Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Abductology Implodes

If "Abductology" is the study of alleged UFO abductions, then it can be said that not since the sudden demise of Marxist-Leninism has any subject, real or imagined, self-destructed so suddenly and so completely as Abductology has managed just now to do.

Twenty years ago, Abductology was riding high, led by its Troika of Dr. John Mack, a respected Harvard psychiatrist, Budd Hopkins, artist and amateur hypnotist, and Dr. David Jacobs, onetime UFO historian turned abduction guru. The earliest reported UFO abductions in the U.S. - Betty and Barney Hill in 1961, and a trickle of others including Travis Walton in 1975 - typically involved going outside to some lonely and deserted spot at night, where one allegedly encountered aliens, and was kidnapped. It was Hopkins who severed that connection completely in his cases of the early 1980s. No longer was it necessary to be outside in some scary place at night for a UFO abduction to occur: in the new Hopkins-style abductions, the aliens would come right into your bedroom and snatch you up, often passing through solid walls in the process. "Mommy, there's a monster under my bed." "No, Dear, that's just a Gray alien, that has been stalking and abducting the women of our family for several generations. It won't hurt you."

So "credible" did Abductology become, not only did CBS-TV produce a 1992 prime time mini-series based on Hopkins' writings, but there was even an "Abduction Study Conference" at MIT in 1992, sponsored by Dr. David Pritchard of the physics department. So confident were the Abductologists that they were ready for Prime Time, they invited journalists, academics, and even skeptics (I attended for CSICOP). However, they went to extraordinary lengths using "non-disclosure forms" to control how the conference was reported (yet violated it themselves under the principle of "sovereign immunity").


The conference, however, did not unfold as smoothly as its organizers planned. Many academics, even those inclined toward UFO or paranormal belief, objected mightily to the loose "methods" of the Troika. In one of Budd Hopkin's talks, he described a survey he did of children showing them pictures of unusual things to see which they were familiar with, to tell if they might have been abducted. He was met by an avalanche of objections: you didn't normalize, you didn't validate, etc. In other words, his survey was worthless. Chastened, Hopkins said something like "I'm sorry, I'm just an artist and I don't understand all that technical stuff. I thank you guys. That's why we invited you here, to help us." Not long afterward, Mack was speaking and described some sort of test or evaluation he was doing with his subjects. He ran into similar objections. I was waiting for Mack to say, "I'm sorry, I'm just a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University, and I don't understand all that technical stuff." But he did not.

So what happened recently that has left Abductology for dead? In a deadly one-two punch, a woman who was one of Jacobs' subjects is publicly accusing him of unprofessional conduct, and has recordings to back herself up. This was followed by Hopkins' ex-wife spilling the beans about his extreme loosey-goosey "investigative" methods, and showing him absurdly credulous in accepting subjects' obvious fabrications, in fact sometimes actually complicit in helping cover them up!

For some time now, the matter has been simmering of a woman who uses the alias "Emma Woods." She was a hypnotic subject of David Jacobs from 2004 to 2007, all of which took place over the telephone. She has written, and circulated widely within UFOlogy, long and detailed accounts of her complaint against Jacobs. I did not have time to read all of the details of her accusations, but assuming she can document everything she says, Jacobs appears in a sorry light, indeed. This also seems to involve a rivalry-at-a-distance between Emma and another woman in Jacobs' circle, making the matter sound even more unprofessional. She accuses Jacobs of telling her, during hypnosis sessions, that she suffers from Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). She also accuses him of "planting" false memories in her of evil aliens abducting her, raping her, and even trying to kill her. She says she felt sick every time she saw the ocean because she "remembered" an alien hybrid holding her head under water. In 2006 Jacobs wrote to her in an email, "I am in a rather severe crisis with the aliens. I will be talking to them tonight about my future and what they will or will not do to me." The alien hybrids were using the other woman's Instant Messenger to communicate with Jacobs (but of course she did not type the messages, they did). Since Jacobs is still living, the aliens obviously didn't kill him. Apparently he reached an agreement with them: he would agree to check their on-line messages frequently, and they agreed not to abduct him and implant a tracking chip. Problem solved.

