Bosley, Kimball and Redfern: UFO Researcher Deaths and Abductions

As mentioned in the preview post, Nick Redfern was in town this weekend. Walter Bosley showed up at the studio, and we got Paul Kimball working on the skype.  First off, we launched into a recap of recent UFO researcher deaths. We talked about British publisher and conference organizer Stuart Miller, and his even-handed and inquisitive attitude. Gabe Valdez was a friend and pioneering cattle mutilation researcher who passed on last month, and we spent a few minutes recalling his valuable contributions. We then moved on to reminisce about the late cantankerous UFO bookseller Bob Girard and his efforts to dissuade people from buying various books he had for sale.

There was some contention about the legacy of the work of the late Budd Hopkins. Paul believes that he was a belief-driven researcher whose work was dangerous to the mental health of some of the abductees he worked with. Nick and I differed on just how damaging he was, but we were all in agreement that the subject appears far too complicated to be reduced to supposed aliens taking people’s DNA and breeding hybrid children.

Near the end of the show, Walter brought up crop circles and we talked about the “hoaxers” who consider their work in the crops as art and sometimes feel that there are non-human forces at work while they make their patterns in the plants.

We ended with a song requested by Paul as a show of solidarity with the recent anti-greed protests in New York and other cities. We forgot to mention the death of Charles Hickson of the Pascagoula abduction. I will post an essay about him soon.

Photos: Nick deep underneath the Devil’s Gate dam in Pasadena, 10/2/11, Paul and I at a minor league baseball game last June.

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43 comments on “Bosley, Kimball and Redfern: UFO Researcher Deaths and Abductions

  1. Well that was worth the price of admission. At one point i knew Nick was a bit tipsy as his speech was starting to change after a few beers. I’m glad you didn’t drink this time Greg. Wish you had checked your new email during the show but i guess with 3 guests you had a lot on your plate. Fun show, listening live is just to much of a riot to pass up. Looking forward to Dr. Barry Taff and Richard Senate. Also let us know when your tours start, i lived in LA for 15 years and never took a tour would be worth a trip over to LA just for your Weird LA tour.

  2. Mike Clelland on said:

    I was close to yelling at my computer during Paul Kimball’s smug dismissal of the abduction phenomenon.

    I’ve spent the last 5 years talking to a LOT of people who claim contact (or UFO abduction, a term everybody loathes), and listening to these people share their extremely strange waking memories has been paradigm altering. These memories didn’t require the aid of hypnosis. I was disappointed that he was acting so sure of himself, I felt he hadn’t dug into the subject in any sort of meaningful way.

    Just so you know – I have been on Budd Hopkins’ couch – and he tried to hypnotized me! As did Leo Sprinkle, as did Barbara Lamb! None of these dedicated folks were able to “put me under.” I sought them out because I was searching for answers, and I know that Paul might think it was “dangerous” but I needed some help.

    And please know – I shared my opinions and my disagreements with each of those abduction researchers.

    Let me also say that Budd was gracious and open-minded. He was helpful during our time together and I appreciated his compassionate approach. I am profoundly honored that I could call him my friend.

    Mike Clelland

  3. Paul Kimball on said:

    Your mistake, Mike (well, at least the one that stands out most to me) is your categorization of my “smug dismissal” just because you don’t like what I said. The term “smug”, like all ad hominems, is used in place of actual evidence to counter my points. In terms of a “dismissal” I advise you to listen again, more carefully this time – nowhere did I “dismiss” the “abduction phenomenon”. I dismissed the work of people like Jacobs, Hopkins, Mack, Lamb, Sprinkle, et al, because of their lack of qualifications and / or methodological rigour. I specifically stated – as I always do – that there may indeed be something “paranormal” (i.e. beyond our experience) involved with “abductions”. The problem is that people like Hopkins et al get in the way of finding out what it may be, if there is indeed something to discover.

    I’m sorry you can’t see the reality in that.

    Meanwhile, the Bob / Xang / Zorg problem hovers over all the “extraterrestrial” “theories”, unanswered. It’s not a scientific pursuit of the truth for these people; it’s a religion, and yes, like all religions, it can be dangerous.

