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Thoughts about people claiming alien contact

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posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 12:02 AM
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Awesome. Another Kryptonite-for-Scoffers terms I can use like garlic around the vampires. I'll also be sure the Tall Telepathic Insects are in my conversations and not just the blondes and the greys, who are so boring and predictable comparatively.

Now if only I didn't have that aging respectable business-focused science-oriented midwestern-mom thing going, I could even scare the scoffers away in person. I did have glowing-magenta tri-colored bi-length hair when I was 19. (My father: You let someone do that to you? They didn't have to tie you down?!) That and too much rock guitar were my last gasp at rebellion though, and I've been boring ever since. I can even bring up aliens and psychic stuff in the middle of conversations with perfectly ordinary people and they seem too blown away by the fact that I seem so sane otherwise to properly mock it.

Then again it does sort of seem like the entire topic ought to be having that effect. I mean, I can certainly agree that nobody can provide physical evidence of much, and what they can is at best "an anomaly" to anyone else, so in a way it seems like: why, and how, could someone possibly even be interested, if evidential-proof is their primary interest? I mean, people into sociology, psychology, or people totally willing to wave-away physical evidentiary requirements, it makes sense, but If there is no possible way that anybody with this experience can 'prove it physically' to doubting others, then what would be the point in the doubting-others even bothering to show up for the party-debate, so to speak?

What I mean is, isn't ALL 'abduction and contact' just as much a 'lost cause of lunacy' to many people, as crop circles and the moon-eyed flashlight crews?

What makes any of it (given it ALL lacks 'physical proof') more worthy than that stuff, by that measure?




posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 12:06 AM
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reply to post by RedCairo
 


Skepticism is understandable but personally I've always thought that cases like this always have a source point of "something" which has a base as real. Crop circles for example, tons of fakes everywhere but the idea came from somewhere first, most likely a genuine unexplained crop circle. Same for abductions, a ton of hoaxes but I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss them all as hoaxes.
edit on 11-9-2013 by Zcustosmorum because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 12:21 AM
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Well I'm certainly the choir to preach to on that, but what I mean is, what's in it for skeptics? Why even join a discussion, if there is no possible way anybody could say anything that would ever point to 'evidence' if such must be a) physical and b) objectively-provable-as-alien (which implants aren't), if this topic inherently appears to exclude that? What would be the point at all?

I'm involved in a couple other fringe topics (such as 'remote viewing') and in that field, there are lots of 'communication styles' that are indicative of issues I know and recognize immediately: I will never consider what some people do to be legitimate based on the lack of appropriate controls in their protocol process and/or the complete lack of critical thinking in their personality. Which isn't to say that it might not be interesting from a "food for thought" standpoint, and I'm sure they're nice people and all, but after 20 years of suffering through that BS I don't engage. I don't read it, I don't care what they have to say, because I consider it a circle-jerk and to each their own of course, but I wouldn't associate with people with that mindset even for pay in the offline world, so why should I do it free online?

So why do alleged-skeptics do it free online? If the whole contact/abductee crowd has zero evidence and can get zero evidence, and if armchair logic can't compete with personal experience, then why bother with the debate at all? What's in it for them?



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 01:18 AM
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Ectoplasm8
We have many photographs, many videos, and many stories of each. Because of the nature of those claims, any rational thinking person should demand the best level of evidence possible to back it up.

I am not sure that all these people are making 'claims.' A claim is an extrapolative or encompassing construct of conjecture around an observation or set of observations. In the scientific method a claim is an intellectual value add, saying something above and beyond, posited under two conditions 1) sufficient condition of plurality through observation, and 2) by a qualified researcher. Claims bear the full burden of evidential requirement.

By treating observations by amateurs as 'claims,' we imply that the scientific method can be circumvented in this specific case because the people involved in the observations are lesser unwashed observers pretending to be scientists. This is a false standard, as these observers typically are not approaching the subject in any such fashion. Observations may be misleading, but to dismiss them by saying that they require extraordinary evidence, creates a non-resolvable pseudo-scientific catch 22. A method of obfuscation whereby we eliminate data, not claims, by promoting the data into the crucible of science as a claim, which can therefore be dismissed while still data.

Spotting a 9 ft tall hairy man on the way from your tent to the campground bathroom is not a claim. It is an observation. When too many of these observations are posted, then constructs (claims) as to why they are being seen should be investigated by science.

By calling them claims and pretending that there is only 1 step to the scientific method, 'proof' - we ensure that science will never investigate that set of observations.

This is a process of pseudoscience.



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 03:59 AM
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Nice way to say it. Geez, I'm so glad someone else gets it.

Nearly everything has to start with observation and experience. It only meanders its way into eventually being tackled by science later. Dismissing a planet-wide millennia-long cultural "commonality of experience" because nobody has it in a test tube yet (and elements of it that actually ARE the test tube can't be 'proven' to relate to the experience merely because the individuals swear they do) creates an impossible situation. So then even a decent approach to it as a human experience (totally without regard to any assumed source or meaning) never happens.

The insistence that this has to be something 'from outer space' (ref: the dismissal of implants in part because their materials are not of extraterrestrial origin - seriously??) creates this ridiculous "religious-like belief system" that seems to be held more strongly by the people critiquing than by those experiencing -- perhaps because it is much easier to critique that way. It is easy to make fun of 'outer space' stuff. Geez even the term sounds kind of funny. It is not so easy to make fun of physics theories by brilliant scientists which may, and of course this is a leap they did not make but that's not to say it can't be made (it's all theory after all...), actually encompass at least some of this quite well. Or not. The point is merely that we don't know so until we can do science on it, it's merely "things that make you go hmmnn" anyway.

