Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Significance of Time in UFO Sightings and Alien Abduction Experiences

Time distortions play an important role in many UFO sightings and in nearly all alien abduction experiences. For example:

  • Abductees report episodes of 'missing' time and time distortion most of the time. Sometimes they find themselves unable to account for several hours on a routine trip. Sometimes abductees report feeling like days have passed during the experience when the actual amount of time that passed was hours or minutes.
  • UFO sightings are also sometimes accompanied by time distortions. One especially fascinating distortion (which is by no means universal) involves the stoppage of time. Watches, car ignitions, and digital displays shut down in the presence of a UFO, but often time itself also seems to have stopped. When the vehicle clock is checked again, the sighting seems to have occurred outside of time, as if time itself had stopped, not just the watch.
  • When UFOs at a distance are sighted by pilots and others, the motion of the UFO is often described as jerky or "like a stone skipping on water." In other words, the UFO does not always move in a straight fluid line. Instead it seems to appear one place, then another, then another, with gaps in between, in much the same way that film appears when the reel is slowed way down. Kevin Arnold, who is often credited with the having seen the first UFO (I think this is not correct but it is a standard description) explained the movement of the objects he saw as jerky in this way. Some observers describe it as the UFO 'blinking in and out.'
  • When veteran ufologist John Keel first reported the Men In Black phenomena, he noted that the way these 'men' dressed and spoke, as well as the cars they tended to drive, were 'off' in terms of time. That is, the clothing was from the 40s or 50s, the cars were from that era also, and the slang used was dated to the point of being sometimes comical.
  • One of the most frequently used non-explanations of UFO sightings and alien abductions is temporal lobe epilepsy. The temporal lobe is the part of the brain that processes incoming verbal information and memory, and also, our sense of time.
It seems to me that this might be a clue to what is going on with at least some the more unusual sightings, the ones that can't be explained in other ways. I'm not sure the answer is as simple as 'time travel'. But I do think that in many of the stranger examples, distortions of time are important.

Theoretical physics has already discovered that time is more than a sequence of causal events arranged like a line through space.

Human beings perceive time this way, but that isn't how physicists necessarily understand it. We have to be careful about taking complex ideas and reducing them to New Age blather, but then again, it seems that something genuine is going on here. We just don't know what it is.


I'd like to go on, but I'm not a physicist and I don't have... um, time.

But it's something to consider, no?