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Hardcover Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens Book

ISBN: 0674018796

ISBN13: 9780674018792

Abducted: How People Come to Believe They Were Kidnapped by Aliens

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Book Overview

They are tiny. They are tall. They are gray. They are green. They survey our world with enormous glowing eyes. To conduct their shocking experiments, they creep in at night to carry humans off to... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An X rays exam on abductees and abductionists

We have to be thankful to Susan A. Clancy, PhD. for his serious and respectful approach to a bunch of people who honestly declare they have been "abducted by extraterrestrials" --the interpretation given by the culture of some decades ago--that unconsciously they have absorbed and integrated to their personalities. We have to be thankful for her honest scientific approach to the "phenomenon" of abduction. I would say that what she presents in her book is a kind of X ray exam on abductees and abductionists. Because to great extent the abductees are product of the abductionists. These are the serial writers on the subject --most notoriously the plastic artist Budd Hopkins-- that have created the myth that through hypnosis sessions instill in their "patients", so they could end with a considerable number of "victims of the aliens", "repeated patterns", etc. The only thing that Dr. Clancy didn't touch in her book are the other kind of abductions. Those performed by human beings against other human beings, using a whole scenario, masks, etc. to make them believe that the criminal acts practiced in their bodies, are "clinical operations" of extraterrestrials. But this is the dark side of the abduction phenomenon. Nevertheless, for the vast majority of cases, her explanations of the whole issue are correct, scientific, solid. All in all, a must read for those who search for the truth.

Very fascinating book

I had never thought much about the alien abduction / UFO crowed prior to reading the book. However, I found Dr. Clancy's account extremely fascinating. Her main argument -- taking the extreme step of believing in one's own abduction can provide an explanation for many problems in life -- sounds very convincing to me. (My remark: In fact, one could probably argue that other erronous or odd believes stem from a similar psychological mechanism. ) I also like her empathetic treatment of the "abductees" and her, at times, witty writing style. I just read the book for a 2nd time and again enjoyed it a lot. In summary: highly recommended reading.

Replies to her critics

Clancy's style in ABDUCTED is light and friendly with plainly-presented facts. She comes across as down-to-earth and self-aware (e.g., "I got a grip and shut up," pg 28). Her sympathetic but unswerving conclusions are a relief in this contentious area. Thanks to her book, I no longer find abductees exasperating but can respect and find common ground with them. I'd like to repay Clancy for this welcome book by rebutting a few reviewer criticisms. For example, reviewers objected that the Hills and the Allagash abductees were awake and in groups, thus their experiences can't be explained as the effects of "sleep paralysis". But those examples, given by the reviewers, exactly fit Clancy's algorithm (pgs 33, 51) for wakeful abductions! (1) They were not immediately aware of being abducted and (2) only decided weeks later that they "must've" been taken. (3) Before gaining their memories they actively collected UFO information, and (4) both groups recovered their memories in hypnosis. Giese complained that "many abductees recall vast portions of their experience(s) w/o the aid of hypnosis." Clancy beat him to it by noting that although it's less common, non-hypnotic recovery occurs (pg 58) and any memories can grow in detail over time (pg 68). Giese also sneered: "Interesting that many abductees want to believe their experience was NOT real." But identifying possible benefits of unpleasant abduction-memories is a key product of the book! (1) The memories explain many troubling things in an abductee's life (pg 33); (2) these exonerative explanations can't be disproved (pg 145); (3) the experiences can expand an abductee's worldview to "awe-inspiring" degrees (pg 149); and (4) the memories can make an abductee feel "chosen" or "special" and bring outside attention (pg 140). Furthermore, Clancy's abductees disagree with Giese: not one said he/she would prefer to have NOT had the experience (pg 149). O'Connor fumes that Clancy's writing is so bad that "If not for Google, I still would have no idea as to what the 'MUFON' is that she refers to in the first chapter." But Clancy spells it out right there on page 4, "Mutual UFO Network." And it's in the index, for heaven's sake. (A nicely done index, too.) O'Connor also complained that Clancy gave "no explanation of ... who performed the [hypnosis] studies or any other vital details." But there is a footnote - A FOOTNOTE! - at the end of the disputed sentence (pg 59) leading to 3 hypnosis-related citations that are followed by dozens more. Other criticisms are unaddressably vague. When claiming that Clancy "gets facts blatantly wrong in many cases" and that "Clancy contradicts her own statements continually," Bowman and O'Connor should've given examples. One-star reviewers' core complaint is that Clancy doesn't believe in UFOs. Several said the book's real purpose is to attack ideas of alien life and visitation. But Clancy spent the equivalent of only 4 full pages debunking aliens (circa pgs 25, 44, & 13

