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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 30

Re: Why Migraines Don't Explain UFOs

From: John Rimmer <j_rimmer@library.croydon.gov.uk>
Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 13:27:50 +0100
Fwd Date: Thu, 30 Jul 1998 08:41:47 -0400
Subject: Re: Why Migraines Don't Explain UFOs

Apologies again from the P.L.A.Driftwood Organisation for its
continued computer problems, leading to this rather late response
to:

> From: Mark Cashman <mcashman@ix.netcom.com>
> Date: Tue, 21 jul 1998 11:13:33 -0400
> Subject: Re: Why Migraines Don't Explain UFOs

> Mr. Rimmer also misses the point that my message pointed out that
> the burden falls on anti-OEH proponents to deal with why it
> should be that a variety of completely unrelated physical,
> optical, mental and medical causes lead to a single result : the
> UFO.

I am happy to address this point.

In fact this is exactly what the PSH predicts. The PSH is not an
*explanation* for each individual UFO reports, and PSH
proponents accept that there are many separate stimuli which
generate UFO reports. These can inded be optical, mental and
medical. I'd add to that meteorological and mechanical amongst
others. But as Mr. Cashman notes, they all result in a UFO
report. Now unless Mr Cashman is saying that *all* UFO reports
cannot be explained by mundane phenomena, he must accept that
the conventionally quoted figure of 90% IFOs represents 'a
variety of completely unrelated' phenomena which have,
demonstrably, resulted in UFO reports.

So we have the remaining 5%. The only linking factor in these
instances is that they have *not* been linked to one of the
'unrelated phenomena'. This in itself is not proof of any other
link between them, such as the ETH.

Where the PSHers start to get interested is when we find that
there is no substantial difference between these cases, and the
ones which are 'solved' to Mr Cashman's satisfaction. The link,
we think, must be in the way visual stimuli which are unfamiliar
to the percipient are interpreted by the individual. This
interpretation is determined by the psychology of the individual
and the preoccupations and assumption of the society in which
they live. In the past this has often involved societies
dominated by religious belief, so interpretations have fallen
into that template: angels, the Virgin Mary, the voice of God,
etc. Others interpretations which will be familiar to readers
include the invasion scares of the early 20th Century in
Britain, a variety of folkloric figures over centuries (well
documented accounts of fairy sighting exist well into the 20th
century in Europe and elswhere), or even black helicopters in
the paranoid 'nineties.

There are of course a range of other possibilities that others
might put forward: people are seeing 'real' ETs and interpreting
them as religious figures; or are seeing physical manifestations
of the Deity and interpreting them as German airships; or are
seeing fairies and interpreting them as extraterrestrial beings.
Or indeed that they are having a form of migraine which they
cannot recognise as such and are interpreting it as visions of
ET craft

It is worth pointing out that the PSH is still perfectly valid
even if some of the original stimuli for sightings *are*
extraterrestrial craft - we would still be interested in the way
they were interpreted before 1947!

So the answer to Mr Cashman's question is: a variety of
unrelated physical, optical, mental and medical causes lead to a
single result because they provide the percipient with a
stimulus which they are unable to immediately relate to any
known source, so interpret it in a way which is mediated by the
psychological state of the percipient (both generally and at the
time of the event), and by the cultural and social milieu in
which the event occurs.

I could probably polish it up a bit given time, but I hope that
will do for the moment.

John Rimmer
The Captain of the "Flagship of Psycho-Social Ufology"
Magonia. (www.magonia.demon.co.uk)