Research onHypnosis for Experiencers

© Kathleen Marden 2023


     The use of hypnosis to recover lost memories of “missing time” during a purported UFO abduction has engendered more controversy than nearly any other topic among UFO researchers and anti-UFO research skeptics, deniers, and disinformants. Scholars point out that although hypnosis facilitates the recall of accurate information, we may unwittingly manufacture details that were not previously part of our historical narrative, particularly when the hypnotist presses the client for detailed information that is not available in their conscious memories. Some radical critics extrapolate that imperfect hypnosis is reason to dismiss its use entirely. I disagree.

     I have spent nearly a lifetime pondering the appropriate use of hypnosis because I am the niece of Betty and Barney Hill, the first known UFO abductees who sought hypnosis to recover memories from a period of amnesia following a UFO close-encounter experience. Not only have I worked as an investigator and researcher specializing in UFO abductions and non-human contact, but I have also worked on three studies on nearly five thousand experiencers. I am a hypnosis practitioner with many years’ experience working with people who have had close-up UFO sightings, encounters with non-humans, and experiences in a non-earthly environment that are partially blocked from their conscious recall. Although I was unaware of it, my preparation began when I was a participant in the aftermath of my own family’s UFO experience.

     I was a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl when they had a perplexing UFO encounter in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, and nearly sixteen years old when I heard their testimony concerning their abduction by non-humans. I was eighteen or nineteen when Dr. Simon and his wife invited me to their home for dinner with my aunt and uncle, author John G. Fuller, and Project Blue Book consultant Dr. Allen Hynek. To say the least, it was a memorable experience. This and other events launched my lifelong search for answers.

     I graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1971, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Service. My selected curriculum focused on psychology, social psychology, social research, human biology, and philosophy. As an adjunct to my formal education, I spent weeks as a volunteer in the adult men’s psychiatric unit at the State of New Hampshire’s psychiatric hospital. My graduate studies focused on education and special education. All this education served a primary purpose. I was determined to gain unprecedented insight into the perplexing UFO enigma.

     I had met Dr. James Harder, a professor of civil and hydraulic engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, numerous times. He was a major figure in UFO abduction investigations and was associated with the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization. He was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a founding member of the Society for Scientific Exploration. He was a certified hypnotist who attempted to lift amnesia in many of the historic UFO abduction cases. In 1968, he was one of six highly regarded scientists who testified before the US Congressional Committee on Science and Aeronautics. Dr. Harder rose to prominence in the UFO research and investigation field in the 1950s, at a time when several well-educated scientists (Allen Hynek, Jacques Vallee, Ron Westrum, Stanton Friedman, etcetera) were examining evidence pertaining to the possibility of an extraterrestrial presence on our planet.

     Dr. Harder had visited Betty Hill numerous times, and this gave me the opportunity to discuss the Hickson-Parker,  Casey County Kentucky, and Travis Walton abductions with him and Betty. Dr. Harder hypnotized me as part of his ongoing investigation of my family’s UFO sightings and possible abductions. His use of hypnosis stirred controversy in my own family primarily because Betty Hill questioned the efficacy of its use by UFO abduction researchers who were not well versed in the field of psychology. She argued that Dr. Simon’s expert use of hypnosis was unlike that of UFO investigators. In fact, she said under-educated hypnotists might harm abductees through improper suggestion that can lead to confabulation. Also, if an abductee is remembering an extremely fearful or painful experience, and the hypnotist cannot assist him or her by offering appropriate suggestions, ending the session immediately will leave the abductee raw with intense fear. All this can lead to problems that were mitigated through Dr. Simon’s expertise. 

     Dr. Simon had a unique understanding of hypnosis. During World War II, he developed protocols for the successful treatment of debilitating disorders suffered by soldiers returning home from the front. He was remarkably successful in facilitating emotional and physical healing in men who bore deep psychological wounds due to their horrific wartime experiences. During his professional career he earned many accolades for his outstanding achievements.

     In the autumn of 1963, a psychiatrist from Exeter, NH, referred Barney to Dr. Simon because he had suffered a life-threatening bleeding ulcer that did not recede with traditional medical treatment. He had been hospitalized and had an extended convalescence period following his release from the hospital.

