Snuff It #1
The Boggle Factor
At a party not long ago, someone asked me: "What do you do?" I replied:
"I am the warden of Devil's Island." A joke, dear reader, and an example
of the boggle factor.
There are certain statements which seem inherently unbelievable: "There was
no Holocaust," for example. "Bill Clinton will lower taxes." Etc.
etc. Having established some degree of definition, we now take up the much-discussed
matter of UFO abductions. A Harvard professor, my dear friends, has weighed in on
the subject. One John E. Mack, M.D., on the staff of The Cambridge Hospital, has
contributed to the discussion ABDUCTION (Human Encounters With Aliens). At the
behest of "Snuff It" I have read this book carefully, even taking detailed
notes on the first two chapters. I confess myself much boggled. Take note of the
fact that the book costs $22.00 plus tax, and that it is published by Scribners.
The status of UFO literature is peculiar. Many books are privately published,
and never reach, or somehow vanish from the commercial publishing scene. Looking
over Dr. Mack's four pages of bibliography, I see many references to obscure
texts. I also see huge gaps -- or so it would appear -- in his preparation.
There is no mention of the quintessential study The Mothman Prophecies by John A.
Keel. Also Messengers of Deception, by Jacques Vallee, a research report of the
highest relevance, seems to have been missed.
Dr. Mack's book does have its points to make, however. I would advise my
indulgent friends and readers to set aside some time to visit your local library
or bookselling establishment, to take down "Abduction" from the shelves,
and to skim over the first two chapters. You will find such observations as these:
Page 9 -- "The experience of internalizing what is first perceived as
external light happens frequently during mystical flashes or transcendental
journeys that result in spiritual rebirth."
Comment: Spiritual rebirth is a favorite theme of the "abductees" or
"experiencers." Past lives are often explored by the humans together
with the aliens, so Dr. Mack suggests.
Page 20 -- "I might be open to the possibility that our consensus framework
of reality is too limited and that a phenomenon such as this cannot be explained
within its ontological parameters."
Comment: Dr. Mack almost seems to believe that he is writing a study of
ontology, "The science or study of being; that department of metaphysics
which relates to the being or essence of things, or to being in the abstract."
(Oxford English Dictionary)
To give the author his due, he has done a great deal of work to support his
clients and co-investigators, the "experiencers." There are thirteen
chapters of the book devoted to fairly comprehensive accounts of individual
One claim of Dr. Mack's which I would like to challenge is the repetitiously
and vaguely stated view that the aliens, or visitors, or trans-dimensionals are
greatly concerned with the "environment." While he presents personal
statements to reflect this view, he cites no credible study which supports such
a notion. There is no mention of such obviously important matters as: (1) soil
erosion, (2) oxygen-exchanging organisms, (3) non-polluting energy generators,
(4) wasteful over-consumption, etc.
If the reader is intrigued by this concept of human/alien interaction (using
the terms on the cover of the book), then go ahead and read also David Jacobs'
SECRET LIFE: Firsthand Accounts of UFO Abductions. Maybe even track down Leah
Haley's "Lost Was The Key" or Whitley Strieber's "Communion
Letter." The reader will find a range of views wider than those expressed
by Dr. Mack.
Let me conclude this review with a brief summary of a recent report on a
study by the Environmental Protection Agency, a department of the wonderfully
resourceful and much-respected United States government. I am borrowing from
an article by Richard Sauder in the recent "UFO, a forum on extraordinary
theories and phenomena" Vol. 9, No. 2 1994.
Sauder cites a document: "U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment,
The Containment of Underground Nuclear Explosions, OTA-ISC-414 (Washington, DC:
US Government Printing Office, October, 1989).
"What can be said for certain is that in recent years the United States
government has had an extensive human and animal surveillance and monitoring
program..." This program has one of its principal bases near the Nevada
Test Site, (*see note) at the Environmental Systems Monitoring Laboratory at
U. of Nevada-Las Vegas. The human tests include a "whole-body count."
By coincidence your reviewer has had several whole-body count tests performed
upon his person at M.I.T., under the auspices of the Nutrition Department. These
tests involve removing all clothing, donning sterile garments, and sitting quite
still inside a concrete box for 15 plus minutes. Oh Yes, you must drink some
radio-nuclide fluid (just a few cc's) some time before the test.
Well, readers and friends and associates, I have tried to spare you as much
boggling as I could. I hope that these two pages have not been a waste of your
time. As for Dr. Mack's book, I would definitely recommend that you wait for the
paperback edition, or procure a copy from the library. I spent the $22.00 plus
tax, and quite frankly, I doubt that it's worth more than $5.00.
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