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Have I Been Abducted by Space Aliens?

Above: the reason why I answered 'yes' to the questions about UFOs giving you scary dreams. Some of this stuff is creepier than all hell.

I can remember once in high school, screwing around on the internet, finding a list of things that might indicate that you have the reincarnated soul of some sort of space priest. Or something. I remember reading it, and realizing how many of the things applied to me, and thinking how nice it would be to believe that I was a truly special individual. Even then, however, cynicism and skepticism, the hot older sisters of rationality, were with me, and I was instantly struck by the fact that all of those things could apply to anyone.

I don’t remember much about that list beyond the vague introduction I gave above. However, I have managed to find something similar: a list of possible signs that you have been abducted by space aliens. As a tribute to my high-school self, I hope you won’t think it tedious of me to go through the list, point by point, and examine them.

The list was found at the popular new age website found here.

Items from the original list appear in bold yellow, and my running commentary appears below. Other than that, the list has not been edited in any way. All the “signs” are there, and even the ones with grammatical errors have not been changed.

Possible Signs That You Have Been Abducted

· Feeling you are Special or Chosen or have an important task to perform
This is one that I remember verbatim from the list I found in high school. Let me be absolutely clear: thinking you’re special doesn’t mean that you were at one point abducted by space aliens. It means that you have good self esteem, bordering on a bit of arrogance. This sign definitely applies to me: I think I’m a pretty good guy, and I have a very important task to perform. Thinking you're better than others doesn't make you a space man. It makes you kind of an asshole.

· Have a memory of having a special place with spiritual significance, when you were a youngster
It would be a very sad childhood if you couldn’t recall a special place from when you were young. The first things to leap to mind for me are the little plywood clubhouse my friends and I built under our deck, to say nothing of the little log fort we built way out in the woods. There was also the local creek, where we’d try and catch crawdads. I don’t know if I’d call it spiritual per se, but these were the places where I fell in love with the forest, which is surely a spiritual thing, so...

· Fear or anxiety over the subject of aliens or UFOs
I’m not going to lie: UFOs and space aliens scare the hell out of me. So do movies about chainsaw murderers and dinosaurs with lots of teeth that, somehow, can open doors. Anyway, I have no reason to think that Jason is going to come after me with a pack of velociraptors, and I have no reason to believe that UFOs are real. If you don’t get occasionally spooked by the thought of space aliens, thank you for reading this article, Mr. Toughest Man In The World.

· Sensitivity to issues affecting the Earth, its environment and all life forms than other people
Some time in 2000, Al Gore used a red-hot soldiering iron to sear the words GLOBAL WARMING and OZONE HOLES directly onto our brains. Being sensitive to issues affecting the earth doesn’t mean you’ve been abducted by aliens. It means that you’ve seen a movie, read a newspaper, or listened to the radio some time in the last 20 years. While I don’t, you know, grow my own hemp clothing and eat only free-trade rainwater grown rutebegas, I’d still consider myself fairly concerned. Just like the vast majority of the population of the world.

· Fear of being kidnapped or abnormal constantly monitoring of your surroundings
I monitor my surroundings the way that shut-ins monitor the internet: constantly, thoroughly, and without stop. Fear of being kidnapped doesn’t mean you were actually previously kidnapped by space aliens; it means you’ve paid attention to the world around you and realized that there is only slightly less than a 100% chance that you will be kidnapped, shot, stabbed, gassed, or robbed at some point in your life. Just to prove how abnormally I monitor my surroundings, let me say this: I’ve positioned all the furniture in my apartment so that I can see all the windows and the door, no matter where I am sitting, at any given time. Even when I wake up in the morning, I can remember what was going on when I was asleep: part of my brain stays awake and makes sure there’s no one sneaking up on me.

· Insomnia or sleep disorders which are puzzling to you
According to a commercial for a drug that people probably don’t really need, but that the big pharmaceutical companies have a stockpile of and would like to sell, at least two-thirds of the population will experience some sort of sleep disorder during their life. Even the absolutely most paranoid UFO enthusiast will not claim that many people have been abducted.