"Emma Woods" is now considering legal action against Temple University, Jacobs' employer. (Jacobs has no training in medicine or hypnosis - he is a historian.) More information about the case is here: http://ufotrail.blogspot.com/2011/08/central-issues-of-emma-woods-case.html .

On his website http://www.ufoabduction.com/ , Jacobs  has a response to the "defamation campaign" against him. Referring to "Emma" as "Alice," Jacobs says that she appears to suffer from "Borderline Personality Disorder," and that she has been experiencing an "emotional breakdown."

Carol Rainey and Budd Hopkins
The second punch, one I was not at all expecting, comes from Carol Rainey, the ex-wife of Budd Hopkins. Upon reading "Emma's" account, she jumped into the fray: "the trusting and vulnerable patient delivered up to Jacobs his hoped-for narrative of predatory hybrids among us— exactly what he ordered for the book he was writing.  However, it’s anything but a typical abductee’s experience: violent sexual encounters with a human/alien hybrid; a request by the good Doctor (Ph.D. in history, non-medical) to send him her panties, unwashed, so they could be tested for alien sperm; and a proposal that she wear a chastity belt with nails across the vaginal opening, which he’d locate for her from (in Jacobs words) “a sex shop that specialized in bondage/dominance, a place that I frequented quite often.” "

An experienced documentary filmmaker in the medical field, Rainey soon realized that "what Hopkins and Jacobs claim as 'the powerful evidence' for alien abductions and hybrids among us is based primarily on the powerful, hypnotic repetition of their own proclamations—and the public’s gullibility in believing whatever unfounded theories these star paranormal investigators punt down the field." She became increasingly skeptical of one of Hopkins' star abductees, James Mortellaro. "Several things about this case were making me increasingly uneasy.  It wasn’t just the pills and the pistol [he always kept in his boot].  Or the fact that none of Jim’s claims had been checked or verified. Among his more mundane statements, Jim Mortellaro had earlier told Budd that he had two Ph.D.s (Really?  That’s impressive, the skeptical wife thinks from behind the camera.  From which universities?) and that he’d been “the Marketing Director for Hitachi” before retiring early.   (Really? Was that Regional, National or International Marketing Director?)". But Budd wasn't curious. Later, Hopkins received several phone messages from individuals who called to confirm key portions of Mortellaro's story. Hopkins may have been fooled by them but Rainey wasn't: "I’ve spent twenty-plus years in post-production suites, with the editor or the mixer altering voices up, down, and sideays,” she told her husband. “It’s certainly not rocket science and Jim knows electronics.  Listen, that’s his syntax, that’s the way he says ‘very concerned’and drops his ‘gs’on certain words.” But instead of becoming suspicious of his "abductee," Hopkins became angry with his wife.

Rainey assisted her husband in the editing of his book on the famous abduction story of Linda "Cortile": "It was highly dramatic, paced like a thriller— full of otherworldly treachery, forbidden love, UFOs over Manhattan, twenty-two witnesses, a heroine whose red blood cells were immortal, lusty and dangerous Secret Service agents, a Prince from afar, gifts of many fur coats, chases on foot, more forbidden love, an X-rayed alien implant, Linda’s abduction into a spacecraft accompanied by an important world leader, her abduction into a spacecraft with other members of Budd’s abductee support group, and her abduction into a spacecraft accompanied by a famous Mafia don. Then, later, as the story continued to unfold (long after the book’s publication), Linda’s presence in the lobby of the World Trade Center when the planes hit and her bloody, barefoot escape over shards of glass. Although…not all of those events reported above by Linda Cortile had been selected by Budd for inclusion in the book.  I knew about them, but they weren’t in the book." The fact that the book had been titled The Brooklyn Bridge Abductions did nothing to enhance its credibility. This story already produced a huge stink in UFOlogy during the 1990s when some UFOlogists tried to independently confirm some of Linda's wild tales, and came up with nothing. Worse yet, Hopkins "continued to tout the major significance of the case long after he knew that Linda had lied to him on multiple occasions," according to Rainey.



Another thing we learn from Rainey is that Leslie Kean, the author of the best-selling book UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go On the Record is "Budd’s new protege, advisor, and all-round organizer" ( see my review of her book in the Skeptical Inquirer, March/April 2011). Now we begin to understand why Kean is so impervious to any facts that contradict her published position: she likely  learned this modus operandi from Hopkins. Rainey notes, "In our house, the words “debunkers” and “skeptics” were used very much in the way that devout Christians use the words “unbelievers” and “the unsaved.” "

"The two best-known abduction investigators, Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs, work almost exclusively alone (separately, although with extensive telephone exchanges), without supervision (and are unwilling to accept any), and without any training in medicine or psychiatry or neurology.  A bit of comparative religion, anthropolgy, and folklore under the belt wouldn’t hurt, either, in dealing with these difficult-to-interpret human experiences.  They’re not required to get authorization for their experimentation on human beings from an Institutional Review Board (IRB), a clearance that’s required of every legitimate institutional researcher in the country.  It’s peer review of a proposed study using human subjects, it’s strict, and researchers are required to report back to the IRB with their findings.  None of this applies to UFO researchers."  Carol Rainey's long and revealing article is athttp://paratopia.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/paratopia-mag_vol1_1-15-11.pdf . Her website is at http://www.carolrainey.com/home.html .

In hindsight, this outcome was inevitable. As anyone who ever tried to have a rational conversation with either Hopkins or Jacobs can attest, the two men are extraordinarily smug, self-righteous, even pig-headed. They are correct, you are wrong, and probably stupid as well: it's as simple as that. (I never got a chance to chat with Mack, apart from a quick "hello, how are you?" in passing. The circles he moved in were far too rarefied for me to enter.) In their own circles, each is a god, more or less, and one doesn't question superior beings. There's truth in the old Biblical saying, "pride goeth before a fall." When someone smugly thinks he is invariably correct no matter how foolish his pronouncements (somehow Sylvia Browne comes to mind), sooner or later the Foolish Factor will grow so large that even many of his sycophants won't be able to ignore it.

Wither Abductology? John Mack was struck by a car and killed in 2004. Budd Hopkins has been publicly humiliated by the shocking expose of his foolishness written by his ex-wife. As for David Jacobs, if there were a contest for "stupidest and most humiliating statements," he would be a strong contender. No doubt UFO abduction claims will trickle on for a while, but it's clear that Abductology, as practiced by the Troika in its heyday,  is now considered even by many pro-UFOlogists to be an embarrassing chapter in the history of UFOs that should be forgotten as quickly as possible.

30 comments:

  1. Excellent article.

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  2. "Keep your comments relevant, and keep them civil! That means no personal attacks will be allowed, by anyone, on anyone."

    Does the comment "(somehow Sylvia Browne comes to mind)" fall under your own rules?

    I enjoyed the article until I reached that petty snipe. Please, show more professionalism than your subjects have.

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  3. Hi Robert. Long time no see. That's a wonderful analysis but what about the Alien Autopsy video? Don't you think in the public's eye that was so histrionic nothing could top that? After that, what could the media do? It was all downhill from there. Hopkins, Mack, and Jacobs may have had credibility problems but that never stops a whole new crop of nut bars. My own theory is that the autopsy video caused overexposure in the media.

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  4. This is what causes people to beleive they were abducted when they sleep, DMT. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethyltryptamine

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  5. The very fact that a type zero civilization (earth) will be visited by a type ll or even a type lll civilization is absurd. We are as Dr. Michio Kaku says have not even transcended into a type l civilisation but we are going through the growing pains. He also states that we have not even observed anything in our galaxy that comes close.

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  6. Whoahh,back up,communism did not implode and it never really got off the ground .Anyone with a book or two can tell you this.I am a true Republican Capitalist but I will defend their roots till the end.The people just wanted a fair share of the pie.Just like democracy it got infiltrated at the beginning.The only fair system is 100% vote and armed voters.That is something that has not happened since the stone age.

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  7. You say Jacobs conducted hypnosis sessions with this woman by telephone (!). I've never heard of hypnosis by this method. Is it a recognised method?

    Bill Clinton is said to have had a book about 'telephone sex' in the White House. But telephonic hypnosis? I am baffled.

