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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abduction  (Read 48033 times)
drwu23
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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #360 on: Apr 13th, 2015, 3:47pm »

on Apr 11th, 2015, 3:08pm, DrDil wrote:
I recently posted something about, “Culture-Bound Syndromes” by Steve Mizrach which I think puts an interesting new spin on the Psychosocial Hypothesis (PSH).

Mizrach suggests that whilst an abduction experience is temporarily dissociative (i.e. the person's normative identity is disrupted) but that this involves a voluntary act of dissociation similar to the hypnotoform trance that is witnessed in ceremonial possession rituals. These rituals are already widely recognized as therapeutic and that the subjects give themselves over voluntarily and its even argued it’s an improvement on more traditional methodology, for example when verbally trying to express one’s unconscious self on an analysts couch as it’s argued that the ‘possession’ is a psychotherapeutic technique for working through one’s problems via a dramatic interaction with people who are the significant others in the subjects life.

It’s also worth noting that the possession rituals that are referred to are a well-documented phenomenon and have been subjected to significant academic research, anyhoo, here’s a snippet:



Full post is here.

Whilst this isn’t intended to be a catch-all theory (by a long shot) I thought it provided an interesting and more specific alternative to the all-encompassing PSH, which truth be known I've found to be guilty of over-generalising multiple reports to the point of insignificance by ignoring case-specific elements (and by doing so ultimately detracting from the relevance that the PSH could otherwise offer).

Food for thought if nothing else…



Cheers.


Thanks for the link to the article on 'Culture Bound Syndromes'...this connected to the PSH can certainly account for a large percentage of ufo events of several types.
If you havent read it I suggest Grand Illusions by Greg Little. While he approaches it from Jungian archetypes it expresses several similar ideas.
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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #361 on: May 16th, 2015, 11:58am »

on May 15th, 2015, 8:31pm, jjflash wrote:
Dr. D. Ellen K. Tarr of Project Core has posted a rather detailed analysis of methodologies employed by FREE (The Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters), particularly concerning the group's statements about its surveys. Her commentary was posted at fellow Core team member Jeff Ritzmann's Paranormal Waypoint.

Dr. Tarr considers the manners the FREE survey questions are constructed, as well as what keeps such efforts from being scientific, in spite of the frequent claims to the contrary. The immunologist also suggests what researchers can do to improve the situation in her article, 'Commentary on the FREE Experiencer Research Study Preliminary Findings', which I highly recommend:

http://www.paranormalwaypoint.com/commentary-on-the-free-experiencer-research-study-preliminary-findings/

I think it's worthy of noting that Tarr and her Project Core colleague, microbiologist Dr. Tyler Kokjohn, have demonstrated a willingness to participate in ufology and weigh circumstances with an open mind. I interpret that does not mean, however, that they will accept substandard work without critical comment or believe every fish story without question. This is a shot of B12 for ufology, in my opinion, and a whole lot more of it is needed.

Learn more about the Project Core group, its perspectives and Tarr's willingness to consider the paranormal by listening to Jeremy Vaeni's 'The Experience' podcast on Whitley Strieber's Unknown Country website:

http://www.unknowncountry.com/experience/latest


Additional objective, critical review of investigation of alleged alien abduction could include considerations of an article published in January of 2015 by the Association for Psychological Science. 'People Can Be Convinced They Committed a Crime That Never Happened' reports on a study in which research subjects were surprisingly easily led to construct memories and narrations of events that never actually happened yet the subjects nonetheless believed to be true.

https://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/people-can-be-convinced-they-committed-a-crime-they-dont-remember.html

The implications to investigators of alien abduction (and UFOs, for that matter) should be obvious enough. The study concluded that wording of questions is key, as are the manners the questions are presented and explored.

“All participants need to generate a richly detailed false memory is 3 hours in a friendly interview environment, where the interviewer introduces a few wrong details and uses poor memory-retrieval techniques,” psychological scientist Julia Shaw reported.

My point is that qualified professionals should be consulted for purposes of creating and interpreting surveys, interviewing witnesses and similar investigative activities. Additionally, resulting narratives and suppositions have to be independently corroborated to be accepted as indicative of objective reality, particularly when the investigators are not trained professionals in the first place.
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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #362 on: May 16th, 2015, 12:30pm »

I was wondering, can a psychiatrist who does not believe in aliens fairly conduct an examination of some one claiming alien abduction. Or will he/she always be saying, maybe subconsciously ' this person is a fraud, aliens don't exist. What is the real story here?'

