UFO Conjectures

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Hardness (tangible presence) of UFOs.

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.

In my survey of Jung’s treatise on Ufos [sic], I found that Jung proposed the phenomenon as real, psychically or physically.

He wrote that both or either were a kind of reality.

My leaning towards a psychical explanation for many UFOs doesn’t imply that hard, material UFOs do not exist.

UFOs, whether misidentified prosaic flying devices or something more esoteric (unknown actually), are real in the Jungian sense.

Jung thought the reports of flying saucers (Ufos) were real; the content up for interpretation.

But does a person actually create a UFO sometimes, from his or her mental observation?

Is such a creation possible?

Quantum mechanics allow that things observed are altered by their observation (or measurement), but that isn’t creation of those things; it’s creation of the peripheral elements, such as movement, location, et cetera, that the thing is subject to or beholden to: the vicissitudes of quantum laws or even (rarely) Newtonian laws.

My question is, can a projection produce more than a visual observation?

That is, can one’s mental configuration create a tangible, material artifact?

Common sense tells us, no.

Hinduism’s Maya and Oliver Sacks neurological hypotheses say things seen but not actually there are illusions or delusions.

Yet, Jung told us that such things seen have their own kind of reality.

But is Jung’s “reality” a tangible reality, a you-can-touch-it reality?

It seems not to be.

However, for the person or persons encountering a UFO and/or its “pilots,” such as that which Travis Walton or Betty Hill or, even, perhaps, Steven Michalak (of the 1967 Falcon Lake episode), their UFOs and “crew” (in the Hill/Walton tales) were as real as real could be, assuming that their accounts are not confabulations.

Michalak was burned by his UFO. That’s pretty real. (Chris Rutkowski and others think Michalak came into contact with an exotic test craft of the military.)

Was Lonnie Zamora’s 1964 Socorro sighting a total projective “reality”? It has all the earmarks of an hallucinatory episode [See Sack’s book, Hallucinations, for hallucinatory features], but with tangible elements (burning shrubbery and indentations in the ground) that has made it a bona fide “real event” for most UFO aficionados.

The 1959 Reverend Gill group sighting is a “pure” example of a projected reality.

These episodes aside – they are controversial and iffy for many reasons – let me suggest that objects in the sky, those evanescent lights and “objects” that many persons have seen but not touched are as tangible as a cloud or fog patch, real but untouchable in the sensory way.

Yes, clouds and/or fog are made up of physical particles, but so, too, as far as we know, are UFOs.

They leave traces on photographic plates (as Jung noted in his Ufo book).

They have left traces on the ground in some instances. (See Bloecher).

They interact with radar (Paul Kimball’s RB-47 incident for example).

So there is an inferred tangibility, but is that tangibility real or of a nature that hovers between tangible and intangible – a kind of uncertain quantum state, as it were.

For the observer of a UFO or UFOs, the thing(s) seen have a reality, so one has to accept that the reality is palpable, no matter what the essence of that palpability is.

UFOs impinging on the eyes and mind of observers have got to be real if conscious awareness of them is manifest.

Even if they are illusionary, in the sense of imagined, they still have a reality, as Jung indicated: a psychical reality which is just as authentic as a Chopin sonata or a howl in the woods by a wolf or the images on a computer monitor or movie screen.

So, one can say that psychical projections reverberate on the observer(s), the creator(s) of the projection, becoming as real as any kind of reality we, as humans, are familiar with.

The nature of those projections, those created-from-projection UFOs are?

We don’t know yet – new or inscrutable phenomenological entity?

But UFOs are, that’s certain.

Are they worth all the energy spent on them? Jung says, “One can hardly suppose that anything of such worldwide incidence as the Ufo legend [sic] is purely fortuitous and of no importance.” [Page 13 of his book]



  • Jung's comment of the phenomenon as not being "purely fortuitous and of no importance" makes me think of myself as a Luddite, as if the deep and subtle roots of this phenomenon were discovered,( could be replicated) while in search of other mysteries, I suspect that knowledge would be mishandled, perhaps even weaponized. Perhaps I am too cynical about humanity for my own good.
    For once, we are, at least temporarily, in the same cartography and unfortunately or fortunately, there is an enormous amount to be learned from it despite the equally enormous amount of psychobabble and various fantasies surrounding it.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, August 15, 2013  

  • Perhaps the "tangible presence" is a complex mental construct utilizing UFO close encounter segments as a psychological symbol by use of a proposed "Metaphor Model."

