Posts Tagged ‘UFOs’
Robert Sheaffer over at the Bad UFOs blog has written MUFON’s epitaph: “MUFON Jumps the Shark.”
I don’t know of any other conclusion in the wake of the PA MUFON State Director claimed that missing Malaysia Airline flight 370 was abducted by aliens. This is the sort of hailstorm of idiocy we’ve come to expect from internet trolls or YouTubers who do UFO stuff. But not MUFON.
That “courtesy doubt” has now been withdrawn. Robert’s piece includes commentary on MUFON’s new TV series, Hangar 1 (the name for MUFON’s collection of UFO stories that the show will pretend are data). The show airs on History Channel 2 (I guess one fantasy channel wasn’t enough). Unfortunately, it’s not hard to show that MUFON’s credibility has been compromised for some time now. He writes of the show: “And what exactly does MUFON serve up from its precious archives? Some of the most preposterous, unsubstantiated stories in the UFO literature.”
Read it and weep (or laugh).
That’s probably the best way to characterize what’s been going on with Jack Brewer and microbiologist Dr. Tyler Kokjohn. Both have posted recently about the questionable methodology (that’s being kind) of Budd Hopkins, one of the more famous names associated alien abduction phenomenon. Here’s a brief overview.
This past Feb. 5 Jack Brewer posted an interesting piece over at Examiner.com that includes video of Budd Hopkins de-briefing the late Col. Philip Corso in 1998. Colonel Corso wrote the book The Day After Roswell, in which he claimed to have been charged by the U.S. Army with seeding alien technology from the Roswell crash to private industry for reverse engineering.
The article and the video brought the questionable methods of Hopkins with respect to alien abductions back into discussion. In regard to Hopkins, Brewer notes:
“Hopkins rose to ufology prominence due to his controversial work in the alien abduction genre. His work has been greatly criticized for such reasons as the use of hypnotic regression as a memory retrieval tool and clearly demonstrated circumstances of researcher bias. Passionate followers have nonetheless adamantly defended Hopkins’ conclusions and actions, refusing to be swayed in their opinions by virtually any evidence of his sometimes poor research practices.”
The video was filmed by Carol Rainey, a film-maker and Hopkins’ ex-wife. Rainey has been critical of her former husband’s hypnotic regression technique for eliciting information from alleged abductees. Her article entitled, Priests of High Strangeness in a 2011 issue of the Paratopia webzine noteworthy in that regard. Dr. Kokjohn also wrote an article in that same Paratopia issue entitled, Tainted, Toxic and Taboo: A Scientist’s assessment of Alien Abduction Research. Both articles are available in PDF on Rainey’s website.
It’s of course impossible to discuss flawed alien abduction methodology without tripping over David Jacobs and the Emma Woods (a pseudonym) travesty. For anyone interested in the alien abduction phenomenon this tale is must reading. Woods has of course been attacked by supporters of Dr. Jacobs.
Three days after his Examiner.com piece, Jack Brewer posted “The Woods/Jacobs Tapes and the ‘Oral History’ Falsehood.” The essay contained Jack’s thoughts on the topic as discussed on Jeff Ritzmann’s Paranormal Waypoint radio show. Specifically, the episode just prior to Jack’s post
. . . was a special three-hour finale to Ritzmann’s multi-episode exploration of research of alleged alien abduction. Focus was upon the case of Emma Woods and its mishandling by the now retired Temple University historian Dr. David Jacobs. Fellow guests were microbiologist Dr. Tyler Kokjohn and author Jeremy Vaeni.
Reitzmann has interviewed Emma Woods, Dr. Kokjohn, and Carol Rainey. Files of interviews and hypnotic regression sessions are available here. Jack Brewer posted his thoughts on the Paranormal Waypoint interview series here.
The methodology of David Jacobs was the subject of an earlier series at Jack Brewer’s UFO Trail. For those who are interested (and you ought to be), here are the links to the series, “The Bizarre World of David Jacobs”: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Lastly for this round-up, Dr. Kokjohn uploaded a YouTube video entitled Alien Abduction Research – The Time Factor. The video discusses how new scientific advancements have made certain alien abduction claims testable, resulting in the exposure of both poor methods and unsustainable claims.
This forthcoming book by Antonio Paris looks promising: Space Science: Challenges for the Extraterrestrial Hypothesis of UFO Phenomenon. The link says that the book will “addresses what the UFO community conveniently fails to address.” For what those failures are, click on the link.