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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 25

Re: Abductions & Ufology

From: Greg Sandow <greg.nul>
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 16:58:08 -0500
Archived: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 08:57:09 -0500
Subject: Re: Abductions & Ufology


>From: Jan Aldrich <project1947.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>Subject: Re: Abductions & Ufology
>Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 8:57:44 -0500

>Greg, here is the problem right here. You snipped out everything else
>I said and aimed at this one item.

Jan, I'm happy to address all your points. The first was by far
the strongest, in my view, and so I used it to represent
everything you said, especially since my answers to all of them
are somewhat the same.I should have said this, though, to
explain why I only answered your first point. You're entirely
justified in asking for a fuller response.

So here goes:

>>1. Some 'abductees' have deep problems, and they need help from mental
>>health professionals. I have letters from a very intelligent woman who

>>apparently is also member of upper society, and who has serious mental

>>problems. Her story is that the Aliens and the Communists are chasing
>>her and have been since her husband, a newspaper publisher, died. She
>>now rides buses up and down the East Coast never staying in one place
>>for more than a few months. She sends letters from a variety of
>>places, a beauty salon, a diner, a laundromat and receives answers at
>>such places.

As I said in my earlier answer, "some" isn't very useful or
informative. Do you think the number is large enough to make
abduction research itself questionable? And if so, how do you
know that?

That last is an important question, because - as I also said in
my previous reply - several psychological studies of abductees
have been published. All of them showed that the abductees
studied had no significant psychopathology. That is, they
weren't mentally or emotionally disturbed.

Kevin Randle, I should add, reports otherwise in his abduction
book, but the data he and his collaborators report is, at this
point, fairly informal. It's not fully quantified, and the
research methods aren't clearly stated. I have to regard the
results as provisional, until they're put on the same scientific
basis as the results of the published papers I've mentioned.

The first of these studies was done way back in the '70s, by the
way, so it's not as we're talking about anything new.

Plus, as Dick Hall pointed out, many therapists have worked with
abductees. Really a large number. Some abduction researchers,
moreover, _are_ therapists. And so are some abductees. I
personally know one abductee who's a therapist, and three non-
abductee therapists who've worked with abductees. One of these
three is a recently minted MSW, though a very smart, grounded
guy; the other two are senior professionals. It's worth noting,
too, that there's a therapist in Washington, DC - Dick, help me
here - who works with abductees. He's not an abduction
researcher, and I don't know what he believes about the
abduction phenomenon. What he does, as I've read, is help
abductees in a non-judgmental way with whatever anxiety their
abduction memories may cause.

If a large number of abductees had mental problems, you'd think
these many therapists would - during more than 30 years of
abduction research - have detected them. So, Jan, when you say

>Quite
>honestly, I don't know how many people are like this woman,  but my
>limited  experience indicate that there are significant numbers like
>that not the majority, not a huge minority but still significant.

your experience really _is_ limited. You're joining a discussion
that's been going on for quite a while. If you think the
published studies aren't adequate, I'd be interested to know
why. Likewise, if you think the therapists who've work with
abductees aren't qualified, or have done a bad job, I'd be happy
to know your reasons.

>>2. Some 'abductees' have stories which are very similar to child sex
>>abuse stories. They are tortured or used sexually by entities who have
>>almost complete power over them.

Well, once again, many competent therapists have worked with
abductees, for many years. If any large number of these
abductees were denying memories of sexual abuse, surely this
would have surfaced by now. And again, you're joining a
discussion that's been going on for some time, since the
question you raise has been raised before.

I'd also caution against raising an alarm about the possibility
that any large number of abductees are denying histories of
sexual abuse. This is because - as has been widely reported -
 too many people have been encouraged (by credulous therapists)
to uncover false memories of sexual abuse. In fact, the whole
notion of "false memory syndrome" comes from these cases. Jan,
I'm  not lumping you in with these therapists, and certainly not
suggesting you're trying to start a witch hunt. But after what
I've read on this subject, I'm wary of telling any group of
people that they might have suffered sexual abuse, when they
themselves don't think so.