    Paul

  4. Paul Kimball on said:

    By the way, something like this:

    “I felt he hadn’t dug into the subject in any sort of meaningful way”

    is exactly what evangelicals say to you when you start to point out the flaws in their world view. Sub in “Bible” or “theology” for “the subject” and there’s absolutely no difference. Lines like that merely indicate the intellectual bankruptcy of a person’s position.

    If this offends, too bad. I’m tired of playing paddy-cake with folks whose opinions are coloured by dogma, just so that we can all get along.

    Along those likes, I recommend Sam Harris: http://youtu.be/4LpIeJSkLEg

    Paul

  5. Tacky, Paul, really tacky. Mike Clelland observations of your behavior on last nights show as a “smug dismissal” is really quite accurate. You assert Mike was upset “just because you don’t like what I said”. It is also possible that you Paul were behaving like an arrogant know it all. You are not always right Paul. I proposed a debate on the thread below and your refusal to have an intelligent open minded debate with some one like Peter Robbins makes you appear as the know it all who already knows what this abduction phenomenon is and won’t debate him. You have already made your mid up that “a debate with him (Peter Robbins) on the abduction issue would be like having a debate with a fundamentalist about the existence of God.” Wow talk about predicting the future, since when did you gain all of this prescience Paul? (well unless you are THE Paul Muad’Dib)

    You made some rather extreme accusations about Budd Hopkins and your refuse to even discuss the matter with Peter Robbins and your to response to Mike Clelland in his comments does not do much to bolster your die hard beliefs that Budd is a dangerous person and has harmed the UFO field. I’m going to be blunt here Paul because i have enjoyed your dialog and efforts in the UFO field in the past, but Paul you need to get some balls here. If all your about is believing in what you know if the absolute truth and won’t even have an adult conversation with others that disagree with you, then i hate to break it to you but your acting like the true believer, the fanatic who views cannot be shaken.

  6. Mike Clelland on said:

    Paul,

    I’m don’t wanna do any kind of debate in a comments forum like this, it doesn’t interest me. And I know we agree on a lot more than we disagree.

    What I do “know” is that there is a very real phenomenon at the root of the abduction experience. What it might be is a mystery. I do not, and have never, claimed that the cause is aliens from another planet. I’ve written and spoken about this at length.

    That said, something is going on, and researchers like Budd, Leo, Barbara Lamb, Yvonne Smith and John Mack have been dedicated to exploring and looking into these claims. They all have different conclusions, so they all can’t possibly be “right” about everything, but at least they are doing the research. These folks are human and they will obviously have conclusions colored by their beliefs, that is going to happen in any discipline.

    Paul, my challenge to you is to do the research that you say isn’t being done. Do the work at the highest possible standards of methodological rigor. If you dig into this phenomenon in a meaningful way, I feel strongly that you’ll find a genuine mystery that is impacting very real people.

    Mike Clelland

  7. Paul Kimball on said:

    Ward,

    Hopkins had his chance to go head to head with me on The Paracast (as did Jacobs). I would have been there, ready to go, but he and Jacobs both threatened to walk from the show if I was on (and I have the e-mail correspondence that they sent to Gene Steinberg that he forwarded to me to back that up). So why on earth would I want to debate Peter Robbins now?

    I’ve heard Peter’s defense of Hopkins. There’s nothing there that I feel needs to be addressed that hasn’t been addressed in great detail by many people in many other places.

    Greg asked my opinion when I was on his show. I gave it, and I stand by it, no matter how much Mike chooses to misrepresent it (giving him the benefit of the doubt, I don’t think he’s doing it to be deceitful – he’s just doing it because he can’t see past what he wants to see to the actual words that I said).

    As for doing the research myself, that’s not my job, nor do I ever intend to make it my job, and it’s a cop-out to suggest that people can’t form informed opinions and draw rational conclusions based on the work of others who have written and examined it, from all different sides. I’d love to personally interview Abraham Lincoln, but until someone invents a time machine, that isn’t going to happen. So what? People can make a judgment on his work, and the man, based on what he did. That’s what I’ve done with Hopkins and Jacobs et al. As for the “enigma” itself, I’ve repeatedly said that I leave room for the possibility that there might be something there, but it’s simply impossible to “know”, outside of a belief system.

