For example, in Chapter 9, there are two examples of women reporting severe vaginal infections after UFO abductions that involved gynecological examinations. The very fact that abduction witnesses report invasive physical examinations suggests that their experiences are not simply mental. Dr. Neal pointed out, “Aliens have taken blood, oocytes (ova) from females and spermatozoa from males, and tissue scrapings from their subjects’ ears, eyes, noses, calfs, thighs and hips.” Sometimes tubes are inserted into women’s navels an operation that was described to Betty Hill as a pregnancy test by her captors. It has been pointed out that this operation is similar to a gynecological testing procedure called laparoscopy that was developed years after Betty and Barney Hill’s abduction experience in September of 1961. Finally, we shouldn’t overlook the controversial topic of probes that are inserted into the nose by alien entities. As Dr. Neal put it, “Many abductees have described a thin probe with a tiny ball on its end being inserted into the nostril usually on the right side. They are able to hear a `crushing’ type sound as the bone in this area is apparently being penetrated. Many will have nosebleeds following these examinations.” Fowler and Hopkins give examples of this, and it seems to come up repeatedly in UFO accounts. From time to time, investigators have claimed that such probes have been recovered from people’s bodies for examination. However, I have yet to see any reliable publication describing a systematic study of a recovered probe. One could postulate that people may imagine physical experiences, such as having probes inserted into their bodies. However, it is not clear what their inner motive would be for imagining such things. Many UFO abductees reporting these experiences have been tested psychologically and found to be quite normal. So their testimony cannot be attributed to abnormal mental processes. One could also postulate that beings acting on a subtle level might be able to invoke in people’s minds traumatic experiences that would result in physical symptoms. There are cases in which people have developed bleeding wounds called stigmata, apparently under the influence of intense religious emotions. There are also reports that a particular pattern of reddened skin, such as a cross, can be produced by hypnotic suggestion. Could it be that the physical symptoms of UFO abductions are similarly produced by some form of psychical influence? One reply to this is that some abduction cases involve physical traces on objects or on the ground that suggest the presence of some physically real agent. Examples would be the ground traces reported by Budd Hopkins in the Kathie Davis case, or the strange shiny spots appearing on the car of Betty and Barney Hill after their UFO experience. Also, there are abduction cases, such as those of Travis Walton, William Herrmann, and Filiberto Cardenas, in which the abductee was dropped off by the UFO miles from his pickup point. Near-Death Experiences with Administrative Bungling There is certainly a great deal of evidence indicating that UFOs can become manifest as physically real vehicles, and there is also much evidence suggesting that people are sometimes physically taken on board these vehicles. However, since some UFO abductions do seem to involve out-of-body experiences, the idea that trauma on a subtle, mental level can bring about gross physical effects should be carefully considered.
To illustrate what might happen, consider the following account of a near-death experience occurring in India: In the late 1940s, an Indian man named Durga Jatav suffered for several weeks from a disease diagnosed as typhoid. At a certain point his body became cold for a couple of hours, and his family thought he had died.
But he revived and told his family that he had been taken to another place by ten people. After attempting to escape from them, they cut off his legs at the knees to prevent further attempts. Then they took him to a place where about forty or fifty people were sitting. They looked up his “papers,” declared that the wrong man had been fetched, and ordered his captors to take him back. When he pointed out that his legs had been cut off, he was shown several pairs of legs and recognized his own. These were somehow reattached, and he was warned not to “stretch” his knees until they had a chance to heal. After his revival, his sister and a neighbor both noticed that he had deep folds or fissures in the skin on the fronts of his knees, even though such marks had not been there previously. The marks were still visible in 1979, but X-rays taken in 1981 showed no abnormality beneath the surface of the skin. Could it be that the experience of having his legs cut off in a subtle realm caused these marks on his physical legs? Ian Stevenson has assembled a large amount of evidence indicating that young children who spontaneously remember previous lives sometimes bear birthmarks on their bodies corresponding to injuries received during those lives. He has about 200 cases of this type, and he says that in fifteen he has been able to match up birthmarks with postmortem reports describing the previous body. Regarding these birthmarks, he made the following observation: “Some marks are simply areas of increased pigmentation; in other cases, the birthmark is three-dimensional, the area being partly or wholly elevated, depressed, or puckered. I have examined at least two hundred of this kind, and many of them cannot be distinguished, at least by me, from the scars of healed wounds.” The point about scars is especially significant in connection with UFO abductions. In the case of Durga Jatav, one can imagine that some psychical influence injected into his brain the idea that his legs had been cut off, and this in turn resulted in the fissures in his knees. However, if a wound in one life can affect a body in another, then more must be involved than just the brain. An explanation can be devised if we introduce the idea that the soul, encased in a body made of subtle energy, is able to transmigrate from one gross physical body to another. In that case, one can suppose that the fatal injury in one life traumatized the subtle body, and this resulted in birthmarks in the developing embryo in the next life. One could likewise suppose that Durga Jatav’s subtle body was traumatized in a subtle domain, and this resulted in the knee fissures when his subtle body was returned to his gross body. A wide variety of physical effects can apparently be produced by subtle action. Here is an example involving a man named Mangal Singh who experienced an NDE in about 1977 while in his early 70s.
