Friday, August 7, 2015

Jeremy Vaeni on David Jacobs and Supporters: 'Time for Some Answers'

Jeremy Vaeni hosts 'The Experience', a popular show at 'Unknown Country'. He also maintains the blog, 'JayVay'. Back in 2010, he and co-host Jeff Ritzmann were producing 'Paratopia', a podcast in which the two extensively covered the scandalous handling of the Emma Woods case by author and investigator of alleged alien abduction, Dr. David Jacobs. Their coverage of the disturbing circumstances led to Vaeni's much read and discussed 'UFO Magazine' article, 'Aliens Versus Predator: The Incredible Visitations at Emma Woods'.  

Jacobs and his apologists persist in evading discussion of the relevant issues, while chronically implying there are extenuating circumstances that justify the conduct of Jacobs. Now, some five years later, they continue to fail to disclose details of any such circumstances, causing some to ask why the evidence should not be interpreted as it appears. The weekend of July 24, Jeremy Vaeni extended invitations to David Jacobs, Richard Dolan and Peter Robbins to guest on 'The Experience', account for their positions on the Emma Woods case and explain their related previous statements.

Permission was subsequently sought by 'The UFO Trail' to pose some questions to Jeremy Vaeni about the situation for a blog post. He cooperatively agreed. Following are the questions and his responses.   

'The UFO Trail': The reasons you would invite David Jacobs to guest on your show to discuss his actions with Emma Woods and his resulting stance on the issues are self-explanatory. Would you please summarize why you invited Richard Dolan and Peter Robbins to explain and account for their positions?

Jeremy Vaeni: I can concisely answer this by giving you the email I sent all three of them. It was this:
Aloha, Gents:
I recently watched yet another person on an internet forum defend David against the Emma Woods charges by citing a personal confirmation from Peter that he was to be trusted, as if there were some secret facts about the Emma Woods tapes/claims to which we are not privy. And then it occurred to me: it's 2015. Jeff Ritzmann and I brought this to the public in 2010. So where are these facts? What is the defense? It's been five years. 
Richard, you too have used this line, or one similar to it, in staving off the question of whether or not a soon-to-be lifetime achievement winner in ufology was on the level when he told a woman under hypnosis that she had multiple personality disorder, so that aggressive hybrids would read her mind about his belief and leave him alone. 
Another time, David, we hear you prescribing a chastity belt with nails at the vaginal opening to ward off--or at least anger--hybrid rapists who frequently attacked her. Was that the type of scientific rigor you've talked about practicing? Or is there more to the story that we've all been clueless about, left in the dark for five years?
Will any or all of you gentlemen come on my show and explain this once and for all so we can move on?
Thanks for considering. I look forward to hearing from you.
Jeremy Vaeni

Clearly, I didn't pussyfoot around the issue because they know who I am, so there's no point in trying to trick them into believing I'm not going to ask tough questions. Also, knowing that they will probably all reject the offer, I wanted to make sure that Rich and Peter at least once in their lives had to read about the chastity belt thing--because for all I know they're simply defending their buddy David without looking at anything. 

Now, I don't have to tell you everything that is wrong with the chastity belt scenario because it's self-evident. If it's not self-evident, then where is the information that exonerates it? And of course if it is self-evident, how is David Jacobs allowed to write another book? And get a lifetime achievement award from MUFON? This is insanity. 

At this point in history, David Jacobs should have been written off. He's the Bill Cosby of ufology. And if ufology is to be taken seriously as an area of research, even scientific scrutiny, then the David Jacobses of the world have to go. The only reason to keep him here is if the research angle of ufology is a ruse and it is simply one giant cocktail party. And we're the suckers paying for it. 

So yeah, I thought it was time for some answers.

Richard Dolan 2014 Facebook post in which he suggested "circumstances" about the Woods/Jacobs scandal were ignored when author Jeremy Vaeni wrote 'An Open Letter to Ufology', yet Dolan continues to fail to disclose details of any such circumstances. Dolan similarly called into question Carol Rainey's critical review of activities of some abduction researchers, yet Dolan consistently fails to actually address specific points raised by Rainey.

'The UFO Trail': What were their responses to the email?

Jeremy Vaeni: Not surprisingly, I haven't heard back from any of them. Well, actually a little surprisingly. I thought Peter Robbins, of the three, would respectfully decline and I figured I wouldn't hear from the other two. But I guess after five years of not answering the ankle biters, why change now? It's worked to an extent. I mean, they can't totally ignore everything we've done, as witnessed by the fact that David Jacobs now has to pretend that he's not doing hypnosis, he's doing relaxation techniques and then interviews. But even that was a smart move on his part because in the aforementioned conversation online where Peter was cited, the guy defending David Jacobs and hypnosis was saying that hypnosis doesn't implant false memories, it's really just a relaxation technique. So the bottom line with some people is that they will simply parrot their heroes rather than deal with reality. It's just a shame that so many of these parrots flock to ufology. Before you know it, this will be the conventional wisdom and we'll just forget the 80's and 90's where Hopkins, Jacobs, Mack and company all defended hypnosis as an excellent means to excavate buried memories. It wasn't a relaxation technique, it was this mystical guided tour through the mind allowing the subject access to memories fire-walled and denied by aliens. 

