Was the Rip van Winkle story just an early example of alien abduction?

Re-reading this classic story – as a modern reader – I couldn’t help but notice that some elements are eerily similar to the modern-day accounts of alleged UFO abductees. There are the “little men,” lost time, the thunder-sound (coming from the other side of the mountain).

And the most striking fact for me was that he “returns” years later, where the town has aged but he has not, with the exception of growing his long white beard. Is this not what theoretically happens when beings travel at the velocities approaching the speed of light? Time “slows down” for such travelers; they themselves age at a “normal” rate relative to those they left behind who age much, much faster. Isn’t this just what our old friend Rip observed to be the case?

I submit that the folk he encountered in the Catskills were not, as rumored, the spirits of Henry Hudson’s crew of the Half Moon, but the extraterrestrial crew of a spacecraft which made thunderously loud noise when it was touching down” or “landing” in the remote mountain terrain. The crew, upon being discovered by Rip, are unsure what to do with him, and eventually drug him and take them away on their ship with them, perhaps visiting their home planet or a nearby base. It is eventually decided that this poor creature should be returned and they take him to the exact spot where he was abducted (next to his now rusted and decayed rifle), leaving Rip with the mystery he encounters and that which is told to us by Diedrich Knickerbocker, Washington Irving’s fictional chronicler.

What do you think?

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