William Buhlman, an American author and Out of Body explorer
Buhlman is one of America’s leading experts on out-of-body experiences. The author’s thirty years of extensive personal out-of-body explorations give him a unique and thought provoking insight into this subject.
Alien Abductions and OBEs: Interview with William Buhlman
By Deborah Lindemann, C.H.T.
In the last forty years of abduction investigation, researchers and therapists have recorded an extensive amount of data, alleged facts and sample experiences, and listened to countless encounter cases, each echoing a sobering consistency in content. We have learned a lot, and yet there is the overwhelming realization that there is even more that we do not know. So, where do we go from here? What is the next step? I had the opportunity to interview William Buhlman, author of “Adventures Beyond The Body” and we discussed “Out-of Body Experiences” (OBE’s) and their potential link to understanding the abduction experience. To comprehend something so strange as abduction, we must possibly develop a new way of “knowing”. To do so, perhaps we must learn to navigate within the altered states so common during contact.
Deborah Lindemann (DL): How did you first become interested in “Out-Of Body” experiences?
William Buhlman (WB): Well, back in 1972, a college friend of mine had a spontaneous out-of body experience. He found himself floating above his body and it scared him, to be frank. The next day, he came to me and explained his experience. I had never heard of this phenomenon at that point. I had no experience whatsoever in anything related to this, and neither did he. He had a big impact on me and I became intrigued. I thought, if this is possible, I have to explore this.
DL: For any of our readers who aren’t too familiar with OBE’s, do you have an official “William Buhlman” definition of what an OBE is?
WB: Well, how I would simply describe it is a separation of consciousness from the physical. This is different than a “Near Death Experience” (NDE). Many people equate the two, like they’re one. A NDE is different because that involves a temporary death of the physical body. Out-of-body experiences are part of that phenomena, but an OBE is a separation of consciousness without that trauma.
DL: You stated in a lecture that I recently attended that the average age of first OBE experience is between five and twelve years of age. Is it possible that it happens even before that — that because most children under five can’t adequately convey their experience, we have no way of knowing they have OBE’s?
WB: I think you’re absolutely correct. I think that younger children do have these experiences. The problem is they’re not of age to communicate what is happening to them. Based on over 20,000 letters I’ve received, it appears that the younger the child, the higher the incidents. Even though there’s no proof of this, I would suspect that even infants have these experiences quite often. Even the concept of the “boogie man” may stem somehow from this. Children will complain that they don’t want to sleep in their own bed, they want to sleep with mom and dad because they’re afraid of movement, or energy changes that are occurring in them internally.
DL: In this recent lecture you’ve stated that all the symptoms of OBE’s match abduction experiences. And as a therapist myself, who works with “experiencers”, I have to agree. However, I don’t think that you are suggesting that OBE’s account for all abduction or encounter experiences that people report, are you?
WB: No, absolutely not. I’ve made that clear in my lectures. I feel that a percentage, which is currently unknown, of people that are having abduction phenomena experiences are actually having OBE’s, and they’re interpreting them as possibly an abduction. This is because they don’t have any other explanation of the phenomena. We live in a culture that is immersed in alien phenomena. It’s become part of the group consciousness. And no other explanation has been offered. Now, I’m extremely open-minded. I do know and feel that abductions exist. I do believe they are a phenomenon that is quite dramatic and traumatic to people. I just feel that there’s other things occurring.
DL: Even though OBE’s themselves can be quite frightening at times, it may be a bit more comforting to realize that a large percentage of unusual encounters may be OBE’s rather than abduction experiences. However, it remains difficult to sort out the OBE’s from actual encounters.
[NOTE: The list below is from a recent survey of symptoms which are often “preludes” leading up to OBE’s, or the “aftermath” from an OBE. Along with the symptoms are the percentage of OBE experiencers reporting each symptom. The original list is at William Buhlman’s website.
These are not symptoms of OBE’s themselves. This was only a preliminary poll and feedback from those who feel they may have experienced OBE’s. William Buhlman also acknowledges that many of these experiences or symptoms can be experienced in fully conscious waking states. The fact that someone has a handful of these symptoms does not automatically mean they have had an OBE.]
