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                             Entirely Unpredisposed

                The Cultural Background of UFO Abduction Reports

                    copyright (c) 1990 by Martin S. Kottmeyer

               [Reprinted from "Magonia" Magazine,  Jan. 1990, by
                            permission of the author]

        Culture  is an admixture of repetition and variation,  convention
        and creativity, signals and noise. It is ever new and forever old
        as  humanity  relives old dreams and nightmares  or  forgets  and
        forges  new  ones.  Part  of  the  delight  of  history  is   the
        recognition that however new a given event appears, traces of the
        past can generally be discerned.

        If  the  UFO  phenomenon  is an artifact  of  culture  one  would
        reasonably  expect that cultural antecedents could be  recognized
        for  the major features it presents. Extraterrestrials,  however,
        should  be independent of culture and if they are  newly  arrived
        their  characteristics should represent a discontinuity with  the
        past.  Abduction phenomenon students have recently  offered  some
        provocative  claims that such discontinuities  exist.  Implicitly
        they  are  claims  for the  weakness  of  the  sociopsychological
        paradigm ant the converse power of the ETH.

        David Jacobs argues that the imagery of the UFO phenomenon sprang
        up  _ex  nihilo_ in 1947. Budd Hpkins states that  the  complex,
        controlling, physically frail beings of abduction reports bear no
        simimariuy  to  "traditional sci-fi gods and devils".  Thomas  E.
        Bullard  makes the rather more modest claim that the keystone  of
        the  abduction  mystery,  the interrupted journey  of  Betty  and
        Barney  Hill,  had no cultural sources from which to  derive  the
        experience  they  reported. They were, to  quote  him,  "entirely
        unpredisposed"  since  they were the first.  These  are  forceful
        challenges  to  the  proponent  of the  cultural  origin  of  UFO
        phenomena. They have "Falsify me, I dare you" plastered on  them.
        Can  it be demonstrated that culture predisposed people  to  have
        these experiences?

        The  boldest  claim  is the one by UFO  historian  David  Jacobs.
        Jacobs  states "there was no precedent for the appearance or  the
        configuration of the objects in 1947" in popular science  fiction
        films,  popular  science fiction or popular culture  in  general.
        They  did not resemble the fanciful rocketships or earthly  space
        travel contraptions in the SF literature. [1]

        There  is a trivial sense in which this  is simply  wrong.  Disc-
        shaped  spaceships  have a number of  precedents  in      popular
        culture. They appear in Buck     Rogers as far back as 1930.  [2]
        They     appear in a Flash Gordon comic strip     in 1934.[3] The
        science  fiction      illustrator  Frank  R.  Paul  was   drawing
        saucer-like craft as early as 1931 and     did so  repeatedly.[4]

        Other SF illustrators also utilized the disc form     long before
        1947.[5]  But these are inevitable coincidences in a  large  body
        of artistic creativity. The saucer form     was not the  dominant
        shape  of spaceships in the culture; it was the rocket.  In  this
        larger sense Jacobs is correct that one would expect an  outbreak
        of  ghost  rockets  over America if the images  of  SF  were  the
        determinant of what people should be imagining. They weren't.

        The  cultural  source of the UFO lies in  a  journalistic  error.
        Kenneth  Arnold's report of mysterious supersonic objects  flying
        near  Mount  Rainier was a sensation that  made  front-page  news
        across the nation. The speed was far beyond that of the planes of
        the  era and no one publicized the flight in advance. It  was  an
        exciting puzzle.

        The shape of the objects Arnold saw is hard to describe in a word
        or  two. It wasn't like a plane or rocket, or even a  disc.  When
        the  newsman  Bill  Bequette  wrote the story  up  for  the  news
        services  he  recalled  Arnold's describing  the  motion  of  the
        objects  as  like  a  saucer if you skip  it  across  the  water.
        Jumbling  the  metaphorical intent of the  description,  Bequette
        labeled  the objects "flying* saucers",     Arnold said the  term
        arose  from  "a  great deal  of  misunderstanding".  The  public,
        however,  did  not know that. No drawing accompanied  the  story.
        People  started  looking for flying saucers and that  is  exactly
        what  they found. They reported flat, circular objects that  look
        like  flying  saucers sound like they should look  like.  Equally
        important:  no one reported objects like the drawing in  Arnold's
        report to the Air Force.[6] The implications of this journalistic
        error  are staggering in the extreme. Not only does it  unambigu-
        ously  point  to  a cultural origin of the  whole  flying  saucer
        phenomenon,  it erects a first-order paradox into any attempt  to
        interpret   the   phenomenon  in  extraterrestrial   terms:   Why
        would  extraterrestrials  redesign  their  craft  to  conform  to
        Bequette's error?

