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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Oct > Oct 2

Re: Questions for abductees

From: Greg Sandow <gsandow@prodigy.net>
Date: Wed, 1 Oct 1997 12:05:45 -0400
Fwd Date: Thu, 02 Oct 1997 11:43:09 -0400
Subject: Re: Questions for abductees

Rob Bull asks what questions to ask an abductee.

> 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

> Hi everyone

> I have a lady in the UK who has given me details of a 'bedroom
> visitation' that she has had (not recently) which seems to bear
> the characteristics of a classic 'bedroom abduction'. (One tall
> figure, three small ones; husband in a deep sleep next to her,
> she unable to wake him; puncture and other marks on her skin the
> next day; other skin marks appearing later after 'restless'
> nights.)

> I'm not sure I accept the literal reality of abduction accounts,
> but are there 'standard questions' I should be asking this lady
> to determine if her experience is consistent with a classic
> abduction report?


You really don't want to go fishing for standard abduction details.
Obviously, you might only prompt this woman.

It helps, though, that you yourself don't seem to know what details
to expect. I'd suggest you do the following:

1. Ask for the story in as much detail as possible. First just ask
her to tell it,  remembering everything that she can.

2. After she does this, ask her to elaborate on each part. Be relaxed
about it, so she doesn't feel she ought to be remembering more than
she does. And of course don't use any language or suggest any details
that weren't in her original telling.  For instance, if she saw the
beings by her bed, you might ask her what they were doing. If she
says they took her out of her bed, you might ask her how. Did they
physically hold her? If she says she remembers being outside her
window, you might ask her how she got there. If she doesn't remember
-- and this is a good general technique to use in any similar
situation -- you might suggest a number of alternatives. Did she
walk? Did they carry her? Suggest very commonplace alternatives, so
if she thinks she remembers something extraordinary -- that she was
floated through the wall, or teleported outside, or carried in a
force field -- those details will emerge without you suggesting them
in any way. Budd Hopkins, when he questions abductees, always does
this. He suggests only the most mundane possibilities, and in fact
tries to lead witnesses away from the standard accounts. If your
apparent abductee says she remembers being in a different place,
don't ask her if it was the aliens' UFO! Just ask her to describe it.
If she remembers the beings doing something, try to get details. If
she mentions them using any implements or tools, try to get a
description. Likewise if she remembers seeing any insignia, symbols,
or writing. Try to get her to draw them. But -- I know this is
getting to be a tiresome refrain! -- never suggest that she might
have seen any such things.

3. Ask her about past experiences. Don't suggest that she may have
had this experience, or one like it, before. Just ask her if there's
anything in her past life, starting with her earliest memories, that
seems unusual, or difficult to explain. If she tells you some past
stories that involve members of her family or friends, ask if she has
ever spoken to the other people involved about the incidents. Ask if
you can speak to them. (It's VERY unlikely that she'll answer yes!)

4. You should gently discourage her from reading any abduction
literature until she's told you everything. Don't make a fuss about
it, though. It's natural for abductees to want to inform themselves,
and their personal needs have to come before the needs of science. It
might be better, too, if you don't read any abduction literature
before you've debriefed her thoroughly.

5. I strongly urge you to pick a few key parts of the story, or key
details, and then find a way to ask her about these several times. Do
it casually -- try not to make her feel that she's being grilled, or
that you don't believe her. There are two reasons why it's important
to hear as much of the story as possible more than once. First, it's
a check on whether she embellishes her account at all. Second,
abductees typically have trouble remembering accurate details of
their abuction experiences (whether physically real or not). Often,
if their attention is directed back to some portion of the story,
they remember more clearly.

This last point is, in my experience, one of the most poorly
understood parts of abduction research. Here's an example of how and
why it's done. Let's say you ask this woman how tall the beings were.
She answers "Oh, they were very tall." You ask her -- essential in
all abduction investigations -- why she thinks this. She thinks a
moment and says, "Well, they were looking down at me."

Don't leave it there! Ask her where she was when they were looking
down. She may well respond, "I was lying in my bed." At which point
it becomes clear that the beings really weren't very tall.

A classic example from Budd Hopkins' archives: A woman tells him she
was driving at night, and had to stop because an owl was blocking the
road. Budd asks her what the owl was doing. She answers: "It was
standing in the middle of the road. It stood in front of my car when
I stopped, and looked at me through the windshield."

Here there's obviously something to explore. Owls aren't big enough
to stand in the road and look at the driver of a car. So Budd asks:
"Well, how tall was the owl?" The woman thinks and says, "But this
doesn't make any sense. The owl must have been over five feet tall to
have its head level with mine." This had never occured to her before.
She then is able to examine her recollections more carefully, and ask
herself whether an owl is really what she saw. Notice that Budd
doesn't point out the contradiction explicitly, or lead her in
suggesting what the owl might have been. He simply asks a question
that stimulates the abductee to do these things. This is the techn
ique all abduction investigators ought to use.

Good luck in asking questions of this experiencer! I'll be curious to
know what you come up with.

Greg Sandow

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