Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Erika Friedel-Loeffler

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Sundick

Third Advisor

Dr. Vincent Lyon-Callo

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


A gap has developed in the research agenda of contemporary anthropology with regard to a phenomenon which has received notable attention from research professionals in other fields, such as history and psychiatry. What has been called the "alien abduction phenomenon" has had considerable impact, not only on those who sincerely believe these events are an everyday part of human experience (called "abductees") but also on the changing tapestry of American culture. Alien abduction accounts are closely related to the Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) phenomenon, a theme which has shaped American culture since the tum of the century. This thesis represents research into these unusual and complex phenomena, their historical foundations, and their impact on the social sciences and various subcultures. The intent of this research is to explicate the nature of the UFO/alien abduction phenomenon in anthropological terms, and to survey its impact on related subcultures as well as the broader context of American culture.

Included in

Anthropology Commons