A recent study by researchers in Russia suggests that lucid dreams, in which those affected are partially conscious and can control their dreams while asleep, may explain the stories of alien abductions told by many people.
Thousands of people have already claimed to have been the victims of alien abduction. These allegations date back to the 19th century, but they multiplied after the 1960s. Perhaps one of the most famous accounts is that of Barney and Betty Hill, an American couple claiming to have been kidnapped by little gray men in New Hampshire. in September 1961. In general, the circumstances of these kidnappings often seem dreamlike and trigger feelings of terror and paralysis among those concerned.
Certain dream states, mainly lucid dreams, are also known to produce such feelings. During these dreams, sleepers are aware that they are dreaming and can then use this awareness to manipulate what is happening in the dream. According to a study published five years ago in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, about 55% of people have lucid dreams once or more in their lifetime, and 23% have lucid dreams at least once a month.
In a recent study, researchers at the Phase Research Center in Russia wondered if certain dream experiences could explain the reported experiences. Their work was published July 2 in the International Journal of Dream Research.
“I saw an alien looking for me”
For this study, the researchers recruited 152 people who claimed to have already experienced a lucid dream. They asked each to try to “find or summon aliens or UFOs” during their usual night’s sleep at home. They then discovered that 114 of these volunteers (around 75%) had successfully experienced an alien dream or alien abduction.
Of this sample, 61% of subjects said the characters they encountered looked like aliens from science fiction movies and novels, while 19% encountered aliens who looked like “ordinary people”. About 12% of the participants spoke with aliens in their dreams and interacted with them physically. Finally, 4% said they were invisible. Up to 28% of these dreams also involved a UFO, while 10% of these dreams took place inside these vessels.
“I saw an alien looking for me,” one participant said. “He was the proportions of a person with a long head and gray skin, big eyes and no nose. I then remembered that it was a dream, but I couldn’t get out of the plot of the dream because of the fear. ”
Another participant also details “small, smooth-skinned men of blue color, human-sized, with large non-standard heads and huge bulging black eyes.” She continues: “Their arms were long. Their fingers were also stretched out, four fingers on each hand. I went upstairs and the phrase “Don’t be afraid, we’re friends” popped into my head.
Lucid dreams “might” be the explanation
Finally, among those who described their encounters as “realistic”, 24% also experienced sleep paralysis and intense fear. As said above, such emotions often accompany reports of alleged alien abductions.
Also, for the authors, “although the individuals who describe being kidnapped by extraterrestrials can truly believe their story, these people were probably experiencing an extraterrestrial encounter in a lucid dream”. The feelings of paralysis, fear and helplessness in lucid dreams can indeed be so powerful that they blur the line between dreams and reality.
However, let us note certain limitations to the study. On the one hand, all of these experiences were self-reported by the participants and the study was conducted online (not in the lab). Also, and more importantly, just because people can actually dream of alien abductions does not necessarily mean that all of those experiences have to be the product of dreams.