A Plea for the End of Discrimination Against Experiencers

©  Kathleen Marden

The history of mankind offers example after example of intolerance by the dominant culture against minority groups. Those whose experiences, appearance, or values place them outside acceptable political, religious, or social norms find themselves on the receiving end of ridicule and harassment by outspoken members of the dominant cultural group. Much of this is emotionally driven through fear and the desire to maintain the status quo. However, some of it is generated by a loathsome desire to control target groups through intimidation, harassment and persecution. This discrimination is politically sanctioned by the powers that be and the dominant culture to the detriment of the target group. It occurs in our society both subtly and pervasively to experiencers and those who have expressed an interest in UFOs.

For example, three women who do not hide their interest in UFOs, were enjoying a luncheon date at a country club during a golf tournament. Their friend, a golfer in the competition, approached their table from across the room whistling the theme from “Twilight Zone” while whirling one finger in a circular motion mimicking a rotating UFO. The women were not amused, but several tables of diners were drawn, albeit momentarily, into the goading.

A professional man joined a UFO group in order to seek information and satisfy his curiosity about UFO phenomena. Although he had never observed a UFO, one of his neighbors loudly identified him, in a busy restaurant, as “The guy who’s seeing UFOs above his house”. It was a lie intended to embarrass him and demonstrate the consequence of inquiry into this politically unacceptable topic.

The astrophysicist who discussed his theory of space travel by ETs, on You Tube, received a warning from his supervisor at a prestigious academic institute. The laboratory relies upon federal funding and the risk of rocking the boat was too great. He was forced to conceal his interest in ET physics until his retirement. There is example after example of the suppression of serious interest in the topic among academic scientists. It is not politically acceptable to pursue a serious scientific interest in the evidence at many universities, particularly those that rely upon government funding for research.

False propaganda distributed by debunkers is sometimes accepted as truth. For example, anti-UFO propagandists promote the idea that that human perception is so unreliable we cannot accept a witness’s statement that a UFO was hovering less than 100 feet in the distance. Nor can we believe that that the witness received a telepathic message from the craft. Baloney! Some believe that witnesses are incapable of discriminating between a distant planet, a lamp post, and an unconventional craft hovering less than feet away. 

How many UFO reports are simply written off as “identified” by biased, unscientific or ignorant skeptics? This type of biased reporting serves only to reduce the percentage of “Unknowns” and leads the public to believe that UFOs and abductions are the result of faulty human perception or figments of our collective imaginations. Some are. But many credible observers have reported their observation of non-humans in association with landed or hovering unconventional craft. It is a well known fact that Edward U. Condon focused his attention upon a few implausible stories of ET contact in order to evoke laughter from his audience. His mind was made up a year before the end of the project.  

Thousands of witnesses from around the world, whose testimony on any other subject is accepted without question, face skepticism and ridicule when they report close encounters and contact with other worldly beings. I have interviewed medical doctors, lawyers, psychologists, college professors, pilots, military officers, scientists, oil field workers, truck drivers, homemakers, computer scientists, housekeepers, teachers, and nurses who’ve expressed memories of being abducted by aliens. Intelligent, honorable, rational individuals are unfairly identified by skeptical investigators as “kooks, cranks, attention seekers, money grubbers and outright liars”. Scientists are labeled “unscientific and paranoid”. This disrespectful assessment serves those with a vested interest in suppressing the truth and ensuring that credible experiencers remain hidden. They promote their negative agenda by deceptively stating that they are adhering to scientific methodology, when in fact they are doing nothing of the kind.

My investigation has revealed that some credible abduction/ET contact reports are quickly written off as sleep paralysis, sleep hallucinations, temporal lobe epilepsy, etc, when the evidence begs further investigation. In many cases, the diagnosis simply does not fit the symptoms. Sometimes in the tradition of Philip J. Klass, witnesses are asked to submit medical records dating back to their mother’s pregnancy, to extract the tiniest bits of information that might discredit the witness. Youthful indiscretions are touted for the purpose of destroying the upstanding adult’s reputation. Experiencers, many of whom are only seeking a nonjudgmental listener, are treated like criminals. Groups that offer emotional support are vilified. Experiencers are sometimes mistreated by the humans they contact seeking support, especially in online forums. Most forums are monitored for this type of abuse, but it has to occur before the nasty perp can be banned. Facebook is a free for all. But bullies can be unfriended. 

