Are you just not sure?
Saw a UFO? Have a chunk of time missing from your memory? Having strange dreams involving owls or other animals with big eyes?
To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, you *might* be an abductee.
To be sure, a man named Steven Knaphus has constructed a list of 10 ways to tell if you have been abducted by aliens. In the intro to the list, Knaphus asserts that he is a lifelong contactee and has spoken with several others who claim similar experiences. That was his basis for the list. I came across the list online recently and thought I would share them here on ESE.
Dreams--specifically, are you having cataclysmic nightmares about volcanoes, earthquakes, or environmental ruin? Knaphus contends that such dreams are really two-way telepathic communication with the aliens (or he says aliens but they could certainly be other entities...if "they" are even there at all.) These are warnings about our collective future. Abductees after all, often claim that they have been chosen by the aliens to help warn humanity about the doom that shall cometh if we don't get our act together.
Implants--do you have lumps in your body that you can't explain? Did they just appear one day? Well these could be biotech devices left there by the aliens. They are said to not be metal but wholly organic in composition. Doctors often call them "fatty tumors." Maybe a form of abiogenesis? That might be weirder than aliens.
Numb limbs--as stated in the list: "When the implant successfully connects to your central nervous system a test is conducted to let them know all is functioning properly. This test will often make one of your limbs go numb, this could be either an arm or a leg, even your back one side or the other, or your eyes." Might I also suggest that you could be having a stroke?
Sudden interest in aliens--have you been drawn without warning to the subjects of aliens and alien contact? In my case it's not exactly sudden so I guess I'm okay. Maybe.
Missing time--this is commonly reported among abductees. There usually is a stretch of perhaps several hours for which the subject simply cannot account.
Sunburns--the list ties unexplained sunburns (which admittedly would be weird) with exposure to radiation. As stated: "This is a result of a radiation bath which must be given to anyone given physical contact, and what this does is kill all the foreign germs our immune system would never be able to fight but can also cause some light skin burns." If it's enough radiation to cause a burn, wouldn't radiation sickness be a worry?
Sudden sense of purpose and direction--abductees are said to often become activists and involved in political causes to help better the world. I don't know if I'd be down with the abduction part, but if it gave me an unshakable sense of direction...
Recurring dreams of aliens--self explanatory.
Conscious memories--the list alleges that certain supposed abductees have full recollection of their experiences. Unfortunately, I can think of any number of other psychological factors that might cause this to happen. None of them are good.
Clothes removed--I'll spare you any more jokes, but one symptom is apparently finding yourself incorrectly dressed, like someone tried to put your clothes back on you but didn't know how.
As you might have been able to tell, I am rather skeptical of the alien abduction phenomenon. Try as I might to accept it, I just keep finding so many other more mundane explanations that can easily cover the experience. No, I don't know everything so I'll never say with firm authority "there are no abductions happening!"
More than anything, feel deep sympathy for anybody who is truly having experiences like these, real or imagined, and feeling alone. What it must be like to feel so troubled and hurt and on top of it all to think that no one would listen to you or worse, would ridicule you or try to institutionalize you.
For that alone, the phenomenon merits inquiry.
Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets