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		       The REALL News

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The official newsletter of the Rational Examination Association
		      of Lincoln Land

Volume 2, Number 7                                     July 1994

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Electronic Version

If you like what you see, please help us continue by sending
in a subscription.  See the end of newsletter for details.
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In This Issue:

From the Editor -- Bob Ladendorf
From the Chairman -- David Bloomberg
The Eyes That Spoke -- Martin Kottmeyer
REALLity Check -- David Bloomberg
Organizations of Interest to Skeptics

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Purpose:
The Rational Examination Association of Lincoln Land (REALL)
is a non-profit educational and scientific organization.  It is
dedicated to the development of rational thinking and the application
of the scientific method toward claims of the paranormal and fringe-
science phenomena.

REALL shall conduct research, convene meetings, publish a newsletter,
and disseminate information to its members and the general public.
Its primary geographic region of coverage is central Illinois.

REALL subscribes to the premise that the scientific method is the
most reliable and self-correcting system for obtaining knowledge
about the world and universe.  REALL not not reject paranormal claims
on a priori grounds, but rather is committed to objective, though
critical, inquiry.

_The REALL News_ is its official newsletter.

Membership information is provided elsewhere in this newsletter.

Board of Directors:  Chairman, David Bloomberg; Assistant Chairman,
Prof. Ron Larkin; Secretary-Treasurer, Kevin Brown; Newsletter
Editor, Bob Ladendorf; At-Large Members, Prof. Steve Egger, Wally
Hartshorn, and Frank Mazo.

Editorial Board:  Bob Ladendorf (Newsletter Editor), David Bloomberg
(electronic version editor), (one vacancy).

REALL
P.O. Box 20302
Springfield, IL 62708

Unless stated otherwise, permission is granted to other skeptic
organizations to reprint articles from _The REALL News_ as long
as proper credit is given.  REALL also requests that you send
copies of your newsletters that reprint our articles to the
above address.

The views expressed in these articles are the views of the individual
authors and do not necessarily represent the views of REALL.

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                         From the Editor
                        -- Bob Ladendorf

   One of the biggest news stories during the past month
has been the murders of O.J. Simpson's ex-wife and her
friend. Millions of us were also glued to the TV during the
police chase of O.J.in his friend's Bronco in Los Angeles,
alternately moved and repulsed by the spectacle surrounding
the fall_whether guilty or not_of a great sports hero. That
Friday night chase will be one of those TV moments that will
be remembered forever by millions of Americans.
   I thought back to that TV coverage after editing Martin
Kottmeyer's lead article called "The Eyes that Spoke." He
attempts to prove that supposed memories of actual events_in
this case an encounter with an alien being_can be jumbled
with memories of a TV program! Martin makes a convincing
case for the influence of TV in creating a lasting memory.
   Don't miss our REALL meeting for July, as we will be
showing a special tape of a presentation given by James "The
Amazing" Randi. He is a marvelous individual, magician and
skeptic investigator. I saw him at a St. Louis meeting
recently, and he was delightfully funny as he delivered his
serious message about the negative effects of pseudoscience.
   This month, we have also provided a list of other
organizations that may be of interest to our readers. Keep
it handy for your use now or in the future.
   As always, we look forward to any comments you have
about this newsletter's articles or our organization.

					/s/ Bob Ladendorf

            	  ==============================

			 From the Chairman
			-- David Bloomberg

   Alright! From a lousy election-meeting May turnout to a
great June attendance. Perhaps the best part was that there
were so many new faces at this meeting, but we definitely
like to see familiar faces, too!
   So, that means I hope to see you at this month's
meeting, which will be only a few days after you get this
newsletter (we're running a wee bit late) on the 18th. We're
featuring a video of James "The Amazing" Randi, from a
presentation he did for the Skeptics Lecture Series at
CalTech. Those of us who saw him recently in St. Louis know
you don't want to miss this opportunity to see his
presentation.
   And speaking of St. Louis (well, sort of), I went to the
St. Louis Science Center recently and was rather dismayed to
find UFO books for sale in their souvenir store. And not
just any UFO books, either, but some which have been totally
debunked! Were there any skeptical UFO books? Heck, no. I
wonder if they've ever heard of Phil Klass. I expect to see
this kind of thing occur in an everyday bookstore (though it
certainly doesn't make me happy), but in a science center?
People see that and have a tendency to assume that it must
be scientific if it's sold there, alongside Stephen
Hawkings' truly scientific books.

