Date: Tue Jun 29 1993 10:45:00 UFO - The Continuing Debate Over UFO's 04/10/92 Larry King

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Date: Tue Jun 29 1993 10:45:00 From: SHEPPARD GORDON UFO ------------------------------- The Continuing Debate Over UFO's 04/10/92 Larry King Live David Jacobs, a history professor, has written a book suggesting that more than one million Americans have been abducted and taken aboard UFO's for study. He is debated by UFO researcher, Phillip Klass. KING: Welcome back to Larry King Live. For decades we've taken our UFO stories with a wink and a giggle - signals that this is crazy territory, too weird to study with a straight face. David Jacobs is out to change all that. He is a respected history professor at Temple University, and he suggests - soberly - that in recent years more than a million Americans have been taken aboard UFO's - not just seen them, seen inside them. Jacobs has produced what many call the first scholarly study of the abduction phenomenon, pouring over 300 terrifying stories for his new book Secret Life: Firsthand Accounts of UFO Abductions, just out from Simon and Schuster. And David Jacobs joins us in Washington. Why do you believe all this? DAVID JACOBS, Author, `Secret Life': Well, even though it sounds incredible, as a historian you have to go where the evidence leads you, even though you may not like going there. And in my opinion, the evidence suggests that this is something that should be taken seriously. KING: A common occurrence? Mr. JACOBS: Extremely common occurrence, far more common than even I would like to see. KING: What is the general scenario? Mr. JACOBS: Well, the general scenario is that a person is taken from the normal environment. They are taken onboard an object - a UFO. Their clothes are removed. They're placed on a table. There's a series of physical, mental, and reproductive procedures that are performed upon them and then they are put back in their normal place and made to forget about what happened within minutes or even seconds after it's happened. KING: This has been going on, David, for how long? Mr. JACOBS: Well, we're limited by the age of the people who come to see us to see how far back it goes, but we think it goes back to the 20's and perhaps to the turn of the century, although perhaps on a much smaller scale. KING: You're a serious professor of history. Mr. JACOBS: Yes. KING: You've conducted interviews with all of these people? Mr. JACOBS: Yes. KING: Is any one of them well known? Mr. JACOBS: There are some well-known people that I and other colleagues have worked with, but they have requested anonymity and- KING: Why? Mr. JACOBS: -and I won't betray that. KING: Do you know why? Mr. JACOBS: Yes, because- KING: Because I'm going to tell you the truth. If it happened to me tonight, I'd call you tomorrow, David. Mr. JACOBS: Well- {Laughs} KING: I would. Mr. JACOBS: Some people would do that. Those people have not come forward yet but, of course, the subject is so absolutely crazy in a way that you can't make these kinds of assertions - you can't say, `This might have happened to me,' and expect to be treated in the same way ever again, basically. KING: Is Whitley Strieber a good example? Mr. JACOBS: Well, Whitley Strieber is a person who did come forward with his experiences and he is a writer, of course, and was successful in talking about them. His examples sometimes fit what we know and sometimes they don't fit what we know. KING: What are they studying, David? Mr. JACOBS: Well, we don't actually see a study. KING: They're undressing people and looking at their bodies? Mr. JACOBS: Right. KING: What- What- Mr. JACOBS: I wish it was a study. I wish we did see a study. But we see a sort of a program that is based on, in a sense, a physiological exploitation - an agenda, in a sense, that has us as- has people as victims, in a way, or, as the abductees say, as simply lab rats or specimens. KING: Guinea pigs. Experiments? Mr. JACOBS: Yes. KING: What kind of experiments? Mr. JACOBS: Well, it's not really experiments. Once again, it's more of a program that involves taking sperm and eggs and- KING: They get involved sexually? Mr. JACOBS: Well, no, not necessarily sexually - more reproductively. We see quite a lot of gynecological and urological procedures performed. But we do see people who claim that every once in a while an egg is not being collected. They'll say this time there might be something being implanted in them. KING: Do they speak - the aliens? Mr. JACOBS: Well, all of the conversation is telepathic, which is an oddity because if this were simply made up, if this were just invented, a large percentage of those would most likely be just regular verbal communication. But virtually all of the abductees say that it is telepathic. KING: Now are you saying that you might talk to `John Jones' in Philadelphia, `Wilma Smith' in Des Moines, and `Sarah Smidlock' in San Diego, and they'll all give you similar stories, despite not knowing each other? Mr. JACOBS: That's correct. It's sort of all over the place. It's white and black. It's Jewish and gentile. It's across ethnic groups. It doesn't matter, the educational level or the economic level or the geography. KING: But it's not leaders of industry, leaders of