Posts Tagged “alien abduction”

????????The election of our Groper-in-Chief has opened the floodgates to even more fruits and loons running for office. I mean, more than just the occasional wingnut gadlfy like Lyndon LaRouche. I mean, they’ve started emerging in droves to run for all sorts of offices around the country. For example, The Hill reports a Congressional candidate in Florida who claims she’s an alien abductee (Archive.Is cached article):

A candidate for a Florida congressional seat claims she was visited by aliens and has communicated with them several times throughout her life.

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera said in a 2009 television appearance that she went up into the spaceship when she was 7 years old, according to McClatchy [cached].

“I went in. There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship — not like airplanes,” Rodriguez Aguilera said in the interview, a video of which was posted to YouTube and first reported on by McClatchy.

She said she was visited by three large, blonde beings at the time. One was male and two were female.

The Hill goes on to give Rodriguez Aguilera’s justification for this outlandish claim: Past presidents have claimed to see UFOs, and scientists say it’s likely there’s life on other planets. I don’t dispute that presidents may have seen flying objects they couldn’t identify, nor do I dispute that life may well have developed elsewhere in our galaxy, or beyond. But even if they’re true, they don’t constitute evidence that extraterrestrials have ever visited humanity at all, let alone that Rodriguez Aguilera met any of them.

In reality, no one has ever been shown — based on compelling, objective, verifiable evidence — to have been abducted by ETs. It simply hasn’t happened.

Yes, I know about what is, perhaps, the original alien-abduction story: That of Betty & Barney Hill, which supposedly took place in 1961, and was famously recorded in The Interrupted Journey by John Fuller. While their story seemed compelling, there are a lot of problems with it, and isn’t a very credible story. Many of the alien-abduction accounts which have been reported since the Hills’ “encounter” have reflected their story … which in turn tends to limit their credibility.

That’s not to say that “nothing” happened to these people. Most of them experienced something … the question is, what could it have been, if not a genuine ET visitation? Among the more likely explanations is the common phenomenon of sleep paralysis.

In any event, given the sorts of people who’ve been elected over the past year or so — including a Congressional candidate who physically attacked a reporter, yet won anyway — it’s by no means certain this particular wing-but can’t get into Congress. More’s the pity.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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I haven’t mentioned belief in extraterrestrials recently, but the assumption that various odd things — such as unidentified flying objects* — can only be explained by assuming that extraterrestrials exist and are visiting Earth (and even abducting people and experimenting on them) is just as irrational as any religion or form of metaphysics. Just because something seems strange, or isn’t immediately explainable, does not mean it requires some extraordinary conclusion. Lots of things that had once been attributed to gods or other elusive beings — such as storms, which the ancient Greeks thought were caused by their god Poseidon — have turned out to have mundane, natural explanations.

But belief in extraterrestrials and “alien abductions” hit prime-time television in the US, tonight; ABC’s Primetime offered an episode on the matter. Among the bits shown is the story of Stan Romanek, who famously filmed an alien peering in his window. ABC’s evidence of the video’s veracity? That Stan and his family have been subjected to ridicule over it, but stand by it.

To ABC, this is “proof” the video is what Stan claims it is. That this video is a hoax, is something the producers appear not even to consider … even though it almost certainly is one.

The show also goes over the phenomenon of “sleep paralysis,” as though the only possible explanation for it is alien abduction … without conceding there may be mundane, perhaps neurological explanations for it. As it turns out, however, sleep paralysis is a phenomenon which has been studied, and has even been observed in experimental or clinical settings (e.g. sleep labs) without one iota of evidence that extraterrestrials were responsible.

The problems with the “alien abduction” scenario are so numerous that it hardly pays to list them all; but they include: Aliens freely getting in and out of homes, sometimes in congested areas, without being seen; aliens being able to penetrate walls as though they didn’t exist, even taking abductees through them the same way; aliens being able to levitate or teleport abductees into and out of space vessels without being detected; and so on.

We can posit all of these improbable things — and more! — or, on the other hand, we could instead decide that “sleep paralysis” is a neurological phenomenon, internal to the person, requiring none of those outrageous assumptions. Simple application of Ockham’s Razor implies that the neurological explanation is the more probable … and I’ve seen nothing that compels me to think otherwise.

ABC’s “proof” that this is what’s happening to these putative abductees, is that these folks “reject scientific explanations.” And that it’s probable that extraterrestrial intelligence lies somewhere in the universe.

Sorry but I’m not impressed. What these “abductees” claim is not relevant, since they cannot back up their claims with objective, verifiable evidence. And there’s a big difference between conceding that extraterrestrial intelligence exists (which is a concession I make), and asserting not only that it exists, but that at least one extraterrestrial race is visiting Earth, abducting people, and experimenting on them.

Once again, the mass media prove themselves all too willing to be the purveyors of rubbish, nonsense, irrationality, fallacy, and leaps of logic. What a waste of time.

* The ubiquity of belief that Earth is being visited, has reached the point where a lot of people think “UFO” means “extraterrestrial spacecraft.” This is not true. “UFO” means exactly what its component words mean … i.e. it’s an object in the air that one hasn’t yet identified. Nothing more.

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