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  8. This is amazing material, and I thank you for posting it. I have been researching false memories for the past few years, and it is not as common to find retractors from the abductee camp as it is from the satanic abuse conspiracy set, probably because abductees can contextualize their false memories into something they believe to be positive and affirming, more so than those who were influenced to believe that they were involved in grotesque ritual abuse. I attended a UFO conference last year (the UFO congress, a brief report upon I wrote here:http://www.process.org/discept/2010/10/18/among-the-abducted/ ) and I was struck by the fact that the crowd in general, as well as the self-proclaimed abductees, was largely over 50 years of age. I felt then that this was a waning phenomenon, even before learning of these troubles. To the die-hard though, it will not matter. Mack is still quite a hero to them all, and they hold to all manner of thoroughly debunked material still. Of course, this is to be expected, but even at a UFO conference, I was still amazed to hear so much reference to relics like the 10% myth (that we only use 10% of our brains).
    It has always been easier for me to demonstrate for people the harm in false memory creation in hypnotherapy or other techniques when I am discussing the lunacy of satanic ritual abuse claims (as I explain in this report I wrote regarding a Ritual Abuse/Mind-Control conference: http://www.process.org/discept/2009/08/25/report-from-the-s-m-a-r-t-ritual-abusemind-control-conference-2009/), but in regards to abductees, I'm often asked, "if somebody wants to believe they flew around with aliens, what's the real harm?" Hopefully, Emma Woods will be able to elaborate the answer

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  9. Hi there!

    My name is Aimee Rancer and I am a writer for Southeast Ohio Magazine. I am doing a story on the subject of UFO's in Southeast Ohio and would love to talk to you about your personal viewpoints on this matter. My e-mail is arancer@gmail.com! I look forward to hearing from you!

    Aimee Rancer

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  10. Mr. Sheaffer wrote:

    "No doubt UFO abduction claims will trickle on for a while, but it's clear that Abductology, as practiced by the Troika in its heyday, is now considered even by many pro-UFOlogists to be an embarrassing chapter in the history of UFOs that should be forgotten as quickly as possible."

    This would be my thought as an atheist and my prayer as a monk, but the ignorance involved in this area is not just resilient, it is exhibitionistic. Engaging a devotee of the Hopkins-Jacobs religion is like subjecting oneself to partial lobotomy by handsaw--without anesthetic. May sobriety win out.

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  11. cda wrote:
    "You say Jacobs conducted hypnosis sessions with this woman by telephone (!). I've never heard of hypnosis by this method. Is it a recognised method?"

    Of course not, but not only that, he has also conducted hypnosis sessions over instant messenger! It's unbelievable... Check out the Paratopia podcast, they did a great job exposing all of this insanity.

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  12. > Jacobs conducted hypnosis sessions with this woman by telephone ... Is it a recognised method?

    Ask yourself this question instead: do other tenured professors of history use hypnosis to do their research?

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  13. You said: "In hindsight, this outcome was inevitable. As anyone who ever tried to have a rational conversation with either Hopkins or Jacobs can attest, the two men are extraordinarily smug, self-righteous, even pig-headed. They are correct, you are wrong, and probably stupid as well: it's as simple as that. (I never got a chance to chat with Mack, apart from a quick "hello, how are you?" in passing. The circles he moved in were far too rarefied for me to enter.) In their own circles, each is a god, more or less, and one doesn't question superior beings."

    I have know Bud Hopkins for over 15 years. I am a psychoanalyst practicing in New York City for the last 43 years. At the time previous to the publication of the Linda case I was invited by Budd to sit in to this monthly intruder foundation meetings and asked by him to share my personal and professional observations.

    I also met with Linda on three separate occasions administering the WAIS - the standard test of measuring intelligence.

    I also observed Bud conduct three hypnotic regressions on three different persons who considered by themselves to be abductees.

    I have remained friends with Bud to this day and consider him to be highly professional and deeply caring about his most fascinating interest.

    I am highly critical of those who demonstrate the slightest degree of arrogance and tend to run from them when I detect their presence. In numerous lunches I have had with Bud in which I actively quizzed him on his observations I never came away feeling that he was anything but open minded, fair and reasonable in discussing the many perplexities associated with this fascinating topic.

    I consider myself to be an open minded skeptic on this topic but trust Bud implicitly to be sincere and truthful with no apparent ax to grind.