        This  paradox  is especially bad news for abduction  reports.  By
        Bullard's  tally 82% of craft descriptions fit the flying  saucer
        stereotype.[7]  This is far in excess of the  approximately  one-
        third  portion  saucers  and  discs make up  in  a  more  general
        population  of  UFO  reports.[8]  If  imagination  and   cultural
        expectations  play  a  larger role in  abductions  than  in  more
        reality-constrained  misinterpretations of mundane stimuli,  then
        this  fact  makes  sense.  The  flying  saucer  mythos  perfectly
        predisposes  us  to include flying saucers in our  fantasies  and
        nightmares about extraterrestrials.

        This  takes  care of the craft, but what of  the  entities?  Budd
        Hopkins emphasizes that they are complex, controlling, physically
        frail  beings who are forced by survival needs to search out  and
        abduct  earthlings.  This  is quite unlike the  godly  aliens  of
        _Close Encounters of the Third Kind_, the kindly, spiritual alien
        of _The Day The Earth Stood Still_, or the aliens of _War of  The
        Worlds_  who "mindlessly devour and conquer us", as Hopkins  sees
        it.  Nothing  by his abductees "in any way  suggests  traditional
        sci-fi gods and devils", he wants us to know.[9]

        Hopkins's  descriptions leave something to be desired. The  godly
        aliens  of CE3K trash the home of the little boy Barry  and  they
        terrorize his mother as they abduct him. The disrupt the life and
        mind  of  Neary. Kindly and spiritual Klaatu happens  to  have  a
        robot  with him who is all business. His offer to leave a  police
        force  is  eminently pragmatic. The comparison  is  frivolous  in
        either  case since any UFO aliens matching these descriptions  go
        into the contactee file. Hopkins professes it is instructive that
        his abductees are not devoured like in War of the Worlds, but how
        would a myth devour a person?

        That Hopkins is ignorant of science fiction would be apparent  to
        any fan by the fact that he used the repellent phrase "sci-fi'  -
        a sure sign of an outsider to the genre.[10] War of the Worlds is
        one  of  the recognized masterpieces, yet it is  grossly  evident
        Hopkins  never  read  it or he would be  co-opting  Wells  as  an
        unconscious  abductee. Far from "mindlessly" devouring us,  Wells
        endowed his aliens with "intellects vast, cool and unsympathetic.
        The did not devour people but took the fresh and living blood  of
        other creatures and injected it into their own bodies. His aliens
        had "no extensive muscular mechanism". The invaders also  brought
        along  for provisions bipeds with flimsy siliceous skeletons  and
        feeble musculature.[11]

        There  are multiple similarities to other abduction narratives  -
        an  immense  pair  of  dark  eyes  possessing  an   extraordinary
        intensity, a mouth without lips, greyish colour of skin, the skin
        glistening like wet leather, telepathy. They are also "absolutely
        without sex". Add to this that the alien craft was circular, made
        a  peculiar  humming sound, and when they flew the sky  would  be
        alive  with  their lights. In fact Wells's aliens  more  resemble
        Hopkins's abducting aliens than most abduction reports,

        Hopkins  further  errs  in thinking the  Wells  aliens  are  mere
        "satanic monsters".[12] Their motivation is survival. Their world
        is  dying  and  Earth is their only escape.  Ironically,  just  a
        couple  of  pages  before Hopkins mangles War of  the  Worlds  he
        quotes the impressions of an abductee that the aliens are from  a
        society  millions  of years old that is dying.  They  desperately
        need  to  survive. This places UFO aliens squarely  in  the  main
        tradition of aliens in SF films.

