UFO Conjectures

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Psychopathology of Roswell?

While reading Kevin Randle’s new Roswell opus, I was surprised to see just how many Roswell “witnesses” told lies to Mr. Randle and other investigators.

Just one Appendix of Kevin’s book, The Plains of San Agustin Controversy [Page 255 ff.], is replete with a coterie of liars: persons who can be listed as psychopaths, or in the newer psychiatric terminologies, a sociopath.

The names of persons who were “habitual, and chronic liars” (to use a line spoken by the great actor Charles Laughton in the movie Witness for the Prosecution, based on the Agatha Christie play): Barney Barnett, Gerald Anderson, and maybe not a psychopath but an enabler of them, ufological icon Stan Friedman.

The psychological/psychiatric designation(s), psychopath or sociopath, can be found on the internet, but I’m using these sources here:

Psychopathy: Theory and Research by Robert D. Hare [John Wiley & Sons, NY,

Psychopaths by Alan Harrington [Simon and Schuster, NY, 1972]

Borderline Personality Disorders: The Concept, the Syndrome, the Patient, edited by Peter Hartocollis, M.D., Ph.D. [International Universities Press, Inc. NY, 1977]

“He [the psychopath] may lie glibly and show little if any embarrassment when caught out.” [Psychopaths, ibid, Page 15]

“[The psychopath’s] attempts to extricate himself often produce an intricate and contradictory web of blatant lies, coupled with theatrical and often convincing explanations and promises.” [Psychopathy, ibid, Page 6]

“ … some of these individuals have admixtures of sociopathic and schizophrenic symptoms …” [Borderline, ibid, Page 267]

Although Mr. Randle presents the florid fabrications of the people noted above, his book is rife with the slew of other Roswell cast members who developed, as I see it, a kind of psychopathology mostly after the publication of the books about Roswell in 1978 (The Roswell Incident, Crash at Corona, UFO Crash at Roswell) and TV airings about Roswell (Unsolved Mysteries) and radio shows dealing with the Roswell saga (Hieronimus and Company), all delineated by Mr. Randle in his book.

My question is, however, why so many persons, citizens of the New Mexico area around Roswell, chose to lie, to fabricate stories that were, apparently, far from truth?

Professor Hare, in Psychopathy, cites, on Page 11, a study that showed “Pathological lying” to be slightly greater than lying by the general population – a 9 compared to a 35 for anti-social aggression or a 22 for narcissism; that is, pathological lying was 9 times greater among psychopaths than it was among people, generally, not a stupendous difference.

So, how did Roswell's placid citizenry end up with so many liars (psychopaths) compared to the population as a whole?

UFO buffs, familiar with the Roswell tale, know that the bane of investigators, like Mr. Randle, has been the distortions and outright lies foisted upon them during their interviews to find out what really happened in Roswell in 1947.

Mr. Randle’s book and recent blog posts are an attempt, I think, to right the wrongs that he and others committed by believing, initially, some of the accounts presented when he tried to ferret the Roswell truth.

But can Mr. Randle or others who believed persons, like Barnett or even Marcel Sr. be faulted?

I don’t think so, psychopaths are an ingenious lot:

Hare, in Psychopathy, notes the noted American psychiatrist, Hervey Cleckley’s  evaluation of psychopaths:

“… superficial charm and good intelligence … absence of ‘nervousness’ or neurotic manifestations … insincerity … pathologic egocentricity … unresponsiveness … he [the psychopath] mimics the human personality .. his verbalizations appear normal.” [op.cit, Page 5]

Thus, one can see how UFO researchers, not adept in psychiatric or psychological disorders, could be gulled by persons who employ the psychopathic devices listed above.

So, many, if not all, Roswell “witnesses” found in UFO lore lied, or did they?

Here’s the conundrum: Could the small southwestern community of Chaves County contain such a raft of psychopaths?

The proportion of psychopaths to the general population is absurd, statistically.

To have such a number of liars, all living within close proximity either indicates a unique massive hysteria or psychological mania or some other anomaly, unknown to sociology or psychology.

Or, some of the “liars” were telling the truth.

Read Mr. Randle’s book, and decide for yourselves.