Monday, February 24, 2014

Carol Rainey: Open Letter to the UFO Community

The following open letter was provided Sunday to The UFO Trail by Carol Rainey. Learn more about Ms. Rainey and her work by visiting her website, carolrainey.com, viewing her YouTube channel and watching her videos posted in the sidebar to the right.

Open Letter to the UFO Community

Over the past several years, I've posted to my YouTube channel (Carol Rainey) a dozen film excerpts on the subject of UFO abduction research. They feature the work of my then husband, Budd Hopkins, and his book, "Witnessed," about the Linda Cortile abduction case. People interested in this field might find something of worth in the comments posted recently by one of my critics, followed by my response to him.

[**Note: If I didn't think the UFO phenomenon was a real and significant human mystery, I assure you that I would never have "wasted" the past twenty years and my personal resources on caring about this research.]

I was particularly struck by the commentator's religious attitude toward the researcher and the material. It led me to wonder, not for the first time, how many researchers and observers in this field secretly harbor an attitude and a mindset that utterly mitigate against an ability to uncover what lies behind the UFO phenomenon.

Here is the essence of his remarks:

"...Do you consider yourself more of an expert on the subject of alien abduction than Bud Hopkins was?  You better be because you are going after a saint, and a lot of people will feel they have good reason to dismiss what you say out of hand."

Full quote below and my second response to the person:

tommytomted44 to Carol Rainey 20 hours ago

Thank you for your civil reply.  It just strikes me as strange.  You were married to Bud Hopkins.
You wrote books together, and now you are trying to take his work apart.

I understand this is new material, but this is not the first video you have made with this theme.  I believe I have seen them all.  To me there is just something very wrong with attacking the work of a dead man who is not here to speak for himself.

Without Bud Hopkins, David Jacobs and John Mack would never have been exposed to the subject of alien abduction.  Bud carried the water on the subject for years with no help at all.

It looks to me as if you have some problems with his methods.  It also looks to me like you are quite willing to toss the baby out with the bathwater.  That really bothers me.  It is hard enough to get people to take this subject seriously.

So you appear willing to throw out all Buds work.  Do you actually disagree with his take on every case he did?  Is there nothing of value to be saved here?  Nowhere we can say that Bud was doing good work?

Bud Hopkins and Karla Turner are the closest people we have to saints in the area of alien abduction.  So you don't agree with some of his methods.  Are you really willing to tear it all down over that? 

I'm not an expert on the history of the two of you together but didn't he do some of this work before you met and married him?  And didn't you write a book or two together?  I believe I've read those books and I don't remember you saying anything like this then.

Why now?  Were you just blind to these things when you were with Bud?  When you made that video did he know what you were intending to do with it?  If not then you were just setting him up a little bit there don't you think?

And lastly, do you consider yourself more of an expert on the subject of alien abduction than Bud Hopkins was?  You better be because you are going after a saint, and a lot of people will feel they have good reason to dismiss what you say out of hand.

I really don't like what you are doing.  I could hear you in the video.  It sure sounded to me like his partner in his work was setting him up, and he didn't even know it.  Now that is just disgusting.

With Bud dead, and no one to speak for him, this has the look and feel of a hatchet job.


cr response 2/23/14

I said all of these things, with documentation, _before_ Budd died, so that charge has little power. He and his devout supporters had their say, just as you're still having yours. 

You have some valid points, ones that I'll address in a longer form work - both in a documentary and in a book. Let me briefly say that your perspective and terminology suggest that you're in a religious frame of mind - one that won't help you be objective about good research methodology that will actually produce "knowledge." 

If you regard ANYONE in this field as "a saint," I think you've lost that ability. Budd (note the 2 D's) made significant contributions in offering support to people who felt traumatized and in making the media and popular culture aware of anomalous experiences related to UFOs. I am not suggesting otherwise. I was a participant in some cases with him that I think are quite credible and I will be showing those, too. But I AM strongly opposed to Budd's manipulation of facts and his telling the world that certain individuals's UFO reports were factual and credible when they were neither. 