One of my favorite former email friends (sadly he passed away) was one of the founders of CSICOP (he left the group) and I was always impressed that he managed to be skeptical (ironically and even hilariously so, since his field was sociology, which you have to admit, has no end of humor potential in the modern world), and yet when we debated things, his critiques were never based on 'assumptions' or on demands that for example, PersonX somehow 'scientifically prove' something before they have the 'right' to even discuss their own life experience. Scientific skepticism applies to science; and there are skeptical models that apply to 'people on the internet telling a story' they just aren't that one.

I wish there were more people like that in our culture, people with a critical but not closed mind. It seems to mostly come in one polarity or the other.



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 06:48 AM
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RE: last few posts:

So wouldn't it be better if abduction-by-the-unknown experiences were simply disassociated from ufology in general and treated as a completely separate thing?

Using your experiences specifically as an example for comparison to others RedCairo: You don't appear to believe that your own experiences necessarily have an extraterrestrial basis, and we have plenty of mythology and folklore throughout history of people being taken by supposed fey creatures (and no doubt some similarly themed contemporary stories), to, if people were willing to adopt some blue sky thinking on the subject, have some kind of point of reference for this type of experience.

But on the other hand we have the "My car was chased by a physical aircraft and I lost time, and such and such was revealed through hypnosis etc" type stories, which are more physically realistic and more likely to have people accept the potential of the tale to some degree (although they also seem to often lean towards the fantastical after those headline points which is where they lose credibility in many people's eyes)

Both sets of stories (physical abductions vs mental(?)/channeling etc) trend towards incorporating similar types of beings, but there are enough variations in alien physical makeup reported from person to person that would push people towards doubting all recounted abductions.

There are far too many contradictions in experiences in general as alluded to by posts in this thread, particularly on matters such as agenda.

I think it is a bit of a struggle for anyone, myself included, to suspend disbelief regarding items such as for example that if we accept such-and-such being the de facto look for this type of being then it wouldn't necessarily preclude every other story with the same description of being from being true. Because earth logic is (rightly, in my opinion) that if a species has for example, a nose in one story, then surely it's going to have a nose in every story. Obviously every "abductee" consistently asserts that they truly believe that something happened to them, so who to believe & take seriously, if anyone?

The complete lack of cohesion between the finer detail amongst reports severely weakens the roots of abduction stories and because of this alone I'm not surprised that people don't really want to touch it. That said, there's nothing really wrong with documenting all accounts in this field for review, as it is not like there is anything to be lost from doing so, it just isn't likely to lead to much of value for anyone involved.

The following is obviously disingenuous to a degree; but I harbour suspicions that if you took any 1 story with a reasonably deep level of detail and compared it to all other experiences with similar or better detail level, you would be hard pressed to find any close matches.

Ufology in general is a pseudoscience trying to become a science, therefore experiences under this umbrella that are either weak on evidence or that fall wildly outside common understanding (or both) are always going to take flak as they will be seen as weakening the foundation of the subject, especially where they cannot be investigated in a reasonable manner, which is something that various other pseudosciences at least have nods towards.

Until such time abduction experiences produce some kind of output beyond a story that can be considered by readers/listeners (ufo sightings have shakycam, ghost hunters have evp etc, even cryptozoologists can at least say "heres a plaster cast of a foot imprint") it is always going to attract ridicule, the only counters are evidence and consistency both of which are lacking.

Just as a footnote; I hate handholding on online forums, and was at the back of the queue when the "sparing people's feelings" gene was being handed out, but to clarify in case anyone has been offended by my stance: I'm not asserting this stuff as an attack on any individual or in general, it's purely how I see the topic of abductions in general after a little review of various bits and pieces around it.
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posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 09:21 AM
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InsertNameHere
Ufology in general is a pseudoscience trying to become a science, therefore experiences under this umbrella that are either weak on evidence or that fall wildly outside common understanding (or both) are always going to take flak ...

Until such time abduction experiences produce some kind of output beyond a story that can be considered by readers/listeners ... it is always going to attract ridicule, the only counters are evidence and consistency both of which are lacking.


I hesitate to bring this up with respect to abductions, because I hold a natural disinclination to believing this set of wild stories. However that being said... when a sufficient threshold of data exists, my personal prejudice towards the data, does not constitute science. If I am correct, it is simply by accident, and I have added no value to the world. If I am incorrect however, and wallow in bad method and prejudice, I may miss something hidden in the data which is of extraordinary importance; and it will be solely MY fault, but mankind's loss.

In my world (and these are my views only, but they do stem from a successful career in science and business) a skeptic should be out on the backtrails or backyards setting up cameras and interviewing witnesses, developing a problem formulation, set of predictive constraints for alternative explanatory constructs, S and s confidence intervals variables and covariances on both constrained and unconstrained observations, data protocols, etc. She should have trail boots on, and/or a pencil on his ear, and dirty hands - not pontificating the same verbatim dross cited on 1345+ skeptic websites and blogs over and over and over, while perched in front of bookshelves.

Further still the ridicule factor is simply bookshelf one-liner pseudoscience extended as information control, and is simply an artifice of intent. Ridicule is not a dispassionate objective action, nor is it part of a legitimate scientific method.

Declaring a construct to possesses any such status with regard to science, in absence of employment of the scientific method, is not just wrong; it is not even wrong. There is no such thing as a pseudoscience in the pejorative fashion which fad skeptics employ the status declaration. When science has no evidence for or about a given construct, it simply tenders no opinion. 'God' is not a pseudoscience, science just simply does not tender an opinion. It does not prejudicially declare that arena 'subjectively false' - to assign such a disposition constitutes a personal religious choice, only. By declaring a subject to be a pseudoscience, one has decreed a problem formulation to hold a permanent disposition, sans method data and review. The subject can never again extricate itself from this king-of-the-hill masquerade. No data can be regarded coming from a pseudoscience, therefore, no data will ever be observed or regarded which can transform it into a science.

These forbidden subjects must undertake the extra burden of processing investigation outside of, and without the benefit or aid of science. Outsiders need accomplish the science, and in one monumental felled swoop. That is a tall order, because it is tough enough to gain acceptance on anything inside of science to begin with.

