UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Are Nick Redfern’s WIB witnesses nuts?

As some of you know, from reading Nick Redfern’s latest book, Women in Black, an inconsiderable number of persons have claimed they were harassed, scared, terrorized by women in black, much as many UFO witnesses have been, allegedly, troubled by men in black.

But are the encounters, noted by Nick in his 294 page book, real or hallucinatory?

While persons seeing odd things – often having what is ascribed as an hallucination – they actually “see” what they think they are seeing.

But is there an actual, tangible “thing” before their eyes?

Starting on Page 48, Chapter 4, Nick provides a number of MIB, WIB, and even Children in Black episodes that involved UFO author John Keel.

John Keel was “tuned into” many paranormal events, and a proponent of the 1966 Mothman sightings in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, Keel seeming to attract and promote weird events.

(There does seem to be anecdotal accounts of some people favored by paranormal activity; such activity ranging from the earliest times and reaching a crescendo in the Middle Ages and, apparently, in the United States in the 1960s. Nick provides  litany of paranormal activity outside the 1960s time-frame, much of it centered on Men in Black and their counterparts, Women in Black.)

Nick offers a story [Page 153 ff.] about a man named Dan Seldin who told Bud Hopkins, in 1985, under hypnosis (!), about a 1969 experience that has been counted as a UFO abduction.

Seldin related that after his “experience,” he had a “dream” from which he awoke, and saw. “standing in the dark shadows … a trio of large-headed, emotionless [sic] humanoids with black eyes and dressed all in black …Then, as if out of nowhere, the face of a human-looking woman loomed into view. It was a chilling sight for Seldin. The malevolent looking she-hag had long, black hair – which awung, or blew, wildly in Seldin’s face/ In addition, she had dark eyes, and rather oddly, no teeth.

“Seldin was terrified but he admitted that although the woman gave off an air of ‘evil,’ she ‘looks petty too …’”[Page 154]

This is not an atypical story among those provided by Nick.

But what are we to make of it?

One can see a resemblance, minus the UFO/humanoid descrips, to one of Freud’s famous cases: “The Wolf-Man” recounted in The Wolf-Man, by the Wolf-Man: The double story of Freud’s most famous case, edited by Muriel Gardiner [Basic Books, NY, 1971]

The “Wolf-Man” [Sergei Konstantinovitch Pankejeff] was a man treated for his neurotic problems, who had a Don Quixote-like fixation, at one point in his life, on a woman named Therese:

“I had arranged with my mother that after a week I would pay her a short visit … and then return to Therese. On the evening before I was to visit my mother Therese and Iwent to the well-known Berlin variety theater Wintergarten … I was in … high spirits …[but] when we had returned to the hotel [Therese] made a dreadful scene of jealousy. She raged and screamed …

“I lay awake the entire night, trying to figure out … Therese’s outburst of rage …” [Pages 76-77]

Of course, Freud saw The Wolf-Man’s problem(s) as having a sexual orientation, much as he did with patient Dora, a notable case of hysteria [Dora – An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria [Collier Book, NY, 1963]

And this, about hypnosis and “phantasy” in Freud’s famous case of Anna O:

“It was observed that, while the patient was in her states of 'absence (altered personality accompanied by confusion), she was in the habit of muttering a few words to herself which seemed as though they arose from some train of thought that was occupying her mind. The doctor, after getting a report of these words, used to put her into a kind of hypnosis and then repeat them to her so as to induce her to use them as a starting point. The patient complied with the plan, and in this way reproduced in his presence the mental creations which had been occupying her mind during the 'absences' and which had betrayed their existence by the fragmentary words which she had uttered. They were profoundly melancholy phantasies - 'day dreams' we should call them - sometimes characterized by poetic beauty, and their starting-point was as a rule the position of a girl at her father's sick-bed.  When she had related a number of these phantasies, she was as if set free, and she was brought back to normal mental life.”

One could go on and on with the sexual orientation in hysteria and it’s concomitant delusional component hallucination.

