Alien Abductions: Creating a Modern Phenomenon

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Prometheus Books, 1998 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 317 pages
Beginning in the 1960s, and reaching a crescendo in recent years, thousands of seemingly normal people have come forward with bizarre tales of alien abduction. But while the abduction phenomenon has become a deeply ingrained aspect of our popular culture, many questions remain: What are the origins of the abduction experience? Have the stories changed or developed over the years, or have they stayed consistent in a manner that would strengthen their claims to authenticity? What role, if any, do abduction researchers and authors play in the formation of these narratives? And perhaps most importantly, why has the abduction phenomenon been so widely embraced by contemporary society? In his reading of the major abduction narratives, Matheson discusses the shifting nature of the alien visitors - from angelic benefactors to sinister exploiters - and reveals the crucial role that abduction researchers and authors have played in shaping the abductees stories. He also discusses the various rhetorical devices and literary strategies that have been routinely employed in the process of imposing a narrative consistency and coherence on what are often fragmented, jumbled, and contradictory accounts. When the original abductee accounts are set apart from these narrative devices, the tales that emerge are often far different from those the public has heard. In accounting for the current popular fascination with the topic, Matheson holds that stories of alien abduction may well represent the genesis of a powerful contemporary myth.

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UFO Abductions and the Nature of Narrative

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abductee's abduction accounts abduction authors abduction experience abduction narratives abduction phenomenon abductors Alfred Hitchcock Presents alien abduction Allagash Allagash Abductions alleged abductees allegedly Allen Hynek Although amnesia Andreasson Affair Ann Druffel appear aspects attempt Barney Barney Hill Barney's believe Betty Andreasson Betty Hill Betty's Billy Meier Bob Luca Budd Hopkins Carl Jung cerned claims Clyde Kluckhohn Communion concerning confabulation contactees course credibility CSICOP Curtis Peebles David Jacobs Donald Keyhoe dream Druffel ences encounter evidence extraterrestrial extraterrestrial hypothesis fact fantasy feature fetus flying saucer Forbidden Planet Fowler Fuller fundamentalist Christian G. S. Kirk George Adamski Hans-Georg Gadamer Hayden White Hill abduction Hills himself Hopkins's Howard Rich human human sexuality hypnosis hypnotist hypnotized Ibid ical Indeed Interrupted Journey Island Earth Jacobs Jacobs's Jacques Ellul Jacques Vallee Jenny Randles John Fuller John Mack Kathie Kathie Davis Kathie's Keith Thompson Kenneth Ring Kilburn laparoscopy later Lonnie Zamora Mack Mack's Magonia Martin Orne memories Men in Black MUFON UFO Journal Mutual UFO Network myste myth NICAP Northrop Frye nothing occurred Omega Project out-of-body experiences panspermia paranormal Philip Klass physical poltergeist possibility presumably question Raymond Fowler readers recalled riences roborate Rogo Ron Hubbard Sara science fiction films seem sense sessions sexual sexual abuse shaman sighting similar Simon simply skeptical Skeptical Inquirer story strange Strieber telepathic temporal lobe testimony though tion told Travis Walton Tujunga UFO Abductions University of Saskatchewan Villas-Boas virtually visitors Walton Walton Experience Watchers Whitley Strieber Zeta Reticuli

About the author (1998)

Terry Matheson (Saskatoon, SK) is Professor of English at the University of Saskatchewan, and a scholar of science fiction and film.

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