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Re: Alien Museum On Alien Abduction Case

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2011 10:32:48 -0500
Archived: Sat, 11 Jun 2011 12:15:20 -0400
Subject: Re: Alien Museum On Alien Abduction Case

>From: Kathy Kasten <catraja.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 18:15:45 +0000
>Subject: Re: Alien Museum On Alien Abduction Case

>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: <post.nul>
>>Date: Fri, 10 Jun 2011 08:12:36 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Alien Museum On Alien Abduction Case


>>Writing about puzzling first-person testimony to one variety of
>>experience anomaly (worldwide fairy encounters), the folklorists
>>Lizanne Henderson and Edward J. Cowan remark, "It should be
>>possible to believe one's informants without believing their
>>explanations" - by which they mean, it needs to be stressed,
>>nothing reductive. Such experiences of the ostensibly
>>supernatural (or, if you prefer, extraordinarily anomalous) can
>>be sustained, complex, and extremely hard to explain, either
>>literally or prosaically. They occur in what has been called
>>liminal space, partly objective, partly subjective, a kind of
>>Third Kingdom that mocks our lazy notion that either things are
>>or they aren't. By their nature we can neither prove nor
>>disprove them. They exist - often vividly - in experience,
>>and experience alone.


>In a sense, experience anomalies are dreams transplanted into
>the world - and by that I mean nothing reductive. I mean a
>crude analogy, not a psychological (non)explanation. I mean a
>class of common human experiences we don't understand at all,
>next to which visiting ETs seem barely extraordinary at all.

>It would appear we agree on a possible definition of the
>phenomena. However, I have decided, after years of thinking
>about it, so-called ET craft is another aspect of highly bizarre
>events. Without the hard evidence of an actual nuts and bolts
>craft, I lean toward a more psychological explanation. Or, some
>not understood phenomena affecting the neurological environment
>of human perception.

In common with so many who look (even when not very carefully)
at UFO data, you're making a fundamental category error. You
insist in the face of solid reason to the contrary that
ostensible UFOs are either one thing (in your case, along with
the usual debunking suspects, unfortunately, some nebulous
"psychological" phenomenon which has repeatedly been found
wanting even for experience anomalies) or all visitors from
elsewhere in the physical universe.

The "hard evidence" of which you're unaware exists, of course,
in abundance, which is why I mentioned the RB-47 case as one
good example. Brad Sparks, among the leading researchers of this
complex and crucial incident and author of the primary
investigative reconstruction and analysis, has characterized it
on its own as settling the case for a physical, anomalous,
technological UFO phenomenon. Nobody has come close to mounting
any argument to the contrary.

The sort of category I propose - the experience anomaly - does
not explain CE2s and radar/visuals, which is why the discussion
about possible (or, arguably, given advancements in exobiology
and planetary astronomy, likely) ET visitors has to be focused
elsewhere - not, for example, in abduction narratives, however
puzzling they may be. Eddie Bullard - whose writings on the
abduction phenomenon you really need to read - makes the same
point in a paper to appear in IUR. The RB47s and their like are
the event anomalies.

The experience anomaly - the high-strangeness correlate to the
hard evidence - is almost surely in a separate category. Unlike
the CE2s and the r/vs, it cannot be demonstrated to have
occurred in consensus reality, but it is extraordinary and
vivid, and it is not an uncommon human experience. It, too,
resists lazy psychological (non)explanations or other ill-
conceived efforts to push the dust under the rug and out of
sight. It may resist _any_ explanation imaginable in current

As to the causes of such things, the only defensible answer is
also the most modest one. It's the one every student of such
anomalies - whether ufologist or anomalist or psychologist or
anthropologist or folklorist or scholar of religion - comes to:
we don't know because such phenomena are occurring outside
recognized categories. In this one area, literal and prosaic
explanations arrive at the same place: nowhere. We do learn,
though, a useful lesson: how intolerant so many of our fellows
are of ambiguity.

Jerry Clark

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



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