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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Oct > Oct 1

Re: Questions for abductees

From: clark@canby.mn.frontiercomm.net [Jerome Clark]
Date: Wed, 01 Oct 1997 11:32:01 PDT
Fwd Date: Wed, 01 Oct 1997 13:48:50 -0400
Subject: Re: Questions for abductees

> Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 21:59:01 -0400
> From: Peregrine Mendoza <101653.2205@compuserve.com> [Peter Brookesmith]
> Subject: Re: Questions for abductees
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

> The Duke of Mendoza presents his compliments.

> >Date: Mon, 29 Sep 1997 21:16:50 -0700
> >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> >From: Skye Turell <turel33@west.net>
> >Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Questions for abductees

> >>From: "R.Bull" <RAB@cadcentre.co.uk> [Rob Bull]
> >>To: "'UFO UpDates'" <updates@globalserve.net>
> >>Subject: Questions for abductees
> >>Date: Mon, 29 Sep 97 15:41:00 BST

> >You *should not* be trying to determine "if her experience is consistent
> >with classic abduction report[s]."  You should be trying to determine
> >what *her experience* was.

> Now with that I do agree. And one place to start is the annals of
> so-unhelpfully-called "abnormal psychology", not the folklore that
> calls itself "abduction research". At any rate try to eliminate every
> other possible explanation before plumping for the least probable.

> Yours &c
> Ponderosa D. Melonfield
> Corn Pone

Duke, et al.,

Does anybody, including yourself, know the meaning of the phrase
"the folklore that calls itself `abduction research'"?  All of
us, including the undersigned (as you kindly reminded me
recently), are capable of writing (and thinking) in haste, and I
daresay you are doing so here.  There is folklore about
abductions, but the experience of abduction is not "folklore," as
you yourself imply when you suggest that "abnormal psychology" is
the be-all and end-all of the question. You are too
intellectually sophisticated, I should think, to use "folklore"
and "nonsense" as if the two were interchangeable, for another
thing. Labeling "abduction research," whatever else can be said
against or for it, "folklore" is to mischaracterize the nature of
both, or to find meanings for these words not immediately
apparent to the rest of us. All you are saying, I guess, is that
you don't like people to research abductions and come to
conclusions about them you don't like.

It is foolish, in any event, to seek to medicalize all anomalous
experience, and I really don't see what "abnormal psychology" has
to tell us about the more puzzling abduction cases.  Some
marginal ones, perhaps. For a splendid critique of the
limitations of the ab-psych approach, see Stuart Appelle's "The
Abduction Experience: A Critical Evaluation of Theory and
Evidence," JUFOS 6 (1995/1996), pp. 29-78, or David J. Hufford's
The Terror That Comes in the Night (University of Pennsylvania
Press, 1982).  Declaring "abnormal psychology" every time we hear
something we don't like is the functional equivalent of shouting
"shut up."  Emotionally satisfying, no doubt, but not
intellectually productive.

Jerry Clark

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