Pseudoscience – Declaration of ideas as true or false by merit of subject matter alone, in absence of employment of the scientific method. The deceptive or deluded act of claiming to use or represent the scientific method or science in attaining conclusions, when in fact such contentions are false. Pseudoscience is not a set of beliefs nor an undesirable topic of credulity; rather, is an action constituted by errant methodology and pretense.


edit on 11-9-2013 by TheEthicalSkeptic because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 12:55 PM
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TheEthicalSkeptic

In my world (and these are my views only, but they do stem from a successful career in science and business) a skeptic should be out on the backtrails or backyards setting up cameras and interviewing witnesses, developing a problem formulation, set of predictive constraints for alternative explanatory constructs, S and s confidence intervals variables and covariances on both constrained and unconstrained observations, data protocols, etc. She should have trail boots on, and/or a pencil on his ear, and dirty hands - not pontificating the same verbatim dross cited on 1345+ skeptic websites and blogs over and over and over, while perched in front of bookshelves.


Attempting to investigate something in order to prove it to be true/false/maybe/potato isn't really the remit of forum visitors who decide to call an orange an orange and a weak story or sighting a weak story or sighting. If someone claims that something happened, oh I dunno, they saw a fast moving object fly over the motorway or something, it's up to them to prove it, or rather more realistically enlist assistance with investigating it properly.

That in and of itself is not a particularly realistic proposition I suppose, as there probably isn't any money in it, and therefore that kind of investigative support probably doesn't really exist, and where investigation might be viable, what I'm hearing is that going that route is dominated by true believers of limited credibility themselves, not to mention that getting information via certain avenues of investigation may end up being akin to pulling teeth. However you can't expect to post something along the lines of "I saw/was taken away by a spaceship" and expect any forum populace to a) lend any credibility to the story without additional data of some sort to back it up, b) drop what they are doing to investigate it no matter the case background.


Further still the ridicule factor is simply bookshelf one-liner pseudoscience extended as information control, and is simply an artifice of intent. Ridicule is not a dispassionate objective action, nor is it part of a legitimate scientific method.


Agreed, but it is a trap so easy to fall into on online discourse over many a topic, and therefore people do, as they are human. Does that excuse the behavior? Not really, but it is a normal social response to an assertion that seems wild and unauthentic.


Declaring a construct to possesses any such status with regard to science, in absence of employment of the scientific method, is not just wrong; it is not even wrong. There is no such thing as a pseudoscience in the pejorative fashion which fad skeptics employ the status declaration. When science has no evidence for or about a given construct, it simply tenders no opinion. 'God' is not a pseudoscience, science just simply does not tender an opinion. It does not prejudicially declare that arena 'subjectively false' - to assign such a disposition constitutes a personal religious choice, only. By declaring a subject to be a pseudoscience, one has decreed a problem formulation to hold a permanent disposition, sans method data and review. The subject can never again extricate itself from this king-of-the-hill masquerade. No data can be regarded coming from a pseudoscience, therefore, no data will ever be observed or regarded which can transform it into a science.

These forbidden subjects must undertake the extra burden of processing investigation outside of, and without the benefit or aid of science. Outsiders need accomplish the science, and in one monumental felled swoop. That is a tall order, because it is tough enough to gain acceptance on anything inside of science to begin with.

Pseudoscience – Declaration of ideas as true or false by merit of subject matter alone, in absence of employment of the scientific method. The deceptive or deluded act of claiming to use or represent the scientific method or science in attaining conclusions, when in fact such contentions are false. Pseudoscience is not a set of beliefs nor an undesirable topic of credulity; rather, is an action constituted by errant methodology and pretense.


So, when I mentioned the term pseudoscience, I had in mind a section on wikipedia where someone has outlined ufologies status as a field of study. en.wikipedia.org...

I think it is fairly accurate to assert that ufology in general is a pseudoscience as quite frankly, nothing in the field has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. If that line ever gets crossed (and it would be great if it does) then it becomes a different story. It also really cannot be considered to be a science when most research is amateur and any professional research (generally military as no-one else really has any value in touching it) seems to invariably get labelled as "disinformation" by some quarters and tied into conspiracies highlighting just how uncohesive and lacking in any real minimum accepted standards of data in this field tends to be, as well as the general foggyness surrounding the interpretation of output.
edit on 11-9-2013 by InsertNameHere because: mucking about with the quote brackets

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posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 07:57 PM
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TheEthicalSkeptic

Ectoplasm8
We have many photographs, many videos, and many stories of each. Because of the nature of those claims, any rational thinking person should demand the best level of evidence possible to back it up.

I am not sure that all these people are making 'claims.' A claim is an extrapolative or encompassing construct of conjecture around an observation or set of observations. In the scientific method a claim is an intellectual value add, saying something above and beyond, posited under two conditions 1) sufficient condition of plurality through observation, and 2) by a qualified researcher. Claims bear the full burden of evidential requirement.

By treating observations by amateurs as 'claims,' we imply that the scientific method can be circumvented in this specific case because the people involved in the observations are lesser unwashed observers pretending to be scientists. This is a false standard, as these observers typically are not approaching the subject in any such fashion. Observations may be misleading, but to dismiss them by saying that they require extraordinary evidence, creates a non-resolvable pseudo-scientific catch 22. A method of obfuscation whereby we eliminate data, not claims, by promoting the data into the crucible of science as a claim, which can therefore be dismissed while still data.

Spotting a 9 ft tall hairy man on the way from your tent to the campground bathroom is not a claim. It is an observation. When too many of these observations are posted, then constructs (claims) as to why they are being seen should be investigated by science.

By calling them claims and pretending that there is only 1 step to the scientific method, 'proof' - we ensure that science will never investigate that set of observations.

This is a process of pseudoscience.