"So the bottom line with some people is that they will simply parrot their heroes rather than deal with reality."
To a certain extent, they can be forgiven as the jury was still out on hypnosis, at least in the 80's. But now there's enough data to state that no, hypnosis is not the magical cure-all for memory retrieval. In fact, it's quite harmful in a number of ways, not the least of which is that the subject is more likely to defend wrong memories as real than a non-hypnotized subject. That's powerful, man. That's certainly a contributing factor as to why there aren't more people stepping forward like Emma Woods did: because they still believe the fantasy.

'The UFO Trail': What do you think is most significant about the actions and statements of Jacobs, Dolan and Robbins?

Jeremy VaeniWell, I wonder if David Jacobs's actions don't imply that he's a sociopath. What person in their right mind, with a proper human sense of shame, gets publicly outed as a horrible, abusive researcher who, in the best case scenario he has laid out, sounds delusional--and sticks around? 

Retired historian Dr. David Jacobs
In David Jacobs's best case scenario, he is being chased by alien hybrids through instant messenger on an abductee's computer. And so, to his mind, someone like Emma Woods is crazy for not believing it anymore. That's the best case scenario! The worst case is far more devious. But in either case, I don't understand how he's allowed to tout himself as a legitimate researcher, and these other people--Dolan and Robbins--who also tout themselves as legitimate researchers defend him. This calls them all into question. 

You don't take that risk for horrible research. You take that risk for friendship. And you take that risk under the assumption that you're untouchable because your audience is so emotionally invested in you and your work that they'll just take your word for it. It's cynical. It's condescending. And for the most part, it's working. Through that lens, I'd say the most significant thing about their behavior is that they are doing exactly what they preach against with all this anti-secrecy stuff they go on about. They accuse governments and militaries across the world of perpetuating cover-ups and giving half-answers to critical ufological questions so as to keep us in the dark. They are behaving no differently than the very people they make a living and earn a trusted identity railing against.

'The UFO Trail'What is most important to be understood about the Emma Woods case and those who avert from its discussion?

Jeremy Vaeni: At this point, I think the most important thing to be understood is that she's not the only one. She's just the most vocal. She's an indicator of a much larger problem of abuse. The reason that's important is that here we are five years later and any time she opens her mouth publicly, a certain percentage of people are going to roll their eyes thinking, 'Oh, there's Emma Woods again. I wish she'd just get on with her life, already.'

But partly it's our fault as the interested public that she feels obligated to speak out. If we'd done our job and not gotten wrapped up in personalities or defending hypnosis without ever examining the scientific studies on it--as I was guilty of for years--no amount of cover-up by Jacobs's friends would be acceptable. Either Jacobs would have exited through the back door or others would have stepped forward in a bigger way. Brian Reed came forward, for example, but it was just the once. 

"If you're sick of ufology being treated as a fringe, crazy subject then stop reacting in fringe crazy ways to things that in any normal sense are immediately recognizable as abuse."
Really, though, how many times does he need to step forward? How many times does Emma? Or do I, for that matter? Or you? How many blog posts do you need to write on the obvious, Jack? What does it take to sink in so that we can all move on?

That's on the one hand. On the other hand, it's time for media outlets to stop promoting him. Give him the Cosby treatment. See, that's a normal reaction. If you're sick of ufology being treated as a fringe, crazy subject then stop reacting in fringe crazy ways to things that in any normal sense are immediately recognizable as abuse. Unlike Cosby, with Jacobs we can't even try to untangle the personal wrongdoings from the career. They are one. If one goes the other goes. And if we're brave enough to let hypnosis go on its own merits, well... then we have to start over. it's time to be brave enough to start over.

It's funny, you know? Rich Dolan's whole gig is that there's this secret breakaway society that isn't held accountable by the rest of us. 

Need I finish that thought?


  1. "The Cosby of UFOs." Nicely. Linked fwiw

  2. "They are behaving no differently than the very people they make a living and earn a trusted identity railing against."


  3. Excellent. Linked. Thank you Jack and Jeremy.

  4. Thanks for your comments and interest, folks. Your support is appreciated.

  5. It's surprising to see this story still rumbling on after so many years. Conventional abduction research was fatally wounded so long ago and yet still it's being talked about. That it's being 'validated' with a MUFON award doesn't actually surprise me at all and why should it?

    MUFON have hosted anyone with a profile for years. There are good, conscientious individuals in the sub-groups of MUFON, but the overall organisation seems more of a glad-handing, self-perpetuating clique.

    I agree with the gist of Jeremy's comments although it wasn't so long ago he was scornful of 'serious ufology.' Is it fair to use the honour of 'serious ufology' as a tool now? Likewise, Paratopia was once regarded as 'fringe and crazy' by many of the Establishment figures of 'serious ufology.' Should we be asking ourselves what exactly is 'serious ufology?' Who decides or is like great Art and we'll 'know it when we see it?'