     His personal history indicates that he had been seriously wounded in an explosion during World War II and was released from the US Army in fair condition. When he had recovered he secured employment with the US Post Office in Philadelphia. He was married to a Black woman and they had two sons. They divorced when his sons were in their teens and in 1960, he married my aunt Elizabeth (Betty) Barrett Stuart, a social worker from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He left Philadelphia to relocate to Portsmouth in 1961. The sting of his physical distance from his beloved sons weighed heavily on his heart. However, the taxing memory of his terrifying encounter with a UFO on the night of September 19, 1961, overwhelmed him. Try as he may, Barney could not suppress his nagging thoughts of observing a technologically advanced aerial vehicle and its crew as it hovered only one hundred feet in the distance. Nor could he subdue his terrifying memories of “them.”

     For readers who are unaware of the documented historical evidence, let me elucidate you. It is important when we consider the usefulness of hypnosis for amnesia. On September 26, 1961, only six days after their close encounter event, Betty typed a letter to the National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) in Washington, DC. Her letter states that Barney saw “many figures scurrying about as they were making some hurried type of preparation. One figure was observing us from the windows. From the distance this was seen, the figures appeared to be about the size of a pencil and seemed to be dressed in some type of shiny black uniform.” This observation of entities that Barney describes as being “somehow not human” played repeatedly in his thoughts. He could not let go of this conscious memory. Conscious recall is extremely important when we consider using hypnosis to unlock partially forgotten biographical memories. We know that it was real. 

     On September 26, 1961, Betty wrote of Barney’s clear memories and of her search for any clue that might be helpful to her husband in recalling whatever triggered his “mental block.” She had remained in their vehicle and did not observe the frightening entities or their behavior, only the craft and its windows at close range. She stated that every attempt to recall “whatever it was that caused him to panic” left him feeling “very frightened.” For some unspoken reason, Betty and Barney felt a “compelling urge” to return to the place of their close encounter. They were considering the possibility of seeing a competent psychiatrist who uses hypnotism. All this information was in her first letter to the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena and was written within days of their now famous experience. 

     Barney’s memories of non-humans, through the windows of a disk shaped, silent, hovering craft were not the only threat to his peace of mind. He was well aware of the buzzing sounds on Betty’s 1957 Chevy as the enigmatic craft moved overhead, the tingling sensation in his body, and the vibration in his vehicle. He and Betty reported it to the US Air Force the day after it occurred. They were aware of lost time and had memories of finding themselves in a new, remote location with tall trees lining the road and several figures blocking their passage. They remembered a fiery orb and a second series of buzzing sounds in a different physical location.

     Conscious recall is extraordinarily important when we evaluate an alleged experiencer for possible hypnosis. Many people are not aware of what the Hills remembered. This information has been whitewashed by intractable skeptics who have introduced false information and speculation to shroud the historical facts. I have the evidence and I have presented it in my books and lectures.

     When the Hills arrived home on September 20, 1961, they discovered physical evidence: a magnetic field around new shiny circles in the precise location where the buzzing sounds were heard. Their watches no longer operated and rewinding them was of no use. Betty’s dress was torn. Barney’s best dress shoes were scraped. He could not release the terror he felt when he sensed that the figures were going to “capture” him “like a bug in a net.”[1] Barney felt the pressure of apprehension regarding his memories. He wanted to forget what he saw and experienced but he could not suppress the haunting thoughts that played repeatedly in his mind. They robbed him of sleep and triggered a decline in his health. He could not release his apprehension over the part that triggered his mental block and caused his panic. He fled to his car in a “hysterical” condition warning Betty of entities who wanted to “capture” them.

     Months passed and Barney could not find relief from his traumatic memories. Betty was less traumatized. She had worked through her anxiety over the event in a series of five vivid dreams before awakening in the morning. She garnered emotional support from her supervisor, her family, and close supportive friends. Acutely aware of the consequences of public exposure, we were sworn to secrecy. But for months Barney sought to dampen his tormenting memories with alcohol. It was not effective. He developed a life-threatening physiological condition and this led to a referral to a competent psychiatrist who specialized in hypnosis to lift amnesia and ameliorate traumatic psychologically induced physiological conditions.  

     At the end of six months of hypnoanalysis and psychotherapy with Dr. Simon, Barney was able to move on with his life. Hypnosis had opened up previously hidden memories of what occurred on the dirt road with tall trees all around. He worked through his conscious recall of the troubling entities on the craft and the roadblock. Dr. Simon eradicated his mental block and unlocked his personal truth, moving him to the next step. He described the entities who were standing in the road blocking his passage but this time he was no longer in a state of panic. He was greatly subdued – thinking and observing. But how can we know that his “truth” was not a confabulation created by his subconscious mind? Was it a genuine memory? 

