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3.7 million American abductees - US estimates, UK counter-estimates, and the Television Factor

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posted on Dec, 7 2018 @ 09:47 PM
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Considering the influx of abduction threads, perhaps it's time to be reminded of how estimates of the actual number of abductees in America have been challenged by other experimental UK data. My interest in the phenomenon was perked by Jim Schnabel's book 'Dark White' (1994) and the Roper Poll published in 1992 by Hopkins, Jacobs, and Westrum. The report was given to a multitude of mental health professionals, encouraging them to “be open to the possibility that something exists or is happening to their clients which, in our traditional Western framework, cannot or should not be”. We are talking 26 years ago, but it remains relevant.

The Poll's five so-called “Indicator Experiences" were listed as:



1) “Waking up paralysed with a sense of a strange person or presence or something else in the room” (18 percent);
2) “Feeling that you were actually flying through the air although you didn't know why or how” (10 percent);
3) “Experiencing a period of time of an hour or more, in which you were apparently lost, but you could not remember why, or where you had been” (13 percent);
4) “Seeing unusual lights or balls of light in a room without knowing what was causing them, or where they came from” (8 percent); and
5) “Finding puzzling scars on your body and neither you nor anyone else remembering how you received them or where you got them” (8 percent).


Skeptical Enquirer, Vol 22.3 - 1998


If four of these are fulfilled by an individual, it was deemed a strong possibility that he/she is a UFO abductee, based on Hopkins and Jacobs' study of nearly 500 abductees over 17 years. Of 5,947 people interviewed, 2 percent qualified, leading to the controversial estimate of 3.7 million American abductees nationally.





Now, Susan Blackmore (author of the above linked article, and pictured) performed an intriguing experiment in Bristol, England, using 126 school children aged 8-13, and 224 first-year psychology/physiotherapy undergraduates aged 18+. The adults were tested in three large groups. Blackmore can waffle for England and loves complex stats, so I'm breaking this down to its fundamentals.

But what was the reasoning behind her endeavour? The Roper Poll's 'genuine' abductees who fulfil the above Indicators should, in theory, have a better knowledge of the appearance and behaviour of aliens than those who do not achieve the criteria. If this assumption is wrong, their knowledge should be no greater than anyone else’s. As Blackmore puts it:



Knowledge of aliens should relate more closely to reading and television-watching habits than to having the indicator experiences if abductions do not really occur.



For the children's experiment, she asked them to relax and imagine they were being read a bedtime story. They had to visualise the details of a story called “Jackie and the Aliens,” in which an alien visits a girl in bed at night and takes her into a spacecraft, examines her on a table, and returns her safely. Imprecise details included a corridor leading to a room and table, alien writing, and glimpses of jars on shelves. The adults were read a different, more mature story, obviously. When "awoken", they were all asked to remember as much as they could before being given questionnaires with 5 multiple-choice questions about: the alien, the room, and the table. The children were asked about the jars' contents, and to draw the alien writing.

There were also 6 questions based on the Roper Poll:


1) Have you ever seen a UFO?
2) Have you ever seen a ghost?
3) Have you ever been falsely awakened, ie dreaming you have woken up?
4) Have you ever felt as though you left your body and could fly around without it?
5) Have you ever seen unusual lights or balls of light in a room without knowing what was causing them, or where they came from?
6) Have you ever woken up paralyzed, that is, with the feeling that you could not move?
7) Have you ever woken up with the sense that there was a strange person or presence or something else in the room?



The last 4 questions were based on the indicator questions from the Roper Poll, but adapted slightly for the children (excluding scars or missing time). Plus, both age groups were asked about television-watching habits. The final request by Blackmore was for everyone aside from one adult group to draw the aliens they saw; samples of the kids' work are shown below as we tackle the actual results.

Many of the kids and adults reported most of the Experiences - eg, 83% of adults and 57% of kids claimed false awakenings; 35% and 33% for OBEs.

An 'Alien Score' from 0 to 6 was awarded for answers that swayed towards the popular stereotype, plus a 'Roper Indicator Experiences' score from 0 to 4. With me so far? If you feel nauseous, feel free to leave.


THE KIDS




Their mean Alien score was 0.95; the mean number of experiences was 1.51. Their drawings were judged as either traditional “Grays” or “Others”. 12 of them drew Grays, 87 did not, but the former achieved higher Alien scores albeit with fewer experiences, and did not watch more television than the others. Furthermore, higher TV viewing did seem to lead to more experiences.


