UFO syndrome is a psychological fanaticism that can lead to certain mental disorders. It follows an extreme concept for "the grass being greener on the other side". The syndrome is what makes a person feel the need to be part of a UFO religion, but in its advanced stages has resulted in suicide. Many of the suicide cases are linked to some form of spiritualistic cult indoctrination. One of the worst cases in modern history was the mass suicide of thirty-nine members of Heaven's Gate (religious group) discovered on March 26, 1997.

Heaven's GateEdit

Marshall Applewhite, the American cult leader of Heaven's Gate persuaded 38 followers to commit suicide so that their souls could board a UFO craft allegedly trailing Comet Hale–Bopp. Applewhite believed that after their deaths, the unidentified flying object would take their souls to another "level of existence above human", which he described as being both physical and spiritual.[1]

Based on evidence from the crime scene, members believed their suicide not as deaths but graduations, "cutting aside the decaying matter of Earth" so as to free their true selves on a journey to the Next Level in the heavens.[2]

Cult psychologyEdit

Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney has studied cult psychology and how humans push past their perceived limitations to achieve incredible feats and endure extreme conditions. Carney was moved to explore these areas of human psychology after a suicide incident that occurred at a seven-day Buddhist meditation retreat in India. The retreat included contemplating what it means to die. One of Carney's students, Emily O'Connor, ended up committing suicide on the last night of the program. In her journal, she wrote "I am a Bodhisattva." O'Connor was convinced that her physical body was holding her back from becoming an enlightened being. Suicide cases throughout history have been observed related to this psychological conditioning and is also linked to the India Syndrome.


  1. Edith Lederer, "Alien Abduction Insurance Cancelled!", Associated Press, 2 April 1997, Retrieved March 12, 2008
  2. Anatomy of a mass suicide: The dark, twisted story behind a UFO death cult


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