Telepathic communication has been a more or less constant feature of the abduction phenomenon, since the beginning investigations.3 Like all the consistent aspects of the abduction phenomenon, this is remarkable. One would expect that in a phenomenon derived from the human psyche, a wide variety of communication styles would be reported which most certainly would entail verbal-aural communication emanating from the aliens’ mouths, being heard through the abductees’ ears, and vice-versa. Sign language might be a common feature of communication that deluded abductees would seize upon. However, these more “commonsensical” reports are quite rare. In fact, the constancy of reported telepathy for over thirty-five years from all over the world strongly suggests that it is the “normal” mode of communication for all aliens and humans during abduction events.4
Abductees inadvertently bolster the idea that telepathy is the main communication mode by providing indirect evidence that alien physiology is consistent with mental, rather than spoken, communication. Their descriptions indicate that insect-like aliens have no noticeable mouths or noses, making the aspiration of air difficult if not impossible. The more commonly-reported small and tall gray aliens appear to have “mouth-like” structures with no tongues or teeth. Aliens do not use these structures for sound formation and the mouths are almost always closed. There is little evidence that their jaws open and close (or, indeed, that they have jaws). Although some abductees report that their mouths are open in an “O” shape, these accounts are rare and because of the confabulation problem, one must be wary of them. Facial musculature, which would allow for expressiveness, is not reported. Finally, abductees do not report anything resembling a respiratory system, nor do they describe any apparent larynx, esophagus, lung capacity, or aspiration essential for sound formation for either the gray aliens or the insect-like beings.
On the receiving end of communication, the insect-like aliens do not have ears or any apparent apparatuses for collecting sound waves. Abductees often see a tiny hole where the ears should be on the gray aliens. If these are used for receiving sound, they do not, at least on the surface, appear to be very sophisticated organs.5
As can be expected, sounds emanating from the aliens are not reliably reported in abduction reports.6 Without ears, one cannot know the extent to which the aliens are capable of “hearing.” That they do hear something is possible because they appear to discern the direction of communication. For example, when an abductee physically creates a disturbance on board a UFO, it attracts the aliens’ attention even when they were not originally looking at the abductee. In spite of this, it is difficult to tell whether the ruckus mentally attracts their attention or whether the physical commotion causes their notice. Also, in those rare events when an abductee speaks aloud, the aliens will frequently turn and face the one who is communicating. All of this, of course, might well be consistent with telepathy, and whether the aliens have any sense of hearing remains a mystery.
Although telepathy is the main method of communication, abductees indicate that the aliens have a written culture as well. For example, on board a UFO abductees will sometimes see what appears to be reading material – “books,” “papers,” and other graphical representations of language. They occasionally describe “symbols” on the walls and on operating equipment. In some abductions, people have reported being required to memorize a set of symbols that they assume is indicative of some sort of word usage or pictographs. Thus, although we do not know all that is required for a viable alien society, it is difficult to imagine a technologically advanced society without a written form of communication and, at least for the purposes of their abduction activity, it seems probable that aliens use primarily both a non-spoken and graphical symbolic language for their communication.
The reporting of the aliens’ unique communication qualities are so pervasive and consistent that any in-depth study of alien “culture” must assume that it is one of the most influential features of it. A culture’s communication style profoundly influences the type of society in which its inhabitants live. For example, tribal societies without written language rely heavily on memory, the oral tradition, story-telling, and demonstration to pass knowledge through the generations. As a consequence, historical memory plays a much more important factor in cultural transmission than it does in literate societies. Social relations are often organized around those special people who are entrusted to keep the memory of the past. This may or may not be the case with alien culture, but an examination of the effects of telepathy and its consequences might yield, along with other known factors about their behavior, some insight into the kind of society in which they live.
3. Barney and Betty Hill first reported telepathy. Antonio Vilas Boas reported that the aliens gestured to him and “barked” to each other. At the very least he reported no communication with him through his ears. However, this case was not investigated under hypnosis and his conscious recollections must be treated with the utmost caution.
4. This is extremely common and it leads both abductees and abduction researchers into false data. The phenomenon is akin to channeling (indeed, it may be channeling), and can be found especially when an abductee recounts alien conversation. The researcher and/or hypnotist must learn to recognize confabulated material from actual communication so that the abductee and the researcher can enjoy a relative degree of certainty about the quality of the anecdotal evidence. Otherwise it tends to lead the two (abductee and researcher) into fantasies that can easily be mistaken for reality.
5. See David M. Jacobs, Secret Life, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992, for a discussion of alien physiology and communication.
6. P. M. H. Edwards published two articles about alien communication in Flying Saucer Review in 1970 (“Speech of the Aliens”), however the large number of sounds attributed to the aliens is highly suspect. If the events occurred as Edwards wrote, they must be considered as consciously remembered snippets of abduction events, which are notoriously untrustworthy. In lieu of supporting anecdotal evidence, it must be assumed that the majority, if not all, of these reports were the result of unconscious confabulation and other memory recovery difficulties.