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The History Of Abduction Mythology, & Why Rigorous Study is Both Lacking and Needed.

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posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:21 AM
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DISCLAIMER: This is a personal opinion, not an assertion of fact. I respect everyone's beliefs, worldviews, and stances, and this should not be construed as dictating to anyone what to believe, think, or feel. Moreover, none of this should be interpreted as an assertion that there is no truth or validity to the abduction phenomenon and related events per se. On the contrary, it is an attempt at quantifying the hard kernel of truth I do believe exists at the heart of the abduction phenomenon, albeit - in my personal opinion - highly obscured by mythology and quasi-fiction (and in some cases, outright fiction.)

What follows will likely rub a lot of abduction lore believers the wrong way, hence the above disclaimer, especially as it takes prominent abduction investigators - both living and dead - to task regarding their methodology and research ethics. This may be unpleasant, and may challenge existing belief paradigms for some readers. Please remember while reading this, that my goal is not to antagonize, discredit, or attack, but merely to explore the possibility that the emergent mythology surrounding abductions and related phenomena may not be truly reflective of the actual underlying reality. A possibility well worth considering if our chief interest is, as ostensibly claimed by most intrigued by this area of interest, "the truth."

It should also be noted that this was written many years ago by myself after years of research, in an effort to answer a friend's personal query as to, "What can we definitively say about abductions without speculation?" As such, the HTML links to the sources and citations supporting what follows are gone, and I lack the time and health at the moment to track them down. I realize this may weaken my points, however I assure you that internet searches, relevant published literature, and online videos will bear out what I am saying. Someone suggested I post this here so as not to "let it go t waste," despite its age and lack of sources in its current form, so... apologies, and take it for what you will. This is just to get it out. Take it out leave it, and it is only opinion as stated.

To begin...


CLOSE ENCOUNTERS AND OTHER ANOMALOUS HUMAN EXPERIENCES, THEIR HISTORICAL INTERSECTION WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, CONFABULATION, AND UNSCRUPULOUS INVESTIGATORS (INTENTIONAL OR OTHERWISE)

OR

THE BURYING OF LEGITIMATE PHENOMENA UNDER INCREDIBLE BUNK



Introduction



The subject of so-called alien abduction phenomena is, like its forebear the UFO phenomenon, one of extreme and justified controversy and incredulity. Like UFOs, the premise of otherworldly beings contacting or spiriting away human subjects has been confronted by honest skeptics, agenda-harboring debunkers, historians, and laypersons... but disturbingly (yet understandably) few serious scientists with a legitimate research interest.

There are myriad potential explanations for the phenomena associated with abduction lore, running the gambit from cultural influences commingling with psychiatric or neurological illness, to literal events happening in physical reality. But for over 50 years, our own imperfect human thought processes, institutional inclinations, and professional politics have led us down rabbit trails and away from whatever true evidence might exist in support of these bizarre alleged events.

Herein, I will attempt to cut through this broad swath of possibilities and zero in on what we know, what we should probably dismiss, and what we don't know. There is a kernel of truth beneath all of the demonstrable bunk, and to find it, it is necessary to take a hard and uncomfortable look at some of the leading "research" in the field of "alien abduction."

Because it is as I will show, however positive their initial intentions, the work of these "researchers" which serves to conceal the hard core of evidenciary strangeness underlying these tales and their impact on those who tell them.



The Genesis of a Mythology: Betty and Barney Hill.



Although there are others, the earliest popular, modern account of anything resembling an example of an alien abduction scenario is the Betty and Barney Hill case. I will not recount the entirety of the narrative, as it is both well known and well documented elsewhere. The most relevant aspect of this case to my points herein is the physical appearance (and its changing over time) of the UFO occupants reported by the Hills.

Barney Hill originally reported seeing several entities with large heads and slanted eyes, but their eyes were not of the black, extended variety now commonly associated with the alien beings propagated throughout abduction literature. They were more human, and indeed he originally described one of them as being a "German Nazi," based on a uniform he was wearing.

