Thursday, September 23, 2010

Great Web-Site: UFO Comet

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A new, for us, paranormal site -- UFO Comet -- has much about UFOs and some fine forums.

Check it out and sign up:

http://www.ufocomet.com

Monday, September 13, 2010

UFOs and The Smiley Blanton Syndrome

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In a monograph (1966) for Abnormal Psychology, University of Michigan, this writer provided an epithet – The Smiley Blanton Syndrome – for the confluence of materials that form a new memory or recollection, composed of diverse artifacts that a human mind accumulates, around a topic.

That is, when one reads or sees an item, then reads or sees another item (in the same or near-same context), a new memory or recollection is formed, from combining and mixing the disparate data/information.

The new memory or recollection is considered to be valid (or true, real) by the person who has “created” the new memory/recollection, even though it is a unique creation made up of tidbits that are only tangentially connected if connected at all.

This corresponds to the theses advocated by Bartlett in his 1932 work, Remembering, which remains a primary, still relevant work by cognitive psychologists and neurologists. (See current thinking about Bartlett’s work by accessing the list of materials below.)

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When a witness to a UFO event, such as Roswell or Betty/Barney Hill’s testimony, after-the-fact (of their alleged abduction), comes into contact with related materials, they tend to incorporate, unconsciously or semi-consciously, elements from those related materials, forming a new “reality.”

This isn’t a direct malfeasance by the persons concocting the new “story” or enhancing another story in the news. It is a quirk of the mind, as Bartlett noted, correctly, many years ago.

The Smiley Blanton Syndrome, which was reproduced in experiments at U of M, provides a template for UFO researchers who want to separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were.

Roswellian testimony is a selective source for determining if a witness has, inadvertently, combined multiple data and input to form what appears to be accurate and supportive testimony from other Roswell witnesses.

This is Anthony Bragalia’s thesis: the testimony he has acquired resonates with other witness testimonies.

The collective memory flaws are also addressed by Bartlett and the writers below. (Jung, too, dealt with collective memory, and its caveats.)

It is time to move away from Roswell testimony and witnesses, in the public arena, anyway, and time to move on to other UFO events without the residual energy of ET believers and resident debunkers or skeptics that Roswell generates.

That is, until Mr. Bragalia, and a few other UFO researchers produce information from new leads, which may (or may not) confirm the ET crash in Roswell.

(The RRRGroup is not holding its united breath, however.)

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N.B. Bartlett's book Remembering (1932) is frequently cited as a major forerunner of the information processing approach to memory and cognition....remembering in natural contexts. A re-examination of Bartlett's work demonstrates that it offers little basis for an information processing approach, but rather that it offers the foundation of a much broader, culturally contextualized and functional approach to the study of everyday remembering. Three particular themes are discussed: the integration of social judgements and affective reactions with cognition, the role of conventional symbols in the coding and communication of experience, and the importance of conversational discourse. Bartlett's best-known studies, involving the method of serial reproduction, are shown to be microcosmic demonstrations of the process that he was most concerned with—that of conventionalization of symbols rather than of the workings of an individual's memory. It is argued, again beginning with Bartlett, that everyday remembering may be most fruitfully studied in terms of its personal and social functions, and particularly through its realization in discourse. [Conversation and remembering: Bartlett revisited, Derek Edwards, David Middleton, Copyright © 1987 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd]
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The thinking person's emotional theorist: A comment on Bartlett's "Feeling, imaging, and thinking" [Tim Dalgleish, British Journal of Psychology, 2009]
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Bartlett, Culture and Cognition [Edited by Akiko Saito, University of Cambridge, UK, 2000]
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Disparate Effects of Repeated Testing: Reconciling Ballard's (1913) and Bartlett's (1932) Results [Mark A. Wheeler and Henry L. Roediger, III, Rice University, American Psychological Society, 1992]
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Roswell Memory Mess

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Copyright 2010, InterAmerica, Inc.

Debate continues here and elsewhere about witness testimony regarding the Roswell incident [sic] and other UFO episodes.

Related accounts at the time and, more importantly, later – much later in some instances – have to be tempered by all the psychological caveats for memory.

The literature is extensive, but not accessed by ufologists (which isn’t surprising, as ufologists generally are inept at researching what they perceive as tangential to their preconceived notions) and, along with their inadequate training in appropriate academic disciplines, the matter of memory failure is shunted aside or disregarded altogether.

But it is clear to psychologists, neurologists, and those in the legal profession (lawyers, prosecutors, judges, et al.) that witness testimony has to be corroborated by something more than circumstantial elements. That is, memory alone cannot and should not be the sole arbitrator in matters of serious consequence.

