The Roswell UFO Incident

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On July 8, 1947 the Roswell incident was first reported ... beep ... beep ... beep ... conspiracies began ... WWII war had ended and the world braced for what would come next. The feeling/anticipation of something happening "next" keeps us engaged in the simulation.

The Roswell UFO incident took place in the U.S. in June or July 1947, when an airborne object crashed on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico. Explanations of what took place are based on both official and unofficial communications. Although the crash is attributed to a secret U.S. military Air Force surveillance balloon by the U.S. government, the most famous explanation of what occurred is that the object was a spacecraft containing extraterrestrial life. Since the late 1970s, the Roswell incident has been the subject of much controversy, and conspiracy theories have arisen about the event.

The United States Armed Forces maintains that what was recovered near Roswell was debris from the crash of an experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon belonging to what was then a classified (top secret) program named Mogul. In contrast, many UFO proponents maintain that an alien craft was found, its occupants were captured, and that the military engaged in a massive cover-up. The Roswell incident has turned into a widely known pop culture phenomenon, making the name "Roswell" synonymous with UFOs. Roswell has become the most publicized of all alleged UFO incidents.

On July 8, 1947, the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) public information officer Walter Haut, issued a press release stating that personnel from the field's 509th Operations Group had recovered a "flying disk", which had crashed on a ranch near Roswell. Later that day, the press reported that Commanding General of the Eighth Air Force Roger Ramey had stated that a weather balloon was recovered by the RAAF personnel. A press conference was held, featuring debris (foil, rubber and wood) said to be from the crashed object, which seemed to confirm its description as a weather balloon.

Subsequently the incident faded from the attention of UFO researchers for over 30 years. In 1978, physicist and ufologist Stanton T. Friedman interviewed Major Jesse Marcel who was involved with the original recovery of the debris in 1947. Marcel expressed his belief that the military covered up the recovery of an alien spacecraft. His story spread through UFO circles, being featured in some UFO documentaries at the time. In February 1980, the National Enquirer ran its own interview with Marcel, garnering national and worldwide attention for the Roswell incident. Additional witnesses added significant new details, including claims of a large-scale military operation dedicated to recovering alien craft and aliens themselves, at as many as 11 crash sites, and alleged witness intimidation. In 1989, former mortician Glenn Dennis put forth a detailed personal account, wherein he claimed alien autopsies were carried out at the Roswell base.

In response to these reports, and after United States congressional inquiries, the General Accounting Office launched an inquiry and directed the Office of the United States Secretary of the Air Force to conduct an internal investigation. The result was summarized in two reports. The first, released in 1995, concluded that the reported recovered material in 1947 was likely debris from Project Mogul. The second report, released in 1997, concluded reports of recovered alien bodies were likely a combination of innocently transformed memories of military accidents involving injured or killed personnel, innocently transformed memories of the recovery of anthropomorphic dummies in military programs like Operation High Dive conducted in the 1950s, and hoaxes perpetrated by various witnesses and UFO proponents. The psychological effects of time compression and confusion about when events occurred explained the discrepancy with the years in question. These reports were dismissed by UFO proponents as being either disinformation or simply implausible. But at the same time, several high-profile UFO researchers discounted the possibility that the incident had anything to do with aliens.

2013 marked the 66th anniversary of the UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico, July 1947. Today's animated google doodle celebrated the Roswell Incident in the form of a video game. From that event we find a massive acceleration of technology that many believe was reverse engineered from the Roswell crash and others that followed in different areas. Through the decades, dozens of witnesses and researchers have come forth with information about the incident. Government coverups continue to this very day. It all began two months after the Maury Island UFO Incident - Kenneth Arnold ...

Kenneth Arnold

Roswell UFO Crash Re-creation

On July 7, 1947, an object crash landed on a ranch, approximately 75 miles northwest of Roswell, leaving a large field of debris. The local air base at Roswell investigated after the rancher first reported it to Roswell authorities on July 7. On July 8, the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) announced it had recovered a "flying disk". A few hours after the initial "flying disk" press release, U.S. Army Air Force officials stated that it was not a UFO, but a weather balloon. When the question of what crashed was revived in the early 1980s, the "Roswell Incident" became a focus of conspiracy theorists, "abductees," and UFO investigators. It is believed the crashed UFO's were used for reverse engineering, explaining the rapid advancement in technology since that time.

Reported Details of the Roswell Incident

During the first week of July 1947, rancher William "Mack" Brazel discovered a large amount of unusual debris scattered widely over his ranch about 75 miles northwest of Roswell. Neighbors told him about the new "flying disk" phenomenon and suggested he go to Roswell to report his find. Brazel informed the local sheriff in Roswell, George M. Wilcox, that he may have found a "flying disk" and Wilcox then contacted the local USAAF airbase in Roswell.

The base commander, Colonel William Blanchard, sent his head Intelligence Officer, Major Jesse Marcel, with the head of the Roswell Army Counterintelligence Corps, Sheridan Cavitt, to investigate. Marcel and Cavitt went with Brazel to his ranch, retrieved some of the debris and returned with it to the Roswell base on the evening of July 7. Some debris was later flown to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, home of the USAF's aeronautical research labs. The next afternoon, July 8, Col. Blanchard issued an official USAAF press release from Roswell reporting that a "flying disk" had been found "sometime last week" by a local rancher and that it had been recovered by the Intelligence Office at the base for transfer to "higher headquarters". United Press also reported that residents near the ranch saw "a strange blue light several days ago about 3 a.m."

Maggie and Mack Brazel in 1951, four years after the
Roswell Incident. Photo courtesy of Bill Brazel Jr.

July 8, 1947

The intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment group at Roswell Army Air Field announced at noon today, that the field has come into possession of a flying saucer. According to information released by the department, over authority of Maj. J. A. Marcel, intelligence officer, the disk was recovered on a ranch in the Roswell vicinity, after an unidentified rancher had notified Sheriff Geo. Wilcox, here, that he had found the instrument on his premises.

Major Marcel and a detail from his department went to the ranch and recovered the disk, it was stated. After the intelligence officer here had inspected the instrument it was flown to higher headquarters. The intelligence office stated that no details of the saucer's construction or its appearance had been revealed.

Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wilmot apparently were the only persons in Roswell who saw what they thought was a flying disk. They were sitting on their porch at 105 South Penn. last Wednesday night at about ten o'clock when a large glowing object zoomed out of the sky from the southeast, going in a northwesterly direction at a high rate of speed. Wilmot called Mrs. Wilmot's attention to it and both ran down into the yard to watch. It was in sight less then a minute, perhaps 40 or 50 seconds, Wilmot estimated.

Wilmot said that it appeared to him to be about 1,500 feet high and going fast. He estimated between 400 and 500 miles per hour. In appearance it looked oval in shape like two inverted saucers, faced mouth to mouth, or like two old type washbowls placed, together in the same fashion. The entire body glowed as though light were showing through from inside, though not like it would inside, though not like it would be if a light were merely underneath.

From where he stood Wilmot said that the object looked to be about 5 feet in size, and making allowance for the distance it was from town he figured that it must have been 15 to 20 feet in diameter, though this was just a guess. Wilmot said that he heard no sound but that Mrs. Wilmot said she heard a swishing sound for a very short time. The object came into view from the southeast and disappeared over the treetops in the general vicinity of six mile hill.

Wilmot, who is one of the most respected and reliable citizens in town, kept the story to himself hoping that someone else would come out and tell about having seen one, but finally today decided that he would go ahead and tell about it. The announcement that the RAAF was in possession of one came only a few minutes after he decided to release the details of what he had seen.

July 9, 1947

Brig. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, commanding general of 8th Air Force, and Col. Thomas J. Dubose, 8th Air Force chief of staff, identify metallic fragments found by a farmer near Roswell, N.M., as pieces of a weather balloon. This is the basis of the Roswell Incident, the supposed crash of an alien spacecraft.

From the Associated Press

An examination by the army revealed last night that mysterious objects found on a lonely New Mexico ranch was a harmless high-altitude weather balloon - not a grounded flying disk. Excitement was high until Brig. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, commander of the Eighth air forces with headquarters here cleared up the mystery.

