Alien Abduction Day is celebrated on March 20th of each year. The terms alien abduction or abduction phenomenon describe “subjectively real memories of being taken secretly against one’s will by apparently nonhuman entities and subjected to complex physical and psychological procedures”. People claiming to have been abducted are usually called “abductees” or “experiencers”. Typical claims involve being subjected to a forced medical examination that emphasizes their reproductive system. Abductees sometimes claim to have been warned against environmental abuse and the dangers of nuclear weapons. While many of these claimed encounters are described as terrifying, some have been viewed as pleasurable or transformative.
Due to a lack of any substantial physical evidence, most scientists and mental health professionals dismiss the phenomenon as “deception, suggestibility (fantasy-proneness, hypnotizability, false-memory syndrome), personality, sleep phenomena, psychopathology, psychodynamics [and] environmental factors”. Skeptic Robert Sheaffer also sees similarity between the aliens depicted in early science fiction films, in particular, Invaders From Mars, and those reported to have actually abducted people.
The first alien abduction claim to be widely publicized was the Betty and Barney Hill abduction in 1961. Reports of the abduction phenomenon have been made around the world, but are most common in English speaking countries, especially the United States. The contents of the abduction narrative often seem to vary with the home culture of the alleged abductee.
Alien abductions have been the subject of conspiracy theories and science fiction storylines (notably The X-Files) that have speculated on stealth technology required if the phenomenon were real, the motivations for secrecy, and that alien implants could be a possible form of physical evidence.