I was watching the show Ancient Aliens a while back (I don’t believe it, it’s great for a good laugh now and then, though) and I recall them “theorizing” that Asians are aliens—specifically due to the Dropa stones. So I was searching Google for some information on it, and I discovered this article Race, Citizenship, and the Politics of Alien Abduction; Or, Why Aliens do not Abduct Asian Americans (Tromly, 2017).
Tromly argues that alien abductions are a specific cultural—national—phenomenon and that certain groups, mainly Asian Americans, are excluded from these so-called abductions. Surely, most readers are familiar with the most famous of all alien abductions—the case of Betty and Barney Hill (Barney Hill was a black man). One night, they were driving down the road. And all of a sudden, they woke up in their car and many hours had elapsed (a concept known as “missing time“). They then went to a hypnotizer and underwent hypnosis. They then described many experiments that the aliens carried out on them. In any case, I’m not going to discuss the so-called abduction here, but this is one case—one of the most famous—of a minority being abducted.
Tromly argues that the notion of alien visitors elicits collectivity in humans—that, of course, all national, racial, and social differences would be put aside in the event of a hostile alien invasion and we would attempt to quell the alien threat. Think War of the Worlds. Indeed, Stephen Hawking argued that we should not attempt to contact aliens. His reasoning was simple: When Europeans came to the Americas in the late 1400s, with their superior technology, they subjugated the natives. Of course, if aliens from far, far away came to earth, they would be far more technologically superior to us—leaps and bounds ahead of the technological superiority when Europeans and Native Americans are compared. So this type of alien invasion, Tromley argues, would spur humans’ “species-consciousness”
Tromly (2017: 278) writes:
According to this paradigm, abductees are traumatized to the point that nationality becomes irrelevant. Describing the trauma of his own abduction in his bestselling book Communion, Whitley Strieber writes, “I was reduced to raw biological response. It was as if my forebrain had been separated from the rest of my system, and all that remained was a primitive creature, in effect the ape out of which we evolved long ago” (18).
So, Tromly then cites psychiatrist John Mack who argues that abductees are not self-selected and that they come from all walks of life. He is pretty much saying that, to the aliens, there is no one type of person that is more desireable to the aliens and therefore no one group is more worthy of visitation than any other. Further, he is arguing that, whatever differences exist between these diverse people, they are equal in one thing: their visitations by alien visitors.
Tromly (2017: 280) then writes:
Lowe argues that this ideal of political membership comes at the cost of specific individuation: “In being represented as citizen within the political sphere… the subject is ‘split off’ from the unrepresentable histories of situated embodiment that contradict the abstract form of citizenship” (2). These inadmissible “particularities” include “race, national origin, locality, and embodiment [that] remain largely invisible within the political sphere” (2). It is useful to revisit Mack’s presentation of the abduction community in light of Lowe’s observations, because his catalogue of abductees is typical of the discourse in that it defines abductees solely in terms of class and profession—in effect, Mack’s example of the diversity of abductees is underwritten by an assumption of sameness. Because he fails to mention other types of difference on the assumption that they are irrelevant, Mack excludes these differences and, ironically, his demonstration of the diversity of the abductee community becomes subtly exclusionary.
Alien abduction, if you keep up with this kind of thing, is pretty obviously racially exclusive: most abductees are white Americans. Though, of course, believers in alien abductions claim that this accurately reflects the racial demographics of America—with whites being the majority racial group.
Tromly then describes a re-telling of the Betty and Barney Hill saga, where the couple he describes are still an inter-racial couple, but the wife remembers the alien abduction, whereas the husband recalls does not remember it, he recalls the night as normal. This story is written by Asian American writer Peter Ho. So when the wife sees a blue alien light, the husband sees blue police lights—implying that alien abductions and police stops are, in a way, coeval. The wife wants to tell the story—the abduction story—since it can be looked at in a broader national context whereas the husband does not want to—since what he recalls of that night was not a night of alien abduction but a night of being stopped by the police. Eventually, the husband gives in to his wife, who was continuously nagging him to “remember’ the abduction. So he “recalled” one under hypnosis, and a completely different one while he dreamed.
