As I came to in the recovery room after surgery, everything looked blurry. There were lights flashing and machines beeping. Wires and probes were connected to my body, and I couldn’t move. People moved quickly around the room, their faces obscured by some kind of gel they had put over my eyes.
“I’ve been abducted by aliens,” I thought. “I guess it really does happen!” From my altered state of consciousness, the recovery room looked like the inside of space ships I’d seen in the movies, and the hospital staff looked like aliens.
We know that memories of a traumatic or painful events can be suppressed, and that those memories can resurface suddenly. I wonder how many “abductees” had previously been subjected to major surgery. A sudden bright light on a dark night could trigger the resurgence of a memory similar to mine. Out of context, the abduction experience would seem quite real.
Our brains lie to us all the time. We don’t know what is real. In many situations, discerning truth from fiction is beyond our human abilities.