UFO Conjectures

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Roswell mindset(s) – mentalités – for 1947 and 1978 to today

Copyright 2017, InterAmerica, Inc.

Tom Livesey, over at Kevin Randle’s blog, left this comment, not about Roswell but about the new MJ-12 “papers” (that have emerged for ufological debate):

“On my understanding fiction or literature is a medium in which truth is revealed through the writing of what is *not* true (i.e. the events in a Jane Austen novel are strictly speaking untrue events that nonetheless disclose truth about what they relate, human relationships etc). Perhaps if we apply literary interpretation to these documents, we will find "disclosure" after all, but in a literary sense rather than a literal reveal.”

That is a shallow but intelligent synopsis of the views by French polymath, Jacques Derrida, mentioned here a few days ago. Derrida insists that fiction is the harbinger of truth.

A new review by Colin Jones in The New York Review of Books [June 22, 2017, Page 38 ff.] about the French “Terror” [1793-1794 and 1789], Did Emotions Cause the Terror?, in the Timothy Tackett book, The Coming of the Terror in the French Revolution [Belknap Press/Harvard] alludes to how certain fictional works and art contributed to the revolutionary moments by establishing an emotional mindset in the people, particularly the bourgeois, and the culture as a whole.

Now, after that protracted sentence I won’t bore you further except to say that the idea is that popular fictional works and the cultural milieu of an era can cause things to happen and history is saturated with examples, in the review’s instance, the literature of Richardson and Rousseau and the art of Louis David enabling the mentalité of the population.

Mentalité has a specific meaning that is relevant to my point but irrelevant to readers of this blog because the word “mindset” will suffice for meaning, and is adduced in the NYRB review as a usable substitute for mentalité.

(While there was no Roswell Robespierre, some could make the case for Stanton Friedman as a like-personality in the 1978 Roswell aftermath.)

The gist of Tackett’s book is that the emotional aspects of a population bring about the happenings that history records, and the emotional aspects come from what is currently in vogue literarily.

(There is an argument that emotions from one period will remain the same for a later period with a counter that emotions, like literature, change over time. I won’t go into the esoteric underpinnings of that debate, here, but I lean to the latter, as you’ll see.)

In 1947, UFO researchers would do well to see what books, what literature (fiction and non-fiction alike – I think non-fiction is as valid for the argument) and movies were prevalent, popular for the New Mexico population around Roswell; that is, what affected the mindset of the people in the time-frame?

Then researchers should look at what literature, movies, (maybe art), and TV broadcasts were prominent in 1978 and subsequent years.

We know that books about Roswell affected the later mindset of Roswellians, just as it has UFO buffs, but it would be interesting to determine what cultural artifacts, and especially fictional literature, were heavily laden upon the emotional make-up of Roswell’s citizenry.

The 1947 period intrigues me more than the 1978 period and years afterward because it is devoid  of the influence of the Roswell UFO book abundance, TV shows and movies.

1947 is more fecund for determining how the people of Roswell (and environs) felt emotionally without the biases of the UFO influx.

(UFO investigators and paranormalist quacks destroyed the Roswell crime-scene, as it were, after 1978. They were not around in 1947, so the purity of the “forensics” remains intact if anyone has the intellectual fortitude to look at and for the uncorrupted mindset: the mentalité of the people.)

An academic, professional assault on the emotional patina of Roswell in 1947 would do much to determine what caused the flying disc hubbub – aside from the Haut press release – and its almost immediate dissolution, its repression until 1978.

For the Derridain approach to literature (fiction) as truth see my earlier post here or Google Jacques Derrida.

For an erudite example of what brought about my thoughts here, go to the NYRB web-site and find/read the Jones review.

RR

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