        Dying  worlds are commonplace in alien invasion movies. It  leads
        the aliens in "This Island Earth" to borrow Earth scientists  for
        their expertise in atomic energy. It motivates the aliens in "The
        27th  Day"  to give Earth people the means  of  destroying  human
        life. It motivates the "Killers from Space" to operate on a  man,
        extract information from his mind, and compel him to become a spy
        saboteur.  It leads the "Devil Girl from Mars" to abduct  healthy
        males. It similarly motivates the aliens in "I Married a  Monster
        from  Outer Space", "The Mysterians", and "Mars Needs  Women"  to
        procure  females for breeding stock. An astronomer  in  "Invaders
        from  Mars" theorises the secret operations aliens engage in  are
        motivated  by the fact that Mars is a dying world. The aliens  in
        the  popular TV series "The Invaders" were also escaping a  dying

        The  fact  is most film aliens have some implicit  motivation  to
        their activities. One of the few exceptions I could find was  the
        "so  thin - so fragile" aliens of "Target Earth!" and  even  they
        don't  seem particularly satanic or monstrous.[14] It seems  more
        sensible  to  flip Hopkins's allegation around. He  says  nothing
        about the aliens of UFO abductions resembling "sci-fi". I ask, is
        there  anything about UFO aliens that does not  resemble  science

        An abductee in the 1954  movie "Killers from Space" has a strange
        scar and a missing memory of the alien encounter that caused  it.
        The mysterious impregnation of women, including virgins, and  the
        subsequent  birth of intelligent hybrid children is the theme  of
        the  1960  film  "Village  of the  Damned".  Brain  implants  are
        featured in the 1953 movie "Invaders from Mars"[15]

        Take  a look at the creatures of the 1957 movie "Invasion of  The
        Saucer  Men".  The  bald,  bulgy-brained,  googly-eyed,  no-nosed
        invaders match the stereotype of UFO aliens delineated by Bullard
        to  an uncanny extent. It prompts worries that abductees are  not
        only plagiarists, but have bad taste as well.[16]

        "Earth  versus the Flying Saucers" (1956) also precedes UFO  lore
        in featuring an abduction in which thoughts are taken. Saucerians
        abduct  a general, make his head transparent, and suck   out  the
        knowledge  to  store  it in an Infinitely  Indexed  Memory  Bank.
        Though the frequency of the motif in abduction narratives can  be
        laid to psychological factors in the personalities of  abductees,
        one  cannot  rule out the movie  enculturating  the  association.
        Years  from now we may have an epidemic of  implanted  parasites,
        potential  chest-bursters,  due  to the influence  of  the  movie
        "Alien"  starting  such an association. Presently such  a  report
        would be too suspect, but eventually some puzzling medical oddity
        might  be associated with such a delusion and the UFO lore  would
        evolve  in new directions. It could just as easily  never  happen
        because of the vagaries of social factors.

        In  a more esoteric vein even abduction narrative  structure  has
        science  fiction  predecessors. Thomas Bullard has  discovered  a
        consistent  structural order to events within abduction  reports.
        There  are  eight  types of events and  they  are  preferentially
        ordered  in  this manner: (i) capture,  (ii)  examination,  (iii)
        conference, (iv) tour, (v) otherworldly journey, (vi)  theophany,
        (vii) return, (viii) aftermath.

        No  abduction has every event, but events avoid appearing out  of
        this  sequence.  Abductees aren't generally given a tour  of  the
        ship  before  examination  or conference and  so  forth.  Bullard
        considers the arrangement occasionally arbitrary from a  rational
        standpoint. The fidelity of reports to this arrangement seems, to
        Bullard, to indicate these are real experiences. He would  expect
        the   elements  of  the  story  to  get  jumbled  if  they   were

        What,  then, are we to make of the 1930 comic strip story  "Tiger
        Men  of  Mars" in the series "Buck Rogers in the  25th  Century"?
        It  adheres  to  Bullard's  structure  most  excellently.   Wilma
        (i)  capture  by  a giant clamp leading into  a  spherical  alien
        (ii) examination  while  lying  on a  table      in  an  electro-
             hypnotic trance,
        (iii)conference  with  a subordinate and then a  leader,
        (vi) theophany  while   gazing  at the Earth  from  an  off-world
             vantage point,

        In  the  aftermath  there is an instance of  what  Bullard  calls
        "networking" in the aliens abducting Wilma's sister, Sally.

