Since writing ‘Virtual Banality’ (below), about low-strangeness paranormal experiences, our occasional columnist The Pelican has drawn to my attention an incident described in his column published in Magonia 98, September 2008.
The sceptical avian criticises ufologists who deny the possibility that some - or most - abduction experiences could have been the result of such psychological states as sleep paralysis, and quotes from a correspondent to the Physicsforums discussion group calling himself 'zoobyshoe', who describes how he was "abducted in broad daylight from a McDonalds":
This was in Minnesota about 25 years ago. I got up from a nap one day and walked down to a McDonalds where I always went because all my friends hung out there. As I was standing in line to get my coffee I suddenly fell backwards for no apparent reason right onto the guy who was standing behind me. A second later I was lying on my back, back in my bed at home. But I was lying on top of the guy I had fallen onto at the McDonalds’. He had my arms pinned and he was sniggering in my ear. I was pretty much paralyzed. There was someone else in the room, too. This guy paced back and forth slowly, not looking at me or the other guy, seeming to be waiting for something to happen. He looked depressed. The guy holding me down kept sniggering in my ear and seemed to be enjoying the fact I was paralyzed. I was completely terrified, to say the least, and couldn't even struggle.
After a few moments both figures disappeared, and ‘zoobyshoe’ was alone on the bed in his room.
"It had all been completely vivid in all detail: I could see, hear and feel them perfectly clearly while it was going on … What was especially peculiar was the "set up": the part where I hallucinated walking all the way to the McDonald's when I was actually still at home in bed.”
Like ‘Val’ and Johnny Mendoza he concludes: “Had it been two grey alien looking things instead of two humans, I'm sure I'd have been seriously considering that I'd been abducted by space aliens.”
So again, we have an example of an experience which is totally real to the percipient at the time it occurs, and is only seen to be ‘virtual reality’ when later events prove the unreality of it. Of course, if the virtual event is interpreted at the time as being interaction with extraterrestrial beings with super powers there is almost no way in which subsequent events can demonstrate its unreality – especially if those ‘subsequent events’ happen to be an investigation by ufological abductionologists!