UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Madness and UFOs

There are unexplained things seen in the skies of Earth, and then there are odd incidents on the ground, associated with flying saucers or the UFO phenomenon.

The mixing of the two distinct kinds of “UFO observations” causes an irrational interpretation of both.

But one is open to physical investigation and the other is only open to psychological or neurological interpretation.

The first may be exampled by the 1952 Washington D.C. event(s) or the so-called Phoenix lights sightings or maybe the 2006 O’Hare airport sighting.

The second is exampled by the 1979 Robert Taylor episode in the Dechmont Woods area of Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland or the 1977 LaRubia incident which is detailed here:

A raft of UFO-recounted incidents that bespeak psychological or neurological maladies is noted by Rob Morphy at Mysterious Universe:

One aspect of the organic or mental disruption oriented episodes has never been looked into by UFO investigators as far as I know, and that’s the syphilitic possibility (paresis), where the “witness” may have the infection which affects the brain in varying stages, resulting in symptoms, illness, and sometimes death, as noted, inadvertently in such incidents as that of LaRubia, and causes “witnesses” to hallucinate.

One might scour UFO accounts for madness or hallucinations brought on by illnesses or brain diseases incurred by syphilis or cancer, even onset Alzheimer.

That no UFO investigator has the credentials for such evaluations, nor has taken the time to seek out colleagues who might have the expertise to look at UFO events caused by brain diseases or psychological maladies goes to the dearth of explanation for many UFO sightings listed in the literature.



  • Rich,

    On the other hands, what if all of these were not aberrations caused by disease [physical or mental]? Putting aside government "black" programs that attempted to test "mind control", What if these reports were all "fact"? What would it say about the "visitors"?

    Any sufficiently advanced technology might just be able to manipulate the minds of the percipients without drugs [Bending light and sound to make the percipient see what they are "supposed" to see]

    I'm not saying these reports are not due to illness or "story telling"... but what does it mean if they are not? What kind of "civilization" plays with "lesser beings" by inducing hallucinations?

    By Blogger gishzida, at Monday, February 16, 2015  

  • gishzida:

    Jose Caravaca's Distortion Theory covers your view about mind control and my earlier posting here about advanced civilizations approaches your query about "what kind of civilization would induce hallucinations" in another?


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, February 16, 2015  

  • I seem to recall that Vallee had had a similar kind of idea and Sr. Caravaca's in regards to our ability to "comprehend" and/or "interpret" interactions with something that is "other" to our experience.

    Your previous remarks in regards to whether ETs that play the role of "Trickster" may say more about your opinions about what civilization should be that what an "advanced civilization".

    Not that you are wrong but it may be we are not yet understanding the "context" or "meaning" of these "alien encounters" and are trying [and failing] to properly understand what is going on... for all we know these weird encounters were all created by team of alien grad students in "psychology" working on a paper about cognative dissonance and humanity is the "lab mice".

    By Blogger gishzida, at Monday, February 16, 2015  

  • Robert Taylor's experience is one of the few that intrigues me.

    It's an outlier in the context of a daylight occurrence that includes physical traces, third parties and a percipient with no recorded interest in flying saucers and suchlike.

    It's too late now.

    Taylor's experience might have been an opportunity to focus on material, biological causes of some encounter reports.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Monday, February 16, 2015  

  • Yes, K...

    The Taylor episode intrigues, and has physical attributes that are hard to explain but can be worked into an hallucinatory incident, shoehorning it maybe, but possible.

    It's one of my favorite UFO events.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, February 16, 2015  

  • Rich,

    Interesting post--the Taylor case is wild.

    Given the disruptive electromagnetic fields commonly reported with UFOs, something like inadvertent transcranial magnetic stimulation has always seemed to me like a very plausible explanation for how a close encounter could seem to involve bizarre imagery from the witness's own unconscious, without invoking either madness or some kind of deliberate psychological interference by the 'UFO occupants'.

    TMS (rapidly oscillating magnetic fields applied to the scalp) readily produces all the hallucinatory and other effects commonly reported by UFO witnesses and abductees (even levitating sensations, voices, etc.); UFO "antigravity" (or whatever the technology involved) could interfere with cortical signaling the same way it interferes with the electronics in an automobile.


    By Blogger Eric Wargo, at Tuesday, February 17, 2015  

  • Eric:

    This is Bruce Duensing's view also, and has merit, but did anyone check to see if there were electro-magnetic wires or towers nearby in such cases?

    (No one checked medicinal matters either.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, February 17, 2015  

  • @ Eric Wargo

    Bob Taylor's incident left him unable to speak and too groggy to drive a vehicle or walk straight. The closest explanation I've found would involve some form of mini-stroke (TIA).

    Most of his symptoms could be accounted for in the constellation of effects known to occur in mini-strokes. Voicelessness, burning smells, bleary eyes and patchy memory are typical in TIAs.

    The physical traces (trouser tears and unusual tracks) can be attributed to a TIA episode and physical traces of forestry workers.

    It's still hard to be emphatic about these explanations when his narrative description was so at odds with conventional diagnoses of TIAs. For example, I've looked for accounts of strokes that include linear, coherent hallucinations and haven't found any.

    Ideally, he should have been checked for brain lesions and the 'bruises' in the cortex that indicate a stroke.

    It's the coherent narrative that intrigues me. Carl Higdon, Zammora and Gary Wilcox shared similar aspects and we're never any the wiser.

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Tuesday, February 17, 2015  

  • "the disruptive electromagnetic fields commonly reported with UFOs, transcranial magnetic stimulation...could..involve...the witness's own unconscious" [expressed as the culturally supplied "UFO" narrative trope of ] "disruptive electromagnetic fields commonly reported with UFOs...."

