In 1961, Betty and Barney Hill, an American couple, encountered what they thought was an alien spaceship in rural New Hampshire while on a late-night drive. Betty's sister had previously claimed to have seen a flying saucer, so it occurred to Betty that this was what she and her husband were seeing also. They later remembered that the spaceship stalked them for several miles. A few nights after the alleged encounter, Betty started having vivid, nightmarish dreams about being abducted and examined by the aliens in the spaceship. She thought these dreams were suppressed memories.
The couple spoke of their experience in private church meetings, and eventually started attending hypnotic sessions with Dr. Benjamin Simon, a psychiatrist in Boston. Simon concluded that Barney's recall of the UFO encounter was a false memory inspired by Betty's dreams.
I remember reading their story in LOOK magazine when I was only 12. For many years I was afraid that I would encounter a UFO and was especially terrified right before going to sleep at night. I would make sure that every inch of me was under the covers, no matter how warm I was, as if that would help!
A few years later, another girl in my class told me she was afraid at night to have any part of her body out of the covers at night because of UFOs! She brought it up.
I wonder how many other youngsters were scared out of their wits for years on end because of that story?
Twenty-some years later, I read Whitney Strieber's Communion
. The first thing I noticed was its similiarity to the Betty and Barney Hill story (could never forget their names), and making a connection between hypnosis and meditation.
Some time later I began to believe that meditation is a form of self-hypnosis or in part self-hypnosis with a strong physiological component.
Got to be careful messin' around with the brain.