More can be found in Sigmund Freud’s Collected Papers, Volume 3 [Basic Books, NY, 1959]

I've always posited that alien abductions have an underpinning of a sexual element, repressed but breaking into the open with fantasies of alien abductions. [See rrrgroup.blogspot.com]

Yet, do encounters with Women in Black (or MIB) denote an hallucination with sexual underpinnings?

I suggest they do, but does that mean the persons being visited by WIB (or MIB) haven’t had a real visitation by actual persons (or beings)?

There are too many recitations, as Nick provides, to discount that all – all – encounters are fantasy-ridden.

A tale of a hissing WIB is told by Nick in his Chapter 25 [Page 250 ff.].

It took place in 1893 in Rhineback, New York, and was reported in the town paper, the Sunday Herald and headlined “A Woman in Black.”
“It is the story of a strange creature who glides noiselessly along country roads at dead of night … She invariably halts long enough to stretch out her long arm from beneath a black veil and at the same time make a hissing noise.” [Sunday Herald]

Nick has a plethora of such sightings, from long ago right up to the present.

Like Kevin Randle’s Roswell liars, can all of Nick’s “witnesses” be pathological, fraught with hysteria and hallucinations?

The numbers belie hallucination, in toto.

Some, like UFO sightings, have to be real – actual observations of WIB. Crazy can’t account for all the overwhelming recounted observations/encounters. It can’t (or else we are living in a society or world that is basically constructed of madness).

Get Nick’s book, and have a good, edifying read. Then let me know what you think.



  • Cheers for this Rich. Yeah, there's no doubt that the WIB subject (like that of the Black-Eyed Children, the Men in Black etc) is filled with controversy. And, there's also no doubt that many of the encounters occurred when the "victim" (which is an apt word to use!) was in an altered state of mind. But, whether that altered state is provoked by the witness, or by some external source (the WIB or the MIB)is very much open to question. There's also no doubt, for example, that a large portion of Albert Bender's MIB experiences were enhanced by his own subconscious perceptions.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Wednesday, June 22, 2016  

  • The deep similarities - many of which are hard to find unless we look carefully - lead me to believe that the source of the WIB and MIB encounters IS external. But, whatever it may be, I'm not in any doubt that it influences the human mind, and probably, too, how we perceive the phenomenon. There's also the fact that, as I note in the book, some of the cases (such as that of Christina George in Chapter 22) had more than one witness.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Wednesday, June 22, 2016  

  • When you ask: "Yet, do encounters with Women in Black (or MIB) denote an hallucination with sexual underpinnings?" I would say that yes, in many cases, there is. To the point where the witness sometimes develops something not unlike Stockholm Syndrome (in a fashion, at least).

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Wednesday, June 22, 2016  

  • I think the key here, as Nick said, is the "altered state of mind" influenced by some external catalyst (whatever that may be).

    We know altered states exist but we don't know much about how or what causes them other than pharmaceuticals, illegal drugs, mental illness, hypnosis, etc.

    What the agent or catalyst really is may be something common to people with a common core belief or experience which is then triggered to produce similar or same MIB/WIB experiences.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Wednesday, June 22, 2016  

  • Brian, I would suggest that many Contactee cases fall into that category too.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Wednesday, June 22, 2016  

  • While there may an "external agent" -- as UFO researcher Jose Antonio Caravaca has it -- there has to be prevalent opening, in the psyche of "witnesses" to allow that agent to get access.

    I see that psyche-access as sexual in nature. (I think also that Wilhelm Reich's orgone theory has to be revisited.)

    After all, the input of the Jewish God, Yahweh, was largely sexual. (I wrote a booklet about that Divine obsession.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 22, 2016  

  • Rich: a classic case, with sexual overtones, is Truman Bethurum, who, as you know, is featured in my Women in Black book.

    Bethurum's experiences with the alleged hot alien babe, "Aura Rhanes" is very much Contactee-driven.

    But, as I note in the book, on several occasions Rhanes took on the image of a WIB.

