By: Ron Westrum
This paper is a brief introduction to the issue of social support for experiencers of UAP events. A UAP experiencer may have only a single experience, but others have many more, and for some a lifetime of experiences is possible. For some UAP experiences, the experience is positive or pleasant, but not unusually for others it is deeply disturbing. The ability to share the memory of the experience with others is often a key item in mental health, and the inability to share it can be disruptive. In this paper I discuss some of the ways that experiencers find aid and/or comfort in sharing their experiences with others.
The Primary Group
People’s primary group consists of those persons who are close to them, sometimes by family ties, and other times through friendship or physical intimacy. A useful criterion is that primary groups often sensually interact though taste, touch, and smell. Because this group is so important to the experiencer’s self-esteem, these are often the first group through whom the experiencer seeks validation: parents, lovers, close friends, close work colleagues all can provide reassurance, cognitive validation, and orientation. If other members of these groups were involved in the experience, these people may be the first to be addressed. Did it really happen? Did the other(s) see, hear, physically experience what took place? Do they have an explanation for it? Is it going to happen again? If the experience was threatening, how is the threat to be handled? Should one or both (or all) report it?
In some cases the author has encountered, the experience provides a problem for a continuing relationship. If this is an intimate relationship, the ability to talk about the event may be essential to continuation, or it may be an obstacle for one or both people. In one case I know of, the inability to discuss the event led to a marital breakdown. In other cases, one spouse has not related to the other that an event took place, or has lied about the nature of the event to the other. There could also be a joint agreement not to discuss the event, but what if it happens again, or one of the partners loses trust in the other, because he or she knows something happened, but the other person will not discuss it. If an experience happens on a date, this may make futher dates a problem.
Sometimes a spouse or lover is abducted from the same bed, but the partner is allowed to sleep on and may remain sleeping even when the person abducted is brought back. This provides already a dilemma since the person taken can decide to talk about it or not. Or they may question whether it really happened. In one case known to me, both persons were sitting on a seaplane dock, and the woman who was taken was upset that the man did nothing to protect her. Of course, the other person may have been “frozen” and have remained unaware, but not everyone is familiar with this scenario. In this particular case, the woman decided not to socialize with other males because she had not been protected, although even if the male was aware, he may not have been able to do anything.
Children who are abducted may talk about the event with their parents, who may feel that the abduction was imaginary, and say so to their child. The child may feel that they have little support or think the parent is unwilling to engage with the reality that seems so evident to them. If the parent is also an experiencer, the parent may not wish to tell the child that they, too, get abducted. It is a dilemma for the parent to acknowledge also that their child may be abducted since most parents try to discourage their children from thinking that there may be monsters under the bed, in the closet, or elsewhere nearby.
As children grow into teenagers and young adults, they may try to re-negotiate the abduction events and may insist to their parents that their experiences are real, even if the parents are reluctant to acknowledge this as a possibility. Parents who later confess to believing the reality to which their children have been exposed may lose credibility in the child’s eyes. If a parent does not acknowledge their child’s experiences, the child may look for others who will acknowledge it: teachers, Sunday school officials, friends, others they may “meet” online, and so forth. Not all these contacts may be friendly or safe. Notably, pedophiles will offer intimacy as part of grooming activities. Or others may seek to take advantage of the child’s need to share for their own purposes.
Books, Flms and Toys
The child who can read can also look up flying saucers in the school library (or its digital counterpart). Many of the books by Strieber, Hopkins, or others may be available for listening via books on disc, etc. Many experiencers have mentioned a sense of shock coming across Whitley Strieber’s book Communion in a bookstore, even though the “grey” depicted on the cover bares only a marginal resemblance to the real thing.
Also rare are the toy stores that do not have a play or model “alien” available for purchase. And children are also furious circulators of all types of information, true, false, and imaginary. “E.T.” whether the original trademarked version or otherwise, may be around to provide guidance for the doubtful. Also, if the child reads a book, is he or she or they likely to think aliens are fun or scary?
The Local UFO “Expert”
The child or adult who seeks guidance may find that there is someone local who has read multiple books and thus has become a “believer” or even an “expert” on the subject. (Experts, read more books!). Whatever the nature of belief that this person has, then that will be model this person promotes. Are aliens coming to save us, devour us, or genetically engineer us? Is it going to be “War of the Worlds,” or “E.T.” or “Close Encounters of the Third Kind?”
Alien Abduction Support Group
I remember perusing in a book store a book titled something like “Welcome to the New Age.” There was a page called “Welcome to your local “Alien Abduction Support Group.” Well, there are support groups for believers and experiencers alike in many places. Here, at least, one can meet others who have had, at least on the surface, similar experiences. Are their experiences more real, and if they are real, are they more scary, more spiritual, or what? On the whole, though, it is good to have some cognitive support, even if others’ experiences are not quite the same as our own. Easier to negotiate even with someone else who has met those from the Pleiades than people who refuse to believe that there are any aliens at all.
Somewhere along the line, one may meet a hypnotist or someone who can hypnotize you, and there is the possibility or even the reality of recovering memories from the “missing time” period. This provides not only serious social support but also the possibility of opening the secret vault. Like anything else, however, hypnotists come with various levels of training and expertise. My recommendation is to use somebody who does this for a living, rather than someone who just happens to have a knack for it. And good luck finding someone with an open mind. Also, you need to think seriously before opening the vault of secrets. Is this going to make your life better or not? Are you ready to deal with this now, or would it better to wait?
Budd Hopkins, Intruders: The Incredible Visitations at Copley Woods (1987)
Debbie Jordan and Kathy Mitchell, Abducted: The Story of the Intruders Continues (1994)
Kathleen Marden, Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience (2007)
Robert Hastings and Bob Jacobs, Confession: Our Hidden Alien Abductions Revealed (2019)
Raymond Fowler, The Andreasson Legacy: UFOs and the Paranormal: The Startling Conclusion to the Andreasson Affair.(1997)
Steve Aspin, Out of Time: The Intergenerational Abduction Program Explored (2022)