UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Chemicals in the brain/body affect UFO witnesses?



Joe McGonagle, our Brit friend and exemplary UFO researcher, poses the idea that adrenaline (and other chemical interactions) affect UFO witnesses and their sightings/reports.

He uses this link, among others to supplement his view(s):

http://stresscourse.tripod.com/id11.html

When Joe presented this to the UFO UpDaters (the so-called "List"), he was savaged by Jerome Clark among other narrow-minded UFO mavens.

We think Mr. McGonagle is on to something, and we'll pursue the matter also.

RR

22 Comments:

  • fascinating....(Mr. Spock reference)
    ...and having been on the receiving end of a perceived 'savaging' by the sad little Jerry Clark, it suggests that this idea deserves some consideration...

    By Blogger Kurt Peters, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • I figure being savaged on UFO updates is a a form of validation.

    Has anybody there had an original thought in the last 45 years?

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • Jerry is becoming more entrenched in his views as time goes by. I think this is due to the realisation that he will not be around long enough to see the UFO question finally resolved. Unfortunately, it is views like those he holds which retard progress, and have done for years (and no doubt will continue to do so).

    By Blogger Joe McGonagle, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • Joe,

    This is merely a reworking of the 'all proponents of the ET hypothesis are nuts' canard; both tiresome and persistent.

    Sightings are the evidentiary tip of the iceberg. There are untold truths to be spoken, but first entropy must do its work; as it shall on the entirety of existence.

    By Blogger Ross, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • This is one area that I've always thought played a key role in shaping the visual perceptions for some the "close" encounter scenarios.

    Question to ponder: "Does a momentary (brief) surge of dopamine in the mid-brain induce a momentary psychotic episode?"

    The up-surge of dopamine (in combination with other neurotransmitters?) would have to be so brief that the perceived encounter would last only a short duration of time.

    Increase levels of cortisol which normally elevate under stressful conditions may also be involved.

    Joe may well be on to something.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • Ross, this has nothing to do with the "nuts canard" as in some cases it is readily apparent that a psychological pathway may be involved.

    This does not discount that people see things, merely that SOME of the extraordinary encounters, ie abductions, lost time scenarios, etc may have a brief pathological context to the story.

    Otherwise, one is to assume, under your theory that all things seen is to have complete, 100 percent, validity. Sorry, I personally don't buy that "all inclusive premise."

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • Yes, Tim is right...

    Joe is saying that UFO witnesses and, thus, their reports may be affected by bio-chemical reactions in their brain and/or body.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • Some of us, ahem, have always held to the theory that the sightings of true unknowns are extremely rare (and I can't overstate how rare).

    Even my own strange sighting was most likely a rarely seen natural phenomenon (this is a geologically active area) or because of the three military air bases in my state, a test of some exotic, secret craft (likely a UAV).

    What I would bet my last drop of blood it was NOT, was an alien craft. Just because I personally didn't know what I saw, doesn't make it alien. It simply means I had no personal frame of reference available in order to make an accurate identification.

    Too many ETH zealots simply can't handle the truth about their flawed "logic". They will desperately cling to the treetop even as the tree is being cut down beneath them.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • RRRGroup,

    Then it's a point which seeks to address a straw man. I don't think anyone has ever suggested that some phenomonological experiences are not the result of a momentary aberrance in neurochemistry.

    By Blogger Ross, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • But Ross,

    Writing that something bio-chemically or neurologically affects a person's senses doesn't mean that what they experienced didn't happen.

    It just means that what was observed of experienced may have been altered by factors that need to be considered.

    Offering an altered awareness doesn't necessarily destroy the ET proposition, which PG and others find ludicrous.

    It merely is a "nuance" that has to be taken into account, a forensic element.

    You seemed chagrinned that Mr. McGonagle offered an interesting layer to the UFO witness and his or her report(s).

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • I once described this article as DISCLOSURE, though with a hearty wink. It is more than peripherally relevant to the matters at hand. It is a bit technical, but I imagine most of the minds here can get through it. From your friends at Northrop Grumman, studying the concerns of stress and attention regarding pilots, we have-

    http://www.student.oulu.fi/~taneliha/%20/The_role_of_the_extrapersonal_brain_systems_in_religious_activity.pdf

    Previc also wrote a book, The Dopaminergic Mind in Human Evolution and History. The last chapter is a bit of a gulp. Read very carefully...

    By Blogger The Puppetburglar, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • RRRGroup,

    Joe's own words on UFO Updates

    "I have little doubt that these perfectly natural and involuntary
    responses influence many witnesses' accounts of what they saw in
    UFO reports."

