UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 22

Clark and ETH [Solved Abduction Cases?]

From: DevereuxP@aol.com
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 23:48:44 -0500 (EST)
Fwd Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 18:17:15 -0500
Subject: Clark and ETH [Solved Abduction Cases?]


Jerry Clark wrote:

>From: clark@canby.mn.frontiercomm.net [Jerome Clark]
>Date: Tue, 04 Nov 1997 11:18:38 PST
>To: updates@globalserve.net
>Subject: re: solved abduction cases

>Dear list,
>For reasons unknown I can't get into Paul Devereux's
>recent posting, so I'm having to respond in an independent

>I guess the good news is that there is so little of substance
>in it, beyond Paul's by now well-worn ax-grinding act, that
>little comment is warranted.  Suffice it to say I stand by
>everything I've said.  To Paul I'd simply say that your
>emotional -- even fanatical -- commitment to a particular
>reading of the UFO question has apparently led you to
>chronic incivility, as not a few others, even individuals
>more sympathetic to your beliefs than I am, have noted.  In
>other words, guy: chill out.  Not all, or even most, dissents
>from your treasured beliefs are personal attacks.  By now
>we've all figured out that you are VERY excited with and
>defensive about your beliefs, that angry bees are always
>circling in your bonnet.  You don't have to keep
>demonstrating it to the rest of us.

>As for me, I tried to be as pleasant as I could under the
>circumstances, to no avail, evidently.  So you can go
>stew elsewhere, Paul.

>An excellent essay on "Earthlights and Tectonic Stress
>Theory," by Chris Rutkowski, appears in the forthcoming
>second edition of my UFO Encyclopedia.  I encourage all
>who are interested in what Paul's about, beyond all the
>self-righteous bluster, to read it.

>Jerry Clark

Dear Jerry,

I'll only make a couple of responses to this before moving on
to more important matters:

a)I think the record shows quite clearly that from my few
sentences questioning your assertions on specific matters in one
of your postings to Mendoza, Jerry, it has been you who has
inflated the personalised verbiage. (And not only in your
exchanges with me, let it be noted.) In the course of our
exchanges I have indeed raised points of "substance", or, at
least, reasonable importance. As to my ripostes to your charges,
all I can say is if you don't like the echoes you get back, then
stop making your noise.

b)I find it breathtaking, Jerry,  that while you have managed to
avoid responding to any issue I have attempted to raise in our
exchanges, you can now refer to one that was not so raised --
earth lights. Neither Mr Rutkowski nor earth lights are topics I
have been trying to discuss with you. I have dealt with ELs and
Chris Rutkowski on other occasions, and will doubtless do so in
the future just as Chris will doubtless keep bashing away at his
pet hate. All I will say on the topic here - as you raise it - is
that unusual geophysical luminous and non-luminous phenomena do
exist, they are undoubtedly a part of the material that passes
through ufology's alimentary canal, and they just as certainly
have not been digested by most ufologists - i.e. they have been
under-recognised and under-researched. A small number of us have
been doing a heroic job in raising funding for field and other
research, have involved mainstream science, have already produced
more than anecdotal results, but instead of that being
acknowledged, we are almost automatically criticised or even
derided. The evidence to hand to date most strongly supports
geological-tectonic factors being implicated in the occurrence of
such phenomena - and the Tectonic Strain Theory is only one
strand of this evidence. If Chris Rutkowski does not like the TST
or the association of tectonic factors with EL incidence, then
fine -  if he can shed new light on the mechanisms that produce
ELs, I for one will be delighted and I will not stint my praise
of him (and you can mark those words). But what is not logically
acceptable is to say that if the mechanism isn't proven first,
anomalous geophysical phenomena (aka 'earth lights') cannot exist
until it is.

Okay, that is all I have to say on either of these areas for this
exchange. What I would like to do, if I may,  is to move to the
issues I have raised in our exchanges, and which so far have been
ignored or dismissed by you without discussion ("you are dead
wrong",etc.). I suggest we cut the crap, and turn to
topic-focused exchanges. All right?

Over time, and as time permits, I'll try to raise each of the
ignored points individually - perhaps we'll get further that
way.I'll focus in this posting with what is perhaps the most
fundamental and in many ways most pressing issue - the dominance
of ETH thinking within mainstream ufology.


