Are UFO abductions physically real events? When an abduction occurs, are there measurable changes in the environment that will confirm that an abduction occurred and, perhaps, help us understand the forces behind these events? We each have our beliefs about what is causing people to report abduction experiences, ranging from aliens, extra-dimensional beings, to odd psychological conditions or sleep paralysis, but it has been very difficult to get definitive evidence for any particular theory.
Some investigators over the years have attempted to use a video camera in the bedrooms of abductees to obtain physical proof of an abduction event. These efforts, though, have met with little documented success.
If abductions are, at least in some instances, physically real, then we would expect that those beings doing the abductions would leave some trace in the environment. Even if super-aliens have the ability to transfer a person through a bedroom wall to a waiting UFO, that doesn't imply that the environment in the bedroom would be unaffected while the transfer was occurring.
Based on this assumption, the UFO Research Coalition (composed of MUFON, the Fund for UFO Research, and the Center for UFO Studies) decided several years ago to initiate a research project to monitor the potential physical changes associated with an abduction event. Our working hypothesis is that some physical changes must occur during a real abduction event (although we are uncertain as to exactly what these might be).
The official name of the project is the Ambient Monitoring Project, or AMP for short. Specifically, we have constructed a device that is placed in the home of an abductee and left there for about 4-6 months. The device is small and attractive, about as big as a woman's makeup case, designed to blend into the home. It records various physical parameters and stores the information, which is then downloaded to the computer of our project engineer (Tom Deuley, a longtime MUFON official) every day.
While the device is in her home, the abductee keeps a daily journal of experiences related to the abduction phenomenon. Then, when the data collection period is over, the journal will be matched up to the physical data to see what was recorded at those times when a person thinks that she may have been abducted, or something similarly odd occurred.
The project officially began in the spring of 1998. Those most involved with the project include Rob Swiatek from the Fund, myself from CUFOS, and Tom Deuley. AMP started with the development of two prototype devices, used in three pilot cases. From this experience, we constructed the final monitoring device, which was used for the first case in the summer of 2000. As of this writing, we consider the project a success: we have successfully collected data from several abductees with few technical problems. This project would not have been possible without the assistance of some very supportive abduction investigators and, most important, some generous and cooperative abductees and their spouses and family. We thank them profusely.
The identities of those involved will be protected and kept confidential, per normal scientific ethics that mandate how to deal with human subjects. We are following standard research protocols in this project in every possible respect. This includes the recording and analysis of the data. Our project engineer, who collects the data, has no idea what is recorded in the journal by the abductees. And the abductees and UFO investigators are not told what the device has recorded. The data will be archived and later, when the project has ended, be compared and correlated to determine what can be learned.
We follow this protocol-which means that there are no results yet to report in this article-because it is crucial in the study of anomalies to design rigorous research that removes any chance to alter the data to fit some preconceived notion. As we know, there are skeptics and debunkers who are only too happy to find deficiencies, real or imagined, in any serious research project.
The results of AMP, whether positive or not, will potentially be quite important for ufology. Obtaining physical confirmation of an abduction event would be an important advance in our study of UFOs. Finding no physical evidence of abduction events would be open to several interpretations, but it would be just as important a finding.
We are always searching for additional abductees willing to volunteer for this project, and that is where you can help. We need investigators who know of abductees who might want to participate, and we need abductees who are willing to be a part of this study. There are no costs involved, as our research grant is sufficient to cover such things as a second phone line, which is necessary in some homes.
If you are interested in volunteering to participate or help with this research, please let us know as soon as you can. After you contact us, and we decide whether you meet the selection criteria, we will send you additional information to explain your tasks and answer all your questions.
You can contact Tom Deuley, the project engineer:
by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
by phone at 210-804-0552
or by mail at 2827 Sir Phillip Drive, San Antonio, TX 78209.