Mod+ 230. Dr. David Jacobs Claims Academia Has Abrogated Responsibility to Investigate Alien Contact

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by alex.tsakiris, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. Alex

    Alex New

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    230. Dr. David Jacobs Claims Academia Has Abrogated Responsibility to Investigate Alien Contact


    Interview with alien abduction researcher and Temple University History Professor Dr. David Jacobs examines his over 30 years of research. Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Dr. David Jacobs author of, UFOs & Abductions: Challenging the Borders of Knowledge. During the interview Jacobs talks about science’s responsibility to investigate the topic: Dr. [...]

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    Click here to listen on YouTube
     
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  2. P.J.

    P.J. Member

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    Great interview, Alex. I really like where you directed the conversation...

    Submitting for the record--

    'Five Arguments Against the Extraterrestrial Origin of Unidentified Flying Objects'
    - Jacques Vallee

    "...The growing number of abduction reports is being used by a vocal seg-
    ment of the UFO research community as further evidence that we are, in
    fact, being visited by extraterrestrial aliens, even if their origin has not yet
    been revealed. In the context of the present paper, a careful survey of the
    reported behavior of the alleged ufonauts argues exactly in the opposite
    direction.
    According to current UFO magazines and books, the number of reported
    and documented abductions is now measured in multiples of 1,000. Such
    incidents are characterized by what the witness reports as being transported
    into a hollow, spherical or hemispherical space and being subjected to a
    medical examination. This is often (but not always) followed by the taking
    of blood samples, various kinds of sexual interaction, and loss of time. The
    entire episode is frequently wiped out of conscious memory and is only
    retrievable under hypnosis.
    At this writing over 600 abductees have been interrogated by UFO re-
    searchers, sometimes assisted by clinical psychologists. Although nothing
    concrete seems to have been learned from these case studies about the origin
    and purpose of the visitors, those doing the investigations are vocal in their
    claim that the abductions are further evidence of the ETH.
    In order to examine this claim, let us assume that extraterrestrial intelli-
    gence has indeed developed the ability and the desire to visit the earth. It is a
    reasonable assumption to expect that such visitors would know at least as
    much as we do in the fundamental scientific disciplines such as physics and
    biology. Few ufologists, in fact, argue against this assumption.
    In particular, the visitors would presumably know as much about medical
    techniques and procedures as our own practitioners. Today the average
    American doctor can draw blood, collect sperm and ova or remove tissue
    samples from his or her patients without leaving permanent scars or induc-
    ing trauma. The current state of molecular biology-a science which is in its
    infancy on earth-would already permit that same doctor to obtain unique
    genetic "fingerprint" information from such samples. He could also fertilize
    the ova and obtain "test-tube" offspring, and it is conceivable that cloning
    could duplicate the beings thus produced ad injinitum.
    A team of scientists equipped with the commonly reported UFO technol-
    ogy would be in an excellent position to take control of blood banks, sperm
    banks or collections of embryos available at major research hospitals and
    ~ research centers without creating the massive disturbances described by
    abduction researchers. They would be able to accomplish it while escaping
    detection. Equipped with the state-of-the-art techniques of current U.S.
    medicine, it would be conceivable that the entire human race could, in time,
    be restarted from this pool of genetic material. Even gene therapy and the
    creation of hybrid species is well within our theoretical horizon, even if it has
    not completely been reduced to practice. None of these accomplishments I
    require the procedural behavior of the "Alien Doctors" described by abduc-
    tion researchers.
    The means of permanently erasing the memory of the victims through the
    use of appropriate drugs are also available in the current pharmacopeia.
    Whatever the supposed "Aliens" are doing, if they actually perform what
    appear to be shockingly crude and cruel simulacra of biological experiments
    on the bodies of their abductees, is unlikely to represent a scientific mission
    relevant to the goals of extraterrestrial visitors. The answers may have to be
    sought in other directions."

    So what would be the purpose of the alien abduction? Just ETs messing
    with peoples' heads for fun? I highly doubt these are extraterrestrials, and I am
    dubious of researchers who hold to an extraterrestrial hypothesis.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  3. Trancestate

    Trancestate Member

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  4. Bruce Siegel

    Bruce Siegel Member

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    Fascinating interview, Alex. Well done!

    Jacobs is such an interesting man. I have great respect for his courage and intelligence. His book Secret Life was the first I read on the subject, and was a real mind-opener for me.

    But at the same time, he seems to be saying that only he is capable of getting useful information from abductees. Only he knows what is real and what is baloney.

