Why Abductees Don't Talk
One well-known facet of UFO encounters remains little understood. This is what I call the "silence after the storm." In case after case, immediately following an extensive encounter, witnesses do not discuss the incident for days, weeks, or even years afterward. In some cases, the incident is, in fact, forgotten.
Normally when something highly unusual or dramatic occurs the incident is discussed and studied in great detail. Just the opposite seems to be true of UFO events. An effect of profound amnesia surrounds the whole subject. Even people well-versed in the subject have experienced this bizarre suppression of conversation regarding past UFO events.
My new book, Extraterrestrial Visitations, presents 10 new cases of very close encounters involving either missing time, face-to-face contact, or an onboard encounter.
In more than forty percent of the cases, the witnesses reported that any discussion of their encounter was mysteriously suppressed. Knowing of the "silence after the storm," I made a particular point to ask witnesses to describe in detail why they didn't talk about it. Almost universally, they had no explanations.
CASE ONE: "None of us talked about it"
In 1962, four teenagers encountered a large glowing egg-shaped object while parked on a remote country road in New Jersey. The object hovered about twenty feet high and only a few yards away.
Says one witness, Rob Baldwin, "I'm not really sure how long we looked at it, thinking back on it. It was at least fifteen seconds to a half a minute that we watched it. It could have been two or three minutes; I'm not really sure."
After an undetermined amount of time, the glowing object darted away, leaving all four teenagers with an apparent period of missing time. At the time, they didn't realize that their sighting was an abduction. And for some reason, none of them talked about it.
Says Baldwin, "One of the strangest things about it was I don't remember talking about it after that. I mean, I don't remember talking about it at all. In fact, I don't remember anything about that night at all, after that experience. Basically the event was just warehoused for 20-25 years. Pretty strange."
Years following his experience, Baldwin became interested in UFOs, and more than 20 years later discussed the incident with the other participants, each of whom appeared to have varying recall of the incident. One had no memory whatsoever of the incident. Another thought it was the result of a practical joke. The third recalled the object leading them into a nearby field.
Baldwin has no idea how to explain their long silence on the subject. As he says, "In retrospect, after talking to a number of people who have had experiences, that's fairly common, where for some reason you don't talk about it, even with the people that experienced it with you."
CASE TWO: UFOs at the drive-In
In 1972, the audience at a drive-in movie in Paramount, CA, were panicked by the appearance of a large metallic craft which hovered next to the screen, as if watching the audience watch the movie. One of the witnesses, Claudia Blacios, was with her family. They all watched in amazement as many theater-goers dropped their drinks and popcorn and made a mad dash for the exits. However, afterwards, there was no mention of the incident.
As Claudia recalled, "I remember my mom and dad never talked about it again. It was just one of those things you don't think about. It wasn't until about three years ago that I was listening to a radio station and they were having a discussion on UFOs. And people were calling in with their stories and encounters.
"And this one gentleman called, and he was at the same drive-in theater at the same time, watching the same movie, and described the same thing. And that's when I looked at my mom and I said, 'We were there!'
"My mom said, 'Yeah, that was a long time ago.' And I said, 'Why didn't we ever talk about it?' 'I don't know,' she said. 'We just never talked about it.'"
Again, Claudia is at a loss to explain their silence on the subject. As she says, "All through high school I always had this curiosity about that. Because in the back of my mind, I knew that I had seen one. I remember I would think about it, but not really dwell on it, not a lot. And it wasn't until I heard that gentleman [on the radio], and we finally discussed it."
CASE THREE: Night of the UFO
One night in September of 1978 more than one hundred residents outside of Ann Arbor, MI, witnessed a dazzling display of UFO activity over a small farm. The UFO had the appearance of a group of colored lights hovering very low over the horizon and moving in unison.
One of the witnesses, John Bro (pseudonym), noticed something immediately odd, not about the UFOs, but about the observers. As he recalled, "It was like people were going to see some kind of summer festival or something. There was no parking, so they parked on the road. And the parking was going back a quarter mile from the place! We got out of the car and started walking up, and there was a whole bunch of people walking that way, but nobody saying a word. Nobody was stopping to [ask] why they were there, but we were all there for the same reason."
When the UFO arrived, something very strange happened. The crowd of hundreds of people, including the local news-station, became enveloped in a strange state of denial or even casual acceptance, as if seeing what appeared to be an alien spacecraft was a normal everyday occurrence.
As Jay recalled, "Everybody looked up there, and it was kind of a strange scene. Nobody was freaking out and going, 'ooh!' and 'aah!' Even myself, it was kind of like there was this weird psychology or hypnotic effect to it, like, 'Oh, yeah, that's nice.' Then people got in their cars and left, like it was no big deal. You would think they would have freaked out on this; it's one of the biggest things I've ever come in contact with. We got tired and left. They were still there when we left. We didn't care anymore. Everybody saw it and they took pictures of it, no big deal. We just left. I mean, that sounds pretty strange, doesn't it?"
