The Invisible Collage [sic]
While struggling through Jacques Barzun’s chapter The Invisible College [Page 191 ff.] in his From Dawn to Decadence (1500 to the Present): 500 Years of Western Cultural Life [HarperCollins, NY, 2000], which was a discursive, anecdotal account of 16th and 17th Century scientists and thinkers, with only a brief mention of the first Invisible College that became London’s Royal Society, I realized that the team of Roswell investigators responsible for the Kodachrome slides imbroglio were a kind of “invisible college” or, as I see it, an invisible collage of persons seeking to find out what the meaning and import is of a few Kodak slides showing the odd image of a humanoid-like being.
The college or collage of persons have the earmarks of a group regimented to pursue, research-like, what they found in their ongoing pursuit of the Roswell mythos.
In the interregnum between the discovery of the slides and an explanatory event scheduled for May 5th of 2015, this collage of individuals has accrued a raft of informal members who also want to be part of the anticipated extraterrestrial presence the collage sees in the body photographed allegedly in 1947, and thought by them to be proof of the alleged Roswell flying disk crash with recovered alien bodies.
These extra members of the collage are made up of non-believers (skeptics) and die-hard believers in the Roswell mythos.
The collage has become a maelstrom of argumentative individuals, not unlike those in the first “invisible colleges” but very much unlike those in Jacques Vallee’s invisible college or the academics I find habituating our private UFO web-site.
The discordant collage members are often barbaric in their responses to the collage’s initial members and each other; that is, they tear and rend statements and opinions by everyone who presumes to get immersed in the slides debate.
Barzun, in his book, allows for such barbarism by true intellectuals, as that often foments advancement in science and thought, whereas in the collage setting such barbarism foments a nasty, vile, toxic atmosphere that has killed, in the past, and is doing so again, as to what UFOs are or what really happened in Roswell in 1947.
For me, the slides are a novelty, with attendant elements that intrigue.
The fervid disputes also bring to mind the rabid disputes within psychiatry and psychology during the psychoanalytic heyday, or the fevered accounts between Fred Hoyle and The Big Bang theorists.
But the slides brouhaha is nastier because it houses persons who lack dignity and intellectual decorum, on both sides of the argumentative equation.
But as one renown French skeptic has it, “That’s Ufology!”