Friday, March 29, 2013

tenured professor stands up for alien abductions

(this article found HERE on the National Post of Canada)
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Retired McGill University professor convinced ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that aliens exist
by Jen Gerson

Retired Montreal psychology professor Don Crosbie Donderi (left) is convinced extraterrestrial life exists. The educator, who spent 47 years at McGill University, including as associate dean of the faculty of graduate studies and research—applies his insights into psychology to a book: UFOs, ETs, and Alien Abductions, a Scientist looks at the Evidence. It will be published in May. Mr. Donderi spoke to the Post’s Jen Gerson on Monday.


Q. You write about cases of humans believing they were abducted. I believe your press release refers to a “catch and release” program. Do you have physical evidence to support that?

A. I don’t personally have physical evidence to support that. What I say in the book is that the evidence of the extra-terrestrial nature of some of what UFO phenomenon is reported is in my opinion established beyond a reasonable doubt.

Q. Give me an example of some of that evidence.

A. There is an entire chapter on six UFO abduction cases. Each of them has what you might call in common a touchstone. Every one of the people involved saw a close up of a UFO. Everyone of the people had missing time they could not account for, a period of an hour or more, maybe even two or three hours. After the initial sighting, they ended up driving down a road not knowing how they got there. In several other cases, people saw the UFO as well. Some of these people wound up with scars they could not explain.

Q. Can you tell me a little bit about your background and what you do?

A. I worked at McGill University from 1962 to 2009. I was an associate professor of psychological research and published well over 100 papers on one thing or another. In 1982 I co-founded a consulting company that does human factors ergonomics consulting. I’ve been on the mainstream of science and engineering my entire professional life.

Q. How did you get interested in this particular subject?

A. I was interested as a boy when this stuff started happening in 1947. I was old enough to read the newspapers. I’m a curious person and I was persuaded this was a curious phenomenon. Thirty years later, I had a university position. I had tenure. I could study things without worrying about what other people thought about them. This is a very liberating thing. Nobody except university professors have tenure in the world, it makes you an aristocrat right off the bat. You can do what you like as long as you do your work, which I always did.

Q. We’ve seen a lot of studies showing that human perception is a very spotty thing. People have a way of even inventing memories; sometimes when more than one person claims to see something, they start talking to each other and can affect each others’ accounts, for example.

A. I cover all of this stuff [in my book] including everything you’ve talked about, because I’ve investigated some of these things professionally myself. I can assure you the evidence that survives a critical look at what might have contributed to those reports is sound evidence.

Q. Are we talking about physical evidence?

A. Now anybody can take a photograph from the Internet, jazz things up in Photoshop. So a photograph is worthless as evidence in and of itself. But when you get multiple photographs, or photographs taken by gun cameras on a fighter plane chasing UFOs — of which there are several examples — or radar plots taken during a UFO chase. You’ll find there is a tremendous amount of corroborative evidence.

Q. Just because we don’t always know what’s seen on these types of tapes doesn’t mean that’s proof that it’s extraterrestrial.

A. No, but what else is it? What you have to do is you have to eliminate the other probable causes … and what you begin to build up is a collection of evidence that stands the sniping of people who say it can’t be therefore it isn’t.

Q. From a psychological perspective, when we hear about people getting abducted by aliens, do you not think that on the balance of probabilities that a more plausible explanation is that there is an element of self delusion, or waking nightmares at play here? Do you not think there is a more plausible explanation for these reports than the idea that there is an alien species coming down to Earth to kidnap humans?

A. That is a plausible explanation for many of the reports, but not all of the reports, I agree with you. I also said evidence for abduction is that is a balance of probable evidence, not beyond reasonable doubt.


(Now, this final question is so snarky and his answer is just priceless)


Q. Don’t you think the balance of probability favours a much less glamorous, much more human explanation that our perceptions are flawed?

A. No.


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Professor Donderi has given a series of lectures on the subject of UFOs and abduction, these are posted on the McGill University site
(linked HERE)
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9 comments:

Regan Lee said...

"No." Love it.

Lucretia Heart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucretia Heart said...

I read this a few days ago. I was happy that he refused to be bullied into repeating the "standard line" that abductions don't happen.

And yes, that final "no" made me laugh in appreciation.

Kandinsky said...

Mike,

If you check out the link below there are a series of podcasts that you'll enjoy, He did a handful of lectures at McGill U on the subject of UFOs with one specifically about abductions.

I recall disagreeing with a couple of his examples and enjoying the series overall.

http://podcasts.mcgill.ca/?s=Donderi

brownie said...

The professor's book will be 'must read' for me! And I loved that last answer! ;-)

~ Susan

Red Pill Junkie said...

Clearly the journalist's bias is more than evident in the type of questions he chose to make for this interview. That said, I'm not sure this retired college professor managed to convince me.

I'm gonna follow Kandinsky's link. I'm interested to hear more about what this gentleman has to say.

Mike Clelland! said...

THe professor is very thoughtful and clear. But, he is quite conservative. He is focusing on the very pragmatic arguments of the reality. I, on the other hand, am much more interested in the weird stuff!

Kandinsky said...

Coincidentally, I noticed today that he's a speaker at the next MUFON Symposium.

Steven Greer is also on there which reminded me of the 'fly in mouth' incident.

Perhaps there's a Chinese proverb or Aesop's fable that teaches us it's better to have a fly in the mouth than both feet? Hopefully the audience will throw their shoes at him and keep their cash in their pockets.

Tim Brosnan said...

I'll be very glad when reporters no longer feel they have permission, or perhaps a responsibility, to treat people like Donderi so cavalierly.