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Whitley Strieber's next book


Hotkafka

Sanity is a default
In Kurzweil's estimation, we will be able to upload the human brain to a computer, capturing "a person's entire personality, memory, skills and history", by the end of the 2030s; humans and non-biological machines will then merge so effectively that the differences between them will no longer matter
I've read Kurzweil's The Age of Spiritual Machines, and toyed with how it might apply to the abduction phenemenon -and as strange as that might sound, it's not as much of a conceputal leap as one might think. ...Perhaps our universe has been recorded.
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
So what do you think it is then?
I would hate to say because I really don't have a very good working hypothesis myself. I am inclined to think that there are several different things going on with respect to the subject, almost so that it is hard to see the forest for the trees.

The most optimistic period for this to become a reality was probably following the MIT Conference in 1992, chaired by David Pritchard and John Mack.
We've yet to see a study of the phenomena that involves an intensive monitoring and documentation of the physical manifestations surrounding serial abductees. That has to happen at some point or you have to ask yourself why. Given the number of people who claim to have this happening, the interest the public and entertainment industry has in these things, the high degree of sophisticated monitoring technology available, it would seem that someone would be sufficiently motivated to undertake such an endeavor. To my knowledge, the attempts that have been made to monitor and record abductions have failed. I'm not saying because that is so that they aren't happening, I'm saying because that is so we cannot conclusively say what is actually happening.

Would you like to elaborate on "the present runaway nature of the amateur research community"?
I am talking specifically about the wide use of hypnotic regression which may have introduced a great deal noise into the research. Its continued acceptance by that research community doesn't bode well for the reliability of any future information coming from it.
 

ArchieBedford

Partly experienced
We've yet to see a study of the phenomena that involves an intensive monitoring and documentation of the physical manifestations surrounding serial abductees. That has to happen at some point or you have to ask yourself why. Given the number of people who claim to have this happening, the interest the public and entertainment industry has in these things, the high degree of sophisticated monitoring technology available, it would seem that someone would be sufficiently motivated to undertake such an endeavor. To my knowledge, the attempts that have been made to monitor and record abductions have failed. I'm not saying because that is so that they aren't happening, I'm saying because that is so we cannot conclusively say what is actually happening.
I would agree, and would like to address this issue seriously in the next couple of years, as it needs time, dedication and serious co-operative endeavour.
 

stephen dedalus

Skilled Investigator
So what do you think it is then? We all think it's important for a serious study to be made of the whole business. The most optimistic period for this to become a reality was probably following the MIT Conference in 1992, chaired by David Pritchard and John Mack. In reality, not much consensus has been reached since then, though I would argue that progress has been made, here and there.
Archie,

Did you attend the conference? I've read the published conference proceedings, but the only reaction to the conference I've read from an attendee is CDB Bryan's book Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind. Bryan gives the impression in his book that the consensus you speak of was disintegrating even during the conference, and that this failure to achieve any kind of consensus was in fact the defining feature of the conference. From Bryan's perspective, the conference seemed to be a case study in the breakdown of a paradigm that wanted to enforce consensus but couldn't. He consigns Mack, Hopkins, Jacobs, and Bullard to the category of believers in the stock abduction narrative, and then observes the emerging resistance to the rigidity of that narrative as dissenting voices asserted themselves over the course of the conference. As far as you know, is that an accurate representation of what happened, or is Bryan's view skewed by his status as an outsider with a skeptical resistance to the stock narrative? It would be very enlightening to get some reports from someone else who was in the trenches, as it were.

For what it's worth, Bryan later attended some of Hopkins's regression sessions, and came away less dismissive of the stock narrative then he was initially. Then, with time and distance, he gradually began to gravitate towards a more skeptical stance in the years after he wrote his book.

Any thoughts from an insider?
 

ArchieBedford

Partly experienced
No, I wasn't there. I don't live in the USA, didn't travel much in 1992 and had little or no interest in this issue back then.

