This small book has been published as a sort of 'taster' for a more complete exposition of Albert Budden's theories which is expected later in 1995. Budden relates abductions, and what he terms the 'visitation experience' to a range of environmental sources. He argues in particular that electromagnetic radiation, from a variety of sources both natural and manmade, are directly affecting parts of the human brain and triggering off a range of hallucinatory, visionary experiences, which are interpreted by the percipients as abductions or similar phenomena.
Variations on this theme have been around for some time. Devereux and Persinger have put forward similar ideas, that naturally occurring electrical fields in the vicinity of geological faults are provoking visionary experiences in people in their vicinity. Budden goes further even than this, however, and claims that allergenic stimuli such as food additives may also be contributing to these phenomena.
This is certainly as issue which is the subject of much current debate amongst health workers and environmentalists, but it is one which is very controversial. Although in our eco-conscious era many people automatically assume that just about any aspect of modern live, from microwaves to aftershaves, is likely to be poisoning us in one way or another, the evidence is by no means clear. In a recent legal case in London, in which a group of local residents attempted to prevent the construction of a high-tension underground cable, because of concerns that such cable were linked to 'clusters' of childhood cancers, the scientific evidence produced, which was largely statistical, did not convince the court.
Statistical evidence has also been used to promote the idea that nuclear power stations in various parts of Britain are identified with clusters of leukaemia. Again, the evidence is contradictory, and some scientists have claimed that such clusters occur in places unrelated to nuclear energy, and indeed some have been found in areas where nuclear power stations were planned, but never built.
Much of Budden's evidence is based on abduction and similar cases which have taken place near sources of electromagnetic energy, but then we realise that his definition of 'near' can mean up to a mile away, their significance is diminished. Most people in the developed world are living closer to sources of electro-magnetic energy than this, quite often even having one in their homes. The source of the abduction phenomenon must be something rather more specific than a phenomenon which is affecting virtually everybody.
Perhaps Budden's planned book will describe in more detail the actual mechanisms involved, and be more specific about why some people are affected and not others. Perhaps any future review should be by a doctor rather than a ufologist, Perhaps also Budden will move away from the irritating Jenny Randles school of typography and start putting spaces after full stops and other punctuation marks in his text. -- John Rimmer. From Magonia 51, February 1995.