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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Oct > Oct 11

Re: Solved Abduction cases?

From: clark@canby.mn.frontiercomm.net [Jerome Clark]
Date: Sat, 11 Oct 1997 00:31:28 PDT
Fwd Date: Sat, 11 Oct 1997 09:26:10 -0400
Subject: Re: Solved Abduction cases?

> Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 17:18:37 -0500 (CDT)
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> From: Dennis <dstacy@texas.net> [Dennis Stacy]
> Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Solved Abduction cases?

> >From: clark@canby.mn.frontiercomm.net [Jerome Clark]
> >Date: Thu, 09 Oct 1997 10:02:02 PDT
> >To: updates@globalserve.net
> >Subject: RE: UFO UpDate: Re: Solved Abduction cases?

> >Dennis,

> >I admire your apparent certainty that all's right with the world,
> >that we don't have to worry about the abduction phenomenon
> >because it's all messy and the putative aliens don't act as you
> >would have them act, that the novels of Don DeLillo have more to
> >tell us than actual case studies, which presumably include those of
> >Ray Fowler (Allagash), Walt Webb (Hill and Buff Ledge), and other
> >conscientious investigators.

> Another one of my points you apparently missed re: the rapid
> "evolution" of the abduction scenario. Are there hybrid babies
> and implants in the Allagash, Hill and Buff Ledge cases?

Your point being?

> >In other words, Bullard validates formally what investigators have always
> >insisted: that popular debunking mythology aside, it's pretty hard to lead
> >abductees.

> I like Eddie, too. The question here is what does "pretty hard"
> mean? If you want to see a blatant example of leading, you have
> only to re-read John Mack. At one point, one of his witnesses
> won't go up a ramp during a hypnosis session, so he tells her to
> imagine she's a remote-controlled video camera and go up the ramp
> -- which she promptly does. It's all there in black & white, my
> friend, leaving the question: Is Mack part of the abduction
> literature, what with his Pulitzer prize, or not? (I don't dare
> ask if Bullard, an academic folklorist, is qualified to
> pronounce, as opposed to comment, on the verities and vagaries of
> clinical hypnosis. But at least that remark will give you
> something to vent on if you don't want to address the other
> issues raised.)

Dennis, READ Bullard's monograph, which obviously you have not
done, and also his conclusions, based on the sort of empirical
study so conspicuously absent in the abduction-bashing
literature, on the role, or nonrole, of hypnosis in the shaping
of abduction narratives.  You might start with his paper in JUFOS
1 (1989). For my views on Mack, read IUR, March/April 1994.

> >I also think we'd have a better handle on what we're dealing with if
> >we were able to discard the noise.

> I couldn't agree with you more, Jerry, which is why I raised the
> issue in my previous post: What IS the "abduction literature" to
> which Greg Sandow referred? Does it include the spectrum from
> Strieber to John Salter, or just the respectable (Bullard,
> Appelle) material you deem respectable? Which is not to say or
> imply, of course, that Mssrs. Bullard and Appelle _aren't_
> respectable. But if we have to decide the issue of respectability
> on a case-by-case basis, who's in charge of same? Is "Witnessed"
> respectable, whereas "Alien Jigsaw" isn't? I'm  addressing
> abduction literature as a whole, whereas you're seemingly making
> exclusions at the start. If it's good it is, and if it ain't, it
> ain't, and you get to decide what's good and what isn't.

As I stated in my earlier posting, the abduction literature, like
the UFO literature of which it is a small part, is of widely and
wildly varying quality.  I was addressing your obsession with the
worst of that literature.  Certainly the worst of it deserves to
be criticized, and indeed I've criticized it myself. I now urge
you to try to address the issues raised in the best of it.

> You know as well as I do that the conclusion of the Roper Report
> as adopted and promoted by both Hopkin and Jacobs is absolutely,
> totally and incontrovertibly flawed and unsupported by the
> evidence. Yet who could dispute the fact that it is now part of
> the abduction literature, never to be eradicated, and only
> occasionally to be corrected? Obliquely -- as in "One in Forty"
> -- it's even popped up as the title of a book.

So?  Pointed critiques also have been published in the abduction

> >Yes, abduction research is a messy business, full of complexity,
> >ambiguity, and even absurdity, and there is a lot more intriguing
> >possibility than hard evidence.  Nothing in it, however, remotely
> >justifies Dennis' wholesale dismissal.  It is depressing to read
> >something like this from someone I like and respect -- and who
> >ought to know a whole hell of a lot better.  Put down your
> >DeLillo novel, my friend, and start paying attention.

> First off, I don't think my comments were a wholesale dismissal,
> my good friend. Perhaps you should go back and reread them. When
> you say "nothing" here, however, you over-generalize. There are
> plenty of prima facie "somethings" that would cause anyone to
> wonder whether the experience is wholly and literally physical --
> or something else. The abduction literature, for example, is now
> replete with claims of hybrid babies that involve "missing
> fetuses." To my knowledge, not _one_ case of a missing fetus has
> been medically documented. The literature is similarly replete
> with claims of "implants." Again, to my knowledge, not _one_
> implant case has been medically documented to the extent of an
> extraordinary or anomalous nature. Both are fundamental,
> testable, hypotheses associated with the abduction literature
> (and phenomenon) -- and both remain manifestly undemonstrated,
> even though they should be considered the "easy" stuff.

I have repeatedly made the point that no medically documented
case of a missing fetus exists.  It does not automatically
follow, however, that no medically documented case is possible.
We certainly ought to criticize proponents who make this
extraordinary claim without documenting it properly, without
mindlessly assuming that ends the question.  Here we may be
dealing with a failure of documentation, not of (potential)
evidence. You're using the inadequacy of the investigation so far
as an excuse not to conduct competent investigation in the

David Pritchard has written interestingly on the complex problem
of implants. Again, Dennis, all of this is in the abduction
literature.  Again, you seem strangely obsessed with the worst,
the stuff that, on the surface anyway (beneath the surface, as
Bullard shows, things get more complicated), is most easily
shrugged or laughed off. In any conflict on the margins of
science, I shouldn't have to tell you, it's the best evidence,
not the worst, that is at issue.

> Unless, of course, you want to admit Mssrs. Leir & Sims into the
> literary fold.

> Finally, there is the question of why abductions didn't turned up
> in the medical and scientific literature _prior_ to the advent of
> ufologists (or urologists, for all you spell-checker fans out
> there). After all, if the phenomenon were as widespread (or only
> half as widespread) as its advocates are always claiming, one
> would expect that the occasional psychologist and psychiatrist
> here and there (if not in the US, then in Europe) would have
> encountered one, been perplexed by same, and written a case
> history of it -- if only for the recognition of having been
> first. Doubly true, given the tendency to claim that abductions
> now stretch back over the decades and generations and typically
> begin at an early age, ie, as children. By all lights, in other
> words, the medical professionals should have discovered the
> abduction phenomenon long before the ufologists did, arguably
> before Arnold. But then that would have resulted in a whole other
> literature altogether, wouldn't it?

Again, as I observed earlier, maybe the right questions weren't
being asked.  For that matter, why aren't there psychiatric
records, pre- Arnold, of non-abduction UFO sightings and close
encounters?  Or would you have us believe that the absence of
accounts in the pre-1947 medical literature of  other kinds of
UFO encounters (including CE3s) amounts to evidence that nobody
had UFO experiences -- then or now?
C'mon, Dennis.

Jerry Clark

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