    In an era suffused with partisan cock sureness about any and all issues I find Buds's attitude to be refreshing and if nothing else highly stimulating.

    I suggest the author of this blog introduce himself to Bud Hopkins and approach him with an open mind. If he was to do this I would be amazed if he would continue to be so strident in his negative opinion of Bud as he is in this blog entry.

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  14. Dr. Williams,

    Thanks for adding your first-hand comments on Hopkins. As I wrote in the above posting, I participated in the "Abduction Study Conference" at MIT in 1992, arranged by the Troika. There I met met Hopkins and Jacobs (I don't recall if for the first time or not). Both were brusque, dismissive, and haughty. You see, I am not in a position to confer anything desirable upon them, whereas you can potentially confer respectability, as did John Mack. So they have strong incentive to make a favorable impression on you, but not with me. Over the years I've met them occasionally at UFO conferences.

    The most recent was I think in 2005 when I was in McMinnville, OR for the annual celebration of the "classic" Trent UFO photos of 1950. Hopkins was invited as a speaker (even though this had nothing to do with "abductions"). He spoke about the Trent photos, I'm sure he didn't know that I was in the audience. Hopkins said how skeptics were making a lot of money by debunking these perfectly fine, authentic photographs, they do it just for the money. He mentioned Phil Klass and myself by name. Now, this is totally preposterous. My two UFO books have made only a very small amount of money, and the Trent photos are about 1% of each book - so 1% of a small royalty check, please get real! I do not know how much money Hopkins has made on Royalties on his sensationalist books, not to mention the TV rights to "Intruders" - I'm sure he made literally thousands of times more money than me.

    During the Q&A I introduced myself, and explained how ridiculous what he'd said was. He was unconcerned. I spoke with him briefly afterward, and he was haughty and dismissive.

    Dr. Williams, I think that you are the one with the unrealistic opinion of Budd Hopkins. Remember that I quoted Carol Rainey, who said "In our house, the words “debunkers” and “skeptics” were used very much in the way that devout Christians use the words “unbelievers” and “the unsaved.” My own experience confirms what she said. Hopkins was just kissing ass with you because your participation and presence was useful to him.

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  15. Hi Gibbs,

    You say:

    “I have remained friends with Bud [sic] to this day and consider him to be highly professional"

    I saw that on Kay Wilson’s website ‘The Alien Jigsaw’, on the page ‘A Tribute to Budd Hopkins’, you also say:

    “I have met with Budd on a number of occasions. I have observed him regressing a few abductees. There was never a time where there was the slightest hint of him not being a consummate professional. He is ultra sensitive to psychological pain, confusion, trauma and goes out of his way to be kind, unconditionally accepting, and adhere to the highest of ethical standards.”

    I would ask you to think further about this.

    Dr. David Jacobs worked with me as his research subject, and when he had me in the vulnerable hypnotized state, he implanted hypnotic suggestions in my mind that I had Multiple Personality Disorder. In addition, he used extensive leading and suggestion to implant false hypnotic memories in my mind that fit his theories, including of violent assault and rape. His leading and suggestion was so overt that he had to have been aware of what he was doing. This was appalling psychological abuse of me.

    I have provided on my website audio recordings from my hypnosis sessions of Dr. Jacobs doing these things to me.

    Budd Hopkins has chosen to publicly support Dr. Jacobs in regard to his egregious misconduct towards me. Not only that, but he has participated with Dr. Jacobs in publicly defaming me in an attempt to damage my personal reputation so that people will not listen to what I have made public about it.

    Mr. Hopkins’ actions in this matter have not been professional or ethical, and have been far from kind.

    As you are a psychologist, it is surprising that you have not recognized that Dr. Jacobs’ actions towards me as a research subject constituted serious psychological abuse, and that Budd Hopkins public support of him is therefore reprehensible.

    Is Dr. Jacobs’ conduct acceptable to you as well? Is it something that you would do to your own patients?

    Would you deliberately and cold-bloodedly implant hypnotic suggestions in the unconscious mind of one of your patients that they had Multiple Personality Disorder? Would you stand in front of your professional psychological association (if you belong to one) and tell them that you had done such a thing, and try to justify it?