Now before we go any further, it is critical to point out what we know with certainty about this case, because beyond this point we get into potential confabulation, embellishment, memory disparity, and cultural influences.

What we know for a certainty is very limited, but crucial:



  • Betty and Barney both saw what can only be accurately called a UFO. They both remember pulling over to get a better look at it.
  • Barney consulted a psychotherapist regarding this event who he trusted and liked, and this psychotherapist as well as the hypnotherapist to which he referred them both, assessed that Barney and Betty absolutely believed that the original event took place as they reported.
  • The Air Force confirmed visual and radar sightings of an unidentified object at the time and place of their sighting.
  • Both Barney and Betty experienced a loss of several hours of time, and an inexplicable advance in the progress of their drive.
  • Perhaps most importantly for what follows, Barney's hypnosis - which preceded Betty's - began before a famous episode of The Outer Limits containing a grey skinned, large eyed alien aired. So while it can be argued that this influenced his subsequent depictions of the beings he claims to have witnessed, it could not influence his original account.
  • Said hypnosis - recordings of which are available publicly online despite the protestations of his family - reveals a man truly horrified by what to him, rightly or wrongly, seemed incredibly real, as he relived that experience under the direction of what appears to be a qualified, non-leading, non-suggesting hypnotherapist. (This does not mean confabulation under hypnosis was not possible, as such confabulation is well known to result from hypnotic regression. More on this will follow.)
  • Barney's hypnotic recollections also included the first (that I can find) reference to an abductor communicating non-verbally through "the eyes." A striking and distinctive facet of subsequent accounts.
  • Neither Betty nor Barney Hill were judged to be delusional, or prone to deception, although their therapist ultimately concluded that they were suffering from a shared fabrication based on a nightmare Betty had (despite her nightmares beginning subsequent to the originally reported incident, and the postulated mechanism for the nightmares to have been transmitted to Barney straining credulity given their detail.)


(Continued...)




posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:21 AM
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The above is the hard kernel of truth when it comes to this case, regardless of whether what the Hills "remembered" happening actually did or not. That is the extent of the evidence which should be focused upon in any effort dedicated to determining the truth, if such a determination were even possible. But it is everything after that which becomes a problem and which may inadvertently contaminate all abduction lore to follow in the subsequent decades.

After the initial hypnotherapy sessions, hypnosis continued for years. Ample time for confabulation, refinement, and cultural influence to take their toll. For instance, it was only 12 days after the aforementioned episode of The Outer Limits aired - one of the only times in science fiction television history that a grey skinned, large eyed alien was shown up to that time - that Barney first described under hypnosis aliens with grey skin, large dark eyes, and other features more closely resembling what is today called the "grey."

During this prolonged period of hypnosis sessions, Betty Hill also experienced repeated recurring nightmares about her experience. She would regale colleagues (and others,) but not Barney directly, about these dreams, refining and changing her narrative until a cohesive story emerged. That cohesive story was the result of what Dr. Benjamin Simon, the hypnotherapist treating the Hills, believed originated in Betty's nightmares and which she unwittingly transmitted to Barney who passively overheard her describing them to others. (This was how Simon accounted for similarities between their hypnotic recollections, although I consider this somewhat dubious given their exacting detail and relative contexts.)

It was that story which became the basis for the book (and later film) The Interrupted Journey. Excerpts from the book were published in Look Magazine, and likely received broad exposure as a result.

Thus, the injection into the zeitgeist of the grey skinned, large headed, large eyed alien abductor, alongside "missing time" and telepathic communication through the eyes, was administered. Cultural influences on future abduction narratives from that point forward cannot be neglected or ruled out.

Betty Hill in later years (Barney withdrew and wanted nothing to do with the subject) made ever more elaborate claims about her experiences. At one point she claimed to see UFOs on a continual basis, and some researchers said that she was unable to distinguish an airplane and a street light from what she called "our friends" in the sky. Her credibility was rightly regarded as suspect as time went on.

