“At one time,” Rupert the allegedly psychic hypnotist asked in the midst of my first and last session, “were you one of them?”
Perhaps a year or two later, I’m sitting in the chair across from the only psychologist, or mental health professional for that matter, that I had ever spoken with that had anything intelligent and real to offer. I forget the context, but his question certainly did not, to my mind, follow the apparent flow of the conversation.
“Do you ever think that you’re one of them?”
It was an immediate, adamant, “No.” I did it with as much determination as I consciously, intentionally lifted the finger for “no” when Rupert had me under hypnosis and had been working that ideomotor finger magic on me. I remember it because I lied, and I felt the pangs of intense guilt in me immediately, for indeed I did sometimes feel like I was one of them. The creature that visited me as a child and insisted it was my real father certainly had an impact, as did that experience with my eyes growing large and slanted in the mirror, as did my memories of living on some dead, desolate desert planet in a far-back lifetime. Which seems to just add to the insanity early on in the course of writing here, but it is also consistent insanity: an alien also explained reincarnation to me once.
What killed me more than anything when I was sixteen was not that I was suddenly remembering and having in real-time what appeared to be alien abductions and encounters and UFO sightings. The “astral projections” and past life memories didn’t kill me, nor the spontaneous telepathic dreams or face-to-face telepathic experiences I would have later with people I knew at work, school or in social circles. Wanting to believe you were sleepwalking when your alien inside just handed you back the wheel of the body a bit too abruptly certainly puts you on edge, too, but not so much as all of this shit put together. People have been known to lose their jobs over a single publicized UFO sighting. Spouses pack up and leave frequently when their mate comes out with the status of “alien abductee.” People who wake up in alternate versions of their bedroom without their physical body, people who feel that they honestly feel the emotions of others and occasionally catch or send some thoughts as well are generally regarded as frigging bonkers in isolation. I am the cornucopia of the far-reaches of fucking crazy.
(I am also considerably high right now.)
Though since then I have found that many other lives are being bathed in the full spectrum of the strange as well: seemingly paranormal experiences alongside their encounters with strange and apparently physical creatures.
Even when it comes to the most embarrassing and deeply unnerving aspects of these waves of weird, it would seem, I am not alone. In fact, I have what I consider to be a disturbingly large amount of company.
In her article “MUFON Launches Study Of UFO Abduction Experience,” Marcia Jedd interviews Dan Wright, who began The Abduction Transcription Project in 1992 in order to ascertain the commonalities in reported alien abduction accounts. Judging from his arsenal of 254 cases involving 700 abductee sessions from 19 of the leading abduction researchers in the US, Wright goes on to list several dominant themes throughout the cases in his database. Among them is the abductee’s sense of “connection to the aliens or kinship” in which “the subject reaches the conclusion of an innate connection with alien captors which transcends this lifetime as a human. The abductee feels like a fish out of water in their own family, or otherwise disconnected from humanity.”
In many cases it goes far deeper than a sense of identity supported by a presumed genetic or spiritual relation to the aliens, however. Speaking of the “transpersonal” experiences of some of his abductees, John Mack writes in his book Abduction that “a distinct but important aspect of this kind of transpersonal experience is an abductee’s sense of possessing a double human/alien identity.” This phenomenon, which Joseph Nyman calls “dual reference,” first emerged during Mack’s hypnosis sessions, according to him, when the abductees would sometimes “switch” to an alien point of view. Continuing, Mack writes that “in their alien selves they may discover themselves doing many of the things that the ‘other’ aliens have done to them and to other human beings, such as studying their minds or even carrying out reproductive procedures.” While placing emphasis on the aspect of behavior rather than the abductee’s personal identification as an alien, this is basically synonymous with what Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs have referred to as “alien co-option.”
Individual abductee accounts have held suggestions of such an alien alternate personality or “alter” for years. Assuming they are honest descriptions of personal experience, the examples illustrate the various degrees of control the alter can exert.