Just more babbling verbage with not much content. Same thing with the explanations of "proof". Betty and Barney Hill weren't making an observation. They were claiming they had been abducted. As in:

*claim - an assertion that something is true or factual; "his claim that he was innocent"; "evidence contradicted the government's claims" assertion, asseveration, averment - a declaration that is made emphatically (as if no supporting evidence were necessary)*

It goes beyond what you attempt to make it into. A one step process and it's a claim. Does it really take great scientific knowledge and study to know if you've been abducted? No. But, it would take removing an object from a craft(or something similar) to be given up to be studied to make it a factual statement. Any average Joe could do that and it would answer many questions. If we're dealing with alien life visiting Earth that are abducting people. We need more than simply stories, photos, and/or "claims" to base that in factual terms. Accepting anything less is foolish.

Pseudoscience is the perfect description of how the "experts" handle these cases. Basing things on beliefs, hypothetical-s, wishes, hopes, and dreams. Nothing that can actually be studied under a controlled environment. After 65+ years, you're still only left with assumptions and guesses.



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 08:59 PM
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InsertNameHere
If someone claims that something happened, oh I dunno, they saw a fast moving object fly over the motorway or something, it's up to them to prove it, or rather more realistically enlist assistance with investigating it properly.



Ectoplasm8
We need more than simply stories, photos, and/or "claims" to base that in factual terms. Accepting anything less is foolish.



We need this to what end? Do we need evidence to believe them or not to mock them? Isn't it enough for both sides to simply have compassion and listen without judgement? "Burden of proof" is an appropriate phrase because we seem to put them on trial. And the only purpose seems to be to satisfy our own selfish need for such proof. And if this need were somehow satisfied what does the person making the claim gain? They certainly don't get what they need if they have symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. The only person that gains in such a relationship is the person demanding proof at the cost of somebody else's pain and effort. That effectively makes us parasites if we choose to put all the burden on one person.

Isn't it reasonable that we have nothing after 65+ years because we are sitting back demanding proof? It requires action by unbiased and trained skeptical thinkers. The people telling the stories are doing their part by generating interest and exposing the phenomenon. The answers will not be handed to us on a silver platter or by a few biased individuals who arguably need to recuse themselves from the research process anyway due to their biased experiences.

I believe we would be a lot further along as a society and further along into unraveling this mystery if we just listened with an open mind. It doesn't require belief. The criticism and critical thinking is best applied to studying the problem. I think the Ethicalskeptic made an excellent point about the crucible of science. Nothing will get resolved without a little interest and passion by an unbiased party. It doesn't require belief. It just requires a touch of humanity to ignite the passion and a healthy dose of critical thinking.

edit on 11-9-2013 by compressedFusion because: Separated a paragraph into two



posted on Sep, 11 2013 @ 11:29 PM
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reply to post by compressedFusion
 


People have been listening with an open mind for years. Has it gotten us any closer to an answer? An open mind isn't the answer. Allowing anything as a possibility isn't an answer. The answer should be a simple one with thousands of events. We have many thousands of witnesses, many thousands of abduction stories, many thousands of encounters. We're not talking about 10 people. Now, doesn't common sense say if this is actually happening, in at least one of those cases, in the thousands and over 65 years, something concrete and real would have come about? If you say "No", what is your argument for that? Are going to say they are just too intelligent? Well, they aren't intelligent enough to hide the fact that they abduct people. They aren't intelligent enough to not be seen. They aren't intelligent enough not to crash. If you believe this phenomena, you also have to see the fallibility. The imperfect alien being. A fallibility that would have given us something in many decades of visitation.

I have issues with lumping alien visitation as a realistic possibility, with sleep paralysis for example. You can say 'well maybe sleep paralysis is not a real thing and is made up'. But, studies have shown it is an actual event. Having experienced it for myself, I can fully understand how it could be misinterpreted as being abducted. Am I basing the entirety of abductions off my one experience, no. But, before so readily accepting alien abductions, why don't you need something more than just stories? Why don't you want to have something tangible and real? Why settle for less than?


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posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 01:30 AM
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compressedFusion

We need this to what end? Do we need evidence to believe them


Yes. Due to the potential ramifications resulting from visiting spaceships and/or humans being abducted by something being fact, and the potential consequences of getting it wrong, evidence is necessary for belief to be established.


or not to mock them?


No, as discussed previously (no one in this thread has taken the position that is it acceptable that I can tell?) Although such behaviour is not an irrational response.


Isn't it enough for both sides to simply have compassion and listen without judgement? "Burden of proof" is an appropriate phrase because we seem to put them on trial. And the only purpose seems to be to satisfy our own selfish need for such proof. And if this need were somehow satisfied what does the person making the claim gain?


What is the point of sharing a story if there is no need to be believed?


They certainly don't get what they need if they have symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. The only person that gains in such a relationship is the person demanding proof at the cost of somebody else's pain and effort. That effectively makes us parasites if we choose to put all the burden on one person.


I've deliberately steered clear of the psychological stuff in this tread to as far a degree as I can, but if there are elements at work including PTSD, history of abuse etc, then there is nothing anyone on an online forum can say or do to resolve it, and blaming it on aliens isn't going to help either ufology (as the tale could have nothing to do with the field whatsoever), or more importantly the individual.

As random denizens of the internet we cannot practically judge a person's history or mental stability based on an "I was abducted by aliens" story and somehow sign them up for psych counseling. We can only read the encounter from a limited standpoint and make a judgement based on that 1 story.


Isn't it reasonable that we have nothing after 65+ years because we are sitting back demanding proof? It requires action by unbiased and trained skeptical thinkers. The people telling the stories are doing their part by generating interest and exposing the phenomenon. The answers will not be handed to us on a silver platter or by a few biased individuals who arguably need to recuse themselves from the research process anyway due to their biased experiences.


It's more reasonable to say that the longer that proof or at least strong evidence is not forthcoming, the less likely is that there is any truth to the field. Fortunately there are a number of cases with decent amounts of anecdotal evidence that keep the field open (arguably none really relating to abductions though).