The mental acuity of every person is subject to a diversity of things including physiological debilities, associative history (from childhood onward), memory disorder,1 and something we call the Smiley Blanton Syndrome, predefined by F. C. Bartlett in his book Remembering [Cambridge University Press, 1932]:

"[Bartlett] has demonstrated that the content of what has been previously acquired in ordinary experience may be radically altered when remembered…It is his argument that the individual tends to incorporate new items a mental ‘schema’ so that remembering is ‘an imaginative reconstruction, or construction, built out of the relation of our attitude towards a whole active mass of organized past reactions or experience…"2

Ernst Jones also discussed “memory replacement” in his Papers on Psycho-Analysis, (4th Edition, Wood, Baltimore 1938)3

The processes of memory may be afflicted by neural maladies including simple forgetfulness all the way to dementia. The “memory trace” or neurogram (engram) can be disoriented by brain modifications or diseases of the nervous system, as outlined in Psychology [4th Edition, Norman L. Munn, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston 1961, Page 451 ff.]

Repression also needs to be determined, as many Roswellians, according to Anthony Bragalia (See material in archives here), were affected psychologically (and physiologically) by their association with the Roswell story and may have resorted to the neurotic escape of suppressing what they experienced, in reality or in fantasy. (See The Psychology of Adjustment, 2nd Edition, Laurance Frederic Shaffer and Edward Joseph Shoben, Jr., Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1956, Page 236 ff.)

Then there is “memory error” or confabulation where, unable to recall exact events or details, persons manufacture something that seems appropriate.4

None of the things mentioned here have been taken into account, for the Roswell witnesses or witnesses to other UFO sightings and events.

Until the memory matter is clarified, which is possible for some still-living Roswell witnesses, their accounts and remembrances remain suspect.

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N.B. See also sciconrev.org/category/cognition/

1 Symptoms of Psychopathology: A Handbook, Edited by Charles G. Costello, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. NY, 1970, Page 95 ff.

2 A Dictionary of the Social Sciences, Edited by Julius Gould and William L. Kolb, The Free Press, NY, 1964, Page 422

3 Psychiatric Dictionary, 4th Edition, Edited by Leland E. Hinsie, M.D. and Robert J. Campbell, M.D., Oxford University Press, London, 1970, Page 189

4 Psychology Today, CRM Books, Del Mar, California, 1970, Page 360

Thursday, September 09, 2010

UFOs, Zamora, Zamorro, Big Foot, and ?

The tale in a clipping we found in our batch or UFO stuff intrigues in several ways.

Click here to see clipping

Lonnie Zamora saw a UFO with two beings near by. Zamorro saw a “saucer” with a Big Foot creature near by.

What’s our point?

That observations of UFOs and other paranormal artifacts (ghosts, sea monsters, fairies, et al.) are connected by synchronous delusions, variegated by the mind-sets of the observers, posing a psychological or neurological link amongst witnesses to UFO events, as we and Paratopia’s Jeff Ritzmann would have it.

UFOs, while having, sometimes, a tangible effect on materiality, the residue or remnants of that original tangible effect are lost or muddled in the observational aftermath.

UFOs have remained elusive for millennia. Collected data has provided no distinct clue as to what they are.

Ritzmann, among others, think that UFOs alter their presence or appearances to correspond to the cultural/societal conditions at the time they are observed.

That is, UFOs adopt the technological attributes of the period in which they are seen or witnessed.

No, it’s not a matter of interpretation by witnesses – such as chariots of fire in the early historical records of humankind or the 1890 airships. What is seen or reported is exactly what is seen; the UFO (or flying saucer) manifests itself precisely as witnesses have reported them.

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The “saucers” of the 1950s, the occupant-sightings too, were geared to the mind-set of the observers.

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The zeitgeist determines how UFOs will look -- their apparent construct.

But as the old philosophical saw goes – if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? – applies: if a UFO is in the vicinity of humans, but no one is around to see it, does it produce a tangible presence (for cameras, radar, et cetera)?

It seems that real UFO incidents need humans to perceive them, directly or indirectly.

And when humans perceive the UFO(s), they do so with all the aggregate mental detritus that suffuses their mind or memory.

Is there a UFO reality that is concrete or uniform? Apparently not.

UFOs alter themselves – we’re suggesting a living attribute obviously -- or are altered by the mental configurations of those perceiving them.

There is no one UFO presence, no one UFO reality. UFOs are all things to all people, manifesting their reality dependent upon the mental make-up of the person or persons taking in their presence, in the air, on the ground (as in previous years, more so than today), or via technology (radar, for instance).

And those who refuse the reality are also determinant mentally. They refuse the “reality” or “delusional reality” of others because they are saddled with mind-sets of a restrictive kind.

Until neurology, psychology, sociology, and other disciplines tackle the UFO phenomenon within the parameters of human mental vagaries, the mystery will remain elusive.

Hypothesizing about UFOs with an extraterrestrial orientation seems a futile enterprise. The folkloric aspect, propounded by Jacques Vallee or Dr. David Clarke, is a sensible approach.

But one shouldn’t eschew the ET interpretation out-of-hand. It remains a possibility, in the great scheme of things, but it shouldn’t becloud other interpretations, as it has for the past 60 years or so….

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Nick Redfern's new book: Final Events

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Nick Redfern presents material outlining a government study group's “obsession” with a demonic aspect of UFOs and the Afterlife too.

Click here for Mr. Redfern’s site about his new publication

Sunday, September 05, 2010

GhostsStory.com



A very interesting site we highly recommend:

Click here to go to GhostsStory.com