Personally, I can’t understand why, no matter what time I set my alarm clock for, I wake up precisely 1 minute earlier, jump out of bed, and run over to turn it off. I also can’t explain why I sleepwalk or why I talk in my sleep. (I only know about these things due to the testimony of a former roommate and an ex-girlfriend who claims I once sat straight up in bed, said “Yummy. Napalm.” And laid back down.)

· Must sleep against the wall or must sleep with your bed against a wall
Not only do I sleep against the wall, I always sleep facing the door to my room. Personally, I think that the cause of this is that I live in West Philadelphia; this means that there’s about a 50/50 chance that I’ll have to fight a burglar some day, and I intend to be prepared for it. If you consider the fact that having your bed against the wall maximizes the space available in a room, you’ve just told every college student in the world that they might have been abducted by space aliens.

· Paralyzed in bed with a being in your room
A few times, in my previous apartment, I would wake up suddenly, convinced there was a person in my room. I don’t recall being paralyzed, but I do remember once thinking that I’d gone blind. Anyway, I’m not really sure why this occurred, but other people have told me it’s a relatively common sleep disorder, usually caused by being worried about the violence and crime levels of the area that you live in, thus preventing you from sleeping properly.

· Dreams of flying or being outside your body
This one is easy. I used to play a videogame called Tribes II. It was great; my favorite part of it was flying the little fighter aircraft. When I was a sophomore in college, I played it pretty much every day, and I can distinctly remember a week where I would dream I was in the game, pwnzing teh nubs. Which is to say, I would dream I was flying around in a graphically poor gray flying machine, bombing guys with jetpacks on some frozen planet. After that week, I cut back on playing the game, and that went away. However, I do occasionally dream that I am on a strange airplane that is trying to take off from a freeway, and I’m terribly concerned that the wings will clip a power line or something. So put me down for “yes” for flying dreams, and “not really” for being outside of my body.

· Dreams of passing through a closed window or solid wall
Actually, this has never occurred to me. Not only that, but there’s nothing that has happened to me that I can rationalize to fit this. So, score one for you, UFO enthusiasts.

· Dreams about seeing UFOs, being inside UFOs, or interacting with UFO occupants
I’ve dreamt of UFOs before. Usually, just flying around in the sky, invisible, in them. And why has this happened to me? Because I spend my spare time reading and writing about UFOs. Face it: if you think about something enough, you’ll dream about it, but that doesn’t make it any more real.

As a comparison, let me ask you if you’ve ever seen the show The Iron Chef. You may recognize that name as where I have stolen my name from. As a show it’s absolutely amazing; two supercooks go up against each other with a special theme ingredient. They have an hour to use the ingredient to make a five-course meal, and the tastier is the victor. Anyway, I once dreamt that I was on a show called The Iron Chemist. The special ingredient was Tungsten. As I recall, I made a lightbulb and some sort of electrical thing.

The point is that in your dreams, you do weird stuff. I dream that I’m on an insane chemistry related cooking game show because I read about chemistry all day and watch awesome TV by night. The same is true about dreaming of UFOs.

· Dreams of doctors or medical procedures
I once dreamt that I built robots in my basement, and they contained the reincarnated souls of human beings. Then, when I didn’t need them anymore, I’d perform horrible, torturous medical procedures on them. To this day, I have absolutely no explanation for this, aside from the fact that I’d watched a few episodes of Futurama that day. Whatever it was, that shit spooked me. Who in the hell has a dream like that? I wasn’t right for days. So yes, put a big check mark next to me in the “medical procedures” column.

· Dreams of destruction or catastrophe
When I was in high school, I had a single reoccurring dream, wherein I was wearing a thick protective suit, the kind you’d see on nuclear technicians or something, and that I was walking across a devastated city. The sky was orange, the ground was red, and the buildings were burning, crumbling to the ground around me. It always ended the same way: I’d make my way to a river of orangey-yellow slime and walk in, convinced that I had to get someplace. I’d swim the river, occasionally climbing onto semi-solid chunks of what was once earth, and though it seemed odd at the time that I could breathe underwater, the thing that always spooked me when I woke up was that this occurred in absolute, total, terrible silence. Think I’m making this up? We had to write a short story in a French class I took once, and I wrote this dream out, because the vivid colors were easy to translate.