government, famous people, celebrated people, major accomplished people? Why not? Mr. JACOBS: It is everybody. KING: All those? Mr. JACOBS: It is all those. KING: All of the above? Mr. JACOBS: Yes, it is- KING: And none of them will come- not one of these famous people? Mr. JACOBS: So far, not one has come forward. In fact, I've had trouble just getting some of my abductees in the Delaware County area coming forward. I've only been able to get a few. KING: Do you name them in the book? Mr. JACOBS: I used pseudonyms for everyone in the book. KING: Why wouldn't you give us a chance to go interview them? Mr. JACOBS: Well, in any kind of a medically-based or psychologically-based study, pseudonyms are always used. And they sign a release. They come to me and they want anonymity and I guarantee it as long as I can use their story. KING: So what we have to trust - and they are impressive - are your credentials. Mr. JACOBS: Right, but you don't have to trust me or my credentials. I certainly welcome anybody in the scientific community to learn how to do this work and see if they can reproduce my data. KING: How are you treated by fellow faculty members at Temple? Mr. JACOBS: Well, Temple University is a liberal institution. They believe in academic freedom; allow me to do the kind of research that I want to do. KING: I know that, but how liberal, David? Do they say, {Whistles} `Here comes David'? Mr. JACOBS: Yes, some do. They do do that. Most of them are fairly neutral. A few are inquiring. Most of them feel that this is just something that they would leave to me, this is a- I've got some strange streak in me or something like that, and they're interested, but not that interested. KING: Are these definitely from some other planet? Mr. JACOBS: They seem to be from- They're not from Earth, from what we can tell. I can't exactly tell you they're from another planet - which is odd - because we really don't know anything at all about them. KING: None of these people were taken on trips? Mr. JACOBS: No, not that we know of. KING: What do they look like? Mr. JACOBS: Well, all the reports are basically the same, once again. They're small; they're gray; they have huge black eyes - no whites; no hair, no ears, no nose; only a slit for a mouth; a very thin, narrow neck; thin frail bodies; thin arms and legs. KING: Vice presidents of networks - little joke there. OK - little joke - little humor - it's Friday. We're going to pause and come back. Phillip Klass will join us. He's contributing editor to Aviation Week and Space Technology, and he says, `No way' - Don't go 'way. {Commercial break} KING: The suggestion that aliens - forgive me for laughing, but it's kind of amusing to think about it - are borrowing Americans by the carload for medical probes is, naturally, hard to swallow, no matter how much serious study lies behind it. One skeptic is Phillip Klass, a contributing editor to Aviation Week and Space Technology. He has written his own critical analysis of abduction reports. Phillip Klass joins our discussion with David Jacobs, author of Secret Life: Firsthand Accounts of UFO Abductions. Phillip, have you read David's book? PHILLIP KLASS, UFO Skeptic: No, I've not, but I've read many of his papers. I heard him speak in Chicago. I attend most of the UFO conferences. KING: And? Mr. KLASS: And you smile and you laugh but, in my opinion, this is very serious business. It's serious business because, if his fantasies are fact, it is the greatest threat to the wellbeing of the people of this nation - of this planet - since this country was created. KING: Why? Mr. KLASS: Why? If aliens are invading our bedrooms, impregnating our teenage girls; if they're abducting little children, cutting flesh samples out without even putting bandaids on; if you're not safe anywhere on the face of the earth - then it is something that this nation needs to mobilize. KING: So you think it's a fantasy of Mr. Jacobs, or a fantasy of the people he's talked to? Mr. KLASS: It's a combination of both. KING: Now this is a respected professor of history- Mr. KLASS: Yes. Yes. Yes, indeed- KING: -at a major American university. Mr. KLASS: Indeed, but he has no training in psychotherapy except what he has recently acquired. And what he is doing is trading unwittingly - I'm not accusing him of malice - unwittingly trading on psychologically disturbed people. As he explained in one of his lectures - I think it was in Las Vegas or Pensacola; I don't recall - that many of his subjects are psychologically disturbed people. They sometimes dream that they- or think that they leave their bodies in the company of angels or deceased relatives, that they- And, as a matter of fact, psychological tests show that people who make claims of UFO abductions report far more frequent sexual abuse as children. They also, more than ordinary people, report that when they were children they saw strange entities or creatures that nobody else saw. KING: So these are people with problems? Mr. KLASS: These are people, generally- KING: All right. David? Mr. JACOBS: Well, it is actually sort of amazing, first of all, that he's sitting here and talking about my work and has not read my book. I find that rather striking. I would have to say, therefore, truly, everything that Mr. Klass has