A hurdle experiencers of alien contact have to face, is others questioning whether what has happened to them is real.
Suzy Hansen © 2018
What is ‘acceptable’ evidence?
A hurdle almost every experiencer of alien/extraterrestrial contact has to face at one time or another, is others questioning whether what has happened to them is real – let alone even possible. This doubt can feel even more uncomfortable if you are also struggling to come to terms with the high-strangeness of your day-to-day life. While some experiencers (and abductees) remain mired in uncertainty for years, others may have had the kind of experiences that engender a stronger measure of self-belief, all the more convincing when you discover others who have shared similar circumstances and memories. That unshakeable degree of personal proof becomes a life-line, even though it is rarely demonstrable to others in terms of ‘acceptable evidence’ or contemporary scientific interpretations. There are no textbooks or rule books. We can only offer our personal testimony.
For decades, ‘communicators’ of ET contact (ie contactees, abductees, and experiencers) have often faced derision and disbelief because of the sci-fi nature of many of their accounts, and the public, including many in the UFO/contact fields of research, has demanded tangible evidence of these alleged experiences with extraterrestrials and multi dimensional beings – a classic complaint being that as yet, no one has taken a photo while onboard or brought back an object from a craft. Communicators know very well why this is of course, given their knowledge of altered states and ET vigilance.
It is a natural human response for people to demand evidence in support of claims and assertions, especially when those claims and statements are sometimes controversial, tenuous, extra-ordinary, or fall outside of what is familiar territory to the recipient. There are a number of forms of standard evidence, only some of which are acceptable in courts of law, however there are four main categories to consider when examining an issue or seeking to support claims:-
Allows the explanation of phenomena by comparing them to something that is already known, a common metaphor. It helps people to see causal connections between new ideas or perspectives, but it rarely provides hard proof. For example, in terms of alien contact, sceptics have used sleep paralysis as a comparison to provide supportive evidence of their belief that the paralysis experienced by abductees/experiencers is not related to contact scenarios, but is a common sleep disorder.
Consists of data, summaries and models about phenomena and trends. Statistics from various sources may differ or conflict, and unless reports from multiple sources are presented, the evidence can confuse the public if weighted heavily in one direction. Generalised statistics gathered from communicators at this present-day stage of the contact phenomenon run the risk of being tainted by the decades of claims, theories and tantalising scenarios put forward by researchers and contact experiencers alike.
Presents an established or trustworthy ‘authority’ to validate credible citations and sources. The testimony of credible experts or human subjects can strengthen the argument however details about the people providing this testimony are essential; credentials alone should not establish the fact we should accept their testimony without question. One expert isn’t sufficient to establish a claim and many experts disagree on issues. Some researchers in the contact field claim to be ‘experts’ in this complex subject and their often flimsy theories are sometimes automatically given credibility and acceptance without critical examination and discernment of the data they present.
Is generally grounded in personal or secondary experience, providing a few best/specific examples all of the same type, general nature, or structure, yet it is seen to provide only weak support for an argument. Unfortunately, accounts by communicators invariable fall into this category, providing anecdotal evidence, often similar in nature, but unproven nevertheless.
But what if anecdotal evidence from communicators is so specific and detailed in nature that it becomes both corroborative and empirical (supported by scientific research evidence)? Could this alter public perception and acceptance both within and outside of the UFO fraternity?