UFO Conjectures

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jose Caravaca's Distortion Theory [Redux]

        From Wikipedia/Distortion

Our Spanish colleague and friend, UFO researcher Jose Antonio Caravaca, is bemused by my constant insistence that many UFO sightings and/or encounters are hallucinatory.

He provided an explanation and "corrective" for my views the other day.

I've reworked his e-mail to me -- English isn't his primary language (although he's more competent with my language than I am with his) -- so if there ends up being some confusion, the blame lies with me, not Jose.

Here's what he sent me (my comments will follow):

The Distortion theory argues that an unknown external agent uses the witness's psyche as the main source of documentation and reference in the "manufacture" of the contents and elements that come together in close encounters with UFOs, by forming a complex "holographic" type projection.

However the external agent adds some of its "own" components creating a plot that can be tracked and detected in hundreds of different incidents.

It is  extremely interesting that, regardless of the external form of the "flying saucers"and almost infinite types of humanoids, they are delivered in repeated gestures and actions over and over again, as if all the extraterrestrial civilizations have conspired to display the same behavioral patterns.

On many occasions the crews of UFOs are described with "objects" (sticks, guns, balls, etc.) in their hands shooting light rays at the unsuspecting witnesses, or the crews have their "spaceship" emit beams of light that immobilize or inconvenience observers.

In this characteristic feature, we must add that basic recognizable archetypes are used by the external agent as the basis of design and development experience, which adds to the individual elements of each witness  to form the close encounter .

These resources are psychological mechanisms that supplement the assimilation and interpretation of the experience, in a context, however, that is seemingly bizarre and puzzling to the observer.

Hence, on countless occasions, the alleged alien(s) present, in a surrounding terrain, a scenario of repairing their spacecraft, asking for help about where they are, or asking for water, along with other issues that are absurd, mundane, and ordinary.

Almost all the above elements, including the indiscriminate use of the light beams, we find embedded in many UFO encounters, but the external agent adds unconscious components to incidents that are pertinent to each witness, which ensures that each experience is seemingly unique.

But in the end, such experiences are only the result of a mise en scene of  same repetitive patterns ( craft breakdown, exploration, reconnaissance, light rays, etc.) adapted to the personal and confidential knowledge of witnesses and formulated so that the theory of distortion might be called "oneiric creativity."

The most sensible explanation is that the observations that ufologists have been labeling as close encounters with alien beings mask a type of unknown "psychological phenomenon" orchestrated by a external agent that uses the information in the psyche of the witnesses to "build" the experiences.

The method of expression used by this unidentified external agent, is the distortion of our individual unconscious content, that unfolds before the viewer's eyes with an approach similar to the experience of dreaming, but controlling and delimiting these experiences so they follow the schemes of "extraterrestrial visitation, "which is the objective sought to be instilled.

This will prevent the human psyche from "adding" or "contributing" too much material of especially inconsistent evidence, so that the human mind is errantly thought to be the originator of such experiences.

If the external agent does not exercise this authority or control over the mental creation  in the gestation of close encounters, the witness would "see" members of his own family, friends, or even their favorite actor.

In summary, the distortion theory  suggests that close encounters with UFOs and their crews, are the result of a "shared mental creation" between a external agent and the unconscious mind of witnesses.

Therefore, the meaning, purpose or impact of these experiences is to be found in the field of psychology.

Despite all this, we are not dealing, however, with a purely psychological phenomenon that is limited to the mental universe.

By contrast,  the Distortion Theory states that the external agent is able to create "ephemeral material" to give some corporeality to sightings and reinforce the belief that these phenomena are "real" and "physical".

I think Jose's "theory" has merit, but I keep asking him to define his "external agent."

When I asked if it was God, Satan, or Alien Beings, he replied it was an unknown element.

I told him that he had to bite the bullet and provide a definition or explanation of who or what the "external agent" is.

Jacques Vallee, Mac Tonnies, and others have posited a "force" or entities that are responsible for UFO encounters and other paranormal visions.

Oliver Sacks has provided information in his most recent book, Hallucinations, that forces me to consider many UFO sightings as hallucinatory in nature, including some of the iconic encounters: Arnold's, the Hills', Travis Walton's episode, the Pascagoula event, and many others.

Jose, while accepting a psychological patina for his Distortion Theory, insists that the psychology is not inherently neurological (from within the witnesses) but induced by his external agent as a mechanism useful for the external agent's purposes.

But what is that purpose I ask?

