When UFO researchers first confronted abductions, they thought that the evidence warranted the idea that it was an experiment--a study of some sort in which the aliens were learning about the Earth's flora and the fauna. UFO occupant cases of the 1960s and 1970s seemed to add evidence to this model because the beings were often seen digging in the ground and even taking bark and leaves off of trees for what appeared to be further study.
The Barney and Betty Hill case appeared to reinforce the experiment idea. The aliens seemed curious about human beings. They subjected the Hills to an examination. They asked about Barney's false teeth. They conducted what Betty Hill said was a "pregnancy test" on her -- although it was almost certainly a needle in the naval procedure, which I have investigated many times, and not a pregnancy test. The Hills, and virtually everyone who believed them, assumed that they had been subjected to experimentation or study. As a result, the idea of experiment became so pervasive that even today most people find it difficult to talk about the phenomenon without using this model.
Although some evidence exists that the aliens have a research and development component on board the UFOs, the evidence for the overall experiment model has not held up. Rather than an experiment or study, the evidence seems to indicate that the abduction phenomenon is part of a systematic goal-directed program. Although all the arguments in favor of the program model are beyond the scope of this paper, a few will provide examples that suggest a program is underway and not an experiment. For example, the examination that abductees describe is usually not the reason for an abduction. Most of the time it is only a preliminary procedure before other more important purposes that provide the primary impetus for any particular abduction. Furthermore, the sheer number of abductions that each abductee has, from a few per year to over one hundred per year strongly suggests the idea of an experiment or a study.
In addition, the global nature of the abductions indicates that something more complex is occurring other than examinations -- all humans, regardless of where they are from are, with minor differences, physiologically the same. The aliens have tremendous knowledge of our physiology and neurology -- more so than our own research scientists. This is not to say that they are not learning; they might very well be. But that is not the program's purpose as the abductees describe it. The evidence is compelling that the abduction phenomenon is a widespread, energetic program of physiological exploitation of one species by another. If there ever was an experimentation phase, it has been over for a long time.