    Meanwhile, I suggest that anyone who would willingly submit to hypnosis (even if it didn’t work) as a tool for memory recovery hasn’t done *their* research. But worry not – there’s still Jacobs out there, and his chastity belts.

    Paul

  8. Paul Kimball on said:

    P.S. On the question of extreme accusations re: Hopkins, puh-lease. I clearly separated the man from his work. He might well have been the nicest guy ever. So what? Lots of very nice people have done some not so very nice things. Many people think GWB was a thoroughly lovely fellow, and I’m sure he was. Does this mean he gets a pass on his actions? I never said Hopkins was evil; it’s his work, his “methodology”, and the damage that I have little doubt he did to people as a result, that I critiqued, and will continue to do so should anyone ask me my opinion again.

    PK

  9. Ward,

    I’m sorry that I didn’t check my email during the show. Things got heated up and I forgot. I can have Nick answer you off-list if you like. In answer to the question, for my part I have not had any experience with tulpas and have not tried to conjure one up. I am certain that Paul and Walter have not either, and would not expect that they would be interested.

    As for the abduction debate on this list and on the show:

    I am satisfied that Paul has addressed the controversy in a meaningful way and has considered his opinions carefully. The way that he expresses his certitude can be startling to some. I don’t happen to be as certain on this issue.

    From my point of view, Peter Robbins is not dogmatic about what is causing abductions (or whatever we want to call them now) although he is certain that they are happening and are caused by a non-human agency. At my instigation, he specifically mentioned during his interview two weeks ago that the ETH was just one of the possible sources of the phenomenon, even though he is fairly certain that it is the best answer. I don’t agree with the absolute external reality of abductions as presented by Hopkins, Jacobs, Mack, Sprinkle, et al, but I do think they deserve a fair hearing, or at least as fair as I deem fit for the show, just as I think Paul deserves to express his opinion. Listeners can make up their own minds and even do further research.

    The fact that people recall these experiences without any prompting or hypnosis is interesting, although I think that their recall can and has been contaminated by popular images and even the researchers themselves. On the other hand, I also find it interesting that many of them will apparently recall specific details that have not been presented in the popular literature, at least if the researchers are to be believed on this point. There are also almost certainly a host of subconscious motivations and influences that are not acknowledged by either the abduction researcher or the subjects.

    I don’t think that Paul or Peter are interested in any debate about the subject in a public forum. I would be interested to locate two or more other people (who are also intelligent and know what they are talking about) and either let them talk live or as a back-and-forth text debate.

  10. Walter Bosley on said:

    I just want everyone to know that the proper spelling is “p-a-t-t-y cake”…

    My experience with tulpas has apparently been entirely conjured by the tulpas themselves!

    And I only saw Nick drink one beer

  11. Paul Kimball on said:

    Actually, Greg, while I’ve never had an experience with a tulpa, the subject does interest me,andd it’s something that I may explore further in the future, if time and circumstance allow.

    Paul

  12. Paul Kimball on said:

    Mike,

    I have no beef with you, other than your misrepresentation of what I
    actually said. Yes, I critiqued Hopkins’ *work*, which I’ve done for
    years. I see no reason to pull punches, because he has plenty of defenders
    singing his praises (I think Peter Robbins compared him to Copernicus, although perhaps it was someone else who made that howler). Further, it’s not like Hopkins was just some completely genial fellow who always had polite conversations with his critics and agreed to disagree – he once compared them to Holocaust deniers, for example. And if anyone thinks I sounded harsh, it’s nothing compared to some of the things he and his defenders have said about Carol Rainey’s critique of Hopkins’ work as the “rantings of a jealous ex-wife!

    And here’s the thing – sometimes you just can’t paper over differences, or be nice, when you think someone is fundamentally wrong, and doing harm. Clear lines are needed, and when those are drawn, there will always be those who are offended.

    I have no respect for his work, because in my opinion it’s fundamentally flawed (and yes, in some cases dangerous to his subjects’ mental health). I also have no respect for *him*, because he defended Jacobs, even when it should have been obvious to any besides the truest believers that Jacobs had gone way too far. That’s not science, and it’s not research that will lead to any insight into the abduction enigma, because
    it’s a religion. My reaction to you on the RM forum stems from the fact that you wrote that I “smugly dismissed” the abduction enigma, which is simply not true.

