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Dear Moira

There is evidence that some people 'remember' UFO or alien abduction experiences under hypnotic regression.

But then again, people have been seeing all sorts of weird things for thousands of years. Angels, demons, gods, fairies, goblins, aliens, witches...they've all been seen by crazy people and they've all been seen by plain, ordinary people who would never have believed it if they hadn't seen it 'with their own eyes'.

There are three difficulties with regard to what you end up believing about all this.

The first difficulty is that, under certain circumstances, normal people can hallucinate.

The second difficulty is that people tend to see what they expect to see--or tend not to see what they don't expect to see.

I'm not suggesting that UFO phenomena aren't real. I'm saying that probably they are mental phenomena. There are lots of other real things that don't physically exist. If you don't believe me, try to catch the number '3' in a box! Or any other idea.

Of course most UFO sightings can be explained by actual physical events in the sky like high flying balloons or Jupiter rising. But many we cannot explain at all.

The scientist Carl Sagan proved that UFOs couldn't be physical spacecraft from elsewhere in the galaxy. Just one of them would require more energy to get here than is produced in the United States in a 100 years.

Now we come to the third difficulty about making up your mind about all these things.

Many books, movies and magazine articles about UFOs and aliens are based on other reports. Often these reports are based on earlier reports...and so on. Usually, somewhere down the line, someone has made a mistake. Or they have deliberately changed something or made a report based on unreliable evidence. Eventually a whole series of amazing things can be written that sound fun (or scary) to believe but are basically untrue.

So keep a healthy dose of skepticism about UFOs and such like.

And what about the people who say they have had buried memories of alien abductions revealed under hypnosis? Again, there is an intriguing explanation.

Well, what do you think about all this?

Yours sincerely 

Virginia R. Claire

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