THE ADULTS

Their mean Alien score was 1.23 and 1.64 for experiences. 17 drew Grays, 103 did not. Again, the former achieved higher Alien scores but not more experiences. Those who drew Grays watched more television, which also amplified the Alien score.


Blackmore concluded that more Roper Indicator experiences did NOT indicate more knowledge of what an alien should resemble, or what occurs during an abduction.



If real gray aliens are abducting people from Earth, and the Roper Poll is correct in associating the indicator experiences with abduction, then we should expect such a relationship. Its absence in a relatively large sample casts doubt on these premises.

Among the adults (though not the children), there was a correlation between the amount of television they watched and their knowledge about aliens and abductions. This suggests that the popular stereotype is obtained more from television programs than from having been abducted by real aliens.



Blackmore's sample of people reported plenty of Roper Indicator Experiences, actually higher than the Roper Poll's findings. It follows that many of them would have been classified by Hopkins, Jacobs, and Westrum as abductees – which Blackmore suggests is unjustified.

Naturally these results do not disprove genuine abductions, but the amount of television watched does affect their view of an alien's appearance and behaviour - far more than the number of Indicator experiences they have had. Can we therefore dismiss the estimated 3.7 million abducted Americans?

Talking of TV, one is reminded of the claim that Betty and Barney Hill's later description of their alleged abductors was influenced by an 'Outer Limits' episode, 'The Bellero Shield' (1964). Somewhat poetically, Travis Walton was in turn alleged to have gained ideas from the timely first transmission of B&B's own TV movie about their case, 'The Interrupted Journey' (1975).

Do you think there is any worth to the kind of experiments that Blackmore undertook, or do they perhaps patronise people who claim genuine, often very traumatic experiences?




edit on 7-12-2018 by ConfusedBrit because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 7 2018 @ 10:27 PM
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Gee...that list. I experienced those kind of feelings when I was on some of the epilepsy meds.


One thing I am pretty sure of is that our minds are somehow connected through our subconscious. We get linked with others of our kind. Of a kind means linked because of genetics or even beliefs or strong friendship ties. Belonging to an organization can link you to others in the organization. Hive mindset.

So if you are linked to someone and you access their thoughts even over long distances, their experiences can give you recollect of something happening. If the person is getting an operation you may feel the pain or see the distorted view they are experiencing through the anesthesia. These are just possible explanations to reasons people have some kinds of visions or dreams. You may not even know the person directly, their thoughts may be passing through someone you know or someone you are related to.

Being that governments have investigated this since before Hitler to try to control the masses, I think that shows it is real. The thing is that unless you can get a strong alpha personality that is connected to the countries people, the people will not follow the new leader. That is why they tried to get certain heads of the old government to run the country after it was taken over, bribing them as needed.



posted on Dec, 7 2018 @ 10:50 PM
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The only problem with this, is we never hear about any Chinese people or Japanese people or Korean People, Russians, Africans, Arabs etc etc..............it always seems to be mainly white Americans, and Spanish South Americans.

The best one had to be the Aussie who woke up and had some space babes bouncing on him, and he bit her nipple, and found a hair around his doodle......all while the wife was at work, while he slept in.....


After DNA testing the hair is from some rare breed Asian type person, with white hair........Soooo Who Knows.....

Maybe the Aliens are Chinese?




posted on Dec, 8 2018 @ 02:20 AM
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Interesting topic, begs of more discussion really.

With the author I don't believe the abductee stories can be decipherable as the whole phenomena is also as not as black and white as they may seem. As asked, yeah it can boarder on patronizing.



posted on Dec, 8 2018 @ 03:51 AM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit

She had rainbow coloured hair. I just can't take someone with rainbow coloured hair seriously.



posted on Dec, 8 2018 @ 05:42 AM
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While I think the subject of abductions does merit more research, I think the questions posed by the researchers were mostly unrelated to the phenomena.

What does seeing a ghost, false awakenings, and out of body experiences have to do with it? Also waking up and being unable to move as well as feeling a presence are both signs of sleep paralysis, not necessarily any type of abduction experience. And why was the question about missing time omitted from the latest study?