    Anyway, it all falls under the “que sera sera” category for me, and there’s no hard feelings on my end.

    Best,
    Paul

    • Paul Kimball on said:

      Just a note – Mike sent me an e-mail earlier that is exactly the same as his post above. I replied to the e-mail, but only just now noticed that he had posted it here as well, so I figured I should make my reply public, lest I be accused of tackily ducking the issues, or something like that.

  13. I particularly liked the linkage of crop circles and zen gardens. I’ve always taken crop circles to be either art or tomfoolery (possibly both), and nothing more, but your discussion illuminated the possibilities through that particular thought-nugget.

    When you add the weight of beliefs surrounding the ‘art,’ mix it with the meditative qualities of the creation process, weigh in with other assumed strong emotions involved (fear of discovery, excitement of doing something illegal, concentration in order to achieve accurate results), and realize it’s being done in the middle of the night… then consider how tulpas are created, how ceremonial magic theoretically works, and voila: the dots connect themselves in semi-reasonable forms.

    Of course the artists in this case tend to also be a specific type of person who will have an understanding of both arts and mathematics. Not a whole lot of people are wired that way.

    Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the show was great too, but personally that minute was where I really stuck my finger into the socket. Thanks guys.

  14. dia sobin on said:

    Thanks guys – great discussion! When y’all are not busy drawing battle-lines, you begin to hit upon some really fascinating stuff. ;-)

    I’m far from being any sort of authority (duh!), but, it seems to me that Ufology – a virtual house of cards – is on shaky enough ground as it is without complicating the matter by dividing ranks. We’re not really talking about an established scientific inquiry, so, as opposed to denigrating the investigative input (or theories) of others, at this point, I think it’s more important to determine the possible merits… and then, move on.

    Re: Hopkins and his hypnosis. While his methodology may very well have been a negligible – possibly dangerous – empirical approach, it was a valid initial approach for its time, all things considered. Look at the history of medical science! (or, better yet, don’t!)

    And, while I’m not saying that you guys implied otherwise,”nuts & bolts” ETH ufology is necessary in a historical context. Men like Hynek and Stan-the-Man stand out from the rest because they had (and have) solid agendas, and, perhaps, those individuals who are reluctant to “move on” now, are those who find nothing solid enough to move on to. (And, I predict they’re not going to find it in the likes of Susan Clancy, Paul). So, maybe it’s necessary to really build (that field) before they “will come”.

    I agree with you Greg; I don’t think the reality of abductions can be negated – too many people have had experiences, as too many people have seen and witnessed UFOs. The central question applies to the nature of the beast, but there, as with all things “paranormal”, the objective, mechanistic inquiry comes up against a vaporous, diffuse wall.

    So, “filming” these experiences, Paul, might be impossible for a number of a reasons, many of which we presently can’t comprehend. However, your assertion that an advanced race would probably not need so many of these purported genetic experiments is, in itself, a kind of materialistic “nuts & bolts” observation. You’re assuming that the hypothetical visitors are behaving in a linear way, while there’s a possibility that this particular scenario might be closer to a type of impersonal psycho-file replayed over and over again to those with the ability (and/or disability) to “download” it. Just who or what is responsible for the uploading may not be the important question… the questions may be “how” and “why”.

    Lastly, Nick, that was an interesting comment about crop circle “hoaxers” and their anomalous, “muse” like experiences, so, I’m really glad Walter brought it up. As an artist who’s done a lot of work with weird geometry, and one who has a personal fondness for all things “muse”-related, I have a subjective understanding of the topic… but, no, not a millimeme of objective, “rigorous” knowledge. And I guess that’s the real problem with all “paranormal” (and I hate the word) inquiry… kind of like the bit about the square peg and the round hole… the inquiry and the methodology apparently have no common “ground”.

