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Posted on Sunday, September 25 - 2005

Many of the people who believe they have been abducted by aliens are bombarding Susan Clancy with hate e-mails and phone calls. The Harvard researcher, who has spent five years listening to the stories of some 50 abductees, has described her (and their) experiences in a new book to be published in October. Clancy, 36, likes most of these people. "They are definitely not crazy," she says. But they do have "a tendency to fantasize and to hold unusual beliefs and ideas. They believe not only in alien abductions, but also in things like UFOs, ESP, astrology, tarot, channeling, auras, and crystal therapy. They also have in common a rash of disturbing experiences for which they are seeking an explanation. For them, alien abduction is the bestfit." As you might guess, the people behind all that hate mail and the phone calls don't buy that.

They were there, she wasn't, they insist. In her book, "Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens," to be published by the Harvard University Press, Clancy describes a typical reaction. "Can you believe the nerve of that girl (Clancy)," one abductee says. "She comes to me, like, 'Oh, I believe you've been abducted! Let me interview you to learn more.... Oh, what really happened [she says] is sleep paralysis.' Riiight! How the - - does she know? Did it happen to her? There was something in the room that night! I was spinning. I blacked out ... it was terrifying.... I wasn't sleeping. I was taken. I was violated, ripped apart - literally, figuratively, metaphorically, whatever you want tocall it. Does she know what that's like?" Abduction stories are strikingly similar. Victims wake up and find themselves paralyzed, unable to move or cry out for help. They see flashing lights and hear buzzing sounds. Electric sensations zing through their bodies, which may rise up in levitation. Aliens with wrap-around eyes, gray or green skin, lacking hair or noses, approach. The abductee's heart pounds violently. There's lots of probing in the alien ship. Instruments are inserted in their noses, navels, or other orifices. It's painful. Sometimes sexual intercourse occurs.

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