said is not true. Mr. KLASS: So you have changed what you said at these conferences? You have revised your papers? Mr. JACOBS: I didn't say anything of the sort in my papers, either. KING: OK, they're not psychologically disturbed? Mr. JACOBS: No, they are not. Obviously, everybody has problems. Some people have more problems than others. In the abduction phenomenon, it's completely random. There are people who are very well adjusted. There are people who are not well adjusted. All of them have had a trauma that they try to deal with. Yes, some of them have seen people - beings, whatever - standing around their bed. They might interpret it as angels. They might interpret it as ghosts, whatever. The fact is that psychological testing has shown that abductees - a small number, granted - were perfectly normal and exhibited no pathology. We have psychiatrists and psychologist themselves who were abductees. It's just not true- KING: Now wouldn't your case, though, David, be helped for Mr. Klass and others if a psychiatrist or a psychologist of renown came forward? Mr. JACOBS: As an abductee? KING: `Dr. Peterson' of New York city- Mr. JACOBS: Oh, certainly. That would be fine. KING: -who's president of NYU; he was abducted. Phillip's got to back off if Dr. Peterson walks in. Mr. JACOBS: That would be fine. KING: Why don't they come forward? Mr. JACOBS: I can't control them. This subject is steeped in ridicule. It's about as ridiculous as one can get in this society. Anybody who goes forward is engaged in ridicule immediately, particularly in the work situation. Why bother? Why would they do that? KING: Would you also agree, Phil, on the other side, that skeptics- Mr. KLASS: But I- KING: Wait a minute- have always existed? If we were doing this show in 1907 and Orville and Wilbur called in from a bike shop in Kitty Hawk and said they flew, we'd all laugh. Mr. KLASS: No. No. KING: We wouldn't? Mr. KLASS: No, we wouldn't, because there were a number of other experiments. A Dr. Langley was experimenting with aircraft just on the outskirts of Washington. But in view of David's denial, let me read verbatim what he said at the 1988 MUFON {sp?} UFO conference, Lincoln, Nebraska: {Reads} `It is common for abductees to feel that they in some way left their body, usually during the night in bed. When they floated out of their bed they were often accompanied by someone who they interpret as being a deceased relative or an angel.' Going on from the same talk, {Reads} `A few claim that they have experienced astral travel, as well. At one minute they were in one spot, and then seemingly the next instant they were in another plane-' KING: All right, I don't want to read all that. Do you want to respond? Mr. JACOBS: Yes. No, well, that's absolutely true. Yes, I agree, that's- That doesn't mean that they're psychologically disturbed. KING: That doesn't mean they're psychologically troubled, Phil. It just means that's the experience they shared in common with other people who had it happen to them. Mr. KLASS: Well, this- Pardon me- Pardon me- KING: That in itself means psychologically troubled to you? Mr. KLASS: I do have the quotes here, he referred to them as psychologically disturbed. He also went on to say some of these people get satisfaction in the fringe aspects of the popular UFO scene- KING: Some. Mr. KLASS: -that they attend psychic conferences; that they engage in channeling; and that some of them become channelers, allegedly talking with ancient people and so on. KING: OK, let's get some calls in here. Florence, Italy, hello. 4th CALLER: {Florence, Italy} Good evening. First to Mr. Jacobs. Do you, yourself, have a firm belief in UFO's? Secondly, how much of this study was a commercial venture for you? Mr. JACOBS: I have been involved with studying the UFO phenomenon for about 27 years. A commercial venture? None of it was a commercial venture. This is what's called a negative cashflow business. The money just flows out of your wallet. There's no funding for this, to speak of. There's no science organizations that will do anything about it. KING: So you're not making- If the book sells, you would make money, but you have not to this point made money? Mr. JACOBS: I will not make up the money that I have spent doing this research. KING: You don't question that David believes? Mr. KLASS: No. No, that I don't question. KING: In other words, David isn't writing a hoax book? Mr. KLASS: Oh, no. KING: He interviewed people- Mr. KLASS: Indeed, indeed, indeed. I think he's doing a great disservice to the people of this country. KING: Should he reveal the names of all these people? Mr. KLASS: That is up to them, but he could reveal his data to fellow UFO believers and, in fact, there is a critical article in the latest issue of the MUFON UFO journal criticizing David and Bud Hopkins- KING: Why don't you, David? Mr. KLASS: -for not making their data available. KING: All right. David? Mr. JACOBS: Well, what that article states, basically, is that one of the UFO organizations wants cases and they're wondering why I don't send them in the cases. KING: It's normal to want that. Mr. JACOBS: Right, that's true, and the problem is that many of these accounts are really very personal in nature. However, I have told the author of that article that I will participate. KING: We'll be right back with David Jacobs, author of Secret Life: Firsthand Accounts of UFO Abductions, and Phillip Klass, contributing editor to Aviation Week, and some more of your calls, as well. Don't go away. {Commercial break} KING: Welcome back. Our guests are David Jacobs of Temple University, history professor and author of Secret Life; and Phillip Klass, contributing editor to Aviation Week. We go back to the calls. Washington, D.C., hello. 