Right now, I'm more interested in trying to ensure that there be no more Emma Woods out there - vulnerable people preyed upon by a "researcher" who has zero qualifications in psychology, hypnosis, medicine, cultural contagion, etc., and zero ability to handle the issues that arise. And now I'm speaking about someone who's quite alive.

Yes, I was Budd's partner and you can hear off-camera questions which indicate that I was always asking the hard questions. I supported what he was doing for many years, until the facts in front of me said that this was a deceptive and dangerous business. That's when my opinion changed and that's when I stopped being part of that community. The mark of a good investigator, scientists will tell you, is that he/she has the ability to change perceptions once the facts have changed or been more clearly perceived.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Mirage Men Cometh

The highly anticipated film, Mirage Men, is scheduled for a March 27 online release. The documentary was written by Mark Pilkington and included a collaboration of talented individuals as directors and producers. 

Pre-order rentals are available through this link or through the trailer located in the sidebar to the right. Full synopsis:
How the US government created a myth that took over the world.
ET visitors… crashed UFOs… back-engineered alien technology… the government cover-up of a secret that would change the world as we know it…
These are the core elements of the modern UFO mythology, a story that has captivated farmers, princes and generals for generations, and shows no sign of loosening its grip on the popular imagination.
But what if, instead of covering up the UFO story, elements in the US military had actively encouraged it as part of their Cold War counterintelligence arsenal – manufacturing the myth of the UFO as a powerful weapon of mass deception and the perfect cover for all manner of clandestine technologies and operations.
Now, for the first time, some of those whose actions have directly shaped the UFO mythology, and some of their victims, tell their stories, revealing a surreal disturbing and sometimes tragic sequence of events that is part Manchurian Candidate and part Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Mirage Men draws viewers into a saucer-shaped hall of mirrors, a shadow-world where every lie contains elements of the truth, and the truth is far stranger than the UFO believers, or their detractors, would have you believe. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Woods/Jacobs Tapes and the 'Oral History' Falsehood

Tuesday, February 4, this writer was pleased to be among guests on Jeff Ritzmann's Paranormal Waypoint. The show was a special three-hour finale to Ritzmann's multi-episode exploration of research of alleged alien abduction. Focus was upon the case of Emma Woods and its mishandling by the now retired Temple University historian Dr. David Jacobs. Fellow guests were microbiologist Dr. Tyler Kokjohn and author Jeremy Vaeni. 

Ritzmann put a great deal of preparation into the episode, taking listeners on an informative and revealing audio tour of the case via taped interactions between Woods and Jacobs. Both were fully aware the recordings were being made at the time of their creation. 

The Woods/Jacobs tapes provide irrefutable documentation of unsettling and often disturbing circumstances. Recordings presented and considered - which have long been public thanks to Woods - included interactions from the initial hypnotic regression sessions Jacobs began in 2004 and conducted by telephone. Ritzmann also took listeners through taped exchanges in which Woods confronted Jacobs about discrepancies in his ongoing and increasingly outrageous suggestions. Tapes were also played and discussed in which Woods attempted to clarify circumstances with Jacobs, who threatened her with consequences if she did not either support his conclusions or remain silent. 

Leading

David Jacobs
At the time of this post, the website of the International Center for Abduction Research, which is maintained by Jacobs, has a bio on Jacobs. Among other questionable items, the bio asserts that "Jacobs is a strong advocate of strict scientific and ethical research methodology", a claim that can irrefutably be shown to be false to the extent of insulting one's intelligence.

The following clip was featured on Paranormal Waypoint and contains details of a telephone hypnosis session between Jacobs and Woods. While Woods largely repeated that she was unsure of the circumstances and often replied, "I don't know," to Jacobs' questions, a scenario was nonetheless constructed in which she was aboard an alien craft. One unclear circumstance at a time, the Jacobs-led conversation progressed to Woods envisioning herself surrounded by beings. Around the eight-minute mark, the following statements were made: 

Jacobs: Well, I'm just wondering if maybe they put him on top of you, basically. 

