I was watching a DVRed episode of a Discovery Channel show called Deception with Keith Barry that focused on the possibility of spy agencies using hypnosis as a tool for spying. Barry, a 'mentalist' skilled in the art of hypnosis, explored some possible ways a spy agency may use hypnosis. In one experiment, he put two hypnosis skeptics into a trance and told them the combination of a safe that had $5000 in it but told them they wouldn't remember the combination until he woke them up and gave them a trigger phrase. When they first woke up, they were skeptical that they had even been in a trance at all, but he gave them a minute to remember the combination and open the safe and get the $5000. The minute passed, and neither of them remembered the combination. Barry said the trigger phrase, and they immediately remembered the combination. Afterwards they were convinced they had been hypnotized afterall. The purpose of the experiment was to see if someone could be hypnotized and told secret information that they wouldn't remember until given a trigger phrase. If they had been captured and interrogated for information by someone who didn't know the trigger though, the person wouldn't be able to divulge the secrets because they wouldn't consciously know that the secret was...and they might not even be aware that they had a secret hidden in their subconscious in the first place.
Barry also experimented with the possibility creating a Manchurian Candidate type of scenario (though not to kill someone). In his experiment, he programmed someone to go and 'drug' an assassin (actually an actor) in a coffee shop and steal some pictures from him and bring them back.
He also did a mass hypnosis experience by putting most of the people in an audience in a trance and convincing them they had seen a hilarious movie. But the experiment that most caught my interest was one where he used a hypnosis technique he called instant induction hypnosis. He was able to walk up to three different strangers on the street and put them in a trance in a matter of seconds without them even realizing what he was doing. With one guy, he just had him stand still looking at his watch for 10 minutes. Another guy he convinced to sit on the ground with a beggars sign and beg for money. Another guy he convinced to go to a ATM and withdraw $60 and throw it in the trash (Barry went and retrieved the money though, and gave it back to the guy). What was interesting though, is these people didn't recall doing what Barry told them to do. They had to be shown they had done it.
As interesting as all of that was on its own, what really got me thinking was how easily Barry was able to put those strangers on the street into a trance and then have them do something without having any recollection of it. Could this explain some of the stories people have told about experiencing missing time (where people cannot account for what happened to them during a certain period of time...here are a few examples here, here, and here)? The strangers on the street Barry put into a trance didn't even realize he had put them in a trance. Could something like this be one possible explanation for what has happened to people who claim to have experienced missing time? In some cases, a missing time experience may also be part of an alien abduction experience. If a guy on the street could put a person in a trance, then I suppose it's possible an alien could too. But what if there was no alien? What if the whole alien abduction experience was a false memory implanted into their mind while they were under a trance?
Why someone would want to implant an alien abduction experience into someone's mind, I don't know. I don't know why someone would have put them into a trance in the first place either. But perhaps being temporarily put into a trance could explain at least some of the cases of missing time some people have reported experiencing.