And conversely a psychiatrist who believes in aliens may be biased into accepting the purported abductee's story even if it isn't a very convincing one. Simply because it reenforces his/her belief.

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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #363 on: May 17th, 2015, 11:09am »

on May 16th, 2015, 12:30pm, INT21 wrote:
I was wondering, can a psychiatrist who does not believe in aliens fairly conduct an examination of some one claiming alien abduction. Or will he/she always be saying, maybe subconsciously ' this person is a fraud, aliens don't exist. What is the real story here?'

And conversely a psychiatrist who believes in aliens may be biased into accepting the purported abductee's story even if it isn't a very convincing one. Simply because it reenforces his/her belief.

HAL
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The ideal situation would be to have a neutral investigator, but that's not easy since most of us have a bias one way or the other even if we won't admit it.
Dr Mack (now deceased) claims he went into it with no bias and wrote two books on the subject of alien 'abductions'. His conclusions were that the people he used in his study did not have any classical psychological disorders but yet they believed they had encounters with aliens or some unknown entities. His books are an interesting read. But he was fooled by one lady/undercover agent who pretended to be an abductee and she managed to get into his study. Mack did not figure out that she was a fraud and was there to trip him up.......so does that negate all of his work then?
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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #364 on: May 18th, 2015, 7:38pm »

on May 16th, 2015, 12:30pm, INT21 wrote:
I was wondering, can a psychiatrist who does not believe in aliens fairly conduct an examination of some one claiming alien abduction. Or will he/she always be saying, maybe subconsciously ' this person is a fraud, aliens don't exist. What is the real story here?'

And conversely a psychiatrist who believes in aliens may be biased into accepting the purported abductee's story even if it isn't a very convincing one. Simply because it reenforces his/her belief.

HAL
INT21


My psychiatrist is only on one end of the spectrum (He does not believe in aliens...visiting this planet anyhow). I wish I had access to one that was at least open to the idea. He believes my belief in aliens is delusional and that the contacts I have had with them are simply hallucinations. I don't think he is right, but I also realize I could be wrong. I just don't believe that I am wrong. I try to be open minded. So I continue to see the psychiatrist.

I can see what you are talking about in any case. It seems that they might be bias either way. Instead of taking an honest middle ground.
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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #365 on: May 27th, 2015, 8:42pm »

Robert Sheaffer at 'Bad UFOs' shares some ufology history and questions several aspects of both the Hill alleged alien abduction and the actions of those who promoted it:

Betty Hill’s Last Hurrah – A Secret UFO Symposium in New Hampshire
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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #366 on: May 28th, 2015, 11:45am »

on May 27th, 2015, 8:42pm, jjflash wrote:
Robert Sheaffer at 'Bad UFOs' shares some ufology history and questions several aspects of both the Hill alleged alien abduction and the actions of those who promoted it:

Betty Hill’s Last Hurrah – A Secret UFO Symposium in New Hampshire




Looking forward to reading that article when I get home from running some errands.
btw...there is an interesting short section in Dr Vallee's Forbidden Science regarding the Hill case and later contact he had with Betty . I'm going to reread that also and post any connections to the article you linked.
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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #367 on: May 28th, 2015, 8:20pm »

on May 28th, 2015, 11:45am, drwu23 wrote:
Looking forward to reading that article when I get home from running some errands.
btw...there is an interesting short section in Dr Vallee's Forbidden Science regarding the Hill case and later contact he had with Betty . I'm going to reread that also and post any connections to the article you linked.


Thanks, Doc. Let me know if you find anything interesting.

And speaking of Dr. Vallee, looks like he was out and about again:

http://ufocasebook.conforums.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=interviews&num=1223924966&start=45#1432862258
« Last Edit: May 28th, 2015, 8:21pm by jjflash » User IP Logged

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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #368 on: May 28th, 2015, 10:27pm »

on May 28th, 2015, 8:20pm, jjflash wrote:
Thanks, Doc. Let me know if you find anything interesting.

And speaking of Dr. Vallee, looks like he was out and about again:

http://ufocasebook.conforums.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=interviews&num=1223924966&start=45#1432862258

Thanks for the Vallee interview.