   Also, remember folks that we still have the 20% discount
available on Prometheus Books! A new one has just come out
about "psychic detectives," and even has a chapter on Greta
Alexander! We only need a few more books to send in our
order, so hurry up and get your order to us ASAP!

					/s/ David Bloomberg

		==============================

                     The Eyes That Spoke
                     by Martin Kottmeyer

   In his final book, _Aliens From Space_, Donald Keyhoe
briefly recounted his involvement in starting the
investigation of Barney and Betty Hill that eventually led
to John Fuller's publication of _The Interrupted Journey_,
the first major work of the alien abduction mythos. Keyhoe
was mystified more than anything else by the hideous faces
of the aliens. The heads were oddly shaped with no ears and
compressed noses and mouths. Worst of all were long slanting
eyes which extended along the side of the head creating a
sinister look. "What caused the subconscious minds of these
two people to create these pictures from their imaginations
has never been fully explained." [1]
   Keyhoe could not accept the case 100%, he later admitted
in a 1975 interview, but he did not reject it either. As
mysteries go, Keyhoe's question seemed safely rhetorical.
Who knows why anyone dreams of one monster and not another?
How would anyone even begin to investigate such a problem?
   What could not have been foreseen was how serendipity
might step in to break this minor mystery. The local PBS
station a few years ago decided to rerun the old TV series
_The Outer Limits_. It was one of the most visually amazing
programs of my youth, and I eagerly tuned in to experience
once more such sights as the horrifying Zanti misfits, the
bee girl, moonstone, Borderland's ionic gale, the
down-shifting time machine of "Controlled Experiment," and
David McCallum's evolution into a mega-brain.
   It was during the showing of the episode "The Bellero
Shield" that I felt the uncanny frisson of deja vu. The eyes
of the alien were unusually long and wrapped around the side
of the face. It quickly hit me these eyes were just like the
wraparound eyes that were drawn in _The Interrupted Journey_
and the later more detailed drawing the Hills did in
collaboration with the artist David Baker.[2]  Though I
couldn't articulate it at that instant, there were other
similarities which had contributed to the sense of a close
relationship: no ears, no hair, no nose, and a cranium
shaped like a bullet tilted backwards 45 degrees. I was
excited by the possibility of a match because I was
reasonably sure there were few or no other examples of
aliens with wraparound eyes in science fiction cinema.
Moments later however my excitement became subdued. It
dawned on me that _The Outer Limits_ was a series of the
mid-Sixties and the Hill case dated to the early Sixties--
1961 or 1962. "The Bellero Shield" couldn't have been an
influence. Still, the book came out in 1966. Could the lag
be significant?
   After the program ended,  I dug into my library for a
round of late night research. "The Bellero Shield" aired
February 10, 1964. The Hill's UFO encounter happened in the
morning of September 20,  1961. That probably should have
killed the idea of any kind of influence, but the
resemblance was just so compelling I couldn't shake the
feeling there had to be a relationship. I reread _The
Interrupted Journey_. To my delight I discovered there was
no mention of wraparound eyes in the earliest account.
Betty's dreams, written down a matter of days after the UFO
sighting, mention men with Jimmy Durante noses, dark or
black hair and eyes and a relaxed human appearance that she
said was "not frightening." This is all quite different from
the final product. The changes emerge in the hypnotic
regression with Dr. Simon. The most salient issue was to
know when the wraparound eyes were first described. That
turned out to be during a hypnosis session involving Barney
dated February 22, 1964. Not only did "The Bellero Shield"
precede Barney's first mention of wraparound eyes, it did by
only 12 days! I was immensely pleased.
   I ordered the script of the show next. My thoughts were
so distracted I realized I had missed the dialogue. This
yielded additional evidence for the relationship. Judith,
played by Sally Kellerman, is conversing with the Bifrost
alien and asks it if it can read her mind. It answers, "No,
I cannot read your mind. I cannot even understand your
language. I analyze your eyes. In all the universes, in all
the unities beyond all the universes, all who have eyes,
have eyes that speak..." Judith, intrigued, asks how it
speaks her language. It elaborates, I learn each word just
before I speak it. Your eyes teach me." [3]
   In saying all eyes speak, the Bifrost alien is conveying
a truth and simultaneously dodging the human/alien language
barrier problem by a unique dab of poetic license.
   In the same hypnosis session in which Barney drew the
wraparound eyes, there is this exercise in confusion: Yes.
They won't talk to me. Only the eyes are talking to me.
I-I-I-I don't understand that. Oh--the eyes don't have a
body. They're just eyes..." [4] Barney's confusion about the
talking eyes is one most viewers probably shared over the
writer's gimmick employed by the episode's creators. The
notion shared by both texts that eyes can talk defies
dismissal via appeal to commonness or coincidence. By any
measure, the case for influence here is not just
satisfactory, it is exemplary. At least one abduction re
searcher has granted this point. [5]
   The discovery of this pseudomemory will not shock
hypnosis experts. They have long been aware of the danger on
confabulation in regression work. There was no reason to
expect _The Interrupted Journey's_ narrative to be immune
from such contamination. Belatedly, Keyhoe's question thus
finds itself answered with the mundane corollary that Barney
had watched the science fiction/horror series _The Outer
Limits_ shortly before his subconscious was called upon to
imagine what a scary alien ought to look like. Betty's dream
aliens were too normal to justify the fear he displayed
during the original UFO experience.
   Barney's confabulation has other interesting
repercussions. As Thomas E. Bullard has pointed out,
"wraparound eyes" is a term that has become common in the
abduction literature. [6] Case after case can be pointed to
of people describing alien abductors with eyes that wrap,
curl, or taper around the head. Some that UFO buffs may
recognize include: Carol Wayne Watts, 1967; "Canadian Rock
Band Abducted," 1971; David Delmundo's 1972 contact with the
turban-sporting Ohneshto; the 1977 Langenargen abduction (a
major German case); the Andreasson Affair; Harrison Bailey;
South Dakota Connection (MUFON, March 1983); Paris Colorado;
the Mirassol abductions; "Jennifer"; Tom Holloway, D.D.S.
(in Boylan, 1994). [7]  Others exist, but this will suffice
to indicate the influential nature of the Hill case on the
history of the imagery of abduction experiences. Before the
Hills, wraparound eyes seem largely, probably totally,
absent in the UFO literature. Cinematic aliens sporting
wraparound eyes are similarly largely absent. But not
totally. I eventually discovered one other instance. It is
an unnamed mutant in the film _Evil Brain from Outer Space_,
a Japanese film imported in 1964. Interestingly, one of the
heads of Projects Unlimited which provided the monsters for
_The Outer Limits_ was named Wah Ming Chang. He was a
talented sculptor and designed most of the head sculpts for
the series. This may hint at cultural roots in Eastern myth
or kabuki theatre, but I'm not prepared to follow the trail
the distance to prove it.
   The motif of the speaking eyes did not share in the
popularity of the wraparound eyes. There is one example in
Edith Fiore's _Encounters_. The abductee named Victoria
describes aliens communicating by simply looking at each
other. It is tempting to speculate that the alien bonding
practices involving staring described in _Secret Life_ are
descended from Barney's talking eyes, but there are many
complicating factors such as strong hints of _Star Trek's_
Vulcan mind meld and a rich cluster of psychological
symbolisms in staring eyes, such as love, intimacy,
supervision, contempt, and predators, that seem more
rewarding avenues of interpretation. The paucity of speaking
eyes probably reflects the poor nature of verbal memory
compared to visual memory. The confusing nature of the idea
of talking eyes probably doesn't help. It may also be that
hideous eyes have a defining role in creating an
appropriately paranoia-inspiring iconography. As Keyhoe
apparently sensed, they are more believably alien. The eyes
say Them.
   To the psychosocial theorist, the eyes whisper us.

