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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

What Are The Odds?

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 7/22/2024
Posted: 3/17/2006
Page Views: 7172
Topics: #AlienAbductions
What are the actual symptoms of being an abductee, and what percentage of the population has them?

My life settled into a new pattern. I spent every other week or so in a new city, training corporate mainframe programmers to write Windows applications; in between I worked at home on materials for new classes or writing a technical book or pieces for Component Developer Journal, for which I was Contributing Editor. Thanks to my new laptop, I was often able to write while out-of-town teaching, as well. No one seemed to guess to look at me that I was being contacted by aliens on a regular basis. Or if anyone did, no one mentioned it.

And yet it was constantly in the back of my mind, far more consuming than being gay had ever been, although the similarity in both being personal truths that I'd kept secret from the general public was obvious.

Grand Canyon Pumpkin Springs

To adjust myself to the new income bracket that came with being an instructor, as well as my status as a divorced dad, I decided to take each of my kids on a separate vacation. This would give me a chance to know them as adults. My oldest, Dottie, was first; we went rafting in Grand Canyon in 1992. This awoke in me a love for both Grand Canyon and whitewater rafting that I still possess. That first trip was short, only three days; as far as I know, there was no alien activity associated with it.

But the fact that I even considered such a thing reveals how the abductions filled my mind.

When I joined the CompuServe support group, I discovered that this is typical of abductees. I also discovered that abductees have some very surprising things in common.

So, unless I was rafting or camping or backpacking, most days I posted and read posts on the forum; Tuesdays I co-moderated the Abduction Support Group meeting.

The experience of getting to "know" people in cyberspace was different, to say the least. I learned to recognize them by their grammar, spelling, and even their typing patterns. I developed a mental feel for each person's "energy" or personality, whichever you prefer to call it. Much later, when I met a number of members in person, I found I had to get to know them all over again. People didn't tend to look like their screen names and most folks don't sound like they type.

Typically, people joined the group in a state of terror. I had many posts from prospective members describing nighttime paralysis, extraterrestrials in the bedroom, incisions and eye removals and implants of various types—mostly behind the ears, but some in arms, necks, or genitals.

As with a cancer or HIV or lupus support group, neither I nor any other member could "cure" the condition we shared. The primary benefit was twofold: Knowing we were not alone, and knowing it was possible to be an abductee and survive, even thrive.

In 1992, most Americans didn't own personal computers. Therefore the make up of the support group was not a true cross-section of the United States. We included a disproportionate number of computer programmers and other technical people; lawyers and writers were also generously represented. We all made comfortable livings; virtually all of us owned our own homes (I was an exception). This was a far cry from the media-created image of trailer-dwelling, toothless hicks who fire at UFOs with their shotguns.

Thanks to the number of technical minds in our midst, an unexpected third benefit showed up pretty quickly: Previously, all any of us knew of the abduction phenomenon came from the media and our own experiences, which hadn't been conducted under circumstances conducive to analysis. Now we were free to share information and correlate it, often coming to conclusions not found in any of the books or heard on the talk shows.

One of the things we discovered was that we had certain things in common. While most were related to the abduction phenomenon, a few seemed unrelated but nevertheless showed up as "markers". These were traits or experiences that we seemed to share to a higher percentage than the general population. Note that possessing one of these markers doesn't mean you are an abductee; just that the odds are greater that you are one compared to the general population.

Sensitivity to Static Electricity

Static electricity

For some reason, a majority of the group members reported really hating to get zapped by static electricity, you know, those shocks you get usually when it's cool and dry and you've just dragged your feet over a wool carpet. We also noted that we often build up a static charge while those accompanying us do not.

Setting Off Airport Security Alarms

It sounds silly, but those of us who travel a lot noticed that, when we went through airport magnetic detectors, we often set off the alarm even though we weren't carrying any metal. When the guard used the special wands on us, we would trigger its alarm at odd spots, like an elbow or side of the waist.

We also noted that this was most pronounced the day after a contact.

A Figure By The Bed

Alien standing at foot of bed.

Most of us had a childhood memory of awakening to find a figure by the bed. In some cases it caused panic, sometimes, delight—it depends, I think, on how one was raised to deal with the unexpected and with strangers. Some kids thought they'd seen an angel or even their guardian angel; some thought it was the bogeyman.

In fact, if you think about it, the "bogeyman" may actually be an alien. What sense does "monsters under the bed" make? And so all children fear a bogeyman? Perhaps we all need to pay more attention to what our children tell us.