The first thing I want to clarify, in case I didn't do so
sufficiently in in my last response, is that I think it is
perfectly legitimate for the ETH to stay on the table as one of
the possible explanations for some UFO sightings. With what I
have learned so far, I do not think it is an explanation for any,
but if the evidence should amount to proof in some cases, I will
have no problems accepting it. I think there are definitely:

Psychological UFOs
Sociological UFOs
Geophysical UFOs

I'd add the ETH to that list as a possibility. But as someone who
has seen anomalous luminous and dark aerial objects, and on one
occasion a craft, I can say in total honesty I have not found it
necessary to invoke the ETH to cope with any of them.

As for alien abductions, I do not personally think the ETH is a
legitimate option, though in many cases the experience itself is
real for those reporting it. The reason I hold this view, is that
a study of alien abductions without recourse to the ETH reveals
evidence amounting to proof as to what the "alien abduction"
experience actually is. I say this because the literature
relevant to this finding is available to anyone who wishes to
undertake the research -- at the end of the day, it is not a
question of it being my opinion. As someone who has been within
20 feet of a prefectly "real-looking" non-human entity or alien,
I can say the above without any fear whatsoever of people who
would wish to claim they have had the abduction experience and I
have not.
(I am amazed that I have already made this deliberately
provocative statement without there being the least ripple of
interest by either Jerry or, apparently, more than a couple of
people on this list.)

It seems to me that there are two aspects to the question of the
ETH in ufology: is the ETH truly the dominant paradigm, and if
so, is it affecting thinking within ufology - i.e. is it actually
inhibiting the range of knowledge that we could be establishing
within ufology?

Dealing with the latter possibility first, it is my contention,
as I expressed in an early posting to you, Jerry, that it is
indeed skewing several stands of research and inhibiting the
disclosure of other possibilities. In this sense, it is acting
like a self-fulfilling pattern of thought. As a matter of fact, I
would go further: I think that within mainstream ufology anything
that is not ETH-based in some form or other is viewed as
non-ufological, and essentially of minor or no interest. Further
still, if it was finally proven that the ETH is not the answer in
ufology, I suggest that most people now attracted to ufology
would go elsewhere and the subject would drop to a minor strand
of intellectual curiosity within our culture, notwithstanding
other important scientific and philosophical matters that might
emerge in the ETH's stead.

ALIEN ABDUCTION: I think we could set about raising the data
within ufology itself (it has already been raised outside of
ufology) to demonstrate that the alien abduction experience, for
example, is just one modest strand of a broader literature
relating to an extremely deep-seated human experience as old as
the human mind.

AERIAL PHENOMENA: In the case of things seen-in-the sky, while
the ETH should stay on the table, it should not be as overbearing
as it currently is and has been for nearly 50 years. It should be
given nothing more than equal weighting with social,
psychological and geophysical UFOs - and perhaps UFOs of a type
we haven't even thought of as yet. After all, the ETH is still
solely a matter of conjecture and anecdote (radar-visuals and
physical traces can apply equally to geophysical UFOs as to ET

Also, a study of the history of ufology shows conclusively that
there is not one, single hypothesis that can be called the ETH,
as Dennis Stacy has pointed out in another posting. There is
and/or has been a riot of manifestations of what should more
properly be called the ET Motif, the ETM.

I contend that all the above points are true, and observably so.

The other aspect of the matter, however, concerns whether or not
the ETH/ETM is actually dominant, colouring in one form or
another most of the thinking and intellectual drive within
ufology. I assumed this was also a matter of simple observation,
yet you, Jerry, in an earlier posting, asked that we should agree
to disagree over it, along with other issues I have raised. Your
failure to treat the points I am raising as of some consequence
to the future of ufological research - to apparently consider
them to be not even worthy of discussion - placed me in something
of a quandry. What could I do to demonstrate that the ETH/ETM as
a disproportionate influence within ufology wasn't just a matter
of opinion?

