Keith Basterfield here.
I have long advocated for the detailed analysis of accounts given to us by abductees/contactees/experiencers (I will use the term experiencer from here on), in order to gain the maximum amount of details from these intriguing accounts.
I thought it might be useful to share with you, the methodology I have been using.
This is setting the scene. I explain my proposed methodology for a series of interviews. I then ask the experiencer to tell me their story in any way they wish. I record and make notes. Quite often their story will "tumble out" in no particular order. This is fine at this point. I ask any questions as they come to me, but do not like to interfere with the flow of their narrative.
After the initial interview
Once alone, I go through my recordings and notes and try and re-arrange their narrative in chronological order. I find this especially useful if there are numerous events which have occurred over their lifetime. I like to get a feel for the flow of these events. I take a note of any questions which come to mind, to ask at the second interview.
I like to divide this into several parts. Firstly, I ask any questions of clarification of the narrative from the first interview. Then I ask their permission to take a family history; a medical history; ask questions about their sleep/dream patterns; and finish by asking about any other paranormal experiences which might have happened over the years.
After the second interview
I review all of the data gathered so far, and look to draw up a chronological history of their life which integrates the dates of UFO events with important dates from their family and medical history. I note again any questions of clarification I need to follow up on.
I ask any questions I have thought about since interview two. Then I answer any questions which they may have about what we have spoken of up to that point. If they wish to, I discuss with them my thoughts I have as to any non-UFO interpretation of the information which they have supplied. Finally, I seek their permission to publish a case study from our discussions (I get them to proof a copy of the case study for factual errors) in the UFO literature.
Date and place of birth?
Where have they lived during their lifetime?
Has anyone else in their family experienced any UFO or paranormal events?
Is their anyone else in the family who might have knowledge of their occurrences?
If so, may I have permission to speak with them?
Any other points of general life history?
Any major illnesses?
Any major accidents?
Any disabilities/long standing medical conditions?
Any hereditary familial conditions?
Any history of migraines -Auras -prodromes. If so, frequency, type etc?
Are they on any medications at the moment. If so, what?
Were they on any medications at the time of any UFO/paranormal experiences?
How well do they sleep?
Have they ever suffered from insomnia -if so frequency, symptoms etc?
Have they ever woken paralysed during the night? If so, frequency, get a narrative
Have they ever walked in their sleep? At what age. Get examples.
Have they ever been told they talk in their sleep. If yes, frequency, content of speech
Have they ever experiences anything odd on the boundary between being awake and being asleep? If so, describe
Do they recall their dreams at all/a little/a lot? Any UFO related dreams?
Do they dream in colour, or black and white/mixture?
In their dreams do they have besides a sense of vision, a sense of taste, touch, smell, sound?
When dreaming do they ever become aware that they are dreaming? If so what happens once they become aware?
Have they even taken sleeping pills? If yes get a narrative of use
Altered states of consciousness
Have they ever had an experience where they believed their mind was separated from their body e.g. out of body experience or near death experience? If so, get a narrative
Have they ever had the sensation that they have had a period of 'missing time' for which they cannot account? If so get a narrative.
Have they ever had an occasion where they 'felt' they were not human? If so get a narrative
Do they ever 'see' music or 'hear' colours? If yes, get a narrative.
In reviewing the answers to all of the above questions, I am looking at the relevance, if any, of the following areas:
Migraine prodromes and auras
In my view, a portion of the reported UFO experiencer narratives can be accounted for in the above medical/psychological areas.
My logic in doing so, is that if you can eliminate the above as cause(s) of the experiencers' accounts, then you can refine the data about accounts which cannot be so eliminated. You get left with better information about the "true" or "core" UFO experiencer phenomenon.
I hope this may assist other researchers in this area.
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