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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Jun > Jun 12

Re: Alien Museum On Alien Abduction Case

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2011 15:15:24 -0500
Archived: Sun, 12 Jun 2011 05:25:48 -0400
Subject: Re: Alien Museum On Alien Abduction Case

>From: Kathy Kasten <catraja.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2011 18:15:47 +0000
>Subject: Re: Alien Museum On Alien Abduction Case

>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: <post.nul>
>>Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2011 10:32:48 -0500
>>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

>I read parts of a previous post of a report from NICAP. As I
>read the transcript, looking for the evidence, all I found was
>testimony. Testimony is very different from evidence.

Just brilliant, Kathy. I guess that's why the so-called evidence
for all lightning is so worthless. It's all testimonial,
therefore not worth the respect of the Kathy Kastens of this
world. Thus, you had better straighten out somebody like the
Australian plasma physicist John Lowke, a BL authority who told
Scientific American - which did not dispute his words or his
reasoning - that there is "no question" of BL's existence. And
why is that, Doc? Because "I have talked to six eyewitnesses of
the phenomenon and think there is no reasonable doubt as to the
authenticity of their observations. Furthermore, the reports are
all remarkably similar and have common features with the
hundreds of observations that appear in the literature."

I am reminded of a recent remark by the prominent academic
sociologist Jeffrey Kripal, who said something to the effect
that when one is reduced to dismissing all testimony to
anomalous experience as "anecdotal" and pretending that one is
actually _saying something_ by that, one has reached the level
of low comedy.

It's sort of the last, desperate refuge of the denier, and it's
been refuted pretty conclusively in, for one, David J. Hufford's
important and influential work, which you haven't read. The very
fact that skeptics rather more serious than you have felt the
need to go to great lengths to refute testimonial evidence tells
you that they know perfectly well its potential value as
evidence. Even on this List, moreover - I take it you haven't
noticed - we've seen instances in which skeptics have used
testimonial evidence _to advance skeptical interpretations of

Beyond the consideration that in the history of science (and
law, history, psychology, and virtually all human endeavor)
testimonial evidence has repeatedly demonstrated value
(including the scientific kind), you simply pretend - or, worse,
may believe on some level - that no instrumented or physical
evidence for UFOs exists. And if you believe that, you shouldn't
be here because you don't know what you're talking about, you're
making yourself look very foolish, and you're wasting all our

>It looks
>like early in the search from answers, some very smart people
>who knew the difference but wanted their case to carry weight,
>used the term evidence when in fact they were cataloging
>testimonies. Nowhere, I mean exactly nowhere, has there ever
>been evidence.

This is drivel, or maybe - I'll be charitable - just a failed
attempt at humor.

To me the mystery, possibly rivaling the mystery of UFOs
themselves, is why you're on this List. You don't know much
about UFOs, seem never to have read anything of consequence,
can't cite anything in the literature, have no idea why
ufologists - and not just ufologists - continue to find the best
UFO reports puzzling. Besides that, you have never published any
sustained argument in the literature (that's because, I suspect,
you can't argue one and you know it). When challenged, you
simply repeat the same spurious claims. Sorry, Kathy, but when
Orwell declared that ignorance is strength, he wasn't offering
you support; he was being deeply sarcastic.

You haven't followed the scientific controversy or the arguments
about the significance of the available evidence - whose
existence, whatever one makes of it, no serious observer
disputes; that's why there's that thing that some folks call
"the UFO controversy," still fought after all these years. Whole
books, some of them pretty good, have been written about it.
Many would-be debunkers (e.g., Blue Book, Condon, Klass et al.)
have grappled with it, and fallen into big trouble. So far that
evidence has managed to persuade not-insubstantial collection of
scientists and official bodies around the world, as you would
know if you bothered to read the literature. You can't deal with
the evidence by pretending it isn't there. As all sensible
skeptics know, you have to engage it.

Instead, you would have us believe - forgetting that all of us
here know better - that UFOs are some invention of what you
ridiculously persist in calling "the community" (exposing, by
the way, your failure to grasp the complex social history of the
various, often conflicting cultures that those who follow UFO
matters have comprised since around 1950) and that everybody
else knows better. Especially you. And you don't know much at

I notice that you don't even mention the RB-47 case or other
radar/visuals or CE2s. I don't blame you. If I were in your
position, I'd pretend they weren't there, too. Always easier to
keep the hands waving than to put the brain in gear.

Save it for the rubes, Kathy. You've come to the wrong place.
For all our disagreements, we are actually informed here. We're
still thinking. We still have the capacity to acknowledge what
we don't know.

Out of time and patience,

Jerry Clark

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



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