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by John A. Keel

One of the most common symptoms of the contactee syndrome is the involuntary, unconscious convulsive seizure which produces muscular soreness and migraines, sometimes lasting for weeks after the experience. Victims of hallucinosis can suffer repeated attacks after each new hallucination. Specific areas of the brain are affected and these seizures, and all the accompanying effects, are well-known to medical science. It is apparent that most, if not all, contactees undergo dramatic changes in the forepart of the brain, possibly induced by electromagnetic waves from an exterior source.

We were involved in a case in Forest Hills, New York, in which a 12-year-old girl began to experience hallucinosis followed by mental blackouts and many of the common symptoms of jacksonian seizures. She underwent extensive medical and psychiatric examinations and the attending doctors discovered she often blacked out when in the presence of fluorescent lighting. Their rather far-out conclusion was that the girl’s brain was “tuned” to the same wavelength as such lights and their radiation directly interfered with her mental processes. The girl frequently saw, and conversed with, beings whom she described as resembling Indians. She saw these apparitions in the family kitchen and in school. Fluorescent lighting was used in both places. Interestingly enough, her mother also saw these apparitions on a number of occasions but claimed they were diminutive. The girl said they were of normal size and form. The family has now moved, convinced that their old home was “haunted.” The girl’s seizures have diminished since she now avoids rooms with fluorescent illumination.

We first became aware of the pseudo-epileptic effect during our investigation into the peculiar events around Cherry Hill, New Jersey in 1966. In that case, the principal witness, a healthy young Karate instructor with no history of convulsive seizures, suddenly collapsed. It was while he was being returned from the hospital that he and three others saw a gigantic object hovering above an RCA factory in Cherry Hill. We have dealt with many similar cases since.

Often witnesses to low-level UFO activity later complain of muscular soreness. They recall being transfixed or paralyzed, but they rarely recall any period of unconsciousness. Careful interrogation, however, usually indicates that they suffered a mental blackout ranging from a few seconds to several hours. This produces the well-known time lapse effect. Cryptoamnesia is another frequent result.

The Flying Saucer Review discussed an intriguing event in Finland in which two young men suffered these classic medical effects, together with actinic ray burns (FSR, Vol. 16, Nos. 3 & 4).

Numerous other cases have been discussed superficially in the UFO literature. Unfortunately, thorough medical examinations and investigations have been rare and few researchers have made any effort to study the available medical literature. Comparisons of known UFO effects with this literature can be most fruitful.

For many years now, parapsychologists have been studying the pineal gland’s relationship to hallucinosis and psychic manifestations. It is probable that the same “source” or electromagnetic influence which generates some psychic-type apparitions also produces most of the UFO contactee experiences. Those sections of the brain which produce classic UFO/psychic effects are also the sections which control visual and audio perception.

The meaning is obvious. Images, sounds, and other sensory impressions could conceivably be introduced into the brain by an electromagnetic wave which bypasses the normal channels. The remembered experience would not, therefore, be real in the usual sense of the term. An overcharge of this EM wave could produce a dilatorius effect and might even lead to a cellular breakdown…a possible explanation for the death by brain tumor of British contactee Arthus Bryant.

Percipients in religious miracles and visions traditionally suffer this pseudo-epileptic effect. The trance state followed by muscular soreness, etc. is common in all frames of reference. It would seem that purest form of this type of mental reconditioning is found in the cases of “mystical illumination” or “Cosmic Consciousness” (See the works of Dr. Bucke for details on this). More destructive variations occur in demonopathy. Schizophrenia is often induced in some percipients. A variety of chemical and emotional problems could be responsible for some cases.

Editor’s note: This intriguing article is a little known report written by John Keel in his privately distributed Anomaly newsletter (No. 5, October 1970) reprinted here with Keel’s permission. Though originally published 37 years ago, its significance and importance to present research efforts remains just as relevant today. In light of my interview with Anthony Peake in this same issue of Alternate Perceptions, I felt that it was high tide to once again resurrect this largely forgotten report of Keel’s.