1961, as Hill and her husband were driving to their home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, after a holiday inMontreal.

The Hills’ experience was one of the first alien-abduction stories to be recorded, publicised and scrutinised by sceptical and sympathetic audiences. The Boston Traveller ran the story for five consecutive days in October 1965. The next year it became the subject of a bestselling book by John Fuller, Interrupted Journey, and in 1975 Universal Studios made a television film, The UFO Incident. Although Betty Hill condemned much of UFO culture, until her retirement in 1991 she travelled the world lecturing on her experiences and promoting research into the existence of extraterrestrial life forms. She felt that the subject was becoming tainted with commercialism and, though she published her own consideration of UFO andabduction investigation, A Common Sense Approach to UFOs (1995), she declared that it was not written for cultish alien enthusiasts. Paradoxically, she even came to disparage the validity of hypnosis, asserting that it was based on suggestibility — “when somebody goes in for hypnosis for a UFO abduction,” she said, “they’re going to get it” — and she disagreed with the methods and findings of academics and scientists such as Budd Hopkins, David Jacobs and John Mack. She was also sceptical of the proliferation of abduction claims in America, most of which she saw as copycat instances. “In this country, they say three million people have been abducted,” she said. “Not once, but continuously. That means three or four thousand people every nightare being. ...

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Posted on Saturday, November 25 - 2006

There are some people in the world who believe without the need for provable facts, and hold to the idea that aliens kidnap people from time to time, maybe though not necessarily counting themselves among those who have gone into space when they thought they were going to bed or for a walk in the woods. The belief in, and experience of, alien abduction is not too far removed at all from spiritual ideas and experiences of all kinds. It is essentially benign.When you consider that there are some truly dangerous people walking the streets who we should be really concerned about, people who should be locked away, psychos and paedophiles and murderers, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that it’s very wrong to try to force often gentle and sincere people into silence, or push them to the margins of society simply because their ideas are seen as ridiculous and kooky.

There is a reason for everything. And not everything is what it appears to be upon first examination. Alien abduction is real to those who experience it, whether ithappens or not. Fairies, too, are real in the same sense, as is the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot or Spring-Heeled Jack. Despite the advance of science down the centuries, the powerful need for myth and mystery is undiminished since we first started daubing paint on cave walls.

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Posted on Sunday, October 08 - 2006

A German lawyer hopes to drum up more business by pursuing state compensation claims for people who believe they were abducted by aliens. "There's quite obviously demand for legal advice here," Jens Lorek told Reuters by telephone on Thursday. "The trouble is, people are afraid of making fools of themselves in court."Lorek, a lawyer based in the eastern city ofDresden who specializes in social and labor law, said he hoped to expand his client base by taking on the unusual work.He has yet to win any abduction claims, but says there are plenty of potential clients, noting that extra-terrestrial watchdogs report scores of alien assaults every year."These people could appeal for therapies or cures," he said.Lorek, 41, is pinning his hopes for success on a German law which grants kidnap victims the right to state compensation.Asked if he was worriedhe might look ridiculous by seeking justice for clients haunted by aliens, Lorek was unfazed."Nobody has laughed about it up until now."

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Posted on Sunday, September 24 - 2006

Life is not all plain sailing for Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the flamboyant leader of the Russian republic of Kalmykia. For a start, his Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit II needs constant repairs thanks to the rutted roads of his impoverished fiefdom. And then there is the danger of alien abduction. He has already been pressganged into one trip on a UFO - seven years ago when he was on a business trip to Moscow. "They took me from my apartment and we went aboard their ship," he says, sitting in hisoffice in Kalmykia's capital, Elista.

"We flew to some kind of star. They put a spacesuit on me, told me many things and showed me around. They wanted to demonstrate that UFOs do exist."And yet Ilyumzhinov could not be happier. On Saturday he will satisfy two of his great passions - self-promotion and chess - when his country hosts a tournament to decide the best chess player on earth. The contest between "classical chess" champion Vladimir Kramnik and World Chess Federation (Fide) No 1 Veselin Topalov will produce an undisputed world champion and end a 13-year schism in the sport.Even at the end of an 18-hour working day, the 44-year-old Ilyumzhinov is brimming with enthusiasm for the contest. "This match will unify the chess world, once and for all," he beams, from his seat beneath a large portrait of Vladimir Lenin. "At last we will have a single champion."

user posted image View: Full Article | Source: The Guardian

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