Luckily, the abductees I've known are pretty hard-headed. They
don't jump to believe things about their abductions, and they
probably wouldn't jump to believe they've been sexually abused.

>>3. Some 'abductees' are the voice of the abductors. I call these the
>>"queen bees" that will tell us all there is to know about the aliens.
>>While people hang around listening to every word like recievied
>>wisdom. And, of course, each story gets better than the one before. "I

>>have one abductee who murdered a Grey." "The Greys are getting tired
>>of the Rebel Reptilians! If things do not change, there will be an
>>interstellar war with earth at the center in the next six months!" I
>>didn't make this up, but heard this at the 1996 MUFON Symposium, I
>>promise.

I've heard worse. But so what? We know there are people in the
UFO game who don't have their heads screwed on. We learn to
avoid them in other branches of ufology. We can ignore them when
we deal with abductions.

So the real issue you raise, if you ask me, is which people who
say they're abductees we should take seriously. I'd stick to
abductees who've worked with respectable investigators. Budd
Hopkins, I know, won't work with anyone who comes in spouting
nonsense. And he discourages such talk when it comes up among
the abductees he's already worked with. That doesn't happen
often, by the way, which suggests he does a reasonable job of
weeding out the crazies.

>>4. Some 'abductees' are jumping on the band wagon. I received a letter
>>from a country and western singer. He had a UFO crash story from 1947
>>in Colorado, and, of course, recently he had been abducted. Do you
>>think his stories might help his music career? (I did an extensive
>>search in Colorado for any evidence of unusual activities there during

>>the supposed crash.)

>>My friend took a telephone call from a fellow who wanted to know "all
>>about UFOs" because if he did, then he could be abducted, and then, he

>>could be in book about his abduction, go all over the country
>>lecturing, get on TV and become famous. Hmmm.

If they're jumping on the bandwagon, let them jump. We can
ignore them. In any case, serious investigators don't, as a
rule, work with people who want publicity for their abductions.
Most abductees (of the serious kind, anyway) don't want any
publicity of any kind.

By the way, I don't agree that the singer's stories would help
his career. I know one pop singer with some degree of fame who's
an abductee. She doesn't talk about it publicly. Take it from
me, as a music biz professional: It's hard to make a career in
music, country music included, and the last thing you need is
people thinking you're a nutcase. If we made a list of
celebrities who've talked about being abducted, it wouldn't be
very long. Rosie O'Donnell - who else?

>>5. Finally, there are military or intelligence people going around the
>>country kidnapping, torturing and planting abduction scenarios in
>>people's heads as part of insidious mind control experiments. The
>>popularity of such ideas in the UFO community astounds and disgusts
>>me! The Viet Vietnam war brought out the worst in some in the
>>military. A great deal of soul-searching went into development of
>>senior leaders after this searing national experience. That people of
>>integrity would not step forward and denounce such actions is hard to
>>believe. The proof of such paranoid ideas is thin indeed.

What does this have to do with serious abduction research?
Serious researchers are just as outraged as you are. At the
recent Sci-Fi Channel symposium, the panel was asked about these
alleged military abductions, and Budd's reply was scathing.

To conclude, Jan, I think two of your five points are things
that have been discussed before, the first point for 30 years.
The other three points have nothing to do with abduction
research, at least in my view. And they're nothing new. Crazy
people, as I've said, have gotten involved with UFOs for years.
We know the difference between them and people with serious
sightings.

I do understand that abductions are a slippery subject, and that
even the best abduction researchers haven't always done fully
scientific work. But there's a core of serious research to draw
on, and some reasonably scientific papers on aspects of
abductions (some of them, to pick up something Dick touched on,
in the proceedings of the 1992 abduction conference at MIT).
There's no need to throw the baby out with the bath.


Greg Sandow


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