With UFOs seemingly being rediscovered by the mainstream media this year, one major newspaper is asking why alien abductions seem to be a thing of the past.
A lengthy piece at the Boston Globe, provocatively titled 'Why alien abductions are down dramatically,' attempts to understand the current state of the controversial phenomenon.
As one might assume, the article takes a decidedly skeptical stance on the subject, searching for answers beyond aliens for what may be behind the abduction phenomenon.
The conclusion for why abductions do not seem as prevalent today as they did during the heyday of the phenomenon in the 1980's and 90's appears to be threefold.
It argues that we don't hear more about alien abductions because people have begun to understand the potential scientific explanations for abduction 'symptoms,' 9/11 causing a downturn in paranormal popularity and a suggestion that encounters with alien entities is a ultimately a condition of the mind.
While these factors certainly have merit, there are also deeper issues facing the field, on a research level, which go unaddressed in the piece.
One significant factor for what appears to be a downturn in abductions is the upheaval which befell the research field in the mid-2000's.
With the death of Dr. John Mack in 2004 and the subsequent passing of Budd Hopkins in 2011, abduction research lost its two most prominent advocates and public faces for the phenomenon.
The loss of Mack's gravitas as a Harvard psychiatrist researching alien abductions was particularly damaging because those who wish to dismiss the phenomenon no longer had to contend with the work of such a credible, in the eyes of the mainstream, proponent for looking at the enigma.
Additionally, abduction research has also been besieged by questions surrounding the veracity and usefulness of regression hypnosis, leading the UFO field to distance itself from the phenomenon in favor of pursuing answers from the government.
Were Mack and Hopkins still alive, it's unquestionable that the abduction field would be in an entirely different and likely much better place than it is today.
And while there are still abduction researchers doing tremendous work, the field is struggling to rebuild itself in the wake of both the tribulations of the last decade as well as the reasons cited in the Globe piece.
To that end, nowhere in the article is there actually any evidence that abductions are, in fact, 'down dramatically.'
The case may actually be that alien abductions have not diminished, but simply that the field has only just begun regaining its proverbial voice.
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Source: Boston Globe