Experienced a jolt or jerk awake — 98%
Experienced sounds such as buzzing, humming or roaring — 85%
Experienced vibrations or high energy sensations — 56%
Experienced floating, sinking or spinning sensations — 82%
Experienced sleep paralysis — 72%
Flying in a dream — 81%
Being touched or lifted — 33%
Panic attack, overwhelming surge of fear created by strange vibrations or
sounds — 46%
Hearing voices or footsteps — 37%
Seeing through closed eyelids — 49%
Lucid dreaming — 79%
Seeing or feeling the presence of an unknown nonphysical being — 22%
Seeing, hearing or speaking to a deceased loved one — 24%
NOTE: William Buhlman shared with me that some of the symptoms on the list are much stronger indications of OBE’s than others. For example: Seeing through closed eyelids is a very strong indication that a person has already separated and is already OBE. Spinning, sinking, or floating is also a much stronger indication of an OBE.
Sleep paralysis, being touched or lifted are also strong indicators. Hearing voices or footsteps is nebulous, because you could also be in a psychic state. Lucid Dreaming doesn’t mean that you are “out of body” at all, but some people experience a lucid dream and then they have an OBE, or it is converted into an OBE.
While many of these symptoms on the list can simply be caused by psychic conscious or altered state events and are not indicators themselves of an OBE, they are often associated with OBE’s.
WB: I have personally had many out-of-body experiences and I know of many people who have, that have literally felt that they were lifted out of their body and then taken through the wall, and then are suddenly in a new environment and are surrounded by beings. This is not that unusual of a scenario when it comes to an OBE.
DL: But then of course, we have examples of individuals who report OBE type abductions. Ray Fowler, a veteran UFO researcher, wrote extensively about the ongoing case of Betty Andreasson Luca. She recalled under hypnosis her OBE abductions and seeing herself come back into her physical body below.
One of my reasons for suggesting to “experiencers” that they learn the OBE techniques you teach is that, by becoming accustomed to traveling out-of-body, they are in a sense closely duplicating a state of consciousness that is very similar to altered states during abduction.
From what I’ve read about OBE’s, and even from a few of my own experiences, I know we’re not very skilled at operating out-of-body, and for some it can be quite frightening when they don’t know what is happening. By the same token, we’re not very skilled at operating or communicating within an encounter experience. So, my thought is that, by learning to control the content or experience of our OBE’s, we may bring new skills to the table that may place us in a more powerful position to understand or to communicate within these encounters. Any thoughts on that?
WB: Oh, I agree completely. What I’m attempting to do is shed light on this from a different perspective. There’s a lot happening and no one has a pat answer when it comes to alien abduction or OBE’s or any connection thereof. I just know from receiving almost 20,000 letters that there is a strong connection.
DL: I feel it’s a very important link, and that’s why I wanted to do this interview with you. If we really want to understand this abduction topic better, we have to be willing to go beyond the physical “nuts and bolts” level. We must look at the different altered states which appear to be components of the abduction experience and realize that we are more than just physical beings.
WB: It’s critically important. What’s striking to me is that alien abduction is not my topic at all. I was not looking for this information or trying to put parallels together. It just occurred spontaneously. As you know, I have a survey on my website, strictly for OBE’s. But what happened over the course of the last two years especially, is that I’ve received over 400 letters from abductees. What struck me after reading all these letters was that if you took the word “abduction” out of the letter and you put it side by side with an OBE letter, the two would read almost identically every time. There was just too much going on here to ignore it.
DL: Have you ever done any research which shows two people to deliberately meet in an out-of-body experience? For example, in the abduction field, “experiencers” often report what they call “shared dreams” in which they each see each other in their dream, and each report the identical experience of doing so, without prior feedback from the other.
WB: Oh, yes. It’s not that uncommon. As a matter of fact, what I suggest is that people do team up with a partner to begin with. I feel it’s important to have that support system. Richard Bach, author of “Illusions,” reports an experience of meeting his wife Leslie when they were both out-of-body. They both reported floating up through the roof of their house together. They actually communicated while out of body and brought back their experience and confirmed it with each other.
