Kuro5hin contended in 2002 that aliens have abducted four million Americans. UFO Research Queensland placed local alien abductions rates between 2 percent and 4 percent of the population. Cornell College refers to this type of interaction as a "close encounter of the fourth kind." While the list of abductees is long, conspicuously absent are certain groups of individuals such as American lawmakers or Supreme Court justices. How do aliens choose abductees? Interestingly enough, there are six types of people aliens seem to prefer when trolling for humans.
- Sufferers of sleep paralysis. The University of California, San Francisco, published a report showing that sleep paralysis is experienced by about 30 percent of Americans. Of these, 5 percent report sleep paralysis experiences coupled with "visual, tactile, and auditory hallucinations." These hallucinations occasionally morph into alien entities.
- Buck Rogers fans. Cornell points to the perhaps most famous alien abduction occurring in September 1961. Betty and Barney Hill underwent hypnosis and revealed they were subjected to reproductive experimentation while aboard a spaceship. Interestingly, their recollections were eerily similar to "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," a 1930s comic adventure. Plenty of subsequent abduction stories are comparable to the Hill experience, which may point to a host of unwitting Buck Rogers fans.
- The socially inept. Researchers publishing in the Harvard University Gazette offer the possibility that false memories are to blame for some of the alien abduction accounts. Shared traits included in a group recalling alien abduction experiences incorporate "fantasy proneness, paranormal interests and experiences, and inability to relate socially to others."
- The culturally contaminated. PBS reports that Carl Sagan, when asked about the similarity of alien abduction accounts, pointed to a contamination with pop culture as a likely culprit. He believed in the creation of an alien abduction paradigm shaped by individual stories, movies, TV shows, books and Internet postings.
- Those unapologetically human. Folklore is filled with stories of the nightmare spirit known as the Old Hag. Associated with the human state between actual sleep and wakefulness, Skeptoid describes her as a nocturnal attacker who paralyzed human victims by sitting on their chests. Likely to be an early tale of sleep paralysis with accompanying hallucinations, the publication suggests that the hag is being replaced by the gray aliens that now make up society's folkloric conscience.
- Eccentrics. The BBC describes Kirsan Ilyumzhinov as an eccentric millionaire, the president of the World Chess Federation and leader of a Buddhist region in Russia. He claimed to have been abducted by aliens wanting to prove their existence.
It is impossible to prove or disprove the veracity of individual alien abduction claims. While abductees may share several traits, it is interesting to note that abductors have steered clear of the types of people who could put an end to discussions on the phenomenon once and for all: credible American politicians. Then again, perhaps the latter are too difficult to come by.