Full dissociation involves the complete “switching” from one personality to the other, with amnesia induced for the human personality with every solitary flip of the alien’s control. So long as the human personality finds himself in the precise place he had been last, he may only assume he had fallen asleep or lost track of time. Sometimes, however, it begins and ends abruptly, and one wakes up in the midst of some activity. A good example would be an incident reported by Karla Turner in her 1992 book Into the Fringe (pages 44-53).
It began two days after Karla attended a John Lear lecture with her friend, Bonnie, her husband, Casey, her son, David, and his roommate, James. David received a call from James, asking him to a local bar where he eventually confessed that throughout his life he had been visited by strange creatures in his bedroom. During the last several months, during which David and he had been living in a farmhouse, a new visitor had been making rounds — a human-appearing woman. Upon her arrival, James would find himself paralyzed and remained that way until after her departure. He then saw her at the Lear lecture.
According to both James and David’s girlfriend, Megan, who was with them both at the bar that evening, when James had spoke about seeing the woman at the lecture David broke in and gave a description of the woman’s appearance and what she had been wearing. When James confirmed to David that he had described the woman perfectly, David repeated the description, but a few minutes later denied ever having seen the woman, much less claiming that he had. Upon leaving the bar to return to the farmhouse, James drove separately as Megan drove David. Having arrived at home before James, Megan and David got out of the car, at which time David took hold of her arm. She explained that “his voice and his eyes changed” as he kept telling her, “something out there wants to see you.” She resisted him as he attempted to drag her into the dark part of the backyard. As soon as James arrived, however, she reported that David had returned to normal and could recall nothing of the incident.
In an interview with Deborah L. Lindemann, C.H.T, on July 7, 1999, Hopkins speaks about an abductee he worked with. The morning after her experience she awoke with only vague memories but came to recall it in clarity later that day. As Hopkins explained in the interview:
“She went to work and something someone said at work triggered this immediate recall. A man had injured himself and described how he cut his hand and had been taken to the emergency room and had been put on a table. And she suddenly had this immediate flashback that the night before she had been on a ship. She remembered she was staring into the eyes of someone who was on a table. And as I remember, she may have said she was wearing some kind of blue uniform. She was staring at this man and calming him down… ‘You’re all right, you won’t be hurt…’ and all this was being done telepathically. And she said at some point, something came through in her mind and she thought, ‘That man looks very frightened. What is this, what am I doing here, why am I doing this?’ And she said that her eyes moved down his body, and she saw this sort of grey hand coming over, doing something — some being on the other side of her. She was sort of startled. Then all of a sudden… boom!… her eyes locked back to his eyes and she felt the thought: ‘You stare at him and keep him calm.'”
On other occasions, there can be a degree of overlap where both personalities are consciously involved in the body at once. This is known as “partial dissociation” and it can take different forms. In one form, one personality exerts influence on the one who is in control through various means, such as through subjective mental imagery, auditory and visual hallucinations, negative hallucinations, flashbacks, thoughts, emotions and impulses. One such example may be the behavior of Whitley Strieber, as reported by himself in his book Communion, on the evening following his abduction on December 26, 1985. He writes how he found himself incredibly exhausted, but arose out of bed to chat with some neighbors who happened to make a very rare and unexpected visit. As he explains (on page 23):
“No sooner had we started talking than I found myself complaining that I thought I had seen the light of a snowmobile in the woods between our houses at about three in the morning. I was horrified at myself. What was I saying? I couldn’t remember any such thing, and I knew it even as I spoke. Our neighbors offered the thought that the woods were too thick for a snowmobile to maneuver, which is true. Then I said that it must have been the lights on his house. He has two floodlights that shine out over his backyard. He explained that these lights had been off, but promised to redirect them so they couldn’t be seen from our house. I knew even then that his lights hadn’t been bothering me so late at night (although they were sometimes bothersome early in the evening, now that winter had stripped the woods of their concealing leaves). My memory of the snowmobile was as hollow as my memory of the owl. After some small talk, our neighbors went home. I was not pleased with my own behavior, and found it hard to understand because it seemed so nonvolitional, almost as if I had been talking against my will.”
