Constantino says he went into the session "with no pre-concieved notions," nothing more than a healthy curiosity about an unexplained phenomenom. But was he convinced? "Do you believe them?" Constantino is asked. He pauses and rubs his chin, as if weighing the gravity of the question. He looks up and nods solemnly. "I do," he says. "After working with those guys, I was scared. I still am. I think it's true. I think they were being tagged -- the way we tag and study sharks and bears and then release them. The men were highly indignant that they were taken (aboard) and these things were done to them without their permission.
THE DANVERS ABDUCTION It wasn't the first time Constantino had seen a man tortured by a memory he couldn't quite grasp. When Fowler went in search of a hypnotist to help him with the Allegash abductions, he asked Constantino, who was interviewing for the role of hypnotist, to put him under. Fowler wanted to see if he could remember any other details of his own abduction in Danvers. Constantino says he will always remember how emotionally distraught Fowler became under hypnosis, as new details of his abduction emerged. "He was sobbing and crying," Constantino remembers. "I kept asking him if he wanted to stop, but he said, 'No, lets go on.'
But finally he was shaking and I just couldn't continue, so I pulled him out and we continued later." The new information was a vital part of Fowler's 1990 Bantam book, "The Watchers," which included his abduction from the Danvers home of his youth. And Constantino's hypnosis sessions with the Allegash men were a key part of the 10-volume, 700 page report that Fowler filed. One of the intriguing aspects of Constantino's character is that, although he believes the four Allegash men, he's willing to play the role of the skeptic.
He admits that hypnosis is no truth serum. People can lie under hypnosis just as they can lie when they are fully conscious. In fact, people can even feign being hypnotized. Although there are checks a hypnotist can use to detect a fraud, they are never fool-proof. Constantino also points out that people under hypnosis are prone to "confabulation." "Confabulation is not deliberate lying," he says. "It's an attempt by the subject to fill in gaps in the story. Maybe he wants answers for himself, or maybe he's trying to please the hypnotist. Whatever the reason, it makes him create details that he can't actually remember."
The chances for confabulation are reduced by a hypnotist who knows how not to lead a subject in questioning. For example, the hypnotist doesn't ask," Did he have a moustache?" Instead, he says, "Look at his face, tell me what you see." Constantino admits that cynics have plenty of fodder against cases like the Allegash abductions. The four abducted men say they were warned not to tell anyone about the abduction, but Constantino points out, " If (the aliens) were so advanced, why would they care if the men spoke about their experiences?"
And imagine how advanced a civilization would have to be to perfect a form of space travel that we could only imagine. They would be operating with a mastery of physics far beyond human comprehension. So, if an alien species were that advanced, doesn't it seem likely that they would be able to pluck human guinea pigs, perform their experiments, and then wash the memories of their subjects so thoroughly that there wouldn't even be an unconscious trace of the experience?
And if the aliens aren't afraid of being known ( after all, what could we possibly do to battle them?), why do these spaceships always appear in remote sections of Maine, rather than hovering over Manhattan? And what are the chances that an alien from such a far-away galaxy would have such a B-movie, humanoid appearance? Constantino admits that all these questions are valid. "I don't know what to tell you," he says.
But that doesn't stop him from believing. Not only is he convinced that these four respectable men believe what they are saying, he also believes they were actually abducted. "These are not four kooks," he says. " These are four decent, sincere human beings." "It bothers me when people who haven't seen this (phenomenon) call the people who have 'liars'. When you see these people sitting through hypnosis, suffering, when you see Ray Fowler crying at the memory, it's not so easy to say they're lying."