I saw lights along with other witnesses and had two hours of missing time. I have no memory of what occurred. I've had false awakenings and had out of body feelings while I was asleep. I've never had sleep paralysis nor felt a presence when waking up. Where would this study place me? It's just not so simple as these researchers seem to think.



posted on Dec, 8 2018 @ 06:36 AM
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Interesting, if ultimately frustrating, attempt at trying to work out what is behind the abduction phenomenon.

It correlates watching TV with an explanation for people seeing "grey" aliens. However which TV programmes show 'gray' aliens? The two most globally popular sci-fi shows "Dr. Who" and "Star Trek "certainly don't feature aliens of that ilk very often (if at all). You can also watch a lot of TV and just watch all the soaps, quiz and reality type shows and never be exposed to suggestions that aliens are little grey guys who can breathe our atmosphere and have a penchant for remaining unclothed. Watch the movies "E.T" or "Close Encounters" or the TV shows like "Taken" though and little else and you have skewed the data.

Also if you look at the history of the reports, the aliens were originally very human like from the 1950s to around the mid-1970s. Once the 80s kicked in we entered the age of abductions and a much more sinister agenda appeared at play. Take the most famous case in the world Roswell. It was not even much of a story by August of 1947. No one talked about alien bodies. Even Jesse Marcel, when he finally went public in 1978, never claimed to have seen any aliens. But stories of little grey guys filtered into the narrative. Largely due to Glenn Dennis and his claims that a non-existent nurse at the base told him she'd seen them. The nurse never existed.

Then by the 2000s things seemed to have gone a lot quieter and alien encounters (let alone abductions) are not reported anywhere near as much as they once were. So I see this as a flawed attempt and proves nothing much at all about the abduction phenomenon.





edit on 8/12/2018 by mirageman because: clarification



posted on Dec, 8 2018 @ 08:08 AM
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Good info, Brit! Thanks for posting.

I'm not sure what her experiments prove except that we can't take the "alien abduction" thing at face value.

I doubt that it's as prominent as the estimates. I doubt it's happening as it's portrayed, actually. I think most UFO's (that can't be otherwise explained) are government black tech, and I suspect that the abduction thing was planted in society's mind for some reason.

Meh.



posted on Dec, 8 2018 @ 10:06 AM
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Can I be considered an abductee if I was born without my permission and forced to live in a world I don't belong in?



posted on Dec, 8 2018 @ 01:43 PM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit



A couple of those drawings look exactly like the "entities" that '___' users describe and depict.

I'm on the fence about it all but it does make you wonder.



posted on Dec, 9 2018 @ 12:52 PM
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originally posted by: KansasGirl
Good info, Brit! Thanks for posting.

I'm not sure what her experiments prove except that we can't take the "alien abduction" thing at face value.



The effect of televisual imagery seems to be her driving force (presumably cinema, too, whether at the theater or on TV) in dismantling the 3.7 million estimate and the original Poll's underlying 'indicators'. In other words, people (including young children who have zero knowledge of the abduction phenomenon), who do not claim to have been abducted do imagine the same alien imagery whilst also having experienced even more indicators than the subjects of Hopkins et al.

I'd assume that the UK kids who drew a standard Gray were in the eldest range with greater cultural knowledge, but if they were younger and had NOT been exposed to our TV/film/book alien imagery, then that would be an interesting factor. But we don't know those details, so it's a shame Blackmore didn't dig deeper in that respect.

Another interesting point is the potential unconscious mental use of popular alien archetypes within a GENUINE (if feasible) alien abduction in order to visualise the unimaginable. In that sense, we're heading into Jung territory and the like.



posted on Dec, 9 2018 @ 12:54 PM
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originally posted by: BrianFlanders
Can I be considered an abductee if I was born without my permission and forced to live in a world I don't belong in?


HaHa. Well, that sounds entirely logical in one sense!

Not sure "extraterrestrial" factors are your driving point, though.



posted on Dec, 9 2018 @ 01:13 PM
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originally posted by: mirageman
Interesting, if ultimately frustrating, attempt at trying to work out what is behind the abduction phenomenon.