Anyway, I’ve had other dreams of destruction. There was the one where I tortured a robot that had a human soul, and one where I was in Vietnam, fighting in a vast grassy field. Let’s just summarize this by saying that I have supped full with horrors, direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts, cannot once start me. And as for this one being fairly universal, I think it’s safe to say that yes, the average person has at some point had a nightmare.

· Dreams wherein superior beings, angels, or aliens are educating you about mankind, the universe, global changes or future events
I’ve been racking my brain over this one. I can recall a large number of dreams in which superior (looking) beings taught me to love (physically) but aside from that, I’ve got nothing on this sign. That being said, I suppose that I can just construe every conversation I’ve ever had in a dream to be some other being educating me about the ways of mankind. Since I remember a mob boss once giving me a tour of a stadium in a dream, I’ll say that this is true.

· A waking memory of being inside a UFO or interacting with its occupants
I’m not really sure what a waking memory is, but if you mean that I’ve woken up in the middle of a dream about being on a UFO, then yes. Since this list rather heavily relies on dreams and other things that your subconscious does that no one can explain, I’m fairly sure it’s safe to say that this has occurred to most people that read up on UFOs.

· Feeling of being watched much of the time, especially at night
Absolutely. And I think that I feel I’m being watched all the time, especially at night, for two reasons. First, I live on the ground floor of an apartment building, and for some reason am crippled by the fear that someone outside is going to glance in and see me using the bathroom or something and call the police on me. What can I say, I’m just paranoid, I guess. The second reason, and I can’t stress this enough, is that I read stuff about UFOs and space aliens with some regularity. It’s like watching a horror flick right before bed: it makes you paranoid and jumpy. In fact, since I started answering this question, I can suddenly feel a pair of eyes burning a hole in my back.

· Seeing unexplained balls of lights or beings when in bed
As mentioned above, I’ve woken up on numerous occasions thinking that there was a being in my room, and sometimes I’d swear I’ve seen someone in there with me. This is almost certainly a trick of the light combined with my own paranoia.

As far as balls of light, I can remember occasionally seeing a ball of light out of the corner of my eye when I was in my old place, but when I’d turn to look at it, it was never there. It just sort of followed me around on the periphery of my vision. This was probably an optical illusion and owes more to my eyeglasses than to space aliens.

· Beams of light outside your home, or come into your room through a window
I’m not sure how to answer this. I live in a city, which means that at any given time my entire apartment is illuminated by auto headlights. Except for when it’s a flashing hell because a fire truck, ambulance, or police car is driving by or has someone pulled over out in front of the building. So, I guess, if I were the sort of person that would suspect I was abducted by space aliens, then yes, I would interpret some of those lights as otherworldly in nature.

· Hearing unexplained physical noises
Every once in a while, especially if I am in the city, I will hear someone shouting my name. No one else ever hears it, though, and I was once told that this is some sort of psychological illusion: the brain hears what it thinks it should hear, so it interprets some meaningless sound, sometimes, as a word you know. Regardless, yes, I have heard unexplained noises in the past.

· Unexplained nosebleeds especially when you wake-up
I don’t recall having any early morning nosebleeds, but there is blood about nose-level on my pillowcase, so I will assume that this has occurred to me. This item, however, make a perfect example of something ridiculously common. “Have you ever had a nosebleed? Yes? Then you were abducted by space aliens.” I’m not impressed. Neither are reasonable people. People who want to believe that they were kidnapped by space aliens, however, would stand up and say “My god! Yes, that has happened to me!”

· Awakened to discover unexplainable marks or bruises on your body
This has happened to me. At about shin level, I have a number of strange, scabby things on both legs. I had originally assumed I was walking into stuff and thinking nothing of it, but someone else told me this is just a common, harmless dermatological disorder. That having been said, I do occasionally wake up with warts, bruises, or sore spots that I can’t really explain. You may consider this proof that I have been abducted by space aliens; I suspect the answer involves the fact that I sleep on a couch.

· Awoken with soreness in your genitals which can not be explained
First, let me say: haha! But seriously, this has happened to me on a number of occasions. I’d like to say that I really can’t explain anything that my genitals do, which is why I am no longer allowed in that cheese store at the mall. But I’d also like to say that when I wake up with a strange soreness in my reproductive organs, my first thought is not really to wonder if I’ve been abducted by space aliens. My immediate concern is usually leaping out of a window to avoid an enraged husband.