The bundle of tinfoil, broken wood beams and rubber remnants of a balloon were sent here yesterday by army air transport in the wake of reports that it was a flying disk. But the general said the objects were the crushed remains of a ray wind target used to determine the direction and velocity of winds at high altitudes. Warrant Officer Irving Newton, forecaster at the army air forces weather station here said, "we use them because they go much higher than the eye can see."

The weather balloon was found several days ago near the center of New Mexico by Rancher W. W. Brazel. He said he didn't think much about it until he went into Corona, N. M., last Saturday and heard the flying disk reports. He returned to his ranch, 85 miles northwest of Roswell, and recovered the wreckage of the balloon, which he had placed under some brush.

Then Brazel hurried back to Roswell, where he reported his find to the sheriff's office. The sheriff called the Roswell air field and Maj. Jesse A. Marcel, 509th bomb group intelligence officer was assigned to the case.

Col. William H. Blanchard, commanding officer of the bomb group, reported the find to General Ramey and the object was flown immediately to the army air field here. Ramey went on the air here last night to announce the New Mexico discovery was not a flying disk. Newton said that when rigged up, the instrument "looks like a six-pointed star, is sivery in appearance and rises in the air like a kite."

In Roswell, the discovery set off a flurry of excitement. Sheriff George Wicox's telephone lines were jammed. Three calls came from England, one of them from The London Daily Mail, he said. A public relations officer here said the balloon was in his office "and it'll probably stay right there." Newton, who made the examination, said some 80 weather stations in the U. S. were using that type of balloon and that it could have come from any of them. He said he had sent up identical balloons during the invasion of Okinawa to determine ballistics information for heavy guns.

The press release caused a media feeding frenzy and phone lines into New Mexico and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. became jammed as reporters clamored for more details.Within an hour of the release, the head of the Eighth Air Force in Fort Worth, Texas, Brigadier General Roger Ramey, began changing the story. The object retrieved was now a weather balloon with "hexagonal" radar target attachment. He would later describe it on the radio as "remnants of a tin foil-covered box kite and a rubber balloon" and denied there were any identification markings or instruments found with it.

United Press also reported that Ramey said, "he couldn't let anybody look at the thing or photograph it because Washington had clamped a 'security lid' on all but the sketchiest details." However, he thought " was nothing to get excited about. It looks to me like the remnant of a weather balloon and a radar reflector." He said he would bring in a weather officer to confirm this. Soon after, a weather officer was summoned to make the identification official. Ramey had pictures taken of the weather balloon and radar target displayed in his office, which he said was the recovered Roswell debris.

Gen. Ramey also had Major Marcel make a statement for the press. Instead of the object being found "sometime last week" in the original press release, Marcel was quoted by Associated Press as saying the object was found "3 weeks previously" (or mid-June). Further, when Brazel first found the debris he "bundled the tinfoil and broken wooden beams of the kite and the torn synthetic rubber remains of the balloon together and rolled it under some brush."

When Brazel first learned of the "flying disks" on Saturday night, July 5, he "hurried home, dug up the remnants of the kite balloon on Sunday, and Monday headed for Roswell to report his find to the Sheriff's office."

While the new date of discovery agreed with Brazel's account a few hours later of first finding the debris on June 14, it conflicted sharply with his story of when and how he collected it: "At the time Brazel was in a hurry to get his round made and he did not pay much attention to it. On July 4 he went back to the spot and gathered up quite a bit of the debris."

Inconsistent Accounts and Cover Stories

Marcel and Ramey's then chief of staff, Brigadier General Thomas Dubose (ret.), would later claim that the weather balloon was a cover story to get the press off their backs. Gen. Dubose, in fact, stated he personally received the order from Washington to start the coverup. Both said they were acting under Ramey's orders when they made statements to the press about the object being a weather device. Supporting this to some extent was another quote attributed to Marcel from 1947 by AP saying that the balloon debris was "scattered over a square mile," inconsistent with the small amount of balloon material that was publicly displayed. Another quote inconsistent with what was shown oddly came from Ramey himself, who was quoted by the Washington Post, United Press, Associated Press, and others saying that the "box kite" covered with foil would have been "about 25 feet in diameter" if reconstructed.

Gen. Ramey also had one of his intelligence officers, Major Kirton, make statements on his behalf, starting about two hours after the initial press release. Kirton changed Ramey's 25-foot "box kite" to the balloon being "20 feet" in size when speaking to the Dallas FBI office and Reuters news agency. Kirton also told both the FBI and Dallas Morning News that the object was a weather balloon and attached radar reflector. However, he told the Morning News that the identification was definite and the flight to Wright Field was cancelled. (Morning News story) Contradicting the public statement, the FBI was instead told that the object was still being transported to Wright Field. Wright Field also stated that they disagreed with the weather balloon assessment. (FBI telegram) ABC News also contacted Wright Field and was told by officials there that they expected "the so-called flying saucer to be delivered there, but that it hasn't arrived as yet." (ABC News radio broadcast)

After Ramey brought in a weather officer for definitive identification, the weather balloon story became official three hours after the first press release of a "flying disk" from Roswell base. Soon after this, Brazel showed up in Roswell at the local newspaper for an interview. Two reporters at the scene later related he was accompanied by military officers. The base provost marshal, Col. Edwin Easley, likewise later confirmed that they were holding Brazel at the base. (A number of other witnesses also testified to seeing Brazel in military hands or hearing him complain bitterly afterwards about his treatment by the military.) Initially Brazel seemed to be describing a balloon crash of some kind.

According to the story published the next day, Brazel said he found five pounds of rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper, and sticks. Considerable Scotch tape and some tape with flowers printed upon it had been used in its construction. The balloon which held it up, if that was how it worked, must have been about 12 feet long, he felt. The rubber was smoky gray in color and scattered over an area about 200 yards in diameter.

But at the end of his interview, Brazel seemingly recanted his earlier balloon description stating that, "...he had previously found two weather balloons on the ranch, but that what he found this time did not in any way resemble either of these. 'I am sure that what I found was not any weather observation balloon, but if I find anything else besides a bomb they are going to have a hard time getting me to say anything about it.'"

Also contradicting the initial balloon story, Brazel said at the start of his interview that he "whispered" to Sheriff Wilcox that "he might have found a flying disk." (Roswell Daily Record, July 9, 1947) (However, some skeptics argue that there was no contradiction since Brazel allegedly found a different type of balloon device from the weather balloons he had previously found.)

Sheriff Wilcox was also quoted in other stories.

According to United Press Wilcox claimed that Brazel came in saying that he thought he had found a "weather meter." This contradicted Brazel's denial that he had found any type of weather balloon and he instead told Wilcox that maybe he had found a "flying disk."

Wilcox did say that Brazel also said the object "more or less seemed like tinfoil" and was about 3 feet across. However, when Associated Press asked Wilcox for more details about the object's description, they reported he declined to elaborate saying "I'm working with those fellows at the base." Various Wilcox family members would later claim that he was threatened by the military.

A number of UFO researchers charge that the change in the military's story from flying saucer to weather balloon was disinformation and that the U.S. government was withholding or suppressing information. Whether Ramey showed the actual debris and whether Brazel and Marcel's newspaper statements accurately describe what was actually discovered remain highly contentious to this day in debates between advocates and skeptics. Also hotly debated is whether there really was a coverup and whether some witnesses like Brazel and Wilcox were coerced.

Stories of Strange Debris

Beyond dispute is that a number of military and civilian witnesses, including Marcel, Dubose, and Brazel's son, gave very different accounts of the events and debris many years later, reviving interest in the case. Instead of flimsy weather balloon material, the debris allegedly possessed highly anomalous physical properties. Some material resembled dull aluminum or lead foil yet, when crumpled, straightened back up leaving no creases or wrinkles, similar to a shape memory alloy.

Other debris bore some resemblance to balsa wood in lightness and color. But like the foil material, witnesses claimed that it could not be burned, cut, or otherwise damaged. All debris was said to be extremely light in weight. Some, including metallic-looking "I-beams," was said to be covered with strange writing or "hieroglyphics." witness debris descriptions.