I would like to see an independent professional investigative function for this field (both sightings and abductions), but it won't happen as it would be expensive to operate with no return.
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posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 01:54 AM
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Geez I started responding to one post and then they just kept coming. Now I have this whole collection (sorry for boring everyone but having written off and on through the evening now I'm going to post it).

Response to InsertNameHere


Both sets of stories (physical abductions vs mental(?)/channeling etc) trend towards incorporating similar types of beings, but there are enough variations in alien physical makeup reported from person to person that would push people towards doubting all recounted abductions.


I don't see it that way. Heck have you looked at the racial makeup of Italians? Let alone Americans? If we were to compare 'stories' about 'interaction with Americans' as something we had no proof for, they'd have a much wider range than most the so-called alien stuff does. Then add that some of those would be from nature conservationists, vs. black ops mercenaries, vs. corporations, vs. tourists, and my god, what a mess trying to make sense of all that would be.

However this does go back to my categorization point. We have to group this stuff, down and down, until we can finally start comparing apples with apples or at least fruit with fruit. We cannot compare NORAD readings with abduction experiences, and within the latter, we cannot compare telepathic bugs with large blonde humans who tackle you if you run away, there's just no way to make sense of that, and the fact that there are different people/creatures involved in this is not itself any indication of true or false, but it certainly does confuse evaluation if not considered separately.


There are far too many contradictions in experiences in general as alluded to by posts in this thread, particularly on matters such as agenda.


I consider 'agenda' to be 'assumption' and hence not part of the data, but part of the interpretive model we put on the data. This is not a contradiction in experience but a contradiction in human opinion about experience, which you'll find equally in other far less controversial fields.


Because earth logic is (rightly, in my opinion) that if a species has for example, a nose in one story, then surely it's going to have a nose in every story.


This logic would be more comfortable if the topic of genetics and 'designed species' that may come in a myriad of forms as a result, weren't such a strong part of the subject itself. It would also be more comfortable if "altered states" of the humans involved, and/or partial or affected memory, were not so often and clearly a part of the experience. This doesn't have to imply it isn't physical, there's plenty of tech even in our own hands which can cause such things, but it can certainly screw up both experiential interpretation and later recall.


Obviously every "abductee" consistently asserts that they truly believe that something happened to them, so who to believe & take seriously, if anyone?


I think we should simply accept that "they believe something happened to them." What that might be, or the true source of it, or what it means, is the part in contention. We would not doubt the average seemingly reasonable person if they said, "I went to the store and someone leaped out of a car and took my wallet and then sped away." We might however doubt it when they added their own interpretation of "it had to be gang members" or "they were targeting me personally and waited all day" or "they're going to use the cash in my wallet to do ___." The experience is not the part in question most the time, merely what it really was and what it means and who it was by.

But that is not really the part they should be responsible for anyway since obviously they are subjective. Think of it like a crime scene event, in a way; every individual even at the same, 'proven and documented and often filmed' crime scene often has some different details (sometimes very different, like to leave law enforcement wondering, WTF??), and the law enforcement officers debrief witnesses multiple times and separately in great part because it takes a more objective, more unbiased person(s) to put together the multiple accounts and make decent sense of it and corroborate the details with what can be found as evidence. And this is in perfectly normal, physical things in 'our' world/reality/model.

I don't find it reasonable that we can't at least give these far more complex experiences the same consideration we give reported experiences in other areas of human life.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 01:56 AM
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The complete lack of cohesion between the finer detail amongst reports severely weakens the roots of abduction stories


I'm not super familiar with abduction stories beyond my own, except a few books (and not many) and a ton of people I talked to online in the mid-'94 to late-'95 era and every few years a round of reading at a forum like ATS. So I'm not sure if you are referring to the experience of people who shared the same event, but if so, see above regarding the crime scene model. Witnesses disagree on even more-than-just-minor elements of crimes all the time and this when there's no doubt at all that something truly happened and when they literally shared the SAME experience. So now we get to totally separate individual experiences, with likely altered state and affected memory, and of course they're unlikely to exactly match.


The following is obviously disingenuous to a degree; but I harbour suspicions that if you took any 1 story with a reasonably deep level of detail and compared it to all other experiences with similar or better detail level, you would be hard pressed to find any close matches.


Is this like assuming that every crime would have exactly the same detail? What do you expect to be so "closely matched" between people? I found the 'correlations' between my experiences and others to be mind boggling, given it seemed to me it was totally unique.


Ufology in general is a pseudoscience trying to become a science


I don't consider UFOlogy a pseudoscience because I don't consider it a science period. I consider the field to be "research into preliminary data which might, eventually, lead to some groundwork for hypothesis which could then allow science a place to begin."

I believe we are a lot closer to and more likely to find that place to begin with the nuts&bolts elements (e.g. jet fighters chasing a UFO) than with the sociological elements (e.g. alien abduction)... obviously.


Just as a footnote; I hate handholding on online forums, and was at the back of the queue when the "sparing people's feelings" gene was being handed out


I think having some kind of safe-space environ where people can share experiences without the imposing filters - distortions - suppressions caused by 'the reaction' others have is important. However, that's probably the kind of thing that should go on in a (possibly private) forum specific to that focus, and which is not about "critically evaluating the experience," since there is no way to critically evaluate anybody else's experience, not when there is no physical evidence to hand out. All one can be critical of is the veracity of the experience or the integrity or believability of the person recounting it, and neither of those contribute anything helpful to insight, not even to the psychological or sociological insight that might come from calmly assessing such accounts en masse. All they do is insult the individual, which merely suppresses or further filters or distorts the raw data.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 01:57 AM
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Response to TheEthicalSkeptic

When science has no evidence for or about a given construct, it simply tenders no opinion.

I agree. When sufficient data / observation to allow a testable hypothesis has not yet come about, science is not even involved yet. So dismissing all preliminary reported data on the hand-waving arrogant dismissal of it "not being proof" (or even 'evidence') is irrational, since it isn't supposed to be proof or even evidence, it is merely a subjective report. Someday that can lead to accumulated evidence and hypothesis. Then that can lead to science.

