UFO Conjectures

Monday, April 16, 2012

Schizophrenia and UFOs [redux]

Copyright 2012, InterAmerica, Inc.

Prominent UFO commentator Ray Dickenson has been denigrating psychiatry over at UFO UpDates lately.

He’s provided a salvo that says schizophrenia isn’t real and he’s been chastised by a few more realistic UpDate habitués.

Schizophrenia, as those who are truly familiar with psychiatry and psychology generally know, is a real, authentic mental condition, defined and studied by eminent scholars of the mind for many years.

One can find material online that clarifies the severe aberration, and I suggest The Psychiatric Dictionary [Fourth Edition] edited by Leland E. Hinsie, M.D. and Robert J. Campbell, M.D. (Oxford University Press, NY/London, Pages 678 ff.) for a concise presentation of schizophrenia and its many manifestations.

Some UFO encounters presented here take place, as I see it, in the realm of the mind, as a temporary schizophrenic “reality” sometimes designated as a folie à deux or folie à trois et cetera.

Such events are stimulated by various factors – environment, psychological or physical stress, drug or alcohol use, chemical imbalances in the body, or even by Jose Caravaca’s “external agent” (which has a psychical component, if I understand his view correctly).

Schizophrenia is complex yet real as the literature about it proves to the reasoned thinker.

But does schizophrenia account for all or even many UFO accounts and sightings? Not by a long shot. Such an accusation would be more lunatic than schizophrenia itself.

However, some UFO accounts may be attributed to schizophrenic episodes, which are real to the participants when they occur but intangible and bizarre to outsiders when presented afterwards:

The Hills abduction, the Travis Walton incident, The Pascagoula moment, the Italian Lotti encounter, and even the Rendlesham episode (which is a case of Induced Schizophrenia perhaps), among others that readers here are familiar with.

Of course, events as Roswell or the RB-47 event are not schizophrenic in nature, although some aspects of the aftermath may be.

The Washington D.C. sightings of 1952 were not schizophrenic in nature either, but the 1942 L.A. shooting of a UFO contained elements of schizophrenia (or mass hysteria) within it.

The problem with Mr. Dickenson’s “outburst” at UpDates and his detractors is that their views are intellectually simplistic or cursory.

UFOs are phenomenally diverse (phenomena, despite Jerry Clark’s aversion to the plural).

Some UFO accounts – and we don’t mean the UFO reports that follow – are neurological, some psychological in nature, and some are actual observations of a sensory reality – not a psychological reality but a real visual or mental reality, of a thing or things with tangibility, by which I don’t necessarily mean a nuts and bolts reality, although to exclude that possibility would be remiss also.

The UFOs – the things designated as such in the common parlance, the lingua franca, as it were, of media and society at large – are a facet of reality that has more than just a psychiatric component to their observation; they have, in some case (maybe many cases) a reality that transcends everyday reality but a reality nevertheless, despite what some would wish to be otherwise.