Quiet Time To Reassess Positive Thinking – A Poem By Colin Andrews

Colin-Andrews-HeadShouldersHere’s something I didn’t expect to announce this way: I’m coming back to the podcasting game. I’ve been taping interviews for this and expect it to be up and running in the next week or so. I won’t write anything else about it until the official announcement because I don’t want to step on any toes. But all of this is to say, I wanted Colin Andrews as a guest to discuss at what point a researcher becomes an experiencer. He liked the idea and since we’re friends, he agreed to record when he got back from a trip abroad, even though he’s on media hiatus.

Whelp, he’s back and will not be doing the show after all. Instead–and in answer to why–he sent me an audio file of him reading a poem that he had written. He gave me permission to publish it exclusively, so here it is. One wonders what happened on this trip to provoke such a powerful and definitive response that we can all respect and take to heart.

Yes, it might do us all good to take this to heart.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

EDIT:

Well, this has certainly resonated with a good many people in a short amount of time. My friend Joe Gooch has set it to music, with enthusiastic approval by Colin.

CLICK HERE FOR THE MUSICAL VERSION

Letter To Dr. Michael Swords

The message below to Dr. Michael Swords concerns a post at his blog in which he apologetically presented some information casting doubt upon the validity of hypnosis as a memory retrieval enhancer and investigative tool. When Emma Woods attempted to contribute to the comments section of the post, Dr. Swords chose to edit those comments to omit the name of Emma Woods, as well as Dr. David Jacobs, who was referenced in her comments. The letter below was submitted today in the comments section of the post in question.Dear Dr. Swords:

This message is in response to your April 19 blog post, ‘Abduction and Hypnosis: a Letter from the Past.’ [sic], and particularly your remarks contained in the comments section. While your stance on preferring to remain independent of controversy surrounding hypnosis used as a memory enhancer and the extremely questionable activities of some of its proponents, such as Dr. David Jacobs, is noted, a reasonable argument could be made that a man in your position within ufology is not afforded any such skirting of the issues. This is by no means to suggest that you should be disproportionately criticized for the actions of others, but to moderately point out that a community should expect to look to its leaders for guidance on relevant issues.

In addition to subjecting hypotheses to direct tests, scientists employ a regular regimen of intense introspection. No less important than the basic investigations is the essential activity of critiquing the results and the means to obtain them. Are the data accurate and precise? Was the methodology sound? These questioning processes begin before the first experiment is conducted. Careers, money and prestige may all be on the line, but they all take a back seat to the review processes. In no case would the demands imposed for the responsible conduct of research ever be considered stirring up controversy. The bottom line is simple – scientists question everything, including each other.

A concern over the possible reactions of colleagues and friends for bringing up issues with hypnosis is a clear sign something is amiss. Your choice to edit the comments of Emma Woods and refuse to allow her to specifically name Dr. Jacobs as a controversial figure at your blog is indeed your prerogative. However, it could be interpreted to be much more of the problem than the solution. While reticence to delve into matters requiring legal remedies is both wise and appreciated, the fundamental problems with abduction research itself embodied by extraordinary reliance on a single problematic methodology and exposed by a long running public dispute warrant a broader discussion. Abduction research has imitated some facets of science, but without the underlying and critical procedures to ensure data quality and subject protections. The thin veneer of this faux ‘scientific’ process works well enough to mislead some, but those who know the difference have an obligation to sound the alarm.

While you are entitled to your perspective, an alternative and reasonable stance would be that denying public discussion of relevant issues impedes abduction research while indirectly supporting some perpetrators of unethical acts and adding to their undeserved credibility. Due to your position as a longtime member of the board of directors of the Center for UFO Studies, the UFO community might expect to count on you, as well as your peers and others holding similar positions in UFO organizations, to clarify and resolve relevant issues. Perhaps you will opt for alternative choices in the future, and contribute in more substantial manners to the much needed improvements in leadership within abduction research specifically and ufology in general. Notwithstanding friendships, loyalties and worries over making someone feel bad, it is impossible to have this both ways.

Sincerely,

Jack Brewer

Tyler A. Kokjohn, Ph.D.

Alfred Lehmberg

Harvey Price

Carol Rainey

Jeff Ritzmann

Jeremy Vaeni

Emma Woods

Try a New Hypothesis, Sherlock

Try a New Hypothesis, Sherlock
by Guest Blogger,
Tyler Kokjohn, PhD.