Well written, funny, and not for people who are "believers"

First and foremost, Clancy is an intelligent, witty, and seamless writer. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more books from her, just due to that alone. If you look at the reviews for this book, you'll notice it seems to be a sharp split - people either give it all five stars, or a mere one. You'll notice that the people who give it one star are often "believers," and after reading this book, it's _very_ clear why they reacted the way they did! That's part of what the book is about - the psychology of believers. Clancy is an academic. As such, she is a natural skeptic (that's what Science is about!), but that also means she does her humanly best to let the research speak, and not her opinions. Her basic position is: Yes, of course it's possible aliens are out there. However, your odds of being abducted are worse then winning the lottery a dozen times in a month. She never mentions the Drake equation, but she's clearly familiar with it. If we're to be abducted, not only does life have to exist elsewhere, but the beings have to be intelligent (out of all the species on this planet, how many are capable of understanding this review?), have the technology to get over here (we can't even make it to mars, yet), exist at the same time we do (took earth billions of years to get going, entire civilizations and races could have emerged and died out elsewhere in this time), and finally, they have to be interested in randomly plucking us away, performing horrible experiments, and depositing us back on earth... for the last 50 years. As Clancy put it.. Don't they have freezers? Clancy does not simply write peoples' experiences off as sleep paralysis, hypnotic suggestion, etc. Instead, she attempts to synthesize all these different theories into an overall process that explains how (and which) people come to believe they've been abducted. She dives into memory, hypnosis, confirmation bias, individual accounts, and even the benefits believing oneself has been abducted conferrs upon the believer. If it's a laymans' science book, it's the equivalent of a review paper. And it's entertaining to boot. Highly recommended, unless you believe you've been abducted and don't want to consider otherwise - then you'll certainly hate it.

A Strange Look Inside the Human Memory Machine

FAIR WARNING: This excellent, well-written book isn't really about aliens at all -- it's about the psychological mechanisms that drive the human memory machine. If you're looking for a lively debate about the existence, or non-existence, of alien visitors to Earth, find another writer. Susan Clancy is a post-doctoral fellow in psychology at Harvard University. She has also worked in Nicaragua as an economic development advisor. She doesn't believe in extra-terrestrial visitors and she's very open about that from the get-go. The real purpose of her research, as documented in this book, is to determine what "abductees" have in common from a psychological standpoint -- to answer these five questions: -- How do people come to believe they were abducted by aliens? In other words, how did these imaginary "memories" come to exist in the first place? -- Why do abductees have memories if it didn't really happen? -- Why are abduction stories so consistent? (They're not.) -- Who gets abducted? -- If it didn't happen, why would an abductee want to believe it? At the risk of over-simplification, Clancy's answer is this: Virtually all abduction reports were reported only AFTER Hollywood and the publishing industry popularized this type of narrative, starting in the late 1940s and continuing in the 1960s - 1980s. Most abductees are not insane or psychotic, but they do test very high on objective laboratory measuresments for what is called "schizotypy" -- the tendency to think eccentrically and to believe in "magical thinking" (e.g., that certain numbers have magical powers). They're often loners who are very interested in UFO studies and other paranormal phenomenon long before they claim to have been abducted. Clancy and her team interviewed, at length, about 50 "abductees." In the course of her report, we learn a great deal about the biological and psychological mechanisms that shape the human memory system. It's a fascinating look at how the brain works and how we interpret stored information based on pre-conceived beliefs. A few sections get repetitive here and there, but generally speaking Clancy's writing is lively and fun to read. In the final chapter, she theorizes about why these people WANT to believe in these traumatic abductions, despite the pain and disruption the memories cause. Her answer is a fascinating proposal that deserves further study, both from a scientific and religious perspective. Don't miss this short little book! (Note: Some of the material here is very sexual and sometimes violent, so I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone under the age of 16.)
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