        There  is  also an apocalyptic finale in which the  Martian  moon
        Phobos crashes on Mars.[18]

        Some idea of the structural impressiveness of this narrative  can
        be  gained  from  observing that only one abduction  in  the  UFO
        literature has a greater number of these elements in the  correct
        order. Two abductions have the same number of elements. The other
        163  correctly  ordered abductions have 5 or  fewer  elements  in

        Obviously the presence of structure does not prove the cartoon is
        objectively  real, and it must be granted that  a  long-forgotten
        cartoon is not a credible influence on present-day abductions. It
        is  more  likely  they  share  an  intuitive  ordering  principle
        subconsciously  acquired from exposure to drama. A relabeling  of
        Bullard's  elements should make the logic clearer: (i)  character
        introduced,  (ii)  peril  and  conflict,  (iii)  explanation  and
        insight,  (iv) good will and attempt to impress, (v)  excitement,
        (vi) climax, (vii) closure, (viii) sequel.

        Examination,  as the peril, is the downer part of the  story  and
        would  ruin  a happy ending if sequenced late.  Even  in  deviant
        cases  the examination is never put near the end.  Pragmatically,
        putting  theophany before examination might instill trust in  the
        abductee  and make testing go better.  Dramaturgically,  however,
        such an order would be stupid since it ruins the intensity of the
        peril and spoils the joy of the ending and the sense of closure.

        Faceless  terror makes for more primordial fear. Dramatically  it
        would  be  unwise  to reduce the alienness before  the  peril  by
        conferring  with the aliens or have them host a tour. It is  also
        bad  behaviourism to place aversive stimuli after  sending  one's
        signal  -    the message and information in the conference,  tour
        and theophany.

        The  otherworldly journey is a form of excitement and can  appear
        any  place  between  the capture and climax.  Most  of  Bullard's
        deviant cases involve the otherworldly journey not staying in the
        place  he  deemed correct, To put it  simply,  Bullard's  correct
        order  is the right way to tell a story. At the very  least,  his
        evaluation  that  "Objectivity wins a big one" on  the  issue  of
        structure is problematic.[20]

        The  capture event in "Tiger Men of Mars" features an  incredible
        kid-inventor-type  gizmo - a giant mechanical clamp  which  grabs
        the  whole body of the victim. It's a grand cartoony  contraption
        appropriate  to  its venue in a Buck Rogers situation.  How  odd,
        then,  to  note that such a thing appears in the  Steven  Kilburn
        abduction  in  "Missing  Time".  It  seems  such  a  ridiculously
        impractical  thing  for  a technologically  superior  culture  to
        bother  with, yet Hopkins includes it  with not an indication  of
        amusement.  One can understand it in a 1930s cartoon, or even  in
        an  early script draft of "War of the Worlds". At  least  someone
        realised it should be deleted. But in a real abduction?  Lawson's
        suggestion that Kilburn was reliving a forceps-aided birth  makes
        tons more sense.[21]

        I could have more fun demolishing Hopkins's claim, but it  really
        doesn't  deserve  more attention than this. Time to turn  to  the
        last of our three historical allegations.

