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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Oct > Oct 13

Re: Solved Abduction cases?

From: clark@canby.mn.frontiercomm.net [Jerome Clark]
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 21:01:19 PDT
Fwd Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 11:36:40 -0400
Subject: Re: Solved Abduction cases?

> Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 12:49:06 -0500 (CDT)
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> From: Dennis <dstacy@texas.net>
> Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Solved Abduction cases?

> >Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 02:15:31 -0500
> >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> >From: John Velez <jvif@spacelab.net>
> >Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Solved Abduction cases?

> >Jerry writes,


> >>Dennis,

> >You might also turn to a paper I've had several occasions
> >>recently to mention here: Stuart Appelle's devastating critique of
> >>"conventional" explanations for abduction phenomena.

> >Hi Jerry, Sasquatch, Greg,

> >Jerry, (if) it's not too long a piece, and wouldn't violate any of Stuarts
> >copyrights (and, assuming you have a way to 'scan' the thing) could you
> >please post a copy of Steuart Appelle's paper?

> >Here's hoping, and thanx in advance if you can.

> >John Velez


> Dear John, List, et al:

> Stuart Appelle's paper which Jerry mentions, "The Abduction Experience: A
> Critical Evaluation of Theory and Evidence," takes up 50 pages of fine print
> in the Journal of UFO Studies, New Series, Vol. 6, 1995/1996, and would
> represent a serious scanning commitment on someone's part, copyright issues
> aside.

> You might check the CUFOS web page to see if it's there, although I would
> suspect not. Otherwise, the issue is available for $21 from CUFOS, which
> includes postage, at 2457 W. Peterson Avenue, Chicago, IL 60659, ph: (312)
> 271-3611. Orders outside the US include $3.00.

> I doubt seriously that Mr. Apelle himself would characterize what is a
> measured, thoughtful consideration of all sides of a controversial subject
> "a devastating critique of 'conventional' explanations of abduction
> phenomena," as Jerry Clark does. The UFO research and literature, in
> general, is found just as wanting as the blinkered, skeptical approach.

> Here's a sample (note I do not imply typical) quote from Appelle:

> "If the evidence offered so far cannot completely explain the abduction
> experience in prosaic terms, other explanations are required. The most
> prominent alternative is the ET hypothesis. But here again, there is as yet
> no evidence that requires this explanation. And in the absence of such
> evidence, the argument that abduction experiences are veridical strains
> credulity on many fronts." (p. 66)

> Jerry seems to object when I make essentially the same statement, perhaps
> because I'm not as quite as eloquent as Mr. Appelle, although I would point
> out that this is e-mail, not a learned journal.

> Dennis

Dennis,

With all due respect, you are not making the same point. Appelle's
point, given the current status of the evidence (at the bare beginning
of what is surely going to be a long, complicated investigation into a
difficult, elusive phenomenon), is one with which most reasonable
persons, including the undersigned, would find no reason to quarrel.
In fact, at this stage of the discussion, you could even respond,
"But of course."

Your point seems to be that the phenomenon is so obviously a
product of social pathology and ufological credulity that only fools
think otherwise.  You've even suggested that a novelist with no known
background in this subject -- Don DeLillo -- is the one to whom we
ought to turn for wisdom in the matter.  A suggestion I find pretty
strange, even as rabble-rousing -- or, as I hope, tongue-in-cheek --
hyberbole.  Appelle's argument, which cannot be reduced to the
short paragraph you quote, is that social, psychological, and
other conventional theories about abductions do not explain the
phenomenon; in other words, the explanations that to you are so
obvious are not so at all when examined closely. (Eddie Bullard
comes to the same conclusion from a different starting point.)

Appelle writes, entirely reasonably, that the alternative explanation
-- that abductions are event-level interactions with ETs -- requires
far more and better evidence than we have seen to date.  It
logically follows, I should think, that objective inquiry is a more
logical next step than inflated rhetoric -- on either side -- and so is
a modest acknowledgement that the abduction question is still wide
open, not closed shut in a cell guarded day and night by psycho-
socially inclined ufologists and debunkers.  Only one thing seems
obvious at this moment: abductions are a phenomenon in search
of an explanation. In the meantime, agnosticism, anyone?

Jerry Clark


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