    Furthermore,

    http://www.uk-ufo.org/condign/biojmcg.htm

    So let's be clear. This unresearched speculation about which Joe has 'little doubt' isn't offered up as mere praemeditari, it's another lazy sceptical swipe at a massive body of evidence.

    By Blogger Ross, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • Ross,

    We're McGonagle acolytes so you won't get an aggrievement from us about his views.

    He's a provocative but objective guy as we see it.

    One might differ with him but he's never boring or light-headed.

    Skeptics often make our day.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • RRRGroup,


    I hadn't sought to engender any. My grievances are mine and mine alone

    By Blogger Ross, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • Understood.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • All, would you not get an adrenaline rush after seeing a vicious dog in front of you with teeth glaring not knowing whats about to happen?

    If you saw a bright light in front of you which is messing up your cars electrics an you dont know what it is, would that not result in an adrenaline/chemical rush? of course it would.

    The chemical reaction comes after the event not before an as such doesnt cause the event.

    By Blogger Al12, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • I think the point is that the adrenaline affects the witness and his or her subsequent reporting of their experience.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, July 27, 2013  

  • Al12,

    The "chemical reaction", upsurge in neurotransmitters, would be a brief or abrupt (extremely short occurrence) prior to THE event.

    Thus said, the biochemical upsurge may indeed cause the event. That is, the event which is perceived by the affected individual.

    Increased levels of cortisol and adrenaline after the fact would more or less exacerbate the situation as far as cognitive functions and mental interpretations.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, July 28, 2013  

  • Doesn't the street drug 'ecstasy' release enormous amounts of dopamine? Are members of the 'rave scene' any more likely to experience UFOs than other more rural folk?

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Sunday, July 28, 2013  

  • Tim and Al12,

    I think Tim makes a very important distinction. There may well be more than one event. There are all sorts of mental triggers. One might see a spider and then see a UFO as a result. Event1 = seeing the spider, while Even2 = seeing the UFO. The later experience, caused by the former, being of such a greater 'magnitude' might overshadow the 'first cause' to such a degree that only hypnosis can draw it forth.

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Sunday, July 28, 2013  

  • From that same stress course link

    ".....the 60 pounds of gear I was wearing suddenly weighed nothing....."

    "a farm worker had his arm torn off by a bailing machine, yet he was able to pick up his severed arm, carrying it for two miles, to get help. It was the fight/flight response that enabled him to do this."

    "All the biological, psychological, chemical and physiological changes brought about by the fight/flight response are designed to give us extra strength and speed".

    "our pupils widen to let in more light."

    "Our hearing becomes sharper."

    "increased anxiety and fear, our thoughts race and we can think more quickly."

    Rich I'm not quite sure what the point is here all these things seem to suggest enhancement not entrancement.

    I can confirm though for any other chronic undergoers of these sorts of experiences the only great cosmic secret you need to know to handle them is to train yourself to become relaxed and nonchalant in the face of every adversity and every adversary otherwise you're heading for an early grave.

    By Blogger alanborky, at Monday, July 29, 2013  

  • Alan:

    I think Joe's position is that adrenaline (and other bio-chemicals) play a part in events of a significant kind, a UFO sighing among them.

    They might enhance or affect the events.

    Joe Caravaca's litany of UFO encounters (here and at his blog with us and his own in Spain) seem to show a theatrical kind of event, which are more like entrancement, but with some enhancement too.

    His view is Keel-like or Vallee-like, but with an external agent causing the scenarios recounted.

    I was once with a group of people when we saw a large UFO heading right for us. The excitement was palpable, and each person reacted uniquely -- some excited, some scared, some fascinated (and mute), and most indifferent.

    The UFO turned out to be the Goodyear blimp. coming at us head-on -- an interesting perspective.

    Then it turned and we all were disappointed more than relieved to see what it really was.

    No big reactions, just a mild adrenaline rush on my part.

    The others were more indifferent than manic, non-UFO interested persons (picking up their kids from school).

    No hoopla or wild gyrations, so one has to be cautious about ascribing a big deal when one sees a UFO or interacts with something truly odd or unusual.

    Each person will react in a different way, as a few people at UpDates noted.

    The point is that everything has to be considered when it comes to a UFO witness report, including the state of mind -- the physiological and psychological (neurological) aspects, among other things not biologically induced.

    My notice here was mostly an alert to how UpDaters (Listers) like Jerry Clark pooh-pooh conjectures by their non-clique buddies.

    It's endemic at UpDates, sadly.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 29, 2013  

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