This is one of the earliest examples of a truly baffling experience with some decent (if not excellent) corroborating evidence quickly succumbing to cultural influences, confabulation under hypnosis, and embellishment over time. And as a result, the original core of truth behind everything that followed is obscured, forgotten, and then dismissed along with Betty's veracity.

Skeptics point to the holes in and influences exerted upon the later aspects of the story (especially Betty's accounts) to sink the whole affair rather than seeking to explain that original, core experience. While believers take the mythology the later aspects engendered and run with them, continuing the contamination of whatever the truth may really be (be it an abduction, an accident, a traumatic experience causing dissociative amnesia, or what have you) with the pop culture minutia of books and films, including those encouraged by the ostensible abductee herself.

That's how this process seems to work as flights of fancy and imagination carry us further and further away from the original event and whatever truth may lay within it.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and other modern cultural influences.



I don't think if we're truly objective and open minded we can reasonably dismiss the cultural resonance that films like Close Encounters have with people. Whether we want them to or not, the images in our culture's fiction penetrate our psyches, and form the building blocks that our unconscious minds use to generate our dreamscapes and even unwitting behaviors to a certain degree.

If The Interrupted Journey planted the seed of the now popular image of the "greys" in our minds, Close Encounters watered it, and brought it to larger than life fruition. I challenge anyone to look at modern depictions of the "greys" and then compare them to the gangly, large headed ETs at the end of the film, and argue that the potential for cultural influence doesn't exist.

Yet even here, in a work of pure fiction, there are also kernels of fact. Spielberg et al based the character of the French researcher in the film on Jacques Vallee, a former astronomer and computer scientist (responsible in part for the first computerized mapping of Mars for NASA, and development of the ARPANET) with a real life interest in UFOs and related phenomena. Ironically, despite some fanciful speculation and theorizing about said phenomena, Valee is actually one of the more skeptical abduction researchers.

He does not endorse the extraterrestrial hypothesis, and indeed has published fairly robust scientific refutations of it. He has also lamented the lack of serious scientific scrutiny of UFO research since the days of the Robertson Panel and similar sham inquiries.

Yet the film bearing the character he inspired helped to instill within the public the perception that if UFOs and abductions are happening, they are at hands of diminutive, benign entities that look an awful lot like the "greys."

(Continued.)
edit on 10/28/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:21 AM
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Budd Hopkins.



If there was ever a single person at the nexus of the modern explosion of abduction lore, it was Budd Hopkins. His books Intruders and Missing Time helped, more than any other works (including the probably-fictional-but-he-never-really-clarifies Communion by Whitley Strieber,) to cement the popular alien abduction mythology in the public consciousness.

That is true in a far more literal sense than many may initially assume. Almost no one doubts his intentions or his motives. It is his objectivity and authority that are in doubt, and as you will see, this has profound implications for the modern abduction mythology.

This man was not a doctor nor a professional researcher. He was an artist. He had no credentials. And yet through the use of hypnosis he claimed to have mined compelling proof not only of alien abductions, but of consistent methods, procedures, experiences, and visual characteristics indicative of a demonstrably real phenomenon which was both global, and extremely common.

Based upon what he said were carefully controlled and cautious hypnosis sessions, he constructed a checklist of signs and symptoms of possible alien abductions, and sent them to whoever inquired about the phenomenon. It is impossible to calculate or quantify the damage he may have done to the objective study of any real abduction phenomenon which might exist.

His ex wife - a professional videographer and documentarian for numerous medical experiments and studies - among others, has asserted that he and other "researchers" with whom he has been associated (which unfortunately make up a sizeable chunk of the most popular and ostensibly credible writers in the field) acted unethically and utilized poor research standards.