    Thanks again,
    Dia

  15. Paul Kimball on said:

    I think the real research into this subject is being done anywhere but within the “UFO field”, simply because no-one in the UFO field is really qualified to do it. It’s research like this that will lead to greater understanding, as we gain more knowledge of how the human mind works – it won’t be from people lying down on a couch and being hypnotized by artists and historians: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-10-track-reality.html

    There is all sorts of fascinating, ground-breaking work being done by science in terms of understanding the human condition. It’s *there* that the answers will always be found, other than the existential questions that only we can answer for ourselves, if people are patient enough to wait for them, and rational enough to accept conclusions backed by methodolgically sound research when they’re offered.

  16. Paul Kimball on said:

    Hi Dia,

    Filming the experiences is absolutely not impossible, in the sense that I mean it. Set up a continuous multi-camera experiement, run by and monitored by objective, third-party researchers (assuming that “aliens” account for a second party), and you’ll get information. It will in all likelihood be absolutely nothing, but that in itself is information upon which a conclusion can be drawn.

    As for Hopkins, even if we assume that because of lack of knowing what we know now his methodology at the beginning was valid (not an assumption I make, but I will here for the sake or argument), that doesn’t account for his continuing use of it, and defence of it, long after it had been revealed to be unsound beyond any reasonable doubt.

    And Susan Clancy did some excellent work, which was predictably dismissed by the UFO “field”, with one or two exceptions. But you can completely ignore her, and look to the work of Kevin Randle, who believes that aliens are here and have crashed, and that there’s a great government conspiracy, but has co-authored what I think is a definitive study of how the abduction cult, as I’ve called, came into existence, and why almost all cases (he would say all; I leave a little room for doubt) can be explained. Like Greg’s “Project Beta”, Kevin’s “The Abduction Enigma” is largely ignored within ufology – not because he is wrong, but because he says things that undermine the orthodoxy that has prevailed for over 30 years on the subject. In both cases, that’s shameful.

    Paul

    • dia sobin on said:

      Hi Paul,

      Well, as is pretty obvious, I am neither a ufologist, nor a scientist, and really haven’t the technical knowledge to make any meaningful assertions about the subject at all. In fact, I was going to request that Greg pull my comment down. In the end I almost always regret commenting, because it is so difficult to really make oneself understood, and half the time I don’t feel I have any business commenting anyway.

      Problem 1: I have never seen a UFO nor have I been abducted. At the same time, I’m assuming, because I’m an honest person and can’t really wrap my mind around “hoaxes”, that much of what I read is quite possibly true. Emphasis on “possibly”. That is, at least some of these many people are experiencing something valid.

      Problem 2: I don’t buy into science quite the way you do. Nor do I immediately assume science presently or in the future has facts which can never be disputed. I don’t think even true scientists believe that.

      Problem 3: If aliens have, indeed, “landed”, and assuming we’re talking about a highly advanced race, then it’s probably unlikely that any our technology can out-manouver them and its highly unlikely our intellects or understanding of physical laws can blow their cover.

      That being said, I don’t think that by attempting to film aliens and coming up with zilch necessarily proves anything… apart from the understanding that whatever we’re trying to film isn’t corporeal in the ways we’re familiar with, or has methods to effectively “cloak” their presence, or “they” simply decided not to “arrive” that particular day.

      And, as for Hopkins, I’m not familiar enough with his methodology to even have an opinion, so anything I say is moot… and that goes for Kevin Randles… and I haven’t read Greg’s book either (Don’t take this personally Greg, I’m sure it’s great!)… so you see, I am an illiterate on the subject!

      But, as for Clancy, who entered her research with the assumption that alien abduction was false to begin with, and whose agenda centered on child abuse, I’m just not impressed with her hypotheses. Having experienced “sleep paralysis” many times myself, I’m not of the opinion that it can explain away alien abductions. In fact, Clancy’s methodology is, in my opinion, a perfect example of bad science.

      • Sagacious on said:

        Just on the point of filming aliens, I think that such monitoring is key to solving the abduction mystery. Suppose the monitoring is on and an abduction happens, but is undetected by the film. Then that is evidence that it is not a nuts and bolts event. Or suppose no one is ever abducted while filming is going on. On the one hand, it is evidence against nuts and bolts abduction, on the other it could be a defense against abduction (even if its just a placebo effect). Of course, the monitoring set-up has to be such that it cannot be easily switched off by the subject of the monitoring.