Jose and I are open to suggestions from our visitors here. And we engage in our oppositional discussion with bonhomie and good will.



  • Chaos theory posits that if a pattern is detected in relation to an aim of determining any root cause, a pattern in of itself does not validate the pattern as the root cause. Think of what a detective does. Further, there are only so many behaviorism attached to associations identified with alien astronauts. Further, there is a critical path here that has determined there is a singular silver bullet, when I can name many that may or may not coincide with one another to produce a singular effect with multiple causation acting like parallel tumblers to produce a singular effect. A simple example is the end result we know as lightning. Further, this is a varietal form of anthropomorphic bias projection that utilizes the psychology of the human species with the presumption that the drivers of behaviorism are identical. Further, if this behaviorism ( for the sake of discussion) were to exist it is a means and not an end. Pretty simple stuff. What is the causation of the means. And..if someone can articulate by evidential examples, that are not human based, what exactly is the point, then we have something to discuss. An interesting speculative variant but it seems to be held together by significant holes, absent inter-connective causation...to say it's a manipulation by an external agent that is sentient. The medium is the message.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, November 29, 2012  

  • BTW..before I head off some other Sherlockian misgivings..
    Is there someone inside a voice transcription program that is used for word documents? Is there a actual band inside of a CD? If there is some sort of organisational wherewithal that arranges this, all the evidence I have been exposed to says it acts more like cellular intelligence than sentient with no observable intent to communicate anything but appearances which to my mind is a dead giveaway. Anything purported to be communicated is nonsensical gobbledygook. Plato would be appalled..

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Thursday, November 29, 2012  

  • Jose's theory has a great deal of merit. This is how a highly advanced, but non-technological or post-technological alien intelligence might well make contact with us - psyche to psyche.

    We need to stop defining extraterrestrial contact using notions of advanced technology and space travel mired in science fiction constructs from the late 19th and 20th centuries. That definition is too limited.

    Technology, as we know it on 21st century planet Earth, may not be required at all for a truly advanced intelligence to reach out to us across the universe.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Friday, November 30, 2012  

  • But, PG, the contacts -- the scenarios (as presented/witnessed) -- are so bizarre one might think those making the contact are psychotic.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, November 30, 2012  

  • We are talking about "alien" intelligence (that is, non-human), and all that the word "alien" means and implies - strange; exotic; sensing, processing, and interpreting the universe in ways vastly different from how these are done in human brains and bodies.

    Perhaps this is as close to understanding and presenting human symbols as this intelligence can get (all communication is based on a good, shared understanding of the symbols used for communication - auditory and visual).

    The images presented are received as confused and nonsensical because the symbols being sent are only imprecisely understood. Shoot, we humans don't even share symbols across our cultures. That's why we need to dub or subtitle films produced in a non-native language (sometimes with unintended hilarious results).

    These alien "messages" also are being received and interpreted by humans with varying degrees of intelligence, imagination, life experiences, etc., which adds another layer of complexity (or confusion) to the scenarios.

    What "makes sense" to an alien mind, ver likely will not "make sense" to a human mind and vice versa. As humans continue to venture into space, we need to confront this fundamental dilemma in the event we do eventually encounter non-terrestrial life.

    You're being far too anthropomorphic in your question.

    By Blogger purrlgurrl, at Friday, November 30, 2012  

  • PG:

    I'll be explaining my anthropomorphic views upcoming.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, November 30, 2012  

  • I've often wondered how certain we could be of the phenomena that we claim to see. Only after witnessing an event with another person did I gain an understanding that either two people could hallucinate the same thing at the same time, or that we actually witnessed some strange phenomenon.

    If two people are able to actually hallucinate the same light then what does that say of the contagious factor of human ideas?

    By Blogger Shockgrubz, at Friday, November 30, 2012  

  • In the 1970s, after the predictable failure of the "UFO" hypothesis ("UFOs" exist), high-profile advocates of the "UFO" myth (Hynek, Vallee, Keel, Clark and others) proposed that the "saucers" had disappeared into an "alternate reality." To which Robert Sheaffer said, [This] "'alternate reality' talk is not a promising new hypothesis. It is total intellectual abdication." The "distortion" theory sounds like more of the same.

    An hypothesis in search of a non-phenomenon. "There never were any saucers."


    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Sunday, December 02, 2012  

  • Zoam:

    You, like Sheaffer, miss the nuances of reality.