        Thomas  E. Bullard opens his massively      impressive  study  of
        the   abduction        mystery   with   a   discussion   of   the
        legendary  status of the "interrupted      journey" of Betty  and
        Barney  Hill.  It       was the most  sensational  UFO  story  of
        its time; a nasty little horror story      which engraved  itself
        on  the  unconscious  of a generation.  The  growth  of       UFO
        abduction  reports  subsequent to      their  appearance  on  the
        cultural  scene       is  unsurprising. The  thing  that  puzzles
        Bullard  is  how  _they_ got the idea.      He  points  out  that
        occupant  reports       were  obscure items  known  only  to  the
        initiated in 1961. He believes the   Hills had no knowledge  they
        could       construct a nightmare of this sort      from,  so  he
        asserts  "the odds are      strong that the Hills went  to  their
        interrupted journey entirely unpredisposed." It is a  "continuing
        mystery" how they originated it and as long as it is  unaccounted
        for    "the   cultural   tradition   explanation    starts    off

        Part  of      the mystery is solved by a careful      reading  of
        "The  Interrupted Journey."     It is on record that  Betty  Hill
        had       read  Donald  Keyhoe's  book  "The  Flying       Saucer
        Conspiracy"  shortly  before  she  be  an  having  nightmares  of
        abduction.  Keyhoe's  book cites nearly a dozen  occupant  cases.
        Most of them are outright rejected by Keyhoe. These include  such
        farces  as zebra-striped spacemen, an elephant-faced  entity,  6-
        armed, 13-ft tall entities, space-man monster tales and contactee
        hoaxes.  Keyhoe  practically endorses, however,  a  Pearl  Harbor
        report of a flyer who frightfully proclaimed "I actually saw him"
        -  the  saucer pilot. Note the pronoun is him, not it.  No  doubt
        this would have impressed Betty as similar to Barney's experience
        of seeing the saucer's occupants.[23]

        Keyhoe also expresses a measure of acceptance of a series of  UFO
        stories  from  Venezuela  involving hairy dwarfs.  One  of  these
        serves as a closer starting point of Betty Hill's nightmares. Two
        peasants first spot a bright light like a car on the nearby road.
        Hovering  a  few feet from the ground is a round machine  with  a
        brilliant glow coming from the underside. "Four little men"  come
        out  and  try to drag Jesus Gomez toward the object. There  is  a
        struggle  and  the evidence of that struggle gives it  a  special
        credibility in Keyhoe's eyes. Keyhoe next cites the experience of
        Jesus  Paz  who was found unconscious after being set upon  by  a
        hairy  dwarf. He follows this with Jose Parra's sighting  of  six
        small hairy creatures by a saucer and their transfixing him  with
        a bright light. [24]

        In  Betty Hill's nightmare she must fight for  consciousness  and
        she  finds  herself  surrounded  by four  short  men.  Barney  is
        unconscious  and is being dragged by another group of  men.  They
        numbered eight to eleven when standing in the middle of the road.
        They are taken from the car to a glowing saucer-shaped craft. The
        behaviour of the aliens is very professional and businesslike and
        they  are  dressed  in  somewhat military  style.  They  are  not
        frightening  per  se. This is very much in keeping in  tone  with
        Keyhoe's speculations that aliens were making a scientific  study
        of  the  planet out of "neutral curiosity' or as a prelude  to  a
        mass landing.[25]

        This takes us up to the saucer, but it doesn't give us much  idea
        what  should take place inside. Neutral curiosity would  probably
        lead to some sort of examination or questioning and  this  pretty
        much  does happen. Yet there is that terror of the needle in  the
        navel  and  the  business with the star map.  Nothing  in  Keyhoe
        predisposes one to those sorts of things.

        Movies  provide  another  cultural  source  of  expectations  and
        imagery. Bullard himself notes a pair of movies from the  fifties
        have medical motifs in an alien abduction setting: "Invaders from
        Mars"   (1953)  and  "Killers  from  Space"  (1954).  Though   he
        understands the significance of the second one on some  abduction
        cases subsequent to the Hills, he overlooked the significance  of
        "Invaders From Mars".[26]

        Near  the  climax of the film a woman and a boy are  abducted  by
        mutants from Mars and taken to a room within a saucer. The  woman
        is placed on a rectangular table which slides into the scene. She
        struggles  briefly till a light shines on her face  which  causes
        her to relax and lose consciousness. A needle surrounded for part
        of  its length by a clear plastic sheath is aimed at the back  of
        her  neck.  A  device at the end of the needle  is  going  to  be
        surgically implanted there.[27]

