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Harvard Advertises For People Abducted By Aliens

"The whole notion of repressed memories has done a great disservice to the field," Dr. Clancy said. "Some people are prone to forget how, where or when a memory was acquired. They see a movie as a kid and remember the events, but don't remember whether they saw it or it actually happened to them."

- via Matthew Yglesias

The idea of Harvard studying alien abductions is cool, but I was struck by the quote I pulled out, halfway through the article. It reminds me of how I remember my early childhood. I have a few scenes in my head, pictures of what it was like living in Tionesta. But as I think about many of these memories more, I realize that I'm remembering myself in the third person. I can see my hair (it was just about white then) and the expression on my face. I have a vivid recollection of my dog coming back to the house with the headless body of one of our rabbits (it was attacked by an owl), who had escaped a few days before. The only problem is that I never saw Shane holding Ralph's body. The memories -- at least some of them, and who knows how many others -- are constructed based on stories I've been told, events whose structure I recall or can figure out, or photographs I've seen. I can't tell you what my first real memory is.

Maybe that's normal, or maybe I've just repressed the memories of alien abductions.


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