An Invisible Friend

Many abductees reported having had an invisible friend, and not just as a child, either. If you feel a close presence to you, so close and so live that you can talk to it and maybe even get answers—well, it might be more real than you think.

When my daughter, Karen, was four years old, she had an "invisible" friend named Charlie. She and Charlie would spend hours sitting and talking. Of course, we could only see Karen. But Karen could describe him in detail and, as an adult, still remembers him. On occasion, her mother and I would be unable to find Karen for an hour or two. But we never worried, get this—because we knew she was with Charlie! We actually said that, and I never realized how preposterous and irresponsible that sounds until just now when I typed it.

Childhood and/or Spousal Abuse

Emotional Abuse

For some reason, my research showed that nearly all abductees were abused as children—not necessarily sexually, but physically or emotionally. Many of them also married abusive spouses, which is common for formerly abused children to do anyway. I don't know whether this is an "attractor" or a "result," but as a marker it's a common one.

Of course, it's also possible that there is a terrifyingly high rate of child and spousal abuse. And there is; but it just seemed to me, as I chatted with other abductees, that it seemed to be a higher percentage.

Disappearing Fetuses

Disappearing pregnancies

An unbelievable number of female abductees reported carrying an unborn baby that had vanished, with no evidence of miscarriage. This happens so often doctors have a term for it. They call it "spontaneous re-absorption of the fetus," as if that explains it. However, no one has ever examined a woman in the process of "reabsorbing" an embryo! The fetuses just disappear in between examinations. Doctors also have no explanation for why it might happen.



Many abductees are twins; sometimes the other twin is an abductee as well; sometimes, not. Also several cases were reported to me of women who were told they were pregnant with twins—both babies were seen on ultrasound—but one mysteriously disappeared (see above) before delivery.

Four Siblings

4 Siblings

Many abductees are one of four siblings, and/or have four children. This happens with abductees more often than it statistically should, although I have no explanation for it. Sometimes one of the siblings died young (in my case, a third sister died of SIDS at 1½ years of age).

Odd Fantasy Life

Odd fantasy life

A number of abductees have odd fantasies they would never tell anyone about—but they have them, and they enjoy them. For example, you're driving down the street alone and you pretend that a man from another time or planet is in the car with you, so you describe every thing you see and do to him, understanding that he has no context for understanding your everyday life.

I have no way of knowing how often this happens in the general (non-abductee) population, but I bet it isn't often.

Scars and Bruises

Scoop mark

Often the first thing that comes to an abductee's attention that something isn't right, is scars he or she can't account for. Most common are "scoop" marks on the legs or a small diagonal cut on the chin or a divot on the temple. Next time you walk down a busy city street, check out people's chins and temples. You'll be astonished at how many of them have the same, identical scar! Other suspicious scars are straight-line, precision cuts, and collections of puncture marks, especially if they are "arranged" in a pattern.

Abductees often have bruises they can't account for, especially in the morning when they wake up. You'd have to have a lot more interesting sex life than I do to awaken with some of the bruises I have had, unless there's something going on you don't remember—like an abduction.

Especially note black-and-blue marks that do not hurt. The first time this happens have them checked; the normally accepted medical cause for painless hematomas (the official term) is leukemia. Once you've written that off as an explanation, medical science doesn't have one—but science fiction has.



Think about it: We "all know" that nosebleeds are a "common childhood affliction;" yet why should that be? What use is it? Did you ever see a baby chimpanzee or gorilla or puppy or any other juvenile animal with a nosebleed?

Abductees have reported implants being inserted into the nasal sinuses through a nostril (among other places). Some of these implants have been retrieved. Sometimes, apparently, the aliens don't do their work as carefully as they might and a nosebleed results. It would seem they experience the same range of competency among their doctors as we do among ours. Unfortunately, you can't sue an alien for malpractice.

Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome

Abduction PTSD

That's the illness that strikes people who've undergone acute stress, like service in Viet Nam, time in a concentration camp, or working for the Trump campaign. Symptoms include acute anxiety, fear of odd things (like a certain stretch of road or a certain time of night), either fascination with or revulsion of UFO or alien literature, awakening in terror at the same time every night. Less frequently it includes obsessive or compulsive behaviors, like "pinning" the bedroom curtains closed, or being unable to sleep without a light, the radio or the TV on (sometimes all three).