Pre-hypnosis interviews and conditioning. Lack of professional oversight, either methodological or ethical. Refusal to have his conclusions challenged. Being taken in repeatedly by documented hoaxers and fraud perpetrators, but ignoring this in the name of his beliefs, insisting that there was evidence to support their stories. Continuing to hypnotize and interview subjects even after outside psychiatric assessments recommended he refer them for real help due to evidence of childhood abuse and mental or personality disorders. The latter being perhaps the most harmful, as he continued to instill belief in what may have been delusions in people who needed real help.

Even modern psychotherapy research and standards acknowledge (for instance, in Gestalt therapy,) that the interaction between the doctor and the patient contributes to and affects the patient's inner world, and that this relationship and effect must be taken into account. What do we suppose happens when an untrained enthusiast who desperately wants to believe so badly that he discounts outright fraud, hypnotizes psychologically vulnerable people for book material, without any oversight or controls?

Throughout the 1990s, Hopkins and his "Intruders Foundation" (the name tells us a lot in and of itself in terms of objectivity and concern for influencing people's perceptions and memories) responded to any inquiry by sending out abduction checklists and membership packages. How many ostensible abduction victims were essentially created, wittingly or unwittingly, by this dynamic? How many had real experiences, whether otherworldly or simply mundane and worthy of true analysis and psychiatric help, that will never be uncovered or dealt with as a result?

Even for someone like Hopkins, many of his subjects' stories contain kernels of truth. People who had never met describing strikingly similar experiences, often involving missing time, and other common hallmarks found as far back as the Hill case. Yet it becomes impossible to distinguish these true abnormalities from fantasy when methods like those of Budd Hopkins are employed.



David M Jacobs (History Ph.D.)



Jacobs has in many ways picked up and carried the mantle of Hopkins. He claims to have originally been extremely skeptical of the abduction phenomenon, despite a vigorous amateur interest in UFOs. After meeting Hopkins and being impressed by what he called his intelligence and methodical approach, he began to investigate on his own.

Like Hopkins, without any credentials or proper regard for method or ethics, he engaged in what essentially amounted to therapy and hypnotherapy of individuals - often referred by Hopkins - claiming to have experienced abductions.

In Jacobs we find an even more egregious example of this disregard for ethics, however. The most glaring example of this is the Emma Woods case. She was hypnotized and "counseled" for 180 hours by Jacobs, all of which was recorded for research purposes.

During the course of these recordings, which are publicly available online, Jacobs went from prepping the subject by discussing other cases, leading her during hypnosis to aid in the construction of her narrative, to ultimately dumping her as a "patient" by calling her and claiming alien hybrids were pursuing him for exposing the truth (which he said only he and Hopkins knew,) and that to protect his wellbeing she had to disassociate herself from him and begin taking medication for "multiple personality disorder." The damage this may have done to this woman doesn't need to be expounded upon, but I will point out that Dissasociative Identity Disorder is not something he was qualified to diagnose, let alone dispense medical advice with regard to.

As in previous researchers' cases, people with similar perceived experiences and other hallmarks of the phenomenon were among his subjects. But any truth inherent in their stories gets buried yet again as we are left with absolutely zero means of separating fact from fiction because, like Hopkins, there is no methodology, oversight, or other window of objectivity through which to view his "research." And plenty of reasons to discount it as unreliable fantasy doing great harm to vulnerable people.

(Continued...)
edit on 10/28/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:21 AM
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John E Mack (Ph.D, clinical psychiatry.)



In a field full of charlatans, unqualified investigators, and unethical writers, someone like John Mack should have been a beacon of rigor and a setter of improved research standards.

Unfortunately, despite his impeccable credentials - tenured professor at Harvard Medical, respected research and work on nightmares, sleep disorders, child development, etc. - this was not to be the case.

Many of his patients were referred to him by none other than Budd Hopkins, which already lands us on shaky ground for already elucidated reasons. However, if Mack had served as a vetter and scientific confirmer (or denier) of Hopkins' subjects, that could have been a good thing.

Instead Mack was censured by Harvard for methodological flaws. His supposed research (published in the book Abducted) had no false results, and no controls. He never makes an overt assertion of what if anything is really happening, and there is some evidence that he too led or reinforced his patients' recall under hypnosis. Many patients he claimed were psychologically healthy suffered from anxiety and other disorders as pointed out in the appendixes of his book.