5th CALLER: {Washington, D.C.} Hello. Gentlemen, several months ago CNN broadcast a clip released from NASA that was shot during the STS-48 and this film showed several objects that moved in rather bizarre ways. I wonder if either one of you have seen this video? KING: Phillip? Mr. KLASS: No, I have not, but it certainly would have created a great furor in the trade press and in the news media, and we would have heard more about it. Mr. JACOBS: No, I'm not familiar with the tape. KING: Are you saying, Phillip, that if this were a real story we'd have all known about it by now? Mr. KLASS: If it was on CNN and really- KING: No, I don't mean this story- Mr. KLASS: Oh. KING: -I mean the whole UFO story. Mr. KLASS: Well, let me say I would like to focus on the claims of abduction because those who join up with David Jacobs and his associates- It's a cult. Their life will be accursed for as long as they live because the dogma of this cult is that if you have been abducted they will come back and get you, no matter whether you put in burglar alarms, no matter where you are. They will abduct your children- KING: All right, let David respond to that. Mr. KLASS: -when they grow up and become parents, they will abduct the grandchildren. KING: This is just a cult of people who are- These are abductees? They don't bother with strangers? Mr. JACOBS: {Laughs} If it is a cult, they forgot to send me my membership. I don't enjoy this. This, as my colleague Bud Hopkins says, is a daily dose of pain- KING: You mean this? Mr. JACOBS: Yes. KING: Listening to criticism? Mr. JACOBS: No, no, no, the abduction accounts. Most people get down and pray every night that it never happens again. Nobody likes this. Nobody wants it to have happened. KING: How do you account, David, that no one outside has walked by the house and seen the spaceship? Mr. JACOBS: Well, we do have a few accounts of that but- KING: There should be a lot of them- Mr. JACOBS: This is correct. KING: If there are millions, there should be police officers all over the place- Mr. JACOBS: Right. KING: -seeing strange objects. Mr. JACOBS: In fact, we should have known about this before we knew about abductions. We should have had those reports early on, and many of them. KING: Why don't we? Mr. JACOBS: Well, we're not exactly sure. We think that there's a technological aspect to this that requires- KING: You mean they can hide their ship? Mr. JACOBS: I don't want to say that. I will say that people will report that when they are floated up and out they say that they're being floated directly out, for instance, a closed window. Now, of course, this is physically impossible - cannot happen. KING: You don't believe that, do you? Mr. JACOBS: No, I DO believe that, because they all say that and they're clear that the window was not open. And they'll say, `I know this sounds crazy, but I think I'm floating out a closed window.' Now if one can float out a closed window, then there's all sorts of technological aspects to this that we don't understand. KING: We'll get a break and have Phillip respond to that, and I wish we had more time with this. We will be right back. {Commercial break} KING: With us on the phone from Los Angeles in our remaining moments is Harley Byrd {sp?}. He is the son of Admiral Richard Byrd who discovered both the North and South Poles. Thanks for calling in, Harley. What's up? 6th CALLER: {Los Angeles, California} Well, Larry, we just got back from San Diego where there were 10,000 people with Colonel Wendell Stevens {sp?} lecturing to a turn-out crowd. We're going to be at the L.A. Hilton on the 9th and 10th of May- KING: About what? 6th CALLER: -and my question is for Mr. Klass. KING: What's the question? 6th CALLER: As far as we can see, there's traffic from Orion, Andromeda. Recently on a Nimitz aircraft carrier that set down that's in custody with the CIA right now and- Mr. KLASS: Don't believe everything you see on the tabloids. 6th CALLER: -he, I think, is deluding himself. He is misinformed. He doesn't read enough. KING: This was in tabloids? Mr. KLASS: Yes, it was on the tabloid showing a giant UFO- KING: Are you questioning the son of Admiral Richard Byrd? Mr. KLASS: I am, indeed. I am, indeed. I'm an admirer of his father, but his father did not discover the North Pole, as he claims. Admiral Peary beat him by many years- KING: Discoverer of the South Pole then. Mr. KLASS: Well- 6th CALLER: Well, I have to disagree with you on that, Larry, because the Admiral flew- KING: All right, I'll tell you what, Harley. We've run out of time. Harley, get in touch with us. Get in touch with us. We'd like to do a show on this. Thanks so much, David. Mr. JACOBS: Thank you, Larry. KING: Sorry we ran out of time. Thanks, Phillip.


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