     We know that Barney retained conscious recall of his close encounter up to the point of fearing for his life as the non-human entities in a silent craft hovered only a hundred feet from him. Something began to drop down out of the craft and Barney panicked. As he drove rapidly down the highway, he heard rhythmic tones on his car. He did not forget this. He had vague memories of a roadblock and fiery orb and looked for that place repeatedly. Betty’s recall was less blemished. Unlike Barney, she had not observed the non-humans through binoculars. She had not panicked until Dr. Simon uncovered her response to the non-human roadblock miles from the field where Barney panicked and the entities took control of his mind. Betty’s terrified weeping was as intense as Barney’s fear had been  at the close encounter field in Lincoln. Then the entities took control of her mind and subdued her. Yet, she regained her strength and fought for her life before they used mind-control again and took her onto the craft.   

     Dr. Simon guarded against information contamination: one person's information bleeding into the hypnotic memory of the other. He separated the couple and gave them instructions to forget what they had recalled in his office. One waited in a different room that was filled with loud classical music, while the other underwent hypnosis. He reinstated their amnesia repeatedly, until he had conducted five hypnotic regression sessions with each. Then he offered to permit them to listen to his recording of their hypnosis sessions. They agreed, so their sessions moved from hypnosis to joint therapy. 

     My incredulity regarding the Hills’ hypnotically recalled memories triggered my idea to transcribe all ten hours of their hypnosis recordings to conduct a sentence-by-sentence comparative analysis of their separate statements to Dr. Simon vis a vis the information in Betty’s five dreams. I wrote of this in Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience. However, I decided not to place the tedious analysis in my book. I wrote only of the evidence that the Hills recalled separate details that were not in Betty’s dreams. 

     I was sufficiently skeptical due to what I now know about a number of academic studies on hypnosis and the possibility that Betty or Barney might have confabulated memories of their time after their “capture.” Dating back to the 1990s or earlier, Betty and I engaged in many private debates on the efficacy of hypnosis for memory recall. She told me that Dr. Simon had ascertained that she and Barney would tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Yet, as I mentioned earlier in this chapter, she was highly critical of the value of hypnosis by self-styled UFO investigators. Our sometimes-heated discussions sparked my curiosity. I was determined to seek answers.

     I obtained a small research grant to examine scientific journals for research pertaining to academic studies on hypnosis and drafted a paper on my research findings. I distributed it to the Mutual UFO network, and to UFO abduction researchers such as James Harder, PhD, John Mack, MD, and Budd Hopkins. Then, to expand my knowledge I underwent formal training for a certificate in hypnotherapy. This led to an enormous amount of advanced training and additional certificates. Later, I increased my skill level through training in Dolores Cannon’s Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique. My educational background in the fields of psychiatric social work and education augmented my studies. Today I operate a limited professional consulting hypnosis practice for the benefit of ET contact experiencers. The following section of this chapter is an update on my earlier research study.

Academic Studies on Hypnosis

     Academic studies have discovered that although hypnosis facilitates the recall of accurate information, we may unwittingly manufacture details that were not previously part of our historical narrative, particularly when the hypnotist presses the client for detailed information that is not available in their conscious memories. Some critics extrapolate that imperfect hypnosis is reason to dismiss its use entirely. Proponents advocate the professional use of hypnosis to hasten physical and emotional healing. What is less certain is its efficacy to lift amnesia. Let us examine the academic studies on hypnosis before we dismiss the value of hypnosis entirely. What is hypnosis?

     Some researchers claim that no one knows what hypnosis is. However, psychiatrist David Spiegel, Medical Director of the Center for integrative Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine informs us that hypnosis involves dissociation in a structured setting, whereby one idea is brought into focus while the field of vision is narrowed. All other competing thoughts are omitted and one’s attention is concentrated in a hyper-memory. In other words, we enter into a state of intense concentration that permits us to filter out distractions and to focus our attention on a certain past event. This leads to better recall of information than our conscious memory can elicit.

     In earlier times, hypnosis was denigrated as fakery or wishful thinking but we now know that it has a variety of therapeutic uses. Michael R. Nash, associate professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee wrote in Scientific American Mind, that scientists can discern the facts pertaining to hypnosis from exaggerated claims. Hypnosis studies have shown that hypnotic suggestions can alter cognitive processes regarding memory. He informs us that not everyone is susceptible to hypnosis and motivation does not necessarily play a role in the success of hypnotic induction. Gullibility, submissiveness, and imagination are not good indicators of whether a person is hypnotizable. It seems to relate more to an individual's ability to concentrate and to become absorbed in activities. Thus, not everyone is equally hypnotizable. It varies from person to person.