CASE FOUR: A six-hour abduction
In 1972, a mother and her two sons experienced a close-up encounter with a metallic disk near their home in Napa, ID. One of the children, Jack Stevens (pseudonym), then 12 years old, was actually abducted into the craft and experienced a six-hour long abduction involving an examination and other bizarre procedures. His brother and mother were left in the car.
After six hours, Jack was returned to the car, and the family drove home. Each had varying recall. The mother and brother remembered seeing a strange animal in the road. The mother also remembered seeing what she thought was a crop-duster. Jack, at first, recalled only a bright light which hovered over their car, causing the engine to fail, then a strange floating sensation. His next memory was the car starting up and six hours had passed.
Then came the aftermath and the silence after the storm. Jack knew six hours had passed without explanation, and yet, nobody seemed to care. "We pulled into our driveway. I'm looking and it's morning, and the birds are singing. I said, 'Hey, it's morning time.'
"And my brother gets out of the car, and he's walking out with his hands like you see in the movies, out in front of him, walks right up. Mom unlocks the door, goes in. I'm walking in-between them and I say, 'What's going on? Mom, it's six o'clock in the morning. Look at the clock.'"
"And she looked at it and said, No, it's not, you're looking at the clock wrong. Go to bed.' I'm thinking, wait a minute, what's going on here? I said, 'Dan, look right here at the clock in the kitchen.' He says, 'It's twelve o'clock.' I said, 'It doesn't say twelve o'clock. It's morning time.' He said, 'Whatever,' and held his arms out and walked into his room .... well, the sun was coming up, and I knew something was up here. We were a farm family. We always got up early. Three or four that afternoon, the next day, I'm thinking, what's going on here? Why is everyone still asleep? My brother gets up, no recollection of it whatsoever."
The next day, despite his confusion, Jack and his family didn't discuss the incident. Again, he can't explain his silence. As he says, "None of us discussed this after it happened. I didn't ever talk to my mom about it. My brother never talked. We just never talked-about it."
CASE FIVE: The subject was taboo
In 1991, three people experienced a missing time UFO encounter while driving through Angeles Forest in southern California. Days later, they spontaneously recalled the entire episode, which involved the typical onboard examination by the commonly reported grays, as well as several other unique experiences. Afterwards, they were placed back in the car.
At that time, all three were left only with the memory of a deer in the road and a strange flash of light. A short time later, they were overcome with extreme thirst and a strong need to urinate. That's when they discovered that they were unable to account for about two hours of time. Although all three of them were shocked and puzzled, there was almost no discussion of the incident.
One of the witnesses, Melinda Leslie, had had prior UFO experiences, and already knew she was an abductee. Even then, she found herself unable to speak. As she says, "I didn't say anything. It was the weirdest thing, not like us. Here we realize we knew that something had to have happened, but it was like we weren't going to talk about it. It was like the guys just couldn't deal with it. I said, 'Guys, let me tell you something; we've had two hours of missing time.' It was just like understood: we are not going to talk about it. They were very uncomfortable."
As can be seen, for whatever reason, people are not talking about their UFO encounters. Although later, it must be said, the witnesses did talk, even to the point of providing recorded interviews. Two main theories have been raised to explain this strange phenomenon of conversation suppression following a UFO encounter.
The first is that the phenomenon is externally produced by the UFO occupants. None of the witnesses understand why they didn't talk about their encounters. And yet, this compulsion to remain silent was pervasive enough to halt investigations into the incident-if not permanently, at least temporarily. Assuming the UFO occupants are the cause of this, then they presumably feel that it serves their interests to stop anybody from investigating the encounters.
The second major theory is that the trauma of the encounter is suppressed by the human mind, much in the manner of child sexual abuse. Under this model, the amnesia protects the human personality from information it cannot safely process.
A survey of some of the major researchers shows that the first theory is by far the most popular. It appears that the silence after the storm is closely related to the phenomenon of "missing time" and how ETs are able to manipulate people's memories and awareness. In either case, at least one conclusion can be easily and immediately drawn: UFO encounters are vastly under-reported, and may be much more common than previously thought. Of course, most abduction researchers already agree on this. I also must admit that I know personally about this phenomenon because I have to admit that I'm a victim. Like many UFO investigators, I have seen UFOs, and each time, my behavior surprises me.
