Between the 14th and 18th centuries, somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 people on the European continent were tried and executed for witchcraft. Most of these people were burned alive in the public square of the nearest town, and most were also tortured before burning. Between 70% and 80% of all ‘witches’ executed were women, but many men, children, and even animals were executed as well.
What is most strange about the witchcraft trials of medieval Europe is that, despite being studied in great detail by historians and scholars of many stripes and biases, no single persuasive explanation has emerged for why they took place.
What is also interesting is that medieval ‘witches’ had much in common with today’s ‘abductees’, and the witch hunters also resemble some of today’s abduction ‘researchers’ in surprisingly consistent ways.
Something fairly powerful has to be going on either inside the public imagination or out in the real world or both, in order to sustain nearly four centuries of torture, carnage, and religious persecution. The Church did not simply try and burn witches: It aggressively sought them out to try and burn them.
The infamous Malleus Maleficarum (compiled in 1486) is a detailed instructional Church manual on how to identify a witch and what to do when you find one. Professional witch hunters, employed by the Church, roamed the European countryside searching out witches and delivering them into the hands of Church inquisitors who usually ended up torturing and killing them to save their souls.
Although the Malleus isn’t a word-for-word precursor to Intruders or Missing Time, many elements are similar enough to warrant a closer look.
How to Identify a Witch or Abductee
Although today we do not burn alive abductees alive, the modern process for identifying an abductee is remarkably similar to the medieval process for identifying a witch. Witches and abductees share the follow characteristics:
- Marks on the Body.Abductees and witches are both thought to be physically marked in some way. In the case of witches the mark might be a mole or birthmark, or if no such mark was found, the examiner declared the discovery of ‘an invisible mark.’ In the case of abductees, researchers look for scoop marks, triangle-shaped scars, or evidence of alien implants.
- Supernatural Sex. Witches were believed to have sexual intercourse with inhuman agents of the Devil called incubi (male demons) and succubi (female demons). Abductees are often believed to have intercourse with inhuman or half human alien beings during the abduction experience.
- Flying by Night. Witches had the ability to fly through the night sky. Alien abductees often have vivid memories of flying or being transported through the sky or through space.
- Messing with Animals. Witches were said to possess the ability to kill farm animals without drawing blood. Alien abductions are often associated with bloodless cattle mutilations or the draining of blood from small farm animals (chupacabra incidents are often paired with UFO sightings).
- Miscarriage and Disappearing Fetuses. Witches were believed to have the ability to cause miscarriage or cause fetuses to disappear. Alien abductees often report disappearing pregnancies or mysterious anomalous events involving human reproduction.
- Circular Meetings in the Deep Woods. Witches were thought to meet with the Devil in the woods, holding highly sexualized rituals naked in a stone circle. (See drawing above.) Abductees are taken into a circular craft, often from remote or wooded locations, where they are then examined naked on stone or metal slab.
- The Devil and the Greys. The physical description of the ‘Devil’ of the medieval witchcraft trials (to whom witches were said to agree to a pact or contract) bears remarkable similarities to the tall Greys described by abductees. Tan or grey in color, the Devil and the tall Grey both have cloven feet, strange skin, and demand perverse sexual allegiance. The Devil’s eyes are said to ‘pierce’ the eyes of women and control them in this way. The Greys control by means of their hypnotic huge eyes.
- Associations with Bright Lights in the Sky. Both Satan and aliens are associated with bright lights in the sky. Satan was said to be the “brightest angel in the sky” before he fell to earth for rebelling against God. Alien abductions are often (though not always) associated with brilliant lights in the sky (UFOs) .