Intergalactic hostages: People who report abduction by UFOS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Quite a few people have reported what may seem to many to be a bizarre experience: They claim to have had painful and humiliating encounters with extraterrestrials. Some argue that these events actually occur, while others claim that the people reporting them are dishonest or mentally ill. Instead, it is argued here that UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) abduction accounts are false memories. Conditions encouraging the construction of pseudomemories are reviewed, and it is argued that these are the conditions associated with the construction of UFO abduction accounts. In addition, abduction accounts may be understood as stories that express the desire to escape from awareness of the self and the demands placed on it. Similarities between the typical abduction narrative and another form of fantasy and activity hypothesized to :;erve escape-from-self needs - masochism -are reviewed. Costs and benefits of a skeptical approach to the UFO abduction phenomenon are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-177
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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