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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 10

Re: ETH &c

From: Boroimhe@aol.com [Jeff King]
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 1997 21:02:24 -0500 (EST)
Fwd Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 01:49:01 -0500
Subject: Re: ETH &c


Top o' the morning to the list, and especially to Jerry Clark:

>From: clark@mn.frontiercomm.net [Jerome Clark]
>Date: Sun, 09 Nov 1997 12:59:22 PST
>Fwd Date: Sun, 09 Nov 1997 15:24:01 -0500
>Subject: Re: ETH &c

>> "In short order (in mid-June, to be specific) Kevin Randle and
>> Donald Schmitt's long-awaited 'UFO Crash at Roswell' will be
>> out.  It records the most thoroughly investigated, the most
>> completely documented event in the history of ufology.  The
>> Roswell incident is, of course, also the most important case of
>> all.  As its secrets are unraveled (and investigation continues),
>> ufology's big questions, the ones that brought our field into
>> being in the first place, are being answered: What are UFOs?
>> Who pilots them? What does officialdom know, and when did it
>> know it?  Those whose interpretation of the UFO phenomenon
>> is based on empirical evidence will rejoice as the heretofore
>> unkillable canard, that UFO research has made no progress in
>> four decades, is disposed of once and for all."
>> Jerome Clark
>> International UFO Reporter, March-April 1991.

>I still think Roswell is an extraordinarily important case,
>potentially the most important of all.  It is not, however, the
>best case.  I think critics have considerably over-stated their
>argument, but I do think they have succeeded in highlighting
>weaknesses and ambiguities which ensure that as things stand
>Roswell is far from the "best case." (Literate readers will know
>the difference, Jeff, even if the distinction escapes you.)

First let me say that I seriously doubt that I am the only person
on this list who has difficulty distinguishing between the *most
important* case (note that the original quote was not qualified
by "potentially") and a *best* case.  Especially when the most
important case is described as "the most thoroughly investigated,
the most completely documented event in the history of ufology."
It would seem that the definition of best case would be that
which is the most completely documented and thoroughly
investigated.   Perhaps your understanding differs from mine in
that regard.  To each his own.

>I have followed the debate, listened seriously to all sides, and
>adjusted my thoughts accordingly.  I would like to think you'd do
>the same, Jeff, but maybe you think a view once lodged in your
>mind can never be removed or even modified. Personally, I harbor
>a sentimental preference for an always open mind.

Please do not presume that you understand all there is to know of
my ability to keep an open mind from the few short paragraphs I
have posted to this list.  I too have listened to the debate and
changed my conclusions, as needed, on Roswell as well as many
other ufological matters.  I apologize in advance if you think I
have been short with you, but I will note that nowhere have I
described what you wrote as "crapola."

>My mistake was in having and expressing excessive optimism about
>what we could learn about something that occurred long ago and
>under circumstances that would have rendered truth-determination
>difficult even had a (civilian) investigation been launched
>immediately.

Perhaps.  But let me also point out that you should hardly be
jumping on me because I took your statements in IUR at face
value.  As I said above, your description of the case surely
meets most people's understanding of a best case.  You changed
your mind after further information came to light. Fine.  My
statement to the Duke, therefore, would seem to be accurate, even
if you don't agree with my choice of words to describe your
change of heart. Unless, of course, I should give your statements
in IUR the same weight you wish me to give your postings to the
list.

>I have never heard of the Oddysey Newsletter by the way.

It is, or was, put out by Paranet.  The only thing I have ever
seen of it is the one poor photocopy of the article with your
quote, which a friend sent me.  In fact, irony of ironies, about
the only thing legible on the page is your quote.

>Literate readers, as I've said, will understand the difference.

Perhaps a poll is in order, eh?

>In any event, Jeff misses the larger, more important point: that
>unlike most abduction-related claims, phantom pregnancies are
>falsifiable.

Wrong again sir.  The laughing Duke has pointed out time and
again that you are as ineffective at mindreading as the rest of
us, so please stop trying.  I am fully cognizant of the point.
In fact you seem to be missing the most important point-that
Hopkins' and others' claims of missing pregnancies have been
*falsified.*  To play the citing game I suggest the following:

1.  Dr. Richard Neal's comments in Close Encounters of the Fourth
Kind describing the prosaic causes of "missing pregnancies" and
the fact that no abduction researcher has performed the minimal
investigation required to conclude that any anomalous missing
pregnancy has occurred.

2.  The Duke's piece in Fortean Times 85 (making the same points
as Neal, but with a British OB-GYN giving the expert testimony).

3.  The November 1991 MUFON Journal article describing Ann
Druffel and Georgeanne Cifarelli's investigation of the missing
pregnancy claim of an abductee who had contacted Hopkins and was
referred by him to Dr. Neal and others on the west coast.  Their
investigation included complete access to the abductee's medical
records and doctors and concluded that the termination of the
abductee's pregnancy was well within earthly norms.  I also
suggest Hopkins' follow up letter to the editor as a straight
from the horse's mouth example of how poorly he investigates and
interprets such material.

>As I have had occasion to say before, it is
>arguably Hopkins' major failing to bring forth no medical
>documentation proving or disproving abductees' claims that they
>experienced anomalously terminated pregnancies.

So, can we now expect a piece from you in IUR that will castigate
Hopkins, on this issue, with the same ferocity as you went after
Mack?  Don't get me wrong, I agree with your take on Mack.  I
just believe you have failed to be equally demanding of Hopkins.
And yes, it is a major failing of Hopkins', one which is
emblematic of his whole investigative enterprise.

>We're not churning out deathless prose here.
>We're writing ephemeral stuff, and we're writing it fast, and
>it's not going to stand in print to get quoted back to us years
>(or, in my case, sometimes decades) later.

May I point out that the only years (not decades) old quotes of
yours I posted were from IUR and a newsletter, not the list.
Again, were they also meant to be ephemeral?  From the ephemeral
list or not, if someone makes a, relatively, logical inference
from your words may I suggest that you provide a brief, polite
explanation, rather than complaints about the speed of your
writing.

>Thanks, Jeff, for a chance to comment on the above and to clarify
>my views. Good luck in your own inquiries.

Thanks for the quick comments.  And may all your best cases pan
out in the end.

Jeff

P.S.  You still didn't tell me who the master forger of my prose
style is. I'll be gone for a week or so, but please, enquiring
minds want to know.




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