    In effect, we should only trust information that has been filtered through his own investigative process. (Rather than trust the research of people like John Mack, tainted, as he is, by Grof's ideas.)

    Though I suppose Jacobs also embraces some trusted colleagues, of which the late Bud Hopkins must be one. Am I correct about that?

    It's also interesting to me that he believes in the telepathic experiences of his informants, but has little or no interest in parapsychology, even though such research might help to validate his own discoveries.

    Perhaps most of all, the fact that not a single of his clients has found their lifelong experience with abductions to be spiritually transforming is surprising and revealing. To be so involved with any aspect of reality for so many years, and not to be able to see the positive side of it, is a difficult way to live one's life.
     
  5. Larry

    Larry Member

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    It would be interesting if Alex could arrange a debate or mediated exchange between Dr Jacob and Jacques Vallee where these the two experts could go toe to toe.
    I've always wondered why these supposed extraterrestrials use such primitive instruments. Makes me think they come out of our collective images and fears of surgery from the last century.
    Btw does anyone know Macks position on this issue at the time of his death. It appears from Dr. Jacob that he had come over to his view at least part way.
     
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  6. P.J.

    P.J. Member

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    I think Jacques Vallee is somewhat difficult to get in touch with these days. In various interviews I've heard he was dismayed with the current state of UFO research and keeps his own investigations under wraps. Vallee didn't study or write much about abductions/encounters unless they were directly involved with the particular UFO cases he studied. I know that he was against the use of hypnosis, considered it unethical and didn't give credence to information acquired through the technique. To Vallee the significance of the UFO phenomenon is not the phenomenon itself, but rather its sociological effect. He considered the events 'paranormal' in nature and hypothesized that they were part of a control system meant to influence the direction and evolution of human society. (This is not too distant from the ideas of physicist Tom Campbell in that the larger 'consciousness system' interacts with and oversees the collective human experience-- one could say 'aliens' are figuratively astral beings from the mental plane rather than the stars)

    To my knowledge, Mack never held to a strong position either way on the nature of the encounter experience, but I could be wrong. I'm fairly certain he did not subscribe to the extraterrestrial hypothesis.
     
  7. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    Hi Bruce,

    I'm new to the field and am currently reading Jacobs' The Threat. I was very impressed with Chapter 3, "Shadows of the Mind", where he makes a very strong, well-argued and nuanced case for what is prudent and less prudent regression therapy re: alien abductees (it fleshes out what gets talked about towards the end of the podcast interview). I'm going to read Mack's Abduction next, but he makes a very convincing argument and demonstration as to why and how the techniques of therapists like Mack (using many specific examples of his work and others) are severely problematic (when it comes to finding out the truth of what happened, not for therapy effectiveness) and may well lead to confabulation and "mutual confirmational fantasies". (So that his argument against Mack is not because of his conclusions, but the way he reached them. That's how it reads anyway.)

    He also more generally produces (as it appears to this virgin reader) a very well thought-out analysis of what not to trust in regression therapy, and when and how it can be trusted (addressing the various skeptical arguments against hypnotic regression therapy, false memory syndrome, etc., in general).

    Personally, I would prefer to think of aliens - whether extraterrestrial, interdimensional or a mix of both - in a positive/overall "spiritual" light and not think of the phenomenon in the disturbing and frightening way it presents itself to Jacobs and Hopkins. (Partly because, at first glance anyway, it makes it very challenging to incorporate this material with other data/conclusions of "spiritual" research). But Jacobs' book has already made this newbie a little biased towards his view - unfortunately. :( I'll see how my view evolves as I read Mack and more about this topic.

    I would be interested to find out about researchers who have critiqued Jacobs' own techniques, especially re: his criticisms of Mack, and I would love to hear from people who are familiar with the general abduction research and can give their thoughts comparing the different perspectives.

    ---

    EDIT: To spell out one methodological point Jacobs brings out is that he stays away from any potentially leading questions that subtly convey validation/acceptance by the hypnotist, which will then "impel the abductee to further confabulation". One example he gives is if an abductee told him he played a board game like Monopoly with the aliens, he would avoid any question like "What were some of the street names?" (The Threat, p. 47). He then (p. 48-49) gives an example in Mack's book Abduction where Mack treats "Catherine", who sees imagery allegedly shown by the aliens, then sees Egyptian tomb paintings and feels she saw them in a former life. Mack asks Catherine to tell him him about this image of herself in a past life, etc. "Mack not only accepts the validity of this 'dialogue' but embraces Catherine's interpretations of it as well." (p. 49)

    I can't get into it here, but he gets into many specifics of his investigative rather than therapeutic stance, what he watches out for in terms of the dangers of taking different features of abductee accounts during hypnosis at face value (alien dialogue, alien intentions and goals, among other things), and what methods he uses to try to establish the second-by-second reality of what actually happened.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  8. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    When I hear Jacobs in the interview state the second reason he thinks the scientific and academic community largely stays away from the topic of abductions...
    ... I couldn't help but think how this applies to topics like NDEs as well. Oh, you mean that stuff on Oprah like Embraced by the Light (Betty Eadie) or Proof of Heaven? You've got to be kidding.
     