More critically though, and more relevant to the impact on study of the phenomenon, through his own foundation and mailings to thousands of psychiatric professionals, he encouraged the legitimacy of abduction scenarios in clinical practice, based tenuously on a checklist of extremely vague, unscientific criteria. Criteria the APA or NIH would never validate or take seriously. Not that they must be the final arbiter of truth, but some credible body of objective scientists needs to be. And Mack's criteria do not reach that standard.

What he did succeed in doing, despite these other blows to his credibility and objectivity, was to take a clinical look at abduction claims, and find that (although many were referred by Hopkins) disparate individuals do report similar anomalous experiences. He also refrained from making any positive assertion of the tangible reality of abductions, or about their nature, entertaining the possibility that abduction phenomena might be a modern age manifestation of man's need for visionary experiences, whether real or psychologically entheogenic.



Karla Turner (Old English Studies Ph.D)



Although definitely closer to the believer end of the spectrum, one of the more skeptical abduction writers and commenters was Karla Turner. She harbored great suspicion of the motives of other researchers and, if they exist, of the beings doing the abducting themselves. She would use phrases such as, "...if indeed this is happening at all," and other welcome skeptical turns of phrase as opposed to leaping to conclusions.

Her interest in the subject was born of her own anomalous experiences and those of her family. She once stated that if indeed the phenomenon was real, there were only a handful of objective facts she was willing to consider.



  • That the beings responsible are capable of total control over the behavior, perceptions, emotions, and level of pain of their subjects.
  • That they commonly make predictions or promises which demonstrably prove to be untrue, or only partially true, and that they are actively deceptive.
  • That we do not know their origin, nature, or even necessarily their true physical appearance because of the great variability in accounts, apparently owing to the aforementioned ability to alter the perceptions of their subjects.
  • That there is no consistent apparent purpose or procedural pattern to abductions, despite many including similar themes or scenarios.


Much of this was in stark contrast to Hopkins et al, who propagated the notion that alien-human hybridization was at the heart of the abduction phenomenon and indeed a key reason for its occurrence. Turner instead argued that while this was often one facet of accounts, it was not logical to reach that conclusion. If ever there was someone who entertained the reality of abductions but was skeptical about their true nature, it was Karla Turner.
However, here again we find methodological flaws which may tarnish subjects' recollections and thus their accounts and by extension our understanding of the entire phenomenon.

Turner believed in the existence of "screen memories." This was how she accounted for narratives, appearances, and events changing sometimes under hypnotic regression. She believed (and frequently asserted) that these changes were not necessarily confabulation, but rather, multiple layers of "screen memories" which the abductee had to penetrate before reaching the true recollection of their experience.

Needless to say, there are problems of rigor with this approach, due to the inherent plasticity of hypnotic recall. So here again we find fertile ground for confabulation, cultural influence, and other factors which may lead subjects away from their original accounts, be it towards the truth or towards a fiction. We have no way of knowing.

(Continued...)
edit on 10/28/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:21 AM
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My own experiences with cultural influence and confabulation, and how they fit into this paradigm.



It was, if revealing in retrospect, perhaps not surprising that a woman I knew as a teenager first recalled her own potential abduction scenario only after reading Missing Time by Budd Hopkins in the early 1990s. Not only were UFOs and alien abductions experiencing a renewed boom in popularity appearing on all sorts of tabloid inspired television shows such as Sightings and Unsolved Mysteries, but televised fiction such as The X-Files and books of all sorts was dealing with the subject matter in ways it had never been explored before. The woman in question was exposed to imagery of flying saucers and greys practically every week, either in print or on screen.

Her first memory was of a dream she had in 1969, and it involved being led in a trance-like state out of her home and into a flying saucer where small grey skinned, large black eyed, large headed aliens examined her. She also recalled a second, more compelling dream from 1974, which involved the now popularized abduction trope, the presentation of the alien fetus. (This of course happening following her having given birth to a son in 1972 and giving it up for adoption did not make me suspicious in my youth.)