Sometimes they’re not even awar until somebody tells them afterwards . . . that they were doing or saying things that are not characteristic of the person.” In the Bhagavata Purana a mystic siddhi is described which enables a grossly embodied being to leave his gross body behind and enter in subtle form into another person’s body.
This is illustrated by the following story in the Mahabharata: A king named Kalmashapada once arrogantly insulted and struck the sage Shakti because the latter would not give way to the king on a narrow forest path. Shakti, a son of the famous sage Vasishtha, then cursed the king to become a man-eater. While the king and Shakti were quarreling, Vishvamitra, an enemy of Vasishtha and a powerful yogi, approached invisibly with the aim of gaining something for himself. After seeing what happened and evaluating the condition of the king’s mind, Vishvamitra waited until the king returned to his capital city and then ordered a Rakshasa to approach him. By the sage’s curse and the order of Vishvamitra, the Rakshasa was able to enter the king and possess him. The king was severely harassed by the Rakshasa within him, but he was able to protect himself with his own willpower. Later the king was asked by a brahmana for a meal with meat. The request slipped the king’s mind, but late that night he remembered it and asked a cook to prepare the meal for the brahmana, who was waiting at a certain place. Unable to find any meat, the cook asked the king what to do. The Rakshasa then exerted his influence, and the king ordered the cook repeatedly to get human meat. The cook did this, using flesh from an executed prisoner. The brahmana, on seeing the resulting meal, realized that it was unfit to eat, and he also cursed the king to become a man-eater. As a result of this second curse, the Rakshasa was able to completely take over the king, and driven by madness and a desire for vengeance, the king began to kill and devour first Shakti and then the other sons of Vasishtha. The Rakshasas were mentioned in Chapter 6 in connection with the illusory deer that Ravana used to abduct Sita, and in Chapter 8 in connection with Bhima and his Rakshasi wife, Hidimba. They were beings with powerfully structured gross bodies, and they were also known for their mastery of mystic powers. Before meeting Hidimba, Bhima engaged in an intense hand-to-hand struggle with her brother Hidimba and killed him by strangulation after exhausting him in the fight. This battle was thoroughly physical. But in the story of king Kalmashapada, the Rakshasa ordered by Vishvamitra was able to act on a subtle level and possess the king in the manner of a traditional evil spirit. This story illustrates the idea that beings of essentially inimical motivation may have the power to act both on the subtle and gross platforms of existence. In that realm, many simple acts of service serve as media for the exchange of intense love between Krishna and His devotees. On occasion, the milk would boil over, and in his meditation Narottama would burn his hands while trying to stop it. It turned out, however, that upon awakening from his reverie, he would find that his hands were actually burned. This story can be compared with the two near-death experiences mentioned above, in which physical effects resulted from subtle experiences. One might argue that in all these cases, the physical effects were somehow impressed on the body by the power of the mind, as a consequence of intense mental experiences. From the Vedic point of view, this idea is acceptable as long as we understand that the mind of the individual involved had actually been functioning in another realm of existence. But more is involved than some kind of psychosomatic influence of the mind on the body. To illustrate this point, consider the next story.