Happy Birthday Rosewell UFO Incident: We Still Love You
What do we love? We love conspiracies.
We love no conspiracies better than those purporting that alien beings not only are observing us from aloft but are regularly invading our airspaces, landing by devilish design in our world’s most remote places, abducting our men and women, and either mean us great harm or great good, depending on the mental disposition of those selling and buying the illusion.
The Rosewell UFO Incident, which began on this very day in 1947, continues to occupy the thoughts of many. It and fiction like it never loses their ability to divert our attention from what many might think of as the grim realities of the day. Why does Rosewell and other similarly debunked conspiracies hold such fascination for people?
With regard to Rosewell, consider its two grand components.
First, it appeals to our spiritual nature. How did we get here? Are we humans the only high-level sentient creatures in all of vast creation? If not conjured by a God, then how possibly could humans have sprung, setting aside the scientific theory, from primordial soup? Seeded by aliens hold a certain amount of appeal, no?
Second, we Americans in particular seem always to have had a problem with authority. Just look to our history: The guns of the American Revolution were still warm and the Articles of Confederation wobbled when Daniel Shays led a large contingent of malcontents to rebel in western Massachusetts against a number of ills of the day, primary among them economic depression. We believe ourselves to be a nation of bootstrapers, a bunch of rugged individualists, whose individual achievements benefit everybody. In short, government only serves to thwart our individual efforts, and in the extreme, conspires to hold us back, perhaps even subjugate us. Thus, more conspiracies involving the federal government than you can shake a stick at. In other words, can you really believe what your government tells you?
As to Rosewell, would you believe it resulted from the crash of a weather balloon launched as part of a secret effort to record sound waves emanating from Soviet nuclear tests? Thought not, but that was it, apparently.
For more on aliens, conspiracies, and things of this ilk, pick up a copy of Arthur Goldwag’s Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, The Illuminati, Skull and Bones, Black Helicopters, The New World Order, and many, many more. Here’s how we reviewed the book some time ago:
Reality is a hard master for some, even for the brightest, and best educated, as Goldwag demonstrates in his most helpful introduction to very and less familiar fantastical beliefs. Some question his three broad classifications; however, they work well, for the most part. In any case, it’s the content that matters and his descriptions of everything noted in the 19th century-style title, and much more, is on the money. In certain instances, he skillfully weaves many related items together into lengthier and revealing histories–revealing in the sense you see how a kernel of truth becomes distorted, spreads, and grows until it is a lush, full field of corn. An example is his treatment of Area 51, Stealth Blimps, Majestic-12, Alien Abductions, and Divine Revelations that encompasses Groom Lake, current colonies on the Moon and Mars, Roswell, Barney and Betty Hill, Carl Jung, Gloria Lee, the Trilateral Commission, and the biggest bugaboo of them all, the omnipresent Illuminati–a 22-page head-spinning web of delusion.
If you shake your head in disbelief and wonder how people can possibly believe the above, or in any of the other cults, conspiracies, and secret goings Goldwag recounts, test yourself. Tune into an episode of a program running on the History Channel titled Ancient Aliens, featuring the thinking of what the announcer intones as Ancient Alien Theorists. You’ll find the show entertaining and seductive, and illustrative of how a fact can be morphed into what might strike you as a plausible alternative to actual historical fact, and scientific theories and conclusions. Particularly fascinating is the episode entitled “Aliens and the Founding Fathers,” wherein you learn of George Washington’s possible encounter with aliens (in addition to the Hessians) at Valley Forge, secret communications in Washington D.C.’s architecture and, indeed, in the layout of the city itself.
Goldwag also provides a useful general introduction, as well as prefaces to each of the book’s three sections that aid you in understanding who are susceptible to the scores of fantasies referenced.
As for Rosewell, when July 8 rolls around, we’ll be sporting our happy alien pins, and looking to the skies in hope our alien forebears will return to reveal the truth. c/w