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Truth or Conspiracy: Roswell

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Truth or Conspiracy: Roswell


Did UFOs land in the New Mexico desert? Or was it a hoax?


The first in a series called Truth or Conspiracy, the Today show looks at the Roswell incident. Then UFOlogist Kevin Randle and Karl Pflock of the Mutual UFO Network, talk with Today's Katie Couric about the Roswell incident.




Aug. 3, 2001 - In July 1947, the United States military reported that a flying saucer had crashed in the New Mexico desert and had been retrieved. The military retracted its report the very next day. But they weren't able to stop the rumors or conflicting eyewitness accounts about what really happened - or the speculation that continues to this day. "Today" host Katie Couric reports on the Roswell incident: truth or conspiracy?


One in every three adults believe an alien spaceship did land in Roswell.


THERE'S NO MISTAKING Roswell - even an alien couldn't miss it.


But what really happened the week of July 4th, 1947 in the New Mexico desert? Many theories have been proposed over the past 54 years.


"We had in our possession a flying saucer," says Walter Haut. Haut never actually saw any spaceship. But he wrote the initial press release his commander had ordered announcing the discovery. And he still believes its true. "When a little first lieutenant is told something by a (full) bird colonel, it's a very rare occasion where you question him."


And according to a poll released by the market research firm Zogby International, many Americans share his conviction.


One in every three adults believe an alien spaceship did land in Roswell.


And there is no shortage of books, movies and TV shows on the subject, making it hard for people to separate fact from fiction. Even many of the infamous eyewitness accounts are still unconfirmed or have been disproved.


Bob Shirkey worked in operations at the Roswell army-air force base and claims he saw the actual wreckage. "This is the hangar where the alien craft was brought to, and eventually, the bodies were put in here in their coffins," says Shirkey.


The day after retracting its initial report, the military said the only thing that crash landed in Roswell was a weather balloon.


But that explanation doesn't satisfy the people who say they had a role in the Roswell incident.


"They came up with ideas that would cover everything up, but it's not that easy," says Haut.


Glenn Dennis worked at the local funeral home and says the military called him the night of the crash.


"I got this call supposedly from the mortuary officer asking me questions did we have a 3 foot 6 or 4 foot baby hermetically sealed caskets," says Dennis.


He believes they wanted them to transport alien bodies because, he says, a nurse at the base told him about four aliens found at the scene.


The bodies were so fragile they couldn't weigh over 30 pounds - one of the hands was severed and they turned it over and they were very fragile with pads on the ends.


The nurse has never been found, but the story was fueled in 1995 by the discovery of this purported alien autopsy film, now widely believed to be a hoax.


In 1997, the U.S. Air Force released the "Roswell Report: Case Closed" which claimed what witnesses actually saw were remnants of military testing.


A Pentagon briefing backed that claim by saying the bodies observed in the New Mexico desert were probably test dummies.


Regardless of developments, or the lack of them, interest in the Roswell mystery has only grown. The potential for tourism so great, some of those involved in the crash aftermath have created a UFO museum there. They still maintain that aliens landed in Roswell.


Haut says "honestly, I'd been told by several that this was something that was not of this earth."


More than one million people have visited the museum so far - some are skeptics, some true believers. But all who do visit are fascinated by the mystery that still surrounds the town of Roswell.


For more information on Roswell:

Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe By Karl T. Pflock Foreword by Jerry Pournelle

The Roswell Encyclopedia By Kevin D. Randle



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