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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 2

Re: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 10:07:09 -0500
Fwd Date: Mon, 02 May 2005 13:36:41 -0400
Subject: Re: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction

>From: Peter Rogerson <progerson.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sun, 01 May 2005 21:50:15 +0100
>Subject: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction Fear

>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 12:26:21 -0500
>>Subject: Re: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction Fear

>>>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

>>"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.

>But this paragraph by Webb is clearly not referring to the 2
>missing hours but to some kind of momentary mental block. The
>missing two hours comes from the journey taking two hours longer
>than it had done in the past. This could be due to any number of
>reasons, driving slower than before, stopping for longer than
>they thought they had, getting lost in the panic and confusion,
>or falling asleep at some point.

I guess we know why you're a pelicanist, and not a detective,
Peter. Thank God; your capacity for actual harm to actual human
beings is thereby considerably reduced.

You're confusing - conveniently, I must say, and in the usual
have- it-both-ways fashion of the pelicanist - Webb's dismissal
of the significance of Barney Hill's confused testimony with the
significance of what Hill seems to have been trying to say,
which was that he had memories a very close encounter with
aliens inconsistent both with his conscious memories and with
the consciously recalled time line. The significance of Webb's
dismissal speaks right to the point: that pelicanist doctrine
notwithstanding, ufologists and witnesses had no concept of
missing time in 1961.

Nice (if predictable) try, though.

In 1965, looking back on his 1961 investigation, Webb - by the
way, one of the finest field investigators American ufology has
ever produced - wrote, "When I met the Hills after their
experience in the White Mountains, Barney appeared to be deeply
concerned by the 'leader' in the UFO (first encountered) and by
his failure to recall events immediately after watching this
figure. Both witnesses were perplexed that they had no
conscious recollection of events between the odd beeping sounds
nor of the route they traveled in that interval."

Now, folks, who you gonna believe: a bright, accomplished
investigator who actually spoke with the Hills after their
initial 1961 report - or Peter Rogerson? Who is the authority
here? Yes, those are rhetorical questions.

>It's hard to remember back damn near 40 years, but I don't
>recall as a teenage ufo buff finding this story so unprecedented
>even though I didn't encounter the AVB case till 1967. The
>literature around at the time prepared us for it. Far from being
>treated as a wild story heading for the wpb, the Hill story got
>a respectful hearing from the start, even from my ever skeptical
>colleague John Harney.

Your memory is pretty dismal, Peter, though it does serve, if not very
compellingly, your argument, such as it is. We may assume that no
memory that failed to do so would ever be permitted to rise to the
surface of Rogersonian consciousness.

In reality, the Hill abduction story was a sensation in the
ufology of the period, which had no known precedent for it. The
reception, far from being "respectful," was mixed. The largest
American organization of the time, NICAP, which had been
responsible for the initial investigation of what then seemed a
fairly typical CE3, rejected the abduction aspect outright as "A
Dream via Hypnosis" (actual title of brief NICAP kiss-off in
U.F.O. Investigator, August/September 1966, p. 8). Other
ufologists - those who already were interested in CE3s (that
didn't include everybody in early ufology, as historians of the
subject are aware) - were more open-minded, but reservations
about the efficacy of hypnosis remained a recurring theme in
treatments of the abduction aspect. Webb himself concluded that
the material that emerged under hypnosis explained aspects of
the testimony that otherwise had made no sense to him. Again,
on this subject, who you gonna believe? The guy who was
actually there, or Peter Rogerson? Again, rhetorical questions.

The rest of you who may be interested in what pre-Hill
anomalistics and ufology were _actually_ like may wish to read
my paper "From Mermaids to Little Gray Men: The Prehistory of
the UFO Abduction Phenomenon." It's in The Anomalist 8 (Spring
2000): 11-31. The issue can be ordered from


Jerry Clark

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