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Roswell

ROSWELL
 And the story behind Roswell



 
The Roswell UFO incident, also known as Roswell, was a report of an object that crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, in June or July 1947, allegedly an extra terrestrial spacecraft and its alien occupants. Since the late 1970s the incident has been the subject of intense controversy and several conspiracy theories as to the true nature of the object that crashed.
 
 

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


  On July 8, 1947, the
Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) public information officerWalter Haut in Roswell, New Mexico, issued a press release stating that personnel from the field's 509th Bomb Group had recovered a crashed "flying disk" from a ranch near Roswell, sparking intense media interest. The next day, the press reported that Commanding General of the Eighth Air ForceRoger M. Ramey stated that, in fact, a radar-tracking balloon had been recovered by the RAAF personnel, not a "flying disc." A subsequent press conference was called, featuring debris said to be from the crashed object, which seemed to confirm the weather balloon description.The incident was forgotten and almost completely ignored, even by UFO researchers, for more than 30 years. Then, in 1978, physicist and ufologistStanton 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 had 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 incidentThe incident was forgotten and almost completely ignored, even by UFO researchers, for more than 30 years. Then, in 1978, physicist and ufologistStanton 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 had 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 huge military operation dedicated to recovering alien craft and aliens themselves, at as many as 11 crash sites, and alleged witness intimidation. In 1989, former morticianGlenn Dennis put forth a detailed personal account, wherein he claimed that alien autopsies were carried out at the Roswell base . Additional witnesses added significant new details, including claims of a huge

 
 

In response to these reports, and after congressional inquiries, the General Accounting Office launched an inquiry and directed the Office of the 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 a secret government program called Project Mogul, which involved high altitude balloons meant to detect sound waves generated by Soviet atomic bomb tests and ballistic missiles. The second report, released in 1997, concluded that 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 Project 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. However, numerous high-profile UFO researchers discount the possibility that the incident had anything to do with aliens

 
 

 On June 14, 1947, William Ware "Mack" or "Mac" Brazel noticed some strange clusters of debris while working on the Foster homestead, where he was foreman, some 30 miles (50 km) north of Roswell. This date or "about three weeks" before July 8, appeared in later stories featuring Brazel, but the initial press release from the Roswell Army Air Field said the find was "sometime last week," suggesting Brazel found the debris in early July. Brazel told the Roswell Daily Record that he and his son saw a "large area of bright wreckage made up of rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks." He paid little attention to it but returned on July 4 with his son, wife and daughter to gather up the material. Some accounts have described Brazel as having gathered some of the material earlier, rolling it together and stashing it under some brush.

 
 

The next day, Brazel heard reports about "flying discs" and wondered if that was what he had picked up. On July 7, Brazel saw Sheriff Wilcox and "whispered kinda confidential like" that he may have found a flying disc. Another account quotes Wilcox as saying that Brazel reported the object on July 6.Sheriff Wilcox called Roswell Army Air Field. Major Jesse Marcel and a "man in plainclothes" accompanied Brazel back to the ranch where more pieces were picked up. "We spent a couple of hours Monday afternoon July 7, looking for any more parts of the weather device", said Marcel. "We found a few more patches of tinfoil and rubberIn 1978, nuclear physicist and author
Stanton T. Friedman interviewed Jesse Marcel, the only person known to have accompanied the Roswell debris from where it was recovered to Fort Worth where reporters saw material said to be part of the recovered object. Over the next few years, the accounts he and others gave elevated Roswell from a forgotten incident to perhaps the most famous UFO case of all time.
 
 

By the early 1990s, UFO researchers such as Friedman, William Moore, Karl T. Pflock, and the team of Kevin D. Randle and Donald R. Schmitt had interviewed several hundred people who had, or claimed to have had, a connection with the events at Roswell in 1947. Additionally, hundreds of documents were obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests, as were some apparently leaked by insiders, such as the disputed "Majestic 12" documents.Their conclusions were that at least one alien craft had crashed in the Roswell vicinity, that aliens, some possibly still alive, were recovered, and that a massive cover-up of any knowledge of the incident was put in place.

 
 


In 1991, with the benefit of a decade of publicity on the incident and numerous new witness interviews, Kevin D. Randle and Donald R. Schmitt published UFO Crash at Roswell.