        In  "The Interrupted Journey" we are dealing with a woman  and  a
        man abducted by aliens described as mongoloid - itself a type  of
        mutation.  In the original nightmare Betty compares the noses  of
        the  aliens to Jimmy Durante. This is a very apt description   of
        the noses of the mutants in "Invaders From Mars". Barney,  oddly,
        didn't  see  the Durante noses of the aliens. Perhaps it  was  in
        deference to Barney's on-the-scene memories that this detail  was
        edited out by Betty in her hypnosis sessions. It may also be that
        the  big nose prompted jokes after the speeches she gave and  her
        unconscious  took the opportunity to remove the  annoying  detail
        when Benjamin Simon unleashed it.[28]

        There  are some preliminary tests of a routine sort.  Betty  then
        lies  down on an examining table. Needles are placed  on  various
        parts of her body including the back of the neck. Then appears  a
        very  long needle, longer than any needle she's seen before,  and
        it  is  placed into her navel. She experiences  great  pain.  The
        examiner  puts his hand over her eyes, rubs, and the pain  stops.
        The  parallel  to the calming light in "Invaders  from  Mars"  is
        readily apparent.

        I am indebted to Al Lawson for calling attention to the fact that
        the   needle-in-the-navel  motif  owes  its  origin  to   imagery
        appearing  during  the Martian operating  room  episode.  Shortly
        after the operation begins, the camera cuts to a high-angle  view
        of the surgical theatre. At least, that is what it is supposed to
        be.  The image has an ambiguous character in terms of  scale  and
        content.  You  are  supposed to interpret it as  a  view  of  the
        architecture  of  the interior of the saucer  with  the  dominant
        structure  being  a  tubular metal  beam  or  conduit  connecting
        ceiling  to  floor. It bears a stylistic similarity to  the  neck
        implanter in having a clear plastic sheath surrounding the  upper
        half  of its length. The ambiguity of the image, however,  admits
        an alternative interpretation. The tubular metal beam and plastic
        sheath  becomes  a  hypodermic  needle.  Lighting  of  the  floor
        suggests  the curvature of an abdomen. The place where the  floor
        and  tube intersects is surrounded by a round  indentation.  It's
        the  navel. In the brief snatch of time the image is  seen,  some
        people  will  miss  the intended interpretation and  see  a  huge
        hypodermic needle has been thrust into the woman's navel.

        Some  have  seen  Betty Hill's  needle-in-the-navel  incident  as
        revealing  a medical procedure that did not exist at the time  of
        the encounter. In fact the aliens' reference to the procedure  as
        a   pregnancy  test  is  quite  contemporary  for   the   period.
        Amniocentesis  has existed as a medical procedure since the  late
        l9th century. Back then the needle was inserted in the abdomen to
        draw off amniotic fluid when there was too much pressure during a
        pregnancy.  In  the  late 1950s, however,  it  became  a  testing
        procedure to monitor preganacies of women with Rh-negative  blood
        who  might have blood group incompatibility. Subsequent  to  1966
        amniocentesis became a genetic screening procedure. Comparison of
        Mrs.  Hill's  ordeal  to laparoscopy procedures  suffers  in  the

        There  is no conference with the aliens in "Invaders  from  Mars"
        and  you might not expect the star map scene to originate  there,
        but  dreams have an odd penchant for distortion and  condensation
        of memory materials. Earlier in the movie the boy and woman  have
        a meeting with a scientist at an observatory. This character, Dr.
        Kelson, has a large star map on the wall behind him. He points at
        the  map during this meeting and discusses the proximity of  Mars
        to  Earth. The most striking thing about this discussion, to  the
        alert  movie-goer, is that, while he points to the map as  though
        these two planets are represented on it, in fact there is nothing
        there where the Earth should be. Kelson is faking it.

        Any  similarity  between Kelston's star map and Betty  Hill's  is
        almost  purely  accidental. The paradox they share,  however,  is
        not.  Betty's  sketch  has  the  two  planets  Kelston's   lacks.
        (Marjorie Fish treats them as stars, ironically. Stars don't have
        terminators.) But when the alien asks Betty where on the map  the
        Earth  is,  she relives the movie-goer's puzzlement. She  has  no
        idea. The sizes of the planets bear comparison to the planets  in
        the star field in the credits of the film, incidentally.