· X-rays or other procedures reveal unexplainable foreign objects lodged in your body
I can’t answer this one, because I have only recently gotten health insurance for the first time in several years. I’ve not yet gotten to see a doctor, and when I do go, it’ll just be for a pretty basic tune up. I could, however, persuasively argue that not having had any X-rays done recently is a product of my irrational fear of doctors (se below).

· Sinus trouble or migraine headaches
I have much worse stomach trouble than either of these. That having been said, while I don’t have migraines, I frequently get mild headaches. I am a terrible physical specimen. As far as sinus trouble, my nose is always so blocked up that I’m sure nothing ever has time to get to my sinuses. Just to be fair, I’ll list this as a “maybe”. It’s not really true, but if I wanted to believe hard enough, I’d be able to convince myself of it.

· Frequent or sporadic ringing in your ears, especially in one ear
I would love to know why this one is on the list. Yes, I sporadically have ringing it my right ear. Sometimes, my left ear seems to just crap out on me; it’s like listening to a stereo and one of the speakers becomes unplugged. Everything just sort of comes from one side. Anyway, I understand that this effect is relatively common and nothing to be worried about; it certainly does not imply that aliens have visited you.

· Unusual scars or marks with no possible explanation on how you received them -small scoop indentation, straight line scar, triangular marks, scars in roof of mouth, in nose, behind or in ears
Well, it’s hard for me to view the inside of my nose or behind my ears, so I can’t really comment on that. Last night I asked a friend of mine at the bar to check, and according to him, “get the hell away from me.” I’ll put that as inconclusive.

Since I was a small child, I have had an incision-like mark on the roof of my mouth. Obviously, I have no idea how it got there. Also, having just admired my form in the mirror for some time, it appears that I have a small mark under each of my armpits. They may just be fabric marks from having recently gotten out of bed, but are we really willing to take that chance?

· Unusual fear of doctors or tend to avoid medical treatment
I tend to avoid medical treatment. There are a few reasons for that: first, I’ve not ever injured myself very badly. Second, right now is the first time I’ve had health insurance in years, so I’ve sort of gotten used to it. I suppose I should go and get some of my chronic conditions checked out (one pertains to a number of small ulcers in my stomach, the other condition pertains to an oversized reproductive organ), but the way I figure it, if it’s not squirting blood, don’t go. Doctors are like everyone else in the world: they’re trying to screw you out of money. I guess it’s not that I’m afraid of doctors, it’s that I’m poor and embittered towards people in general.

· Missing or lost time
There are plenty of occasions when I’ve been puttering around in my apartment and been shocked to look at a clock and realize it’s about three or four hours later than I’d thought. This is the opposite to sitting through a thermodynamics class; a three-hour thermo class is the worst week of a person’s life.

· Compelled to drive or walk to an out of the way or unknown area
Occasionally, I get in my car and just drive, drive, drive, with no particular place in mind, and I usually end up near the suburbs where I grew up, flying past farms and through forests. This isn’t because space aliens are luring me out there. It’s because I occasionally want to get out of the city and see the country, and because I often get rather bored.

· A strange fog or haze that should not be there
That depends on what you mean by haze. If you mean a physical object, then no. If you mean feeling sort of hazy and disoriented, then yes. Especially after getting out of a night class, early in the morning, shortly after lunch, or any time when I have to run for more than a hundred feet. It’s like an impenetrable haze settles over my brain and never leaves. Am I a horrible physical specimen? Nope. I’ve been abducted by space aliens.

Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve had to walk through an inexplicable fog on a number of occasions, returning to my home from the bar. Maybe the space aliens are just waiting until I am disoriented to abduct me.

· Strange humming or pulsing sounds, and you could not identify the source
This is similar to the “ears ringing” question. Yes, this sometimes occurs to me. It also sometimes occurs to me because I live in a city; I hear weird shit going on constantly. When driving in my car, I am constantly suspicious that the engine is making strange sounds, but when I really focus on it, it doesn’t seem that they are coming from the car. Maybe it’s some weird physics stuff with wind and all that, but I’m not sure. It’s definitely odd.