If we never get there, well, we never get there. But we're certainly never going to get to that turnoff if we can't even walk down the road of data to begin with, because people are (often emotionally and virulently) 'debunking' the data or more to the point the individuals for daring have such data, to begin with. This thread has been a fairly nice exception, a few starts at the beginning but for the most part unusually less-emotional debate than is common.


edit on 12-9-2013 by RedCairo because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 01:58 AM
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Response to InsertNameHere

Attempting to investigate something in order to prove it to be true/false/maybe/potato isn't really the remit of forum visitors who decide to call an orange an orange and a weak story or sighting a weak story or sighting. If someone claims that something happened, oh I dunno, they saw a fast moving object fly over the motorway or something, it's up to them to prove it, or rather more realistically enlist assistance with investigating it properly.

It really isn't up to anybody to prove it except the people who want proof.

I have spiritual beliefs, and I feel love which is "merely a biochemical" officially, but I don't feel the need to prove those to anybody else. I don't care if people consider it ridiculous or delusional, to each their own. I don't really feel the need to prove the "esoteric" -- including things related to so-called "aliens" -- abduction experiences either. They are a part of my life and so they move me in some respects, and so I find the topic interesting in some respects, and so I share with other people about it in some respects -- the same as I might with spiritual beliefs, or love, or even my political philosophies or the eating plan I might happen to be following for example.

I don't feel obliged to DO anything to "help other people feel better about it" which is what this all comes down to: personX is upset that someone is saying they experienced an alien, because personX doesn't believe or want to believe that aliens exist and/or that they would be doing that to humans, so personX demands that the guy recounting his story "prove it!" Well, guy recounting his story maybe doesn't give a rat's butt about whether personX has such an emotional reaction to the entire idea that he feels obliged to hunt them down online and rant ad nauseum everywhere about how it's all crap and anybody with such claims is either a liar or delusional. Maybe that's personX's problem, not the problem of the people with the experience. I don't have any great emotional impetus toward proof or even evidence, since I accept my experiences to be valid "as experiences" regardless of their possible origin, so the lack of having either of these (except the latter "slightly empirically") doesn't bother me. If it bothers personX, let it be their problem!

I would think that would result in, mostly, three kinds of "personX" reactions:
1) continued religious-style proselytizing and evangelistic-crusades style behavior to insist it can't be real
2) casual observation (when time allows, but without too much concern) of such accounts just to 'get a feel for' what they might think of them
3) sincere investigation of such accounts, which would have to start by what amounts to interviewing the individuals for the subjective experience and trying to weed out the many distortion factors, as much as possible.

#1 is easier, lol.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 01:58 AM
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Response to InsertNameHere


That in and of itself is not a particularly realistic proposition I suppose, as there probably isn't any money in it, and therefore that kind of investigative support probably doesn't really exist, and where investigation might be viable, what I'm hearing is that going that route is dominated by true believers of limited credibility themselves, not to mention that getting information via certain avenues of investigation may end up being akin to pulling teeth.


I think all of the above is like hypothesizing on why there is no evidence for Santa being real. There is no provable physiological evidence of the various accounts people have of alien abduction, period, so why the heck would it matter even if there were money in it. Even implants, while "suggestive" as evidence, are not provable as being implants as opposed to associated "biological anomalies." (For all we know, some bizarre neural issue behind the stories themselves is also responsible for causing the body to create such things which become part of the subconsciously driven psychological experiences, even though those may leave physiological symptoms -- most of which can be caused by depth hypnosis too by the way and hence are against "suggestive" but not actually evidence.)

My point being that it's unreasonable to "insist that abductees provide evidence" because THERE IS NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE. There is no evidence I can give you about my belief in a divine energy or my love for my child either, nor should I have to; those things are real to me, I don't care if other people believe them, and there is no possible evidence I could come up with that would be worth anything to anybody else, so why even bother with this road of thinking? There is not only nothing at the end of that road for making it constructive, there isn't even a road.

No evidence equals nothing to share except the subjective experience. People can make of that whatever they will. Maybe it will provide insight; maybe some of that insight will pertain to UFOs; maybe it won't. Maybe, by sheer accident, we will learn something more about humans, or the nature of so-called reality, rather than about aliens. Imagine that. That would be fine with me.


However you can't expect to post something along the lines of "I saw/was taken away by a spaceship" and expect any forum populace to a) lend any credibility to the story without additional data of some sort to back it up, b) drop what they are doing to investigate it no matter the case background.

Here's a thought: maybe people sharing such accounts on a UFO-related forum are sharing them for the same reason that people share their thoughts on politics, their eating plan, child rearing, spiritual practices, their favorite team sport, and anything else on the internet: because it has meaning to them; because it has a place in their life; because people naturally "congregate" to share about such things as a form of emotional exploration and social bonding.

I don't think most abductees say anything to try and "provide credibility" or "get someone to investigate." I think most abductees would be perfectly happy to converse in areas where nobody gave a damn about any of that and was just willing to share about the personal experience. There seems to be this idea that if someone posts an experience, that they are saying, "Hey I claim this happened to me!" When I see posts written like that, I usually think that either the individual is slightly unbalanced, or probably intell who I think have a decent presence on forums as big as ATS for their own reasons (and I've had a few acquaintances in intell over the years who have made it clear this is something that is done in that profession, so given ATS's readership, it's pretty likely here). Most people I've ever found worth taking seriously in regards to such "experiential accounts" had zero desire to make claims or waves with them. In fact even in classic UFOlogy I've noticed that many of the accounts would have been unknown were it not for someone *who was not the abductee* "making a big deal about it" for one reason or another and pushing the case into investigation and publication and so on.


get labelled as "disinformation" by some quarters and tied into conspiracies highlighting just how uncohesive and lacking in any real minimum accepted standards of data in this field tends to be, as well as the general foggyness surrounding the interpretation of output.