    At the time of his encounter in Nevada (on Mormon Mesa, no less...), Bethurum's second marriage was on the rocks.

    He became totally obsessed with Rhanes, to the point where his 3rd wife even shared the same initials as Aura Rhanes. Her name was Alvira Roberts.

    You even have the "A" at the beginning and end of both Aura and Alvira, and the "R" and the "S" at the end of both Roberts and Rhanes.

    There's no doubt in my mind that Bethurum encountered something - but I'm also sure that the phenomenon he encountered pulled a great deal out of Bethurum's subconscious, to the point where it manifested in the form of the ethereal (even fairy/elemental-like) Aura Rhanes.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Wednesday, June 22, 2016  

  • Yes, Nick....the Bethurum story in this book (and previously in your Contactees book) reeked of sexual implications.

    Interesting, especially to us Freud devotees.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, June 22, 2016  

  • Someone (no, not me! LOL) should write a biography on Bethurum, as his story is filled to the brim with issues that could easily help us to better understand the "contact" nature of the phenomenon.

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Wednesday, June 22, 2016  

  • It seems to me that those studying contactees and abductees should perhaps shift gears away from analyzing the events experienced and start gathering data on what all of these people have in common from a psychological, personal, and physical standpoint.

    Guessing now, but they might discover that each person has some similar attribute that effects mental awareness and conscious/unconsious thought.

    For example, what if 60% had repressed emotions regarding sexual awareness, or were abused in some way when younger, or have elevated neurological symptoms, or were raised by a single parent?

    While speculative, such factors may provide statistically valid trend data showing a common predisposition to such events.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Thursday, June 23, 2016  

  • Brian:

    I and others have pressed for a study or several to see what social, psychological elements show up in abductee accounts, especially the possible sexual connections -- abuse, for instance.

    I don't think anyone has made the effort or set the protocols for such a study.

    When I had occasion to talk with John Mack, right before his untimely death, he also thought that an evaluation of abductee accounts should include a pursuit of childhood sexual abuse, but there was a hesitancy on his part to engage in such a pursuit.

    That stemmed from the scandalous affair involving by my friend, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson who found, during his sojourn in the Freud archives, that Freud had abandoned his theory that children were often molested by parents or relatives.

    Freud had the goods but changed his promotion of such accusations so as not to destroy the psychoanalytic movement in its infancy.

    Jeffrey, writing about Freud's malfeasance was brutally attacked by Janet Malcolm in The New Yorker, and he lost his connections to the Freud Archives and his psychoanalytic credentials.

    Jeffrey's book on the matter, The Assault on Truth, is an eye-opener and must-read for those who'd like to strip, my idol, Freud, of his exalted stature.

    Mack didn't want to suffer the slings and arrows of his colleagues or the UFO community, so he wasn't about to go into the sexual etiology of UFO abductions.

    Will Buesche, a Mack confidant and staffer at the Mack institute is an "experiencer" (abductee), one whose story gives credence to the idea of alien abduction, and his story offers caution to those who would be quick to dismiss the alien abduction scenario.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, June 23, 2016  

  • Pure speculation on my part, but repressed sexual tendencies are likely at the heart of some of this - probably not all but some.

    What may indicate this, if I'm not mistaken, is that the MIB/WIB, contactee, abductee, phenomenon is largely North American specific.


    If true we know that North Americans (especially the US) have a long social tradition of having "problems" with sexual related things stemming from centuries of Anglo-Puritan type thinking and social standards of conduct and misconduct.

    If that is correct, it may explain at least one factor playing a role in this phenomenon specific to this audience in this country.

    If I am correct, I believe some abductee researchers have been accused of purposely playing down the "sexual" related aspects of abductions, including not only reluctant gratification but primarily forced sadistic torture.

    I recall reading one investigator having discovered through correspondence with alien-supporting abductee theorists that a portion of the abductees have similarly reported being tortured with spiked poles shoved up their arse.

    However the abductee investigators were reluctant to report these incidents because of their bizarre offensiveness.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Thursday, June 23, 2016  

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