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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 26

Re: Abductions & Ufology

From: Amy Hebert <yellowrose129.nul>
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 21:57:46 -0600
Archived: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 09:27:51 -0500
Subject: Re: Abductions & Ufology


>From: Greg Sandow <greg.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002 16:58:08 -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

<snip>

Please excuse me for jumping in, Gentlemen, but I can only
participate in discussions when I have the time and it's my turn
on the computer - teenage kids out of school for the holidays.
(yeeha)

>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.

There have been many psychological studies both for and against
the psychopathology of claimed abductees over the years.
However, there are no psychological studies that can first
_prove_ each person who claims to be an abductee is, indeed, an
abductee. Therefore, until tests/surveys/studies that can
definitively sort genuine abductees from non-abductees are
designed and applied, any study in reference to abductees based
only on a sample of individuals who 'claim' to have been
abducted must be considered valid only in reference to
individuals who claim to have been abducted and not applicable
to the abductee population as a whole (according to the
definition of "abductee" used in the study/test/survey). This is
why I refer to any individual claiming to be an abductee as a
"claimed abductee". Until claims can be validated, I leave the
door open to further evidence.

Furthermore, results, conclusions, statistics derived from any
study/test/survey are only valid in reference to the sample
population included in the study/test/survey. Since there is yet
no scientific method for separating the genuine abductees from
those who claim to have been abducted but where not abducted,
all studies/tests/surveys past and present must be considered as
based on a probable mix of both abductees and non-abductees.
This means we only have information about the incidence of
psychopathology among individuals who _claim_ to have been
abducted.

In addition, the absence of significant psychopathology does not
mean the individual does not suffer from other, less severe,
forms of psychopathology. A large portion of the human
population suffers from some form of chronic or acute
psychological distress. It is quite common for an individual who
seems to be "normal" to suffer from minor forms of mental
illness. Again, any study/test/survey is only valid for the
symptoms referenced and cannot be generalized to all forms of
psychopathology. This works both in favor and against studies
about claimed abductees.

And although psychological tests/surveys are designed to prevent
subjects from creating a false profile, they are not infallible.
There are many sane criminals in mental institutions who knew
just what to do and say to convince examiners they were not
responsible for their actions due to mental incompetence (and
many insane criminals on the streets who used the reverse
psychology). Depending on the test/survey administered, many
individuals of average intelligence are quite capable of
redirecting the results. For example, if you know the
test/survey measures fantasy prone characteristics, you might
alter your answers to reflect a disposition towards or against
fabricated realities, depending on your motives.

Psychological profiles of claimed abductees neither prove nor
disprove their claims of having been abducted. Results of
studies/tests/surveys of claimed abductees are only as valid as
the qualifications and _objectivity_ of the examiners,
therapists and/or researchers who administer and/or interpret
the results. Results, conclusions, statistics derived from
studies of claimed abductees can only be generalized to the same
population of individuals who claim to have been abducted but
not necessarily those who have experienced genuine abduction
phenomena. Therefore, we know a little about the personality
profiles of individuals who claim to have been abducted but even
less about the personality profiles of genuine abductees.

>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.

Greg, if the studies/published papers you reference had no
scientific method of validating claims of abduction, then the
results were based on a population sample of claimed abductees
and valid only in reference to the same or similar population.
Same for the data in Mr. Randle's book. As far as I can tell, we
are not talking about genuine abductees but only individuals who
claim to have been abducted - not necessarily the same thing.

>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.

You're not gonna like this but I have yet to find a therapist,
licensed, certified or otherwise, who made any 'real' attempt to
distinguish a genuine abductee from someone who only claimed to
have been abducted but was not. The best any therapist,
investigator or researcher can discern, based on past and
current studies, is the _probability_ someone may or may not
have been abducted. I mean, let's face it, abduction evidence is
few and far between.

Any therapist who treats an individual according to their claims
and in the absence of substantial evidence supporting those
claims, is potentially doing more harm than good. If an
individual claiming to have been abducted but was never abducted
is treated as an abductee by the therapist, the therapy may only
reinforce the individual's delusions. This is much like treating
an individual who claims to be President Kennedy reincarnated as
if he/she actually were President Kennedy reincarnated (unless
there is substantial evidence supporting their claims of being
the reincarnated president). Any therapist worth his or her salt
would know better than to buy into the client's claims and treat
the client, instead, according to their goals for therapy (the
client's goals). Therapy is not research nor is it designed to
prove or disprove an individual's claims.

This is why I stopped providing free counseling for individuals
who claimed to have been abducted and became a researcher
instead. I felt I could not conduct objective research of a
phenomenon and at the same time provide ethical counseling to
those who claimed to have been abducted. Objective research and
ethical counseling do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. In order
to conduct research objectively, the researcher cannot allow
personal bias to interfere with the study. And in order to
provide an ethical basis for counseling, a therapist must also
suspend personal bias in his or her efforts to help an
individual to help themselves. Objectivity and unbiased
professionalism are standards repeatedly emphasized in
institutions that train graduates to become qualified therapists
and researchers. What happens in post graduate life may be
another story.

Greg, whether these therapists have an MSW, M.Ed. (like me), or
a Ph.D., does not make them automatic or qualified authorities
on abduction phenomena. Although I have been studying abduction
phenomena since 1992, I have found the phenomenon involved to be
more complex and more confusing than anything I have ever
imagined (now you know why I am not writing books and rushing
them into publication). I don't think any of us has even begun
to scratch the surface of abduction phenomena and until we do,
any studies, research or therapies can only be considered
preliminary and incomplete.

