“The Priests of High Strangeness”: A Warning About Expectations

January 15, 2011

In “The Priests of High Strangeness”, an essay by Carol Rainey published in the premiere issue of Paratopia (Jan 2011), the author asserts that “The sensational cases published in [Budd] Hopkins’ Intruders and Witnessed, in [David] Jacobs’ Secret Life and The Threat… are not the norm for abduction experiences.”

She suggests that Hopkins, her husband of ten years, was too easily lured by stories that bear little resemblance to typical alien encounters. The cloak and dagger story of Linda Cortile, allegedly abducted from her New York apartment on a beam of light in full view of a United Nations ambassador, is one of several cases which she notes Hopkins promoted even as discrediting evidence piled up. An allegation that David Jacobs’ objectivity has been compromised by paranoia is also referenced.

We thought some may wonder whether this article discredits experiencers and alien encounter experiences in general. We do not feel that it is meant to.

Rather, it is a criticism of researchers being lured by their own expectations of what the alien encounter experience is, and what sort of cases promise “proof” — when the reality could be that the nature of alien encounters is far stranger than one may expect, and may by its very nature not be able to provide a familiar kind of proof.

Click here for PDF of Carol Rainey essay | Alternate link

Addendum: Discussion born of this essay has included statements from one of Hopkins’ earliest interview subjects, Deb Kauble (“Kathie Davis” in Hopkins’ book Intruders). She asserts the reality of what happened to her, while emphasizing the need not to use terms or definitions that assume we know the nature of the experiences, contesting (for example) the use of the term “spaceship” (“I saw something. I don’t know what it was”) and, sharing her disdain for the term “abduction” (a term which Dr. Mack tried to de-emphasize in his later work).

Jeremy Vaeni describes the discussion underway now as the “deconstruction” of “what we claimed to know” in a new essay titled “Reflections on 2 Journeys: Where Do We Go From Here?”. While Vaeni at times goes too far (he offhandly tries to dismiss the theme of sexual/reproductive elements of the encounters for no given reason other than the implication that Deb Kauble may have stated her case differently), the essay is well worth reading for its central point.

Read Jeremy Vaeni essay as archived on archive.org