Partial dissociation can also come in the form of depersonalization, as in the case of YouTube personality and alleged abductee Ricky G., who reported on an experience that occurred to him in 1988. Instead of awakening in bed, he awoke to the sounds of the neighborhood dogs barking as he walked down the middle of the street and towards a bike trail. There he met with figure and a small, spherical craft, after which the story gets incredibly interesting. For most of the experience he was only capable of controlling his eyes, watching like a passenger in his own body as it committed actions and said things. He also did not remember experience in bulk. The experience was “choppy” for him, as he kept blacking out only to wake up again, though not recalling at the time what occurred before his previous black-out. He was only able to recall these disconnected portions of memory and place them in order in retrospect.
Hypnosis occasionally seems to work in recovery of memories in which the ‘alter’ has taken over, as implied earlier. Mack had cases like this, as did Hopkins. In both Witnessed and his following book, Sight Unseen, Hopkins remarks on the change in attitude, one might even say character, displayed by alleged abductee Linda Cortile as she recounted the scene on the beach, and in the process of questioning her later on the content of the session found even more indications that it was an altogether different “personality” with access to different memories or information that was involved in that scene on the beach.
There are two general ways to look at these tales of alien alters. Alters are typically believed to develop when an individual utilizes extreme dissociation as a coping mechanism in response to trauma or stress. Dissociation separates the emotionally-charged memories from the host’s consciousness, producing amnesia, while an alter develops to whom those memories can be attached. When an alter takes control of the body during a “switch,” the host typically blacks out and may have no idea of its tenant’s existence. Even when in the passenger seat, however, the alter in many cases knows all that the host thinks, feels, imagines, or experiences through the senses, and so is capable of “stepping in” at any time, whereas the host may not even know the alter exists. Although trauma may have served as the trigger for the creation of the initial alter, in many cases this appears to then become a central coping mechanism giving rise to multiple alters. In many cases the initial alter takes on a character that for the host would surely constitute their Jungian Shadow. In general, however, alters are said to display unique speech patterns, body language, talents, skills, and even brainwave patterns. They can even identify themselves as a different age, nationality, sex, or species.
Alters can also allegedly be produced artificially by use of hypnosis. In his book The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, John Marks writes that: “The CIA’s first behavioral research czar, Morse Allen of ARTICHOKE, was intrigued by hypnosis,” and that though there was no declassified evidence that the specific program ever too place:
“… Morse Allen kept requesting prolonged access to operational subjects, such as the double agents and defectors on whom he was allowed to work a day or two. Not every double agent would do. The candidate had to be among the one person in five who made a good hypnotic subject, and he needed to have a dissociative tendency to separate part of his personality from the main body of his consciousness. The hope was to take an existing ego state — such as an imaginary childhood playmate — and build it into a separate personality, unknown to the first. The hypnotist would communicate directly with this schizophrenic offshoot and command it to carry out specific deeds about which the main personality would know nothing. There would be inevitable leakage between the two personalities, particularly in dreams; but if the hypnotists were clever enough, he could build in cover stories and safety valves which would prevent the subject from acting inconsistently.”
According to psychologist George H. Estabrooks in his 1957 book Hypnotism, these experiments were not only carried out, but proved to be successful:
“Then we start to develop a case of multiple personality through the use of hypnotism. In his normal waking state, which we will call Personality A, or PA, this individual will become a rabid communist. He will join the party, follow the party line and make himself as objectionable as possible to the authorities. Note that he will be acting in good faith. He is a communist, or rather his PA is a communist and will behave as such. Then we develop Personality B (PB), the secondary personality, unconscious personality, if you wish, although this is something of a contradiction in terms. This personality is rabidly American and anti-communist. It has all the information possessed by the normal personality, whereas PA does not have this advantage.”
So to descend into the depths of absolute paranoia, let us speculate on the notion of real aliens abducting people and, among other strange things, creating and training an alien alter in the abductee host through telepathic hypnosis. The alien alter would have access to all the human host perceives, thinks, feels, imagines and does, whereas in most cases the human host does not even know the alien alter exists. It also has the capacity to “switch,” or assume control of the body to various degrees and at any time. There may be any number of reasons why they would want to do this, with many of them probably not at all unlike the reason the CIA got interested in it. The alien alter, silently hidden in a human body and behind a human ego, would make for the perfect spy, anthropologist, courier or sleeper soldier.