It was early March of 1993, and I was with a group of about thirty people in the Arizona desert on a CSETI retreat. It was around noon and the group was gathered in a field, discussing various aspects of UFO contact. Suddenly, we all noticed an aircraft in the sky. It appeared to be a conventional jet at about 30,000 feet, complete with contrail, moving in a straight line. As soon as it reached the zenith, something strange happened.
We all watched it flare up into a very brilliant red flash, increasing about twenty times in size and brightness, at which point it disappeared. It was obviously strange. Everyone "oohhhed!" and "ahhhhed!" and a murmur swept through the crowd. I thought, "Oh, my god! Was that a genuine UFO?" I looked around in surprise, and was ready for a prolonged discussion on what we had just seen. Instead, there was a slight murmur of shock and then ... nothing. It was as if nothing had happened.
I remember wanting to talk about it, but for some bizarre reason, I didn't say anything. Nobody did. And what's even more bizarre is that every person there was well-acquainted with the UFO phenomenon. That's why we were there! We all wanted to see a UFO-still nobody said a word. In the back of my mind, I knew we had just seen a real UFO-I mean, it wasn't a jet or helicopter or blimp or shooting star. I don't think it was a rocket. It was truly strange, and yet, it was like we all suddenly lost interest. And the conversation moved on to other topics.
Again, the prevailing belief among investigators is that this "silence after the storm" is being imposed upon the witnesses by the phenomenon. And the reason would seem to be to cover up the presence of the phenomenon. But then again, why would a UFO show itself only to cover up the event immediately? This is the central issue behind the problem.
Why is this amnesia being imposed upon witnesses? Is this part of a conditioning program to get humanity used to the presence of extraterrestrial visitors? Is it to protect the witnesses from the trauma caused by encounters? Do the aliens believe that a simple sighting will cause undue trauma? Are they that afraid of us knowing about them?
Whatever the case, the above examples are only a small portion of the many other reported experiences involving this bizarre encounter aftermath. I have many similar cases in my files. The files of other researchers are also bulging with cases of these types.
Researcher Constance Clear, MA, presents 7 cases of abductions in her book Reaching for Reality. Two of the cases involve conversation suppression. Said one witness following a UFO sighting, "We continued to our home, but nothing more was ever said about our encounter. Not that day after we got home, or for fifteen years, was anything said about it." (Clear, p 193)
And another witness reports, "My wife and I nearly collide with a UFO sitting in the middle of the road, and we don't discuss it, or even remember more than a snippet of the event .... The first sign of an abductee is, in my opinion, a bizarre event utterly ignored. (Clear, p 38)
Budd Hopkins writes of one case in which a couple went through great creative effort to ignore a large UFO hovering outside their home, "Neither remarked to the other about it, but both decided to go back to the living room. After a second uneasy wait, which again was deliberately not discussed, they went back to their living room, saw the peculiar light, and once more found an excuse to visit the living room.
They passed the time in casual, unrelated conversation, and eventually wandered back to their bedroom for the third time. The light was no longer there, and, much relieved, they retired for the night. They admitted to me that neither mentioned the incident to the other the next morning, nor for that matter, ever, until they had heard about the strange "Truro Light" from some friends. In retrospect, they found their behavior very interesting. "Out of sight, out of mind," had been buttressed by "Out of conversation, out of existence." (Hopkins, p 32)
David Jacobs is also, of course, familiar with this phenomenon, and is equally at a loss to explain it, as are the abductees themselves! Says Jacobs, "When the episode is over, amnesia sets in. Abductees might remember something for a few seconds or, in some cases, for a few hours, and, of course, some experiences are fully remembered, but generally the memory is blocked immediately afterward. We do not know how this is accomplished. It might be a function of the alteration in consciousness that all abductees experience as part of the abduction itself.
"There is little evidence to suggest that the aliens specifically tell the abductee not to remember something as if with a post-hypnotic suggestion. Yet when abductees first begin to relate their stories to an investigator, it is often with a sense of guilt and betrayal. They feel they should not be telling anyone about these experiences. This sense of guilt can occasionally be so deep that it effectively prevents an abductee from talking about his or her experiences." (Jacobs, p 219.)
What's amazing, is that amnesia involves not only abductions, as we have seen, but simple sightings as well.
John Mack, MD, has also run across these types of cases. He writes, "Arthur's case raises questions about forgetting and the triggering of memory.... Why didn't he or anyone present during the 1963 incident seem to remember it or speak of it afterwards?"
Again, the missing time phenomenon and the forgetting of encounters seem to be the result of the same forces. But what exactly causes this?
Says Mack,"The abduction phenomenon also raises interesting questions about the nature of memory and the control of consciousness. Prevalence or incidence polls of UFO abductions are rendered almost meaningless by the fact that long forgotten abduction memories may be triggered by an event."