The Implications of Being Taken: The Abduction Phenomena

On July 16, 1952 at 09:35 AM Coast Guard seaman Shell Alpert, took this picture of four roughly elliptical blobs of light in formation through the window of his photographic laboratory. The objects were also witnessed by Coastguardsman Thomas Flaherty. Both were assigned to the base in nearby Salem, Massachusetts.

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It’s not quite apparent to me why we grow so wedded to our perspectives on the world. Perhaps, like any ideology, a complete scientific worldview provides a sensation of mastery and power. Mystery and the sensation of not knowing are diametrically opposed to the desire to retain control, and they appear to generate such horror that we fear blowing apart like Neil DeGrasse Tyson in a classified UAP Task Force briefing when confronted with a cosmos too large to understand. This might explain why our culture’s intellectual and political elite appear to be most committed to maintaining the materialist view of reality.

The contemporary western worldview has had tremendous success in its investigations of the physical world, discovering many of its mysteries and applying this knowledge to human goals. We have survived the harshness of winter, decreased suffering via medical breakthroughs, and learnt to connect electronically with people who live far away. Simultaneously, we have used our knowledge to develop weapons of devastation that may now easily destroy life as we know it. Our use of modern technologies to extract resources from the planet is threatening the ecosystem. We are a species that has lost touch with nature, gone berserk in the pursuit of its goals at the expense of other living creatures and the land that has provided us with life.

Reversing this tendency will be a monumental job. Even as we acknowledge the danger we have created, the entrenched interests that stand in the way of finding a balance in our connection with environment remain strong. Massive corporate, scientific, educational, and military organizations consume billions of dollars in material commodities and maintain a paralyzing stagnation that is impossible to reverse. For international business, the globe appears to be nothing more than a massive market to be split among the most astute entrepreneurs.

However, there are psycho-spiritual vested interests that oppose change and may be much more powerful than financial ones. These interests are mirrored in the belief that the physical principles we know explain everything, and that if other creatures exist in the universe, they would act similar to us. The SETI (Search for Alien Intelligence) project, which works on the premise that extraterrestrial intelligence may be discovered by sending radio waves out into the cosmos, exemplifies this bias. The idea that superior intelligences may not choose to connect with us via such a little or restricted technical aperture, preferring instead a larger opening of our awareness, does not seem to have been considered.

According to philosopher Terence McKenna, “to seek eagerly for a radio signal from an alien source is probably as culture-bound an assumption as searching the cosmos for a decent Italian restaurant”.


The UFO abduction phenomena, which strikes at the core of the Western worldview and shows us to be completely powerless, is more easily accepted by the general public than by the most culturally educated or intellectually evolved among us.

For it is, to a great extent, the scientific and governmental elite, as well as the media outlets under their control, that decide what we are to think is true, since these monoliths are the primary benefactors of the prevailing ideology.

The main arena in which the reality and relevance of the UFO abduction phenomena must be addressed is therefore the “politics of ontology.” Before its full significance for our individual and communal lives can be fulfilled, it must be taken seriously and pushed out of the sensationalized tabloids and into the mainstream of society, so that the sophisticated media is free to drop their supercilious tone.

The abduction phenomena poses a unique challenge for all governments across the globe. It is, after all, the job of government to safeguard its citizens, and authorities must recognize that weird creatures from radar-defying ships invading our houses and abducting individuals, seemingly in violation of the rules of gravity and space/time itself, would cause special difficulties. This may explain why official policy on UFOs has been so muddled from the start, a sort of muddled combination of denial and cover-up that only feeds conspiracy theories.

Other political ramifications of the abduction phenomena exist. After all, politics, whether municipal, national, or worldwide, is a game of power. We want power in order to rule, control, or influence a certain field of activity. 

The abduction experience, on the other hand, encourages us to find the meaning of our “power” in a deeper, spiritual sense by demonstrating that control is unachievable, if not ridiculous, and by revealing our larger identity in the cosmos.

Ethnonational conflict, which stems ultimately from the fact that we identify ourselves solely in parochial regional terms (what Erik Erikson referred to as “pseudospeciation”), is a cause of enormous misery and a major danger to human existence. The more global, even cosmically, linked identity implied by the UFO abduction phenomena may, at the at least, provide a diversion from our never-ending battles for ownership and control of the planet. At best, it has the ability to pull us out of ourselves and into potentially endless cosmic experiences. All of this, however, is contingent on taking the phenomena and its consequences seriously.


The economic and political ramifications of the abduction phenomena are inextricably linked. The loss of a feeling of the holy, as well as the devaluation of intelligence and awareness in nature beyond ourselves, has allowed the most powerful among us to plunder the earth’s resources without concern for future generations. Growth without restriction has become a goal in itself, as reports of economic “indicators” constantly intone, disregarding the eventual collapse that cannot be far off if human population growth continues unabated and planet pillaging continues unabated.

Furthermore, if the acquisitive urge (generically referred to as “market forces”) is not reined in, inequalities in the distribution of food and other commodities that do exist may worsen, giving birth to possible instability and limitless conflict.

The phenomena of UFO abductions does not directly address this problem. It does not, and will not, “rescue” us. However, it seems to be inextricably linked with the nature of human greed, the origins of our destructiveness, and the long-term repercussions of our collective conduct. The experiences may be extremely “enlightening” in the broadest sense for the abductees.


Some established faiths are particularly troubled by the UFO abduction phenomena. Recognizing the strength and potential dangers of spirit entities “out there,” organizations of human people have taken on the job of leading us through the “ultimate issues” of existence from the beginning of time. Religious leaders teach us about the nature of God and decide what spirit beings or other things may exist in the universe.

A variety of tiny but strong homely creatures that dispense a strange combination of pain and transcendence without apparent respect for any established religious hierarchy or dogma may have little place, particularly within the Judeo-Christian tradition. It’s one thing to admit that “spirit” exists in the cosmos and that “we are not alone.” It’s quite another for “spirit” to appear in such an unusual and frightening shape, partly constructed in our own image.

At best, this seems perplexing and difficult to assimilate. At worst, in the polarized vision of Christian dualism, these dark-eyed creatures must seem to be the Devil’s playmates (ask Lue Elizondo why he resigned). Eastern religious traditions, such as Tibetan Buddhism, which have traditionally acknowledged a wide variety of spirit beings in the universe, seem to have less trouble accepting the reality of the UFO abduction phenomena than more dualistic monotheisms, which provide strong opposition to acceptance.

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