The alleged Roswell Glyphs say "Elephtheria" or "Freedom"

There is another word on the I-bar which, at the time of the first translation, was still unknown. The second word appears on the bottom line of the glyphics block. It is written in forward and also in reverse order. The word Freedom is written backwards in the top line. There is no translation for this reversed sequence. However, the amazing thing is that the second word can be translated both ways! The correct Greek letters to the 4 bottom line characters are I-S-H-R. The literal translation, from the Greek word ishrigmos, means high-frequency sound. The opposite spelling, RHSI, means "saying," "maxim", or "motto!" Another remarkable insight is that when the translation high pitched sound is added to the word freedom, we can apply the suggested "audio" element in the meaning further- Liberaton and Independence.

Stories of a Disc Shaped Craft and Alien Bodies

Even more controversial than the debris descriptions were stories to emerge later of an intact "disc" and even alien bodies being recovered, primarily second-hand accounts from friends and family members of those involved, such as the Wilcox family. Not surprisingly, no mention of bodies was made in newspaper accounts from 1947. If anything, Gen. Ramey made a big point that the object was "too lightly constructed to have carried anyone" and "scoffed at the possibility that the object could have been piloted." However, it is pointed out that another of Ramey's 1947 statements of the foil-covered "box kite" (or radar target) being about 25 feet across if reconstructed would be consistent with later testimony from two eyewitnesses of seeing a damaged craft about 25 feet in size.

There is also a current contention that the telegram held by Gen. Ramey while being photographed with the weather balloon does speak specifically of "the 'disc'" and "the victims of the wreck" (enlargement of message above right). However, some skeptics claim the text is not clear enough to be read with any certainty. The USAF similarly claimed in their 1994 summary report that they had submitted the message to a photo-analysis lab of "a national level organization" and then claimed that nothing could be read. However, the Air Force has never identified the organization or provided the actual report of the lab to document their claim, despite prolonged efforts to obtain this information using FOIA.

The Roswell Incident briefly received national and even international attention in 1947, but after it was reported that the crash was of a weather balloon and not a "flying disk", the event faded from public view for over 30 years as most people simply took the government's word at face value. It did, however, occasionally receive passing mention, such as in a special article on UFOs published in Look magazine in 1967.

The Roswell incident received little mainstream attention until 1978, when researchers Stanton T. Friedman and William L. Moore compared notes from a series of interviews each had conducted independently.

Friedman and Moore interviewed Lydia Sleppy, a teletype operator who worked at an Albuquerque, New Mexico, radio station in 1947, and United States Air Force Lt. Colonel Jesse A. Marcel (ret.), chief intelligence officer at Roswell base in 1947. Sleppy claimed that the FBI had stopped their teletype story of "the crashed flying disk with bodies" from being transmitted after a Roswell radio reporter had phoned in the story. Marcel reported gathering highly unusual materials near Brazel's ranch, which he said were "not of this Earth." He was then ordered to fly the recovered debris to Wright Field, first stopping in Fort Worth, Texas, to see Brigadier General Roger Ramey, head of the 8th Air Force there. Marcel also stated that the weather balloon explanation subsequently put out by Gen. Ramey was a cover story.

Impressive testimony about the Roswell Incident came from retired Air Force Brigadier General Arthur Exon, as related by ufologists Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt. In 1947, Exon was stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. In recorded interviews, Exon said that shortly after the reports of the saucer crash, strange material was shipped to Wright Patterson. Though it was very thin and lightweight, Exon said, the metal could not be bent, dented or scorched. He also said he heard reports of bodies being recovered. Further, there was a national level effort to cover the whole thing up and the White House was involved. Exon added, "Roswell was the recovery of a craft from space."

By 1961, Exon had been promoted to general, and was Wright-Patterson's base commanding officer from 1964 to 1966. Another statement of Exon's was that other UFO crash recoveries staged out of Wright-Patterson occurred during his tenure as base chief, though he wasn't privy to details. However, critics charge that Exon's knowledge was mostly secondhand, as Exon himself stressed in interviews and in a letter to Randle and Schmitt.

In order to have access to U.S. government classified information, one must have both the proper level of security clearance as well as a need to know the information. In consequence, Exon was denied access to areas of the base where UFO-related studies were ongoing, and was never officially briefed regarding their findings. Thus it is claimed his reported statements decades later may have reflected rumor or opinion not based on personal knowledge. Against this, he also stressed that he spoke to firsthand witnesses to both the debris and bodies, people he personally knew.

Another report about the events at Roswell came from retired Air Force officer Brigadier General Thomas J. Dubose. In 1947 he was a colonel and Gen. Ramey's chief of staff. In recorded interviews, Dubose said the whole Roswell matter was conducted in the strictest secrecy and even involved the White House. One such secretive event involved a shipment of debris by "colonel courier" from Roswell to Washington D.C., first stopping at Fort Worth. Dubose handled the high-level phone communications and said he personally received the order from Gen. Clemence McMullen in Washington to cover up what happened at Roswell. He said McMullen told him the matter was so highly classified that it went "beyond top secret". He also confirmed Marcel's account that the weather balloon explanation put out by Gen. Ramey was the cover story to get the press off their backs. Dubose affidavit and audio.

Adherents to the UFO theory point to other witnesses in the Roswell case. Family and friends of Capt. Oliver Henderson, a senior pilot at Roswell, stated that he told them of flying the remains of a flying saucer to Wright Field and seeing small alien bodies. Lewis Rickett, a member of the Army Counter Intelligence Corp at Roswell base, confirmed that the metallic debris was highly anomalous and that the military engaged in a large and highly secretive recovery operation at the Brazel ranch.

Bill Brazel, Jr., Mack Brazel's son, independently corroborated Major Marcel's descriptions of anomalous debris, the large, linear debris field, and his father's finding of the debris after hearing a tremendous explosion. Both Rickett and Brazel, Jr., described what appeared to be a linear impact groove, as did Gen. Exon, who overflew the site later.

Brazel, Jr., also said the military detained his father at the base; this seems to have been corroborated by the base provost marshal, Major Edwin Easley. When pressed for details of his involvement, Easley said he had sworn an oath not to talk about what had happened. Family members also claim that on his deathbed Easley spoke of the "creatures" at Roswell, though Easley never mentioned this in interviews with researchers.

Project Apollo astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, though not a direct witness, has also stated on numerous occasions that Roswell was a real alien event based on his high-level contacts within the government. "Make no mistake, Roswell happened. I've seen secret files which show the government knew about it—but decided not to tell the public."

Mitchell has also spoken about bodies: "A few insiders know the truth . . . and are studying the bodies that have been discovered." St. Petersburg Times article, Feb. 18, 2004

Another high-level, indirect witness was Senator Barry Goldwater, himself a retired Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, a 1964 Presidential nominee, and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee. Goldwater many times told the story of trying to get into the area at Wright-Patterson where alien artifacts were rumored to be kept.

When he brought the subject up with his good friend General Curtis LeMay, USAF Chief of Staff, Goldwater claimed LeMay swore at him, told him never to bring up the subject again, and finished by saying that even he did not have clearance to get in.

Retired Brigadier General Stephen Lovekin (North Carolina State Guard) similarly claimed to have received a Pentagon briefing on a 1947 New Mexico crash when he was a young tech specialist stationed at the White House in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1959 to 1961. Those briefed were allegedly shown some of the anomalous debris and were also told that alien bodies were recovered.

Skeptics state that some witnesses, whose testimony at first might have seemed compelling, have since been largely or entirely discredited. A notable recent example was Frank Kaufmann, who claimed to have been a member of an exclusive team in charge of the craft and body recovery. After his death it was found that he had hoaxed documents about the crash and about his background in intelligence.

Another important witness whose credentials were recently challenged was Stephen Lovekin. Roswell researcher Kevin Randle originally claimed that he could find no evidence to support Lovekin's rank of brigadier general and also questioned whether he would have been old enough to have served in the White House when he said he did. However, Randle's research has since been shown to be incomplete and some of his statements inaccurate.

Documents released by Lovekin and posted at The Disclosure Project website would seem to verify Lovekin's claimed credentials, most importantly having served in the White House Army Signal Agency when he said he did. Documents Randle has since printed a retraction. (Randle's blog) However, it would also be misleading to claim Lovekin as a high-level military witness, since his current brigadier general rank is only in the State Guard. Lovekin retired from active duty in the U.S. Army as only a sergeant.

