1 January 2001

Abduction Watch 1

Abduction Watch 1
August 1997
A Monthly Communication

More Scully Than Mulder - More in Sorrow Than in Anger

In spite of all the promises and assurances of the evangelists of abduction, it looks as though it probably hasn't ever been a physical event. The longer that the implants stay out of the laboratory and in the suitcase of Derrel Sims, or up the nose of Whitley Streiber and a good many others, the longer that the medical evidence to support claims of supposed terminations of pregnancy is not explored, the longer there is no medical investigation of the cause of alleged' cup and scoop marks' and the longer, particularly, that witness accounts depend so heavily on amateur and inappropriate regression and memory enhancement, the more likely it seems that nothing f real' has ever happened. And that nothing ever will.

Which puts the abduction experience in strange but powerful company, in the area of extraordinary personal experience, hitherto usually described in terms of religious belief, spiritual enlightenment, and both eastern and western mysticism. And it puts the abductees in the same personal and psychological place as all those others who genuinely believe in their personal involvement with a non-human intelligence, whether it's Jesus, or the Virgin Mary, a wild creature in-Shamanism, a Circlemaker, a pagan Goddess, an angel, a devil, a spirit, a channelled entity from Zeta Reticuli, or any one of a myriad other potential communicators.

AW's approach is that we are still waiting for the first hard, objective evidence that any single human being, of any age, has ever been so much as physically touched, let alone abducted or examined or bred with, by a single alien being. We are told that the evidence of the spoken word - the assertions of writers and researchers, or the allegedly recalled and recovered "memories" of experients - are enough to make us believe. Writers and researchers who keep their research and investigations secret, who criticise a disinterested and unengaged government for all kinds of imaginary plots and plans, will not answer the simplest questions about their own activities. We are told that Nick Pope was important, that hypnotic regression conducted by non-medical, non-professional, and often unnamed hypnotists is a dependable method of defeating the memory blocks imposed by the aliens. We are told to believe. We are told to conform. The authors who fill many of the pages of most these magazines persuade us, preach to us even - because there are cultic and fundamentalist undertones to much of this - that we are being invaded, infiltrated, assaulted, subverted and victimised by alien races and beings that are beyond our understanding.

In a recent article in The Unopened Files, Tony Dodd, the 'Quest Director of Investigations', suggests that, "Perhaps we are pawns in a game which is so far beyond our comprehension, we will never understand. The next time you see National Park or Game Reserve Rangers using tranquilliser darts to enable them to examine the animals, remember abductions". I think such suggestions are nonsense. AW is here to explain why I have come to that conclusion, and to ask those who try to sell them to us why they choose to do so, and what proof - if any - they have to support them. You may be uncomfortable with some of my comments.

You may not want your beliefs and certainties to be challenged. But in my reasonably informed view, after a good many years of trying to make sense of reports of extraordinary human experiences, it's become clear that only by finding the fakes, uncovering the liars, the money-grubbers, the crackpots, will we ever get at the truth. Just now, the fashion is for aliens, abduction, and oppression of the human race by malevolent beings from elsewhere: and there has never been so much dross, so much hard-sell, such rotten and careless investigation and reporting. People have never made so much money out of endlessly telling and repeating - tales for which there is no hard, objective proof at all. Never have so many people believed in the veracity of so many dismal and doom-laden writers and researchers, each establishing their gloomy little corner from which they proffer advice and peculiar and exotic travesties of therapy to those who know too little about them to realise how little they really know, and how much damage they could do.

Here, in the UK, there's more garbage in the glossy magazines in our newsagents than in the whole of the USA New titles keep appearing, We have UFO Magazine, The Unopened Files, UFO Reality, Sightings, Alien Encounters, Nexus, Enigma, Unsolved and the part-work The X-Factor. More (hello Skylink and Global), lurk below the news-agency threshold, threatening to explode in an unseemly mess on the minds of the enquiring. Yet more still exist (like everything I publish) at small-press level, all feeding off each other, believing or pretending what the others have said really is true, propagating and confirming, and ultimately risking deceiving their readers.

I believe that the abduction experience - an experience which the evidence suggests is not physically real - is being used not only to make money, but to enable some people to live out their fantasies, their wish and need for power, and to achieve the publicity that they actively seek. It has all be done before by leaders of other belief systems, others to whom believers go to seek help, support, and confirmation of their beliefs. AW would like to help protect the innocent, the gullible, and the exploited, by challenging those who sell and exploit the mythos for their own purposes.