Notes

1.   Keyhoe, Donald. _Aliens from Space_. Doubleday, 1973,
pp. 243-5.

2.   "New Drawings of Hill Abductors," _UFO Investigator_
(April 1972), pp. 3-4.

3.   Scene 24

4.   Fuller, John. _The Interrupted Journey_. Dell, 1966, p.
124.

5.   Bullard, Thomas E. "Folkloric Dimensions of the UFO
Phenomenon," _Journal of UFO Studies_ #3, 1991, p. 40.

6.   Bullard, Thomas E. _UFO Abductions: The Measure of a
Mystery_ FFUFOR. 1987, p.          243.

7.   Kimery, Tony L. "Carroll Wayne Watts - Contactee,
Hoaxer of Innocent Bystander," _Official UFO_, 1, #11,
October 1976, p. 33.
  FSR 29, #3
  Stevens, Wendelle. _UFO Contact from Undersea_. Stevens,
1982, p. 148.
  Schneider, Adolf & Illobrand von Ludwiger. "Brilliantly
Shining Objects and Strange Figures in Langenargen" in
_Interdisciplinary UFO Research_, MUFON-CES Report
#1, 1993,  p. 142.
  _Andreasson Affair_, p. 25.
  Rogo, p. 130
  _MUFON Journal_.  March 1983, p. 3.
  _UFO Contact from the Reticulum Update_, p. 341.
  _UFO Abduction at Mirassol_, p. 298.
  _J. of UFO Studies_ #3 , 1991, p. 100.
  Boylan, Richard J. & Lee K. _Close Extraterrestrial
Encounters_. Wilflower, 1994, p.        99.

