The following has been prepared by Budd Hopkins, Dr. David M. Jacobs, and a psychotherapist who is an abductee.
Pros and Cons of Investigating Unusual Personal Experiences
Deciding to investigate the origin of bothersome UFO dreams, memories and experiences is one of the most important decisions you will ever make an can alter your life. If you learn that you actually have undergone UFO abduction experiences, there will be no turning back. Your relationship to friends, relatives, and even to the world might change. Therefore, you must undertake the decision to learn about your experiences with the utmost seriousness. There are many reasons for deciding against such an exploration. First of all, the timing may be wrong.
Severe anxieties brought about by personal events (a divorce, a death in the family or other emotional upheaval) may provide an unstable background for pursuing this kind of potentially traumatic investigation. Whether or not you see yourself as having «emotional problems,» you must nevertheless consider your situation cautiously. You must also think very carefully about the consequences of having your sometimes life-long «deniability» ended. UFO abduction recollections can sometimes be too upsetting and too difficult to handle under such circumstances. Any hidden experiences will always be there, so you can choose to investigate them at a future, safer time.
It is also important to remember that sometimes memories are not reflective of reality. People remember things that did not happen to them. They confabulate imaginary scenarios. They remember events incorrectly. This is especially a danger when an inexperienced, incompetent, or agenda-laden hypnotist is the investigator. You must retain a very healthy skepticism of all your memories.
If you do decide to explore your memories, you can expect new and sometimes difficult challenges in your life. Any freshly recalled abduction events may prompt new, unexpected revelations. You might wonder if these disturbing events could happen again. Unsettling questions about the possible involvement of your family could also arise. Recalling and accepting the truth of your UFO experiences can alter your relationships with the very people who are closest to you. Though some abductees find support from their family and friends, they are, unfortunately, in the minority. Talking about your UFO abduction can easily cause even family and friends to question your sanity. If your loved ones truly care about you, their concern with your mental health is an appropriate, and even loving, reaction. You must be understanding of their point of view.
There is, of course, another side of the coin, a more positive side. First, the exploration of memories can lead to gains in self-awareness accompanied by a lessening of chronic anxiety. Your conception of reality itself might be broadened considerably, and this could be viewed as a positive gain. You might be able to reassess your life with new information about yourself. This unique situation can give you the opportunity to change your conception of previous thought and behavior. And, your desire to explore these experiences is, undeniably, a positive move toward your own well-being.
Once you move forward to explore your abduction recollections and you feel that they are based on real events, you might gain new insight into years of previous behavior. Past actions, thoughts, and emotions might take on new meaning, and you may be able to explain them to yourself for the first time. The act of recalling previously unremembered events can sometimes relieve major problems related to the subject in your life. Some abductees have reported that they are finally able to sleep normally and to go about their daily lives free from anxieties related to these disturbing half-memories and «dreams.» Through hypnosis it is possible to bring these events into «normal» recall where the abductee can ultimately come to terms with them. To see a previously buried traumatic event clearly and wholly is to begin the process of removing its power over your life.
For other abductees, however, the knowledge of what has happened to them creates a new set of sometimes difficult problems that they must now confront. Depression, sleep disturbance problems, and anxiety over the well-being of one’s family are commonly described difficulties. However, people who have chosen to go through the process of finding out what happened to them with a competent hypnotist/researcher are almost always satisfied with their decision.
Selecting an Investigator
Selecting an investigator is a critically important part of this recovery process. Your choice should be based on four main criteria:
- The person must either be a competent, ethical, hypnotist or must work with one.
- The investigator and/or hypnotist should be well versed in the patterns of UFO abductions in order to pursue to investigation correctly, helping the subject explore his or her memories smoothly and systematically. Investigators or hypnotists with a personal agenda (New Age, Spiritual, Transformational, «Doom and Gloom,») should be avoided, unless this is precisely what you are looking for.
- Ideally, the hypnotist should either be a therapist or work with one in order to help the abductee deal with the events that are uncovered.
- The final criterion is subtle and elusive: The investigator and the hypnotist should be particularly sensitive, perceptive, and willing to learn, criteria that is difficult to obtain but is perhaps the most valuable of all.
At the beginning of your explorations, you must not expect immediately startling revelations. Memory can be faulty even in hypnotic regressions and at first you may not be able to tell with absolute certainty what is real and what is imaginary. You must remember that it is possible that your dreams and half-memories may turn out to be just dreams and nothing more.
Delving into half-remembered experiences can be frightening. Some people are extremely anxious about recalling what happened to them, even though they desperately want to know the truth. An experienced hypnotist knows how to control this fear and can even eliminate it by certain techniques. Under hypnosis, fear is strongest at the very beginning of an abduction, but once this threshold is crossed, fear is greatly reduced. Then curiosity and amazement can displace it among commonly reported reactions.
Remember, the decision to recover hidden memories is an extremely important one. It can lead you into an «adventure» with both positive and negative developments. It is your life and you must not be pressured into making the decision one way or the other. Whatever your choice, make sure that you have considered it carefully so that you will be most comfortable and happy with it all the years to come.
After having decided to look at your recollections, one of the first issues to arise is the problem of possible contamination. You memories should be you own, untainted as far as possible, by books you have read, media you have seen, or conversations you have had. Therefore, once you have decided to explore your situation, you should avoid reading UFO books or talking with abductees about their UFO experiences. It is important to your own sense of the real and the imaginary that you are able, ten years from now, to know that a particular set of details emerged from your own experience and was not something you picked up in a conversation or letter from someone else.
Hypnosis is really nothing more than a process of deep relaxation and focused concentration. It is definitely not a loss of consciousness. You are aware of the hypnotist and of things going on around you in the room. If you have ever done relaxation exercises or listened to relaxation tapes, the process of hypnosis will feel very familiar to you. When you are under hypnosis, you yourself decide what to reveal and what not to reveal. You can refuse to answer questions if you are not feeling prepared to discuss the memories. You can ask to come out of hypnosis at any time.
When your hypnosis session is over, you will most likely remember whatever came up, and you might even find more new images coming into you conscious mind during the next several days. These flashbacks can sometimes be upsetting, so try to plan how you will take care of yourself during the stressful time. The hypnotist can be a good source of support for you, as can others who have had similar experiences. Hypnosis is not magic. The memories do not always seem complete, nor are they all crystal clear, but many who have explored abduction experiences using hypnosis have found it to be an extremely useful tool, one that helped them to find and piece together the fragments of their memories.
The exploration of possible UFO abduction experiences is a time-consuming, often disturbing process, one that is not to be undertaken lightly. To be merely curious is not enough. One must enter into it with a sense of determination and commitment. If, after reading this, you feel that you must have answers to your unusual personal experiences, move forward slowly and carefully. Remember, this is your life and not the investigator’s or therapist’s. If you feel that the investigator or therapist is not giving you the support that you deserve, you should feel no obligation to continue with him or her. We are all in the process of learning about this extraordinary phenomenon and professional competency is not yet very widespread. Any information you can provide us about your experiences with researchers and therapists is greatly appreciated so that those who are competent can be recommended, and those who are not can be helped.