Participation Mystique Number 4: Abductions Continued

Abductions II

The Vulnerablity of Older White Women: Abductions Made to Order

Scrabble and Crossword Puzzles Render Victims Particularly Susceptible

American white women in their sixties are particularly ripe for harvest. They are past childbearing, something abductors like. Abductors  are not interested in limited the vocabulary of still breeding women. Still, these women tend to worry about adult children even after they are past middle age. Worrying dulls or suppresses brain function, but the women do a lot of crossword puzzles. In fact, aliens, with the support of the United States Government and particularly NIMH, have planted stories that lead these women to believe that Scrabble and crosswords actually enhance brain health. Yes, worrying has a dulling effect on brain function but the crosswords counteract this and in fact renders the women rich in vocabulary resources. Something abductors value.

These women are particular good abductees because their post abduction symptoms and stories are taken for signs of aging, as strokes, as mini strokes, as ocular migranes or just neuroses. The culture is primed by the medical establishment and film industry to ignore this demographic or make light of the so called foibles of age. They tend to be forgetful, so family and medical establishment believe and convince the women to believe, so absence of time is taken as a given of their age. In point of fact, no one takes their episodic abductions seriously and because they have so little detail to report other than lost words or time, they are happily convinced that their brains, like their knees, are simply suffering from long time over use.

But I know personally of at least four instances of these post menopause abductions and am convinced that abduction among members of this demographic is rather common and accounts for most of the behaviors associated with their aging.

The first case brought to me was of a seemingly normal older woman who lived in relative luxury. She had inherited wealth, had a long marriage, and several seemingly successful children who had married and bore children of their own. Her marriage became unbearable and she separated from her husband.  Her children by now were living on their own with their families. She was alone, though, in point of fact, not often. One day, while contemplating her next dinner and staring mindlessly into the right hand vegetable bin of her refrigerator (she remembers seeing radicchio and a bundle of scallions), she found herself standing by a cracked window near the litter box in the bathroom off the master bedroom. What happened between riffling through the wilted red leaf lettuce and the damaged glass in the pane in the bath window? She felt disoriented and had no idea where she had been or with whom or why or for how long. Nothing else seemed different. But she searched the house for signs of burglary or evidence, perhaps, of her own confused and forgotten meanderings. Her grandmother’s gravy boat was missing. This was certain. The gravy boat was no small thing. It was hand carved from the tusk of a walrus and etched with images of the steamship Arctic on one side and Two Brothers on the other. Both ships were doomed. That is perhaps of some consequence.

Also missing was a gallon sized glass jar filled to the top with her father’s collection of early 20th century pennies. The sheer weight of the copper in these pennies gave value to the collection. She searched the house thinking that the housekeeper, who came once a week, might have moved the jar during a cleaning jag. But neither gravy boat nor penny jar could be found.

In her dreams on subsequent nights she saw herself handing the gravy boat to an ill clad person with large eyes and a green complexion. The penny jar she saw in the arms of a man dressed in black and whose eyes were likewise black and without whites. Though she heard herself objecting strongly to handing over these valuables to the pair, she seemed, ultimately, helpless to say no to either of them. She interpreted this as a parable or message about her own general inability to say no.

Many tests were run on the poor woman when she reported the missing time. Nothing physical explained the lapse. Fearing she would be taken for a looney, she did not report the dreams and learned to live without the pennies and gravy boat.

A second woman from the same demographic experienced a similar but not identical day. Like June Heinrich (see first abduction story), she lost her ability to speak nouns. This was disconcerting because nouns are her favorite part of speech. After verbs. Well French verbs to be specific. After the episode, She tried speaking nouns in each of the five or six languages she knew. Nothing. This odd event did not happen in the comfort of her home nor even in the woods. No. She was having a quiet dinner with a friend in a local wine bar and had just eaten a second cracker cum Fontiago cheese topped with capers. She was sipping a very dry martini when her attempt to say something clever fell flat. Her dinner partner did not laugh or even smile. There was no retort, no critique, no attempt to top her remark with something even cleverer. The partner simply looked blank. Not concerned, not worried, not engaged. Just blank. The woman tried again. This time she decided to quote someone known to be clever. The partner stared. Even blanker. What she heard was “is…..being…..were…..crazed….laughed….typed.” She decided that this was a game and tried to guess the missing words. “Monkey.” She said. The woman shook her head. “Nostril.” “Lips” “Face.” “The crazed monkey laughed through its nostril until its lips fell off its face.” The woman shook her head “no” even more vigorously. The dinner, needless to say, was a fiasco. The nouns returned within two or three hours but the friendship was at an end as was the woman’s reputation for witty repartee and compelling wordplay.

Like woman number one, her subsequent dreams were peculiar. This woman had scenes in which tubes were forced through her ear canals and long sentences were extracted. The tubes led to a series of filters and each filter dumped contents into carboy sized jars each variously labeled “French verbs,” “Spanish nouns,” “English adjectives” and so forth. The words themselves echoed into her restless nights. She tried to describe this to her physician on one of her call backs but he handed her a prescription for lorazapam and left the room.


The fourth case I will describe, also from the same demographic, concerns a woman who became known for her ability to decode those who had been believed to be programmed by evil but terrestrial forces. Of course, all of her talent and even the so called programmed clients sent to her were part of a grand experiment conducted by a group of extra terrestrials in conjuction with and approval of the United States Air Force. She also liked to play Scrabble. Without realizing how she was being directed, she built a rural home in the shape of a flying saucer which pleased the aliens and offered an easy target for the conveyance of their subliminal messages to her. Her abilities were enhanced. She was also convinced by an alien who opened a hair salon in her local town, that she should buy a bonnet hairdryer. The dryer was of course rigged up in a phony factory so that it too would convey information to her. She became convinced that clouds over her home were being seeded with poison and that her horses could talk. She believed that most of her dreams were composed of bits and pieces of past lives. Thus she came to understand that she had lived in Anatolia, Uzbekistan, Siberia many years before…and always as a person who traded in precious stones. Believing that these dreams signaled a calling, she began taking long vacation trips to Moab and climbing in rocks in search of bits of jasper and torquoise.


Women’s abductions clearly take a form unique in both purpose and outcome. One woman, for example, reported that she had been taken to the Amalfi coast for a day hike and then swooped into Milan for a shoe-buying spree. She had an exquisite pair of a buttery dappled red leather pumps with a sensible but elegantly shaped heel to prove it. These are shoes she could not have found in her own hometown or even within a hundred miles of it. And she could not have afforded to purchase these shoes on her pension income.


The Gay Abductee

Another unusual subset of the above described demographic of abductees is gay white women over sixty. Known in the literature as the “Gay Abductees,” these women or, as they might self identify, lesbians are understudied.




About Llyn De Danaan

LLyn De Danaan is an anthropologist and author. She writes fiction and nonfiction. Katie Gale: A Coast Salish Woman's Life on Oyster Bay was published by the University of Nebraska Press. She is currently a speaker for Humanities Washington.
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