Timelines were slightly altered. The date that Brazel reported the debris and Marcel went to the ranch was said to be Sunday, July 6, not the next day as some of the original accounts suggested, and The Roswell Incident had left unclear. Additionally, Marcel and an unidentified counter-intelligence agent spent the night at the ranch, something not mentioned previously. They gathered material on Monday, then Marcel dropped by his house on the way to the Roswell base in the early hours of Tuesday, July 8.

 
 

Significant new details emerged, including accounts of a "gouge. that extended four or five hundred feet" at the ranch and descriptions of an elaborate cordon and recovery operation. Several witnesses in The Roswell Incident described being turned back from the Foster ranch by armed military police, but more extensive descriptions were lacking.The Barnett accounts were mentioned, though the dates and locations were changed from the accounts found in The Roswell Incident. In this new account, Brazel is described as leading the Army to a second crash site on the ranch, where the Army was "horrified to find civilians [including Barnett] there already."

 
 

New witness accounts added substantially to the reports of aliens and their recovery. Glenn Dennis had emerged as an important witness after calling the hotline when an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries” featured the Roswell incident in 1989. His descriptions of Roswell alien autopsies were the first to place alien corpses at the Roswell Army Air Base.No mention, except in passing, was made of the claim found in The Roswell Incident that the Roswell aliens and their craft were shipped to Edwards Air Force Base. The book established a chain of events with alien corpses seen at a crash site, their bodies shipped to the Roswell base as witnessed by Dennis, and then flown to Fort Worth and finally to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, the last known location of the bodies accounts assembled in part from the testimony of Frank Kaufmann and Capt. O. W. Henderson.

 
 
In 1992, Crash at Corona, written by Stanton Friedman and Don Berliner, suggested a high-level cover-up of a UFO recovery, based on documents they obtained such as the
Majestic 12 archive.These documents were anonymously dropped off at a UFO researcher’s house in 1984 and purported to be 1952 briefing papers for incoming President Dwight Eisenhower describing a high-level government agency whose purpose was to investigate aliens recovered at Roswell and to keep such information hidden from public view. Friedman had done much of the research for The Roswell Incident with William Moore, and Crash at Corona built on that research. The title contains Corona instead of Roswell as Corona is geographically closer to the Foster ranch crash site
 
 

In 1994, Randle and Schmitt published a second book, The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell. while restating much of the case as laid out in their earlier book, new and expanded accounts of aliens were included, and a new location for the recovery of aliens was detailed. Additionally, an almost completely new scenario as to the sequence of events was laid out.For the first time, the object was said to have crashed on the evening of Friday, July 4 instead of Wednesday July 2, the date in all the previous books. Another important difference was the assertion that the alien recovery was well under way before Brazel went into Roswell with his news about debris on the Foster ranch.

 
 
Indeed, several objects had been tracked by radar for a few days in the vicinity before one crashed. In all previous accounts, the military was made aware of the alleged alien crash only when Brazel came forward. Additionally, Brazel was said to have given his news conference on July 9, and his press conference and the initial news release announcing the discovery of a "flying disc" were all part of an elaborate ruse to shift attention away from the "true" crash site.The book featured a new witness account describing an alien craft and aliens from Jim Ragsdale, at a new location just north of Roswell, instead of closer to Corona on the Foster ranch. Corroboration was given by accounts from a group of archaeologists. Five alien corpses were seen. While the Foster ranch was a source of debris as well, no bodies were recovered there.Expanded accounts came from Dennis and Kaufmann. And a new account from Ruben Anaya described New Mexico Lieutenant Governor Joseph Montoya's claim that he saw alien corpses at the Roswell base.
 
 

More disagreement between Roswell researchers is on display in the book. A full chapter is devoted to dismissing the Barnett and Anderson accounts from Socorro, a central part of Crash at Corona and The Roswell Incident. "Barnett's story, and in fact, the Plains of San Augustin, near Soccoro ,scenario, must be discarded", say the authors. An appendix is devoted to describing the Majestic 12 documents, another central part of Crash at Corona, as a hoax.The two Randle and Schmitt books remain highly influential in the UFO community, their interviews and conclusions widely reproduced on websites. Randle and Schmitt claimed to have "conducted more than two thousand interviews with more than five hundred people" during their Roswell investigations.

 
 

In the mid-1990s, the United States Air Force issued two reports that, they said, accounted for the debris found and reported on in 1947, and that also accounted for the later reports of alien recoveries. The reports identified the debris as coming from a top secret government experiment called Project Mogul, which tested the feasibility of detecting Soviet nuclear tests and ballistic missiles with equipment on high-altitude balloons.