A further common criticism is that the bulk of testimony on Roswell, particularly on the subject of bodies, is secondhand or even further removed from the actual events. Witnesses like Exon, Goldwater, and Lovekin would largely fall into this category.Some other witnesses, though probably sincere, are contended to suffer from various types of memory distortions such as senility, false memory, or retrospective falsification. Counterarguments are that "faulty memories" are speculative and also not equally applied to witnesses supporting the skeptical point of view.

Similar Incidents

1946: European "ghost rockets" involved numerous objects being sighted and tracked by radar, crashes reported, military investigations and searches, and debris fragments reported recovered. The official conclusion was that the ghost rockets were real.

December 1965: Kecksburg UFO incident was another alleged military crash recovery of a UFO and is sometimes called the "Pennsylvania Roswell."

October 1967: The Shag Harbor incident was the crash of an unknown object in Shag Habor, Nova Scotia, Canada, and involved attempts by the Canadian military to recover the object. The crash object was referred to by several Canadian government agencies, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as a "UFO".

December 1980: Rendlesham Forest Incident involving many USAF personnel is sometimes called the "British Roswell" because of its importance, though no crash was involved.

January 1986: Height 611 UFO Incident was a Russian crash with analysis of physical debris.

January 1996: Varginha Incident was another alleged recovery of one or more aliens by the Brazilian military.

Theories and Analysis

Conventional Theories - The Mogul Balloon Theory - 1994-95 Air Force Roswell report

Under pressure from a Congressional General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation initiated by New Mexico Congressmen Steven Schiff, the Air Force in 1994/95 presented evidence that the crash was actually that of a lost Project Mogul balloon launched from nearby Alamogordo, New Mexico, whose top secret purpose was long-distance detection of expected future Russian A-bomb tests.

The early Mogul balloon arrays consisted of about two dozen rubber weather balloons and sometimes had several attached radar targets, balsa wood kites covered with a foil/paper material, used for tracking. They claimed this fully accounted for the 1947 debris descriptions, particularly rancher Brazel's, and matched the photos taken in General Ramey's office. Furthermore, the balloon arrays could be up to 600 feet in length, and this was said to account for the large size of the debris field reported by Brazel and Marcel. The Air Force declared the "Roswell case" officially closed.

A few weeks before the GAO released its own report in June 1995, columnist Jack Anderson of the Washington Post wrote that GAO investigators didn't believe the Air Force. They were "quietly skeptical about whether the U.S. Air Force told the truth" and were "not satisfied with the Air Force explanation," though they didn't believe the Air Force was covering up a UFO incident. However, one GAO source told Anderson, "...we do believe that something did happen at Roswell... Something big. We don't know if it was a plane that crashed with a nuclear device on it ... or if it was some other experimental situation. But everything we've seen so far points to an attempt on the part of the Air Force to lead anybody that looks at this down another track."

The Air Force based their Mogul theory primarily on interviews with a few surviving Project Mogul personnel and comparing descriptions of the Mogul balloons with statements from witnesses in 1947 and today. In particular, rancher Brazel's mention of "tape with flower patterns" was said to be a perfect match for tape allegedly used in the construction of the radar targets sometimes attached to the balloons.

Critics counter that the report was written by Air Force counterintelligence agents and charge they used classic propaganda techniques of ridicule, selective quotations, and omission of contradictory evidence, such as anomalous debris descriptions or testimony about a coverup, such as from General Dubose. In fact, Dubose, an important primary witness and one of their own generals, was never mentioned. They also note that the Mogul personnel were not directly involved and have no idea what may or may not have been recovered in the field.

The one primary witness the Air Force did interview was Sheridan Cavitt, the Army Counterintelligence Corp agent who accompanied Major Marcel and rancher Brazel back to the ranch and participated in recovery of the material. The Air Force claimed that Cavitt's balloon testimony also supported their theory. However critics contend that Cavitt's testimony was not credible and actually contradicted the Air Force's Mogul balloon hypothesis.

Cavitt claimed to find a balloon crash no bigger than his living room and denied any markings on the debris, including the so-called "flower patterns," claiming stories of such "hieroglyphics" came solely from crashed saucer promoters. Critics charge that Cavitt was merely repeating the original 1947 weather balloon cover story. Cavitt also denied going out with Marcel or ever meeting rancher Brazel. Critics note this begs the question how Cavitt found his tiny balloon crash without Brazel's help. It also directly contradicts Marcel's testimony and 1947 newspaper stories, including a statement by Brazel that Cavitt was with them. Finally they point out that Cavitt also contradicted himself by telling researchers for years that he wasn't involved in any way and/or not at Roswell at the time.

The Air Force also noted in their 1994/95 report that they deliberately weren't addressing the issue of alien bodies. One justification given was that the crash wreckage was from a Project Mogul balloon which had "no 'alien' passengers therein." Another reason they said was that some of the claims had been shown to be hoaxes or made by anonymous witnesses. Critics of the report note that the first reason is an example of circular reasoning, since the Air Force was using its own unproven explanation as justification for its other conclusion of no bodies being involved. Some witnesses were also clearly not hoaxers or anonymous, a notable example being Gen. Exon, whom the Air Force never interviewed.

1997 Air Force "Case Closed" Report

However, after initially ridiculing the notion of bodies, the Air Force changed positions and did a follow-up investigation examining possible sources for the reports of bodies. In 1997 they issued another "case closed" report stating that stories of alien bodies were actually distortions of various aviation experiments from the 1950s and 1960s. They claimed to show that the testimony of the people saying they had seen bodies near Roswell was in good agreement with actual events involving crash test dummies dropped from high altitude balloons, aircraft accidents, and a manned balloon accident. The time discrepancy between the 1947 incident and the later period of crash test dummy drops and the accident they said could be accounted for by distortions of memory.

Critics of the 1997 "crash dummies" report note that it is inconsistent with the Air Force's earlier position that there was nothing to the stories of bodies because all witnesses were unreliable. Indeed, some of the witness testimony they relied most heavily on were from the same people strongly suspected of hoaxing. It is also argued that there is no resemblance between the six-foot test-dummies made to human proportions and the descriptions of small, non-human, decomposing bodies. Also the experiments were conducted in areas of New Mexico that were remote from Brazel's ranch and where witnesses said bodies were found. Finally, it is argued, the severe memory distortion theory is at best highly questionable and cannot account for the serious differences in times, locations, and body descriptions.

The question has been raised why the Air Force chose to deal with the issue of bodies after initially ridiculing and avoiding it. Speculation from some UFO researchers is that this may have been the result of pressure from the Clinton White House. President Bill Clinton is known to have had an interest in Roswell, instructing friend and associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell to find out what happened (reported in Hubbell's memoirs).

In November 1995, only a few days before the Air Force issued the final version of its first Roswell report, Clinton responded in a prepared speech to a child's letter about Roswell during a trip to Northern Ireland. Clinton said that as far as he knew "an alien spacecraft did not crash in Roswell, New Mexico," but then added, "If the United States Air Force did recover alien bodies, they didn't tell me about it, either, and I want to know."

The question remains that if it was not a flying saucer, why the initial reports of a recovered "flying disk" and government secrecy? Here is a theory proposed by skeptic Karl T. Pflock in his book Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe:

Proponents of this theory further claim the balloons used in Project Mogul were extremely strange looking and would have appeared otherworldly to observers, and the project itself was so heavily classified it was nearly unknown outside of the higher branches of the U.S. government.

Those who dispute this interpretation note that only the purpose of Project Mogul was classified, but the main components were not, being standard meteorological equipment such as rubber weather balloons and radar-target kites made of balsa wood and foil/paper also used for wrapping candy bars. None of this would have appeared otherworldly to anyone. It is also pointed out that such flimsy materials do not match the many descriptions of anomalous, extra-strong and heat-resistant debris reported by witnesses such as Marcel, Rickett, Brazel, Jr., and Exon.

