UFO Conjectures

Friday, May 26, 2017

Roswell: An [ongoing] autochthonous delusion

Copyright 2017, InterAmerica, Inc.
This “definition” in Psychiatric Dictionary [Fourth Edition, Leland Hinsie/Robert J. Campbell, Oxford University Press, 1970, Page 191] strikes me as a psychiatric explanation for the Roswell incident and its ongoing aftermath:

“Autochthonous delusion. Primary delusion, i.e. one that arises as an immediate experience, out of the blue, with no external or objective cause or explanation, but nonetheless with a strong feeling of conviction … autochthonous delusions are disturbances of symbolic meaning: because the legs of a chair are twisted, the world is twisted.”

The term delusion is derived from “delude”, a Latin word that implies mocking, defrauding or cheating. Delusion has been long considered to be a basic characteristic of madness and to be mad was considered to be deluded. [The Odisha Journal of Psychiatry-2016, Delusion: Critical Evaluation, Issue and Updates by Sai Krishna Tikka; Tathagata Mahintamani; Daya Ram; Bikramaditya Jaiswal]

When we consider various dimensions of delusions, culture has the highest influence on the content of delusions. Content of delusions are considered to be selected in accordance with the preferred channels of relatedness in a particular culture. [Ibid, 74]

[Yet] suffice it to say that certain beliefs are often recognized as delusions without our needing to ascertain their cultural prevalence. [Delusions, Certainty, and the Background, John Rhodes and Richard G. T. Gipps, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009]

Kleist (1928) considered revelationary psychoses under the heading of a marginal psychosis, in which autochthonous delusional ideas intrude into consciousness and are attributed by the patient directly to God, angels, or what Kleist termed the ‘¿ Weltge(iswt'orld spirit). [John Johnson, FRCPsych, University Hospital of South Manchester, October 1993]

These cited sources (above) tell us that the ambient environment of 1947 – flying saucers being seen and reported by news media – supported by the (in)famous Haut Press Release stating that the military had “captured” a flying disc – created a world view (Weltanschauung) that persons in Roswell took to be real but suppressed (or better, repressed) early on, only to resurface in a cathexis around 1978, when the Roswell “event” came to be grist for ufologists, and those having suppressed their psychic attachment to the “flying disc” idea of 1947 allowing a delusion to develop that has exploded in the UFO community.

Skeptical UFO buffs say that the Roswell tale and its ongoing canon is a myth and they are somewhat correct, somewhat.

Autochthonous delusions create myths, and have from time immemorial, when humans came to expand on an event, making it, by extrapolation and accretions, something more than it was originally.

So, the Roswell incident can be called a myth (or mythos) but that’s scaling the fish to clean away the underlying psychiatric core that created and continues to maintain the Roswell story.

Ufologists, aside from French skeptic Gilles Fernandez, do not like to contend with psychological explanations for many reasons: obscurity of psychiatric terminologies, the old consensus that psychology, and especially psychiatry, are not bona fide science, and the inherent laziness of ufologists to seek answers outside the easy to imagine ETH (extraterrestrial hypothesis).

But, no matter what happened in Roswell during June/July 1947 – and something odd did happen – ufologists will have to consider the idea that the crux of the ongoing interest and initial thrusts (in 1947 and 1978) are rooted in delusion, autochthonous delusion.

No other “explanation” fits the bill like the psychiatric one, none.

RR

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