    I suggest that you consider taking a step back from your personal impressions after having lunches with Budd Hopkins, and after sitting in on some of his hypnotic regressions in which he was being watched by you, and look objectively at the facts of what he has actually done in regard to his support for Dr. Jacobs’ abuse of me as a research subject. Perhaps then you may be able to assess the issues from a more ethical standpoint.

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  16. Dear Mr. Scheaffer - If you challenge someone who presumably is sincere and tell him that he is ridiculous is he likely to cozy up to you with a friendly acceptance of your confrontation?

    You hardly strike me as someone who is objective about this perplexing subject. So think what you will about my 'kissable ass' but I will take my chances with my open minded attitude over your obvious ax to grind closed mindedness and let the chips fall...

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    1. Mr, Williams, I can understand how hard this must be to you to confront these things about your friend and colleague. Given your professional status, it must come as a tremendous blow. I caution you not to confuse open-mindedness with ingenuousness. Like many things, consider this article a learning experience.

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    2. What kind of "Doctor" fails to correctly capitalize his own name?

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  17. Dear Mr. Sheaffer:

    Thank you for addressing this explosive topic. It does seem that 'abductology' has been done in by its own excesses. The sad thing is that it took so long and that persons like Emma looking for answers from trusted authorities have been hurt so terribly in the interim.

    To me, this is a true cautionary tale of what can transpire when mainstream science writes off a phenomenon despite the burgeoning and ridiculous claims.

    The potential of new genomic DNA sequencing methods to provide definitive evidence for the existence of human-alien genetic hybrids was pointed out, but so far as I know, neither Dr. Jacobs nor Mr. Hopkins have expressed any interest. Maybe they are so busy dealing with all the other devastating revelations they have not realized the gravity of their predicament. Once the scandals subside, the good old days of book-selling business as usual may be done forever. For one of two things will happen in the near term as the genomics revolution reaches routine medical practice. Either these gentlemen will be in line for the Noble prize or something far less prestigious.

    Whether they ever figure it out or not, I hope the public becomes more discriminating.

    In one sense, there is a perverse symmetry in the fact that science impacts the actions of Dr. Jacobs and Mr. Hopkins so minimally at this point. Science has never had much to do with any aspect of 'abductology.'

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  18. Carol Rainey strikes again!

    A document examiner says that the handwriting of "Levitated Linda," the supposed Brooklyn Bridge abductee, matches that of a supposed "confirming witness:"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D4hQrcDbUpWM

    And this is just an excerpt from a forthcoming documentary film. Budd Hopkins is toast!!!

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  19. “Budd Hopkins is toast!!!”

    With the reliability of key research methods in doubt, concerns regarding conduct and credulousness coupled with an inability to produce supporting DNA evidence, one would certainly think so. Strangely enough, he is not done – not by a long shot.

    The rules and practices of scientific investigation carry little weight with some alien abduction devotees. Search Carol Rainey’s article on Google and then assess the substance and focus of the responses by her critics. You may be shocked at the juvenile and revolting tactics employed in some You Tube videos. In this world, name-calling, character assassination and foul language – not data – are preeminent in debates. Fair warning, though juvenile it may be, some of this material is not acceptable for children.

    Budd Hopkins and Dr. David Jacobs will probably continue to find an audience for their ludicrous claims and profit handsomely. Exposing such exploitation to scrutiny is the best cure and I thank you for doing just that in your blog.

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  20. You forgot the part in Emma's case in which her claim of unethical conduct included Dr. Jacobs asking at least two women to send him their unwashed underwear, "For DNA testing", which he then kept and never sent any where for testing.

    It appears Dr. Jacobs is not only a fraud but a clever and dangerous--and abusive--- sexual pervert.

    Somebody please get him fired soon before he hurts more women. Of course, he'll just think he's being persecuted for "getting too close to the truth" *sigh*

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  21. Is there any update on this story, or has it all just fizzled out. I don't know if EW still updates her website.

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  22. Robert,
    Perhaps Budd Hopkins and Dr. Jacobs were dismissive with you because they knew that you would simply try to make them look foolish, regardless of what they said to you.
    Most people do not appreciate it when people like yourself write articles presenting them in an unfavorable light, without even addressing the content of what they said.