I know that similar experiences have been reported, and similar convictions held, by decent, honest, intelligent people for thousands of years. But we have learned, if we look carefully, that the experiences said to support those convictions have, almost invariably, turned out, to have no objective reality. The abduction experience may be part of an amazing historical pattern of almost unbelievable proportions, the current expression of one of the building-blocks of human personality. It doesn’t mean that our children are at risk, or should be told they are.

It doesn't mean that rank amateurs with the most unusual personal beliefs have the right to use pseudo-medical techniques to extract complex accounts of abduction for which no objective confirmation is available or sought. It doesn't begin to justify the repeated publication of probably fictional accounts of the physical and sexual abuse of children. No, if it means anything at all, it's that a field currently characterised by blinkered belief and a faith in aliens needs shaking, very hard, till we find out whether it has any substance. Whether all this selling and self-publicity disguises a genuine marvel of human experience or, as history, research and knowledge suggest, just another stupid, and unusually unpleasant, travesty of a religious belief.

I hope you'll agree that it's time to stop wallowing in this unpleasant mess of pseudo-science, fantasy, and accounts of perverted behaviour, and to start investigating the entire alien abduction mythos with the level of energy and enthusiasm which a matter as nasty, threatening and dangerous as the alleged abduction and abuse of people—and particularly children - demands.

The ‘Coming Out’ of a ‘Child Abductee’

Sightings is a news-stand magazine not greatly troubled by any search for objective evidence to support its claims. In the article' Space Cadets', in issue 11, Sightings warns the innocent reader that, ‘the aliens are here and they're after your children". Amid wild claims of an “incubation laboratory". "bizarre genetic and sexual experiments", "Grey captors", and "hybrid breeding", the point that all of this material comes out of regression and memory enhancement techniques, mostly applied by non-medical writers and abduction believers is entirely missed. Propagating the myth that humans are abducted to the alien nurseries to provide care for the hybrid babies, Sightings continues, "Those reluctant to hold a baby when asked by the insistent Grey nurse found themselves on the receiving end of an alien guilt-trip, who informed the abductee of possible dangers which could occur. Ranging from skin infections to terminal illnesses, these warnings were usually enough to break any resistance and encourage the bewildered human to clutch a baby as close to them as possible."

How does this unproven illusion of the abduction and abuse of children by aliens arise? Well, a recent account by Tony Dodd, in The Unopened Files No 2 (unopened by whom, I wonder?), shows how it can occur. It appears that Tony Dodd was contacted by "a 32-year-old nurse who has no knowledge or interest in the UFO phenomenon", though she was said initially to have recounted in detail one recent, very standard abduction experience.

For no apparent medical or therapeutic reason, "A regressive hypnosis session was held". We don't know who conducted it, or whether the hypnotist or "Any information regarding the Hypnotists is confidential" Nor do we know how the witness was prepared, what she may have reed, or been shown, or had explained to her before the session began. I am not aware that any independent investigator, or person with relevant medical qualifications has ever heard a sound recording of a Quest regression, or seen a video of "the Hypnotists" at work. I guess that what goes on in these sessions, who is present, what questions are asked, how objective those questions may or may not be, are all among Quest's secrets. Sometimes, I regret that the Freedom of Information Act doesn't apply to UFO organisations and investigators.

Anyway, Dodd tells us that during the regression "Margret" variously, "showed signs of extreme fear", "became disoriented and confused", felt "pressure on her chest", was "upset" at "seeing a young girl .. a young innocent child . . naked and asleep on a nearby table". “in a heptagonal room". She was "terrified", II became agitated" and "felt like an animal in a laboratory". I hope she felt that all this presumably unanticipated suffering was worthwhile.

While hypnotised, Dodd states, "Margret" recalled "meeting with aliens at the tender age of five", then again II at the age of six". At fourteen, "she suddenly found herself being drawn up into the air - finding herself naked on a table, unable to. move. Several strange entities used instruments apparently taking samples. She was told that she was sterile and unable to have a baby". At eighteen, "she found herself in a room containing several tables. On each table a naked female - asleep," At twenty-seven, she believed she had been pregnant for two months, but that the aliens "took my baby from me". At thirty, she was again abducted, and "samples of hair, skin and fingernails were taken".

