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The 2003 Alternate Realities Conference

  1. Aug 5, 2003 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    "The first speaker was a man named Jeffery Morgan Foss from Massachusetts. He was a former alien abductee and this was the first time he was going public with his story. His tales of decades of abduction were accompanied by some Corel Draw illustrations he had on a DVD."

    http://www.dailynebraskan.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2003/08/03/3f2da83964ea8
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2003 #2
    Jeffrey Foss Morgan doesn't know
    it but, like alot of these "abduc-
    tees with elaborate stories, he suffers from seizures in his Tem-
    poral Lobes.

    Author Whitley Strieber has been
    officially diagnosed with this
    particular seizure disorder, he
    admits he has it, but he doesn't
    see any connection between it and
    his his abduction experiences.

    Jeffrey reports himself to be
    very interested in details, and
    collected an amazing amount of
    detail about the measurements of
    the rooms in the crafts he was taken aboard. The writer of the
    story comments on how irrelevant
    these measurements are to anything.

    In fact, though, they constitute
    a big, bold-faced arrow pointing
    at temporal lobe seizures. A large
    percentage of people with these
    seizures develope alterations in
    their personalities. A common one
    is that they become meticulous,
    and detail-oriented. They are
    likely to step from detail to detail, losing sight of any overall course, and come off in general as meandering thinkers.

    If we were to see Jeffrey or
    Whitley during a seizure there
    would be no convulsions or muscular involvement at all. They
    would simply appear to be "spaced
    out" - staring at nothing with di-
    ated pupils, non-responsive, or
    incompletely and peculiarly re-
    sponsive like a sleepwalker.

    -zoob
     
  4. Aug 6, 2003 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    After years of reading and listening to alleged abduction victims, I still don't know what I think. Surely we have people who are ill, lonely, or who have some particular physical problem such as those cited by you. I can imagine many reasons for the stories reported. I tend to dismiss most of these stories outright.

    My only objection to what you've said here is this: Skeptics seek to use any explanation as an explanation. This is just as unscientific as it would be to just believe all of the stories. It is important to remember that science is about what can be tested. It is not implicitly about "the truth". If the truth cannot be tested, then it does not qualify as science. We have no good way to address these kinds of issues. I remain open to the possibilities unless and until we have answered the question of the origins of UFOs.

    I can guarantee that not all alleged abduction victims have brain seizers or temporal lobe problems. Also, let’s just assume for a moment that these people really were abducted. What physical effects can we expect to find? Could something like this make you a little nuts? Would you likely sound like a nut if you told anyone about your experiences?
     
  5. Aug 6, 2003 #4
    Ivan,

    I'm not a skeptic. I started out
    believing all abduction stories.
    Then I realized some could be
    better acounted for by seizures.
    Then I found out more about seizures and realized most could
    be better acounted for by seizures. Persinger really sews
    up all the loose ends. I was never
    out looking for a way to explain
    abductions away.

    Being abducted could make a person
    nutty but most abductees don't
    come off as nutty: they don't seem
    emotionally off or out of touch
    with reality in general the way
    a mentally ill person does. The
    main problem is the content of
    what they're saying.

    Whitley Strieber speaks very
    articulately in an even tone even
    when mentioning in passing how he
    once noticed a creature with bat-
    like wings standing on the roof of
    his house.

    And, you cannot guarrantee all
    abductees are not having seizures
    for the same reason I cannot guarratee they all are.

    -zoob
     
  6. Aug 6, 2003 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    I have seen many stories sewn up according to the evidence carefully selected. Typically, for every explanation offered, I can offer two examples of someone who defies this explanation.

    I think we can using statistical arguments. There are just not that many people running around with undiagnosed episodes of hallucinations. Remember that psychiatrists are often who oversee these alleged victims. As professional doctors of medicine, if these accounts were all due to brain problems, then we would see more abduction victims sewing for malpractice; if not dropping dead from TIAs and the like. This explanation, like all others, ignores the facts of the phenomenon. Still, if all possible explanations are considered, then I agree that this could all be a bunch of bologna. Of course, we do have documented cases that make this conclusion precarious at best.

    Also, as far at Strieber, how does this account for the testimony of his family and neighbors? Many others have witnessed strange events at the Streiber house. His children had direct encounters with the "little doctors". Does Persinger ever mention this, or is this carefully avoided?

    Edit: I could believe that Strieber is lying.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2003
  7. Aug 6, 2003 #6
    Ivan,
    You write:
    "There are just not that many people running around with undiagnosed episodes of hallucinations."

    Unfortunatly there are more people
    running around undiagnosed than
    you would ever imagine. The main
    reason is that people resist tooth
    and nail the stigma of being labeled as "crazy". Most voluntarily seek out a doctor only
    as an absolute last, last, last
    resort. The ones who are both
    hallucinated and delusional and
    obviousy so, still go undiagnosed
    because a person cannot be taken
    to a psyche ward against their
    will unless it can be shown they
    are a danger to themselves or
    others.

    Seizures are more insidious than
    mental illness in this regard be-
    cause they are brief and isolated
    events from which the person re-
    covers quickly with no necessary
    impairment of their overall sani-
    ty.

    A list of Simple Partial seizure
    symptoms was made and presented
    as a poll to the general popula-
    tion once (Have you ever had any
    of the following experiences?)
    And an astonishing fifty percent
    of the general population ticked
    off at least one.

    These people are not epileptics
    and the poll isn't implying that.
    Epilepsy refers to chronic seizures. It is generally reserved
    or people whose seizures are the
    symptom of an underlying patho-
    logy.

    Anyone can have a Simple Partial
    seizure simply because of a com-
    bination of, for instance, bad
    diet, lack of sleep, and unusual
    stress. It happens once in their
    life and then never again.

    The thing to realize is that it
    flows in a smooth continuum from
    those people up to people who have
    been in Simple Partial Status
    Epilepticus for years, with everthing in between.

    Here's a paper that gives a broad,
    I repeat, broad, overview of the
    partial epilepsies.

    eMedicine - Partial Epilepsies : Article by Selim R Benbadis, MD
    Address:http://www.emedicine.com/neuro/topic623.htm

    My sence is that you are not fam-
    iliar with Persinger?

    -Zooby
     
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