    Nothing like assuming the literal truth of reports to reaffirm the literal truth of "UFO" reports.

    It's like the old story about Hynek's dismissal of the PSH with the observation that many "UFO" cases involve animals' reactions. To which the skeptic replied, "How many animals have made 'UFO' reports?"

    There's a much, much simpler answer. (g)

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Wednesday, February 18, 2015  

  • > no UFO investigator has the credentials for such evaluations, nor has taken the time to seek out colleagues who might

    They tend to be dogmatic that witness statements be interpreted literally. Once doubt can be applied to testimony, 99.99% of UFO evidence disappears (that figure might be low).

    Most ufologists, trying not to look like dogmatists, will aver that witness reports do not absolutely prove alien visitation. This pretence is demonstrated by their lack of interest in non-alien explanations, just as you say, Rich.

    They are much like creationists who pretend intelligent design is just science, not an argument for the Judeo-Christian god.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Thursday, February 19, 2015  

  • @Zoam
    > many "UFO" cases involve animals' reactions. To which the skeptic replied, "How many animals have made 'UFO' reports?"

    Delsey, the Hills' dog. (Bear with me a moment. You'll like where this goes.)

    In the Hills' original report, written by Walter Webb in 1961, we are told, "The dog did not appear to be alarmed at any time during the whole sighting."

    But in Webb's 1965 report, we are told that Barney, returning to the car, "found their dog Delsey trembling under the seat."

    For some reason, Delsey has been drafted as a witness, albeit, at second-hand. But it gets even better.

    In John Fuller's Interrupted Journey, published in October 1966, we read that early in the sighting, "Delsey was beginning to get slightly restless," and as the object gets closer, "the dachshund was whining and cowering."

    Very theatrical, like in an old horror movie.

    Earlier in 1966, Fuller's first UFO book, Incident at Exeter, was published. While reading that, I put in my hand-made index an entry for "animal witnesses," and tallied eight occurrences, several of which included howling dogs.

    That's entertainment!

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Thursday, February 19, 2015  

  • @ Terry - Yep. There's long been established a section of ufology that wears a white coat and then writes like a sloppy romantic.

    There are sciencey papers using emotive terms. One of my favourites is 'flabbergasted' in a COBEPS report.

    Without knowing the writers as people, it's hard to be entirely critical. Keyhoe was a keen user of innuendo to guide the reader. Dick Hall's later writings were similar and then Lorenzen, Jacobs and Mack weren't shy of using appeals to ridicule to buttress the cases.

    Some seem duplicitous and focused on sales, but I suspect most were just immersed in their beliefs and subconsciously led their readers to share their views.

    Charles Berlitz and Daniken were masters of the dark arts of persuasive writing. John Fuller and John Keel are right up there too, in my opinion.

    After all, who wouldn't be moved by a 'whining and cowering' little dachshund? Much more appealing than another well-worn scene of the 'disturbed' livestock 'out back in the barn.'

    By Blogger Kandinsky, at Friday, February 20, 2015  

  • Good one, Terry!

    Beyond Believers finding reassurance, reaffirmation and truth in the similarities of stories--like "witnesses" at a Giant Rock festival--there's a folkloric principle at work here in which repeated tellings incorporate standard motifs to enhance the particular myth being told. In this way, every "UFO" story aspires to be a parable of the cosmic conspiramyth and every teller an evangelist, a witness to universal truth.

    "We thought it was the End of Time." --Betty Cash

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, February 20, 2015  

  • > every "UFO" story aspires to be a parable of the cosmic conspiramyth

    True of some witnesses and investigators, yes. But I go for a more mundane way of putting it:

    I think some people "improve" their stories merely to make them more believable (Barney Hill was horrified that people might think he was a liar). Witness credibility is a troubled issue in UFO land -- it is a simple and bland motivation for the constant polishing of UFO tales.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Friday, February 20, 2015  

  • [some people "improve" their stories merely to make them more believable]

    To what end?

    Visions of the future, visions of alternate realities, visions of visitors from other worlds, visions of time and space defying machines. Every "UFO" story is an expression of some part of the cosmic conspiramyth, Ray Palmer's pulp-fiction "hidden world" cosmology.

    And all of their enhancements only destroy their stories and credibility; Ken Arnold; the Hills, Cash-Landrum, Captain Terauchi, most others, draw on standard science-fiction motifs--according to their intelligence, and even if they deny familiarity with the subject.

    Arnold was fantasy prone and Palmer's stooge who first claimed he'd seen some secret high-tech guided missiles but was talking up the ET angle after a few days. His retellings and repeated sightings over years didn't improve his first evidenceless "saucer" story or his credibilty. That the Hills told a good story was due to the fact Betty had dreamed or reimagined every scene of IFM and had years of practice retelling it to whoever would listen. Cash and Landrum's wholly derivative "radiation-spewing something blocking a road and twenty-three helicopters" apocalyptic conspiracy yarn is so crudely hammered together that it and them haven't one speck of credibility. And poor hysterical Terauchi was so heavily steeped in flying-saucer mythology he confabulated his entire "spaceship" story after the fact. His copilot reduced the "spaceship" to just "some lights." So, these "UFO" storytellers might have hoped that they were improving their stories and so their credibilty, but that was hardly the case. They only exposed their disturbed psychologies.

    Why are "UFO" stories so debunkable? Because they're composed of utter bunk! (g)

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Sunday, February 22, 2015  

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