A New Yorker piece in the January 25th, 2010 issue by Daniel Mendelsohn about literary memoirs [Page 68 ff.] should be essential reading for those who think that the Roswell witnesses provide proof of an alien space craft crash near their town in 1947.
Discounting Freud’s remarks about the mendacity of memoirs, Mendelsohn provides this about memory (and the recounting of past events):
“…[people] always manage to turn…memories into good stories – even if those stories aren’t quite true. Anyone who writes a memoir doesn’t need psychology experiments to tell him that memories can be partial, or self-serving, or faulty.”
Mendelsohn goes on to relate instances where events he was privy to were added to and re-constructed by others who inserted themselves into the events, believing that they were actually involved. (Not quite Freud’s mendacity but just as errant when it comes to truth.)
Many Roswell “witnesses” have been caught lying outright about their participation in the 1947 incident. Others, now old and subject to natural mental diminution and senility or dementia, have created scenarios in which they are an integral part.
UFO tyro Joseph Capp [UFO Media matters] is a Roswell witness crusader who extols witness accounts as if they were handed down by the hand of God, ignoring the reams of material by psychologists, law enforcement, and neurologists that indicate witness accounts are some of the most flawed elements in event reconstruction.
All people, and especially older people, are also flummoxed by the Smiley Blanton Syndrome, which is where separate events are amalgamated into one event, with elements and remembrances intertwined in such a way as to create a new “reality.”
In Roswell, something happened that was strange, even convoluted, exacerbated by a few persons, Mac Brazel, Walter Haut, and Jesse Marcel Sr., who were almost hysterical during the 1947 period, followed by a gaggle of UFO investigators who were just (and many still are) as hysterical many years afterwards.
We think several things happened near Roswell in July 1947: a missile launch that went astray perhaps, a Mogul experiment that ended up in the mix, a (possible) flying disk accident, and/or a “secret” military event that was brief but significant.
Any two of those possibilities would provide gist for the Smiley Blanton Syndrome, and evoke faulty memories years later by those who were involved or at the edge of any of the events.
In the rush to augment or prove their extraterrestrial inclinations, many UFO researchers, all with limited qualifications to be called “researcher” on the face of it, have tried to use witness testimony to bolster their ET predilections.
But as many true experts on memory and witness testimony, such as Daniel Mendelsohn, “prove” with actual scientific data and experiments that people deliberately or by natural mental deficiencies mis-remember past events, ufologists and wannabes (such as Capp, Rudiak, Randle, et al.) continue to proffer Roswell witness testimony as proof positive that something foreign to this Earth crashed in the New Mexico desert in 1947.
And those ufologists wonder why they are scoffed at or seen as loonies. They are in a state of denial far worse than that of the witnesses they exploit.
It’s beyond sad; it’s insane…..