    The Ufological encounter is a way of dealing with an unpleasant, or euphoric, incident which is suppressed in the recesses of memory. The UFO is the metaphor.

    The above proposed by some with the attempt to explain/understand those who claimed to have been abducted by aliens or had close encounters with such.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Thursday, August 15, 2013  

  • Tim
    Your comment resonated in regard to the phenomenon being possibly "a complex mental construct utilizing UFO close encounter segments as a psychological symbol by use of a proposed "Metaphor Model."
    That is a very good description of a dream, and then the question might be a possibility of an unknown categorization of a waking dream state that is rare and transient that accompanies encounters with unknown environmental factors, perhaps particularly high localised energy fields that are equally transient have yet to be recognized that seem to cycle periodically. I recently wrote a post asking aloud if this is a cyclic phenomenon, and what evidence that we currently have that it is or is not. I suspect it is.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, August 15, 2013  

  • Bruce,

    Yes it does sound close to that of a dream. But it may be more complex than a dream state.

    I suggested the "metaphor model" as stated in a paper published in Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2004, by Rhodes and Jakes, "The Contribution of Metaphor and Metonymy to Delusional Thinking."

    This article investigates the possible role of metaphorical thinking in psychotic delusions, yet links to alien abduction phenomena.

    "... it is suggested that delusional statements are intended to be literal statements, but report on experiences transformed by metaphorical meaning. This transformation involves the ‘fusion’ of conceptual domains."

    Hence the UFO/close encounter/abduction tale uses is the metaphor to describe some other traumatic event experienced by the "abductee."

    The traumatic event is/was real, a fact, ergo, the UFO/abduction/close encounter is equally real...in a mental construct.

    An elaborate, complex confabulation with a kernel of truth embedded in the middle?

    Or the makings of a highly complex fixed delusion?

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Thursday, August 15, 2013  

  • I can see a metaphorical component to psychosis as a organic conceptualising logic or framework etc and if this psychosis fits into a transient state of witnesses, (transient meaning one recovers without some form of pharmaceutical remediation), for me, it does not address the root cause of the psychosis itself (as an effect of unique circumstances), as a transience of a induced condition.
    It would suspect this would require an equally transient altering of biochemical neurology as more than quite a few of these witnesses came up negative for any psychiatric malady, organic or otherwise. Another possibility is self suggestion as a hypnotic state that may create these metaphorical "like, similar to, resemble" associations as narratives to a dissociative, environmental incommensurability, rather than the emotional logic of metaphors as simulations in dreams from within. Sort of the mind in a extreme situation grasps at straws to orient itself by a logic that no longer fits what is input, so it creates a false scenario resembling a dream. Perhaps what was reported was not what was experienced except as a explanatory defense of the mind. If so, then these narratives are worthless as literal clues but maybe useful otherwise. Many have called these induced screen memories, whereas I suspect one possibility is that they are self created, if this is what is occurring.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, August 15, 2013  

  • Bruce:

    Jung deals extensively with this in his book; the whole middle section of the book is about dream content.

    (You've read his book I presume.)

    I want to know what made you state this: "more than quite a few of these witnesses came up negative for any psychiatric malady, organic or otherwise."

    How do you know that? Have there been psychiatric follow-ups I don't know about?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, August 15, 2013  

  • In many cases of alleged abductions, many were psychiatrically evaluated, and one could say behaviorally, they were within what is considered "normal" Yet their experiences were cyclic. One the other hand, one study suggested that some are more prone to these experiences by the level of their expressed creativity or a rich fantasy life, not that these are spectrum disorders, but that they have a recombinant openness to
    reorganising reality. I suppose another word is "inventive" A friend of mine who is a psychotherapist, when I discussed this with him, suggested that this sort of openness to possibilities may present a higher probability to be suggested to or influenced by externals if the mind is truly an open system. Others who are very grounded appear to be immune to such experiences or as my friend said, being prone to "downloading." If you want I can dig through my books for more specific references.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, August 15, 2013  

  • BD:

    Yes, I also think that there are "prone" individuals.