    When it comes to mysterious or strange (odd) happenstances or visions, one has to apply forensic thinking, not a barbarous onslaught that appears to be objective but is, in fact, Neanderthalian in its approach.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, December 02, 2012  

  • Fallacious special pleading and ad hominem on top of assuming the answer don't help. An unnecessary, nonfalsifiable so unscientific, paranoid-fantasy "theory" of why people make (very easily explained) "UFO" reports "is not a promising new hypothesis. It is total intellectual abdication."

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Monday, December 03, 2012  

  • ZC:

    I suggest you get Micah Hanks book, The UFO Singularity (reviewed here).

    Read his comments on speculative studies. {Page 71 ff.]

    You, like Sheaffer, abdicate intellectual inquiry, much like the Inquisitors of the Middle Ages.

    That's not an ad hominem. It's a statement of "fact."


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, December 03, 2012  

  • Rich; Petitio pricipii, assuming the answer, as usual, as does Caravaca's theory. Since there are as yet no unexplained "mysterious or strange (odd) happenstances or visions."

    You think all of us scientific-realist "neanderthals" need to be more fantasy-prone to understand why people make "UFO" reports? [by your fallacious special pleading] And that's all we have: People making "UFO" reports.

    I don't think so. In over a century of widely diverse "UFO" reports, repeated investigations have not produced one real "UFO." In fact, careful considerations of the entire catalogue of evidence have determined the negative: There aren't any real "UFOs" of any kind and there never were.

    You and Caravaca appear to believe that "UFOs" make people make reports, which is not the way the world is. The only way one can believe in nonexistent "UFOs" is by ignoring the obvious fact that all cases have mundane explanations, and that taken individually or all together "UFO" reports have had absolutely zero consequence in the world. Something for you to consider.

    An abstract without presence or substance and without consequence in the world; the mere name of a set which contains no members; innumerable reports forming nothing but a delusion: the totality of evolving facts composing the world do not allow the existence of reals "UFOs."

    Rich, there is no logical argument that will ever justify a belief in "UFOs" or any other fantasy. Belief in nonsense requires irrational thinking and a failure to understand the world as it is. And if it could be shown that there were indeed unknown agents, real "UFOs" behind "mysterious or strange (odd) happenstances or visions," then the scientific-realist world would happily reassess and accomodate that fact. But until that is shown, all we can know or speak about with any certainty is ordinary human behavior.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Monday, December 03, 2012  

  • Zoam:

    If you read my posting carefully, you'll see that Jose is slightly disturbed by my inclination to write that UFO sightings are (mostly) hallucinatory.

    That's why he sent me a clarification of his Distortion Theory.

    I'm not far from Sheaffer's views, or yours even, but I leave open the possibility that there are other explanations for UFOs besides those that are neurological, or non-real.

    Hanks, in his book, provides a conscientious approach to the phenomenon: sensibly agnostic.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, December 03, 2012  

  • Sigh.... Rich, still assuming the answer says: "... the phenomenon: sensibly agnostic."

    There's is no phenomenon, the world decided that as fact long ago. Anyone who still believes that the question is even remotely undecided is only making excuses to try to keep a dead question alive, the very definition of pseudoscience. That's not "sensible."

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, December 06, 2012  

  • Zoam:

    If you take the definition of UFO as unidentified objects seen flying, you can't deny the reality.

    If you find "flying saucers" as extraterrestrial craft to be loopy, I can understand your belligerent thinking.

    You are being solipsistic in the extreme.

    Chomsky would be appalled.

    Odd things have been seen in the sky and on the ground.

    Those "things" are unidentified; hallucinatory in many cases, but witnessed often enough to have a (subjective if you want) reality.

    One can play with that "reality" as if it is objective and true or if it is neurological (psychological even).

    You prefer, like Sheaffer and Oberg, among others, to deny any reality -- neurological or actual.

    That is intellectually sad.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, December 06, 2012  

  • Rich writes, "Chomsky would be appalled."

    I doubt it. Stop the nonsense, Rich.

    "Odd things have been seen in the sky and on the ground."

    Still assuming the answer. People have REPORTED....

    Semantically and in practice, okay? There's ZERO evidence that people have seen anything out of the ordinary, period. There are only psychosocial "UFO" narratives--and not one real "UFO" of any kind.

    There's is no "UFO" phenomenon, never was, the world decided that as fact long ago. Anyone who still believes that the question is even remotely undecided is only making excuses to try to keep a dead question alive, the very definition of pseudoscience.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Monday, December 17, 2012  

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