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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2004 > Feb > Feb 10

Re: Review Of Sight Unseen - Sandow

From: Greg Sandow <greg.nul>
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 16:39:43 -0500
Fwd Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 09:46:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Review Of Sight Unseen - Sandow

>From: Nick Pope <nick.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2004 20:10:52 -0000
>Subject: Re: Review Of Sight Unseen

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

Yes, though all from abductees he's worked with. I don't know if
other abduction investigators have reported the same symbols.

I've seen these symbols, and found them pretty staggering. I
agree with Nick Pope (hi, Nick!) that we'd be better off if we
could exclude any possibility of collusion. If, for instance,
abductees in different parts of the world, working with
investigators who don't know each other, reported the same
symbols, I'd agree that the case would be stronger.

I also think Budd's procedure wasn't rigorous enough. When an
abductee reported seeing symbols, he'd ask the abductee to draw
them. At that point, he should have (in my view) not looked at
the drawing himself, but instead asked the abductee to seal it
in an envelope. The envelope, and all others from abductees who
drew symbols, would then be given to some neutral investigator.
Eventually all the envelopes received up to a certain point
would be opened, and the similarity (or lack of it0 between the
symbols could have been judged by a panel of investigators, who
wouldn't even have been told where the symbols came from, or
what the similarity (or lack of it) might mean. They wouldn't
even be told the subject of the investigation - that is, that
it had to do with UFOs.

That's the best way to keep the comparison of the symbols as
impartial as possible.

But now let me say why, as anecdotal evidence, these symbols
struck (as I said) pretty staggering. I first heard of them,
separately, from two abductees who worked with Budd. These
people knew each other, but weren't specially friendly. I'm not
aware that they ever saw each other outside of Budd's very, very
occasional support group meetings.

Both told me very similar stories. They'd remembered seeing
these symbols (actually, in one case, I believe one of the
abductees said she'd drawn them every since she was a child, and
suspected they might have something to do with what she believed
were her abductions). They told Budd about the symbols. Budd
asked them to draw them. When they'd finished, he didn't say
anything. Instead, he left the room, and came back with a
notebook in which were many other drawings abductees had made.
Both of these abductees were amazed, not to say overwhelmed. One
(a man) began crying. It was only at that point, he told me,
that he began to believe that his supposed abductions might
actually have been real.

A good while afterward - it might have been a couple of years -
- I asked Budd if I could see the symbols. By this time, we were
friends. He absolutely refused to show them to me, even though
he trusted me. He wanted them to be secret, so as not to
compromise later abductees who might draw them. (Though as we've
discussed, we have to trust his honesty here, and we can't be
absolutely sure the abductees didn't show the symbols to each

I got a little tough with him. I told him what I already knew,
and told him I could write about it if I wanted to, for
publication somewhere. I also told him - which was my real
point in getting tough - that if he had many samples, there was
no need to keep them confidential any longer. It was time to
show them to the world, and have them studied formally.

He gave in, and showed me the same notebook (he said) that he'd
shown the abductees I'd spoken to. And this was where I was
staggered. There were 14 extensive samples, from 14 people, each
with distinct handwriting. I've promised not to describe the
symbols, so I won't do that here. I can tell you that they were
distinct enough - different, that is, from any other symbols
I've ever seen - so that I'd recognize them instantly again.
Imagine that you'd been reading English all your life, never saw
any other alphabet, and suddenly saw 14 samples of printing in
Hebrew alphabet. That's how distinct and new the symbols were.

Another way I've conveyed how consistent they were is this.
Suppose they were like the dots and dashes of Morse Code. They
weren't anything like that, in actual fact, but suppose they
were. Every one of the 14 samples would have had nothing but
dots and dashes - absolutely nothing else. Not even a single
squiggle, diagonal line, circle, square, or anything else.
Nothing but dots and dashes. That's how consistent the 14
samples of these symbols were. They were all made up of the same
elements (which, by the way, is one way they differed from any
alphabet I know; they were made up of smaller parts, easy to
notice and remember). All of them have these same elements; none
of them had anything that wasn't built from these elements.

Later Budd told me that, in fact, he had 35 samples. He showed
them to me. Same story again - the additional 21 samples were
equally as consistent, both with the original 14 and with each
other. I believe he should publish them, exactly as he says he's
received them. At one point, JUFOS was interested in publishing
a study of the symbols, but it then ceased publication for a
while. I don't know if the project has ever gotten back on

That's what I know about this subject. Anyone who's seen Budd's
notebooks, with the 35 samples of these allegedly remembered
symbols, each in a different handwriting, would have to be
impressed. Even die-hard debunkers (the kind who think
abductees, generally speaking, need psychiatric help, despite
numerous studies to the contrary) would have to grant that if
this is a hoax, it's a fairly monumental one. Unless, of course,
somebody thinks that Budd is hoaxing it.

Which, come to think of it, I suppose somebody might think,
given that on this list we've just had somebody confidently
declare that Budd tells his abductees that they've been
abducted. This somebody, of course, has had about as much
contact with Budd, his abductees, and his methods as I've had
with the Tasmanian royal family (should there be such a thing).
Hardcore UFO skeptics, I really must observe, may be more
regularly guilty of wishful thinking than any other class of
human beings I've ever observed, apart from tiny children.
(Well, some credulous UFO believers can be just as bad.) Just
look at Luis R. Gonzalez, and all his assumptions about
Katharina Wilson, which Katharina - a class act, if ever I've
seen one here - so patiently demolished.

And now Luis jumps - hope once more triumphing over experience
(though he doesn't seem to have processed his experience) - all
over the idea that poor Budd Hopkins may have been fooled by
someone claiming to be an abductee. Ha! says Luis. Didn't those
same people, the same ones saying Budd was fooled, also say that
Budd has reasonable checks on whether abductees are credible.
They're contradicting themselves!!!!!

Except... haven't we known, in other walks of life, reputable,
competent people who sometimes make mistakes? Budd, otherwise
careful, could have made a mistake here. Poor UFO investigators.
I guess they, alone of all humans, have to be completely,
utterly infallible.

Greg Sandow

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