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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Jan > Jan 31

Re: Abduction - The Issue Of Reality

From: Greg Sandow <gsandow@prodigy.net>
Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 20:23:52 -0500
Fwd Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 09:22:57 -0500
Subject: Re: Abduction - The Issue Of Reality

>Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 14:18:31 -0800 (PST)
>From: Rebecca Keith <xiannekei@yahoo.com>
>Subject: Re: Abduction - The Issue Of Reality
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

>>From: Greg Sandow <gsandow@prodigy.net>
>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>>Subject: Re: 1999 UFO Alien Abduction Conference Announced
>>Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 10:43:26 -0500

>>>But isn't that the real problem
>>>with ufology in general and abductions in particular: turning
>>>one's back on analysis and advocate "opinions" instead?

>>Where abductions are concerned, the skeptics are even more
>>guilty of that than believers. Note: this is NOT a comment on
>>Kevin, who's thoughtful about everything he does.

>I consider myself a skeptic and that doesn't mean I'm a
>nonbeliever. By contrasting skeptics being more guilty than
>believers, you are suggesting I'm a nonbeliever.

Rebecca, I was hardly talking about you. I was talking about
published writers in both camps.

>>But typically abduction skeptics don't even mention the full
>>range of possible abduction evidence -- for instance, the claim
>>made by some abduction investigators that abductees corroborate
>>even tiny unpublished details in each others' reports. Note
>>again: I'm not insisting that this claim is correct, or that it
>>means abductions are real. More research needs to be done. I
>>_am_ saying that abduction skeptics rarely (if ever) mention it.
>>Documentation: Philip Klass, UFO Abductions: A Dangerous Game;
>>the NOVA episode on abductions; the 1996 volume of the journal
>>Psychological Issues, entirely devoted to abductions; Robert
>>Sheaffer's [hope I spelled his name right] new book on UFOs; a
>>recent book of collected UFO pieces (one on abuctions) from the
>>Skeptical Inquirer; many skeptical posts here, etc., etc., etc.

>>If anyone knows of an abduction skeptic who mentions this
>>pro-abduction argument, even scathingly, I'd love to know about

>Should skeptic claim that this is a fact? Should he/she say "it
>is claimed..." or what?

I myself wouldn't claim this as a fact, so I'd hardly ask
skeptics to. I'd simply ask them to note that it's claimed, just
as you suggest. Then they ought to state what they'd think if
abduction researchers were able to prove that this was actually

>I'm just guessing here, but perhaps Brookesmith mentions
>something similar in his abduction book? Doesn't he interview
>Betty Hill who says something about abductees getting together
>at group meeting and comparing notes?

Peter posted something here to that effect, using (I think) the
text of an article he published elsewhere. I think it might have
been an outtake from his book. At the time, I thought -- and
should have posted here -- that Betty Hill is hardly an expert
on the current abduction phenomenon, despite her historical
importance. Much of what she said, I thought, was more or less
off the top of her head. I'm not sure why Peter thought it was
worth publishing, unless he was just having fun saying, "See,
even a famous abudctee thinks abduction research has problems."
Quoting Betty Hill on current abduction stuff is a little like
quoting Little Richard on the current state of rock & roll.
He'll have a lively opinion, but nobody would take it seriously.

>I'm not saying that abductees don't corroborate tiny unpublished
>details and I'm not saying that they incorporate details from
>other accounts into their own stories, but it is a possibility
>in some cases, no?

Of course.

>I need to organize my thoughts a little more clearly on this,
>but the days of abductees claiming to have no prior knowledge of
>abductions stories are over, IMO. And if my opinion is correct,
>it would appear to me that it would be very difficult to
>establish tiny details from abductee accounts if one wanted to
>study that particular aspect.

It's virtually impossible to prove an abductee never heard the
tiny details somewhere. You can always decide that Budd Hopkins
or David Jacobs or John Carpenter might have told someone.

On the other hand, I've seen abductees come into the abduction
world knowing less than you'd think. More than once I've had an
abductee friend call in a panic, after having read in an
abduction book something he or she never dreamed someone else
knew about. In one case, the abductee had gone through hypnosis
with Budd, and hadn't believed a word she'd come out with. Then
she picked up The Threat, and -- not even caring yet about the
apocalyptic message -- just went into shock reading a couple of
random details that were exactly like what she said when
hypnotized. She'd been to a support group meeting or two, and at
least one party with abductees, and had every chance, you'd
think, to learn many details of abduction stories. But she
hadn't, partly because abductees, being in most respects normal
people, don't spend every waking hour talking obsessively about
their abduction memories.

Crucial focus for those evaluating abduction research -- the
very early days of abduction investigation, when hardly anyone
knew the familiar story, and it's harder to claim that abductees
were influenced by the media or other abductees.

Important area for current investigation (I'm working on this):
Dave Jacobs' claim that abductees always put certain seemingly
random -- and obscure -- details in the same order. Dave has all
his hypnotic sessions transcribed, and so his claim, if it's
correct, ought to be possible for him to document.

Greg Sandow

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