Among the stories of pseudoscience and conspiracies, one genre that tends to stand out in the last years of the twentieth century and continues on into the twenty-first is that of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and alien abductions. Accounts of “bright lights in the sky” and “extraterrestrial encounters” fall under these categories. All of the evidence for these occurrences is rooted in first-hand accounts and testimonials from witnesses of the events. However, testimonials are not considered evidence in the realm of actual science.
Studies into the nature of the belief of UFO sightings and abductions have led to some interesting results. With basic evaluation the subjects of the tests were shown to not be inclined to be less mentally healthy than the average human. However it is significant that those that reported the more extravagant and detailed descriptions of their encounters stated that “their experience was sleep related” . The reports of the general and bland descriptions of “lights in the sky” were more likely to claim it a genuine experience.