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    1. Steve,

      How can you say that I did not even address the content of what these people said? I said quite a bit about Hopkins' and Jacobs' work, and the problems associated with it. If I make people look foolish by quoting their own words, then the problem is theirs, not mine.

      Hopkins was dismissive of a lot of people. The late James Moseley said that when Hopkins spotted him at a UFO conference, Hopkins "flipped him the bird." That's because the only people Hopkins or Jacobs would approve of are those who would say "Oh great and wise researcher, tell me more about the aliens!" Moseley couldn't accept all of Hopkins'wild claims, like the Brooklyn Bridge Abduction, and Hopkins could not stand criticism.

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    2. Steve, if you think criticising Hopkins and Jacobs is all about partisanship, please educate yourself. Please know many UFO believers and sympathisers agree with skeptics that these abduction "researchers" are self-deluding egomanics who shape witness testimony to fit their own preconceived notions.

      Just check out "Abduction Enigma" by Kevin Randle, William Cone and Russ Estes, who eviscerate Hopkins and Jacobs. Read their shenanigans documented by Jim Schnabel in "Dark White" and by C.D.B. Bryan in "Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind." Check out posts by Paul Kimball and Jack Brewer, for starters.

      Steve, educate yourself: facts are important, partisan bickering is just entertainment.

      Got it?

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  23. Here's an update, Steve: more people who think Hopkins and Jacobs produced "garbage":

    None other than CUFOS bigwig Dr. Michael Swords, abduction expert Dr. Eddie Bullard, and UFO historian Jerome Clark.

    http://thebiggeststudy.blogspot.ca/2012/10/bells-books-and-candles.html

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  24. Robert, Here's a late footnote to your excellent analysis of what you called "abductology". My criticism is a matter of semantics: the use of a word with the ending -ology should indicate a study of the abduction subject, hopefully scientific. What Hopkins and Jacobs were doing was anything but scientific, and it was basically the practise of their belief system. I would call that "abductionism". Isms are beliefs that are religious or political and good examples are Mormonism, Marxism, Spiritualism, etc. For this reason I think that Scientology should really be called "Hubbardism".
    Unfortunately US ufology, which is the perfectly legitimate scientific study of UFOs --whatever they may be-- has been largely hijacked by believers in another ism that I'll call "ETUFO-alienism". That rather cumbersome word is intended to describe the widespread belief that UFOs are ET spacecraft flown by small alien humanoids. ETUFO-alienism has generated a vast UFO mythology that many people now mistake for ufology.

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    1. George,

      That's an interesting point you raise. In principle, I agree. As John Alexander told MUFON in his talk in 2011, the UFO movement has become its own worst enemy. And Steven Greer has done more to discourage scientific interest in UFOs than Phil Klass ever did. However, the problem I see with this idea is that nobody will admit to being part of an "ism": "Don't call me 'ism,' I'm scientific so I'm an 'ology'!"

      By the way, there is a discussion of Bob White's supposed 'UFO artifact' on this Blog, and in the comments I referenced your very interesting paper about it: http://badufos.blogspot.com/2013/03/ufos-in-desert-part-5-final.html#comment-form

      (Somehow that paper is extremely huge, something like 7 meg for a few pages of text. If you want, I can re-format it for you and shrink it by about 99% without losing anything.)

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  25. Robert --I believe in calling a spade a spade, so where one sees an “ism” let’s not call it an “ology”! That’s merely an attempt to pretend that its belief or practice has some scientific basis. As you say, cultists and crazy true believers will probably try to turn the tables and accuse us of espousing isms or being the crazy ones. An interesting case of this is the Flat Earth Society which, in case you ever doubted it, is alive and well, even flourishing (see: www.theflatearthsociety.org ) The Flat Earthers call people like you (I assume!) and me “globularists” and maintain that we are the crazy ones.

    I had missed the discussion of the “Bob White UFO Artifact” on your blog but will take a look at that now. I don’t know why my article takes up 7 megabytes but I assume that’s because there are 4 photos embedded in the Microsoft Word text. Please do reformat it if you can do so without losing anything and feel free to use it on your website. There are so many false claims of this sort and false claims of alien contact that should be exposed one could probably fill several terabytes.

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