Top critical review
Inside the Mind of the Abductee Community
on July 11, 2014
Interesting book in that it uses the conference as a vehicle to follow in detail - sometimes too much detail - some of the better known contemporary abduction cases that John Mack and others were researching at the time, and which were being discussed with others in the field at the conference. Massachusetts in particular, and greater New England in general have sort of become the epicenter of the modern abductee phenomenon - to my mind anyway. Think about it - within a hundred miles or so of Boston we have some of the most enduring and interesting abduction cases to have ever come to light, starting with Betty and Barney Hill, Betty Andreasson, the teens from the Encounter at Buff Ledge, the Allagash Four and many, many more interesting very close encounters such as the Incident at Exeter. As well, the key researchers and authors in this field seemingly are clustered in or very near this region - Mack, Hopkins, Fowler and Streiber.
The book is good at giving an inside view into the burgeoning abductee phenomenon of the late 80's and early 90's and what the context, mood and theories were during this early stage in time of what has now become a well represented - if not well substantiated - pillar of the UFO phenomenon. So, I give it high marks for that. It bogs down for me and loses me when it follows the story line of two young women from the Maryland area who are seemingly in a employer/employee relationship at a horse farm and goes on to recount in exhaustive detail the recurring abductions of first one, then both of the women.
If you have read some of my other reviews about other abduction literature then you will note here that this case has all of the problems that I dislike about the phenomenon in general. I do not disbelieve that abductions have and do take place, but this case - for which so much of this book is seemingly dedicated to - is for me the epitome of the problem I have with the abductee community and movement within modern UFO research today. Briefly, my opinion is that these women, particularly the younger woman, the employee of the older woman - is masking the true nature of her relationship with the owner of the horse farm. She is masking it with the abduction tales and - giving her the benefit of the doubt - doing it unconsciously.
As with many of the cases that the abductee authors seems to choose to focus on - there is nary a hint of actual evidence, apart from the woman's word - that one can cling to so as to corroborate the case.
When there are Godfrey, Shermer, Hickson and Parker, Walton and the Hills, the Allagash Four, on and on, when there are so many good cases to review and research further, why is it that abductee authors seemingly always gravitate to cases as light weight and transparent as the ones focused on here in this book?
Kudos to this author for spending some time discussing the bravery of John Mack's pursuit of this subject in a climate of apathy and ridicule. It was the most interesting part of the book.