To: All Sep-22-93 09:39AM Subject: Letter to MUFON UFO Journal Since I feel that the carro

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From: Anson Kennedy To: All Sep-22-93 09:39AM Subject: Letter to MUFON UFO Journal Organization: NETCOM On-line Communication Services (408 241-9760 guest) From: (Anson Kennedy) Message-ID: Newsgroups: sci.skeptic,alt.alien.visitors Since I feel that the carrot is as effective a tool as the stick, I think that praising critical thinking and objectivity when exhibited in publications many skeptics would consider bastions of unreason a good way to encourage the continued expression of these qualities we seek to promote. [I tried to make this sentence longer, but I had to stop to take a breath while typing.] To this end, I wrote the following letter to Dennis Stacy, editor of _MUFON UFO Journal_, regarding a recent issue. This letter was printed in the latest (September, 1993, Number 305). ------------------------------------------------------------ July 28, 1993 Mr. Dennis Stacy Editor _MUFON UFO Journal_ 103 Oldtowne Road Seguin, Texas 78155-4099 Dear Editor: Kudos to Dennis Stacy for putting together an excellent issue of _MUFON UFO Journal_ (July, 1993, Number 303). Taken individually, each of the three main articles in this issue raises important issues about current trends in UFO research which any serious investigator must consider. Taken together, they represent a collection of significant challenges to the nascent field of "ufology." Robert Durant's "Cortile Case: Missing Evidence" identifies several serious problems with Budd Hopkins' alien abduction "case of the century." The lack of corroborating evidence for various specific details in Linda Cortile's (and Rich's and Dan's) reports, while not sufficient to establish the case as an elaborate hoax, is nevertheless adequate to compel others to refrain from jumping on the bandwagon promoting what may ultimately become a serious embarrassment to some of ufology's leading alien abduction researchers. Likewise, "UFO Abduction Survey: A Critique" by Robert Hall, Donald Johnson, and Mark Rodeghier points out several flaws in Hopkins' and Jacobs' Unusual Personal Experiences report. Specifically, the issue of the validity of the five indicator questions is raised. The authors' explanation of why these indicators are not valid for identifying potential abductees provides a strong reason to question the results of the survey as a whole. Further, advocates striving to achieve "scientific legitimacy" would do well to follow the authors' concluding cautionary note ("To get any serious scientific attention, we have to do research that is above criticism ... Unfortunately, as evidence concerning the prevalence of abductions, this survey does not deserve serious attention."). I hope that Hopkins and Jacobs will finally acknowledge that this survey is indeed flawed and back off from their claim that millions of Americans are (potential) abductees. To continue citing the survey will only diminish their credibility in the eyes of those they wish to convince -- serious scientists involved in mainstream research. Completing the trio of articles is Dr. David Gotlib's "False Memory Syndrome" describing a psychological condition which has been receiving much press lately with respect to adult claims of repressed memories of childhood satanic ritual abuse. Dr. Gotlib correctly draws the parallel between the methods used by therapists to uncover SRA with those used by abduction researchers to "help" abductees recover memories of alien abduction. Both use hypnosis, which has been shown in many studies not to be a reliable method of recalling memories. In fact, studies show quite the opposite: that hypnosis will tend to create artificial memories. It is time abduction researchers acknowledged the inadequacy of hypnotically-recalled memories as reliable evidence of objective events. Dr. Gotlib's article provides evidence that awareness of these issues is rising among these researchers. Also, Dennis Stacy's review of Zecharia Sitchin's Earth Chronicles series provides a refreshingly objective point of view. After giving a brief overview of Sitchin's main arguments, Stacy quite effectively skewers them, concluding that "[t]hey do make for wonderful reading, but then so does the Bible." Indeed. In conclusion, this issue of MUFON UFO Journal provides a sorely needed breath of reality to a field which is normally characterized by hearsay and overzealous fantasizing. Sincerely, Anson Kennedy P.O. Box 956024 Duluth, Georgia 30136 -- Anson Kennedy Internet: VP, Georgia Skeptics Compu$erve: 71167,2435 (speaking only for myself, however) Prodigy(sm): CANCELLED due to insufferable software problems. -=*=- Opinions expressed represent only one possible interpretation. The reader is invited to make a determination based upon *all* available information.


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