Haven't had a chance to find that piece in my Vallee book but did read your article. Nothing new there ,,,no surprise I suppose.
I did read Friedman's book that came out a few years back about Hill. What I found interesting about it was the stuff about the 'paranormal experiences' she claimed she had weeks , months , and years after her 'abduction'. What's that all about...?
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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #369 on: May 28th, 2015, 11:11pm »

on May 28th, 2015, 10:27pm, drwu23 wrote:
Thanks for the Vallee interview.

Haven't had a chance to find that piece in my Vallee book but did read your article. Nothing new there ,,,no surprise I suppose.
I did read Friedman's book that came out a few years back about Hill. What I found interesting about it was the stuff about the 'paranormal experiences' she claimed she had weeks , months , and years after her 'abduction'. What's that all about...?


I interpreted that Robert Sheaffer (in his recent post about the meeting of Betty and researchers in New Hampshire) was suggesting that Betty was clearly struggling to discern actuality. While that may or may not have anything to do with events of 1961, I strongly suspect Sheaffer's interpretation was reasonably correct.

I also thought his post was interesting in that it suggested the researchers in attendance, who previously supported the possibility the Hill case was an alien abduction, were very disappointed in observing Betty's behavior combined with the overall lack of valid evidence. Sheaffer went as far as to suggest that the event and its publication were initially planned as a means to further validate the case, but given the fact it actually cast more doubt on it, the non-disclosure agreement remained in place for longer than originally expected. I also tend to believe that is correct because we have all observed researchers, particularly those trying to cast alleged abductions in a positive light, exaggerate and lie through omission.

I'm not claiming I know what did or did not happen to the Hills in 1961. I realize she is a well liked personality, and I may very well have admired and respected her myself had I known her - but none of that means she interacted with aliens, much less repeatedly. I think we end up the same place with this case that so many other cases lead us: It is unreasonable for so-called investigators to expect people to accept their conclusions, particularly when they are absolutely extraordinary, when they have no proof to support those conclusions.

A person can suppose or even believe anything they want, but if they expect others to agree, proof is in order. Otherwise, it's just unreasonable.
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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #370 on: May 29th, 2015, 07:16am »

JACK,

TO WIT:

"I also tend to believe that is correct because we have all observed researchers, particularly those trying to cast alleged abductions in a positive light, exaggerate and lie through omission."

OH THOSE PESKY OMISSIONS...

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NEVERTHELESS ~ THERE IS A FURTHER CONCERN OF CONTINUED/POTENTIAL DIVISIVENESS WITHIN THE UFOLOGICAL COMMUNITY ~ IMHO ~ BRINGING SUNSHINE TO >>> OMISSIONS <<< IS INDEED THE PRACTICAL/PRUDENT VETTING PROCESS ~ CONSEQUENTLY, RESEARCH WHICH DETAILS A SPECIFIC BUSINESS PLAN FOR EXPLOITATION ~ WELL ~ ONE MUST PEER INTO THOSE BLURRED LINES ~ WITHOUT REPRESSING OTHER RESEARCHERS WHOM MAY HAVE...EVIDENCE OF THE UNKNOWN!

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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #371 on: May 29th, 2015, 09:12am »

on May 28th, 2015, 11:11pm, jjflash wrote:
I interpreted that Robert Sheaffer (in his recent post about the meeting of Betty and researchers in New Hampshire) was suggesting that Betty was clearly struggling to discern actuality. While that may or may not have anything to do with events of 1961, I strongly suspect Sheaffer's interpretation was reasonably correct.

I also thought his post was interesting in that it suggested the researchers in attendance, who previously supported the possibility the Hill case was an alien abduction, were very disappointed in observing Betty's behavior combined with the overall lack of valid evidence. Sheaffer went as far as to suggest that the event and its publication were initially planned as a means to further validate the case, but given the fact it actually cast more doubt on it, the non-disclosure agreement remained in place for longer than originally expected. I also tend to believe that is correct because we have all observed researchers, particularly those trying to cast alleged abductions in a positive light, exaggerate and lie through omission.

I'm not claiming I know what did or did not happen to the Hills in 1961. I realize she is a well liked personality, and I may very well have admired and respected her myself had I known her - but none of that means she interacted with aliens, much less repeatedly. I think we end up the same place with this case that so many other cases lead us: It is unreasonable for so-called investigators to expect people to accept their conclusions, particularly when they are absolutely extraordinary, when they have no proof to support those conclusions.

A person can suppose or even believe anything they want, but if they expect others to agree, proof is in order. Otherwise, it's just unreasonable.