DL: Can you talk a bit about time travel as it relates to being able to do so through an out-of-body state?
WB: Well, that’s one of the remarkable things about OBE’s. It’s another reason why people get excited about this work, because they discover very quickly that time is essentially an illusion. What they discover is, once they leave their body, the time-line is available to explore. I talk about this in my book and about my own experience. It’s not just a visual experience. In my own experience, it was a total conscious experience. I literally re-experienced myself becoming a German officer from a past life. I was a tank commander in WWII. It wasn’t like a regression experience. It was much more proactive. I could feel myself there. Many people re-experience the same kind of thing. They find themselves in other time-lines. What gets exciting is, once people get a little OBE experience under their belt, they discover they can pinpoint a [particular] time-line, such as the Roman Empire, and experience it.
DL: So this doesn’t always have to do with going back to your own past life, but that you can travel back to any point in time?
DL: And are we talking about the future as well?
WB: Yes, the future too.
DL: Can you share your feelings on the difference between learning OBE techniques and using Remote Viewing?
WB: They are connected. Let me give you an analogy. I also do have Remote Viewing (RV) experiences, but I have found that RV doesn’t offer the first-person interaction that I get in an OBE. In RV, it’s like watching an event on a black and white TV, and you’re just the viewer of the event. Whereas during an OBE, you feel like you’re in the event, you’re participating. It’s that dramatic for me.
DL: You made a comment at your recent talk that “a truly advanced species wouldn’t need a physical UFO [or craft], that as astral beings we can be on many dimensions all at once at will”. Now there’s no question in my mind, or in the mind of other researchers, that there are intelligent beings visiting us in what appears to be physical vehicles. I think what you are indicating is that in addition to these physical sightings, there are “beings” which are making contact, which are quite advanced, that may travel in an astral or non-physical form, very much like we can do through OBE’s.
WB: I strongly feel that travel is done inter-dimensionally. I think a truly advanced species would not need to be traveling about in a metal can. There is no need for that. As we evolve, we are awakening and evolving to our potential as a non-physical state of consciousness. It will move us inward to our inter-dimensional self and capability. We will awaken to the fact that we can travel without the need for any type of metal or physical type vehicle. I think it’s more of a thought directed process than it ever is a material one. Because as we evolve, we evolve beyond matter. So it only makes sense to me that a truly evolved species would have no need for the material ships. Now, I’m not saying that these things don’t exist, but I do believe that much of the contact is more inter-dimensional than physical.
DL: This may explain some of the types of “beings” people see in their dream states, but also there are fully conscious reports of “beings of light”, “glowing orbs” and “energy beings”.
WB: Absolutely. Often when I have contact with another “being”, it is a non-form based type of connection. This is difficult to explain, but consciousness doesn’t need a vehicle itself. I write about this to an extent in my book. Many of my [OBE] contacts are essentially “alien”, even though I don’t like that word. These beings have no form. It was like communicating by thought with a globe of energy. Yet, I could sense the intelligence. I felt like I knew that being and was in complete communication with them. There was no need for words. That is what I feel many of the more developed species or beings are like. Many of these beings can also assume the form they need to accomplish the mission they’re on.
DL: And of course this “shape-shifting” capability is commonly reported by “experiencers”.
WB: Yes. As a humanoid, I feel that we are so obsessed with form and we spend way too much time analyzing the physical attributes of a contact. What’s really important is the state of consciousness of that contact.
DL: We’re almost to the end of our interview here. Are there any last-minute thoughts?
WB: I’d like to emphasize that learning to go out-of body is a very Powerful method to connect with your higher self, to gather information, to obtain answers. We eventually must awaken to the fact that it’s not out there, it’s not in books, it’s within us. Out-of-body exploration is a proven technique and a valid way to accomplish this. It takes some effort, but it is certainly worth the time and investment.
NOTE: William’s latest book, The Secret of the Soul, contains an entire chapter exploring the many connections between OBEs and alien contact and abduction.