I am opposed to the blind acceptance of every story, unless it is told confidentially in a support group where non-judgmental listening is required. Personally, I have spoken with hundreds, if not thousands of "experiencers" many of whom are probably not abduction experiencers. In my opinion, some are wannabes, some are scientifically naive, some are psychological cases, some are paranormal cases...Most do not have the compelling evidence required for scientific acceptability, even by social scientists. But a few clearly defy explanation. I've discovered that education is the most viable way to help experiencers. When people have the tools to assess their experiences in a rational manner they feel more powerful. The risk of embarrassment is greatly reduced. It takes time, but most experiencers will be able to collect evidence or realize that there is no evidence to collect. We are all human and we all make mistakes. No problem. When the aura of mystery is removed, people become more centered and productive in their everyday lives. But this occurs only after they find the answers to their questions. Proclamations from on high do little to help experiencers and can actually be harmful. 

Despite the possible negative consequences, UFO witnesses are courageously stepping forward in confidential support groups and through online forums, to share their truth pertaining to their sightings. A few with compelling evidence have carried it to the public through televised interviews and speaking engagements. Unfortunately, a few credulous attention seekers have grabbed media attention and promoted their delusional tales. I suppose this has to be tolerated, even though it gives serious researchers a black eye. The media is generally interested in generating profits; not in careful, scientific research without remuneration.

I have received detailed descriptions of the craft’s interior, and interestingly, some of the descriptive details are consistent among experiencers. However, I have also received information that smacks of fantasy. I and other researchers are documenting information that has allegedly been imparted to experiencers by ETs, to identify possible correlating data. Photographs of unique patterned marks on experiencer's bodies are being cataloged. Alleged physics information "downloaded" to a few experiencers is being evaluated by theoretical physicists. This is an important time in UFO history. However, certain media groups are promoting false tales and ridiculous stories told by attention seekers. This blurs the lines between fantasy and reality and confuses the interested public. It is important to maintain high standards with regard to UFOs ET contact. We should not accept a story at face value. Evidence is of utmost importance. 

Academic studies indicate that the higher the level of educational attainment, the more likely a person is to believe UFOs are real. Yet the uninformed public has been conditioned to treat experiencers as kooks, cranks or demons, by a few vocal and exceedingly nasty, noisy negativists. This form of suppression is promoted not only among debunkers, but also among some members of the UFO community. One skeptical investigator smugly informed me that no experiencer could pass a psychological evaluation. According to his statements, anyone who thinks they’ve been abducted is either mentally ill, lying, attention seeking, or in it for the money. He is wrong! Naïvity, misinformation, or fear has biased his point of view. This type of bias should not be tolerated in those who investigate UFOs and alien abductions. The fact is that many experiencers have undergone psychological evaluations and have tested normal.

The Air Force discovered that only a small minority of UFO witnesses and experiencers attempt to perpetrate hoaxes. The perpetrators are generally motivated by a desire for fame or fortune. Good investigation uncovers the truth. I have caught a few liars, all of whom reside in the margins of society due to mental illness or low intelligence. This is not to say that all hoaxes are perpetrated by marginal personalities. Some self impressed skeptics and immature young people have perpetrated hoaxes upon the UFO community, and later confessed. (A word of warning: I have never met an experiencer who became wealthy by promoting his or her story. The truth is that most face ridicule, harassment and financial loss. It is a difficult path to follow.)

Finally, I’d like to thank the hundreds of hard working, dutiful volunteers who work selflessly with experiencers and UFO witnesses.  Most are wonderful people who adhere to excellent ethical guidelines. You are vital to educating the public. Thank you for all that you do. Experiencers and UFO witnesses alike benefit from your hard work.

To the mainstream media, the intelligence agencies, and the vocal naysayers, I have this to say. It is time for the laughter to cease! It is time for the discrimination to end! It is time for the truth to be told!