"Alien Abductions" draws a parallel to the way societal myths are made. Actual accounts--often collected while the "victims" are under stress--are often greatly enhanced by popular "nonfiction" authors who exploit these stories for their own profit. Illustrations.
The alien abduction literary genre has been a part of our history for decades, but was never taken seriously until recent times. Matheson explains that traditional aliens were friendly or merely curious -- quite different from today's ugly, fierce, sinister creatures. Abduction narratives and individual accounts have evolved and changed, and the new aliens seem to symbolize growing fears that our technology is. out of control. Accounts from abduction victims, Matheson stresses, are often greatly enhanced by the bestselling authors who market the stories, or are directly linked to well-known fantasy and sci-fi films released or broadcast prior to the alleged abductions.