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No. 87: May-Jun 1993

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Alien abuctions: were they, are they real?

J. Pontolillo has generated a fascinating study of alien abductions, commencing with similar instances that occurred long before UFOs flashed across the sky. The long history of supposed encounters with demons, witches, fairies, UFOnauts, and sundry fantastic creatures led Pontolillo to conclude:

"From the preceding examination of the phenomenon's many aspects, it is apparent that alien abuctions are the continuation of an ancient, ongoing cycle of religio-mythic beliefs. The 'seed events' consist of routine medical and gynecological procedures, hypnagogic and hypnopompic (sleeprelated) imagery, and causative traumas such as sexual assault. These events are then reconstructed in accordance with historical and cultural precedences as well as modified by modern-day media influences. The driving force behind this creation of abuction accounts lies in the extensive use of hypnotic recall in unsupervised investigations conducted by ETH [Extraterrestrial Hypothesis] proponents."

Pontolillo asserts that there is not a shred of evidence that alien abuctions have objective reality.

(Pontoillo, James; "Demons, Doctors, and Aliens," INFO Occasional Paper #2, March 1993.

From Science Frontiers #87, MAY-JUN 1993. 1993-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987