It appears that prior to her regression, "Margret" knew nothing of any of her alien encounters and abductions between the ages of five and thirty. Yet the session was filled with information and recollection wholly consistent with Dodd's own published beliefs, and she provided accounts typical of those which appeared in the article in Sightings, and elsewhere, too.

If "Margret" exists, and really is a nurse, and medically qualified, she may not take her 'recollections' too seriously. She may know that few have greater faith in the recollection of strange events under hypnosis than do those who depend on those recollections for their fame, their income, and their influence over others, than those who have exotic belief systems that depend for their validity on the outpourings of regressees. She may know that the widely held view among medical professionals is that even when regression is conducted carefully by skilled and trained specialists, for sound therapeutic reasons, it may produce confusion, exaggeration, confabulation, and nonsense among the material the subject believes to be true.

Sadly, neither Dodd's article, nor 'Space Cadets', mention the issues that arise from these well-founded, and well-evidenced, considerations. And neither mentions the possibility that memories of abuse in childhood might suggest that what realty happened - if anything happened at all - was abuse by another human being, rather than an alien abuser. If this is therapy, then it's very strange therapy indeed.

Real and Unreal Abuse

There is evidence that the alien abduction myth may actually present a danger to genuinely abused children. The fact that 'recollections' of abduction are so easily constructed through hypnosis,. regression, memory enhancement techniques, meditation, breathwork, or just the endless repetition in the broadcast and print media of what' happens' during abduction, can be, and may already have been - used by abusers to explain away why they have been accused of abuse. We need to be aware of the potential problems here.

Abuse - mental, physical, sexual - of children primarily, but not necessarily, is a horrific part of the there is abundant, real, physical evidence that it takes place. There are real abusers, and real victims, and dealing with abuse is one of society's most important duties. It should be dealt with by responsible, mature, objective professionals, and where assistance in recall is appropriate and possible, similar standards should be applied. People are prosecuted for real abuse. They should be.

There are, I think, some parallels between the recent Satanic Ritual Abuse mess, and the alien abduction myth. Both seem to have developed from a core of self-appointed adult experts who believed passionately in the oppression, exploitation and abuse of human beings by a mysterious, powerful, yet somehow invisible and untraceable organisation or organisations. Where belief and paranoia replace rational thought and investigation, and people are made into victims, the likely outcome is needless delusion and suffering.

Believers in Satanic Ritual Abuse alleged abuse by human beings, so at least an element of the proposition was based on fact. No part of the abduction myth has developed from objective, physical proof. The injuries suggested as evidence of abduction are physiccl, and present no proof whatever of non-human causes. People have nose-bleeds for all sorts of reasons. Some women, sadly, miscarry during pregnancy. The 'recovered implant' salesmen have yet to provide any proof that anyone of the silly little objects displayed was ever implanted in any human being by a non-human being. We have a clear responsibility to explain just how poor, and thin, and unconvincing, the evidence for abduction is, so that the trust so many have placed in it is not used an excuse, or a cover, for real abusers, or for real abuse.

Wanna Score an Abduction, Man?

Alien Encounters No 11 includes one of the dimmest suggestions I’ve seen for a while. Echoing some of the more foolish accounts of shamanism (hasn't anyone noticed that shamans actually don't go anywhere, but just say—and maybe think—that they do), in a feature titled 'Psychedelic Saucers', AE asks "are drug-induced trips and alien encounters actually one and the same?" The writer suggests that, "perhaps there is a separate reality which exists alongside, or within our own, which can be accessed during lucid dreams, out of body experiences, and by the use of psychotropic drugs ... In the end, the only way to assess the validity of such ideas is to become psychonauts ourselves and ingest psychoactive plants and fungi in a bid to discover whether we can make conclusions and verifiable. contact with non-human or alien intelligences." Though AE resorts to one of its usual disclaimers, this is a plain, unmissable and, I suggest, potentially dangerous invitation to ingest hallucinogens in order, if I've understood it, to experience alien encounters. Actually, there are other ways to "assess the validity of such ideas". The only problem is that real research requires a clear head, and a modicum of intelligence.

