My brother Rick told me that he saw an alien standing in our bedroom doorway when he was about 4 and I was 9.
I had just shared with him my abnormal fascination . . . and fear . . . of outer space aliens. I read many books about alien sightings and the accounts of alien abduction terrified me. At the same time, I hoped aliens were friendly and simply curious about earthllngs and would save us from our own self-destructive tendencies.
I also learned that many scientists think it is possible that sleep paralysis experiences result in accounts of alien abductions . . . not nearly as exciting as real space aliens
‘Sleep paralysis,’ is a disturbance of sleep where a person is not able to move but is awake, and often has hallucinations in one or more senses (visual, auditory). Imagery from your dreams intrudes into a waking state.
The hallucinations are often about the feeling of paralysis, such as visions of someone holding you down. Similar incidents have been recorded as far back at 400BC and from many cultures, with the first reference from the Zhou Li/Chun Guan, and ancient Chinese book about sleep.
Researchers Brian Sharpless and Karl Dograhmji have collected 118 different terms from around the world that describe sleep paralysis-like experiences:
- Germans have terms such as “elf pressing”.
- Norwegian’s have “evil elves that shoot people with paralysing arrows before perching on their chests”
- Japanese have a term for being magically bound by invisible metal.
- Switzerland people describe an evil nightmare fairy that disguises itself as a black sheep.
- Kurds have an evil spirit that suffocates people.
- Iranians have a type of jinn that sits on the sleeper’s chest.
Consider the account of Jon Loudner, from the infamous 1692 Salem Witch Trials:
“… I going well to bed, about the dead of the night felt a great weight upon my breast, and awakening, looked, and it being bright moonlight, did clearly see Bridget Bishop, or her likeness, sitting upon my stomach. And putting my arms off of the bed to free myself from that great oppression, she presently laid hold of my throat and almost choked me. And I had no strength or power in my hands to resist or help myself. And in this condition she held me to almost day.”
“The physiological mechanisms that cause sleep paralysis are still not completely understood. When we dream we only act in our dreams, our imagination. There is a block in the brain’s signals that lead to actual action, so we do not physically act out dreams. But if our brains do not do this properly, the results can be sleepwalking, when the paralysis stops when you are still asleep, or the paralysis continues after you have awakened or sets in just before you fall asleep. You are conscious, eyes open, but unable to move.”
Both problems result from a general sleep disruption. Sleep paralysis can be induced in laboratory participants by repeatedly waking people from a deep sleep. Many people have experienced this, and if you have not, chances are that someone you know has, as half of the population experiences this at least once. It is not a sign of mental illness or drug use . . .
. . . my own verdict is still out about elves and space aliens . . . and . . . Rick
This post first appeared on Max Your Mind (peggyarndt.com)