Paralysis in Abduction Experiences

In a surprisingly high percentage of cases, an Alien Abduction Experience, AAE, will occur while the experiencer is lying down or otherwise resting. The experiencer may be on the verge of sleep or emerging from sleep when they become aware that they are unable to move.

The experiencer may see alien entities either before or shortly after noticing that they are unable to move. It is commonly thought that the entities produce the paralysis in order to facilitate the abduction of the experiencer. A less popular position acknowledges that the paralysis is natural sleep paralysis (and, implicitly, that the Awareness is ASP: Awareness during Sleep Paralysis). It is thought that the aliens take advantage of the experiencer's sleep cycle and simply wait for the time when the experiencer is most vulnerable, when he or she is naturally paralyzed.

It is well worth while to look what experiencer say about paralysis in their reports. The details in these experiencer reports make the parallels with ASP rather clear.

Some Examples from Abductions by John E. Mack, MD:

Jerry    [1, 119-22]:

In the years that followed, Jerry had a number of 'nightmares' in which she would awake paralyzed, hear 'buzzing and ringing and whirring noises in her head, and see humanoid beings in her room.

This is precisely what ASP experiencers report.

Two small beings "floated above her bed. She believes that she screamed and tried to wake Bob, who was then her fiance, 'but he did not budge'.

ASP experiencers frequently believe they are screaming their lungs out. But, their partners (if awake and paying attention) usually report nothing more than a faint whisper or a slight moan.

Although she usually goes to sleep curled up in a self-protecting position on her side, Jerry awoke on her back.

The vast majority of ASP events occur while the experiencer is sleeping on her back.

Dave    [1, 276]:

Dave was paralyzed now, able to move only his eyes ...

Awareness during Sleep Paralysis occurs during Rapid Eye Movement, REM, sleep.

Paul    [1, 221]:

Going in and out of sleep he felt sure that there was 'something in the room'.

Interrupted sleep promotes Sleep Onset REM Periods (SOREMPs) which are very conducive to ASP. Indeed, sleep interruption is a technique researchers use to induce ASP in the sleep lab where it can be studied.

ASP experiencers often sense the presence of beings (seen or unseen) in the room with them.

But when he felt 'something on top of me', and found he could not move at all, he became terrified.

ASP experiencers frequently report the sensation of a weight (or an entity) pressing down on them, particularly in the region of the chest.


  1. Mack, John E. Abduction. 1994. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.