Missing Time

Missing Time

I described this previously. The typical scenario is: Bob announces he's going to the 7-Eleven to pick up some Pepsi; the 7-Eleven is on the corner, but Bob doesn't come back for two hours—and, usually, no one in the family notices until several days later or not at all. Even if Bob came back with a scar. Even if he forgot to buy the pEPSI.

Inability to Wear a Watch


Many abductees find that watches either don't keep proper time when they wear them, or they actually break. An abductee I met in Florida once showed his watch collection: a whole dresser drawer full of stopped, useless timepieces. Over the years people had given him watches as gifts; and he'd made several tries at buying one for himself. They were analog and digital, hand-wound and battery, cheap and expensive—probably about forty watches in all. Every one of them broke within a week of his putting it on.

In my case, I long ago gave up wearing a watch. But at the time the contacts were taking place, I had two computers, with an electronic clock in each one. The clock in whichever one I was using became inaccurate, while the other one kept perfect time! It's not consistent, either—sometimes it's fast, sometimes slow. Usually by minutes, sometimes by hours. The clock kept accurate time if a guest used that computer.

(Computers nowadays correct their clocks automatically from the Internet. As do our cell phones. Which means now, finally, I can use my cell phone as a watch.)

Sleep Paralysis

This is a condition where you awaken from sleep, in terror, but with your voluntary muscles absolutely rigid. Your heart pounds, you sweat; you may hear noises as if someone is in the room with you. But you can't move and you can't scream. After a while the feeling passes. Some people report that they try to make a noise and, once they succeed, the "spell" is broken. Sometimes they can't see even after they regain their ability to move, until they've turned on a light.

The standard "explanation" for sleep paralysis is that it's harmless, a result of a misbehaving "switch" that prevents our bodies from running or talking when we run or talk in our dreams. The idea is that sometimes, when we awaken, the switch doesn't re-engage right away so we lie awake, paralyzed, and, finding we are paralyzed, become terror-stricken.

This is only a theory. No one has ever found this "switch" or knows how it might work. No one has been able to make it misbehave intentionally. And when I ran a computer search of the records of the Library of Congress I was unable to turn up even one case of sleep paralysis occurring under laboratory conditions!

What's more, films of people sleeping show that we move around all night long, every eight minutes on the average. If we don't, we lose circulation in an arm or leg. So the whole "switch" theory really doesn't hold water.

Feeling of Displacement


Many abductees feel, and have felt since childhood, that they did not belong to their families, to Earth, or even to the human race. Abductees often feel like outsiders, even apart of their status as abductees.

When I was ten, I used to badger my Mom: "Isn't it possible there was a mix-up at the hospital, so I'm not really your kid?" Of course, this hurt my mother's feelings terribly. She didn't realize that it wasn't that I didn't want to be her son; I just knew I was from another planet. Of course, at the time I hoped the planet was Krypton; but the principle's the same.

Psychic Ability

Psychic abilities

(Here's the "trick entry" that will make any hardware-oriented, UFO buff stop reading!) Abductees are always psychic; so far I haven't met any exceptions. Well, there is my friend, Ray, who claimed his "intuition" tells him he has no psychic powers. But other than that, abductees seem adept at telepathy, clairvoyance, even psychokinesis. These are not parlor tricks with us; they are a normal, accepted part of our everyday lives and we use these skills as we would any other to survive the day and make a living.

For example, I got a reputation early on as the guy to debug other people's programs. I never had the patience to actually read the code; I flipped open giant listings and always "knew" which line was at fault. I'd fix that line and the program would work. I could tell the faulty line of code, without even knowing what it was supposed to do, because it would "look out-of-place" to me somehow.

Foreknowledge of the End of the World

End of the world

Nearly all abductees believe the "End of the World" will come in their lifetimes. They may foresee global cataclysm, or nuclear war, or (back in 1992) Y2K; but whatever doom they picture, they are certain it will happen.

Now I'll grant you, you don't have to be an abductee to know these are dicey times. Still—if you've got this vision you can specify how, when and where. You are also likely to believe you will survive the cataclysm, and that your job is to help others survive as well.

Abductees in the Family

Nearly all abductees have a family member who either is definitely an abductee, or who fits many of the above traits. Abductions take place in families. Although not everyone in the family is necessarily an abductee, having an abductee in the family, like having a parent who's a whiner, increases the odds that you'll be one, too.


The fact that abductions occur as a family trait provides a vital clue as to what the phenomenon is really about.