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

Re: Review Of Sight Unseen - Harney

From: John Harney <magonia.nul>
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 22:17:07 -0000
Fwd Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 09:56:43 -0500
Subject: Re: Review Of Sight Unseen - Harney


>From: Stuart Miller <Stuart.Miller4.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2004 18:57:52 -0000
>Subject: Re: Review Of Sight Unseen

>>From: John Harney <magonia.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2004 21:29:44 -0000
>>Subject: Re: Review Of Sight Unseen

>Firstly, thank you for a direct and straight forward reply.
>Appreciated.

>Just a point I missed from your previous reply. There is plenty
>of physical evidence, namely scoop marks on abductees bodies.
>I'm guessing you might argue these are self inflicted or from
>any other source other than an alien abduction?

If someone visited his doctor and asked him to have a look at
his scoop marks, or other strange marks on his skin, the doctor
would presumably tell him what they were and prescribe
appropriate medication if necessary, or if he didn't know what
they were he would probably refer him to a dermatologist. I
don't think it likely that the doctor would explain that the
marks were caused by the Greys who use incredibly crude methods
for obtaining tissue samples - not even if he had read Budd
Hopkins's books.

The point I am trying to make is that in evaluating abduction
reports we should admit that some things are difficult to
explain in conventional terms, but at the same time we must
retain some grip on reality if we hope to be taken seriously. If
we don't expect to be taken seriously but just want to argue
among ourselves or entertain people then I suppose it doesn't
really matter.

>Firstly, it is a little unrealistic of you to wave away
>someone's lifetime work simply because they don't have the
>appropriate accademic accreditation, for that is what you are
>doing with Hopkins.And I seriously doubt he has ever persuaded
>anyone that they have been abducted. I am curious myself as to
>why I find your writing so irritating and I think it is because
>of the dismissive and somewhat haughty tone that is always
>there. You may not believe in abductions and think the whole
>phenomena is something "American",

Probably more South American than North American. Many early
reports came from South America, but the details were rather
different to the stories of the Greys as developed by Hopkins
and Jacobs. The Villas Boas case introduced the idea of
interbreeding with aliens. However, some of the early reports
were of failed attempts at abductions, the aliens being repelled
by shotgun blasts!

>with all that implies, but to
>be as abrupt as you are about this subject is being as unkind to
>abductees as you believe Hopkins and his colleagues are also
>being.

If I seem abrupt I am merely trying to avoid using meaningless
words to avoid getting to the point which is simply, as I have
said, that abductions must be either physical or psychological.
Imagine someone tells you he has bought an expensive new car. If
he takes you for a ride in it then you will know it is a real
one. If he keeps making excuses when you ask to have a look at
it, and you never get to see it, you will soon suspect that it
is imaginary. It would be rather meaningless, though, to say it
might be something in between

>You make mention above that "Some of these people obviously need
>the services of mental health professionals". As you've
>qualified it, what then is the position within your framework of
>those who claim to have been abducted but who, in your opinion,
>don't need psychiatric help? Delusional? Narcisstic? Surely any
>adjective you produce is one inclined to imply the individual
>needs professional help.

If their belief in abductions is disrupting their life and work
then they obviously need help. If such beliefs are not causing
serious problems then this is presumably not necessary. It's just
a matter of common sense. If they think they are being abducted
by aliens then they must be deluded unless they are _really_
being abducted by aliens. That's just simple logic.

>>Either abductions are physical, in which case the military would
>>be dealing with them - which does not seem to be happening - or
>>they are psychological, and treatment of such cases should be
>>left to professionals.

>Well, as you strike out the military option, what's left is that
>all abductees do indeed need help from professionals. As you're
>someone who, as we've already established, seems to hang a great
>deal of weight on a person's accademic qualifications, could you
>advise what your qualifications are that enable you to make such
>a statement with authority? Why should we accept what you say?

As I said above, they need professional help if their belief in
abductions is causing them serious problems. That is surely
obvious enough.

>What would be even worse John would be if you were to tell us
>that you were in the mental health profession yourself. Then
>you'd be guilty of making a diagnosis without even talking to
>the client. If what you are offering is a non professional
>opinion, to which of course you are entitled, then it behoves
>you to make that point clear and not present your thoughts as a
>done deal.

I'm not making a diagnosis, I'm just employing logic and common
sense. It's quite normal for people who have various delusions
to have professional treatment, and unless UFO abductions are
physically real events, then they must be delusions. I don't see
how one can wriggle out of it. If diagnoses are to be made they
should be made by mental health professionals, not by me or you
or Budd Hopkins.

>>I don't aim barbs at those who claim to have been abducted - I
>>am concerned about those who exploit them, by sensationalising
>>their accounts and claiming that abductions are physically real.

>But on that basis John, The Lancet and the rest of them may as
>well pack up and shut down if you remove from them the right,
>with the client/patient's permission, for contributors to review
>unusual or interesting cases. I suspect it's just in the case of
>abductions that you would prefer this to be the reality.

The doctors who write in The Lancet do not generally indulge in
fantastic speculations as to the causes of their patients'
illnesses.

>>There are many on this list who take a very indulgent attitude
>>to such people, but are constantly moaning that mainstream
>>science doesn't take ufology seriously.

>Let me fill in the blanks. This is because this is a serious
>List filled with serious and intelligent people and there should
>be no room here for nonsensical gibberish like talk of
>abductions. Can I suggest you visit the Virtually Strange Home
>page? Unless someone has held a gun to Errol's head, it would
>seem that the List Moderator and Site owner doesn't feel the
>same way. Would you like to be the one to tell him he needs
>professional help? Best of luck.

I would never presume to tell Errol what to allow on this List;
that would obviously be ridiculous.

>>I don't know what your problem with Magonia is. No one is forced
>>to read it. Those who don't like it can read the glossy UFO mags
>>instead, with their exciting stories about the latest cover-up
>>conspiracies, developments in anti-gravity propulsion, how the
>>space people built the Pyramids, and other such garbage.

>Unquestionably John, the tone and laguage in my previous posts
>to you neither served me well nor was appropriate for this List,
>and I apologise for that. But by way of an extremely small
>excuse for my reaction, this last paragraph just about sums it
>up. Your level of intollerance beggars belief. Do you have any
>respect for other people's ideas and beliefs if they don't
>corrspond with yours? Everything is dismissed, just like that. A
>wave of the hand, the chain is pulled, and it's all flushed
>away. I'm curious to ask just what exactly you do believe in in
>relation to the principal subject matter of this List?

I am not the only one on this List to be dismissing a great deal
of what passes for "ufology". There have been many posts
recently complaining of pseudo-scientific nonsense and crazy UFO
conferences. I realise that many people find this sort of stuff
entertaining, and they want to believe in it, or at least to
achieve a pleasant suspension of disbelief. Personally I find
wild speculation and downright lies masquerading as science or
scholarship profoundly irritating.


John Harney



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