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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Oct > Oct 12

No Absolutes?

From: ujack@pop3.scrapcity.cnchost.com [Mark Medford]
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 00:05:39 +0000
Fwd Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 10:21:53 -0400
Subject: No Absolutes?

Dear Friends,

One of the goals in UFO and abduction investigation is to define the
criteria by which we determine witness credibility.This is a tough
one - especially in a field of study so full of variables. While
there are many constants, event-traits that appear to repeat from
encounter to encounter, it seems that there are nearly as many
elements that don't. I'm curious as to whether or not anyone has
come up with  "formula" for this. It would  be interesting to see
what percentage of the experience is repeatable and what is not.
It's the events that fall outside of the standard, those requiring
more individual interpretation, that cause the most debate.
These elements force us to  examine more closely the emotional,
religious, etc. make up of the individual witness. Still, finding a
way to see the event beyond these personal "filters" may be close to
impossible. When all is said and done, until such time as an
event is mirrored by another experiencer, it all comes back to
interpretation. Its a bit like dream analysis!

How, then, do we measure the credibility of the event? Might we
say, for instance: if an encounter fits 60% (or whatever) of
the established profile, it's "credible" - allowing room for those
aspects that are - understandably - subject to one's unique
perspective. I think it's important to keep in mind the ambiguous
nature of the phenomenon. Even with the common cold, six different
people can suffer (or not) in a hundred different ways! They still
have a cold...

Can there be compassion, along with a healthy dose of skepticism in
our  aggressive pursuit of the truth? Yes, in the tone of our
debate. I accept that there are those whose sole intent is to
perpetrate a hoax - for fame, money, ego, etc. When this becomes
apparent, based on hard evidence, we need to be critical, they should
be made to answer for their actions. All I'm saying is this - let's
be as sure as possible about an individuals motives before assuming
deception. I just don't want to see us jump on people who are
honestly trying to share their experiences - no matter how odd or
how far outside of our own acceptance criteria their "facts" fall. No
matter how much we might like to push it into the background (because
traditional science has dictated as much), perception is a very big
part of reporting. Observation is the act of seeing -perception is
how we understand what we see.

Best,
Mark


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