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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 22

Re: Abductions & Ufology

From: Richard Hall <hallrichard99.nul>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 18:50:27 +0000
Archived: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 08:24:36 -0500
Subject: Re: Abductions & Ufology

This is primarily a response to Jan Aldrich and Wendy Connors,
two of the most admirable and constructive people in UFO
research, about their stated views on abduction reports.

Sorry, I disagree with you.

Your honest skepticism is fully justified, but unfortunately
abductions are part and parcel of the UFO mystery whether we
like it or not (and I don't like it either; I'm stuck with it).

My reasons in outline (details on request): The arguments about
lack of conclusive or convincing physical evidence apply equally
well to straight UFO sightings, but that doesn't mean the
reports can't or shouldn't be studied.

The child sexual abuse (ritual abuse, Satanic ritual, etc.)
psychological arguments have been taken up many times over the
years, most notably at the 1992 abduction conference at M.I.T.
Some of this made its way into the Proceedings ("Alien
Discussions: Proceedings of the Abduction Study Conference held
at M.I.T...."), but more transpired at the sessions and in the

Numerous behavioral scientists, including specialists in child
abuse, etc., were there for the simple reason that they had
encountered abduction cases in their practices and were troubled
by them, since they did _not_ fir the patterns of their

In the hallways, many of them said to me in private discussions
that they were totally puzzled by the reports and saw no
conventional explanation for them.

Coverage of abductions in The UFO Evidence, Vol. II, also shows
exactly how abductions _do_ fit in right smack in the middle of
UFO sighting reports.

So, as much as I wish it were not happening and as much as the
whole phenomenon troubles me, intellectual honesty requires me
to face up to it. And by the way, behavioral scientists have the
same problem as physical scientists when it comes to trying to
get their work published in respectable journals. That is a
significant part of the reason that you don't hear more about
their work on the alleged "psychiatric" explanations.

A woman at the conference from Scandinavia pointed out that they
have lots of abduction reports; they just don't get printed in
the English-language literature.

On the other hand, I agree that what Jan calls their "grand
theories" (or words to that effect) do tend to be overstated by
the main abduction investigators.

I once plotted out the conclusions of Fowler, Hopkins, and
Jacobs, and found that they disagreed in major ways in their

This suggests to me that in their eagerness for answers, they
have tended to go beyond what the evidence at present can tell

In the same way, some would-be interepreters of the meaning of
UFO sightings also go far beyond the evidence and start
speculating excessively (sometimes to the point of absurdity). I
don't give up on trying to study UFOs and abduction reports as
part of the mystery merely because it is difficult.

Finally, some of the arguments used sound much like those of
SETI people faced with perceived problems from UFO people. UFOs
are perceived to be "taking away" from their "serious,
scientific" studies much as abductions, apparently, are
perceived as "taking away" from our "serious, scientific"
studies of UFOs. And nutball speculations by weirdos in the
field are irrelevant, just as they are when it comes to the
nature and meaning of straight UFO sightings.

Well, very little quality work is possible on either UFOs or
abductions with so little funding available anyway, so we all
try to do the best we can. Both Jan and Wendy are doing yeoman
work on the historical aspects of UFOs. More power to them.

 - Dick

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