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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 3

Re: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 11:41:36 -0500
Fwd Date: Tue, 03 May 2005 09:00:42 -0400
Subject: Re: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction


>From: Nigel Watson <valis23a.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 04:45:32 EDT
>Subject: Re: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction Fear

>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 11:13:13 -0500
>>Subject: Re: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction Fear

>>>From: Nigel Watson <valis23a.nul>
>>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>>Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 07:01:07 EDT
>>>Subject: Re: UFO Couple Use Story To Spark Alien Abduction Fear

>>>>From: Gildas Bourdais <gbourdais.nul>
>>>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>>Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2005 11:45:45 +0200
>>>>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 its time the Hill case was an extraordinary revelation, as
>>all of those who were there in the mid-1960s can testify, when
>>reports of the abduction aspect emerged. There was a general
>>feeling of shock and excitement. Other ufologists who lived and
>>were active at the time will recall exactly what I mean. As I
>>pointed out earlier, the sophisticated and knowledgeable
>>ufologist (and astronomer) Walt Webb, who initially investigated
>>the case, was so unprepared for it that he failed to recognize
>>what he had when he conducted his inquiries.

>I hope you patient and gentle Listfolk appreciate Jerry's rude
>and impatient remarks as much as I do.

If you don't want me to be "rude and impatient," maybe you ought
not to be the same yourself. Here's a hint: Being called a
"believer" always brings out the impatient and the crabby in me.
And being subjected to save-it-for-the-rubes twaddle (see your
characterization of the Hill case as ufology's "most important"
below) also tends to test my basic good nature.

And if you object to being called a pelicanist, show us - all
other evidence to that effect notwithstanding - that you're not
flying with that flock. Or, to mix metaphors, attending the same
church; it certainly sounds as if you're singing out of that
hymn book.

>When Walter Webb investigated the case, the Hill's did not
>mention missing time or an abduction. If you read Fuller's book
>it is clear that the Hill's spoke to several ufologists about
>their experience. Over the weeks their recollection of the
>incident became more elaborate.

It's "Hills," not "Hill's." The plural of a proper name does not
require an apostrophe.

See, in any event, my response to Peter Rogerson for
particulars. I take it that you haven't read Webb's initial
report to NICAP.

>Although the Hill case is the most important in ufology it is
>significant that the only major account of it is by a popular
>journalist and author. Where are the detailed investigations and
>reports by the likes of Keyhoe, Hynek or Clark?

Huh? What evidence do you have, beyond your strange assertion
above, that "the Hill case is the most important in ufology"?
Did you just make this up because it sounds good? If you really
believe this - which, by the way, I don't believe for a second
- is there any reason that any of us should take you seriously
about anything in this field?

The investigator who took on the case was a most fortunate
choice. There are few field investigators - maybe none, though
there are some who are his equal- better than Walt Webb, and
happily, he was there at the beginning. No one else can claim
comparable expertise of what the Hills initially described. He
interviewed them on October 21, 1961, just a month after the
sighting, and already, as we have seen, they were alluding to
peculiar anomalies of recall which Webb, who had no way of
knowing what they could mean, dismissed for reasons that later,
by his own admission, were inadequate.

My own detailed analysis of the case appears in The UFO
Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., pp. 489-502. I cannot, however, claim to
be an "investigator" of the case, though I knew Betty Hill in
later years. I was in high school and halfway across the country
when the Hill case was first reported in NICAP's periodical. I
suppose I should be flattered that you think I may have
contributed something, but since by nature of circumstance I
could not have spoken with the Hills till years later, doesn't
that contradict your complaint about people who did just that?

>What has Arnold and pre-SF magazines got to do with the Hill
>case? Their encounter was in 1961, there had already been a
>decade of contactee literature, UFO reports in the newspapers
>and many SF films about alien invasions and abduction.

Was my point that obscure? As you are, of course, well aware,
there is a small library of psychosocial writing linking reports
of UFO phenomena, from the beginning, to science-fiction
stories. The tired argument against the Hill case simply
continues in that vein. Or is Watson being disingenuous here?
Could there be a pelicanist ufology without it?

Anybody who confuses contactee claims with abduction reports is
paying very little attention to the contents - or, for that
matter, anything about either phenomenon - of either. Having
written extensively on both - I wrote an entire book on
contactees, a subject that has long fascinated me, a few years
ago; I have even written about them for the academic press - I
can only lament the sheer laziness of an argument like this,
which begs questions by the bagful.

At the fringes, in some relatively few instances (mostly in John
Mack's books), there may be some overlap, but overwhelmingly,
abduction claims and contact claims are fundamentally unalike
(to start with, in their strangeness content, evident to anybody
who compares Adamski's or Van Tassel's books with Budd Hopkins's
or Eddie Bullard's) and come from quite different places (and
mostly quite different people). Any approach that conflates
abductees and contactees is doomed from the start. The latter
are much easier to explain in prosaic terms, but of course that
may be the point of the conflation in the first place. Those
looking for a succinct, intelligent, deeply informed examination
of the difficulty of explaining the abduction phenomenon is
referred, again, to psychologist Stuart Appelle's JUFOS survey
which Watson not only hasn't read ("The Abduction Experience: A
Critical Evaluation of Theory and Evidence," JUFOS 6, 1995/1996,
pp. 29-79) but complains about my mentioning.

What we are seeing is consistent with the pelicanist way of
conflating science fiction with actual UFO reports. Worse, the
contactee stuff isn't even _good_ science fiction.

>Being rude and pompous is no replacement for reasoned argument.

As you have demonstrated.

>On a more important and final point where is the objective,
>empirical evidence for the Hill abduction?

Yes, it's true that the Hills didn't produce an alien monkey
wrench to prove their story, which of course does not solve the
mystery or end the discussion. As four decades have
demonstrated, it also is vexingly difficult to produce a
conventional explanation which lays the matter to rest to the
satisfaction of reasonable, informed observers (in other words,
those who don't simply wave hands and mention contactees and
science fiction and call people "believers" who don't
immediately concede the wisdom of that approach). Yup, it all
remains pretty murky, as I outline in my own examination of the
case.

As I have said more than once now, the Hill case has been
neither proved nor disproved. Its significance is likely to
become apparent only when the larger UFO question is resolved.
For this suspension of judgment, by the way, Watson accused me
of being a "believer," then disingenuously complained about my
rejoinder to being so characterized. If a willingness to
acknowledge uncertainty when it stares one in the face makes me
a believer, however, I guess I will have to plead guilty. I
guess that in pelicanist discourse a rejection of unjustified
belief, in or against a claim, is how "belief" is defined.


Jerry Clark




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