Mindbenders - StrangeTales of Hypnotism and Hypnotists

I suspect that there are two key factors which separate thousands of years of reports of extraordinary human experience - religious, spiritual, ghostly, involving angels, the Virgin Mary, the dead and more - from the alien abduction myth. One is the reach of the media, and its limitless appetite for 'the paranormal'. The other is the use of hypnosis. From Barney and Betty Hill onwards - and their medically-qualified regresser warned clearly of the dangers and failings of the method when their ‘memories' were published - the abduction mythos has depended on recovered memories to make it develop and grow. Not all. the witnesses quoted by Mack, Hopkins, Jacobs, Dodd, Carpenter, Morris and so on have 'remembered' entirely through hypnotism, but without the many published recovered memory cases, and the belief that alien-imposed memory blocks can be. broken down through hypnotic techniques, there would be very little else happening.

In the UK at present, among others, we have Tony Dodd's mystery hypnotist(s), we have Harry Harris and his two doctors and a homeopathist (anyone know who they are? What sort of "doctors" would want to become involved in investigating alien abductions, and why?), we have a medium who works with Malcolm Robinson in Scotland (more on the A70 and Fife cases next issue), Eric Morris, who has made some interesting claims for the staffing and professional competence of his 'Abduction Research and Counselling Centre', and who learned hypnosis from an obstetrician in the Navy.

We have abductee and alien expert ("I felt high for a week after discovering my alien identity") Paulinne Delcour-Min and, currently winning in the self-publicity stakes, we have Robert La Mont. La Mont describes himself as a professional "clinical/forensic hypnotherapist". He has letters after his name from the London College of Clinical Hypnosis, a provider of non-medical hypnosis training and qualifications. I understand that one of their qualifications costs £493.50, and Membership, £840. La Mont says he lectures for the LCCH, and his work appears in UFO Reality, Skylink and elsewhere. He recommends placing post-hypnotic suggestions involving further abduction experiences, and he believes that "the entities" "ability to manipulate the human mind is staggering, and the preferred communication method is telepathic." His written statements may easily influence his clients' perceptions and expectations.

If you can supply more information about the alien abduction work, professional training, qualifications and, maybe, mistakes, of any of these people, or of others, I" d be pleased to hear from you!

So What Next for Abduction Watch?

Well, living up to an ambitious title, to start with. Coming out regularly. Keeping an edge. Being informed and able to inform others. Making sure that the surprises keep coming.

This is just a beginning. A set of signposts, really, to show where I hope AW may go. There's no shortage of issues that need dealing with. There's the very odd development of the alleged 'Nightmare on Salisbury Plain' incident, one of many cases with sources so anonymous and stories so incredible that the unnamed experiencers could well be no more than blatant hoaxers. There's the strange variations in the reports of the amazing ‘Fife' case, and the question of how, and by whom, it was really investigated. There's the matter of embroidering the great ‘Alternative 3' hoax. The evidence from the US that most, if not all, of the Mexican video material, is either deliberately faked or so badly investigated that the most obvious LITS have been sold – and sold hard – as genuinely unexplainable events.

At the sadder, more delicate end of the subject, there's some disturbing issues in flux around UFO Magazine's account of a supposedly abused and abducted child, the way in which his family became convinced that their child was being interfered with by aliens, and at attitudes among investigators towards those who are legally responsible for the welfare of such children.

We need to look closely at the spreading belief in the abduction and mutilation of animals, and the way that supports the' we're helpless' argument. A regular retrospective column for discredited crash, contact and abduction cases might be fun, too! I'll try to present facts and current research about regression, and its problems and failures. And about the linked issue of the damage done to vulnerable clients by untrained, unprofessional therapists, and people dominated and guided by their beliefs and convictions. It seems likely the abduction field has much to learn, particularly about its responsibilities to the human being on whose alleged experiences it feeds. Unfortunately, though, it may not yet want to hear.

I'll also be happy to publicise intelligent and friendly publications with interests common to ours – Magonia, Skeptics UFO Newsletter. NARO Minded, Strange Daze, The Armchair Ufologist and Saucer Smear are a few that spring to mind, and there's some more fine US titles, too.

Just as important will be your input. I'll expect you to be as careful as I am, because although the law does guarantee an extensive right of comment, which can only be strengthened by the refusal of individuals and organisations to answer questions and support their claims, I really don't want to waste time dealing with threats of litigation. Anyway, presenting absolute facts will be our best weapon in reaching the truth behind the alien abduction mythos, and maybe preventing further damage and distress being caused to those who have, or might in future, by one means and another, become its victims. Marry thanks.

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