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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Feb > Feb 21

Re: McGonagle's Ufological Stand

From: Gerald O'Connell <goc.nul>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2011 02:23:26 +0000
Archived: Mon, 21 Feb 2011 08:01:48 -0500
Subject: Re: McGonagle's Ufological Stand

>From: Joe McGonagle <joe.mcgonagle.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2011 20:27:32 +0000
>Subject: Re: McGonagle's Ufological Stand

>>From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
>>To: <post.nul>
>>Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2011 13:46:11 -0400
>>Subject: Re: McGonagle's Ufological Stand


>>So the Bobby went into an altered state of consciousness?

>>What did he walk around in a trance later?

>>Andy Roberts sets the tone.

>>When in doubt come up with the bogus psychological angle. Enter
>>the realm of the witchdoctors. Make the case a metal case.

>>Attack/trash the witness. Mind you this doesn't stop the likes
>>of Andy Roberts and David Clarke from pumping out UFO books. But
>>the documentary people fall happily into this tripe every time
>>as they attempt to 'balance' out the statements by the witnesses
>>- who apparently are mental cases including the police - with a
>>'sober' explanation  which is usually unresearched (enter
>>Roberts) and in this case ridiculous and probably should have
>>been grounds for libel.

>>But this is the kind of drivel that Rimmer and McGonagle buy

>What qualifies you to determine whether or not 'altered states'
>is drivel or that the psychological angle is 'bogus'? I suspect
>that is just your opinion rather than a fact, or are we supposed
>to think that your opinion and fact are in all things identical?

Everybody has opinions, if they didn't then lists like this
wouldn't see many posts. I suspect that Don is every bit as
formally unqualified to pronounce on altered psychological
states as is Andy Roberts. Does that matter? Of course not, Joe.
This is a discussion, not a court of law.

What is sloppy and unjustified is to attribute an anomalous
event to an altered psychological state without considering
whether the event itself might have been the cause of the
altered psychological state.

Because the witness said 'at first I thought it was a bus'
Roberts seizes on this as the 'real' event and posits an altered
psychological state as the explanation for the
misidentification. But this sequence of events (apparently the
witness's one and only total loss of all grip on reality) has no
more prima facie probability than his having seen something
shockingly anomalous, initially struggled to classify it in
terms of everyday reality and then being forced to try to come
to terms with its anomalous nature. If he did experience an
altered psychological state then we have no evidence as to its
cause, and no reason to rule out its having been caused by an
objective, real, anomalous event.

When discussing the probity and significance of witness accounts
it is all too easy to discount the impact of shock on the human
mind. An event that suddenly, unexpectedly and radically
undermines the witness's ordered world-view and sense of reality
can have an enormous and instant psychological impact. It should
not be surprising, therefore, if some witness accounts, in
certain circumstances, are inconsistent or garbled. This doesn't
justify an assumption that the witness's confusion is somehow
the cause of the reported anomaly.

In addition to writing about UFOs Andy Roberts has also
published a book about LSD. Perhaps his detailed researches into
the latter have coloured his views on the applicability of
altered psychological states to the former. 'Transference' is, I
believe, the technical term for the process...


Gerald O'Connell

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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