		==============================

      		       REALLity Check
		      by David Bloomberg

                       Write is Wrong

   The _State Journal-Register_ ran a _Houston Chronicle_
article (6/19) about the use of handwriting "analysis" in
hiring. I put that in quotes because calling this procedure
an "analysis" is like calling an astrological chart an
"analysis."
   The article recounts the stories of several people who
have had to undergo such a test _one directly made the
astrology comparison. However, a VP of one company which
uses this nonsense to help in hiring said they've found it
accurate whenever they've pulled out the "analysis" and
compared it to what they know about the person after they've
been there for a number of years. The problem with this,
which he doesn't seem to recognize, is that these reports
are vague, like astrological readings, and can apply to just
about anybody. Plus you have the standard problem of only
reading the "hits" and ignoring the "misses".
   The chairman of the department of management at the
University of Georgia, Athens, said that four major studies
have concluded that there is absolutely no relationship
between the results of handwriting "analysis" and job
performance. Still, as with other areas of pseudoscience,
I'm sure we will continue to see people ignore the studies
and determine who gets what job based on nonsense.
   While I'm on the subject, let me relate to you the one
run-in I've had with this particular pseudoscience. My
sophomore-year Spanish teacher took a "handwriting analysis"
course, and then came back to try it out on us. She gave us
several specifics, such as the supposed fact that people who
dot their "i"s with circles, rather than just a dot, are
neat and organized. Well, anybody who's ever seen my office
(or my apartment before I got married) knows that certainly
doesn't describe me (and never has), yet I used to dot my
"i"s that way. I voiced my opinion that dotting my "i"s with
a little circle probably had more to do with an earlier
Spanish teacher who assumed that anything which wasn't a
circle was automatically an accent mark, and reduced
homework and test scores accordingly. However, her faith
remained unshaken.

                         FMS and Me

   As we all know, false memory syndrome (FMS) is big in
the news lately. So, when I gave my presentation on that
exact subject at last month's meeting, it got noticed.
   In particular, the author of the _Illinois Times_
article I mentioned last issue (who had written the article
about the reimposition of a statute of limitations on these
types of charges in Illinois, and to whom I had sent a
packet of information on FMS) contacted me, came to the
meeting, and wrote an article for the June 30 edition. This
came in the same edition as a cover-page story on how
accusations of Satanism, brought about by "recovered"
memories, has torn up an Illinois family.
   The first article was pretty good, and will hopefully
inform the general public about an area we've been concerned
with for some time now. The article about me and REALL was
also pretty good, though there are a few places I would have
phrased things differently and made some minor corrections
and clarifications.
   On the Wednesday following the meeting (6/29) I was a
guest on the One-Eyed Jack show on WMAY (though Jack was not
there, Danny Russell was substituting for him). I spent an
hour of air time (approximately 1/2 hour of actual time,
after news, commercials, etc.) talking about FMS and many of
its related aspects. Russell and the WMAY newscaster asked
some good questions and I felt the discussion went very
well.

                        Stabbing Pain

   The _Chicago Sun-Times_, "Medlife" section, had an
article about the controversy surrounding acupuncture and
whether or not insurance companies should/do cover it
(7/10). While there was some decent information, most of it
was slanted pro-acupuncture.
   A large portion of the article dealt with the facts
relating to insurance coverage, licensing, etc. Currently,
the only people legally allowed to practice acupuncture in
Illinois are M.D.'s, though there appears to be a large
"black market" in acupuncture which is largely ignored by
the State Board of Professional Regulation, according to a
spokesman. He said that "our department does not actively
seek acupuncturists unless someone reports them."
   However, there were several portions of the article in
which the standard jabs at skeptics were taken. "Much of the
Western medical establishment scoffs at the idea of yin-yang
and bodily energy forces, and insists no definitive evidence
exists that acupuncture works." Do you think they might
insist that because  it's true? "Insurance companies
tend to cover only those treatments that are endorsed by the
Western medical establishment." There's that term again. I
wonder where one sends dues to become part of this "Western
medical establishment" group.
   Finally, the article ends with the false argument that
something which has been going on for a long time must be
good: "Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that's
more than 3000 years old," according to one acupuncturist.
"If it didn't work, people wouldn't continue to use it."
Funny, people still consult astrologers and palm readers and
all the other forms of "prophecy" even though those have
been proven worthless...

