Some alleged abductees may be mentally unstable (temporary schizophrenia, epileptic seizures) or under the influence of recreational drugs. Terence McKenna described seeing “Machine Elves” while experimenting with Dimethyltryptamine (also known as DMT). In a 1988 study conducted at UNM, psychiatrist Rick Strassman found that approximately 20 percent of volunteers injected with high doses of DMT had experiences identical to purported Alien Abductions.
Psychologist Roy Baumeister, Ph.D., of Case Western Reserve University, argues that abduction reports are made by “masochists” who unconsciously want to relinquish control of their lives. The loss of control is manifest in humiliating encounters with an alien race. To be sure, there is a surfeit of elaborate sex in abduction reports; one study found that among abductees, 80 percent of women and 50 percent of men reported being examined naked on a table by humanoid beings. In fact, many abductees blame aliens for sexual dysfunction and emotional disturbances.
Another interesting theory suggests that what is occurring is a form of displacement from another kind of trauma, especially sexual abuse. While it is true that abduction experiencers do show some of the symptoms associated with post-traumatic states, Mack asserts “these symptoms appear to be the result, not the cause, of what the experiencers have undergone.” (Mack, 1994)
Many therapists attempt to explain abduction accounts as “screen” memories masking the repression of sexual abuse. However, “no abduction screen memories have ever been stripped away to reveal a past history of abuse.” (Jacobs, 1992) While it is true that some abductees are also victims of sexual or physical abuse, they usually have a clear memory of the abuse and feel the abduction experience to be unrelated.