Abductees aren't as alone as they think

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The original document can be found on the web at: http://www.desnews.com/cit/sun/-home-.htm and appeared in the Deseret News .

The Deseret News is Utah's second largest newspaper. This is *not* small-town gossip.

Here is the artice in its entirety:

By Zack Van Eyck Deseret News staff writer

Think of all the things you've had to tell your mother, then imagine having to tell her this:

''Mom, I've been abducted by aliens.''

She'd probably laugh in your face.

Dana Redfield's mom did. Only Redfield wasn't kidding. And her mother was the one person, she thought, who would understand and offer support during the most traumatic period of her life.

''I had a very big rejection from my mother, and we had been almost symbiotic in our relationship for years. It hurt very much,'' said Redfield, a 52-year-old Moab resident convinced she has had contact with extraterrestrials, at least on a subconscious level, since childhood.

''I was warned by (UFO) investigators not to discuss these things with family and friends. I thought I could tell the people closest to me and they'd believe me, but I found out.''

Redfield's relationship with her mother is still strained, but she feels she's come a long way in dealing with what is still happening to her. She is a published author and is considering a nonfiction book about her experiences, perhaps similar to Whitley Strieber's best-selling ''Communion.''

In the meantime, Redfield keeps journals of her paranormal existence. The frequent visitations, which she calls ''nocturnal encounters,'' are often preceded by a physical light and sound display in her bedroom while she is awake. Soon after, she slips into a sleep-type state and awakens to remember information about such topics as spiritual evolution and Earth changes.

Through hypnotic regression, a method of investigation criticized by mainstream scientists, Redfield recalled being aboard what may have been an alien spaceship. She remembered being inside a room with a high-domed ceiling and being medically examined by small grey creatures and a taller praying-mantis-like being.

She has awakened with physical scars, and one morning found a small round object under the skin on the back of her hand. She thinks the object may have been implanted during an abduction experience. It disappeared a few days later, apparently dissolving into her body.

Writing it all down has been good therapy for Redfield. She has corresponded with other alleged abductees -- referred to as ''experiencers'' by politically correct UFO researchers -- but still isn't sure what it's all about.

''It's a mystery to me. I'm just trying to understand it step by step,'' she said. ''Whatever is working with me is of a higher spiritual level. But it's not like it's all sweet. It's extremely challenging.''

Redfield may feel alone at times, but she is not. Alien abduction has been the subject of research by a number of UFO organizations, independent writers and college professors, including Harvard University's John E. Mack and retired University of Wyoming psychology professor Leo Sprinkle.

Whether due to a collective neurosis or actual otherworldly contact, these researchers have concluded, the number of people who believe they've been abducted ranges in the thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, just in the United States.

''We've started a data base. It's definitely in the many thousands, but we don't really have any accurate number yet,'' Richard Hall, chairman of the Fund for UFO Research Inc., said from his home in Maryland.

Hall has worked with more than 100 alleged abductees but does not use hypnotic regression. The people he has interviewed remember enough about their experiences to be terrified and confused.

''It's so shocking to them. They think they're cracking up,'' Hall said. ''I would say, by far, more are frightened out of their wits and consider it a very bad and disturbing experience. A small minority of 10 to 15 percent find something positive'' in being abducted.

People who have AIDS, are physically disabled or suffer chemical dependencies may also feel shunned by society. But at least there are support groups and governmental agencies they can turn to. Abductees lack similar resources.

The Mutual UFO Network is a worldwide organization with local representatives, but it caters primarily to those interested in the scientific exploration of the UFO phenomenon. It offers little solace to abductees.

Trying to fill that void is Joanne Farley, a 55-year-old Murray resident and a member of MUFON. She decided Salt Lake-area experiencers needed someone they could talk to. She contacted Mildred Biesele, state director for MUFON, and volunteered to meet with abductees seeking help.

In the past few years Farley has met informally with nearly a dozen local people who believe they've shared the same mysterious experience. She's spent countless hours hearing their stories.