  9. Bruce Siegel

    Bruce Siegel Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts, Ian. I too will be curious to see how you feel after you read John Mack's Abduction.

    The way I see it, alien encounters are fundamentally spiritual events for the simple reason that this is a spiritual universe. All events and phenomena are rooted at a level that goes well beyond what materialism can explain. Mack understood this and Jacobs doesn't.
     
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  10. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    Thanks Bruce. I will keep you posted. :) I noticed on the last UFO podcast thread that a few people here have read Abduction. It would be great if some could read both and we could all compare our impressions. Any other major titles on the topic would also be welcomed.

    Regarding your second comment, I agree we live in a spiritual universe, although we would perhaps benefit by defining what we mean exactly by that. But couldn't that also possibly accommodate incarnate beings (aliens, or some aliens) who have evolved on another planet, that maybe have got a grasp on the interdimensional thing to facilitate "space travel";), who have their spiritual limits as well (partially Aware souls living in "animal" bodies), and like many members/societies of the human species have selfish agendas (a reproductive agenda, would say Jacobs)?

    BTW, this isn't the best UFO doc I've seen, but I saw it yesterday and it's definitely worth a mention here. It's a recounting/dramatization of a Jacobs-perspective-friendly abduction in 2003 in the context of a multiple-witness UFO sighting incident in Canada (British Columbia), it's got Jacobs in it, as well as quite a few physicists discussing the possibilities of the ET vs. interdimensional hypothesis.

    http://www.ufobc.ca/History/2000/157witnesses.htm
    http://the-v-factor-paranormal.blogspot.ca/2009/09/alien-abductionmissing-time-in-kelowna.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  11. john.sundog

    john.sundog New

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    Jacobs is obviously dedicated, sincere, and tenacious - he did a lot of work on "abduction" cases when it was a much reviled field of study, which is admirable, and it probably hurt his career. However (ahem!) I'm sure many Skeptiko listeners won't have missed the key points that struck me. Here are two big ones.

    He was quite forthright about saying he doesn't know much about NDEs, OBEs, DMT, (how many acronyms can I list here...?:)), shamanic initiations, so forth. But of course, there's the first problem from my POV - how could you immerse yourself in that field for thirty years and virtually ignore that spectrum of possibly closely related human experiences? I found that very weird. When his colleagues discussed those things, wasn't he ever curious? So, first problem, he has a tightly constricted and inflexible view of the "abduction" phenomenon and is surprisingly incurious about possibly related phenomena.

    The second problem from my POV is he's very very VERY sure he's right. His approach is right - the other researchers are wrong. Further, he can tell when the information the experiencers are giving him is right - and when it's wrong. And he doesn't need any other credentials or a broader background - he's already figured it all out without knowing those things. That's a level of self-confidence I can't even imagine, and I can't help contrasting that with Jacques Vallee who said rather plaintively a few years ago (paraphrasing) that he had hoped he would have a fair grasp of the UFO mystery by now, but that hope has thus far been in vain:(.
     
  12. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    I find that more curious - or, scratch that, frustrating, with the neurological experts on consciousness who make pronouncements about the definitiveness of mind = brain without more than a glance at NDE research.

    In the intro to his book, Jacobs recounts his journey, and he definitely started very early in the 1970s as very heavily involved, straight UFO sighting investigator. He stayed clear away, like the great majority of his colleagues, from the field of abduction until he met with Hopkins in 1982 (how do you investigte this stuff?) - whose methods he also supports. He then took a further risk by involving himself in this even "wacky" within "wacky" field of abductions. He doesn't come across to me as inflexible but as very meticulous and prudent. He's obviously read the whole literature and some of his colleagues' work. I honestly feel like he's followed a methodology with the mindset of a historian/trained-investigative hypnotist. But of course whether his inevitable biases led him to subtly do his own major filtering is up for argument. So far, I don't think we should read too far into someone just sounding confident (not arrogant) into what they've come across. He's also respectful of his colleagues, even though he disagrees with some of them.

