Meet one Katharina Wilson, an attractive, intelligent, apparently well-adjusted, 34-year-old woman. Born in a small college town in the Deep South, Wilson now lives in Portland, Oregon, with her second husband, Erik. She sees herself as "an average American woman," a fitting self-description marred by just one fact: She also claims to be a UFO abductee.
At first glance, Wilson's story sounds rather typical of other abduction lore. She claims to have been abducted and reproductively traumatized since the age of six by small alien creatures with large black eyes. Then, in her late twenties, she decided to come out of the UFO closet and tell all.
What's different about Wilson's account, however, is in the way it comes to us - straight up. She has told her story - all of it, every dirty detail - on her own. It does not come to us secondhand, through a Budd Hopkins or a David Jacobs, to name just two of the most prominent UFO abduction researchers in this country. Instead, the story comes to us pure and wholly unfiltered in a book Wilson has written and published herself.
Why is this so important? Because hearing about alien abductions directly from experiencers reveals aspects of the phenomenon long ignored - or perhaps just swept under the carpet - by most researchers. And in the end, these regularly hidden details may be vital in determining the cause of the UFO abduction phenomenon.
Indeed, as a journalist who's investigated more than my fair share of UFO abductions, I've learned that many aspects of the so-called abduction phenomenon just don't make it into print. instead, most investigators inevitably process the stories, molding the accounts to fit the theories they favor or the patterns they expect to find. Things that don't fit their preconceived notion of what's really happening "out there" are often deliberately left out of subsequent retellings of the tale.
In the standard abduction scenario, a person may or may not have seen a UFO but is somehow whisked away from his or her home or car by small gray creatures and forced to undergo some sort of medical examination aboard a spaceship. The incident usually turns out to be one of many in the person's past involving it variety of reproductive assaults - semen sampling, artificial insemination, and fetus removal - resulting in the production of human/ alien starbabies that the ETs keep.
Generally lacking in the standard scenario, however, is the wide variety of other phenomena that the person often claims to have experienced as well - the psychic perceptions, the premonitions, the bedroom encounters with dead relatives, the ghosts, the time travel, and more. Despite what is often a nearly mindnumbing display of high strangeness, you would be hard pressed to find such descriptions in the published accounts.
In the standard abduction scenario, as brought to us by the experts," these messy details are summarily expunged. What we are left with is a cleaned-up story, a tale that stays unerringly "on mark," thus fitting the desired "alien" mold.
Of course, to some extent information selection happens, often unconsciously in every field of human inquiry. But in a protodiscipline like UFOlogy where the basic data is itself a subject of contention, this sort of filtering is particularly damaging.
Now all this has changed, thanks to The Alien Jigsaw, Katharina Wilson's courageous effort to buck the wave of censorship and tell all. In this brutally honest, firsthand account, Wilson describes a harrowing lifetime of encounters with what she sincerely believes are aliens. She holds nothing back, and provides numerous surprises along the way. To begin with she tells us of not one, or two, or a dozen abduction episodes, but an astounding 119 of them, occurring in a span of just 26 years. And her experiences involve not just your typical aliens, but also encounters with the dead, time-travel episodes, psychic experiences, and even a vision of an eight-foot-tall floating penguin - everything you can imagine and a whole lot more.
In the middle of one abduction episode, for example, Wilson somehow encounters her present husband as a young man, years before she met him. Later in the episode she is terrified when told by the aliens that it is 1957 - three years before she was born. Wilson also credits the aliens with saving her life; she twice had alien premonitions of nearly being killed by lightning, and on August 7, 1989 Wilson put on a pair of rubber-soled shoes just moments before lightning shattered the courtyard wall and nearly killed her.
I don't think Wilson is perpetrating a hoax. If she were, she certainly would have left out the journal entry dated August 4, 1992. "I'm with Senator Gore," Wilson wrote, "and we are in a large room with many people. He is organizing something. Governor Clinton must be here, too - now I'm looking directly at President Bush. He really looks tired - beaten." When Wilson tells Gore that she has never voted Republican, Bush looks at her "with a look of disgust on his face." Later, she realizes that Gore and Clinton are preparing a feast, and she watches as it grows larger and larger.