famous newspaper story (left) and the Roswell base in
At 9:45 PM on July 2, 1947, residents in Roswell,
New Mexico, observed a "big glowing object,"
race out of the Southeast and head northwest.
Witnesses described it as oval shaped "like two inverted saucers
faced mouth to mouth." The a few days later, on July 8th, the
Army Air Base (the Army and Air Force were still a single service
in 1947), located just outside the city of Roswell, issued the
following press release:
Army Air Base, Roswell, N.M. 8th July, 1947, A.M. -
The many, many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality
yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group
of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate
enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation
of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff's office of Chaves
County. The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime
last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the
disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff's
office, who in turn, notified Major Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th
Bomb Group Intelligence Office. Action was immediately taken
and the disc was picked up at the rancher's home. It was inspected
at the Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major
Marcel to higher headquarters.
This statement, released by the base's public
relations officer Walter G. Haut, was picked up by wire services
and appeared in newspapers across the United States and around
the world. Within twenty-four hours, though, General Roger M.
Ramey, commander of the Eight Air Force District, announced
that the earlier report had been in error and the crashed flying
saucer was only a spent weather balloon.
"There's no such gadget [as a flying saucer] known to the Army,"
he stated, "at least not at this level." Ramsey went on to say,
"The whole affair has been most unfortunate, but in light of
the excitement that has been stirred up lately by these so-called
flying discs, it is not surprising."
Despite this announcement rumors the Army had
captured a flying saucer and hid it in a hanger at the Wright-Patterson
AFB has continued ever since. Reports that debris was composed
of "nothing made on this earth" and covered with hieroglyphic-like
writing still circulate. Stories abound that the bodies of a
dozen or so aliens were found in the wreckage. After 50 years
these reports have not been confirmed and the Air Force still
denies that the incident was anything, but a case of mistaken
identity. Still, rumors about the Roswell incident continue
to be repeated, perhaps fueled by the Army's strange inability
to differentiate a standard piece of meteorological equipment
(a weather balloon, weighing about two pounds and composed of
tin foil and balsa wood) from a flying saucer.
The truth may be something more than a weather
balloon and less than a flying saucer. Two researchers, Robert
G. Todd and Karl T. Pflock, have independently theorized that
the debris found at the Mac Brazel ranch was an experimental
flight from a secret project named "Mogul." The Mogul Project
was to develop balloons to be used to monitor Soviet nuclear
detonations via low frequency acoustic microphones. Test flights
for Mogul were made through early 1947 . One flight, flight
#4, was launched on June 4th. Its last reported position was
only 17 miles from were the Roswell wreckage was found.
Because flight #4 was not a simple weather balloon,
but a train of balloons and radar targets that measured hundreds
of feet in length, it might not be easily identified. This would
explain the finder's initial confusion about it. Also Flight
#4 carried tape covered with strange symbols that might be the
hieroglyphics reported by some witnesses.
Proponents of the saucer crash theory argue that
10-inch deep furrows, five hundred feet in length, found at
the site could not have been made by the light-weight balloon
train. Others point to witnesses who claim alien
bodies were found a the Roswell crash (The Air Force has
hinted that some of these so-called bodies may have been dummies
used in parachute experiments). So the controversy continues.
In the summer of 1995 an additional chapter was
added to Roswell when a film, supposedly showing the autopsy
of the Roswell alien bodies, appeared. Skeptics called the
film an elaborate hoax. Officials from Kodak, who were asked
to examine the leader of the film, have confirmed that it was
manufactured in the right time period, but were unable to examine
and date the autopsy footage itself.
Roswell is only one of several sites where flying
saucers have allegedly crashed (there are even reports of UFO
crashing during the 19th century)
and a secret portion of Nellis Complex (Area
51) in Nevada is, according to some stories, home to several
salvaged UFOs. Nellis is already a base shrouded in secrecy
because of the many experimental
aircraft tested there.
There are also some claims that a huge
explosion in Siberia in 1908 was the result of a spaceship
Copyright Lee Krystek 1996-2002.
All Rights Reserved.