Rory

Senior Member.
In a recent interview with Garry Nolan broadcast by Australia's 7News he recounts a memory of being:

"probably six or seven [...] awake [and there were] little men in the bedroom. I knew they were there. I could see them."

Fast forward "about twenty years" and:

"I was at a used bookstore and I pulled out a book. And I’m pretty sure it was either John Mack’s or Whitley Streiber’s book [prompted by interviewer] Communion. And there on the front cover was - and I can feel the hair on my arms going up - was what I saw. And I remember I dropped the book because it was like: whoa. And it was a revelation, I guess.

From: youtu.be/pSZUBulON6I?t=3073

In Diana Pasulka's book American Cosmic - where Nolan is given the pseudonym "James" - the telling is slightly different:

An avid reader of science fiction, James picked up a book by Harvard researcher John Mack, Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens. James at first thought the book was fiction. He was shocked by what he read. The experiences of Mack’s subjects were exactly like his own. They described night visitors who paralyzed them and seemed to watch them in their sleep. The beings also spoke to the subjects telepathically. By the end of the book, James realized he was reading what amounted to the story of his life.
Content from External Source
So one of the problems there is that John Mack's book doesn't have a picture of an alien/"little person" on the cover:

1661708685878.png

Whitley Strieber's, however, very famously does:

View attachment 54242

So I guess either Nolan's memory is playing tricks on him; Pasulka's account is awry; there's another version of the cover of Mack's book (and Nolan forgot to mention the bit about dropping it as soon as he saw the cover but rather said it was reading it that did the trick and "around twenty years later" can equal "around twenty-seven years later"); or perhaps Nolan isn't "James" after all; or something else.

Also worth noting: in both accounts he emphasises that he was awake (Pasulka: "He insisted that he was awake when these events took place, and he said emphatically, 'I was not asleep'") but in the interview he also says:

"It could have been a dream."

Though if we want to cut him some slack it's possible that this concession was referring only to his first "encounter", and that his assertions of being sure he was awake were based on the ones that followed.


(NB To most I imagine the most rational explanation is a combination of sleep paralysis, the natural weirdness of being a child, the vagaries of memory, and the narratives we create and the way they evolve over time.)
 
Last edited:

JMartJr

Senior Member
NB To most I imagine the most rational explanation is a combination of sleep paralysis, the natural weirdness of being a child, the vagaries of memory, and the narratives we create and the way they evolve over time.
Barring evidence saying otherwise, that seems to sum it up.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Also, some numbers. I don't see Nolan's dob listed online but a few places say he was born c. 1961. His encounters, therefore, would have been c. 1966-68 and "about twenty years later" brings us to around 1987.

Mack's book, however, wasn't published until 1994.

Strieber's came out in February 1987.
 
Last edited:

Vattic

New Member
Worth mentioning that, besides sleep paralysis, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause hallucinations similar to many haunting and alien abduction accounts. It can even effect you when you are awake.
 

Z.W. Wolf

Senior Member.
Everything we experience is an hallucination. When the hallucinations are under control we call that Reality. When we go slightly out of tune, Reality might feel strange.

Feeling normal and interfacing with the environment is the hard part. The remarkable part. What we call altered consciousness is the easy part.

Obsessing about altered states and thinking they are in some way profound is backwards. We should obsesses about our normal state. It's quite staggering, really, that we are usually functional.

It's not remarkable that Apollo 13 went wrong. It's quite remarkable that Apollo 11 went right.

Shorter version



Longer version
 
Last edited:

Rory

Senior Member.
I posted it more to look at whether the various tellings of the story add up. But I guess what he may or may not have been experiencing could be of interest too.
 
Last edited:

Lee100

New Member
Worth mentioning that, besides sleep paralysis, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause hallucinations similar to many haunting and alien abduction accounts. It can even effect you when you are awake.

Also worth mentioning, the human brain naturally secrete DMT to protect itself during oxygen deprivation.

There are some speculations that sighting of aliens might simply be DMT trips.

Source: https://www.iflscience.com/spirit-molecule-dmt-keeps-cells-alive-when-oxygen-levels-low-37959
 
Last edited:

JMartJr

Senior Member
The link to the cover of Streiber's book in the first post is not working.
Here is the first edition cover, since there seems to be at least one later edition that omitted the alien. Per Rory's Post #3 above, it would have to have been an early edition, possibly a first...