Woods: Maybe. Yeah, I think so.

Jacobs: And I know that once again I'm leading you here so you have to be careful, and I understand I'm leading you, and you should understand that too. Okay, now I'm going to ask you a series of questions here and when you answer these questions, when you understand what's happening here, you will - it's not that there's going to be a revelation, but you're going to understand what's going on here and it's not what ya think. How's that for something odd?

Jacobs then proceeded to create, nearly completely independently of Woods' statements, a scenario in which she was allegedly forced to have sex with what Jacobs described as another abductee.

"He's just some guy," Jacobs told the woman, "he's some, he's some guy that they got. You know, he's an abductee. It's happened to him all his life, and, uhm, he's just as much a victim in the situation as you are. They put him on you, he does his business. What happens - when you get a sense that he is about to ejaculate, what happens to him? What do they do with him?"

Woods then told Jacobs that she did not think the man ejaculated. "I don't think he does," she explained, adding that she did not have a very strong visual sense of the situation and that the described scenario may be wrong.

Around the twelve-minute mark, Jacobs then apparently felt himself entitled and qualified to interpret and explain the entire circumstance at length, incredibly informing the woman, "This is a sperm collection procedure. They bring the guy to a height of sexual arousal. Before he ejaculates they pull him off and they collect the sperm in a receptacle, and they do this every single time that this event happens."

Jacobs continued to inform Woods how she should look at the situation in her role as the "facilitator of the sperm collection." 

The entire clip:




The Chastity Belt Clip

Among the more infamous recordings to be published by Woods included the chastity belt clip. Jacobs explained to the woman that she could consider wearing a belt that "right where the vaginal opening is has a couple of nails sticking across." This, he suggested, would slow down hybrids intent on committing repeated sexual assaults.

"They have these sex shops, ya know, and I went into one that specialized in bondage dominance, a place that I frequented quite often," the man claiming to be an advocate of strict scientific and ethical research told Woods during a long distance hypnosis session:




The Underwear Session

And then there was the request for underwear. 


"Were you wearing underpants?" Jacobs asked Woods.

Woods: Yeah.

Jacobs: Uhm, did you wash the underpants?

Woods: Hmm, prob - probably, yeah.

Jacobs: Even though it was yesterday? 

Woods: I might not have. I'll go and look in the laundry. But I won't know which ones. Uhm, I can have a look.

Jacobs: Have a look. Put it in a plastic bag, if you find the ones...

Later during the same session, Jacobs instructed Woods, "Well, if you can dig up the underpants, without even thinking about it, just put 'em in a plastic bag, put 'em in an envelope, then just send 'em off to me. Totally, greatly appreciate it. Do not even think about it. Just do it automatically. No fuss, no muss and don't think about it afterward either."

Full clip:



More of the Woods/Jacobs tapes, including the historian's suggestion the woman had Multiple Personality Disorder during an ill conceived, convoluted and rather unbelievable plan to deceive the hybrids, may be found at Paranormal Waypoint. The thorough and expanding website of Emma Woods should also be viewed for more information. 

If there is evidence of high strangeness to be found, it is not within such hypnosis sessions. Not only does the research subject find neither emotional support nor intellectual answers, they are at high risk of sustaining further trauma. 

Further Considerations

It might be rather easy for many readers to write Jacobs off as an idiot, and there are certainly some within UFO circles who have done just that. I invite a bit further consideration, however, that regardless of his wanderings into abuse and absurdity, Jacobs indeed knew what kind of evidence he was seeking. I additionally suggest that after the man repeatedly failed in obtaining support for his hypotheses through his collection of samples, he ceased collecting potential evidence rather than revise suppositions. 

