Stanton Friedman and Kathleen Marden’s

Book Cover  

Readers may be interested in a very recent review of Science Was Wrong: Startling Truths about Cures, Theories, and Inventions ‘They’ Declared Impossible. Kathleen Marden and I each wrote seven chapters. The review by John Harney can be seen at The Magonia Blog. Harney isn’t bothered by the chapters on aviation, space, cold fusion, climate change, communications, Jupiter and man, various medical situations, etc. He is bothered by the ones dealing with frontier and paranormal phenomena, the Abduction conundrum, and of course, UFOs.

Harney says “Friedman launches his familiar attacks on the ‘debunkers’; though he devotes too much space to those who know little about the subject and have never carried out serous investigations and whose opinions are thus hardly worth commenting on.” I wonder who he means sounds like the debunkers…. I focused on the research of Dr. James E. McDonald, associate director of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (most UFOs are indeed seen in the atmosphere) and a full professor of Physics at the University of Arizona. Jim interviewed over 500 witnesses, lectured to many professional groups and provided a 71-page paper concerning 41 cases he had examined to Congressional Hearings in 1968 (see books, etc.). Another focus was Dr. J. Allen Hynek, head of the astronomy department at Northwestern University and for more than 20 years consultant to the Air Force Project Blue Book. He investigated many sightings as reported, for example, in his book The UFO Experience. I also noted the outstanding work of Ted Phillips, who has collected literally thousands of physical trace cases from more than 80 countries and visited many hundreds of sites. Perhaps Harney is referring to Dr. Carl Sagan whom I did criticize and who has indeed never done any serious investigations? Harney falsely claims that I said “The reason why we don’t have definitive proof of UFO reality is government secrecy.” He fails to address the obvious question which is “How can governments keep secret for over 60 years something over which they have no control?” Harney should obviously realize that governments don’t need to control the aliens. They definitely do control the sophisticated devices for monitoring and tracking UFOs and examining UFO wreckage from events such as Roswell, and the dissemination of that data, which is born classified. These include ground, air, and space radar systems, radar and cameras on board aircraft chasing UFOs, and on board ships at sea. During WW2 governments made sure that no word was spread about Japanese Fugo Balloon bombs which they also didn’t control.

Response to “The Magonia Blog’s” book review of Science Was Wrong 

by Stanton T. Friedman, M.Sc. and Kathleen Marden 

I was somewhat dismayed but not surprised by “The Magonia Blog’s” review of our new book, Science Was Wrong: Startling Truths About Cures, Theories, and Inventions “They” Declared Impossible. Magonia’s reviewer, John Harney, delivered a fairly accurate assessment of our book’s subject matter “how scientific and technological progress has been retarded by authoritative persons who have declared innovations and inventions be either wrong or of no practical use.” He then mentions some of our more controversial chapters — global warming, parapsychology and UFOs. The scientific evidence for the latter are discussed in a section titled “Frontiers of Science.” He should have mentioned that our book is divided into five sections: Aerospace, Technology, Medicine, Politics, and the Frontiers of Science.

He claims that “The authors favour the genuineness of psychic phenomena, as one would expect.” as if the information presented were based upon emotionality rather than statistical evidence. But he fails to inform the reader of my (Kathleen’s) extensive research of tightly controlled experimental studies, designed by parapsychologists and skeptics working together, that indicate there is reproducible scientific evidence in support of psi phenomena in thousands of telepathy experiments. He also avoids mentioning the failure of academia to accept the results due to personal bias and the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science’s call for “a fairer hearing across a broader spectrum of the scientific community so that emotionality does not impede the object assessment of experimental results.” This came after a Harvard University professor was asked by the committee to withhold information favorable to psi.

Harney fails to mention that my chapter (Kathleen’s) on alien abduction discusses the infamous “Trick Memo” written at the project’s inception in 1966 by Robert Low, the Condon Committee’s project coordinator , that clearly voices the biased opinion that “In order to undertake such a project, one would have to approach it objectively. That is, one has to admit the possibility that such things as UFOs exist. It is not respectable to give serious consideration to such a possibility… The very act of admitting these possibilities just as possibilities put us beyond the pale… I can quite easily imagine, however, that psychologists, sociologists and psychiatrists might well generate scholarly publications as a result of their investigations of saucer observers.” Nor does he mention the fact that Section 7 of the National Academy of Science’s review report recommended that “UFO reports should be of interest to social scientists.”

He does claim however, that I “attack the work of psychologists who attribute such (abduction) reports to the effects of sleep paralysis.” Attack is an extremely strong word to describe my discussion of the characteristics of sleep paralysis and hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations. There is no “attack” on psychologists who favor the sleep paralysis hypothesis. In fact, I don’t even mention names — only the statement that some experiencers do not have the classic symptoms of sleep paralysis (waking up paralyzed and able to move only one’s eyes). Instead, they cry out, attempt to flee, or throw things at their captors prior to the onset of paralysis. I also stated that some wake up locked out of their homes, on their roofs, in someone else’s home or in their vehicles. On page 205 I wrote, “A full 30 percent of abductees recall the entire experience without hypnosis, and do not fit nicely into the sleep anomaly or fantasy-prone personality group.” Does this presentation of research findings sound like an attack? Certainly debunkers must shutter when they hear this information. He further alleges that my “dismissive attitude is hardly scientific.” Actually, my attitude is not dismissive. I clearly state that some individuals believe they have been abducted by aliens, for a variety of psychological reasons, when they have not. I also present evidence that some psychological hypotheses don’t hold water and some psychological studies appear to be biased. Harney’s problem is that I don’t dismiss all UFO abductions.

My chapter actually focuses upon the results of academic psychology studies of suspected or self identified abductees that might explain alien abduction and the surprising results of studies conducted in the US and Canada. I then present the evidence that some alien abductions are real.

Harney lambasts me for my paragraph on the work of Derrel Sims and Roger Leir on alleged alien implants. I suppose he is distressed that I wrote about the medical finding that tissue surrounding the implants exhibits no signs of inflammatory response, and a large number of specialized nerve cells within the tissue samples had no anatomical reason to be there. Horrors! Even worse, I mentioned Leir’s report that one suspected implant emitted a radio frequency that would broadcast in a deep-space frequency, and that one of Leir’s specimens showed trace element patterns and isotopic ratios consistent with meteoric origin (see my footnotes). Harney summarily dismisses these scientific findings with the statement that “they have never presented any evidence that there is anything exotic about any of these.” You decide.

It is clear that Harney objected to my overview of the research findings on both sides of the debate and would have preferred a narrow discussion in support of psychological hypotheses. However, the chapter’s title is “The Conundrum of Alien Abduction.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines conundrum as “a problem admitting of no satisfactory solution; A difficult and complicated problem.” Both sides of the issue deserve discussion.

     Stanton T. Friedman & Kathleen Marden