UFO Conjectures

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Evolution of Madness in Roswell’s Populace, 1947-2017

Copyright 2017, InterAmerica, Inc.

No one doubts, not even skeptics of the Roswell incident, that something out of the ordinary happened near Roswell, New Mexico in the summer (June/July) of 1947.
I’m not going to discuss the alleged Roswell flying disc crash, but the metamorphosis of the odd media accounts of a flying disc capture that died out soon after the media stories appeared only to rear itself in 1978 when the forgotten “events” of 1947 were exhumed by ufologists, among them Stanton Friedman, a UFO advocate of daring and desire.

One of the Roswell sticking points, for me, arises from the “fact” that if something as extraordinary as the later-on stories made it – military deployment of an extensive kind and a general societal hubbub – no one noted the activity in their personal diaries, which were popular in usage in the time-frame nor did anyone take a Brownie photo of the unusual activity, noted by after 1948 “witnesses.”

Brownie cameras and photos from them are still extant for the period. Citizens were anxious to document their routine daily activities and always quick to snap photos of extraordinary daily life.

Even photos of mundane life, as early as 1870 – Jewish activity in Jerusalem [in the March/April 2017 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Page 13] – shows the desire of people to document their daily activity.
But not one photo has surfaced for the period of the so-called Roswell incident in 1947, and UFO researchers have looked for some, Kevin Randle informed me.

So, either nothing of significance, even remotely so, took place in June/July 1947 Roswell, or the population was too hysterical to take photos.

For me, Roswell’s 1947 “minor incident” planted the seed of hysteria that was nurtured by Berlitz, Moore, Friedman, (even my friend Kevin Randle and his cohort Don Schmitt), et al.

The seed sprouted in 1978, with the Stanton Friedman colloquy with Jesse Marcel and exacerbated by The Berlitz/Moore 1980 book pictured here:
Other books followed in the wake of the interest spurred by the Friedman and Berlitz efforts and this is where the madness began all out.

The madness is a kind of hysteria, which is defined by Wikipedia thusly:


Many of you are familiar with the madness (hysteria) that engulfed Salem, Massachusetts in the 1600s:


“The episode is one of the Colonial America's most notorious cases of mass hysteria. It has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism, religious extremism, false accusations, and lapses in due process. It was not unique ...”
And a few of you might know about the madness (hysteria) that took control of a nunnery in France also in the 1600s:


“Adding to the hysteria prompted by the public exorcisms were the stories told by both nuns and Father Grandier's former lovers.”

Then there was the economic craziness of the 1637 tulip frenzy popularized in 1841 by the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of  Crowds, written by British journalist Charles Mackay.

Hysteria comes in spurts and quickly dissipates or goes on for a period of time as outlined in the Psychiatric Dictionary [Fourth Edition] by Hinsie/Campbell, Page 366 ff.

The raft of witnesses and confabulators outed by Kevin Randle and others shows not a deviance of ethics but a deviance of psychopathology, one where people adopted an hysterical (mad) fiction and came to believe it or exploit it, for various reasons, some egomaniacal, others from self-delusion, and a few beset by sociopathology: a lack of a moral or ethical compass.

Yet, the madness of the 1978 period continues apace in Roswell, with its Roswell Museum and ongoing conventions and other Roswellian activities based in the 1947 minor-event.

That one locale is beset by such madness is adduced by the Loudun and Salem examples.

Let’s not excoriate ufologists who brought forth the hysterical/madness – they didn’t know better -- but we can offer opprobrium to those ufologists still flogging Roswell and the citizens of Roswell who continue to bathe in their town’s persistent madness.

RR

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