Maybe it is too soon to start insisting on standards of data which will only create more filters, suppression and distortion in the accounts, or on interpretation which will only force us to create paradigms of why-how when it is way too soon for that, and then distort the data based on that instead. Maybe at this point the most useful thing would simply be a compilation of raw-as-possible data, with a decent and down-to-granular categorization system, to allow somewhat 'objective' others to go through that, find correlations and disparities, look for meta-patterns, look for concomitants, look for relationships with other fields of inquiry which DO have a degree of research possible, and so on. Maybe things like genuine disinformation or even strategic deception would actually become apparent as patterns using that approach, and as they are gradually realized, allow us to far more easily clear out whole categories and patterns of things that we would then know only add confusion.

For example in psychical research, one of the most useful adjunct fields is cognitive science. Did you know there are tons of documented 'senses' now -- not just the five -- there were 17 as of the mid 1980s. Some of those senses are so amazing, but subtle, that they are actually the source of what I call "body intuitive" data -- and this is a great deal of what people in our culture have considered "psychic." Well, now we know, that it is not psychic -- or rather, that word psychic is what I call "a warehouse word" which merely encompasses "everything we don't yet understand scientifically." Learning that taught us a few important things: first, that if we were going to research psi, we would have to forcibly exclude any chance of that source of information or we definitely know the data's likely not psi. Over time, more and more of these senses, these source of information, were discovered, leading to tighter and tighter controls (psi research done right is one of the tightest sciences around actually, they are over-paranoid about everything from collusion to subtle physiological data transfer). But it also taught us that the "reports" of people who said they or someone else experienced perception of such info, were probably not "making lying or deluded claims" or at least some of them likely had reason for the story; science finally documented that yes, in fact, that kind of information acquisition CAN be done, by some people better than others for physiological, psychological or both reasons.

So on one hand, it actually validated the EXPERIENCE and the DATA while on the other hand it completely blew it out of the topic of "psi" altogether because now we know it's not. I suspect it's possible the 'alien abduction' experience may end up having a similar profile in the end.

(I also suspect that eventually there will be nothing left for 'psi research' at all, because we will understand the source of any 'anomalous data collection', rendering the entire topic back into the field of human cognitive science and out of 'parapsychology' - a retarded term to begin with - altogether.)



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 01:58 AM
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system dupe or mine
edit on 12-9-2013 by RedCairo because: dupe



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 01:59 AM
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Sorry these responses were out of order.

Response to InsertNameHere


So wouldn't it be better if abduction-by-the-unknown experiences were simply disassociated from ufology in general and treated as a completely separate thing?


I agree that if it were disassociated from UFOlogy that a lot of the problems our culture has with it would go away. Unfortunately that is like looking for your keys a block away from where you dropped them because the light is better there. It cannot be totally dissociated from UFOlogy entirely, because it actually includes experiences which are perceived to be 'UFOs' and 'Aliens.' This is horribly inconvenient, I know.

Note my previous post on categorizing experience. It's one thing to try and organize the reports to lead toward better understanding. It's another to try and forcibly include, or forcibly exclude, any kind of data for the convenience of collecting it. Talk about standing in our own shadow.

I am not against the idea of questioning the legit association of these, or the possible involvement of covert experimentation, or the possible interference with individual psychology or cultural archetypes due to that model (a reverse causality you might say, and by the way my use of the term archetypes is not referring to simply 'associations' but to something underlying perceptual reality, powerful, possibly even physical at times, that overlaps with esoteria as well as reality -- so, it branches as much or more into the jungian-woo, you might say).

But I am saying that since we don't know what's going on, making any decision about what 'deserves' to be considered a 'valid' part of the data of such experiences would be biasing from the start.

This data is already profoundly skewed by everything from psychology to cultural issues. Right now, we have a ton of data which is omitted, repressed, distorted, and marginalized because it is NOT about UFOs/aliens and people trying to get "the experiences which are" taken seriously, really hate that stuff because it seems to "make it all just seem like psychology" and hence invalidate it.

Biasing in the other direction wouldn't be any less biased, though.

The best that we can do for any reasonable effort to have integrity with all this is to take what people say literally. We do not have to assume they are accurate, or that they have any idea what an alien really is, or that the experience didn't have an 'alien' for reasons that have nothing to do with actual aliens. The last people who should be making any conclusion about the 'why' are the people with the experiences, they're completely subjective. The topic needs people who don't have such bias, or defensiveness. But reasonably, we should do the data collection a favor and let it be whatever it is. This is where the categorization I spoke of above comes in. Let it be what it is; but categorize it as well as possible; so there is no filter on experience, merely on what we may be correlating together, because obviously that's got to happen, for about 101 good reasons.

I liked Robert Heinlein's "True Witness" characters in Stranger in a Strange Land. They took everything at face value literally but nothing as truth. The sun appeared to be in the sky which appeared to be blue. They wouldn't bias in favor of or against anything, they would report it completely literally as they experienced it -- but they also didn't assign any sense of truth to the 'meaning or reason' for that perception. I think that's a good model for this stuff.

I said in a case study I wrote for a friend in '95 about my experiences:

Some folks are interesting, but their rigid ideas about "the way it is" that they force (with all the grace of Cinderella's sisters and the shoe) facts to fit in is insulting to a research oriented mind, offensive to my desire for no overbearing religion, and simply a waste of time, since crunching the facts to fit the slots is not going to do me any great service.


As long as our culture basically wants such 'experiences' to be (or not be) one thing or another, or wants to assume on them in any way, then we are biasing the reporting of the experiences, filtering them and adding to distortion in them. I think we should simply let human experience be what it is, and where it appears to overlap with UFOlogy fine, and where it doesn't, that's fine too. The fact that experiences can be psychological doesn't mean others can't be physical, and the fact that some can be about non-"aliens" doesn't mean others can't be about them. So either including non-alien things in UFOlogy, or not including UFOlogy as 'related' to experience which seem to be, are both a form of bias in my view.