Tromly (2017: 287) writes:
The significance of the Asian American abductee’s absence is shaped, in part, by how abduction in general is understood. Accepting accounts of abduction as true accounts of events that have taken place would require hypothesizing about why aliens might be more interested in some ethnicities than others. To understand accounts of abduction as imagined stories that emerge from anxiety, hysteria, or trauma might suggest that these narratives are not a useful avenue for the expression of the concerns of Asian Americans. … Of course, linguistic barriers may be a reason that a certain segment of the Asian American community cannot participate in the textual spread of the abduction phenomenon. (Many abductees recall repressed memories of abduction after reading texts by Hopkins or Strieber.) However, a more compelling reason for their exclusion is that Asian Americans, or the associations they typically bear in popular discourse, disrupt the logic of the abduction narrative.
Great point! What if the aliens can only telepathically communicate with English-speaking people, therefore they are the only ones that get abucted—and not Asian Americans?
Tellingly, Asianness is sometimes used to mark the otherness of extraterrestrial aliens—Strieber, for example, describes the otherworldly features of an alien with whom he comes in contact through a comparison with “Asian” features: “its eyes are slanted, more than an Oriental’s eyes” (60).9 However, rather than focusing on the possible racial connotations of physical descriptions of aliens, it is more productive to examine the similarities between descriptions of alien characteristics and long-standing Asian American stereotypes. Whether they are conceptualized as a threat to humanity or an advanced and enlightened race, aliens that abduct are almost always described as being deliberate, dispassionate, and, needless to say, technologically adept.
Of course, this is where the observation from Ancient Aliens comes from: popular accounts of the aliens are that they are short, physically weak and frail-looking, and, most notably, have slanted eyes. Asians fit this description, too. So, one can see the parallel here: Asians are technologically adapt, as are the aliens. Asians, too, are looked at as being an enlightened race. This, too, pushes the Asian stereotypes—the “yellow peril” stereotype—where Asians want to come to America and take American resources, and the “model minority”—the claim that Asians are what other minorities should strive to be—because they excel “through technological sophistication, emotionless drive” (Tromly, 2017: 288), while they are extremely productive, what I assume aliens would be like.
In any case, it seems that alien abductees are actually more likely to be white. I was watching Ancient Aliens last April and they were discussing certain characteristics of abductees—pretty much like Tromly was, without mentioning race. What they mentioned, though, was pretty funny: abductees were more likely to have rH negative blood along with having a higher percentage of green and hazel eyes. I took two pictures of the screen when it came on:
Wow, how interesting, what a disparity. So it seems, that along with not targetting minorities at the same rate as whites, they are targeting a group of people that are more likely to have green eyes and rH negative blood. Then, someone appeared on the screen and then stated that since hazel and green eyes and RH negative blood are due to mutations, that the aliens either created it or they have a special interest in it. They were talking about a “genetic component” to alien abductions. Seems like even being abducted by aliens is “genetic”, too. Wow, what isn’t “genetic” nowadays?
This article wasn’t that serious; I just found this today and read it, and I had a few laughs. While it is interesting that only white Americans seem to be the subjects of alien abductions and the like—and minorities seem to be overlooked—I don’t think it’s anything like Tromly says. Though obviously, I would say that since the aliens are not abducting Asian Americans and aliens look similar to Asians (small bodies, almond-shaped eyes, and weak and frail-looking bodies) and it is hypothesized by Ancient Astronaut “theorists” that aliens are humans from the future, the conclusion is simple to see: these aliens abducting humans are Asians from the future and they’re not abducting Asians because they are looking for different genes and other physiological and anatomic differences, and since they are descended from Asians then why would they abduct them? Checkmate, Ancient Aliens deniers.