View attachment 55047
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Just re-reading the OP, I notice another potential problem with Pasulka's account (bearing in mind it can't actually have been Mack's book anyway):

James at first thought the book was fiction. He was shocked by what he read. The experiences of Mack’s subjects were exactly like his own. They described night visitors who paralyzed them and seemed to watch them in their sleep. The beings also spoke to the subjects telepathically.

This shows "James" told her the book was by an author who recounted the experiences of "subjects" - which is exactly what Mack's book is. But Strieber's - presumably the actual book he's referring to - is a first person account (with, I believe, a small amount of others' experiences).

So it wasn't simply a case of mixing up two similar books, it's mixing up two books that are clearly different in their style of presentation.
 

Scaramanga

Member
In a recent interview with Garry Nolan broadcast by Australia's 7News he recounts a memory of being:



Fast forward "about twenty years" and:



From: youtu.be/pSZUBulON6I?t=3073

In Diana Pasulka's book American Cosmic - where Nolan is given the pseudonym "James" - the telling is slightly different:

An avid reader of science fiction, James picked up a book by Harvard researcher John Mack, Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens. James at first thought the book was fiction. He was shocked by what he read. The experiences of Mack’s subjects were exactly like his own. They described night visitors who paralyzed them and seemed to watch them in their sleep. The beings also spoke to the subjects telepathically. By the end of the book, James realized he was reading what amounted to the story of his life.
Content from External Source
So one of the problems there is that John Mack's book doesn't have a picture of an alien/"little person" on the cover:

1661708685878.png

Whitley Strieber's, however, very famously does:

View attachment 54242

So I guess either Nolan's memory is playing tricks on him; Pasulka's account is awry; there's another version of the cover of Mack's book (and Nolan forgot to mention the bit about dropping it as soon as he saw the cover but rather said it was reading it that did the trick and "around twenty years later" can equal "around twenty-seven years later"); or perhaps Nolan isn't "James" after all; or something else.

Also worth noting: in both accounts he emphasises that he was awake (Pasulka: "He insisted that he was awake when these events took place, and he said emphatically, 'I was not asleep'") but in the interview he also says:



Though if we want to cut him some slack it's possible that this concession was referring only to his first "encounter", and that his assertions of being sure he was awake were based on the ones that followed.


(NB To most I imagine the most rational explanation is a combination of sleep paralysis, the natural weirdness of being a child, the vagaries of memory, and the narratives we create and the way they evolve over time.)

I don't see the contradiction if Nolan read both books.....as the 7 News interview makes it clear he is familiar with both. There is a contradiction only if one assumes he is referring to one book 'or' the other. But nothing in either interview states that he only saw or read one of the books at the time. It is just as possible that he saw the cover of Communion, read a bit of it, then moved on to American Cosmic and read some of that, or bought both books, or whatever. Nothing in these quotes makes it clear that only one of the books was looked at.
 
Last edited:

Rory

Senior Member.
I don't see the contradiction if Nolan read both books

At the time of the anecdote he couldn't have read both books since Mack's didn't come out till several years later (unless his memory is wrong about when he first saw 'Communion' and it was actually around twenty-seven years after his encounter, in '94 or '95.)

There is a contradiction only if one assumes he is referring to one book 'or' the other

I think it's safe to assume that. He's talking about the revelation he had when first reading/seeing an alien abduction book.

then moved on to American Cosmic

'Abduction'?

nothing in either interview states that he only saw or read one of the books at the time. It is just as possible that he saw the cover of Communion, read a bit of it, then moved on to [Abduction] and read some of that, or bought both books, or whatever. Nothing in these quotes makes it clear that only one of the books was looked at.

Apart from the fact that he says he saw/read the book "about twenty years" after he was "six or seven" (Coulthart interview) or "five or six" (Pasulka book) - so between around '87 and '91 - and Abduction didn't come out till '94.

For your suggestion to work he's either never heard of alien abduction until he's at least 33 - and wrong in thinking he saw the book about twenty years later - or something even more convoluted, such as:
  • He comes across a copy of 'Communion' in about 1987
  • Sees the cover and has a revelation about his childhood experience
  • Presumably doesn't read much and/or forgets that he's seen the book ("my God, here's a book about what I experienced it as a kid: should I buy it? Read it standing here? Nah, I guess not...")
  • Then around seven or more years later he picks up 'Abduction'
  • He reads it and again has the revelation about his childhood experience
  • For some reason his memory isn't jogged about having read/seen Strieber's book and already having had that revelation
  • He also hasn't come across any similar info over the previous years (despite being "an avid reader of science fiction")
  • Finally, he does remember having seen Strieber's book and recounts the two revelation experiences to two separate interviewers but doesn't notice the discrepancies in the stories
In some ways those scenarios reflect even more poorly on his memory. But I think I'll just stick with: he can't remember what book it was; he can't remember whether it was the cover or the contents that shocked him; he's read both books in the meantime, plus many others on the subject; and the whole thing's got jumbled in his head (false memory syndrome).
 
