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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 1

Re: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 12:26:21 -0500
Fwd Date: Sun, 01 May 2005 08:39:57 -0400
Subject: Re: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction

>From: Peter Rogerson <progerson.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 17:19:27 +0100
>Subject: Re: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction Fear

>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 08:34:53 -0500
>>Subject: Re: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction Fear


Patient and gentle Listfolk:

>>To appreciate how little prepared ufologists were for the modern
>>abduction phenomenon, one has only to read Walt Webb's report to
>>NICAP of his initial investigation of the Hill CE3 (not
>>suspected to be an abduction then). He overlooks significant
>>parts of the testimony and rationalizes away portions that would
>>later be seen as seminal. The Hill episode was something so new
>>and novel that ufologists failed to recognize it for what it
>>signified till years later.

>>It is important to turn to primary sources whenever possible.
>>There, while doing historical research for my encyclopedia in
>>the 1990s, I found the occasional intriguing but overlooked and
>>not-understood reference to things that sound much like missing
>>time that is central to the Hill case and, of course, to many
>>others that would occur in its wake. The Hills presented even
>>the most sophisticated ufologists -- and Webb certainly can be
>>so described -- with aspects of the UFO phenomenon for which
>>they had no preparation. That's one reason, maybe _the_ reason,
>>it remains so important in the history of ufology.

>The reason that the missing time didn't feature in Walter Webb's
>report is that it didn't become a prominent feature of the story
>until (at least according to John Fuller on pp62ff of the Dell
>ed of Interrupted Journey) it was suggested to the Hllls by,
>guess who, Hohman, Jackson and a Major Macdonald. H and J seem
>to think that ufos were piloted by anti social teenagers who
>went around stealing things from cars.

Webb encountered hints of missing time but didn't recognize them
because the concept didn't exist in the knowledge base or
experience of ufologists of the period, though as I have pointed
out elsewhere hints of it were expressed in pre-Hill UFO cases
(reported at the time, I stress, and not simply in post-Hill
retrospective testimony) but were recognized as such by exactly

This is what Walt Webb, whose response is understandable given
the state of knowledge (nonexistence) of such things in 1961,
wrote in his initial report to NICAP, at a time when the Hill
case was thought to be a more or less "conventional" CE3:

 "In his conversation with me (and with his wife since the
sighting) a mental block occurred when [Barney Hill] mentioned
the 'leader' peering out the window at him. Mr. Hill believes he
saw something he doesn't want to remember. He claimed he was not
close enough to see any facial characteristics on the figures,
although at another time he referred to one of them looking over
his shoulder and grinning and to the leader's expressionless
face. However, it is my view that the observer's blackout is not
of any great significance. I think the whole experience was so
improbable and fantastic to witness -- along with the very real
fear of being captured adding to imagined fears -- that his mind
finally refused to believe what his eyes were perceiving and a
mental block resulted."

As these remarks indicate, the Hills recounted what would later
be called "missing time" (and Webb calls "mental block" and
"blockout") from the beginning, and they needed nobody to plant
the concept in their heads. Their first account of it to an
investigator was to somebody who actively rejected it. Webb's
observations also underscore just how naive even the most
informed ufologists of the period were about the phenomenon.

Interesting that instead of trying to incorporate missing time
into an ostensibly conventional theory of the Hill experience,
debunkers try to deny its very occurrence. Strange are their
ways, I guess.

Jerry Clark

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