''It's more than dreams, I know this is going on, but they come off as other-dimensional, altered reality-type experiences,'' Farley said. ''Anyone who looks into this knows something strange is going on.''

Farley said she allowed the Deseret News to use her name in this story because she feels it's important for the public to know human-alien interaction is taking place. Having heard so many abduction tales, however, she understands why those who've gone through such ordeals are reluctant to talk publicly.

One of the women Farley has worked with agreed to an interview but asked that she be referred to only as Mary, which is not her real name. Her true identity is known to both Farley and Biesele, as well as to Budd Hopkins, an author of several books on alien abduction memories as retrieved through hypnotic regression.

Mary, a Salt Lake County resident, says she experienced an unusual encounter with a bright light in 1984. Mary and her young son were driving south on 2000 East early one morning after visiting her brother when the light descended in front of them.

''It was so bright it was like a wall. I couldn't see anything,'' Mary said.

For a long time she couldn't remember much more than that. She remembered driving home and going straight to bed.

''It took months and months for us to even talk about that night, and we're very close, we're best friends,'' she said of her son.

A year later, Mary had an accident and struck her head. She went to a local hospital for X-rays and was told she had a small metal object in the center of her brain. Neither Mary nor her doctor knew how the object got there.

A copy of the radiology consultation form was given to the Deseret News. It refers to the object as ''an oval metallic density'' which the physician noted as ''unusual'' and ''worthy of pursuit.''

Several years passed before Mary and her son discussed the bright light again. Last year, however, Mary began thinking about the event almost daily. ''I think I'm meant to remember now, I really feel that,'' she said.

On advice from Biesele, Mary wrote Hopkins earlier this year and asked if he thought she'd be a good candidate for a hypnotic regression. A few weeks later he came to Salt Lake City to perform regressions on both Mary and her son.

Mary was able to recall being taken aboard a craft and undergoing some type of medical procedure. The beings responsible for the abduction were the so-called greys -- the big-headed, bug-eyed aliens prevalent in media accounts.

UFO researchers, writers like Hopkins and Strieber, and university professors like Mack and Sprinkle all have their theories about what the greys, and the other strange creatures recalled by abductees, are up to.

''I think UFO activity is part of a larger educational program,'' Sprinkle said. ''This program involves not only UFOs but out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, visions, crop circles, Bigfoot -- a variety of strange and puzzling events. The purpose is to help us learn how to move from being planetary persons to becoming cosmic citizens.''

Reports about greys performing thorough physical examinations and taking both eggs and semen from humans has led some to conclude that a mass genetic experiment is under way -- perhaps an unselfish rescue effort to preserve the human species from self-destruction or maybe a last-ditch attempt by a dying alien race to save itself by creating part-human, part-alien hybrid bodies.

Those and other equally far-out theories, readily available in local bookstores, rarely merit debate by mainstream scientists and academicians. When they do receive scrutiny, it is usually in the form of attack.

The work of Mack and Hopkins, and the validity of the hypnotic regression technique, were targets of ridicule on the PBS television program ''Nova'' earlier this year. The broadcast suggested untrained hypnotherapists were essentially putting ideas into people's heads. Mack came under fire from his superiors at Harvard but managed to keep his job.

Redfield believes those who dismiss alien abductions as figments of someone else's imagination simply don't want to consider that life from another planet or reality may already be interacting with earthlings.

She doesn't think anyone would make up an alien abduction story just for the attention, as some debunkers suggest. It's not the kind of attention you'd want, she said.

''I really think this is something we all have to face,'' Redfield said. ''People are in the Stone Ages on it. They don't want to believe it. They're threatened by it. It's just human nature. . . . But I think we are being prepared.''

Farley agrees.

''Believe me, there are going to be paradigm shifts if all this is true,'' she said. ''It's going to shatter everyone's reality.''

And for some, reality has already been shattered.

Published 30 June, 1996 Deseret News Publishing Co. Return to front page