The experiences just are what they are. We don't understand why, or how, yet. I think we need to leave it open -- more open than it is now, actually -- and try and improve the quality of the data by reducing the bias as much as possible, and by organizing the data so more objective others can get a look at what is truly going on, whatever that might be.

edit on 12-9-2013 by RedCairo because: italics tag error



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 02:00 AM
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Response to InsertNameHere


Using your experiences specifically as an example for comparison to others RedCairo: You don't appear to believe that your own experiences necessarily have an extraterrestrial basis, and we have plenty of mythology and folklore throughout history of people being taken by supposed fey creatures (and no doubt some similarly themed contemporary stories), to, if people were willing to adopt some blue sky thinking on the subject, have some kind of point of reference for this type of experience.

Well, I do not discount that some of the identities I have interacted with may, at some point in history, have 'traveled to' what we call 'here' although whether that is through linear space, or time, or frequencies/dimensions, who knows.

And those travelers may have become what history records as fey, in some cases. So I don't think we can 'assume' that these are separate or that either exist more than the other as they may overlap.

I had experiences that very clearly blended what we call aliens with what some ancients called fey, even to the point of my being aware during the experience of things I associated with faery later (e.g. that I couldn't eat or drink while there or I would be trapped) and yet with clear experience of identities which in many other experiences, subjectively were felt to be at least partly physical experiences (e.g. the blondes and greys), and these experiences sometimes seemed to clearly begin with what was obviously a dream--but changed. Can I explain why that would make sense, or why it could be anything but 'a dream or hallucination' in that case? No, but I am not trying to present science on it or prove it, I am merely reporting what happened, and I am honest enough to include all that because I have no reason not to.

I wrote the case study I often mention in '95 for my therapist friend because she's insightful and I trusted that someday, someone who was more objective and more insightful than me about it would be able to use the honesty of it to help make a larger sense of things. If that larger sense turned out to be more about psychology than nuts&bolts, well, c'est la vie. I'm a science freak actually, and the answer is never as important as a process of integrity to finding whatever answer something may have. When you only hear little pieces of experiential info, when it's terribly biased by so many things, when it's defensive and distorted by that, all these things are problems for the greater understanding.

I think I just have a lot less insecurity than many people do about this topic. I was able to keep myself out of "assuming on paradigm-X" in part because I didn't believe in paradigm-X anyway and often thought it was ludicrous, and in part because I'd studied 'belief systems' in various ways for many years and knew the danger of that, and in part because I had enough faith in myself to basically say, "Just record things as they are, and later on hopefully this will start to make more sense... or go away." I trusted that it would. And it gradually, for the most part, did both.

*

Sorry, back to your point: I do believe that nearly everyone I interacted with was "a local" at least by now -- albeit not perceivable to us and perhaps "next door" you might say, regarding nearby space and frequency, whether the latter is via their nature or via technology -- and I believe it because they conveyed that to me in various fashion, directly or indirectly. (That doesn't make it true, of course. Just explaining why I have this paradigm.)

I'm a bit knee-jerk about the 'space alien' thing as I find a lot of debate with this topic is created by assumptions that the 'space alien' theory breeds entirely on its own, assumptions which are inappropriate given our cluelessness about it, and assumptions which would vanish if, for example, this were more a matter of dimensional physics than whether some dude who evolved on the other side of the galaxy could get his flying Chevy to make it this far.

Who cares where they might have been before, except as a point of academic cultural interest. I think we need to figure out a little about the "here and now" of these guys, before we start worrying about what it's like on Sirius, or how they got here, or whether it's "realistic" to think they could get here, or whatever.

Like the disputes on Roswell. A topic I dislike because it seems to have driven Vallee away and he (and Richard Thompson [I read his 'Alien Identities' book on Vedic history]) is the only guy I liked in the field, who didn't actually make ME sound like a skeptic just trying to balance the sheer lack of critical thinking by so many who allegedly are the leaders or researchers in the social 'field' of UFOlogy. I feel like a bunch of people with a brain more like Vallee's might actually get closer to figuring some of this out someday. (The guy on the recent ATS thread wouldn't answer any of my questions, darn.) Anyway where was I...

So apparently one of the disses against Roswell as I saw on another thread at ATS is that the alleged materials were thin and flexible. As if, how could that flying Chevy possibly make it across the galaxy if it weren't more durable? (See, must be a weather balloon...) Honestly that just goes past paradigm and into asinine. Talk about letting wild assumptions completely interfere with any kind of data integrity. Same paradigm as when it's used to diss implants as 'not being of extraterrestrial origin' - oh brother.

I have yet to see a single instance where the "space alien" hypothesis helped any person, element, data point or understanding in the topic.

Doesn't make it untrue though.

Just means every time I see it come up, it's either being used by scoffers to be more pre-deluded assumptive than almost any abductee could be, or it's being used as a religious doorway (e.g. channeling the aliens). So I try to stomp on its toes every time I see it.

*

As for where they're from, not sure it matters.

Let's say you send someone out with a list of addresses, to knock on the door and take social surveys, and they are getting lost in the big city as they drive all over for it. Later, you find that the address on one doesn't even exist, who the hell knows where the surveyor was, but they did interview a guy they thought was at that address. Now, we can invalidate the address. But they still had "an experience" with somebody. Whether it was realistic or possible for them to have been at that address interviewing a guy at the door is one issue, but that doesn't mean the interactive experience is invalidated. That's how I think about this "assumption of source:"

Something is going on. We have no idea what the hell it is. We have no idea whether it is more related to quantum reality or human psychology-neurology or nuts&bolts. But letting pedantic rantings about the details of the address take priority, ignores the primary part that was nearly all that mattered in the first place: the experience itself. That data, taken as a mass collection and organized greatly, is where the best source of insight into its true nature and what any of it might mean is probably going to start.



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