Accounts of aliens were explained as resulting from misidentified military experiments that used anthropomorphic dummies, accidents involving injured or killed military personnel, and hoaxes perpetrated by various witnesses and UFO proponents.

 
 

The Air Force report formed a basis for a skeptical response to the claims many authors were making about the recovery of aliens, though skeptical researchers such as Philip J. Klass and Robert Todd had already been publishing articles for several years raising doubts about alien accounts before the Air Force issued its conclusions.While books published into the 1990s suggested there was much more to the Roswell incident than the mere recovery of a weather balloon, skeptics, and even some social anthropologists instead saw the increasingly elaborate accounts as evidence of a myth being constructed. After the release of the Air Force reports in the mid-1990s, several books, such as Kal K. Korff's The Roswell UFO Crash: What They Don't Want You To Know, published in 1997, built on the evidence presented in the reports to conclude "there is no credible evidence that the remains of an extraterrestrial spacecraft was involved

 
 

One of the immediate outcomes of the Air Force reports on the Roswell UFO incident was the decision by some prominent UFO researchers to view the Roswell incident as not involving any alien craft.While the initial Air Force report was a chief reason for this, another was the release of secret documents from 1948 that showed that top Air Force officials did not know what the UFO objects being reported in the media were and their suspicion they might be Soviet spy vehicles.

 
 

In January 1997, Karl T. Pflock, one of the more prominent pro-UFO researchers, said “Based on my research and that of others, I'm as certain as it's possible to be without absolute proof that no flying saucer or saucers crashed in the general vicinity of Roswell or on the Plains of San Agustin in 1947. The debris found by Mac Brazel , was the remains of something very earthly, all but certainly something from the Top Secret Project Mogul.

 
 
The formerly highly classified record of correspondence and discussions among top Air Force officials who were responsible for cracking the flying saucer mystery from the mid-1940s through the early 1950s makes it crystal clear that they didn't have any crashed saucer wreckage or bodies of saucer crews, but they were desperate to have such evidence ."Kent Jeffrey, who organized petitions to ask President Bill Clinton to issue an Executive Order to declassify any government information on the Roswell incident, similarly concluded that no such aliens were likely involved.William L. Moore, one of the earliest proponents of the Roswell incident, said this in 1997: "After deep and careful consideration of recent developments concerning Roswell...I am no longer of the opinion that the extraterrestrial explanation is the best explanation for this event." Moore was co-author of the first book on Roswell, The Roswell Incident
 
 
 

UFO researcher David Rudiak, and others before him, claimed that a telegram that appears in one of the 1947 photos of balloon debris in Ramey's office contains text that confirms that aliens and a "disk" were found. Rudiak and some other examiners claim that when enlarged, the text on the paper General Ramey is holding in his hand includes key phrases "the victims of the wreck" and "in , on the 'disc'" plus other phrases seemingly in the context of a crashed vehicle recovery. However, pro-UFO interpretations of this document are disputed by other photoanalyses, such as one facilitated by researcher James Houran, Ph.D. that suggest the letters and words are indistinct. Other objections question the plausibility of a general allowing himself to be photographed holding such a document, raise issues with the format of the memo, and ponder the logic of Ramey having in his possession a document he, as Rudiak argued, has sent, which says "the wreck you forwarded." yet is supposedly addressed to the Headquarters of the Army Air Force in Washington, not the Roswell Army Air Field
 
 

In April 2011, the FBI posted a document from 1950  on their website 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 stated 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 were "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.Numerous 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

 
 

Kevin D. Randle and Donald R. Schmitt's 1991 nonfiction book UFO Crash at Roswell inspired the 1994 American television film Roswell, which starred Martin Sheen and Kyle MacLachlan. The film depicts Major Jesse Marcel trying to discover the truth about strange debris found on a local rancher's field in Roswell in July 1947. The film received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, but did not win.The 1996 science fiction film Independence Day featured a top secret underground facility at Area 51, which housed a recovered spacecraft and three alien bodies that had been stored there since the Roswell incident.


THE TV SERIES ROSWELL
 The 2008 science fiction film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull begin in "Hanger 51" an allusion to Area 51 and Hangar 18 within the base, and had Dr. Jones lead Soviet agents to a mummified Alien body from the Roswell Site, contained in a chest labeled "Roswell, New Mexico. July, 1947", Jones stating that he was one of twenty-one experts taken in secret to the original Roswell crash to examine the unidentified body.

 


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