Well, I suddenly realised that this list, being pretty
representative of the areas of concern within ufology, and
involving a good sample of ufologists, is in fact a potential
research tool in itself, and can be used to settle the matter as
to whether the ETH/ETM is dominant in most ufological thought or

So, as a preliminary test, I took the first 100 postings of the
list in my electronic in-tray - I have not selected them,  etc.,
so it is effectively a random sample - and marked each one as
relating to the ETH/ETM or not. 'Related' means literally that:
postings that involve explicit or implicit discussion of ET
concerns; postings that assume the ETH/ETM as a given, or that
follow on from the starting point of a strand that was ETH/ETM
oriented in one form or another (and this of course includes
postings actually arguing *against* the ETH/ETM),etc. In short,
anything that reveals the presence of the ETH/ETM in some way,
shape or form in the intellectual environment of the posting.

This is what I found.

My UpDates sample of 100 postings started on 11/04 and ended 11/08.

ETH/ETM-related:      62%
Not ETH/ETM related:  38%

This obviously indicates a dominance of ETH/ETM-related thinking
within mainstream ufology. But in fact, the matter is more
distinct than this result suggests. Many of the non-ETH/ETM
related postings were, as it happened within the timing of this
sample, to do with technical questions regarding the Mexico
video. If I was being really strict, I would say that even those
technical matters revolve around the implied claim that the video
was showing a craft, but I let them stand as non-ETH/ETM.
However, there were also 8 postings comprised, variously, of
regional sighting listings, an obituary, a couple of Alf's Odd
Odes. None of these items, while admirable in themselves, could
be said to be a direct part of the discussion process going on.
Therefore I think it is legitimate to exclude them from the
sample. In which case, the figures would stand as:

ETH/ETM related:       67%
Not ETH/ETM related:   33%

This very modest bit of research suggests that, despite its
protean and unproven nature,  the ETH/ETM is the most dominant
paradigm operating within mainstream ufological thinking. (Bear
in mind this specific result means *all* other ideas within
ufology have to share out the 33% between them.) Even those not
espousing the ETH/ETM are obliged to take time from what might be
more productive lines of research to deal with it. In short, the
ETH/ETM sets the agenda. And it is insidious.

This means, therefore, that my contention that it is skewing
thinking within ufology should be taken seriously and is a
legitimate subject of discussion and consideration by those
claiming to be UFO researchers. IMO, it cannot possibly be
healthy for a single motif to take such a giant bite out of the
energies going into the ufological sphere as a whole. It cannot
possibly serve the purposes of objective research.

I welcome comments from Jerry in the first instance, and, of
course from anyone else who so wishes. But let us deal with the
issues, and not get stroppy with one another. There is no
debunking going on here, merely the consideration of what is now
a demonstrated problem. To help such a happy  situation to come
about, I promise to keep out of the discussion as far as possible
-- I'll only chip in if I feel some point of consequence is being
missed, obscured or manipulated. Otherwise, I have said my piece
on the matter.

I'll add two further points before closing this posting, however:

1) Anyone can repeat my experiment and post their results. If we
get a few of them, then we can find the mean percentages. If
there are wild discrepancies, however, and special circumstances
cannot be identified, it might be necessary for us to do a
collective analysis of an agreed, selected sample.

2) With the New Year not so far away, could I make an **ET-FREE
PLEA**, and suggest we take, say,  a 14-day period in 1998 in
which, just for the experience, we all agree to discuss
ufological research *without recourse to the ETH/ETM* in any
shape or form?
It might prove a rewarding experiment. We could see if new
avenues of thinking might open up or at least be enlarged, or
find out if we are reduced to being helpless intellectual addicts
without the ET fix. Perhaps the list would fall silent! Even UFO
abductees could speculate what they think happened to them if
they took the ETH explanation away. They could look closely at
their experiences to see what flaws the ET explanation might
have. Let's hear descriptions of abduction experiences and
collectively discuss them and share the problems concerning them
together, in an ET-FREE atmosphere.
Just for once.

What's 14 days in a lifetime? If there is interest in trying
this, our revered Errol could designate the **ET-FREE** period
for 1998.

Hey - I'm nothing if not an idealist...

Best wishes,
Paul Devereux

PS - Jerry, I trust your problems with your computer have been
overcome by now. If they persist, then I'll be happy to send this
directly to your electronic mailbox privately. It would be a
grave pity for technology to prevent you focusing in on the one
topic of this posting.

Search for other documents from or mentioning: devereuxp | clark

[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp

Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com