My short story collection, From Elsewhere, contains six tales of unearthly vistiors. ‘Them‘ is a story about alien abduction. Everyone has heard of this phenomenon. Is it real, or does it have a secret origin?
Before accounts of abductions by alien beings entered into the public domain, another kind of abduction scenario was known throughout various cultures – especially England and Ireland. These tales of interactions with fairies (or faeries as was the ancient spelling) are remarkably similar to modern accounts of interactions with those other ‘diminutive folk’, the Greys from – allegedly – the Zeta Reticuli star system. Could these tales be based upon knowledge of early interaction between humans and aliens?
From very early times there have been traditions of mortals carried away into faerieland. Often this mortal was a human baby, taken from its mother’s side – shades of the implantation/hybridisation programme carried out by the Greys. The hybrid parallel comes into this comparison in more ways than one.
Faeries were believed, almost more than anything else, to be obsessive about the possession of human children. Infants would be stolen, and duplicate ‘changelings’ put in their place, though the trick was often found out. Mentions of thefts of babies are to be found in the medieval chronicles of Ralph of Coggeshall.
From early classical times there have been numerous legends of the visits of goddesses and nymphs to human mortals, and their loving intercourse with them, though always ending tragically for the human – the mother usually dying or seeing the infant spirited away to the faeries’ world. So what were these beings actually believe to be?
In England, Scotland, and Ireland, the small ‘people’ were believe to be the spirits of the dead, though in Wales they are simply described as being half way between something material and spiritual. The spiritual nature of aliens is often referred to in modern-day as abduction accounts, many abductees have recalled that, on some occasions, they are taken spiritually rather than physically. An Isle of Man resident wrote in The Nature of Fairies that ‘Fairies are spirits. A man below here forgot his cow, and at a late hour went to look for her, and saw that crowds of fairies like children were with him. It is interesting to note here that in modern abduction accounts our Zeta Reticulan friends are often likened to ‘children’.
When does alien abduction occur? The research shows that it is during the hypnogogic state – the state between being awake and asleep – that the tagged person is taken. In this state, the brain is in ‘alpha wave’, referring to the type of brain activity we lapse into during the hypnogogic state. This seems to attract/suit the aliens. When in this state, it seems, abductees can be transported, mollified, and eventually made to forget the entire occurrence.
Curiously, in Amelia and the Dwarfs (1870), author Juliana Horatia Ewing says in order to see one of the little folk, ‘you must be a little sleepy – but not too sleepy to keep your eyes open, mind. Well, and you ought to feel a little – what one may call ‘fairyish’. The Scots call it ‘eerie’.’
There was no technology during the times of these stories, so an explanation of this phenomenon would have to have manifest itself in a way digestible to the people of the time. Obviously, elaboration and corruption will occur in the telling of any tale, but the basic similarities are intriguing.