A clear example of the non-classified, public side of the equipment and project was a scientific article written by three of the Mogul people in December 1947, published in the Journal of Meteorology in May 1948, and titled "Controlled-Altitude Free Balloons." It showed multiple diagrams of the altitude-control equipment used on the Mogul balloon flights, a photo of one of the new polyethylene balloons that replaced the original rubber weather balloons, detailed how the balloons were tracked, and had multiple graphs of some of the flights. The only thing left out was the top-secret purpose of some of the flights, namely listening for distant Soviet A-bomb tests.

It is further argued that Mogul records indicate that the military was unconcerned about civilians stumbling across other Mogul balloon crashes, since the components were unclassified and the balloon's top-secret purpose could not be discerned from the debris. One such noted incident from June 8 involved another New Mexico rancher, who immediately notified Alamogordo Air Force Base, which then sent out three men to retrieve the remains of the balloon. This is completely unlike the very large and secretive military response to what rancher Brazel found at his place in early July. However, some skeptics counter that the situtation was different because Brazel first claimed he found a "flying disk" and not a balloon. While this might explain an initial difference in response by the military, it is not clear why they would continue to behave in a heavy-handed manner once they had an opportunity to examine the debris. There was nothing secret or mysterious about any of the Mogul balloon debris.

Another point raised is that historically the military made no attempt to conceal the existence of the Mogul balloons. (Indeed, as some of the former Mogul people testified, it was impossible to do so.) For example, the day after the Roswell base press release, a mock Mogul balloon launch was staged for the press at Alamogordo and used to try to explain both the Roswell events and the recent nationwide flood of flying saucer reports. Again, it is contended, this is inconsistent with the notion that a crashed Mogul balloon would be bathed in high secrecy, even if the purpose of the project was top secret.

Regarding Pflock's claim that Major Marcel was both incompetent and a publicity seeker, Marcel defenders note that his subsequent career and performance reviews by his superiors do not seem to bear this out. For example, Roswell base commander (and Marcel's commanding officer) Col. Blanchard raised Marcel's overall fitness report rating from "excellent" to the highest rating of "superior." A year later, Gen. Ramey called Marcel's performance "outstanding" and rated him command officer material. Marcel was also transferred to Washington and became the chief briefing and intelligence officer of a top secret project to learn of Soviet A-bomb tests. (Ironically, part of this program's intelligence involved Project Mogul.) It is pointed out that none of this fits the profile of an incompetent.

The Nuclear Accident Theory

There is also some speculation that the Roswell incident was the result of a broken arrow: an accident involving a nuclear weapon. Even the GAO considered this possibility, according to columnist Jack Anderson. Some have proposed that the military created the cover story of a "flying disk" crash, rather than admit that a nuclear weapon had accidentally fallen out of their hands.

However, the facts do not support this theory. There are no known nuclear accidents from this period, despite dozens of such incidents being declassified and now in the public record. Indeed, the U.S. had no assembled nuclear weapon in its arsenal at the time. Some also argue that it makes no sense that the military would be completely unaware of losing a nuclear weapon until a sheep rancher notified them about it.

The Horrible Secret Experiments Theory

A variation of the nuclear accident theory came out in June 2005 when UFO researcher Nick Redfern published a book called Body Snatchers in the Desert: The Horrible Truth at the Heart of the Roswell Story.

Redfern's thesis is that the Roswell crash has nothing to do with aliens or Mogul balloons, but was instead the crash of an experimental spy craft hybrid involving advanced Japanese Fugo balloon technology lifting a German-based Horten flying wing glider and with a captured Japanese flight crew inside the glider.

The alleged experiment went awry when the glider prematurely decoupled and crashed at one site, while the lifting balloons drifted off and allegedly created the debris field at the Mack Brazel ranch site. Almost the identical theory was first presented in an article in Popular Mechanics magazine in July 1997, the 50th anniversary of the Roswell crash.

The "horrible truth" that was subsequently covered up to this day was allegedly the illegal detention and use of Japanese prisoners of war in this and other experiments, including biological weapons research, high altitude decompression tests, and radiation exposure.

Genetically deformed surviving victims of criminal medical experimentation by the notorious Japanese Unit 731 were also allegedly used. Further, captured Japanese war criminal scientists were allegedly brought over and participated in these experiments, similar to the program of using captured German scientists brought to the U.S. with Operation Paperclip.

Allegedly, the primary purpose of these criminal experiments was to obtain needed physiological data for the development of a Nuclear aircraft, plus other delivery systems for nuclear, biological, and chemical weaponry. Redfern also contends that the U.S. government is quite content with the public believing in aliens because it is less shocking and damaging than what really happened.

Allegedly other purported New Mexico flying saucer crashes were just cover stories for some of the experiments. Redfern wrote that when he contacted the U.S. Air Force, they had no comment on his theory and said they were sticking to their official Mogul balloon and crash dummy reports for explaining the Roswell incident.

Redfern bases his theory primarily on five sources, all of whom approached him, and several of whom Redfern says he knows to have been in contact with one another, raising the possibility of collusion. The main source was an unnamed colonel who provided details of the actual crash and other manned high-altitude experiments using human guinea pigs that supposedly took place from May through August 1947.

Another source, an unnamed official in the British Home Office, initially approached Redfern in 1996, and also claimed that he and others were told in 1989 of the alien Roswell crash and shown the alien autopsy film by the CIA and British Ministry of Defense in an attempt to dissuade them from pursuing their own UFO studies. But instead, they allegedly suspected the Roswell story given them was bogus and the autopsy film a fake, part of a cover story to hide criminal U.S. experiments on Japanese POWs. Even Redfern admits he initially found this source's approach, story, and willingness to publicly disclose such information suspicious.

There are also no documents to support that any such program ever existed. One of Redfern's sources claimed that all documents and photos plus bodies were destroyed to eliminate all traces of this criminal activity. Some critics of Redfern's thesis note it is almost entirely based on dubious testimony of a few people who approached Redfern, nearly all of whom admit to previous psyops/counterintelligence backgrounds, with conveniently no way to ever check their stories against official records since allegedly all such records have been destroyed.

Critics also note other problems, such as the gross mismatch between the materials described by most witnesses from the Brazel debris field--numerous, mostly small metallic pieces with anomalous properties scattered along a long linear path--and what would be expected from a balloon crash. Redfern's sources also claim that part of the flying wing craft and one of the Japanese crew were carried away with the balloons and were also found near the main debris field.

Redfern states high priority was attached to recovering these and searches were initiated. Left unexplained is the seeming absence of any tracking or how searchers could have missed spotting the large, fully-exposed debris field from the air, despite over two days having elapsed from the time of the alleged disaster. Redfern attributes this to "bad luck."

Another serious objection raised was the historical fact that there were no survivors of the medical experiments of Japanese Unit 731. They were all killed to eliminate evidence when the Russians invaded China and quickly overran the Japanese positions. Hence there were no genetically deformed bodies for the U.S. to "snatch," seriously undercutting one of Redfern's key "horrible truth" arguments supposedly underlying the Roswell crash and subsequent coverup.

Nonetheless, Redfern's theory is undoubtedly provocative and has quickly gained much support inside the UFO research community along with much criticism.

1995 Roswell Autopsy Film

In 1995 a film claiming to be the autopsy of an alien captured in
Roswell New Mexico in 1947 was shown. It was proven to be a hoax.

Another twist in the Roswell story also occurred in 1995 when Ray Santilli, a British film producer, produced a film supposedly showing the autopsy of an alien from a 1947 New Mexico crash. In the U.S., portions of the film were shown on the FOX-TV network in 1996 along with some analysis by special effects experts and a pathologist.

Santilli claimed he accidentally ran into the former Army cameraman in the course of looking for archival film footage for another documentary. The crash described by Santilli's cameraman, however, does not conform to the classic Roswell crash of early July 1947 near Corona, New Mexico. Instead the cameraman was allegedly brought to the scene of the crash southwest of Socorro, New Mexico on May 30, 1947, and the autopsy depicted in the film was supposed to have been shot in Fort Worth, Texas in early July.

