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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2004 > Feb > Feb 9

Re: Review Of Sight Unseen - Pope

From: Nick Pope <nick.nul>
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2004 20:10:52 -0000
Fwd Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2004 12:24:06 -0500
Subject: Re: Review Of Sight Unseen - Pope


>From: Luis R. Gonzalez <lrgm.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2004 17:25:48 +0100
>Subject: Re: Review Of Sight Unseen

>>From: Nick Pope <nick.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2004 00:56:58 -0000
>>Subject: Re: Review Of Sight Unseen

>>I'm not sure that Budd Hopkins has claimed to have a sure-fire
>>way of checking the veracity of witnesses. What I have heard him
>>say previously is that he has some techniques to smoke out
>>witnesses who are confabulating, or making up stories that they
>>think he wants to hear.

>All this would be perfect if he somehow had calibrated his
>techniques. Unfortunately, even when I asked publicly, I have
>never read any example of an "IFO abduction", if you get what I
>mean.

>I do not trust any UFO investigator who, at least, had not
>discovered after investigation that 50% of his UFO cases are
>IFO. Curiosuly, not a single US abduction researcher has ever
>publicly recognized to have found a trivial explanation for an
>abduction he had spent time investigating.

I think it's much more difficult to make such assessments about
abduction reports. With UFO sightings, a prosaic explanation
will often be obvious, especially if an investigator can
correlate the sighting with known aerial activity. The files of
Project Blue Book and the UK Ministry of Defence's UFO project
suggest that around 95% of UFO sightings can be explained in
conventional terms, or are cases where insufficient data exist
to make a reliable assessment.

I certainly wouldn't dispute that a proportion of abduction
accounts can be explained in terms of mental disorders or
hoaxes. Others are probably attributable to hypnagogic or
hypnopompic hallucinations, or a combination of vivid dreams and
sleep paralysis. Other theories include Lawson and McCall's
birth trauma hypothesis, or the idea that some accounts could be
distorted memories of childhood sexual abuse. But these last two
theories are themselves controversial and unproven.

So let's take a couple of examples. Take a witness who sees a
large, white, slow-moving, cigar-shaped object over a city a few
miles away. An investigator ascertains that at that precise time
and location, a blimp was flying over a football stadium. You
can be virtually certain that you have your explanation. But now
consider a person, with no apparent sign of mental disorder, who
comes to you with a detailed abduction narrative. I think it's
much harder to assess and categorise such cases in the way that
one can do with UFO sightings.

<snip>

>>I acknowledge that this is frustrating for other researchers. A
>>similar debate rages over symbols reported by some abductees.
>>Budd has a large database of such symbols and is often urged to
>>publish the data. But he deliberately withholds this information
>>so that he can use it as a way of cross-checking witness
>>testimony. It would clearly be very interesting if different
>>abductees reported having seen the same symbols, provided Budd
>>could be sure that there had been no collusion. The moment the
>>data are in the public domain, this technique would be invalid.

>Well, one thing is to withhold data as a way of cross-checking,
>and other quite different, to sit on it for many years, without
>ever saying anything. After more than 25 years of
>investigations, surely he should be able to answer a simple
>question:

>Has he ever found at least 3 independent abductees (ideally,
>from 3 different investigators) who describe at least 4
>identical complex symbols?

That's a question for Budd, of course, and I don't know the
answer. I'm guessing he hasn't had convincing evidence of
this, on the basis that if he had, he would presumably say so,
with a view to strengthening his case for the reality of alien
abductions.

However, the problem here is the phrase in my original post:

"provided Budd could be sure that there had been no collusion".

Even if abductees who have apparently had no previous contact
with each other reported having seen similar symbols during an
abduction experience, it isn't possible to be certain that there
has been no collusion. Neither could anyone prove that abductees
reporting symbols had not come across them before, on the
internet, or elsewhere in the public domain.

My guess is that Budd feels the benefits of withholding the data
(so he can check newly-reported symbols against ones in his
files) outweigh the benefits of publishing the database.
Researchers working with abductees will have to make up their
own minds on this tricky issue.

>There are literally thousands of pages of alleged alien
>writings, many of them publicly known, so I am not asking too
>much.

As you say, there's a lot of material on this in the public
domain. A Google search on the phrase "alien symbols" will point
researchers to data on this. Much can be found at the abduct.com
website, where links to several galleries of such symbols can be
accessed from the homepage:

http://www.abduct.com

Best wishes,

Nick Pope




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