        Parenthetically,  the script of "Invaders From Mars" has  Kelston
        present  a  large scrapbook with newspaper columns  about  saucer
        activities  to the boy before the star map discussion.  This  was
        not  in  the 78-minute video I saw, but an  82-minute  "European"
        version  exists that has a longer observatory scene. Does  anyone
        know if this scene was filmed? It might explain the  presentation
        of  the  large book in Betty's account.[30] [When this  film  was
        shown  in  Britain  several years ago there was  indeed  a  scene
        showing Kelston's UFO scrapbook - J R]

        The   match  between  "Invaders  from  Mars"  and  Betty   Hill's
        nightmares is imperfect and obviously has none of the rigor of  a
        mathematical equation. Dreams and nightmares by their nature  are
        almost  never veridical memories. Even if Betty Hill  was  really
        abducted,  it  would  be  unusual for  her  nightmares  to  be  a
        photographic  reply  of  her  trauma.  The  felt  emotions  would
        resurface, but it would bear only a metaphoric similarity in  its
        dramatic content. The most one would generally expect is snatches
        of unique imagery to help in piecing together of the sources  the
        dream  spun  off from. It is something of a  wonder  that  enough
        elements  exist  of this character - the Durante noses,  and  the
        navel-needle, and the optical tranquilization idea, and the  star
        map - to make an identification that can be called convincing.

        Barney's version of events probably owes much to what Betty  said
        in  her  speeches,  but  there is one  facet  which  was  clearly
        Barney`s own contribution -      the long wraparound eyes of  the
        aliens.  Donald Keyhoe emphasised it was "the worst  feature"  of
        their ugly faces. It gave them a sinister look. Their hideousness
        prompted  Keyhoe  to wonder what could have caused the  Hills  to
        imagine such creatures. It was "never fully explained".[31]

        Wraparound eyes are an extreme rarity in science fiction films. I
        know  of  only  one instance. They appeared on the  alien  of  an
        episode  of  an old TV series "The Outer  Limits"  entitled  "The
        Bellero  Shield". A person familiar with Barney's sketch in  "The
        Interrupted  Journey" and the sketch done in  collaboration  with
        the  artist  David  Baker  will find a  "frisson"  of  "deja  vu"
        creeping  up his spine when seeing this episode. The  resemblance
        is  much  abetted by an absence of ears, hair, and nose  on  both
        aliens.  Could  it  be by chance?  Consider  this:  Barney  first
        described  and  drew  the wraparound  eyes  during  the  hypnosis
        session  dated  22 February 1964. "The Bellero Shield" was  first
        broadcast  on "10 February      1964. Only twelve  days  separate
        the  two  instances.  If  the  identification  is  admitted,  the
        commonness  of wraparound eyes in the abduction literature  falls
        to cultural forces.[32]

        Wilder  Penfield once proclaimed, "It is far better to  be  wrong
        than  to bc without an opinion." Penfield showed himself to be  a
        wise  scientist in formulating that maxim. Errors are  much  more
        fruitful than silence. They goad one into research and discovery.
        Had Jacobs, Hopkins, and Bullard been cautious and reserved, some
        of  the surprises in this paper would never have surfaced.  There
        are things here about the cultural nature of the UFO phenomenon I
        would  never  have suspected. The origin of flying saucers  in  a
        journalistic error, especially, is the most deeply cosmic joke to
        have  ever  fallen  into  my life. It may  not  be  the  ultimate
        refutation  of the ETH in the minds of everyone, but it  will  do
        for me. For that am forever indebted to these fellows.

        It  is  my opinion that culture predisposes people to  have   the
        sorts of UFO experiences they do to a degree we have yet to fully
        appreciate.  If  I'm wrong, my pontifications still won't  be  in


        1.   Jacobs, David M., "The New Era of UFO Research", _Pursuit_ ,
             no. 78, 1987, p. 50

        2.   Dille,  Robert C. (ed), "The Collected Works of Buck  Rogers
             in  the  25th Century", Chelsea House Publishers,  1969,  p.

