Alien Abduction

When I was 12 years old my father had a series of terrifying dreams. In them he would wake but be unable to move. Hovering over him in each of these was a horrifying face. He talked about how he tried to reach out to my Mom or scream but couldn’t move or make a sound. He felt like he couldn’t breathe and he was dying. This was back in the late 70’s so there was no instant access to information on the internet like we have today. There was, at that time, no way to know, without consulting a doctor, that what he was experiencing was the same thing that many abductees experience.

What happened to my father is called sleep paralysis.

This condition is, as my father described, the feeling of being awake but unable to move. It can occur at two times: When someone is falling asleep and when they’re waking up as they are passing from one sleep state to another. As you fall asleep, your body slowly relaxes. Usually you become less aware, so you do not notice the change. However, if you remain or become aware while falling asleep, you may notice that you cannot move or speak.

The type of sleep paralysis when people may see faces, however, is hypnopompic sleep paralysis

During sleep, your body alternates between REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. One cycle of REM and NREM sleep lasts about 90 minutes. NREM sleep occurs first and takes up to 75% of your overall sleep time. During NREM sleep, your body relaxes and restores itself. At the end of NREM, your sleep shifts to REM. Your eyes move quickly and dreams occur, but the rest of your body remains very relaxed. Your muscles are “turned off” during REM sleep. If you become aware before the REM cycle has finished, you may notice that you cannot move or speak. This is also the point where, since you are still partially in dream state, the hallucination of faces or the sense of another person in the room may occur.

The abduction phenomenon did not really become part of our culture until the early 60’s with Betty and Barney Hill’s abduction story.

It is worth noting that the Hill’s did not “remember” their abduction until *after* a hypnosis session and Betty was the only one who remembered anything.

At the time Betty and Barney first reported their experience, UFOs were starting to become a popular theme in movies. It is completely possible that their experience was influenced by the emergent cultural phenomenon.

If you believe you may have been abducted or would simply like to learn more about this phenomenon, please visit Bad Alien. Kitty Mervine has collected resources for abductees and their families.



  1. Bret Hall said,

    June 17, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I have to say that I have experienced sleep paralysis before, although it wasn’t hypnopompic. I can remember being at my girlfriend’s parents’ house, waking up on the fold out bed on my stomach, with my head looking forward, I could see her mother in the kitchen walking around, and hear them talking, but I could not move, could not breathe, I was just suspended there.

    It was rather alarming at the time, and I can imagine if any hallucinations had accompanied it, or if there had been any mind games going on with the dark and shadows, even as a skeptic I could have seen why people believe they were abducted. It’s truly a frightening experience the first time, but honestly now I wish I could experience it again, to explore it from a less frantic mindstate 🙂

  2. June 17, 2010 at 10:28 am

    You are fortunate to be educated enough to understand what it was. The people who have written in on seem to be either too afraid to find out what it really is OR they have bought the line that they are special and don’t want to explore further. It’s just heartbreaking to read their stories. Kitty is doing good work there by helping to encourage logic and seek medical treatment.

  3. sgerbic said,

    June 17, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Good blog. This is something that many people have experienced and can relate to.

  4. July 4, 2010 at 7:32 am

    […] } A few weeks ago I wrote an article about Alien Abduction. In it I talked about my father’s experience with sleep paralysis when I was […]

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