    Is their inclination organic or just psychological.

    That damn neurological thing gets in the way -- "combining," as it were, the organic with the psychological.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, August 15, 2013  

  • Here's another approach/theory:

    Toward an explanation of the UFO abduction phenomenon: Hypnotic elaboration, extraterrestrial sadomasochism, and spurious memories
    LS Newman, RF Baumeister - Psychological Inquiry, 1996

    Rather bizarre psychological explanation even for my taste, but it's a different area to explore:

    "Autobiographical memories are often suspect. For example, a surprisingly large number of people report having been abducted by extraterrestrials. We offer a prototype of the abduction experience and an assessment of the frequency of such reports. These accounts are hard to dismiss on the basis of mendacity or insanity, but there are ample reasons to doubt their literal accuracy. We offer a cognitive-motivational explanation for how spurious memories of unidentified flying object (UFO) abductions can be created and maintained. The motivational roots lie in the desire to escape from ordinary self-awareness, and this explanation is supported by parallels between UFO abduction accounts and masochistic fantasies. The cognitive bases involve the integration and elaboration of hallucinations, general knowledge, and contextual cues into full-blown accounts, usually with the aid of hypnosis. Due to the pitfalls of hypnosis, people develop a high degree of confidence in the veridicality of spurious UFO abduction memories."

    Sorry about the length of the text, but thought it important to get the full scope of the article.

    Again, bizarre, but out of the mainstream?

    I've discovered more psychological theories/explanations than I've fingers and toes...most are reasonable approaches, but others are out there...so to speak.

    Not unlike some of Jung's thoughts...

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Thursday, August 15, 2013  

  • But even with a slew of UFO accounts being psychologically induced or produced (via projection), there is a residue which are not: real, bona fide things (objects) with an external reality, or so it would seem, to me.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, August 15, 2013  

  • Rich
    I think your comment hits the nail on the head as this phenomenon transcends what we define as solid "objects" and yet the effects can be material, and the only chief feature appears to be an enormous amount of energy, as well as the confounding neurological effects that further blur classical demarcations. Even if we remove all the nonsense, there is still the core phenomenon that is neither completely categorically this or that although most prefer simpler concepts.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, August 15, 2013  

  • > Rather bizarre psychological explanation

    Tim, I agree that Newman and Baumeister don't make their case. However, their paper does serve to disprove the defense of abduction proponents who say, "Why would someone imagine they had such a terrifying/humiliating experience?" Since no one would desire such an experience, they can't be lying, right?

    But the paper makes clear that masochists not only desire these experiences, they actively seek out and live them. Businesses have been created to provide these people with equipment and magazines for their particular tastes.

    (BTW, the paper is the target article of Psychological Inquiry, Vol 7, No 2; the rest of the number is dedicated to responses. Several eminent hypnosis experts weigh in (Orne, Lynn, Kirsch, Bowers) as does John Mack. Michael Heiser has all the papers on his site. Also, Psychological Inquiry, Vol 8, No 4, is dedicated to "The Construction of False Memory Syndrome: The experience of retractors." Yep, loads of retractors. Perhaps this is why abduction proponents will not actively engage the scientific literature. And because they don't really like or know science.)

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Sunday, August 18, 2013  

  • > An elaborate, complex confabulation with a kernel of truth embedded in the middle?

    That is pretty much the model of hysteria put forward by Breuer and Freud in "Studies in Hysteria" (1895).

    It seems to hold for the Hill case: initially, there was a sighting of something, Barney did have a small memory block about what he thought he saw through his binoculars (he saw men but couldn't remember -- actively avoided remembering -- their faces). Betty didn't see the men (she was back in the car) until she dreamed about them. Hypnosis, and a failure of source monitoring, did the rest.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Sunday, August 18, 2013  

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