I now personally know many who were at the MIT conference though. I also own, and have read and studied, the full transcribed proceedings of the conference by Andrea Pritchard, Pam Kasey and Claudia Yapp:

http://www.amazon.com/Alien-Discussions-Proceedings-Abduction-Conference/dp/0964491702/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_i

Bryan's CE4 is IMO a good record, and valuable, but one man's perspective and nowhere near as important or educative as the full proceedings. There were something over 50 academics at the conference who each presented papers on the subject, and most are still relevant and useful 18 years on. These 50+ different academic perspectives exclude the panel discussions, often led by abductees like Randall Nickerson who I do know personally quite well.


Collings and Jamerson's book:

http://www.amazon.com/Connections-Solving-Alien-Abduction-Mystery/dp/0926524356/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1297739136&sr=1-1

details the case discussed at length by Bryan in the second half of his CE4.

Cheers.
 

stephen dedalus

Skilled Investigator
No, I wasn't there. I don't live in the USA, didn't travel much in 1992 and had little or no interest in this issue back then.

I now personally know many who were at the MIT conference though. I also own, and have read and studied, the full transcribed proceedings of the conference by Andrea Pritchard, Pam Kasey and Claudia Yapp:

http://www.amazon.com/Alien-Discussions-Proceedings-Abduction-Conference/dp/0964491702/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_i

Bryan's CE4 is IMO a good record, and valuable, but one man's perspective and nowhere near as important or educative as the full proceedings. There were something over 50 academics at the conference who each presented papers on the subject, and most are still relevant and useful 18 years on. These 50+ different academic perspectives exclude the panel discussions, often led by abductees like Randall Nickerson who I do know personally quite well.


Collings and Jamerson's book:

http://www.amazon.com/Connections-Solving-Alien-Abduction-Mystery/dp/0926524356/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1297739136&sr=1-1

details the case discussed at length by Bryan in the second half of his CE4.

Cheers.
Thanks for the info, Archie. As indicated in my last post, I've read the conference proceedings. They do, as you indicate, represent a wide range of work by a large collection of scholars, but they don't tell the story of how the presentations were being received behind the scenes, discussed at dinner and the bars, etc. The discourse that emerges at these "unofficial" extensions of conferences are often the most interesting: people get a few drinks, let their guard down, and reveal some aspects of their thought that they might not be comfortable sharing during their presentations. This was, for me, the most useful part of Bryan's book: he was reporting not only on the information people were offering in their capacity as official presenters, but also on what happened when conversations that began during post-presentation Q & A sessions spilled out into the lobby, and then into the street, and then to dinner, and then to the bar, and then to the hotel. As a specific example, Bryan reports that many abductees were expressing concern privately, to him and to one another, that the stock abduction narrative was too rigid to accurately describe their experiences, and that it wasn't until well into the conference that some of them built up the courage to voice these concerns during actual panels and presentations.

I hadn't yet heard of Collings and Jamerson's book, though. I'll give it a look. Thanks for the recommendation.
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
...the stock abduction narrative was too rigid to accurately describe their experiences, and that it wasn't until well into the conference that some of them built up the courage to voice these concerns during actual panels and presentations.
I think there is a perceived need to keep narratives within guidelines that are anticipated to make the subject more palatable to a wider audience.
 

Kandinsky

Curious Cat
I think there is a perceived need to keep narratives within guidelines that are anticipated to make the subject more palatable to wider audience.
Paul Kimball interviewed Kevin Randle for his blog The Other Side of Truth. One part is dedicated to the subject of 'alien abduction' and I think you'll enjoy it. It's a 'right click' away... http://www.podbean.com/podcast-directory-download-public/3095112/rand.mp3

The podcast archive is http://www.podbean.com/podcast-detail?pid=68956

http://redstarfilms.blogspot.com/
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
Paul Kimball interviewed Kevin Randle for his blog The Other Side of Truth.
I think I've already listened to those two episodes but I'll queue them up again. Ahhhh yes, I like the old theme song (It sounds so ...Gerry Anderson) better than the one Paul has now.
 