She not only might have sprinkled aspects of Hopkins' book and other media into her now decades old memories of her dreams, but she also may have read the Hills' story in Look magazine prior to 1969. She professes to have read the magazine as a child, but insists she never read anything about flying saucers or alien abductions. It's hard to imagine anyone in 1960s America hadn't been exposed to something of the mythology though, fictional or otherwise.

Thus the only tenuously unusual element of her recollection, if it wasn't due to influence by Hopkins' Missing Time work, is the presentation of the alien fetus, an extremely common hallmark of abduction scenarios.

However, since by the 1990s Hopkins and others had told us "what to look for," I also asked her to share any other anomalous experiences she could remember. She came up with several which were consistent with other modern abduction lore.



  • Being outside playing with her brothers and sisters as a young child, when suddenly a bright flash of light filled her vision, after which her siblings no longer seemed aware of what was around them. They continued to play robotically, as if hypnotized, as she was compelled to wander off into a large empty field behind their home. They took absolutely no notice of her doing so, and her memory stops from that point until they were getting ready for bed later.
  • Seeing a strange girl she did not recognize one day at school, and following her out of the school yard, and down the street. (This "luring" is a common element of abduction accounts, especially among children. "Screen memories" in the form of children give way under hypnosis to aliens or projections according to various authors.) She continued to follow her until suddenly she found herself walking home, as though the school day had ended. The girl was gone, and as far as she knew, she was simply walking home. She realized by the position of the sun that it was too early, so she hurried back to school. When she arrived, her teacher and classmates appeared to be moving "in slow motion" until she took her seat, after which they returned to normal. No one noticed her absence. (This "switching off" is lauded as a common element of abduction scenarios as well.)
  • She recalled, during a period of her life when she hitchhiked frequently, walking down a highway at night looking at the stars. The next thing she recalled was being terrified and running. Then she awoke in a field, unaware of how she got there or what happened. She had an abrasion on her elbow that she did not notice until the driver who subsequently picked her up pointed it out. She did not know how she got it, and speculated that it must have happened when she fell (which she assumed she had, due to waking in the field.)


These are all surprisingly typical accounts of an alleged abductee. And since that was the only context in which I could interpret this data in the 1990s as a teenager obsessed with the subject, I believed wholeheartedly at the time that that's what it had to be. And indeed, when in my naiveté I consulted Budd Hopkins (who apparently accepted coorespondence from virtually anyone, without vetting,) he eagerly responded by mail and send us an Intruders Foundation package complete with an abduction checklist, which deepened our conviction that something real was taking place.

However, this is an example of confirmation bias, resulting from the failure to sufficiently rule out other potential explanations. Many years later, I discovered that temporal lobe epilepsy can sometimes cause complex visual hallucinations, feelings of time moving at unnatural rates, blackouts, and memory loss.

As is often the case when you receive new data you previously lacked, I began to find corollaries to this potential explanation now that I knew about it. As a child she had periods of staring into space or "spacing out" as she called it, and a doctor was consulted about it. Later as a teenager when she experienced other psychiatric issues briefly, she was assessed for a number of possible disorders. They found none save for clinical depression and anxiety, but an EEG did find what they called "traces of epilepsy."

Could some or all abduction phenomena be the result of something like temporal lobe epilepsy combined with cultural influences and the occasional bout of sleep paralysis? I have yet to see any serious scientific entertainment of that possibility, despite the fact that it could go a long way towards ruling out abductions as real events, and perhaps even help a lot of people unknowingly suffering from epilepsy or other conditions. It is in these areas where I strongly feel that rigorous scientific study of the abduction phenomenon is in the public interest, contrary to its fringe status.