Skeptics argued that this film showed the alleged surgeons utterly disregarding conventional surgical and scientific procedure. Various special effects people argued that the "body" could have been easily manufactured using standard special effects techniques. For these reasons - and many others - the film was widely considered spurious both within and outside the UFO community. However, opinions of fraud were not universal among expert medical and special effects people, and nothing definitive was found in the film itself proving it a hoax. There was some testimony from others that they had seen this autopsy footage, or related footage, elsewhere before Santilli appeared on the scene. Some held out the possibility it might be a genuine autopsy of some kind.

On 4 April 2006, to coincide with the release of the film Alien Autopsy, British Sky Broadcasting broadcast a documentary, "Eamonn Investigates: Alien Autopsy" presented by Eamonn Holmes. In this program, Santilli finally revealed the full details of the creation of the footage.

Ray Santilli and Gary Shoefield now claim in 1992 that they originally saw 22 cans of film, averaging 4 minutes in length, shot in 1947 by a US Army cameraman in Roswell covering an alien autopsy. However, by the time he returned to purchase the footage two years later, the footage had degraded from humidity and heat with only a few frames staying intact. They now claim that they "restored the footage" by filming a fake autopsy on a fake alien "based upon what they saw".

A set was constructed in the living room of an empty flat in London. John Humphreys, an artist and sculptor, was employed to construct two alien bodies. In addition, Humphreys played the part of the key scientist undertaking the autopsy to allow him to control the body effects being filmed. After filming, they disposed of the bodies.

The "debris" footage of items from the crash site was also recreated by Humphreys, including the alien symbols and the six-finger control panels which Santilli admits to being "artistic license on his part". As an additional decoy, Santilli and Shoefield picked up an unidentified man on the streets in Los Angeles and filmed him in a hotel reading a statement "verifying" his identity as the original cameraman and source of the footage.

Santilli still claims that 5% of the film footage is genuine and intercut with the "recreation" though none of the contributors are able to identify which parts. However, the almost universal feeling among UFO researchers is that the entire episode is an unqualified hoax by Santilli and there never was any original film footage of an alien autopsy.

UFO Crash Theories

Some UFO proponents theorize events are best explained by a mid-air collision between two alien spacecraft. The first completely fragmented and its remains were found at Mack Brazel's ranch. The second, according to witnesses and people who uphold this theory, landed a short distance away. Allegedly four extraterrestrial entities were found - one alive, one dying, and two dead and were witnessed by many people, including a university professor and his class, who were going on a field trip.

Then the army came, warned the others away, and took care of the crash. Supposedly the surviving alien was christened Extraterrestrial Biological Entity 1 (EBE-1), and survived at a safe house in New Mexico until 1952, when it died of unknown causes. Most of this theory, however, is based on very dubious sources, including "documents" of highly questionable authenticity that arrived in some researchers' mailboxes.

Another theory is the craft was struck by lightning and partly exploded, creating the large debris field of small pieces found at Brazel's ranch. The rest of the crippled craft with crew came down at some other nearby location. Mack Brazel did tell his son Bill and Roswell intelligence officer Marcel that he first found the debris following a tremendous explosion he heard in the midst of a violent thunder and lightning storm. There are also other witnesses to this explosion, including some neighboring ranchers and a highly respected Roswell couple, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wilmot, who reported to the local newspaper on July 8 seeing a glowing flying saucer pass overhead on the night of July 2.

Marcel would later reveal in his last interview that Paul Wilmot had recently told him about his parents also seeing the craft explode in the distance after passing in the direction of Brazel's ranch to the northwest. Marcel added that Brazel came to Roswell a few days later to report the crashed flying saucer.

Regardless if this latter theory of the crash has merit, weather records do provide information on thunderstorm activity and can perhaps help pinpoint when Brazel found the debris field on his ranch. There were no thunderstorms in the region the first three weeks of June 1947, the period when the Project Mogul balloon allegedly responsible for the wreckage was launched (June 4) and when Brazel would later claim in a newspaper interview to have found the debris (June 14).

However, there were thunderstorms in late June and early July, specifically July 2 and July 4. The latter dates are at least consistent with the initial Roswell base press release of July 8 that said the rancher had found the "flying disk" "sometime last week." Local ranchers have also told researchers Brazel would not leave such debris sitting in his fields for three weeks since it would have been hazardous to his livestock's health. This again suggests an early July discovery of the wreckage, alien or not.

If Roswell was indeed a crash of an extraterrestrial craft, as some continue to insist, some ufologists would argue that several things follow:

Developments Since 2000


In October 2002 before airing its Roswell documentary, the Sci-Fi Channel also hosted a Washington UFO news conference. John Podesta, President Clinton's chief of staff, appeared as a member of the public relations firm hired by Sci-Fi to help get the government to open up documents on the subject. Podesta stated, "It is time for the government to declassify records that are more than 25 years old and to provide scientists with data that will assist in determining the true nature of the phenomena."

In 2002, the Sci-Fi Channel sponsored a dig at the Brazel site in the hopes of uncovering any missed debris that the military failed to collect. Although these results have so far turned out to be negative, the University of New Mexico archeological team did verify recent soil disruption at the exact location that some witnesses said they saw a long, linear impact groove. Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who headed the United States Department of Energy under President Clinton, apparently found the results provocative.


In 2004, he wrote in a foreword to The Roswell Dig Diaries, that "the mystery surrounding this crash has never been adequately explained - not by independent investigators, and not by the U.S. government."


In February 2005, the ABC TV network aired a UFO special hosted by news anchor Peter Jennings. Jennings lambasted the Roswell case as a "myth" "without a shred of evidence." ABC endorsed the Air Force's explanation that the incident resulted solely from the crash of a Project Mogul balloon. Critics of the ABC segment counter that the brief treatment was one-sided and failed to consider many key pieces of evidence, such as the testimony of important witnesses like Generals Exon and Dubose or astronaut Edgar Mitchell.

In 2005, researcher Nick Redfern published his theory, detailed above, of horrible military experiments involving human guinea pigs that led to the Roswell incident, and claimed this lay at the heart of the high secrecy and subsequent coverup. Another important recent development concerns attempts to read the text on a paper held by Gen. Ramey in a photo taken with Col. Dubose and the displayed balloon debris photo above. A Roswell investigator named David Rudiak, as well as some other examiners of the message, claim to have identified several important phrases, including "the victims of the wreck," another referring to the crash object as "the 'disk'" (Rudiak thinks it reads "aviators in the 'disk'"). This is cited as strong evidence that the Roswell incident was actually the crash of an alien spacecraft and that bodies were indeed recovered. However, some also note that these interpretations would also be compatible with Redfern's non-alien theory of events. Rudiak also claims to have disproved the calculations done by some supporters of the Mogul balloon hypothesis that winds would have taken the purported lost balloon exactly to the Brazel ranch crash site. Redfern's anonymous colonel source states in Redfern's book this isn't surprising since Mogul had nothing to do with it, but served instead as a convenient cover story to the real balloon crash that had to be covered up.

In an interview in September 2005, former President Bill Clinton downplayed his and his administration's interest in the Roswell incident. He said they did indeed look into it, but believes it had a rational explanation and didn't think it happened. Many in his administration thought it was a "fraud". However, he added the caveat that he could have been deceived by underlings or career bureaucrats. If that were the case, he said he wouldn't be the first American president that had been lied to or had critical information concealed from him. He also said he would be very surprised if we didn't discover other forms of life in the universe in the near future.

The Project Serpo releases further allege that there was one surviving alien entity EBE. Communication was allegedly established with this surviving EBE and it's home world. The EBE lived for 5 years and died in 1952 as noted in the section above. Communications continued with the home world, allegedly in the Zeta Reticuli star system, which lead to the arrangement of an exchange program alleging to took place between 1965 to 1978.

In 2005, UFO and paranormal researcher Ethan A. Blight claimed to have identified several modern UFO photographs containing spacecraft of the same design as the Roswell craft.

In November 2005 an anonymous source claiming to be part of a high level group of people within the Defense Intelligence Agency DIA of the USA, began releasing information allegedly concerning a Project Serpo. This released information allegedly confirms that in July 1947 there were two extraterrestrial disks UFO that crashed in the state of New Mexico, referenced in this article Roswell UFO incident.

