UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Feb > Feb 4

Re: Abduction - The Issue Of Reality

From: Peter Brookesmith Mendoza <DarkSecretPB@compuserve.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 23:21:35 -0500
Fwd Date: Thu, 04 Feb 1999 06:58:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Abduction - The Issue Of Reality

With the compliments of the Duke of Mendoza:

>From: Greg Sandow <gsandow@prodigy.net>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>Subject: Re: Abduction - The Issue Of Reality
>Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 16:42:27 -0500

>I've said this before, too, but evidently it bears repeating.
>Many people contact abduction researchers (again, the ones I
>know), but the possible abductees likely to get return phone
>calls are the ones reporting a particular constellation of
>consciously remembered experiences (lights in the room,
>presences by the bed, missing time serious enough to have caused
>an urgent search by family and/or police, and so forth).

>Whether these experiences are as tangible as the signs of
>burglary -- or whether they can reasonably be interpreted as
>abduction indicators -- is quite another story. But abduction
>investigators (again, the ones I know) don't proceed in the way
>Peter implies. They'd be the first to tell you that not everyone
>who thinks he/she is abducted really has been.

I wasn't trying to imply abduction researchers (that you know)
did proceed that way. Although "Missing Time" has a couple of
instances in which the "abduction" is derived from initial
reports a good deal less complex than, say, the Roper Poll's key
five experiences. Read among the abductologists besides the ones
you know, though, and you'll find plenty of instances in which
the investigators have led the case by the nose, in some cases I
suspect much to the amusement of the subjects who were having
them on, and in others to their considerable pain. (See Kevin
McLure's "Abduction Watch", passim, for some juicy examples of
dodgy investigators and depressing results from the UK.)

That's to leave aside the logical problems of proceeding from
"symptoms". Even whirlwinds mess up apartments. Lights in the
room, presences by the bed, missing time and missing persons,
can all have mundane causes, even as a constellation. (This
isn't an invite to recycle the Roper debate again... )

And, let's not forget, there are plenty of self-appointed
abductees who bypass the known investigators entirely. Taken
altogether, I would wager my usual dollar at evens that a
rigorous, yea ruthless, analysis of every abduction claim in
print and in unpublished files and on the net would still leave
a very small minority that was entirely mysterious - all right,
that's an overstatement - sufficiently unexplained in the
majority of its integers to warrant reinvestigation.

>One last word. If a tone of impatience is creeping into my
>comments, it's because Peter, bless him, puts things very much
>his own way -- and that way, according to me, is slanted to make
>abduction investigators look far more careless than they really

My view is that abduction investigators are careless from the
start because they think they are investigating abductions. If
they just tried to find out what happened, and were not so
wilfully ignorant of so-called "abnormal psychology" and a whole
lot of other things, in the pursuit of their "evidence", we
might know a lot more about people, perhaps much of it new and
remarkable, if less about mythology. You might still end up with
an apparently genuine abduction. It only takes one solid case to
prove the point, after all. Investigators can take, and I'm not
unaware that some do take, all the care they like in looking for
potential "abductees" according to their own criteria, but that
doesn't mean that's what they get. Or rather, it means they'll
end up getting what they want, because of the way they interpret
both their own criteria and what they hear from their subjects.
"Proper" UFO investigators--of whom Allan Hendry springs to mind
as the type and exemplar--take a *far* more neutral approach to
their material and their witnesses than any abductologist I've
ever come across.

And just to be crystalline: I wouldn't waste my precious
debunking time on abductions if I thought something deeply
boring and essentially trivial was going on. Apparently, in some
cases, something truly weird has happened to people, and
deserves investigation. And the people themselves don't deserve
investigators with an agenda. That way the hot tub of madness
lies, real and metaphorical. (And bouncing among the bubbles
therein are those with any other blanket explanations--"little
nobodies", "hypnosis", "sleep paralysis"--of the phenomenon.
What are known as, or thought of as, or feel like, abduction
experiences are not necessarily all down to one cause, or one
set, of causes, even if one were to wipe prurient aliens right
off the board.)

Now, I didn't say "intellectual dishonesty" once, but what
difference did it really make?

best wishes, and no less smiling, you tove!
Purgative D. Milkwort
Fluttering & Dancing in the Breeze

[ 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