    I don't think he's necessarily incurious about other phenomena either. My caveat about his regular-human-being biases notwithstanding, by applying a method he found consistent patterns, and by sheer repetition and confirmation of the data he's come to research conclusions that don't point to those other human experiences necessarily (though he accepts telepathy, because that's what been confirmed in his research). And the methodology of some of the other hypnosis therapists have made him very skeptical of their findings and conclusions.

    Btw, I'm a psi and survival proponent convinced (well... in the high 90's%) that "we live in a spiritual universe". :)
     
  13. Robert Perry

    Robert Perry Member

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    I liked Jacobs. I was not previously familiar with his work, but I was left with a desire to read one of his books. I know he's getting some criticism here for thinking that his investigative methods are uniquely suited to the task, but for someone like me who is extremely wary of hypnotic regression, all of his specific safeguards raised his credibility level for me. He was all about forensically isolating what is really going on, and then distinguishing it from things that appear the same but are really not (e.g., DMT aliens). His "but it's not happening" speech, with its long roll call of physical evidence, was exactly the sort of thing I wanted to hear. I only wished he could have attached witness affidavits to each of those items.

    Personally, I found him far more credible than Mary Rodwell. He seemed all about discerning the real facts from mere appearance, while Rodwell, on the other hand, was all about affirming the inviolability of each person's experience. So while she raised an immediate series of red flags for me, Jacobs gained a lot of (provisional) trust from me. I'm looking forward to the second installment with him.
     
  14. Trancestate

    Trancestate Member

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    During his preamble to the interview, Alex described David Jacobs as controversial in the UFO field for his belief in alien abduction. He then went on to say:
    I respect Alex for touching on this issue, however lightly, and I don't hold it against him for not pursuing it in the interview. To have done so would have been incompatible with the purpose of the interview, which was, loosely speaking, to explore Jacobs' research of the alien abduction phenomenon. Besides, I doubt Jacobs would consent to an interview about his former client, the pseudonymous Emma Woods, and her very credible (IMO) claims of serious moral and ethical violations on his part while she was one of his research subjects.

    In his books, lectures and interviews, Jacobs steadfastly maintains that he steers clear of asking leading questions of his clients. He's also ever on guard for spotting confabulations and promptly dismissing them. He comes across as a responsible professional dedicated to uncovering the truth. In Alex's interview he said, "What you’re looking for is 'Just the facts, ma’am,' as they used to say on the Dragnet TV show."

    Well, after researching the Emma Woods case, I have to say that I don't find Jacobs to be credible at all. I feel so strongly about this that I wouldn't believe him if he told me what time it was. And if his hypnotic regression sessions with Emma Woods are in the slightest way representative of those he conducted with his other long-term clients (something I believe is likely), I think his work in the alien abduction field is tainted to the point of being useless for any serious study of the phenomenon.

    The thing is, Emma Woods recorded her sessions with Jacobs, and the clips she released on her website are absolutely damning to Jacobs' claims of professionalism, containing as they do evidence of flagrant abuse of the hypnotic regression protocol. If Jacobs were a licensed hypnotherapist or a psychologist, he could well have lost his license over what he did to this woman while she was under his treatment.

    Now, I admit to having a low threshold on my personal BS meter, especially when it comes to topics involving hypnotic regression. I accept that I'm in the minority of psi proponents who cast a doubting eye on authors who use regression in their research, and I try not to make too much noise about it. But I can't for the life of me understand how anyone could take David Jacobs' work seriously after reading Emma Woods' account of her sessions with Jacobs, and listening to her devastating audio clips.

    Her website is http://www.ufoalienabductee.com , but it seems to be missing the text files that provide the necessary background to her story. At the moment, all that appears is an index, along with the audio and some other files that are linked to in the text. Fortunately, the WayBack Machine has archived her site numerous times, so the site is still largely accessible.

    If you haven't already been to Emma Woods' site, it's probably best to start with her "Introduction" page:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20120227171527/http://www.ufoalienabductee.com/introduction.html

    It's several pages long, but it's a pretty quick read, and it provides a lot of interesting background material about Woods' anomalous experiences. For all I know, she might really have been abducted, given the nature of her experiences. However, I'm more inclined to believe in a psi-related origin, whatever it might be.

