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No. 120: Nov-Dec 1998

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Are ufo abductions akin to ndes?

Hard-core UFO researchers will probably reject S.W. Twemlow's associating UFO abductions with NDEs (Near-Death Experiences). Here is an abstract of his 1994 paper published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies.

"This article proposes an integrated psychodynamic perspective to account in part for a variety of similarities between near-death experiences and UFO abductions. The psychodynamic psychology of these experiences implies that their "realness" is mainly a function of that psychology, rather than primarily of an objectifiable external reality. Clinical and research examples highlight the theoretical and practical usefulness of this model."

(Twemlow, Stuart W.; "Misidentified Flying Objects? An Integrated Psychodynamic Perspective on Near-Death Experiences and UFO Abductions," Journal of Near-Death Studies, 12:205, 1994. As abstracted in: Exceptional Human Experience, 14:261, 1996. Address of the latter: 414 Rockledge Road, New Bern, NC 28562.)

Comments. If one prunes away the psychological verbiage, Twemlow seems to be saying that in the minds of the percipients, NDEs and UFO abduction experiences are pretty much the same; that is, both phenomena are mental and not physical. However, in the same issue of the Journal of Near-Death Studies, K. Basterfield asserts that physical evidence exists for UFO abductions but that there is none for NDEs! Apparently, an abductee has brought back a piece of a UFO or something like that. That's news to us, be we are not well-versed on these subjects.

From Science Frontiers #120, NOV-DEC 1998. 1998-2000 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