Medical Evidence Hints at Amnesia In West Mystery
Neurologist Thinks Hysterical Variety of Memory Loss Most Likely Key to Disappearance
"Amnesia and not escapism probably is the answer to the West case," theorized William G. Lennox, assistant professor of Neurology, in his psychological analysis of the medical evidence associated with the disappearance of Thomas H. West '50. Police of eight states, augmented by private investigators, have been unable to uncover the Freshman, vanished completely for ten days.
Convinced that West was "adjusted" to his College environment and "a reliable personality," Lennox admitted that the absence of brain-wave tests renders any conclusion uncertain. But he saw as sound indications of amnesia the three serious concussions suffered by West, and the testimony of his roommates that he collapsed the morning of the Friday he dropped from sight.
Data Backs Theory
Two distinct kinds of amnesia, epileptic or hysterical, could harmonize with the data, according to Dr. Lennox. The duration of West's absence, however, points to the hysterical variety, he observed, which commonly lasts for over a week.
More unlikely, but still admissable, is epileptic amnesia. Seizures of this variety, declared Lennox, are more severe, but manifest themselves for only a few hours. It is much easier to recognize, because the patient is badly coordinated as if heavily intoxicated.
"A man clutched by epileptic amnesia," Lennox added, might well get into an accident. But if that happened to West, he would recover consciousness in full possession of his faculties, and the hospital would report his presence."