               Are Talk Shows Harming Society?

   Vicki Abt and Mel Seesholtz have researched a number of
talk shows (Oprah, Donahue, etc.) and have come to the not-
too-surprising conclusion that television is overemphasizing
the deviant. "If you are normal, no one cares," said Abt.
The _Chicago Tribune_ had an article about this research
(7/11), the results of which will be published this summer
in the _Journal of Popular Culture_.
   While most of their conclusions deal more with what we
might call "deviant" behavior, such as men who sleep with
their mother-in-law, and are not specifically in the realm
of subjects covered by REALL, we all know that these same
shows often feature such topics as alien abductions,
psychics, satanic ritual abuse, alternative medicine, etc.
In fact, these shows are a major part of any fringe science
book tour, and are often sponsored (at least here in
Springfield) by "psychic hotlines."
   Chris Darryn, the president of the National Talk Show
Guest Registry, who tracks people looking to be guests on
these shows and submits their stories to the shows, said the
researchers shouldn't take it so seriously. Unfortunately,
many people who watch the shows take them seriously, so I
think the researchers are right in following their lead.
Darryn said, "For people to watch [the talk shows] like they
watch the evening news is silly." I agree completely.
However, I would venture to bet that more people watch these
talk shows than the evening news.

		==============================

	     Organizations of Interest to Skeptics

Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the
   Paranormal (CSICOP)
P.O. Box 703
Buffalo, NY  14226-9973
Ph.:  (800) 634-1610

False Memory Syndrome Foundation
3401 Market St., Suite 130
Philadelphia, PA  19104
Ph.:  (800) 568-8882

National Center for Science Education (NCSE)
P.O. Box 9477
Berkeley, CA  94709-0744
Ph.:  (510) 843-3393

National Council Against Health Fraud
P.O. Box 1276
Loma Linda, CA  92354
Ph.:  (909) 824-4690

St. Louis Association for Teaching and Education (SLATE)
P.O. Box 462
O'Fallon, IL  62269-0462

Skeptics Society
2761 N. Marengo Ave.
Altadena, CA  91001
Ph.:  (818) 794-3119

		==============================


		      A Nod to Our Patrons

REALL would like to thank our patron members.  Through their extra
generosity, REALL is able to continue to grow as a force for critical
thinking in Central Illinois.  Patron members are those giving $50
or more.  To become a patron of REALL, please see the membership
form below.  Patron members are:

David Bloomberg, Springfield    John Lockard, Jr., Urbana
David Brown, Danville           Robert Smet, Ph.D., Springfield
Alan Burge, D.D.S., Morton      Edward Staehlin, Park Forest
Wally Hartshorn, Springfield    Ranse Traxler, O'Fallon
Bob Ladendorf, Springfield

		   ==============================

			Letters to the Editor

    We at REALL encourage letters to the editor about any article
or topic covered in The REALL News.  We want to make this a forum
for _all_ our members.  (Letters may be edited if too long.  Name,
address and phone number must be included with the letter.)

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		 Predictions for Future Issues

** Alternative Medicine on NBC
** Looking into the _Sun_ -- and other tabloids
** Loch Ness Hoax
** The Panicky Guy

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			Skeptics Online

If you have a computer and a modem, you owe it to yourself to
participate in the skeptic message areas on the computer BBS
networks.  Here in Springfield, call The Temples of Syrinx at
(217) 787-9101.  David Bloomberg operates this BBS, which carries
the FidoNet SKEPTIC, EVOLUTION and UFO conferences, internationally
distributed message areas for discussing topics of interest to
skeptics.  He is also carrying ParaNet conferences, all dedicated
to UFO and paranormal topics.  You can also find a wide variety of
skeptic, scientific, UFO, evolution/creation, and urban legend
text files.

	     The Temples of Syrinx -- (217) 787-9101
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============================================================

REALL News

Last modified Sun Jul 07 02:05:57 1996. Email comments to whartsho@mail.fgi.net