The point is that this perspective took us years to cultivate by becoming more skeptical and rigorous, and being exposed to more and better data. This is precisely why research of any merit cannot be conducted in a vacuum and why peer review and real experimental data are critical to understanding the abduction phenomenon in any definitive sense. Without those things, we are subject to the whims of our individual minds and whatever forces act upon them, whether internal, external, or both.

(Continued...)
edit on 10/28/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:21 AM
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Remaining kernels of truth beneath the bunk and how to get to them.



It is a fact that disparate people from all walks of life report or dream about experiences with common elements including but not limited to missing time, UFO sightings, sightings of UFO occupants with similar aesthetic traits, scenario commonalities, and that these experiences sometimes imbue knowledge that seems difficult or impossible to account for.

It is also a fact that many of the themes and visual aspects of these experiences may have readily been influenced through popular culture, unscrupulous behavior passing itself off as "research," and that contrary to what abduction authors attest, many abductees may in fact suffer from mental or neurological illness, even if only in the form of trauma.

Despite all of the above, no serious scientific, psychiatric, sociological, or neurological research will be done into these remaining kernels of mysterious truth so long as the phenomenon remains buried in outlandish claims provoked and supported by unintentionally unethical researchers, wishful thinking, confirmation bias, and what has recognizably morphed over the decades into - if we choose to call a spade a spade - a legitimate pseudo-religion. Complete with its zealous defenders and spiritual overtones.

In an ideal world, there would as soon as feasible be undertaken a truly controlled scientific study of alleged abduction events with the elimination of mental illness or neurological disease that could adequately account for alleged experiences as one of its chief controls. It should employ a large sample. Direct ethical, methodological, and procedural oversight by multiple objective professional scientists should be established for every step of investigative effort, including before, during, and after interviews, histories, and any hypnotic regression if performed at all.

Isolation of subjects from one another, and from the investigators should be strictly maintained at all times until after the study is complete. Controls for ruling out cultural and media influences on experiences and memories should be designed. Oversight and peer review in established, credible medical and psychiatric communities and journals should be mandatory for any such study to be given credence. Prior isolation from the other research subjects should be confirmed.

In other words, a truly objective and rigorous study needs to happen, which would take enormous resources in time, money, and personnel. This, to my knowledge, has never happened. Abduction researchers are largely cowboys tackling an amorphous, slippery subject in isolation. Until that changes, our knowledge of this phenomenon will remain stunted.

In the absence of credible, methodical scientific inquiry into the phenomenon, individual researchers should employ strong skepticism and intellectual curiosity, refraining from making assertions or reaching conclusions without compelling evidence. Speculation is healthy. Belief without evidence is delusion at worst, and religion at best.

(Continued...)
edit on 10/28/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:21 AM
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Conclusion



Because of all of the above, we continue to be able to say only that something is happening, that we know not what, and that we have not proved or disproved anything. That this facet of so-called UFOlogy has persisted for over 50 years now and yet we have definitively learned next to nothing should be absolutely unacceptable and extremely suspicious to anyone with an honest interest in the subject. The alternative is to allow cognitive dissonance and the desire to believe to be more relevant than our interest in the actual truth.

And that is not knowledge. It is more akin to religion (which is fine, is that's what you're looking for.) If we believe this could be a factual phenomenon worthy of research, we must demand more of ourselves and those authors and researchers who comprise the field.
edit on 10/28/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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And that's it. Again, this is all personal opinion following decades of reading, and going from being the most ardent believer anyone ever met, to being more skeptical as I've aged and accumulated experience.

Again, I respect everyone's opinions, and now I'm going to lay down.
I hope it's at least productive and beneficial for someone. That someone gets something out of it, so all that writing won't be wasted at least, if nothing else.

As always, feel free to disagree with anything I said.