How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

– Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Sherlock Holmes’s sage scolding reminds us not to fall easy prey to unwarranted assumptions and the limits of human imagination.  It, or something similar, is often invoked to defend the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) as the best explanation for UFO observations.  Unfortunately, little thought has been given to the bias inherent in using this technique.  It may work well provided the roster of potential possibilities is complete.  However, attempting to establish the ETH represents the best explanation presumes a thorough working knowledge of all the possibilities and the application of reliable methods to assess them.  It is not clear either of these conditions have been met.  But what constitutes the so-called best proposition is telling; it is the hypothesis that fits specific preconceived notions regarding what seems sensible.  That approach is risky because Nature is not obliged to function in ways humans will comprehend easily.  Worse, some facts simply defy common sense.  For example, while our eyes tell us it is clear the sun revolves around our flat Earth, science ultimately overruled those illusions.

ETH proponents have invoked this validity establishment approach because after decades of hard work, they have failed to bring forward sufficient definitive evidence to achieve a direct confirmation.  Note that this exclusion argument only certifies the ETH as the ‘best’ proposition to investigate while not advancing that investigation.  Unfortunately, after knocking down some straw men, the bottom line is we have circled back to the same place and face the same nagging doubts about the ETH.  Rationalizing is a subtle, but sure sign a hypothesis needs to be retooled or abandoned.

Investigating UFOs is challenging, so is it fair to criticize researchers who are doing their best against a frustrating target?  Hard evidence is clearly in short supply meaning all opportunities to secure it should be seized immediately.  Ufology’s greatest failing is a persistent and almost universal studied indifference toward doing that.  Multiple opportunities to obtain hypothesis-confirming hard evidence have been and continue to be ignored.

Some scrupulously overlooked opportunities to investigate readily accessible evidence

On September 2, 2009, Major George Filer offered for sale a medical device, ‘flu lights,’ he claimed prevented or cured influenza infections in humans as well as dogs and cats (Filer’s Files #36-2009).  The source of this amazing new medical technology – testimony from alien abductees explaining they had been cured of ailments after exposure to blue or green lights employed by aliens.  This purported influenza cure/preventative measure, unknown to medical science, would constitute an astonishing example of an alien technology transfer to humans.  And priced at only $50 this miracle cure was also a true bargain.  An influenza pandemic was emerging in 2009, so the Major must have felt it necessary to get his flu lights on the market with all due haste.  Now, nearly 5 years after the crisis, neither he nor anyone else has yet come forward with a report on what would be nothing less than a lifesaving medical breakthrough and paradigm shattering discovery. The Holy Grail for ufology and medicine literally in hand and no one tests it, publishes any further information about the technology or details its amazing history?  Welcome to ufology.

Dr. David Jacobs and other abduction researchers have presented numerous, detailed accounts of missing pregnancies and creation of human-alien genetic hybrids.  It is now clear that during gestation mother and fetus exchange cells which may persist for years or decades after birth or termination of the pregnancy (M. Barinaga, “Cells Exchanged During Pregnancy Live On,’Science, 21 June 2002 [296:2169-2172]). Powerful new genetic analysis methods now enable investigators to perform prenatal examinations of the fetal genome after a simple blood draw from the mother (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120704182127.htm)  In the event of an alleged missing pregnancy, it may still be possible to recognize such hybrid cells for decades.  Whether or not the hybrid baby is removed by aliens and taken to an inaccessible location, these mothers are known to the investigators and represent a potential source of critical hypothesis corroborating genetic data.

Abduction investigators have revealed varying degrees of direct personal involvement in the phenomenon with one claiming she knows the identities of hybrids and another asserting on an episode of Future Theater (18 May 2013) that she was employed by aliens as a “breeder.” Robert Sheaffer reported from the 2014 UFO Congress that one featured speaker revealed she has seven alien grandchildren (http://badufos.blogspot.com/2014_02_01_archive.html).  These situations have afforded these investigators the unique opportunity to acquire and test samples at their leisure.  A human-alien genetic hybrid might be detected with the simplest of genetic tests requiring only that the subject spit into a tube and the investigator mail it off to a commercial facility to await the report.  Possibly the easiest opportunity in all history to collect what could be the most scientifically significant samples of the century and not one of them seems to have bothered.

It is important to recognize that these are not fleeting situations transpiring by dark of night at unpredictable times. These sources of critical evidence are readily and conveniently available to the investigators.  However, despite the ease of collection, the most direct pathways to uncover substantive proof of nefarious alien intervention on our planet and provide concrete evidence strongly supporting the ETH have been ignored and left to lie fallow.

The best way to investigate any hypothesis is to actually investigate it. In contrast, ETH proponents devise arguments to disguise and rationalize failure.  Reduced to defending a hypothesis because of the consistent inability to marshal convincing supporting evidence, it is astonishing they have so long, so diligently and uniformly refused to explore the obvious opportunities available to reach what should be their supreme goal.  Worse, the experts or opinion leaders never demand investigators get this job done or even note these glaring discrepancies.

It is time to break the futile cycle of ufology.  Try a new hypothesis, Sherlock. You certainly haven’t investigated the one you like.