Psychedelics Science

Ayahuasca and the Aliens

When you consider the likelihood of extraterrestrials (ET) flying around out there somewhere in the vast expanses of the universe, especially if you utilize the Drake equation or the words of astronomers like Carl Sagan, the plausibility seems pragmatic. Sure, the aliens might be buzzing around on some distant planet because they are nothing more than insectoid life. Or, they may be much savvier, reading your mind, communicating telepathically, pulling you out of your bed in a tractor beam, and zipping around in spaceships like there’s no tomorrow. Supposedly, the stuff of science fiction.

Recently, we’ve been touring the science of psychedelics and their otherworldly, transcendent powers. We’ve considered concepts like “oceanic boundlessness” and reports of seeing cosmic clowns after ingestion of N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT). While nothing may be quite as supernatural as an ET clown, some ayahuasca groups are known for their belief in aliens and UFOs. [1]

Ayahuasca refers to a decoction of different plants including the vine Banisteriopsis caapi and leaves from plants like Psychotria viridis (aka the queen) which contain DMT. Consuming the leaves themselves does nothing for the eater because we produce an enzyme (monoamine oxidase) that inhibits us from absorbing the DMT. The alkaloids harmine, harmaline, and tetrahydroharmine in the vines can temporarily stop the production of the enzyme, allowing us to utilize DMT to engage with visionary worlds.

Ayahuasca is often used in rituals that can yield strange phenomena such as visions of beings thought to be extraterrestrials due to their appearance and mannerisms, and reportedly, this phenomenon is occurring with “increasing frequency.” [1]

Studies of Brazilian ayahuasca groups, including the “Brazilian ufological community”, have been endeavored by observing and participating in ayahuasca rituals, and interviewing the participants about their experiences. Researchers have reported that the spontaneous release of DMT in our brains – thought to occur in our pineal glands – can elicit strange experiences and states of consciousness, including experiences with aliens.

Drinkers of ayahuasca witness “spontaneous mental images” that are thought to significantly contribute to after-ingestion, positive changes which have also sparked the formation of Brazilian ayahuasca religions. These images include aliens, the 3rd most common entity encountered, behind creatures like elves or gnomes and shapeshifting situations like humans turning into tigers. [2] Some people even report seeing Egyptian gods! Those who encounter the aliens also report alien structures and spaceships, and weird mantis-like creatures that perform brain surgeries.

Another study reported that the word “alien” was used amongst 39% of study participants when describing their visionary encounters. [3] Says David Luke, Ph.D., “It should be noted that few experients ever doubt the reality of their encounters with either aliens or DMT entities.” [2]

That’s an interesting aspect of the DMT experience, and hallucinogenic, visionary experiences as a whole — to those immersed in the drugs and the worlds they reveal, the existence of parallel dimensions and “sophisticated non-human entities” [1] are quite rational and real, whereas in mainstream paths of society, these phenomena may be highly criticized and rendered nonsensical.

The aliens visualized while experiencing ayahuasca or DMT are typically not the common gray alien of modern-day lore, but rather, often are human-looking and embody “superhuman beauty,” such as the being called Ashtar Sheran.

The messages provided to the psychonauts often portray similar characteristics including the presence of lights, visions or knowledge of humankind’s destiny, conversations regarding the fragility of the planet, and a purpose for the psychonaut post-encounter to help mind our Earth. Some UFO groups, while ingesting ayahuasca, attempt to call various beings via songs from far-away places like Sirius, Orion, or the Pleiades.

No matter what your belief system conjures when thinking of an alien, the customary experiences of those using psychedelics like ayahuasca and DMT provides an interesting discourse worthy of further investigation. Regardless of what earthly name is used to label the entities encountered, a wonderful thought exercise of “what if” extends an alleged benevolent opportunity to humankind to transcend our modern-day woes in the name of a better, terrestrial Earth.



[1] dos Santos RA, Martins L. Visions from other worlds: Western esotericism, UFO beliefs and conspiracy theories in New Age ayahuasca groups. La Rosa di Paracelso. 2020;1:21-34.


[2] Luke D. Discarnate entities and dimethyltryptamine (DMT): Psychopharmacology, phenomenology and ontology. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. 2011;75(902[1])[1]:26–42. [journal impact factor = N/A; cited by 32]


[3] Davis AK, Clifton J, Weaver EG, Hurwitz E, Johnson M, Griffiths R. Survey of entity encounter experiences occasioned by inhaled N,N-dimethyltryptamine: Phenomenology, interpretation, and enduring effects. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2020;34(9):1008-1020. [journal impact factor = 4.153; cited by 19]

About the author

Jason S. Lupoi, Ph.D.

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