Peace.
edit on 10/28/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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Overflow - feel free to delete mods, with apologies. Overestimated the number of reserved posts I'd need.
edit on 10/28/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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Overflow (was attempting to predict how many posts I would need and reserved too many - mods please feel free to delete, apologies.)
edit on 10/28/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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Overflow (was attempting to predict how many posts I would need and reserved too many - mods please feel free to delete, apologies.)
edit on 10/28/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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Overflow (was attempting to predict how many posts I would need and reserved too many - mods please feel free to delete, apologies.) **
edit on 10/28/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:22 AM
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Overflow (was attempting to predict how many posts I would need and reserved too many - mods please feel free to delete, apologies.) ***
edit on 10/28/2015 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:25 AM
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You sure you won't need a pt 13 before the conclusion page ?
edit on 28-10-2015 by Iamnotadoctor because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:37 AM
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originally posted by: Iamnotadoctor
You sure you won't need a pt 13 before the conclusion page ?


No, I actually came in under what I even predicted and hope the mods delete the overflow lol.

Peace.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 08:32 AM
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originally posted by: AceWombat04

originally posted by: Iamnotadoctor
You sure you won't need a pt 13 before the conclusion page ?


No, I actually came in under what I even predicted and hope the mods delete the overflow lol.

Peace.


Well... I guess we'll have to make do with there *only* being 6 parts, plus one conclusion page...



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 09:04 AM
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Very thoughtful piece. Although somehow I doubt we will ever get any serious rigorous study of what is going on.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 10:38 AM
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originally posted by: mirageman
Very thoughtful piece. Although somehow I doubt we will ever get any serious rigorous study of what is going on.



I fear you may be correct. I was inspired by your "The Decline of UFOlogy" thread to share this, and at the behest of a friend who always tells me, "At least post something you've written somewhere," lol.


I figured it was at least worth (hopefully) spurring some to think about this who might otherwise take everything in certain works at face value without ever questioning them (as I did when I was younger.) Looking back on it, it's amazing how freely certain materials were provided to prospective abductees, and how much potential influence that could have had on the proliferation of such accounts subsequently.

Originally I suspected this was by design (and part of me still harbors at least the consideration of that notion,) but in time evidence more strongly suggested - in my opinion - well intentioned but flawed methodology as the culprit. E.g. Hopkins being by all accounts, even those who have cause to dislike him or bear him ill, a very nice person with pure intentions... but not much rigor, and an abundance of desire to believe. To the point of being taken in himself a few times.

Peace.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 11:45 AM
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a reply to: AceWombat04

An excellent thread, thank you for the time you put into it, it was interesting to see quite a few examples drawn together. I personally, while not doubting people believe they have been abducted by ET, is anywhere close enough to confirm that such a thing happened.

I've always wondered about the Betty and Barney case as they were involved with a psychotherapist they 'knew and liked' - did they know and like the person before or after the alleged event? If not, how many had they approached before they found one they did like? Were the questions the therapist asked objective enough to provide any kind of summary and more importantly, if someone believes they were abducted by ET, would the sessions they went through really show if the event actually happened, or that the alleged abductee really believe they were abducted, regardless of if the even actually took place?
edit on 28-10-2015 by uncommitted because: typo



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 12:24 PM
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Only scanned this quickly so far but my best guess is what I call a "Recruit a group of crackpots" hypothesis to confuse the issue and release reliable information through unreliable sources and vice versa. If there is something to alien abduction, especially on a large scale it would be the hardest to believe and the most horrifying for many people. Therefore the establishment simply doesn't want good research.

I get the impression that the most credible story is almost certainly Travis Walton in Snowflake Arizona since there were witnesses to his disappearance and the newspapers reported on it as it happened including his return. They can't adequately explain this story without an abduction or some other bizarre unexplained mystery.

Betty and Barney and the Alegash incident in Maine are probably the second most credible; but most of the ones reported anonymously can't be fact checked and some of the investigators like David Jacobs appear completely incompetent. On one occasion he writes about how he revisited an incident under hypnosis and got a different answer but doesn't question his methods. This is incredibly easy to see for people that want to see it harming his credibility.

John Mack seems much more reliable but it is still information retrieved through an unreliable manner, hypnosis.

FWIW I agree that we should at least try to get much better research but don't expect it from the establishment.



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