Last edited:

Lawrens

New Member
Garry Nolan's interview was really interesting up until that part, sleep paralysis is such a common well known thing and even has a subreddit with hundreds of people posting about their experiences, yet the first thing he went to was Aliens because he was super enthusiastic about the subject and wanted it to be just that.

One other thing is that a person going through Sleep Paralysis may think they are awake, has their eyes opened, but in reality they are dreaming consciously and are essentially looking at a 1:1 (or the brain telling them it's 100% accurate) dream replication of their room, yes it might be unbelievable because they can make out all the details, but that's what it was, they may even move their arms, legs, crawl (only to "warp" back to their bed obviously, unless the person sleep walk, which is also entirely possible).

As for why he dreamed of some particular stuff, as the posts already said here, it could easily be memory playing tricks on him or not aware he has seen it in other media when he was far too young, or just confirmation bias.

Sorry for the bump, since I've had frequent sleep paralysis since childhood, whenever I read stuff like this, it really bothers me, lol.
 
Last edited:

Vattic

New Member
One other thing is that a person going through Sleep Paralysis may think they are awake, has their eyes opened, but in reality they are dreaming consciously and are essentially looking at a 1:1 (or the brain telling them it's 100% accurate) dream replication of their room, yes it might be unbelievable because they can make out all the details, but that's what it was, they may even move their arms, legs, crawl (only to "warp" back to their bed obviously, unless the person sleep walk, which is also entirely possible).
Is this really how it works? I was under a different impression, both from personal experience and explanations from my doctor.

I get sleep paralysis episodes fairly often and believe I am seeing my room and experiencing some real stimuli. There is no obvious gap between waking into the sleep paralysis and regaining motor control; I don't wake again.

Other times I have heard and seen things I can confirm were real. One episode I could feel a presence in the room and hear crashing and banging sounds. I rationalised it as a burglary. Once I could move I got up and discovered our faulty washing machine was being taken away. I have even been witnessed having an episode. My dad coming into the room woke me into an episode and I could clearly see him.

This isn't to say I haven't had hallucinations. A wide range even, but they go away as the paralysis fades.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Worth mentioning that, besides sleep paralysis, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause hallucinations similar to many haunting and alien abduction accounts. It can even effect you when you are awake.
Article:
Hallucinations

Several types of hallucinations have been linked to sleep paralysis: the belief that there is an intruder in the room, the feeling of a presence, and the sensation of floating. One not uncommon hallucination is the presence of an Incubus.[13] A neurological hypothesis is that in sleep paralysis the Cerebellum which usually coordinates body movement and provides information on body position, experiences a brief myoclonic spike in brain activity inducing a floating sensation.[13]
The intruder and incubus hallucinations highly correlate with one another, and moderately correlated with the third hallucination, vestibular-motor disorientation, also known as out-of-body experiences,[13] which differ from the other two in not involving the threat-activated vigilance system.[17]
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I get sleep paralysis fairly often: it's very interesting how tangible the sense is that a) someone is there; b) that it feels like a malignant presence; and c) that it has a feminine energy to it. And even though I know what causes it and that there isn't anything there it still takes some mental strength to shake it off.

Not sure if it still holds true but I remember years ago it being proposed that a not insignifcant number of deaths among Hmong people had been attributed to a strong belief that sleep paralysis was in fact caused by a spirit called dab tsog:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5167075/

Fascinating how the night hag is present in so many cultures across the world.
 