        • Red Pill Junkie on said:

          You know, these kind of discussions remind me of that scene in the movie ‘Contact’, after Dr. Arroway ‘returns’ from her trip, but to the external cameras the probe never actually disappeared. On the other hand, her personal recorder only captured static —18 hours of it ;)

  17. Paul Kimball on said:

    On the question of abductions, for those who haven’t read Kevin Randle’s book The Abduction Enigma and want a relatively quick primer, I would recommend this interview I conducted with him a year ago for my intermittent podcast The Other Side of Truth: http://tosot.podbean.com/2010/09/09/kevin-randle-the-abduction-enigma-and-the-will-to-believe-sept-8-2010/

    If it’s a subject that Greg wants to pursue further, I would suggest that Kevin would be an excellent guest, who could also talk about all sorts of other things, including Project Beta. Now THAT would be a good show! :-)

    Paul

    • Red Pill Junkie on said:

      I had the chance to listen to Kevin discuss abductions in Don Ecker’s Dark Matters podcast. Like Dia, I think he approaches the subject from a linear perspective and basing his suppositions in his bias that aliens=interplanetary travelers; which prompts him to say things like “these guys can travel enormous distances between the stars, and yet are so dumb that they need to keep repeating the same genetic experiments they’ve been performing for 40 years, without having learned anything.” I personally find a lot of red flags in such a comment, not least of all the idea that the intention of the abduction is for research purposes —Hell, maybe they like to torture people for the fun of it!

      Likewise I’m not ready to question the validity of abduction research based on the supposition that if aliens are so highly advanced than us, then surely they would have the means to effectively ease the memory of their captives in ways that a historian and artist —and forgive me for saying so, but you keep repeating that over and over as if to dismiss these men merely by their academic merits, or lack thereof— wouldn’t be able to circumvent.

      Well, first of all: how do we know the aliens are the ones erasing the memories of the abductees? Maybe this is a completely natural defense mechanism that the mind resorts to in order to preserve its integrity. There are plenty of documented cases when individuals are victims to terrible accidents —e.g. a car crash— that leaves them incapable of remembering the crucial moments during the event. That’s the very reason why Betyy and Barney Hill went to seek the aid of Dr. Simon, who was already an expert in helping war veterans to cope with their traumatic experiences.

      Second of all, why do we assume that the aliens are counting on the abductee to forget the encounter? do they need the amnesia to protect their operations? Maybe they don’t give a hoot whether the abductee remembers or not —in the book ‘Captured’ parts of the (retrieved) conversation between the so-called leader and Betty are presented, including the one where the leader suggests to Betty that Barney would probably forget everything about the experience, but that he wasn’t sure —once again, the ambiguity leads to many interpretations; but in no place do we see a big-enough concern or even a direct order to forget all about the abduction, although Barney did seem to have the fear that he would suffer repercussions for speaking in public.

      There are other things, like our presupposition that people who identify themselves as abductees seek this explanation as a means to ‘feel special’ or to aver the possibility that they suffer a mental illness. I have read several blogs written by self-proclaimed abductees, and from what I’ve gathered so far, nothing would give them more relief than to find it’s all in their heads! they would love if a doctor came and told them “here, take this pill and the aliens will go” —the phenomenon seems to follow cyclic intervals anyway, meaning there will be long periods of quiet un-eventfulness before an intense season of contacts. These do go to see doctors, not only psychiatrists, but also other specialists because some of them suffer from chronic health issues.

      So, bottom line, I think that abduction researchers would do well in heeding the concerns brought forth by critics of their methodology and their conclusions. Yes, it would be far better if trained scientists would decide to either offer their services or even take over completely the research. But let’s not kid ourselves: UFOlogy, like any other fringe discipline, attains respectability one martyr at a time; and by martyr, I mean respected individuals with good credentials who decide to risk it all in pursuit for answers: men like Hynek, McDonald & Mack. When will the next martyr appear? I do not know.

      PS: You know what would be cool? if Greg & co. were to go to a field —after asking permission of course— to make their own crop circle! :)

  18. AJ Gulyas on said:

    Great episode, guys. One thing that I think could have been explored more is Nick’s comment (repeated several times) about the financial/business aspect of current day UFOlogy and the role monetary considerations play in shaping the ongoing paranormal narrative. I’ll be honest, I’m far more interested in the existence of this spectrum of beliefs as a cultural phenomenon than I am in any sort of search for the truth. The economics of the paranormal may be a fruitful topic for some intrepid, thick-skinned person to investigate.