A spring, 2011 newsletter published by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation reported that Temple defended the actions of Jacobs, primarily on the grounds that his research was limited to the collection of oral histories. Obviously, the collection of underwear is more than oral history. Moreover, The UFO Trail conducted an interview with Jacobs at the 2012 Ozark UFO Conference in which the doctor himself described multiple circumstances of collecting samples from research subjects. A 2012 exchange between Jacobs and The UFO Trail:
"I have taken material for analysis to various DNA testing places. They had negative results. There wasn't enough of it or they couldn't tell what it was – that sort of thing.”
“Are these tests available for the public to review?”
“Not yet.”
“Will they be?”
“I don't know. One I did many years ago at a local lab in Delaware. Another one was done by American Testing Institute in New York City – American Chemical? I can't remember the name of it now. That was also many years ago – about brown stains that people have; that's routinely there. I had another one done for a TV show..."
The collection of oral history defense is apparently both incorrect and a blatant misrepresentation of actuality. It additionally shows us that when the purported science advocate failed to obtain the valuable physical evidence supporting his theories, he shamelessly continued his promotion of a completely unsubstantiated assumption and with virtual disregard for the extents others were hurt in the process. He did so not only while coming up short with the samples he stated he obtained, but he failed to share the data with the public.

People are entitled to believe and conduct their affairs as they choose. They are not entitled, however, to conduct nonscientific activities and call them science without challenge. Neither is David Jacobs entitled to immunity from accountability.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Paranormal Waypoint Series: Problem, Evidence, Result

Jeff Ritzmann, host of Paranormal Waypoint on KGRA Radio, recently undertook a three-part series of shows dedicated to addressing challenges within research of alleged alien abduction. The series, designed to identify problems, evidence of such problems and their subsequent results, began with reviewing information presented by psychologist Dr. Scott Lilienfeld.

The doctor explained the lack of reliability in the use of hypnosis as a memory retrieval tool. Also covered were the inherent challenges related to witness narratives obtained via hypnosis. Such challenges include a high degree of cultural contamination within ufology, as well as biased hypnotists who are typically overeager to obtain predetermined outcomes. Regressive hypnosis is of course the preferred investigative tool of such trend setting researchers of alien abduction as the late Budd Hopkins and retired historian Dr. David Jacobs. Problem.

Ritzmann's second episode included guest Carol Rainey, an award-winning filmmaker, author, grant writer and ex-wife of Hopkins. Rainey drew both widespread support and emotionally-based criticism from the UFO community in 2011 when she published The Priests of High Strangeness: Co-Creation of the “Alien Abduction Phenomenon”, an article documenting poor research practices by Hopkins and his misrepresentation of events.

Rainey followed up the essay by posting videos demonstrating Hopkins' exaggerations, including one clip in which the writer himself described his misleading portrayal of circumstances as stacking the deck. Additional clips on Rainey's YouTube channel include documentation of extreme inconsistencies in the Linda Cortile case and as additionally covered by veteran writer/researcher George Hansen and colleagues. Such circumstances are indeed evidence of problems.

The third and final episode of the Paranormal Waypoint series will cover results of the problems and will be broadcast Tuesday, February 4 at 9 p.m. EST. The show will focus upon circumstances surrounding the case of Emma Woods and the flawed research methodology of David Jacobs. The historian's reliance on regressive hypnosis as a primary investigative technique has been coupled with shameless promotion of completely unsubstantiated claims of human-alien breeding programs. Opportunities for researchers such as Jacobs to exploit such circumstances grew out of a ufology culture and subsequent following largely developed by Hopkins. Jacobs' now resulting iconic status has blinded many within the demographic to his researcher bias, circumstances affording him virtual immunity from critical review of his methodology, conclusions and care of research subjects.

Ritzmann extended an invitation to me, Jack Brewer, to join him and microbiologist Dr. Tyler Kokjohn on Paranormal Waypoint Tuesday evening. I look forward to supporting Ritzmann and his guests in their efforts to clarify circumstances and chains of events occurring within the alien abduction genre. Join us in the KGRA chat room and express your opinions about the material covered.

It should be noted that the Paranormal Waypoint three-part series consisted of individuals, including Ritzmann and Rainey, who do not dismiss reports of high strangeness out of hand. They are interpreted by this writer to be among a growing number of community members who recognize it is a poor choice to settle for premature conclusions in lieu of verifiable explanations, whatever those explanations may ultimately prove to be.