Magazine article Science News

UFO Sighters: A Down-to-Earth Crowd

Magazine article Science News

UFO Sighters: A Down-to-Earth Crowd

Article excerpt

UFO sighters: A down-to-Earth crowd

Welcome to the world of middle-class, no-nonsense, 9-to-5 citizens. While you're here, welcome to the ranks of those who typically report close encounters with unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and space aliens.

No available information supports such claims. Yet contrary to the suspicions of some researchers, people who cite UFO experiences prove neither psychologically disturbed nor especially fond of fashioning elaborate fantasies, according to a study in the November JOURNAL OF ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY.

UFO reports most often crop up among people who believe in the existence of UFOs, extraterrestrials, and other paranormal phenomena, such as reincarnation, assert Nicholas E Spanos, a psychologist at Carleton University in Ottawa, and his colleagues. These expectations apparently prime them to shape UFO episodes out of ambiguous events or unusual physical sensations that most often occur at night and in conjunction with a dream or sleep, the investigators contend.

Spanos and his co-workers studied 49 people - most holding white-collar jobs -- who described a UFO sighting or a closer otherworldly encounter, such as meeting a space alien or being taken away in a spaceship. …

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