    • Mathew McKenzie on said:

      And it WILL require a thick-skinned person to investigate. It’s an avenue of inquiry that leads straight into a swamp of sleaze, fraud, greed, and stupidity.

      Look no further than George Noory’s nightly clown show for an example. There’s obviously a good living to be made peddling fear-porn.

  19. Mike Clelland on said:

    On October 3rd I wrote a comment where I stated: “I was close to yelling at my computer during Paul Kimball’s smug dismissal of the abduction phenomenon.”

    What I should have written was this: “I was close to yelling at my computer during Paul Kimball’s smug dismissal of Budd Hopkins.”

    At about the 56 minute time-count mark, Greg asks: “We have not given any time to Paul on his thoughts on Budd Hopkins.”

    Included in Paul’s reply was this: “… It’s sad when anyone dies who’s not a mass murderer dies, and that’s the only good thing I can say about him …”

    Now, in my mind that was a mean-spirited ‘smug dismissal’ and I reacted emotionally.

    I spent many hours with Budd in one-on-one conversations, and I found him to be open and caring in a way that was tremendously therapeutic. As I stated previously, I am profoundly honored that I could call him my friend.

    Mike Clelland

  20. Paul Kimball on said:

    Fair enough, Mike. You have your view of Hopkins, which I can respect, and I have mine. I still object to the characterization of it as a “smug dismissal”, but c’est la vie.

    PK

  21. Jim Parks on said:

    I’ve seen Kimball’s out-of-hand dismissals of certain personalities over at the Paracast forums, which keeps me from even listening to this show. Kimball claims to be a movie maker, not a UFO expert. So why does he keep trying to act like an expert? In addition to smug, Kimball is also a pompous prig. Oh wait — is that ad hominem? Oops. Honestly, I am waiting for Kimball to go the way of Biedny over at the Paracast, where I have been able to once more return after Biedny’s departure.

    • Jim,

      I’m glad that you listen and have been a great supporter of the show. I mean that sincerely.

      That said, personal insults directed at the guests and commenters will not be tolerated on this list. If this gets out of hand, I will seriously consider shutting down the comment lists completely. I don’t have a structured show forum for this exact reason. I do not like having to play policeman, and I will not ban people, I will simply shut the comments down. All of them. Forever. I don’t have the time nor the inclination to deal with this. A lot of work goes into the show and this site in particular and I will not have it turned into just another forum for insults.

      I like to think that the listeners come here to get something that they don’t get anywhere else, and that will not change, even if I have to take away the option to comment on the shows.

      This is the first warning that I have had to make. It goes for all users of the comments section. I just naively thought that I wouldn’t have to actually post any rules.

      I don’t want an answer, an explanation or an apology. I just want it to stop. Now.

    • dia sobin on said:

      Well, Jim I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but I kind of know Paul and though he may have been dismissive in this particular instance, I would not describe his comments as “smug”.

      As for the “pompous prig” part, well, I wouldn’t go that far, but even if he has his somewhat inflexible moments, that, sir, is why we love him.

      P.S. Do keep in mind Paul’s alliance with the Rear Admiral Zorgrot. This is no small matter. Zorgrot has been known to vaporize certain individuals in the past who shall (evermore) remain nameless. Be advised.

  22. dia sobin on said:

    I just really wish you’d stepped in earlier, Greg…

    • Outright name-calling is where I draw the line. Everyone seemed to understand that up to now, and I have a huge problem with censoring or banning people.

      • dia sobin on said:

        “Outright name-calling is where I draw the line,”
        … as well you should!

        I’m not trying to tell you how to run this gig, Greg, but I think if you inserted your diplomatic, moderating tones here and there in certain key areas, you might defuse situations before they get out of hand.

        You know how us kids get when teacher’s not in the room! ;-)

  23. Walter Bosley on said:

    Sigh…If only I found the whole UFO/ET thing as interesting as I used to, this would be fun… ;)

  24. Paul Kimball on said:

    I’ve told Greg privately that I’m going to recuse myself from this conversation, but I do want to make one final point, from my perspective (and if it seems priggish, too bad).

