Sunday, April 29, 2007

Memory Games

image: still from Hitchcock film Spellbound, 1945

A lot’s been written on the nature of memory and UFO/paranormal experiences. All sides of the anomalous realm have tackled the hows and whys of our memories; skeptics of all stripes, UFO researchers, psychologists, debunkers, etc.

Theories as to our memories abound; explanations for missing time, screen memories, events that are as real as me sitting here in my armchair with my laptop but shouldn't ‘t be for their fantastic elements; all are either “explained” or debunked. And then there are the UFO researchers who take a nuts and bolts view: they happened exactly as described, for the aliens really did land, or communicate, or abduct, and that’s the end of that.

We’re fantasy prone. Or we remember what we want to remember. Or we think we remember but we really don't remember. We fill in the lbanks with things that aren’t there. We see patterns where there aren’t any. We want to see things so we do. We’re awake when we’re asleep, we’re asleep when we’re awake. Or we think we are. We suffer from sleep paralysis. We expect to see or experience something strange, so we do. We’ve seen too many movies about flying saucers. Some of us are mentally ill. Or some of us are just outright liars.

All the above combine in various ways to screw up our memory banks, and make us think we’ve seen things that we shouldn’t have, couldn’t have seen because they don’t exist. These are excuses to explain away all the weird things that happen in UFO events: missing time, screen memories, interactions with entities on some mid-plane (neither here in “reality” nor unreal.)

I’ve spoken with many individuals who’ve experienced the above, from a UFO sighting to alien abductions. I’ve personally experienced the following: UFO sightings, missing time, regression/hypnosis, interaction with entities, awareness of invisible entities. (Or what we interpreted as “entities” for all I know, they could have been microwaved beamed at us from a shadow government agency.) And in all of those experiences; my personal ones, and those of others, not once has the idea of these experiences being murky, iffy occurrences been expressed. There was never any doubt they really happened.

I don’t think I’ve seen UFOs, I have. I don’t kind of, sort of, in that vague dream like way, think I could have experienced missing time, I did experience missing time. The invisible entities: that was confirmed on different occasions by others who experienced the same thing. There is no question of false memory or sleep paralysis or other trendy chronic skeptic explanation.

I do have two memories I’m not sure about, and they have nothing to do with UFOs, the paranormal, or anything at all esoteric or occult. The question of course is why? How can it be I have two images/memories that won’t go away, yet I don’t know if they really happened? Were they dreams, or real? And why do I remember them at all?

In one, I am about five years old. I’m with my grandmother. We’re in a large place; the floor is black and white checkered linoleum. There are large pebbled glass windows set high in the walls, which are white ceramic tiles. The sun is streaming through these windows; the place is full of light. There are lots of clocks everywhere. I have no idea if this is a dream, or a memory of something real. It’s a persistent image however.

The other one concerns a concert. I have a memory of seeing Donovan at the Hollywood Bowl. But I’m not sure. I’ve been to a lot of performances there; and never doubted one of them. I’m positive about all of them. Except this one. You’d think I’d be “sure” if I saw Donovan or not. Why wouldn’t I be? Why am I not sure? I have a persistent image of him on the stage, sitting on a carpet, with flowers around his neck. I’m in the audience watching him. I think. I’m not sure. I don’t remember who I was with, how I got there, or what happened next.

Are these memories real? Is the first one a memory of somewhere I really did go with my grandmother? the Donovan memory: is it just one of those quirky aberrations, or some type of UFO or paranormal event after all?

While interesting, they have to stay where they are. In the meantime, the other experiences, as strange as they are, leave behind them plenty of questions as to what, who and why.

But not to their reality.

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