Vattic

New Member
Article:
Hallucinations

Several types of hallucinations have been linked to sleep paralysis: the belief that there is an intruder in the room, the feeling of a presence, and the sensation of floating. One not uncommon hallucination is the presence of an Incubus.[13] A neurological hypothesis is that in sleep paralysis the Cerebellum which usually coordinates body movement and provides information on body position, experiences a brief myoclonic spike in brain activity inducing a floating sensation.[13]
The intruder and incubus hallucinations highly correlate with one another, and moderately correlated with the third hallucination, vestibular-motor disorientation, also known as out-of-body experiences,[13] which differ from the other two in not involving the threat-activated vigilance system.[17]
Did you intend to quote my earlier post or my later? I'm not sure what you are trying to communicate either way. Being someone who gets sleep paralysis I'm aware of the symptoms. They Match Nolan's testimony well.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Did you intend to quote my earlier post or my later? I'm not sure what you are trying to communicate either way. Being someone who gets sleep paralysis I'm aware of the symptoms. They Match Nolan's testimony well.
Yes.

I quoted the post where you introduced sleep paralysis into the thread; providing a source that lists the symptoms explains to everyone else why you did it and lends authority to your suggestion; it also provides (via the link to the Wikipedia article) a simple way for everyone to check @Lawrens's account.

(Not everyone on the Internet is trying to pick a fight.)
 

Topbunk 2.0

Member
Also, some numbers. I don't see Nolan's dob listed online but a few places say he was born c. 1961. His encounters, therefore, would have been c. 1966-68 and "about twenty years later" brings us to around 1987.

Mack's book, however, wasn't published until 1994.

Strieber's came out in February 1987.
Ted Seth Jacobs who painted the Communion (1987) cover also illustrated an abductees account in Missing Time (1981) Budd Hopkins. That book also had an alien on the cover, although not nearly as arresting as the Communion one. The description of reading a number of accounts which echoed Nolan's own experience would also apply as the content is similar.

MissingTime1981Cover.png
Inside there's this image created by Ted Seth Jacobs, who also painted the Communion book cover.
TSJ_Missing_Time_1981.jpg

The story of being shocked by the Communion cover image of an alien face is also featured elsewhere.

Source: https://twitter.com/giddierone/status/1579260128578408448?s=20&t=MV7qbzUVb1G_mfKZLFUsww
 
Last edited:

Rory

Senior Member.
OK now, explain that. Do you mean a succubus rather than an incubus? Or something more esoteric that's not in my vocabulary?

Nah, there's no sexual component. Just that it "feels" female rather than male, for whatever reason. Which is interesting being as most of the folklore and cultural beliefs across the world also interpret it as something like a witch or a female spirit/demon.

The wikipedia article on sleep paralysis, by the way, says "sleep paralysis is sometimes interpreted as space alien abduction in the United States." Though the citation for this is a summary of just two studies featuring a total of only 41 people, so I don't know how reliable that idea is.
 
Last edited:

Lawrens

New Member
Is this really how it works? I was under a different impression, both from personal experience and explanations from my doctor.

I get sleep paralysis episodes fairly often and believe I am seeing my room and experiencing some real stimuli. There is no obvious gap between waking into the sleep paralysis and regaining motor control; I don't wake again.

Other times I have heard and seen things I can confirm were real. One episode I could feel a presence in the room and hear crashing and banging sounds. I rationalised it as a burglary. Once I could move I got up and discovered our faulty washing machine was being taken away. I have even been witnessed having an episode. My dad coming into the room woke me into an episode and I could clearly see him.

This isn't to say I haven't had hallucinations. A wide range even, but they go away as the paralysis fades.

Yeah not all of the stuff you see/dream of are out of your imaginations, you can still perceive sound/visuals, I think we do/can open our eyes sometimes during the episode, because otherwise we wouldn't be able to explain how you saw your dad walking in, in my experience I often can see my room mixed with hallucinations, and I sometimes can feel my eyelids being closed, can move around my non existing arms and body, I'm guessing this is similar to "phantom limb" syndrome.

During episodes where I think I have my eyes opened, I could see objects in my room that my brain sometimes misinterpret into something else, like a pile of clothes were shaped like an animal in the dark, and so my brain keep seeing it as that, the thing is a lot of times it transitions into a dream and I was unable to tell which part of it was "real", or when that transition happened, one example is me staring at my room but my room slowly warped into another location, so it's why I assumed most of the stuff during sleep paralysis are just hallucinations/dream imagery.

Another time was me dozing off into sleep paralysis with my hand on my mouse, I was staring at my monitor, I quickly swung my hand just to watch my mouse fall off the desk and "warp" back into my hand, it's when I was certain that was a dream even though it might not be 100% of it.

I do wonder if they do experiments with this sort of stuff, some things can be easier explained/confirm if they camcord the person in the episode and see how they perceive dynamic elements.
 
Last edited:
Top