It correlates watching TV with an explanation for people seeing "grey" aliens. However which TV programmes show 'gray' aliens? The two most globally popular sci-fi shows "Dr. Who" and "Star Trek "certainly don't feature aliens of that ilk very often (if at all). You can also watch a lot of TV and just watch all the soaps, quiz and reality type shows and never be exposed to suggestions that aliens are little grey guys who can breathe our atmosphere and have a penchant for remaining unclothed. Watch the movies "E.T" or "Close Encounters" or the TV shows like "Taken" though and little else and you have skewed the data.


Good points, MM.

I'm trying to think of the earliest "Gray"-like depiction in TV/cinema. Prolific 50s Sci-Fi cinema kicked off with great yarns such as 'The Day The Earth Stood Still' and 'The Thing From Another World' (both 1951), but I can't detect small gray aliens anywhere in the entire decade, let alone the 60s when TV shows such as 'The Outer Limits' and 'The Twilight Zone' flew the alien flag.

'Close Encounters Of The Third Kind' (1977) seems the earliest. Interestingly, legend says that the events were inspired by an alleged landing and contact at Holloman Airforce Base in 1971, which is all very well except that the aliens at Holloman were depicted as tall humanoids with big noses and Egyptian-style clothing!

Spielberg may have kick-started the Gray imagery, but abduction supporters, as I said above, can always fall back on Jungian theories in which our minds DO use culture to visualise the unvisuable if alien 'reality' is beyond our comprehension.

One thing occured to me - Travis Walton's 1975 case. We may have the movie 'Fire In The Sky' (1993) using typical Grays, but were they what Walton described two years before 'Close Encounters'? Or was 'Gray' imagery implanted (pun intended) later - after Spielberg and the likes of Whitley Strieber's 'Communion' in the 80s? I can't recall.



posted on Dec, 9 2018 @ 03:16 PM
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a reply to: ConfusedBrit



I can't detect small gray aliens anywhere in the entire decade, let alone the 60s when TV shows such as 'The Outer Limits' and 'The Twilight Zone' flew the alien flag. 'Close Encounters Of The Third Kind' (1977) seems the earliest...


Close Encounters certainly had massive global impact and it is probably the point when the now ubiquitous 'gray' alien probably entered Western, if not global, consciousness. It's still a great movie today to watch.

However in 1975 the Betty and Barney HIll story was made into a TV movie called The UFO Incident . The aliens featured looked like this.



It was first broadcast on 20th October 1975. Just two weeks before Travis Walton's alleged abduction. Which is one of those things that makes you go hmmm!

Walton's depiction of aliens on board the craft were both humans in jumpsuits and guess what?


Walton's alleged aliens on board the spaceship

To me that case marks a turning point in ufology. The end of a more innocent age before UFO crashes, abductions and alien bodies on ice in secret hangars became more commonplace.

It should also be noted that Travis Walton was aware of a National Enquirer competition for "positive proof" of an extraterrestrial encounter. Guess what?



The "Gray's" medical technology reported by abductees seems way behind our own these days. These aliens also have no problem breathing our atmosphere. They also have necks far too small to support and pump blood into their massive craniums under Earth's gravitational field.

So how do we explain these critters and why no one is ever able to get positive, undeniable proof of their existence beyond what is in people' s suppressed memories?


edit on 9/12/2018 by mirageman because: edit



posted on Dec, 9 2018 @ 04:54 PM
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a reply to: mirageman

Yeah, I referenced the Betty and Barney (I must resist adding "Rubble") 1975 movie in the OP as a possible incentive for Travis's whole story, just as 'The Bellero Shield' ep of 'The Outer Limits' is alleged by some to have inspired B&B's later hypnosis sessions.

The Walton sketches/paintings do kinda sway towards traditional Grays, but their sheer size, body shape, eye-type (large, black and almond is the Gray key) and overt clothing prevent strong comparisons IMO, and are more in keeping with Outer Limits-style aliens - or in the case of the classic 1963 episode, 'The Sixth Finger', a future evolution of human beings:





The 1993 Walton movie 'Fire In The Sky', however, goes full-throttle 'Strieber' Gray, and Spielberg's 1977 alien is the first that feels absolutely part of the Gray club, pre-Strieber (and the 1989 film version of 'Communion').


PS: If only Martin and Gary Kemp had played 'The Grays' rather than 'The Krays' in 1990.


As for that photo of Walton & pals, it seems as if a young Noel Edmonds got in on the act, too (on the far left).



edit on 9-12-2018 by ConfusedBrit because: (no reason given)



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