· Seeing one or more UFO's up close within short walking or driving distance
Well, finally, the list is starting to get into specific things that wouldn’t happen to every single person on the face of the earth at some point of their life. That being said, no, I’ve never seen a UFO up close. Probably because I don’t want to see one so badly that I could convince myself I’ve done so.

· One or more sighting experiences

I’ve seen odd shapes or lights in the sky on occasion. However, instead of whole-heartedly believing that they’re space ships from Mars, I usually assume that they’re the more likely explanation of a helicopter, star, searchlight, airplane, or whatever. However, I could be wrong. And seriously, list maker: who in the world hasn’t seen something odd in the sky at some point? Why not just add “have two eyes and one nose on your face” to the list?

· A strong "marker memory" that will not go away (i.e.: an alien face, an examination, a needle, a table, a strange skinny baby
I don’t know what a marker memory is, exactly. I will say this, though: Watching The Iron Chef last week, I saw an eggplant that for some reason looked to me like an enormous, writhing beetle. It scared the high holy hell out of me. Since then, I have been absolutely paranoid that there are either beetles or eggplant in everything I eat. I see eggplant in my sleep now. Could it be that I saw one of the Reptilloids while on an alien space ship, and didn’t remember it until I saw that episode of a cooking show? That’s possible. It’s also possible that the next time I blow my nose, a winning lottery ticket made out of four-leaf clovers is going to shoot out of my nostril. Anyway, yes, I have a strong marker memory that was recently revealed to me, if an enormous purple beetle covered in parmesan cheese.

· DNA genetic encodings activated - increased psychic abilities
I didn’t know what this meant, so I followed the link provided on the site. I made it as far as the first sentence: “Physical reality is a consciousness program created by digital codes.” Immediately thereafter, blood shot out of my ears and I vomited so hard I almost broke a spinal vertebra. Thanks for almost killing me, numerologists. Anyway, the only psychic ability I have is to detect free food if I’m within 50 feet of it. That, and to hear your every thought. Pervert.

· Channeled telepathic messages from extraterrestrials
I must admit, this has never occurred to me. Actually, I take that back: they told me a special, important message for the future of mankind. And I’ll pass it on to you for just $49.95. All kidding aside, I was once challenged to a debate in Canada, and a friend of mine offered to make my arguments more effective. He claimed that he had received a telepathic signal from space aliens that said that they’d be coming to earth soon, but that they hadn’t come here yet, and that they knew for a fact no other space aliens had ever visited the earth. Aside from the fact that he only ‘remembered’ this message after three pitchers of beer, there’s nothing to make him a less reliable source than any other person who claims they’ve had a psychic vision, and since his vision contradicts other visions, we figured I’d be able to confuse the logic train of my opponent long enough to declare myself the winner.

· Recall your children or parents speaking of similar experiences on occasion
Yes, I seem to recall my dad once having a nosebleed. And I’m pretty sure that my sister once had a bad dream. All of the things on this list that have happened to me have more likely than not happened to my family or friends. For that matter, to most of the population of the earth.

So what does this all mean? Well, there were 37 questions, and 31 of them apply to me. One I couldn't answer, one had 'maybe', and on only 4 could I specifically say I'd not experienced what they claim is a sure sign that I have been abducted by space monsters. So when it comes down to it, by their account, space aliens should be flying by my house on a nightly basis to abduct me. And yet, I cry, "not so."

I should like to think that not only have you learned a fair amount about me, but that I have demonstrated some of these things to be ridiculous and some of them to be so vaguely worded or innocuous that they could apply to any person, anywhere in the world. When you read lists like this, I am sure that many of the things will apply to you. But no matter how much you wish you had a little more excitement in your life, or you wish you were a little more special, or you wish that there was something that sets you apart from the rest of the rat race, don't buy into this garbage. If you want to be unique, go out and make yourself unique. Don't rely on vague mumbojumbo to convince yourself you've been the victim of a flying space kidnapping. And if other people tell you that they are sure they've been abducted by space monsters because they've read some list similar to this, handle that situation with a heaping teaspoonfull of skepticism.

Be seeing you.