    If Jeremy reads this, don't get me wrong here. I still listen to 'topia shows and respect you guys and most of the guests.

    Is 'serious ufology' a stick to beat others with? Or is it a red, velvet rope that divides an in-group from the others? Will Jacobs' award make a shit of difference to any flavour of ufology? It surely won't invalidate Jack's approach or detract from the sense made on 'topia episodes with Kokjohn, Lillienfield etc. Likewise, those groups amassing cuttings and writings in their thousands won't be affected by anything MUFON do. All 'serious' folk conducting their ufological business and frequently ideologically at odds with each other.

    1. My point is that these are the same folks who use the talking point of wanting ufology to be taken seriously as a study or at least by the mainstream. If that's true then they can't afford to support this man.

      As for me, personally, I'd be all for ACTUAL serious study of this. The thing I have a problem with is the way it's been treated for at least the past decade: If you put on a suit and tie and present yourself as serious, then you're in. But just try clowning around while saying the serious stuff... then you're a buffoon. Or try saying serious stuff that flies in the face of conventional wisdom.

      So no, my real problem isn't with serious ufology. I've never had a problem with Jacques Vallee as a researcher, NARCAP as an organization, or Jack Brewer as a reporter. These should be templates for how to do this right.

      Pretending that this is a serious study just because the presenters can keep a straight face is a mockery and a sham. What does it take to actually be serious? Honesty, for one. Depth would be nice. Holding off on presenting results until you have actual results to present. Essentially, doing the research, not embellishing it, and not presenting it until it's finished.

    2. Thank you, sir. Sincerely honored.

    3. I can't argue with anything you've said there.

      There are different levels behind the stimuli of UFOs and encounter reports that I believe require different approaches. The Project1947/SHG guys like Aldrich and Swords have done great work documenting the UFO era when the stimuli were at their most material and technological. Swords has offered some ideas that straddle 'technological' UFO reports and the later twist into strange encounter claims.

      When we get into the encounter reports, it seems more like an area for the folklorists, futurists, particularly psychologists and so forth. People who can conceive that perceived realities are as influential to subjects as consensus reality is to society at large. Some of those can be fairly conservative thinkers which is where folk like SMiles, Vallee and even you and Ritz are needed to add creativity.

      Blogs don't like long posts so I'll quit here. You know where I was going with that anyway.

    4. Your contributions are always welcome around here, Kandinsky, long or otherwise.

  6. Incidentally, the latest MUFON email just arrived and is promoting Karl Wolfe from Greer's Disclosure Project fame. Back then, Wolfe was claiming to have been working on the Lunar Orbiter Image program. It was during this work he claimed to have seen alien structures on the Moon and (iirc) saw NASA airbrushing them out.

    Unfortunately he was claiming to work on those images a full year before the program even existed. He said 'mid-1965' when the first Orbiter launched late in '66.

    Details like that don't matter as long as there's a good tale to be told.

  7. What you are appear to be suggesting is that the UFO community take measures at policing itself. That has not happened in all of the years I've been interested in this subject. Stan Romeck, Jaime Maussan, Linda Moulten Howe, Richard Dolan, Don Schmitt and Whitley Strieber are all names that have made a mockery of the subject in recent months, yet all continue to speak, appear at events and be taken seriously, no matter what drivel that may spout forth from their mouths. What makes you think Jacobs is any different? Perhaps on some level there are some that are clued up enough to see what is going on? But by and large the masses are fed the steady diet of misinformation and disinformation by people like the rogues gallery mentioned above. Replace them and there are dozens more looking for their place in the Reality TV spotlight. It's just the way it is, but best of luck getting any kind of accountability anyway.

    1. What makes him different is that he's demonstrably hurting people. Emma Woods now lives with a fear from false memories that feel real even though she knows they aren't. Certain places she goes, for example, have a memory of hybrid abuse attached to them. Can you imagine walking around your home town shuddering over a trauma you logically know never happened but can't seem to shake the emotional impact of?

      This is not your run-of-the-mill mockery-maker.

  8. I am intriigued by Dolan's allusion to "circumstances." Exttenuating circumstances? Such as a gun is being held to David Jacobs' head? The devil made him do it? Why is it that he and Hopkins are off-limits as far as critical scrutiny goes? Is there just a zone of stupidity orbiting them? I mean, without a countervailing explanation what else could you conclude but that people who believe Jacobs are profoundly stupid, so much so their licenses should be suspended and they should not be allowed on the freeway?

    I suspect it's not that easy. I'd be curious to hear Dolan's response to this little query: Is David Jacobs involved in mind control projects? What's his opinion on that? Or is somebody holding a gun to your head, Mr. Dolan? Given your recent support of kodachromic adventures you have to wonder.

    I think David Jacobs is a propagandist. Historians make good propagandists, don't you think, Richard?

    If I may, you make it sound like you're quite the revolutionary. You're about as revolutionary as Beaver Cleaver.