ArchieBedford

Partly experienced
Bryan reports that many abductees were expressing concern privately, to him and to one another, that the stock abduction narrative was too rigid to accurately describe their experiences, and that it wasn't until well into the conference that some of them built up the courage to voice these concerns during actual panels and presentations.
It's about three years since I last read Bryan's book, but I do remember that. "The stock abduction narrative" wasn't invented out of nowhere; it comes from multiple abductee accounts - some consciously remembered (though I do recognise this is no guarantee of accuracy or truth). But yeah, I have spoken to enough abductees over the past years to recognise that there is some variation in detail.

---------- Post added at 08:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:35 PM ----------

I hadn't yet heard of Collings and Jamerson's book, though. I'll give it a look. Thanks for the recommendation.
If you have investigated any cases of the so-called "Mickey and Baby Ann" syndrome uncovered by Hopkins during his extensive investigation of the Cortile case and subsequently written up in "Witnessed", you'll appreciate what Beth and Anna explore in their book fits right in with that most bizarre and peculiar phenomenon, reported over decades by many. In 1992 Hopkins hadn't even uncovered it and neither, at that time, had anyone else so it wasn't even known about. It is now.

---------- Post added at 09:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:41 PM ----------

Paul Kimball interviewed Kevin Randle for his blog The Other Side of Truth. One part is dedicated to the subject of 'alien abduction' and I think you'll enjoy it. It's a 'right click' away... Page Not Found
Hi Kandinsky. I listened to the Kimball-Randle interview.

Randle doesn't change.

---------- Post added at 09:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:32 PM ----------

I think there is a perceived need to keep narratives within guidelines that are anticipated to make the subject more palatable to a wider audience.
Perceived by whom, Ricky? You suggesting (maybe understandable) self-censorship?
 

Kandinsky

Curious Cat
Hi Kandinsky. I listened to the Kimball-Randle interview.

Randle doesn't change. He still spouts the same old ignorant, ideology-driven shit. No wonder no-one bought his book, or ever reads it (except maybe me). He truly is an arrogant, know-it-all wanker, par excellence. And he feeds Kimball's ideology about abductions, so they make a fine pair.
What's Randle's ideology?
 

ArchieBedford

Partly experienced
What's Randle's ideology?
Hi Kandinsky

The possibility that the alien abduction phenomenon might be real Cannot Be True, because it offends his ideological world view. He believes this doctrine with identical fervor as the Pope believes in the Virgin Birth, and the Taliban believe women should not be educated or taught to read. It's dogmatic with him.

I have to say in Randle's defence that my dear friend Robert Hastings, author of "UFOs and Nukes" and veteran investigator and lecturer on the subject for 30 years, holds him in the very highest regard, and with me that does count for something.
 

Hotkafka

Sanity is a default
This is one thing that confuses me a great deal. If a species were to genetically engineer a hybrid of itself and some other species it would be creating a third distinct species. Even if this were possible I don't see how this benefits either of the originating species in any way. What is the point? The attempt to absorb or inject competing DNA into an unsuspecting populace though mating between hybrids and genetically normal humans? To what end and for whose benefit?

Your question assumes that any benefit an alien speices would gain from genetic engineering would be purely movitated by pursuing its biological advantage. ...Perhaps DNA is merely a reflection of the consciousness that houses it. Gaining access to the unique predispositions of human awareness and its associated experiences may well have something to do with "their" approach. ...May.
 

mike

Paranormal Adept
Another aspect is legality, they say possesion is nine tenths of the law

Possession is nine-tenths of the law is a concept meaning that ownership is easier to maintain if one has possession of something, and much more difficult to enforce if one does not
If the sentient population of this planet can be replaced with one thats more their DNA than ours....... they can say this planet belongs to them not us.

