Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Anne Harris


Some UFO researchers (ufologists) claim that being abducted by aliens can be compared with shamanic initiation experiences in traditional societies in that both types of experience may be similarly transformative, leading to a more spiritual or animistic world-view, a deep concern for the environment and the development of paranormal abilities such as healing. This qualitative study is designed to investigate the validity of such claims. The research aim is to see whether the experiences and subsequent world-view of eleven alien abductees (eight women and three men) from a local abduction support group are similar to those of the typical shaman and, if so, what those similarities are. To do this, material gathered from in-depth interviews with the abductees is compared with the anthropological literature on shamanism, especially shamanic initiation experiences, from all parts of the world.