As you will see from the link below, Richard Dawkins has a new book coming out this year (2012). Titled “The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True”. In which he states that people who experience UFO encounters or alien abduction actually suffer from false memory syndrome. Now, I knew this was coming and that I would have to explain it at some point. So lets put the brakes on here and put this right. It is impossible to have a false memory. You cannot remember what never happened. Period. You can have false beliefs about things you believe may have happened. But you cannot remember what never actually happened. So technically, it should be called False Belief Syndrome. When I trained in clinical hypnotherapy/psychotherapy, this concept was pretty well drummed into us.
Dawkins also sadly falls for some common abduction misconceptions. Typically the knee-jerk reaction to point to sleep paralysis. Of course, this fails to explain how people claim to have been abducted from cars or in the environment outside the bedroom. Also, whilst dealing with sleep paralysis you have to explain how many people who suffer from sleep paralysis do not have the same vivid images of alien abduction. (On a personal note I have had several periods of sleep paralysis and have seen nothing remotely alien).
Then Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) rears its head as a contributing factor. Again, the research here is lacking any credibility. Because if PTSD was a contributing factor to fooling people into believing they were abducted by aliens, then surely those in the armed forces would be more likely to be reporting abduction by aliens. Following that thought we should be experiencing a huge rash of ‘abductees’ coming forward from the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fact remains that the vast majority of people who claim to have been abducted by aliens do not suffer from PTSD or have had episodes in their life that would point to PTSD being an un-diagnosed factor.
I don’t believe that anyone who claims to have been abducted by aliens is automatically telling the truth, but science has yet to properly deal with the issue. It’s theories are easily picked apart and I still fail to believe that anyone within the scientific community has effectively ‘solved’ the mystery of alien abduction.