In December 2005, a NASA spokesman changed the official position on the 1965 Kecksburg UFO incident, another alleged military UFO crash retrieval. Originally explained as a meteor fireball with nothing found, the NASA spokesman now admitted that NASA had indeed examined metal fragments that allegedly came from a "Russian satellite." Furthermore, all documentation had allegedly been "lost" in the 1990s. The new story also contradicted the previous results of a NASA expert who had conclusively ruled out a Russian or any other satellite as being involved. AP story Although not specifically about Roswell, these revelations could possibly provide insight into how the government has covered up similar incidents.


In March 2006, the Discovery Channel aired a program on Roswell produced by Dateline NBC. It presented a historical review of the case and opinions of research experts. One group argued the preponderance of evidence pointed to an alien spacecraft crash; the other argued it pointed to a Project Mogul balloon.

For many ufologists, the Roswell case is considered one of the most important UFO events and the one that started the alleged UFO cover-up, while for the skeptics it is just the most widely popularized case, not specifically notable. The official position of the United States government, as of 2005, remains that nothing of a paranormal or extraterrestrial nature had happened. The final report of the USAF regarding the Roswell case is available, as well as the answer to that report by ufologists, who insist that the report is bogus.


In June 2007, Donald Schmitt and his investigation partner Tom Carey published their first book together, Witness to Roswell. In this book, they claim a "continuously growing roster of more than 600 people directly or indirectly associated with the events at Roswell who support the first account - that initial claim of the flying saucer recovery." New accounts of aliens or alien recoveries were described, including the account of Walter Haut, who wrote the initial press release in 1947.

A new date was suggested for the crash of a mysterious object - the evening of Thursday, July 3, 1947. Also, unlike previous accounts, Brazel took the debris to Corona, where he showed fragments to local residents in the local bar, hardware store, and elsewhere, and to Capitan to the south, where portions of the object ended up at a 4th of July rodeo. Numerous people are described as visiting the debris field and taking souvenirs before Brazel finally went to Roswell to report the find on July 6. Once the military was alerted to the debris, extensive efforts were undertaken to retrieve those souvenirs: "Ranch houses were and ransacked. The wooden floors of livestock sheds were pried loose plank by plank and underground cold storage fruit cellars were emptied of all their contents."

The subsequent events are related as per the sequence in previous books, except for a second recovery site of an alien body at the Foster ranch. This recovery near the debris field is the same site mentioned in 1991's UFO Crash at Roswell. The authors suggest that Brazel discovered the second site some days after finding the debris field, and this prompted him to travel to Roswell and report his find to the authorities.

Neither Barnett nor the archaeologists are reported to be present at this body site. While noting the earlier "major problems" with Barnett's account, which caused Schmitt and previous partner Randle to omit Barnett's claim in 1994's The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell, the new book further notes another site mentioned in the 1994 publication. This site closer to Roswell "turned out to be bogus, as it was based upon the testimony of a single, alleged eyewitness Frank Kaufmann who himself was later discovered to have been a purveyor of false information." Jim Ragsdale, whose alien account opened that book and who was claimed to have been present along with some archaeologists, is not mentioned in the new book.

The 2007 book includes claims that Major Marcel saw alien bodies, a claim not present in previous books. Two witnesses are cited who say Marcel briefly mentioned seeing bodies, one a relative and another a Tech Sergeant who worked with Marcel's intelligence team.

Much additional new testimony is presented to support notions that alien bodies were found at the Foster ranch and at another main crash site along with a craft, then processed at the base in a hangar and at the hospital, and the bodies finally flown out in containers, all under very tight security. The book suggests Brazel found "two or three alien bodies" about two miles east of the debris field, and describes the rest of a stricken alien craft along with the remainder of the crew remaining airborne for some 30 more miles before crashing at another site about 40 miles north/northwest of Roswell (but not the same site described by Kaufmann). The authors claim to have located this final crash site in 2005 where "an additional two or three dead aliens and one live one were discovered by civilian archaeologists," but offer no more information about the new site.

Walter Haut, the Roswell Army Air Field public affairs officer, had drafted the initial press release which went out over the news wires on the afternoon of July 8, 1947, announcing a "flying disc". This was supposedly the only direct involvement Haut had in public statements and signed affidavits. The book presents a new affidavit that Haut signed in 2002 in which he claims much greater personal knowledge and involvement, including seeing alien corpses and craft, and involvement in a cover-up. Haut died in 2005.[90]

Another new firsthand account from MP Elias Benjamin describes how he guarded aliens on gurneys taken to the Roswell base hospital from the same hangar. Similarly, family members of Miriam Bush, secretary to the chief medical officer at Roswell base, told of having been led into an examination room where alien corpses were laid out on gurneys.

In both accounts, one of the aliens was said to be still alive. The book also recounted earlier testimony of the Anaya family about picking up New Mexico Lt. Governor Joseph Montoya at the base, and a badly shaken Montoya relating that he saw four alien bodies at the base hangar, one of them alive. Benjamin's and Bush's accounts, as do a few lesser ones, again place aliens at the Roswell base hospital, as had the Glenn Dennis story from almost 20 years before. The book notes that Dennis had been found to have told lies, and therefore is a supplier of unreliable testimony, but had nevertheless told others of incidents at the Roswell base long before it became associated with aliens in the late 1970s.

The 2007 publishing of the Walter Haut affidavit in Witness to Roswell, wherein Haut described a cover-up and seeing alien corpses, ignited a controversy in UFO circles. While many embraced Haut's accounts as confirmation of the presence of aliens from a person who was known to have been on the base in 1947, others raised questions about his credibility.

UFO researcher Dennis G. Balthaser, who along with fellow researcher Wendy Connors interviewed Haut on-camera in 2000, doubted that the same man he interviewed could have written the affidavit he signed. "The 2000 video shows a man that couldn't remember where he took basic training, names, dates, etc., while the 2002 affidavit is very detailed and precise with information Haut couldn't accurately remember 2 years after he was video taped." Witness to Roswell co-author Donald R. Schmitt, he notes, admitted that the affidavit was not written by Haut, but prepared for him to sign, based on statements Haut had made privately to Schmitt and co-author Tom Carey over a period of years. And further, notes Balthaser, neither he nor Carey were there when Haut signed the affidavit and the witness' name has not been revealed, casting doubt on the circumstances of the signing.

Balthaser had further questions about what he saw as problems with the 2002 account. If the cover-up was decided at a meeting at Roswell, he asked, "why was it necessary for Major Marcel to fly debris from Roswell to General Ramey’s office in Ft Worth, since they had all handled the debris in the meeting and apparently set up the cover-up operation?" He also wondered which Haut statements were true: a 1993 affidavit he signed, the 2000 video interview, or the 2002 affidavit.

Bill Birnes, writing for UFO Magazine, summarizes that whatever disagreements there are about the 2000 video and the 2002 affidavit, "I think Walter Haut's 2002 affidavit really says it all and agrees, on its material facts, with Walter's 2000 interview with Dennis Balthaser and Wendy Connors. Dennis said he agrees with me, too, on this point." A comparison of the affidavit and interview shows that in both accounts Haut said he saw a craft and at least one body in a base hangar and also attended a Roswell staff meeting where General Ramey was present and where Ramey put a cover-up into place. Birnes also says that Carey said that while Haut may not have written the affidavit, "his statements were typed, shown to him for his review and agreement, and then affirmed by him in the presence of a witness... The fact that a notary was present and sealed the document should end any doubt as to the reality of its existence."

Julie Shuster, Haut's daughter and Director of the International UFO Museum in Roswell, said that Schmitt had written the affidavit based on years of conversations he and Carey had had with him. Writing in the September 2007 MUFON newsletter, she said she and Haut reviewed the document, that "he did not want to make any changes," and in the presence of two witnesses, a notary public from the museum and a visitor, both unidentified, he signed the affidavit.


In April 2011, the FBI posted a 1950 document written by agent Guy Hottel which discussed a report forwarded by an investigator from the Air Force of three alien craft and their occupants having been recovered in New Mexico. The memo claimed that "three so-called flying saucers" were recovered, each circular in shape with raised centers, each about 50 feet in diameter. Three occupants of "human shape", each about three feet tall, were found in each craft, and all were dressed "in metallic cloth of a very fine texture." The memo said that reports indicated that "high-powered radar" had affected the alien crafts' control systems, causing them to crash. No date was mentioned, though the memo was date-stamped March 22, 1950, and no location more specific than "New Mexico" was mentioned. The memo stated that "no further evaluation was attempted" by the person who supplied the information.

