Friday, August 14, 2009

MUFON alien abduction research committee launches Omega Three study

The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) Abduction/Experience Research Committee is launching the first of four studies it will conduct over the next few years - Omega Three.

Participants in the study are being recruited through an advertisement in the MUFON Journal as well as through OPUS.

The Journal ad states that MUFON is looking for "abductees, contactees and control group participants."

From the ad: "If you believe you have been abducted or had contact with an alien entity we need your help. We are also looking for those people interested in participating that do not believe they have been abducted or had contact for inclusion in the control group.

Those interested in participating should contacct Lester Velez, co-chairman and assistant state director for MUFON in northern California at or at 408.268.2837.

The following was written by co-chairman Robert B. LeLieurve.

For 40 years the Mutual UFO Network has undertaken the scientific study of Unidentified Flying Objects. In the main these investigations focused on sightings, physical traces, and other forms of observable events or effects.

In 2008 MUFON extended its mission into new avenues, one of which was the systematic study of the abduction phenomenon. The Abduction/Experience Research Committee, consisting of 12 individuals from a variety of scientific and professional disciplines, was charged with developing a comprehensive research strategy and program. The committee is chaired by Lester Velez.

Over the course of months the committee identified several possible studies it might conduct. Omega Three is the first of four studies to be conducted over the next several years. The committee as a whole is conducting the study, but two psychologists, Robert B. LeLieuvre, Ph.D., and Michael Freeman, Ph.D., are serving as the principal investigators. The study is being conducted under MUFON's auspices, and is funded by MUFON, which has allocated $2000 to cover the costs of preparation of materials and mailing of survey packets.

Ring and Rosing (1990) conducted the first study of individuals who reported UFO encounters, comparing them to a second experimental group, individuals who reported Near Death Experiences. Both these groups were also compared with two control groups --- individuals who had an interest in UFO encounters, but no direct experiences, and individuals who had an interest in the near-death phenomenon, but no near-death crisis. They found a great degree of similarity between the UFOErs and the NDErs. Both groups reported childhood experiences with alternate realities and psi phenomena, as well as histories of abuse and trauma. The combination of the above led to a dissociative style in times of heightened stress. Moreover, there was a discernable pattern of psychophysical and attitude-belief-value changes, similar for both groups of experiencers.

LeLieuvre, Larson, and Remington (2008) replicated some of the Ring and Rosing findings, but did not confirm the abuse-trauma-dissociation pathway. Ring and Rosing did acknowledge that the UFO experimental group was not homogenous for a type of UFO encounter. Rodeghier, Goodpaster, & Blatterbauer (1991) also argue that the lack of homogeneity among subjects might account for the different findings on a number of personality characteristics and personal style patterns often reported --- for example, encounterers, including abductees, are found to be fantasy prone in some studies and not fantasy prone in other studies, etc. Both sets of authors have called for a comprehensive study of abductees, comparing them with a matched community control group. This is the study now under way. It seeks to discover what, if any, psychological antecedents lead to sensitivity to and experiences of alien contact; it also seeks to discover what the long-term consequences of contact are.

Participants are being recruited through an advertisement in the MUFON UFO Journal, as well as through OPUS. All individuals who agree to participate sign an informed consent document, complete a demographic and experience qualification form designed to allow placement in the experiencers or the community control group, and complete a research survey packet, including the eight instruments used by Ring and Rosing, as well as the Persinger and Makarec (1991) Personal Philosophy Inventory. The plan is to recruit 100 abductees/experiencers and to compare them to a sample of 100 community control participants. Once the data are analyzed, a manuscript will be submitted to a UFO journal or to an applied psychology journal.

Any person interested in participating can contact Lester Velez at


LeLieuvre, R. B., Larson, T., & Remington, H. (2008). Ring's “Omega Project” revisited: Antecedents and consequences of UFO encounters and alien abductions. MUFON UFO Journal, 479, 8-11.

Persinger, M. A., & Makarec, K. (1991). Psychometric differentiation of men and women by the Personal Philosophy Inventory. Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, 12, 1267-1271.

Ring, K., & Rosing, C. J. (1990). The Omega Project: A psychological survey of persons reporting abductions and other UFO encounters. Journal of UFO Studies, 2, 59-98.

Rodeghier, M., Goodpaster, J., & Blatterbauer, S. (1991). Psychosocial characteristics of abductees: Results from the CUFOS abduction project. Journal of UFO Studies, 3, 59-90.