        3.   Lundwall, Sam J., "Science Fiction: An Illustrated History",
             Grosset & Dunlap, 1977, p. 107

        4.   Sadoul, Jacques, "2000 AD: Illustrations from the Golden Age
             of Science Fiction Pulps", Henry Regnery, 1973, pp. 63,  66,

        5.   Ibid, pp. 69, 70

        6.   Steiger,  Brad,  "Project  Blue  Book",  Ballantine,   1976.
             Arnold,  Kenneth, "How it All Began", in Fuller, Curtis  G.,
             "Proceedings  of  the First International  UFO  Conference",
             Warner, 1980

        7.   Bullard,  Thomas  E.,  "UFO Abductions:  The  Measure  of  a
             Mystery. Volume 1: Comparative Study of Abduction  Reports."
             Fund for UFO Research, 1987, p. 196.

        8.   Story, Ronald D., "Encyclopedia of UFOs", Dolphin, 1980, pp.

        9.   Hopkins, Budd, "Intruders", Random, 1987, p. 192.

        10.  Nicholls,   Peter,  "The  Science   Fiction   Encyclopedia",
             Dolphin, 1979, p. 207.

        11.  Wells, H. "The War of the Worlds"

        12.  Hopkins, op. cit., pp. 189-90.

        13.  Warren,  Bill,  "Keep Watching the Skies:  American  Science
             Fiction  Movies of the Fifties" (2 vols),  McFarland,  1982.
             Naha, Ed., "The Science Fictionary", Wideview, 1980;  Hardy,
             Phil,   "The  Encyclopedia  of  Science   Fiction   Movies",
             Woodbury, 1984, p. 180

        14.  Warren, op. cit. p. 187.

        15.  Bullard, op. cit., p. 14. Naha, op. cit. p. 218

        16.  Rebello, Stephen, "Selling Nightmares: Movie Poster  Artists
             of the Fifties", Cinefantastique, March, 1988, p. 42

        17.  Bullard, op. cit., pp. 47-53, 372

        18.  Dille, op. cit. pp. 142-5.

        19.  Bullard, op. cit. pp. 54-5

        20.  Bullard, op. cit. p. 372

        21.  Hopkins,  Budd: "Missing Time", Richard Marke, 1981, p.  77.
             Warren, op. cit., p. 153. "Magonia", No. 10, 1982, pp. 16-7

        22.  Bullard, op. cit. pp. i-ii, 275, 365

        23.  Fuller,  John G., "The Interrupted Journey: Two  Lost  Hours
             Aboard  a  Flying  Saucer", Dell, 1966,  pp.  45-9.  Keyhoe,
             Donald E., The Flying Saucer Conspiracy", Fieldcrest,  1955,
             pp. 63-64, 204-5.

        24.  Keyhoe, op. cit., pp. 240-6.

        25.  Fuller,  op.  cit,  p.  343-4. Keyhoe,  op.  cit.,  pp.  58,

        26.  Bullard, op. cit., p. 14

        27.  "Invaders From Mars" (1953), video, Fox Hills Video, 1987.

        28.  Fuller, op. cit., p. 344. Bullard, op. cit., p. 245.

        29.  Friedman,  Stanton  and  Slate,  B.  Ann,  "UFO  Star   Base
             Discovered", UFO Report, 2, no. 1, fall 1974, p. 61.

        30.  Battle, John Tucker, "Invaders From Mars", Script City, n.d.
             p. 42

        31.  Keyhoe, Donald E., "Aliens From Space", Doubleday, 1973,  p.

        32.  Schow,  David J. and Frentzen, Jeffrey, "The Outer Limits  -
             The  Official Companion", Ace, 1986, pp. 170, 384.  Bullard,
             op. cit., p. 243.
        Robert Sheaffer - Scepticus Maximus -
 Past Chairman, The Bay Area Skeptics - for whom I speak only when 

     "In the 1970's the world will undergo famines - hundreds of millions
     of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs 
     embarked upon now ... in 1985, when it is calculated [under the most
     optimistic scenario] that the major die-back will be over, ..."
                       Dr. Paul Ehrlich, "The Population Bomb," 1968

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