Not suggesting this is the answer, just an idea.

Australia is a classic example of stealth invasion replacing the original genotype, with a new one then hybridising the old one out of existance, the new genotype ends up owning the territory, the original gets absorbed and for all intents and purposes disapears

It could also be a deliberate deception designed to throw us off the trail of the truth, If they are post biological in nature, then a biological scenario like hybrids might be for the purpose of reinforcing the idea they are biological like us.
 

boomerang

Paranormal Adept
I've never seen a valid frame of reference for predicting the motivations of higher or alien intelligences. Even amongst human populations, individuals at opposite ends of the Bell curve for smarts tend to think very differently. I doubt a conversation between someone like myself and Niels Bohr would last very long lol.

On the other hand, wherever DNA is found in nature, it always seems to compete with itself and often in ways that make no cognitive sense to the individual.

What if the most basic currency of value in the universe is encoded information? The most complex encoded information of which we know is found in DNA. It's not impossible to imagine that the most valuable variety of that on Earth might be the ordered complexity found in the brains of higher species.
 

ArchieBedford

Partly experienced
Or it might simply be to do with survival of their species, as has often been speculated (including by Strieber in some of his early output on the issue).
 

trainedobserver

Paranormally Disenchanted
Your question assumes that any benefit an alien speices would gain from genetic engineering would be purely movitated by pursuing its biological advantage. ...Perhaps DNA is merely a reflection of the consciousness that houses it. Gaining access to the unique predispositions of human awareness and its associated experiences may well have something to do with "their" approach. ...May.
Or it could just be what could amount to a simple academic/scientific exercise. Humanity has pursued various bizarre avenues of research throughout history, some fruitful and some not. We could be laboratory animals used for any number of purposes for that matter. Or it could be some as yet not understood function of the human condition.

If you accept that human beings are most likely not the highest things in the food chain and that other beings with a different neurological makeup might operate outside of our normal perception, there are numerous nightmare scenarios you could entertain.

The main question in my mind is can we trust the message that is communicated through the accounts of the abductees? If you assume that they are indeed in contact with Others, can anything be taken at face value?
 

Angel of Ioren

Friendly Skeptic
Hi Kandinsky

The possibility that the alien abduction phenomenon might be real Cannot Be True, because it offends his ideological world view. He believes this doctrine with identical fervor as the Pope believes in the Virgin Birth, and the Taliban believe women should not be educated or taught to read. It's dogmatic with him.

He then attempts to convince the world that this rigid ideology is in fact a rational, scientific position. It's sleep paralysis. OK, well not in the case of Travis Walton or the Allagash 4 or the Hills or Kelly Cahill or multiply-witnessed waking abduction events, then it must be something else. The investigator must plant the narrative in the abductee's mind - it has to fit the ideology, see? So it goes on. He's like Susan Clancy, without the good looks: blind to evidence, fuelled by fantasy, always he must confirm the ideology - the truth can go to hell.

Before I knew Randle and his works, when I asked people about him I was usually told something like "He's an arrogant, know-it-all son-of-a-bitch and ignorant with it" or words to that effect. I have to say in Randle's defence that my dear friend Robert Hastings, author of "UFOs and Nukes" and veteran investigator and lecturer on the subject for 30 years, holds him in the very highest regard, and with me that does count for something.
Archie,

Can't the same thing be said about you? You seem to think it has to be aliens, yet there has never been anything conclusive to prove that. Without true evidence that is conclusive, I have trouble buying the fact that these people were abducted by extra terrestrials. I'm not saying that they are all liars (I do think that the Allagash 4 are lying, he wanted to sell comic books), but to jump to the alien abduction hypothesis is not something we should do without ruling out terrestrial solutions. When proof will be provided though, I'll gladly change my tune. Keep in mind, I used to think this was a true phenomena, until my mind was changed by much more plausible explanations.
 

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