Some sources connected the memo to the Roswell UFO incident of 1947. Other sources said the memo had been in the public domain for years, and was revealed as a hoax as far back as 1952 in an article in True magazine. They said the hoax was perpetrated by several men who were peddling a device purported to be able to locate gold, oil, gas or anything their victims sought, based on supposed alien technology. The two men, Silas Newton and Leo A. Gebauer, were convicted of fraud in 1953.


In 2013, the FBI issued a press release regarding the memo. In addressing the memo's context, the Bureau wrote, "Finally, the Hottel memo does not prove the existence of UFOs; it is simply a second- or third-hand claim that we never investigated. Some people believe the memo repeats a hoax that was circulating at that time, but the Bureau’s files have no information to verify that theory.

Cultural Influence and Trivia

Today, UFO tourism provides a major income for people around Roswell including a visit to the UFO Museum. The 1947 incident has been featured in many books, comics, movies and television series.

Taken (2002 SciFi TV miniseries)

Also in 2002, the Sci-Fi Channel funded a scientific investigation at Roswell that revealed some anomalies, and collected many samples of local soil at the Brazel ranch debris field site. The program on the investigation, titled The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence, aired the same night as Taken. It also featured analysis of the message about the crash photographed in the hand of General Roger Ramey back in 1947.

In 1994 the TV film Roswell was made starring Kyle MacLachlan and Martin Sheen. It featured MacLachlan as Jesse Marcel and focused on his quest to find the truth behind the Roswell story. Roswell was produced by Paul Davids, who reports having had a classic flying saucer sighting in Los Angeles. Davids' father was one of President Bill Clinton's professors at Georgetown University in his student days. Davids said he gave Clinton a copy of the book UFO Crash at Roswell, which was the basis of the film. The book was in Clinton's personal library at the White House when it was inventoried while Clinton was being investigated by a special prosecutor.

Whitley Strieber has written books and a screenplay about alien encounters.

Six Days In Roswell is a semi-documentary about the city's annual festival commemorating the 50th anniversary of the incident. Featuring comedian Rich Kronfeld, the film captures the annual event's unusual atmosphere: part scientific conference, part science fiction convention and part county fair.

In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Little Green Men" (1995), the craft had come from the 24th century, and the aliens were the Ferengi characters Quark, Rom, and Nog. Similarly, in Futurama episode "Roswell That Ends Well", the characters came from the 31st century, and the captured alien was Dr. Zoidberg, and the crash debris was the dismantled body of Bender.

In 1995, the rock group the Foo Fighters came out on the Roswell record label. Dave Grohl has always had an interest in UFOs named his record label after the city. The Foo Fighters' name comes from the term used to describe a UFO during World War II. To promote 2005's In Your Honor, the band played a show at Roswell.

Hangar 18 (1980) [was an early movie loosely based on the Roswell story. A UFO crashed in Arizona and was hidden away at Hangar 18 in Texas. ("Hangar 18" is really supposedly at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio and allegedly where the Roswell craft and debris were also taken initially.)In the 1996 movie Independence Day, the Roswell craft was a scout from the aliens' mother ship. The damaged craft and recovered bodies were moved to the secret base at Area 51 in Nevada for study. The craft, now flown by humans, played a key role in defeating the alien invasion.

In the 1996 movie The Rock, the FBI Director (Womack) comments that the alien crash at Roswell was one of the nation's deepest secrets along with such things as the Kennedy assassination.In the 1996-97 TV series Dark Skies, the Roswell crash was caused by the military shooting down a flying saucer after the aliens announced their hostile intent. President Truman created the secret team Majestic 12 to counter the alien threat. The series was based on much other contemporary UFO lore and conspiracy theories, including Kennedy being assassinated for wanting to reveal the truth about Roswell and UFOs. Robert F. Kennedy was depicted as being a member of Majestic 12, as was astronomer Carl Sagan.

In the TV series 7 Days (1998-2001), technology from the Roswell crash led to a secret time-travel device

Probably the most elaborate example of a Roswell-inspired TV series was titled simply Roswell. It followed the story of four alien survivors of the Roswell crash who adopt human form and live as teenagers in Roswell, one falling in love with a young human. The series ran for two seasons on the WB and a third on UPN between 1999 and 2002.

One of the executive producers and directors of Roswell was actor Jonathan Frakes, who played first officer of the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Frakes had also hosted an earlier Sci-Fi special on Roswell from 1997 and another on the alien autopsy from 1996 on FOX-TV.

The X-Files made much of the Roswell incident. In some episodes, characters from the Department of Defense tried to sell the idea that it was a staged distraction, while, in others, it is said that the crash was an alien scout ship brought down by its proximity to a deposit of magnetite (and led to the alien rediscovery of the virus in a deposit of oil).

In other episodes, the idea was advanced that aliens were just cover stories for genetically engineered human monsters made by the U.S. government, similar to the current theory advanced by Nick Redfern that an alien Roswell crash is just a cover story for horrible experiments on human beings in New Mexico. In at least one episode, as in other series, the Kennedy assassination was linked to the alien coverup conspiracy.

The episode "The Unnatural" took place primarily in Roswell itself, telling the story of an alien bounty hunter chasing a renegade survivor of the Roswell crash, who adopted human form, joined a Roswell minor league baseball team, and became their star hitter. In another episode, the writers had some fun with the alien autopsy film and FOX TV, which did a special showing the autopsy and was the X-Files home network. Agent Fox Mulder dryly commented that the alien autopsy film shown on FOX was an "obvious fake."

In the 2005 episode of Doctor Who, Dalek, a collector of alien artifacts owns the mileometer of the ship that crashed at Roswell. He invented broadband from technology aboard the ship.In many forms of fiction including computer and video games, the Roswell incident is often mentioned as being the source of many reverse-engineered advanced technologies.

In Deus Ex, one of Area 51's engineers posits that the facility's two large-scale antimatter reactors and four small-scale cold fusion plants were derived from technology recovered from the crash. His theory is supported by the presence of odd clones which resemble greys, an image which states the cold fusion plants as having the designation "Artifact ROS172-E" (Note the ROS prefix), and the same image describing the mechanism as under study. However, other sources within the game point towards these possibly being the results of secretive research, with the alien explanation being a simple red herring.

In the DC Comics universe, the official explanation is that it was a "crashed Dominator scout ship", but this is widely discounted as being a cover story. The humorous comic book "Roswell", from Bongo Comics, had as its hero the little green man, also called Roswell, who was found in the craft.

In the Delta Green supplement for the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, the crash at Roswell is depicted as a ruse by the supernatural Mi-Go monster race to influence the U.S. The monsters pretended to be aliens to trick the government into making concessions (i.e., kidnappings, murders) in exchange for supposed technological advances.

Roswell also features in the series of books The Time Machine. In book three, chapter fifteen was called "The Truth About Roswell". In it, Max goes back to 1947 and find out what happened at the time. He discovers that it was in fact a real alien spaceship that crashed, and the autopsy was also not faked. He makes it known to the public, before traveling back to his own time and finding that he has changed the world ever so slightly.

One such change is that the moon landing occurred in 1964, as opposed to 1969, and that humans landed on Mars in 2007."The Roswell Incident" is a popular topic in the fields of techno and other electronic music. For example, The Orb's ambient house album U.F.

Orb includes tracks entitled "Majestic" and "Blue Room". "Area 51" is the name of a track by British techno outfit Eat Static.In "Morangos com Aćucar"- on portuguese television- a series of episodes where shot in Roswell, NM. The plot occurs in 2005, and a second wave of alien incidents emerges. The sons and daughters of the 1947 aliens come to Earth looking for revenge. The highlight of the series is when the Portuguese army comes to rescue the USA-army from the invasion, and kicks out the aliens out of this galaxy.

The Roswell UFO Incident Wikipedia

July 2011
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July 4, 2003
Roswell UFO Museum