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Could suspected alien abductions just be … lucid dreaming?
We have had close encounters with everything from photo manipulation hoaxes to the 1938 radio broadcast of War of the Worlds, which had many terrified Earthlings scrambling to their basements. However, even Mulder and Scully never considered one possibility when it came to accounts of alien sightings, interactions or abductions. Maybe those of us who think they have come face to face with an extraterrestrial — like say the hijinks that unfolded in SYFY's new hit series Resident Alien — are capable of dreaming in a way that sounds like it was lifted from science fiction.
Someone who has lucid dreams is partially aware they are dreaming and can use that awareness to manipulate what happens. As researcher and Phase Research Center (PRC) founder Michael Raduga found out when he led a recently published study, that includes having rendezvous with aliens.
“Lucid dreaming is a hybrid state between wakening and sleeping,” he told SYFY WIRE. “Though your body is paralyzed and your brain is in REM sleep, parts of your brain responsible for consciousness can be active. As a result, you may posses full control over your dream scenes, changing them as you want.”
An almost unbelievable 75 percent of test subjects who fell asleep in Raduga’s dream research facility reported alien encounters during lucid dreams. Some felt as if aliens were dragging them, probing them, even dissecting them. The unusually high percentage of alien dreams probably has to do with the subjects already knowing that Raduga was looking for this kind of dream activity through The Elijah Project. It delves deep into the what happens in the human subconscious during lucid dreaming and out-of-body experiences. The project even offers lucid dreamers advice for controlling what happens in their dreams, since many who are already capable of lucid dreaming practice it intentionally — ideal for studying the phenomenon.
Raduga and the other scientists behind Project Elijah seek detailed reports of lucid dreams that they can then analyze to keep demystifying something that seems almost paranormal. Maybe they should search TikTok, where it’s become a trend. Teens who are lucid dreamers have lately been transporting themselves to places like Hogwarts, living out experiences in these magical realms as if they were the real thing, from what House they are sorted into to who wins the latest Quidditch match.
They then post about their adventures online as if they had actually gone somewhere that doesn't exist. The only downside returning to reality. Whether it’s wizards or aliens, lucid dreaming (at least to those of us who rarely or never have such dreams) sounds like the ultimate virtual reality.
It does seem like a trip. However, studying it has revealed some dark secrets to Raduga.
“We tried to show that if this situation is possible due to deliberate action, it can happen spontaneously, too,” he said. “Our primary finding is that the most realistic encounters with aliens in lucid dreaming have fear and sleep paralysis when exactly the same pattern can be seen in 'actual' alien encounters.”
Some people who believe they have experienced abductions may not even be aware they are lucid dreamers. Those individuals often believe that what they have experienced was indeed real, and may be haunted and even traumatized by dreams of being taken aboard a spaceship and having unspeakable tests performed on them by humanoid beings that definitely aren’t human. Reports of abductions during which the subject was unable to move could be linked to sleep paralysis, during which you are conscious, aware of what is going on during a dream, but are unable to move or even (sometimes) breathe. It can be terrifying.*
Even worse, it is possible to experience pain in lucid dreams, even if there is no actual injury to the person who is lying in their own bed instead of being strapped to an exam table inside a flying saucer. Some of Raduga’s subjects reported that they actually felt aliens dissecting them. This is because the sensory-motor cortex of the brain is perceiving it as an actual experience. Lucid dreaming practice through the Elijah project can help subjects understand what is happening and why, as well as how to manipulate the dream so they can escape.
It is also possible that lucid dreams of alien abduction happen because aliens are something many of us are fascinated with in the backs of our minds.
“When I was a teen I experienced an 'alien abduction',” Raduga admitted. “It took me a few years of lucid dreaming practice to figure out what really happened. I liked anything related to UFOs so when I found myself in sleep paralysis, I though it was aliens.”
If you’re a lucid dreamer who would rather use your ability for scientific advancement than TikTok videos, you can sign up for The Elijah Project here.