Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Experiencers and dermatographia

Hi all,

In the 1990's,when I was actively involved in working with Australian experiencers, I would occasionally come across individuals with unusual body markings, which they attributed to their experiences (click here.)

I recall interviewing a young Indian woman, who had a distinctive, triangular shaped mark on the back of one hand, and who vividly recounted an alien abduction. However, close questioning of the woman, finally revealed that the mark on her hand was in fact a self-inflicted burn mark, made using the pointy end of a hot iron. It was done, as was the made up abduction account, to gain her family's attention.

In other  instances, I was unable to ascertain the exact nature of some of the unusual body markings I came across.

Fortean Times magazine:

Recently, while reading a back issue of this magazine, September 2014, number 317 page 23, I came across the topic of"dermatography." The full text of the article reads:

"Sarah Beal, 43, from Arley, in Warwickshire, has a condition called dermatographia: the slightest scratch can cause her skin to swell. This allows her to create designs and words on her body that vanish within an hour.

'My skin is so sensitive that sometimes even clothes can feel uncomfortable,' she said. 'I can scratch my arm or my back and long lines will come up. But being able to draw on my skin is so cool - it's my party trick." The Etch a Sketch comparison is pretty accurate, although I wish a good shake was enough to get rid of the itching.'

Dermatographia is thought to be caused when cells release histamines under the slightest pressure. This triggers an allergic reaction, causing the skin to swell. Metro 6 Mar 2014.

The Gang of Fort is reminded of the bite and scratch marks appearing on the arms, chest, neck and cheeks of the Romanian "Poltergeist Girl" Elonore  Zugun ( click here) studied by parapsychologists in the 1920's. For this and other examples of 'skin writing" in response to unspoken thoughts and hypnosis  see John Mitchell and Bob Rickard: The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena (2007) pp 86-88, and the entry on "dermatography" in The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology (1978), edited by Leslie Shepherd ( click here.) For a photograph of unexplained scratches on schoolgirls in Botswana in 1922 see FT69:8."

Abduction experiencers:

 I wonder if some apparent unusual body markings found by experiencers may be subconsciously caused by this process? Is any reader aware of any research in this area?

For further medical information on the condition, click here.

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