    (continued below)
     
  15. Trancestate

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    On the page titled, "My Hypnosis Sessions with Dr. David Jacobs", Woods gets to the heart of the abuse she suffered while under his treatment:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20120227...pnosis/information-hypnosis-david-jacobs.html

    The whole page is worth reading, but here are a few relevant excerpts, along with links to the clips in question:

    On her page titled "Conversations with Dr. David Jacobs", Woods describes the events that took place after parting with Jacobs and publishing her own website, She also lists eight phone conversations with Jacobs. Sadly, it seems only the eighth conversation is still available. But it's worth a listen, as it contains a number of implied threats made by Jacobs, in the event Woods were to go public with too many details of her and Jacobs' professional relationship:

    http://web.archive.org/web/20120227...ienabductee.com/david-jacobs-audio-clips.html

    Here's a link to the eighth clip:
    Audio-Clip 8: • Dr. David Jacobs and Emma Woods - Early June 2007
    (The conversation starts at about the six minute mark.)

    No matter how David Jacobs and his supporters in the field try to spin the Emma Woods case, the audio clips listed above amply demonstrate, at least to me, that he's not the responsible, dispassionate "just the facts ma'am" researcher he makes himself out to be. I think the field of abduction research deserves better.

    Doug
     
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  16. Trancestate

    Trancestate Member

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    After learning the details of the Emma Woods case, Jeremy Vaeni of Paratopia wrote an explosive expose about it in UFO Magazine:

    Aliens vs. Predator: The Incredible Visitations at Emma Woods
    (It starts on page 34.)

    Carol Rainey, ex-wife of the late Bud Hopkins, read the article, and felt compelled to share her inside knowledge of Hopkins' work. If I recall correctly, she had originally planned to disclose the unsavory details at a much later date, but the vicious attacks on Emma Woods by Jacobs, Hopkins and their followers forced her to come forward in support of Woods. The article is a classic, and Rainey deserves much praise for her courage in speaking out:

    The Priests of High Strangeness - The Co-Creation of the "Alien Abduction Phenomenon"

    Incidentally, Carol Rainey has posted a comment to Alex's Skeptiko page, beneath the transcript. She wrote:

    Edited to change the link for the "Alien vs Predator" article. The text was too small in the Scribd version. The PDF version is much more readable.

    Doug
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  17. Tyler

    Tyler New

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    I found it quite the way most people work. Linearity of interest. I am never amazed anymore how the intellectual set is so extremely confined as to their knowledge.

    If you have a broad, well exhibited understanding of a sundry of topics you're either considered an egotist, a liar or a Google-happy arseclown. Or all three.

    Hint: Don't go to an extremities orthopedist with a back problem.
     
  18. Ian Gordon

    Ian Gordon Ninshub Member

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    Thanks for all of your info, Doug. :) I will look into it.

    However, I personally still want to be careful about making hasty conclusions through one person's report. I'm saying this without having gone through the material you posted yet!, but I think it's fair to say many abductees have been heavily traumatized and what may sometimes result from that I don't know. Maybe it's spin, but in his defense, there's this bit on David Jacobs' site:
    http://www.ufoabduction.com/defamationcampaign.htm
     
  19. Robert Perry

    Robert Perry Member

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    Doug, I too want to say thank you for what you posted. The Carol Rainey piece was especially revealing.
     
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  20. KeithA

    KeithA New

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    I know everyone's talking about specifics and this may be a no-brainer but how about this "proof" that interactions between humans and alien intelligences occur. Be interesting to see what people think.

    1. From UFO (UAP) reports as detailed in say, Leslie Kean's book an alien technology is operating around/on Earth.
    2. Any alien intelligence will be either millions of years older or younger than us due to the age differences of stars (assuming they are from our physical universe as a default).
    3. From 1 they are older and also technologically.
    4. To assume they have "just arrived" pre-selects our present "intelligence epoch" (say the last 150 years when we’ve had electrical/nuclear technology) as special which is unjustified.
    5. To be here, over at least a minimum of several centuries (but realistically at minimum thousands of years from 1 and 2) implies some kind of program - which could be many!
    6. To utterly ignore the most intelligent species on Earth over, say millennia, is untenable.
    7. Close interactions between aliens and humans occur and because of the technology mismatch only under their control.
    8. If 7 Is correct one can suggest that any interactions cannot but be for biological or related reasons as the mismatch in intelligence precludes other reasons (but I don’t rule out, in some form, educational).

    I think 1, 2, 3 and 4 cannot be refuted if one is truly open to the data. But together they imply 5 and 6 from which 7 follows. 8 is speculative as we have to guess what they are up to.

    To add some meat to this is a paper from two clever fellows that solves the distance problem to do with spreading of alien intelligences over vast distances.

    Eternity in six hours: intergalactic spreading of intelligent life and sharpening the Fermi paradox

    http://www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/intergalactic-spreading.pdf
     
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