The Roswell UFO Incident: An Introduction
Why is Roswell, New Mexico Famous Among UFO Enthusiasts?
In 1947 an object from the sky crashed into Roswell, NM farmland. Some witnesses allege that the crash involved a flying saucer and its extraterrestrial passengers. At the time, the US government maintained that the crash involved a weather balloon, not an alien craft.
What does the evidence suggest? This article provides an introduction to the farmtown incident that's sparked worldwide intrigue.
Roswell UFO Crash - Radio Report, 1947
The Roswell UFO Incident Begins
In June of 1947 a Roswell rancher named Mac Brazel found strange debris while tending land north of town. Shortly thereafter he heard stories of "flying discs" being seen nearby. He made the connection and notified police officers of his find.
Two intelligence officers from Roswell Army Air Field then investigated Brazel's land. After they submitted their report, their commanding officer had the entire farm cordoned off! Soldiers removed the unidentified materials and sent them to Army headquarters in Fort Worth.
On July 8th the Roswell Army Air Field's public information officer Walter Haut issued a press release stating that Army personnel had recovered a crashed "flying disk." However, this report was contradicted the following day. Commanding General Roger M. Ramey announced to media that the crashed object was simply a weather balloon.
After Ramey's report, the Roswell incident lost its news appeal for several decades. It was ignored even by most UFO researchers until a key interview was made public in the 1970s.
The Groundbreaking Roswell Interview
In a statement to media in 1947, US Army Commanding General Roger M. Ramey dismissed the crashed vessel in Roswell as a radar-detecting weather balloon. Thirty years later, Major Jesse Marcel called his bluff.
In 1978 Major Jesse Marcel was interviewed by Stanton Friedman, a ufologist. (Yes, that's a word.) Marcel had helped recover the debris in 1947. In the Friedman interview, Marcel expressed his belief that the military was covering up an alien spacecraft.
Marcel's interview spread quickly among UFO enthusiasts and reached The National Enquirer by 1980. The Enquirer article, which included a second interview with Marcel, brought Roswell, NM into the national spotlight again.
The Air Force Investigation
Following the publication of Marcel's interview, other witnesses came forward. Some alleged earlier witness intimidation. Some claimed that the military was engaged in a more widespread operation to recover alien crafts. In 1989 a former mortician named Glenn Dennis claimed to have taken part in alien autopsies at Area 51, a military base in Nevada.
These claims prompted Congressional inquiries and an internal investigation by the Air Force. The investigators released two reports. Links to these reports are provided below.
- The first report was released in 1995. It concludes that the recovered material was likely from Project Mogul, a secret government program involving high altitude balloons. According to the report, these balloons were meant to detect sound waves generated by Soviet bomb tests and missiles.
- The second report was released in 1997. It attempts to dispel stories about recovered alien bodies. The report attributes these stories to hoaxes, faulty memories and confusion.
By the time the Roswell reports were released, most Americans had already made up their minds: Extraterrestrial beings crashed near Roswell, the Army recovered their craft and bodies, and there's a massive government cover-up.
What do you think? Here's a video about the Roswell crash and some links to help you start learning more about the incident.
Roswell, New Mexico Discussed on CNN
Useful Roswell Links
- 1997 General Accounting Office report on Roswell, NM crash
- 1995 General Accounting Office report on Roswell, NM crash
- Journal of Scientific Exploration
In this journal article, a psychologist examines interpretations of a document held by General Ramey. An interesting read!
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