There is another possibility that, while in many ways echoing the previous, involves what I consider to be a very important distinction: it is the alien inside is the true and original personality. The alien is the host, only bearing the qualities of PB in that it knows everything about the human alter, leaving the human alter in a state of near-to-total ignorance of so much as its existence unless it slips up or decides otherwise. Given the past life variable, there is perhaps the additional possibility that the alien inside hides within a human alter tempered by multiple human life cycles, sustaining awareness throughout various incarnations. The ego might constitute little more than an arbitrary cover story, a secret identity for your average extraterrestrial “supervillain.” Fashioned to be convincingly human, yes, and so serving as the perfect masque, but no other purpose.
If the human ego plays no greater purpose than a mere vessel in which to hide, however, why not relegate all abduction memories to the alter? Why not just snap on an alter, have them walk to a discreet location, have the typical abduction scenario commence, walk back, and then snap back to human mode? Their memories of the time between would be empty, one would presume, as they were not the personality that experienced them. Instead, aliens abduct an individual as their human personality, and however enshrouded in this anesthetizing altered state, the human personality is also awake. They put the abductee through physical examinations, telepathically-administered psychological examinations and other tests — all while the abductee is still the human personality. That makes entirely no sense at all.
Why certain memories during the abductions would be compartmentalized in the mind of the alien inside while others would be left as free-floating, isolated pockets of sealed memory confuses me, but that seems to be the case. It is clearly not the case that the aliens do not care if the abductee knows, or else why the amnesia, screen memories, and scrambles? I can only think of three possibilities. One, it serves as a buffer to make access to the alien alter all that much more unlikely. Beneath the threshold of consciousness are isolated pockets of memory sealed by posthypnotic amnesia, and I explain them in this way because during one abduction event you don’t remember previous abduction events. The unconscious serves as a moat littered with these memories, screens and scrambles keeping the human personality from getting inside the alien castle, so-to-speak.
Two, the human host serves a purpose in the overall scheme of things, and they’re trying to covertly mould the masque in a fashion conductive to it’s intended future role. The human ego is not just a masque the alien inside dons, but rather also a tool, an unwitting agent of the alien’s agenda. If the human personality can be influenced or “primed” by the alien personality through their shared implicit memory, the human personality could really be the psychological equivalent of a puppet.
The third possibility is that in order to build a bridge between the alien and human cultures (if only to convert them to a new social order) they need to insert alien consciousness into human bodies to develop a human personality over successive incarnations, then awaken their alien selves, integrate the human and alien identities together and then serve as a means of facilitating that change of perspective in others. (Indeed, this would clearly have to be a long-term plan.)
This brings us back to Mack, who further writes: “The alien identity seems to be connected in some way with the soul of the human self, and one of the tasks the abductee then confronts is the integration of their human and alien selves, which takes on the character of a reensoulment of their humanity.”
Integration of alter and host is usually the goal of treatment in cases of what is variously known as Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder, and this seems to be accomplished by the therapist working to promote better attitudes and greater communication between the two. This sounds very similar to Jung’s concept of the transcendent function and use of “active imagination.” This makes an alter sound like more lively versions of those autonomous complexes and archetypes. Complexes have been described as being based upon emotionally-charged themes, just as alters have been described as being based on emotionally-charged memories.
An alter is just a complex on steroids.
Did an early alien complex in my life go alter on at least a few occasions, or am I and evidently some others out there really just living, breathing Trojan Horses? Human candy shells for inner alien nougat? Wouldn’t greater psychospritiual integration be a worthy cause in any case? To achieve partnership where I may now be a mere tool, be it to a complex or my own alien soul. To participate in my own personal evolution rather than riding the coattails of past patterns, group influences, hardwired instincts, and whatever lingers in the mile-long shadow behind me.