Finally reread the short section in Vallee's book Forbidden Science . In the summer of 1967 ( June) , almost 6 years after the Hill's 'abduction' event, Betty who had claimed she was in contact with the aliens for years since the event, agreed to have an event experience to call the ufos to them on her property (she claimed she was now a 'transducer'...). Dr Vallee and his wife were invited, Dr Simon, John Fuller, Bob Hohmann and of course Betty and Barney.
After many hours battling mosquitos and muggy weather they ended the vigil with no ufos appearing. But in the community her and her sister were known to have frequent 'visits' by 'ufos'. Allegedly others in the town claimed to also see ufos and it became something of a status symbol in the area if you had seen any.
An interesting fact came up in the short section in that Janet, Betty's sister, also has had ufo sightings going back to 1957. Vallee did not elaborate on this .

It's obvious from reading the Friedman /Marsden book that Betty became obsessed with the ufo phenom and related paranormal events up until her death.
Some other additional facts:
Dr Simon did not see and hypnotize the Hill's until 2 years after the event.
He remains certain that the event is part of their reality but does not say he believes they were literally abducted.
Dr Vallee says he thinks something odd did happen to them but is not convinced it was a space ship with aliens.
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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #372 on: May 29th, 2015, 12:03pm »

Thanks, drwu23. I agree that the points you bring up are potentially important.

I particularly think the lapse between the date of the alleged event and the point the Hills sought treatment for trauma with Dr. Simon is relevant for a lot of reasons. Just one of those reasons is that people in the 'community' tend to discuss details of the alleged encounter as if those details are a base point and we should begin investigating from there. The fact of the matter, though, is that many of those supposed details were not even put forth until years after the date in question.

In other words, we don't actually know what took place, we only know what the Hills said during trauma-treatment long after the fact. Nonetheless, the story is often recounted by writers and 'investigators' in a supposedly chronological order that does not reflect the time line of many of those details actually begins with statements in Simon's office, not events on a New England highway. I agree with you that is relevant.
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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #373 on: May 29th, 2015, 12:32pm »

ZETAR,

I think it's quite a stretch to suggest the MIT work Crystal posted carries implications to legitimizing hypnotic regression and the fantastic claims put forth by some investigators. I'll explain, please.

If I am understanding the MIT work correctly, they used proteins to block what they suspect helps mice form and recollect memories. They then implemented a technique they suspected would counter the induced amnesia, which their preliminary research indicated worked.

I would assert that has extremely little to do with the process of retrieving complex human memories via such techniques as hypnosis. Psychologist and memory expert Dr. Elizabeth Loftus directly addressed such circumstances in a 1996 paper in which she reported there was no cogent scientific support indicating that forgotten experiences or suppressed memories could consistently be recalled through the use of special techniques, or that such techniques provided reliable results.

In more recent times, Loftus was invited to speak at a classified CIA Tedx event. Although the details are not currently available for public review, I suspect it had to do with her renowned expertise on memory, as well as her recently published research about sleep deprivation and false memories, which carries a lot of implications to witness confessions, interrogation techniques and similar circumstances (including in this context, of course, investigating so-called abductions).

In the event you're not aware of it, I'd also strongly recommend taking a look at an article published earlier this year by the Association for Psychological Science, 'People Can Be Convinced They Committed a Crime That Never Happened'. All participants needed to generate a richly detailed false memory, researchers found, was three hours in a friendly interview environment, the introduction of a few wrong details and the use of some poor memory retrieval techniques. That should ring some bells to the UFO community.

But I think an even bigger point is that our debate is skirting the fringe of the overlying and more important question: Where is the alien?

Inferences are made about studies using mice because there is no proof of alien abduction. See what I'm saying?

It's really going to always keep coming back to trying to substitute satellite arguments for the direct point of lacking proof of alien abduction. Until a time in which such proof can be presented, the rest of it is debating other issues that arguably serve as a means to detract from the actual lack of evidence of the primary point, alleged alien abduction.
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xx Re: Critical Analysis of Research of Alien Abducti
« Reply #374 on: May 29th, 2015, 1:15pm »

JACK,

TO WIT:

"ZETAR,

I think it's quite a stretch to suggest the MIT work Crystal posted carries implications to legitimizing hypnotic regression and the fantastic claims put forth by some investigators."

MERELY AN HYPOTHESIS MY FRIEND ~ MY PATTERN RECOGNITION LOOKS AT...

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