Friday, January 29, 2010

"Brain asymmetry underlies hypnosis"

There has been a raging debate within the UFO community about the value of hypnosis to UFO research, particularly in abductions.

Some researchers such as Jenny Randles in the United Kingdom felt so uneasy that BUFORA banned the use of hypnotic regression for abductees.

On the scientific side, scientists have wondered why 15% of the population are very susceptible to hypnotic suggestion and 10% seem not to be hypnotisable. The rest are in between.

Now some new research mentioned in New Scientist Vol 205 No 2744 23 Jan 2010 has come up with the suggestion that "It seems those who find it easier to fall into a trance are more likely to have an imbalance in the efficiency of their brain's two hemispheres...recent studies have hinted that during hypnosis, there is less connectivity between different regions, and less activity in the rational left side of the brain, and more in the artistic side."

I seem to recall reading somewhere that Australian UFO researcher Keith Basterfield in the 1980s/1990s, pointed out that many abductees who were hypnotised were in the 10% of the population who were very susceptible ie they were excellent hypnotic subjects. This percentage would seem to be above chance and thus suggestive of having some underlying meaning.

Various UFO authors have also pointed out that abductees seemed to be over-represented in professions such as professional artists and the caring professions, eg nurses.

Have any readers come across similar UFO research findings?


  1. Pauline,

    A lot has been written on this issue. An excellent review by Thomas Bullard in the Journal of UFO Studies, "Hypnosis and UFO Abductions: A troubled relationship", new series, 1, 1989, 3-40, based on a comparison of abductee recollections with hypnosis vs. conscious recall argues there is little difference. Critically: "The same key traits appear with similar frequency among hypnotic and non-hypnotic reports, the beliefs and personalities of investigating hypnotists show little influence on these frequences."
    I personally favour conscious recall cases and of course cases that involve physical evidence or corroborating information. I have investigated many cases whether the recollections are conscious and hypnosis contributes little or nothing. Of course there have been other studies since that contribute to the debate.

  2. Hi "Pauline", I just discovered your web site. I've found that there is a huge predisposition for people who report close encounters to be creative and many of them professionals. Dancers, writers, musicians, artists....the list just goes on and on. Some were creative as children, others were not. However, when their close encounters became heightened so too did their drive to be creative, to the point that they wanted to earn a living from their creativity and became professionals. (fascinating)

    I don't know where you're located but if in Brisbane we will be hosting a meeting in May 2010 with a guest speaker who reports having had had close encounters since childhood and who is also an artist. Keep tabs on our web site for details.

  3. Hi Sheryl

    Thank you for your post. I am in Adelaide, so unfortunately will be unable to attend the meeting. Creativity and encounters is an intriguing research area.


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