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Abducted. Page 30 of 50.

slowly positioned itself above me. I think it was mirrored," frowned Paula, as her recollection momentarily clouded. She said, albeit hesitantly: "I have an image of myself laying there. Then gradually a long piece of metal appears from it, and aims directly at my right eye. There's a sharp, almost burning pain then I wake up back in my bed."

I enquired as to whether her husband Mike had ever found her missing in the night? What I was asking, was had he ever unintentionally woken to find his wife gone.

Paula said Mike always sleeps like the grave. She said he sleeps through thunder storms and the boys screaming, her lifting from her bed and disappearing for a few hours would not disturb him.

I suggested the dogs woke him not so long back, and they were outside. Paula said they never woke him, he was not asleep, he was in bed, curtains drawn reading a book.

"It's just he's too bloody lazy to get up."

"You find it an effort?" I asked.

She studied my question briefly, then replied in what I guess was an honest way. Paula conceded she did find it difficult at times, the house, the kids, her husband. She said it all gets a bit much, and of course she gets tired, sometimes to the point where she "just conks out in an armchair."

I was beginning to think, like with John, sleep deprivation might be to blame. Here we had two individuals living miles apart, neither with any insight to the others' lifestyle, but both sharing a common infliction, lack of sleep.

What I thought was strange though, was how both could have the same experience; it seemed extraordinary that two individuals could have the same feelings, the same images and the same description, when both events took place miles apart at different times.

It just seemed incredible. But then a thought hit me. I began to think of them Khun paradigms we spoke of earlier, about how we place ourselves in the other person's predicament.

This I now did. I placed myself in both Paula, and John's shoes and imagined what it must be like to suffer such an indignity. Maybe the tiredness had not caused them to hallucinate, but maybe the experience was depriving them of valuable sleep, for had they been abducted as some might suggest, they could both lose hours of sleep each night, or at least each time this event occurred: And as no one can place a definitive time frame on these emotional events, it might always prove difficult to place a chronological determination around them.

We could imagine this upsetting experience ourselves.

If I said to you, I could remove you from your bed each night, for up to three hours at a time, how long might it be before you show signs of exhaustion and fatigue? Maybe when psychologists examine sleep deprivation as a cause of hallucinogenic activity in an individual, it may be more productive to inquire what caused that deprivation in the first place.

As with John, I was dealing with an enigma; there was no substantiating clues and only a very loose set of circumstantial evidence; if indeed one would even term it evidence at this early stage: But the principle was there.

We had laid a foundation to build upon. We had tangible correspondence in the shape of letters written to us without either of the subjects having met.

This happening by accident, or even with a probability theorem is maybe tens of millions to one. It would be like you and I both selecting the same winning lottery numbers, on the same day, for the same game; and I can easily show you how difficult this might be with a simple experiment.

Take a pen and piece of paper and select six numbers from 1 to 49. Do that now! I have placed at the back of this book six numbers myself from the same selection. If yours tally exactly with mine I would like to hear from you: But no peeking.

However, at that point I could say almost certainly I will not get many letters informing me the event has happened, because the laws of chance say they will not match. Therefore two individuals dreaming the same dream is just as unlikely.

I decided to hang around this part of the world for a day or two. Initially I only intended to meet Paula, listen to her version of events, and then head back south. But as Jack Spiller came highly recommended, I thought it would do no harm to find out what he knew.

After all, if he was out most nights catching fish, he might just be the person I needed to speak with, that is, if he was prepared to speak with me at all.

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