     Historically, academic researchers have assessed hypnotic depth through hypnotic suggestibility scales to determine the extent to which a subject responds to hypnosis. The researchers discovered that ninety-five percent of their test subjects could reach level one, a relaxed and drowsy state. However, a small percentage of people cannot be hypnotized. Level two signifies the ability to enter hypnosis. Most of the population can enter into a moderate stage of hypnosis. However, the deepest level of hypnosis is less achievable. Interestingly, those who suffer from post-traumatic stress are better deep trance achievers, perhaps because they are already accustomed to dissociating when their traumatic memories surface. Also, negative attitudes or resistance can interfere with one’s ability to be hypnotized.

     Nash and Bentham discussed a 2004 study by James E. Horton of the University of Virginia's College at Wise and Helen J. Crawford of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Using magnetic resonance imaging they attempted to determine whether cranial structures play a part in an individual's responsiveness to hypnosis. They observed that the anterior part of the corpus callosum, the large white matter structure that connects the left and right brain, was thirty-two percent larger in highly hypnotizable subjects. This part of the brain inhibits unwanted stimuli and plays a key role in focusing attention.

     Academic studies have demonstrated that it is possible to plant false memories in some hypnotized people but this is also true of some individuals who have not been hypnotized. Some people are more susceptible to creating false memories than others. This is a critical point to consider when we use hypnosis with suspected experiencers of contact (abduction). Hypnosis practitioners can employ suggestions to test a hypnotized person’s propensity to create false memories. I test my clients with false memory lures but most do not fall for my bogus suggestions. In fact, they counter them with their own statements.

     Studies have revealed that having a vivid imagination is not a measure of hypnotic suggestibility. In fact, many people with inventive minds are not highly hypnotizable or easily led under hypnosis. The greatest concern for hypnosis practitioners who work with alleged UFO abductees is the fact that some people can confuse fantasy and real memory, but this is most prevalent when detailed information that is not part of one’s biographical recall is elicited. Additionally, hypnosis is not a useful tool to elicit early childhood memories that have been completely forgotten. But when there is conscious recall for an event, hypnosis can enhance memory. However, if we ask the hypnotized person to name all the children in their second-grade class, they might omit some and add the names of friends from the first or third grade classes. 

     What about the reverse? What happens when hypnotized people are instructed to forget memories? An academic study on post hypnotic amnesia gives insight into what occurs. Researchers at the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, discovered that highly hypnotizable people with post hypnotic amnesia have difficulty recalling real events when post hypnotic amnesia has been imparted by the hypnotist. However, although they had partial or complete amnesia for the event it continued to influence their behavior, thoughts, and actions.

     This finding applied to UFO abduction amnesia for part of the event that we can feel reasonably certain occurred, suggests that hypnotherapy might be efficacious in assisting experiencers whose behavior, thoughts and actions have been influenced adversely by their extraordinary events. The opportunity to remember and to speak with a knowledgeable, supportive listener is particularly helpful for people who are suffering privately with their memories. Although these experiences are not yet accepted by our mainstream society, it does not mean they are not real. In my opinion, forcing people to suffer in silence is a form of cruelty. There is ample evidence for UFO and non-human contact reality.

     A groundbreaking study by neuroscientist Avi Mendelsohn and his colleagues at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the brains of individuals who participated in an induced amnesia experiment. Earlier testing had shown that half responded well to a suggestion for post hypnotic amnesia and half did not. The twenty-five participants watched a forty-five-minute movie, and a week later they returned to the laboratory for additional testing. This time they were hypnotized while they lay in the fMRI scanner and given a hypnotic suggestion to forget the movie until they received a cue to restore their memory.

     In the first test they were asked forty yes/no questions about the content of the film they had watched a week earlier, and twenty questions regarding the context in which they watched the movie, such as information about the study room itself. This was a baseline measurement of their memory performance and brain activity. In test two those who developed hypnotic amnesia were given the suggestion to remember the movie they had forgotten. The experiment showed that the people who successfully developed post hypnotic amnesia now remembered the forgotten movie content just as well as those who never developed amnesia. However, those with post hypnotic amnesia only forgot the content of the movie, not the context in which they viewed it. Additionally, those who did not experience post hypnotic amnesia showed significant brain activation in the occipital and left temporal lobes on the FMRI scan. However, those who experienced post hypnotic amnesia showed little or no brain activity in these areas and enhanced activity in the prefrontal cortex.

     Mendelsohn’s study confirmed that hypnotic suggestions can regulate brain activity. Hypnosis and hypnotically induced amnesia are real and can be measured by science.

     One might wonder how the non-humans who abduct us might induce our amnesia for part of the experience. Post abduction amnesia resulting from trauma may not be an adequate explanation for why experiencers forget all or part of their time in a non-human environment. Our studies on experiencers indicate that they lose their fearfulness over time but continue to experience amnesia for all or part of their experience. We must ask, “Are they facilitating amnesia by exposing experiencers to advanced technology that simulates hypnosis in the human brain?”

What lessons from academia can we apply to Betty and Barney Hill?

     When we apply these findings to UFO abductees Betty and Barney Hill, we notice that the Hills’ amnesia was partially induced when they were subjected to buzzing tones on their vehicle that caused them to sense a tingling sensation and memory fog. When they arrived at the abduction site, the non-humans formed a roadblock for the purpose of capturing them. In their separate hypnotic recall, Betty’s and Barney’s eyes were open and they spoke to one another about what they were observing. Suddenly, Betty attempted to flee but an entity pointed a device at her and she fell into a trance state. This happened again when she, through sheer force of will, brought herself out of her trance state to fight for her life, tearing her dress in the process.

     The Hills had vague memories of the abduction site and the roadblock, but no conscious recall for what occurred after the non-humans approached their vehicle. They retained memories of the context under which the event occurred but had amnesia for the content of their time in confinement. The forgotten memories that were re-remembered through hypnosis, explained the perplexing physical evidence pertaining to Betty’s torn dress and Barney’s scraped shoes. It followed a logical sequence of events and the Hills’ separate statements to Dr. Simon interconnected in detail. Additionally, these details were not in Betty’s dreams or part of their conscious recall. 

     Dr. Simon’s statement on hypnosis is consistent with the findings in numerous academic studies. He wrote, “Hypnosis is a useful procedure in psychiatry to direct concentrated attention on some particular point in the course of the whole therapeutic procedure. In cases like the Hills,’ it can be the key to the locked room, the amnesiac period. Under hypnosis, experiences buried in amnesia may be recalled in a much shorter time than in the normal course of the psychotherapeutic process. Nevertheless, there is little produced under or by hypnosis that is not possible without it. The charisma of hypnosis has tended to foster the belief that hypnosis is the magical and royal road to the TRUTH. In one sense this is so, but it must be understood that hypnosis is a pathway to the truth as it is felt and understood by the patient. The truth is what he believes to be the truth, and this may or may not be consistent with the ultimate nonpersonal truth. Most frequently it is.” [2]

     The value of hypnosis for the Hills’ is found in their memories of being in the presence of kind, reassuring non-humans. They underwent a few simple tests and tissue samples were extracted. Betty received some educational information while Barney was being examined. As promised, they were released to their natural environment physically unharmed. Barney’s conscious recall of a life-threatening experience no longer haunted him. When Dr. Simon asked Barney if he believed he has been kidnapped, he replied, “I did not feel that I had been kidnapped, but I think of kidnapping when you are being harmed.” Dr. Simon queried, “And you weren't harmed?” Barney replied, “No.” [3]

     Relieved by the knowledge of what occurred during his period of amnesia, Barney’s fears were mitigated. He moved on with his life and focused effectively on his civil rights and social justice work. In 1965, he was appointed to the US Commission on Civil Rights as a representative for the State of New Hampshire. He received an award from the federal Office of Economic Opportunity for his outstanding service to his community and the nation. His and Betty’s political activities earned an invitation to Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential inauguration. Peace had returned to the couple’s lives.

     Barney told Dr. Simon that his only apprehension was his fear of ridicule. He hoped that his secret would remain within the small group of trusted associates who were privy to his concealed information. However, his worst fear was realized when the details of his UFO abduction experience were revealed to the public in a series of newspaper articles. An unfortunate series of events and loose lips had unearthed this confidential material, and this intrusion led to an investigation by a major newspaper’s award-winning journalist, John Luttrell. His newspaper articles were reprinted in English speaking nations around the world. As a result of this violation, Barney suffered greatly.

How can hypnosis practitioners utilize our academic findings?

     I am a firm believer in psychotherapy and especially eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR) for post-traumatic stress disorder, with amnesia caused by an emotionally traumatic experience. With EMDR therapy we gradually remember the forgotten traumatic events while eye movement creates a distraction, so the client does not have to relive the difficult experience. They can simply recall and reprocess their memories. Unlike hypnosis, in which not everyone is equally hypnotizable, EMDR therapy is widely applicable. However, EMDR therapy may require up to twelve sessions whereas hypnotic regression can be accomplished in as little as two or three sessions. The advantage of EMDR is that it can be offered online whereas hypnotic regression must be done in person. They are my recommendations to anyone who is experiencing amnesia and overwhelming anxiety due to a UFO abduction experience. When licensed practitioners facilitate these therapeutic processes, experiencers with traumatic amnesia can safely recall, revisit, and reprocess their memories therapeutically within the brain.

     Dan C. Overlade, PhD, a clinical psychologist, issued a warning in “Hypnosis as an Adjunct to Investigation” in the 1995 MUFON Field Investigator’s Journal. He cautioned UFO investigators that when a traumatic experience appears to have caused amnesia, psychotherapy by a licensed mental health practitioner should always precede the use of hypnosis for memory recall. When this protocol is not followed, it can lead to unnecessary anxiety in the experiencer.

     It is important to separate the wheat from the chaff regarding the efficacy of hypnosis with ET contact experiencers. We are aware of the following:

  • Hypnosis should not be used by investigators to determine if an individual has been taken to a non-human environment and developed amnesia for the event. We must rely on the witness’s conscious recall, and the physical and circumstantial evidence in support of the witness’s statements prior to hypnosis.
  • MUFON’s study of 516 contact experiencers discovered that seventy-six percent of the participants were taken more than one time. We discovered that inter-generational abduction is common and begins with the biologically related family member is a child.
  • Sixty five percent reported they had conscious recall of observing a craft at less than five hundred feet in the distance. Fifty four percent have retained conscious recall of observing non-human entities and twenty two percent had conscious memories of being examined in the presence of non-human entities. This is unambiguous evidence that the majority of abductees or experiencers have conscious recall for part of their contact events.
  • With time and patience, contact experiencers can document their anomalous events and collect a body of evidence. This is one of the reasons why we should not rush to hypnosis.
  • Dreams alone do not warrant the use of hypnosis.
  • Hypnosis alone will not alleviate anxiety related to an alien abduction. It must be facilitated by highly knowledgeable, experienced practitioners who offer protective, soothing suggestions, and follow-up support.
  • Hypnosis practitioners should never offer suggestions that will instill fear in a client.
  • Hypnosis practitioners should never inculcate personal agendas in a client.
  • Hypnosis practitioners must remain calm when a client is recalling an unpleasant or frightening experience and offer appropriate suggestions to alleviate emotional or physical distress.
  • Hypnosis by self-styled UFO investigators, without adequate knowledge or training, can lead to increased trauma and turn out badly for the experiencer.
  • When a witness suffers from post-traumatic stress related to a UFO encounter, and amnesia for part of the event, therapeutic treatment should be carried out by a licensed psychotherapist with a minimum of a master’s degree in a mental health field. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) psychotherapy is effective in alleviating the symptoms of emotional distress that result from life’s experiences and can uncover hidden memories that are not usually accessible.
  • Regression hypnosis can exacerbate underlying psychiatric disorders and create a psychological emergency.
  • When there are multiple witnesses with some conscious recall of an event, separate hypnosis to uncover blocked memories can be of scientific value. When the hypnotist facilitates lifting of amnesia and then reinstates post hypnotic amnesia in the witnesses until all hypnosis sessions have ended, a comparative analysis of their independent statements can be completed.
  • Liars and fantasy prone people can lie and fantasize under hypnosis. Experienced hypnosis practitioners can facilitate precautionary measures to reduce or eliminate this possibility.
  • Hypnotic Regression must be facilitated in the presence of the hypnotized experiencer. Online regression is dangerous and unethical.


[1] Walter Webb, “Confidential Massachusetts Subcommittee Unit 1 NICAP Investigation Report,” October 26, 1961.
[2] Dr. Benjamin Simon, Introduction to John Fuller’s, The Interrupted Journey, xi.
[3] Kathleen Marden’s transcription of Barney Hill’s hypnosis session with Dr. Benjamin Simon, February 29, 1964.


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