Thursday, October 2, 2014

#1168: R. Leo Sprinkle


R. Leo Sprinkle is a psychologist, and was once a professor at the University of Wyoming. In the 1960s, however, he became involved in the field of supposed alien abduction. Of course, that is a field that should be of interest to a psychologist, but probably not in the way Sprinkle studied it. To make a long story short, his magnum opus, his book Soul Samples: Personal Exploration in Reincarnation and UFO Experiences from 1999 was not published by an academic publisher. Coast to Coast AM, on the other hand, has been very interested in his “research”.

To get a feel for where Sprinkle is coming from, there is an interview here. Given the questionable level of coherence it is hard to get a good grasp of what Sprinkle’s views actually are, but at least he tends “to think the Star Visitors are engaged in some type of educational program for helping us to evolve inwardly or spiritually.” He also thinks that “The Star Visitors are on a different plane.” That is his explanation for why many people claim to see UFOs when no one else in their immediate surroundings see anything – the witnesses are located at a higher plane of consciousness. That is not, shall we say, the explanation that cold science would assign the highest credence in such cases. (The experiences also have symbolic meaning and help the experiencer predict the future, it seems, which suggests that Sprinkle struggles with avoiding some basic category mistakes.) The contactees also develop psychic abilities: “Many people who have had UFO experiences have been able to visualize weather changes and have them occur very quickly. They can create rain merely by visualizing the rain.”

Sprinkle also worked closely with well-known alien abductee Stan Romanek, whom he hypnotized to retrieve lost memories of the latter’s supposed abductions, which is not a very reliable method for investigating these kinds of things, to put it very, very mildly.

Diagnosis: Ultracrackpot. The lesson is that if your investigations point to conclusions that violate everything established by other scientists, that is not evidence that you just possess more powerful faculties of perception or intuition and that you are some kind of prophet. It means that you are a crank.

4 comments:

  1. Excellent work people. This is TRUE* Diagnosis: Ultracrackpot. The lesson is that if your investigations point to conclusions that violate everything established by other scientists, that is not evidence that you just possess more powerful faculties of perception or intuition and that you are some kind of prophet. It means that you are a crank.

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  2. I'm a fan of this blog, and I feel I need to say a little something on Dr. Sprinkle's behalf. I knew his kids and went to school with them, and met Leo several times over the years. He was always kind, a good listener and a good speaker. Judging by how his kids turned out, I'd say he was a good father too.
    Yes he has some very odd beliefs, but compared to many of those profiled here, he is pretty harmless. I will continue to remember him fondly.

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    1. Dear EastwoodDC, and Readers,

      I've known Leo for over forty years; I've visited in his home, had lunch with him, and exchanged scholarly papers with him. I can tell you that Leo is a consummate scientist, with his papers and talks being highly regarded for many years. He was one of the scientists that appeared before the U.S. Congress in 1968, advocating serious study of the UFO phenomenon; he was a member of the Air Force funded Condon Committee studying UFOs, a member who decried the method and apparent preconceived conclusions of the committee, a well deserved criticism according to many who analyzed the report.

      Leo's conclusions deserve serious attention, because his experience and knowledge, together with his keen analytical ability and use of scientific methodology (very difficult to apply when investigating this subject) are matched by few researchers in this field.

      Let me ask: how many readers at this site have actually done research on UFOs with an open mind? Do you know that Dr. Steven Grier gathered together over 400 experts: high ranking military officers, members of the intelligence community, airport flight controllers, and others, all who'd signed security agreements to remain silent about what they'd seen regarding UFOs in their work; yet they came forward in a press conference in 2001, breaking their security agreements, risking imprisonment, because they believed that what they knew about UFOs was too important to remain silent about, asking Congress to hear their reports and take action.

      It's easy to sit in judgement of something you have no real knowledge about (as done here); not so easy when you take the time to actually study it. So, here's your chance to learn about the UFO phenomenon from reliable sources, if your minds are open, that is:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkswXVmG4xM

      You'll never gain the lifetime of knowledge and experience that Leo has, but after serious study of this ongoing, worldwide phenomenon you may decide to give him new respect, as you learn more about what may be the most important subject of our times. You may also learn something about yourselves in the process.

      Respectfully,
      RJC

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  3. Saying he is harmless is accurate. There are WAY worse people out there. Take Scam Romanek as an example.

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