>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.

Although I, too, am joining this discussion that has been going
on for a while, my experience with claimed abductees and
abduction phenomenon is not limited (whatever that means to
others). I investigated abduction claims for many years,
interviewed dozens of claimed abductees, co-facilitated various
abductee support groups and spent hours upon hours providing
counseling (free of charge) to individuals who claimed to have
been abducted. I knew Dr. Karla Turner (deceased, 1996) as a
good friend and associate, have read all of Dr. Jacobs and Mr.
Hopkins' books (and all the other books) about abduction
phenomena, have met many therapists at conferences, conventions,
lectures and discussed abduction phenomena with them including
those who published their own studies/books about abduction
phenomena.

I have a large file containing materials from my research of
abduction phenomena not to mention my own encounters with
unexplained phenomena I experienced while interviewing and
investigating claimed abuctees. I know there is something going
on with reference to abduction phenomena but it is too slippery
and far too complex to reach any conclusions at this point.
Although I have enough material for several books, I refuse to
publish anything until I have substantial evidence to back it up
and enough evidence to convince _me_ that I know what's going on
(or have a pretty good idea about what's going on).

Because I was trained in scientific methodology (and as a
therapist), I know what to look for in these studies that may
indicate adherence to proper protocol and accurate analyses or
the lack of. Name the study and I will tell you what I found
inadequate about it. Name the therapist/researcher and I will
give you my opinion. But this doesn't mean I know how to conduct
research or therapy better than anyone else. It only means I
recognize the need for improvement and the need for better, more
scientific studies in the future.

I'm not sure how everything fits together but I think abduction
phenomena, UFO phenomena and related phenomena are all part of a
much larger picture than anyone has yet imagined let alone
studied. I also think, based on my studies of CC&D (Camouflage,
Concealment and Deception), the status quo in reference to these
phenomena is being manipulated and maintained to keep us from
asking questions we need to be asking and seeking answers we
need to seek.

Why? Why has UFO and abduction research progressed only this far
in all these years? What is maintaining the status quo? Why has
there been so little progress and so few answers? Could we be
looking in the wrong direction? What are we not seeing?

(IMHO) We need to focus less on who or what may be abducting
people, less on what the abductors say or don't say, do or don't
do, less on information gleaned from claimed abductee encounters
and focus more on the forensics of these encounters. I'm not
saying we should ignore anything, just look beyond the obvious
and above all - be objective in our analyses.

If a researcher, investigator, or therapist _believes_ people
are being abducted, they are not conducting objective research
or analysis. If a researcher, investigator or therapist believes
aliens or the military are responsible for abducting people,
their studies and/or therapies are biased from the beginning and
will probably reach preconceived conclusions and results. In the
same vein, a researcher, investigator or therapist who believes
or concludes abductions are merely due to psychopathology or
sleep paralysis, they cannot conduct objective research or
therapy either.

First, if we are going to study abductees, we must _first_ find
a way to separate the genuine abductees from the non-abductees
or we go back to the status quo. And the only way I know to
discern a genuine abductee from the rest is to find sufficient
evidence to support the individual's claims of having been
abducted (remember, I am speaking as a researcher-investigator
NOT as a therapist). Since what constitutes evidence in
reference to abduction claims seems to vary from one person to
the next, this area needs to be defined and established
according to scientific consensus.

Second, if the abductors, the environments or other elements
involved are physical in any way at any time during an
abduction, we need to focus on obtaining physical evidence that
may be present before, during and after the encounter. The BLT
team has been conducting fascinating experiments but we need to
conduct more studies (using scientific protocol) in this
direction. If the abductors are physical at any time when they
enter the abductee's immediate environment, they may leave some
kinds of physical traces behind. We may not be finding these
traces because we are not looking for them.

If the abductee is physically abducted to an environment that contains
any kinds of physical elements, the abductee's body (internal and
external) may be collecting some of these elements (involuntarily) and
returning with them to their initial environment. This means the
abductee himself or herself may be collecting specimen from the scene
of the abduction (scene of the crime?) that the abductors are not aware
of nor able to prevent. The 'cocktail napkin' we seek may have been
right there under our noses all along...or in/on the abductee's nose,
clothes, hair, arm, leg, etc.

Third, since electronic and battery operated devices often fail to
operate during these types of encounters, we need to focus on devices
that depend on kinetic and other energies to collect evidence
before, during and after an abduction (it can be done).

Fourth, we must conduct more blind, double-blind, triple-blind,
etc. studies/experiments. Whoever or whatever the abductors are
(or are not?), they operate according to systems even we lowly
humans incorporate in our defense and intelligence strategies.
They appear to use stealth and deception tactics on all levels
of their operations from avoiding detection to implanting
confusing and conflicting information (disinformation?) among
their victims. Since we don't know who might be involved in the
overall abduction scenario, researchers and investigators need
to operate as if anyone could be involved and conduct
investigations and studies under the tightest security. Only
those conducting the investigation/study should know the true
design of the operation and should take steps to incorporate
various intelligence strategies of their own into the project
(time for a little payback?).

I'm sorry, my turn on the 'puter is over and I must go.

<snip>

>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.

We don't need to throw the baby out with the bath water but that
water has become murky and needs to be changed. Studies and
investigations conducted to date are the precursors of
tomorrow's research. We learn from past successes and mistakes
and move on. If we focus too closely on what we think we know,
we may not allow for new information floating just beyond our
awareness.

A. Hebert


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