Book Review || Abduction by Jenny Randles

Looking for an unbiased introduction into the possibility of and investigation into alien abductions? This is the book for you.

Though Jenny Randles' 'Abduction' may be a bit outdated, having been published in 1989, it still offers an excellent overview of the modern history of abduction reports and cases and an insightful investigation into the differing theories of what abduction could be in actuality.

Randles asks the questions everyone has about abductions: their relation and correspondence to science-fiction and fantasy; their folkloric aspects; abduction patterns; possible psychological connections; and whether they are really abductions by extra-terrestrials at all.

She does not discount the experiences of those who believe they have been abducted, but justly points out all the possibilities that might create such a belief in a person, including misguided prompts during hypnosis therapy, a person's creativity, IQ and imaginary qualities, possible atmospheric conditions that may affect the frontal lobe, memory, and imagination, a global consciousness evolution, or even the possibility that these entities are really our descendants visiting us from the future.

One thing I found curious and intend to research further is the fact that most of the abductions she has listed in her overview have occurred in South America, the United States and Canada, and Europe. On possible abductions in Africa and Asia, she has very little to say, offering perhaps five or six experiences that have been recounted to some investigators in the region. She even goes so far as to imply that abductors have a preference for the Caucasian amongst us, as the data seems to suggest that abduction experiences are minimal in these regions, or that the existence of abduction experiences is a result of Western thinking.

I believe it has a lot more to do with the language barrier, however. Other places in the world do not only have a different language in which they communicate, but also an entire other culture that may have a way of speaking about such experiences in a way that the Western world does not understand. People from different parts of the world all have different points of reference to which they refer when describing something. If a Westerner makes even a slight misinterpretation or inference about a fact, it would change the entire story. A UFO encounter might be discounted and ignored if a person described the UFO using local terminology instead of matching Western descriptions.
Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
This idea is shown by those researching extraterrestrials' presence in our early history using excerpts from some of our most sacred religious texts and evidence in our ancient archaeology to show that it may just be the point of reference that is different.

Perhaps it is the higher view the Western world holds of itself through centuries of privilege propaganda that inspires this kind of thought.
Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Randles was also at pains to show that many of the cases she chose to include in her overview were experienced by people who had previous knowledge of UFOs and abductions. They were supposedly not exposed to any literature or film that featured such stories. So where do the stories come from then?

I tend to seesaw between two ideas: either people really are being abducted by entities from another galaxy/dimension/plane/whatever, or our communal subconscious is trying to tell us something. Many of the abductees are told by their abductors that we are destroying the world (although Randles mentions an apocalypse in the nineties, and we know that has come and gone) and perhaps our collective intuition is attempting to change things.

However, many are also told that they are being tested. The reason varies between genetic manipulation, hybridisation, preservation of our species or theirs or both, a record of our existence, and simply just tests.
Wikimedia Commons/perfectblue97
I'm not sure what we should believe, but my own logic tells me it's a little ridiculous that these entities - who have the ability to travel through space and perhaps even time - come all the way to our world to study us? We haven't even made space travel a true possibility yet. I don't believe we have changed enough to warrant such investigation, unless it is something more obtuse that they are studying, such as emotions. Which would not explain the physical examinations, though...

It is a contradiction, but maybe our own high regard for ourselves, which tells us we are the only intelligent life in the Universe, may be the subconscious reason for us believing we are worthy of study, if indeed there is another reason for the abduction experience.

{Image credits: See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Frederic Remington [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By perfectblue97 (Own creation based on contemporary inspirations) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons}