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The ‘alien abduction’ phenomenon tends to be one that polarises opinion. Skeptics often characterise ‘abductees’ as being either (a) deluded ‘woo-woos’ without a firm grip on reality or (b) outright liars. On the other hand, true believers take the phenomenon at face value, interpreting everything seen and heard as being literally true.

To me, the truth is more likely to lie in the middle. My personal opinion is that these experiences are not what they seem to be – however, I do believe that there is something strange happening which is beyond the control of the abductees. And this is a crucial point: even if the explanation turns out to be prosaic, the truth of the matter is that there are a lot of people out there who are undergoing terrifying experiences which, to them at the very least, are absolutely real. Seen in this light, the off-hand comments and jokes by debunkers about anal probes seem horrifyingly insensitive.

A brilliant documentary that drives home this point is Stéphane Allix’s film Experiencers. Allix talks to a number of people who have been profoundly affected by their personal experience of the alien abduction phenomenon, showing that these are normal people, seeking answers to what has happened to them. Allix makes them human (pun not intended), rather than objects of ridicule. He also talks to abduction researchers Budd Hopkins and John Mack about their thoughts as to what is happening. The entire documentary is on Google Video; I highly recommend watching it:

With so many documentaries and features on these topics descending into hyperbole and sometimes outright farce (cue shadowed lighting of interviewees and X-Files music), it’s refreshing to find films that actually document the topic and the thoughts of those intimately involved. Just as Circlespeak offers perhaps the definitive view of the crop circle topic, Experiencers is the must-see documentary on the alien abduction phenomenon.

(For those who would prefer the documentary broken into shorter segments, visit this website).