Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: August 17, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959216 | Print ISBN: 9781412959209 | Online ISBN: 9781412959216| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Alien abduction is a familiar theme in popular culture. As described by those who claim to have experienced it, alien abduction (in this entry, abduction, for short) is the physical seizure, or kidnapping, of a human being by an extraterrestrial intelligent being. Since the advent of space exploration in the mid-20th century, the subject of abduction has waxed and waned in popularity as the focus of newspaper reports and magazine features, true confessions and science fiction, television documentaries and big-budget Hollywood movies, and millions of World Wide Web sites. John E. Mack (1929–2004), the most authoritative scientist to study this subject (see “Research and Information”), called abduction a “phenomenon.” Using this nomenclature, Mack established abduction as a subject suitable for scientific study, and nothing more. By the time he concluded his program of research, he had not solved the mystery of abduction. To date, no one has been able to ...