    I don’t “dismiss” the work of Hopkins et al. I don’t dismiss anyone’s work, because that implies that I haven’t looked into it.

    Rather, I *reject* it, based upon a thorough review of their work over a period of several years, as well as the work and opinions of their supporters and their critics, and sources from outside the narrow world of “ufology”. For a compendium of my writings over the years detailing at least in part how and why I reached that conclusion, see: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/vida_alien/alien_abductionabductees04.htm

    And now, adios… time to go celebrate the Yankees’ loss with Zorgrot.

    PK

  25. Kandinsky on said:

    I enjoyed the show and was offended by nothing at all. Greg’s point about a 10-year moratorium on abduction research would suit me fine if it stopped people getting all rabid about the subject. Unfortunately the train’s left the station and has too much momentum to stop or be stopped. It’s probably far and away the most divisive and destructive sub-topic in ufology and seems to get worse over time.

    I also agreed with Paul’s opinions on the subject. There’s a phenomena/experience that seems to be worth studying but it doesn’t mean Hopkins’ research wasn’t deeply flawed or that garbage in doesn’t mean garbage out. Likewise, experiencing an event doesn’t mean Hopkins was right about causes or origins. Unfortunately, as poster-child for the ‘abduction phenomenon’ and friend to many of the UFO veterans, it’s not possible (or allowed in some places) to discuss the guy without self-defence, perceived persecution and misplaced loyalties getting in the way.

    This alone is reason enough for me to hope for a moratorium. In 10 years, current bloggers and the show guests will be pretty close to being the ‘Old Guard’ in ufology and hopefully things might become less combative? I’m not holding my breath!

    I think it was Nick who was asking for a rewind with *all* data being pooled and a fresh start approach taking place without any assumptions or theories? The idea being that the signal might finally be heard above the din of bickering groups or come into sight after being buried beneath decades of bad research.

    First reaction was an inner cheer (Woot!!) and then I realised that I willlisten to you guys because I share the same sort of thinking. I don’t listen to Exo-politicals because I don’t understand their sort of thinking. The thing is, as much as I gravitate to some ideas and folk and then repelled from others, those same social/intellectual drivers are pushing everyone else too.

    In this way, Nick would be unable to look at the data without remaining ‘I dunno’ any more than a Hopkins (for example) could see the data and not infer ‘abductions.’ Likewise, those who believe in Djinn and demons see them everywhere anyway and ufology is no exception. I don’t know why this is the case, but ufology is divided into diverse (ridiculous in some cases) tribes because we can’t take the subjective humanity away from trying to interpret the data.

    It’s probably no different, in origin, from identifying with people who support the same team or flavours of ice-cream. We just can’t help falling into groups based on what we have in common and rejecting some of the others. Of course, some of the groups in ufology should be quarantined for their own protection. 2011 – the year when Salla and Webre fell out about whether plesiosaurs are on Mars…or not. Some folk are so open-minded their brains are on show like the worn-out seats of a 60s VW Beetle convertible.

    • Excellent points, and yes, we all gravitate to our belief systems. That is why I try to push model agnosticism as a guide to navigate these subjects. There is value in almost any directed research, but that value varies very widely.

      In addition to the moratorium, I also have also advocated (specifically in a talk this last spring) that previously collected data be computerized so that new and/ or alternative theories might be inferred through either discovered patterns or putting ideas to the test and seeing if the data supports them. This is what Nick was saying, but it could be applied across all UFO and paranormal data.

      As you point out, we are slaves to our subjectivity, and while this may in some cases be a useful tool we need to recognize when it is holding us back. Intuition guided by scientific reasoning and logic may be our best bet with the paranormal.

  26. Sagacious on said:

    To someone who might read this–including Greg himself–does anyone know what is going on, why there hasn’t been a new show?

    • There was a new show last week. I just haven’t posted it yet. I will do that this evening. Sorry for the delay, I’ve just been busy with busywork around the house.

  27. OK. I guess it looks like Saturday sometime. Responsibilities really piling up here! Apologies.

  28. Adam Gorightly on said:

    dammit Bishop, you’re letting your fans down!

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