55 Years Later, Roswell Incident Remains a Mystery
Ufologist discusses his theories on what happened ... and why it would be covered up by: James Quirk Jr.
Fifty-five years ago, something fell from the sky and crashed in the desert outside of Roswell, N.M.
What that "something" was, however, remains a mystery.
During the summer of 1947, reports of "flying discs" ran rampant across the country.
On July 8, 1947, the Roswell Army Air Field in southeastern New Mexico issued a press release that momentarily shocked the world.
"The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the Intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff's office of Chaves County," the release stated.
"The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, (Rancher Mac Brazel) stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff's office, who in turn notified Maj. Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office. Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher's home. It was inspected at the (air field) and subsequently loaned by (Marcel) to higher headquarters."
Three hours after the story was released, it was replaced with a story that indicated the wreckage merely was parts of a weather balloon with an attached metal radar reflector that mistakenly had been identified as a flying saucer.
The excitement died and so did the story, until the late 1970s, when Stanton T. Friedman, a nuclear physicist and ufologist, reopened the case.
Friedman, who now lives in New Brunswick, Canada, discussed his investigation with The Hawk Eye and some of his conclusions.
Marcel, who was living in Houma, La., in the late 1970s, told Friedman he was familiar with experimental balloons and said the material he handled was something he never saw before or since.
Marcel, who since has died, said he was told by higher military authorities in 1947 to forget the incident.
As the reinvigorated Roswell story gained publicity throughout the 1980s, hundreds of witnesses to the alleged UFO crash stepped forward, some of whom claimed to have not only seen parts of the craft, but also its alien occupants. Many second-hand accounts also surfaced.
In most of the accounts, there were four alien bodies found at another site away from Brazel's ranch and one of the creatures was still alive.
The aliens were described as short, gray-skinned creatures with large concave eyes and oversized heads.
Regarding the wreckage, witnesses purported it was made of a sort of metal that could not be bent or burned and I-beam fragments contained strange, indecipherable hieroglyphics. Other material that resembled thin aluminum foil would straighten itself out when crumbled into a ball, some witnesses alleged.
Many of the witnesses who saw the debris or aliens said they kept silent for years because military officials told them they would be killed if they ever talked about it to anybody.
The story became so sensational that the U.S. Air Force released two reports during the 1990s that attempted to debunk the claims.
The first report, "Fact Vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert," was released in 1994 and explained that recovered in Roswell in 1947 was debris from an Army Air Forces balloon that was part of a top-secret project called Mogul.
Project Mogul used high-altitude balloons in an attempt to spy on the Soviet Union's atomic bomb tests.
A 1997 Air Force report, "Case Closed," attempted to dispel rumors of alien bodies by explaining witnesses to such events actually had seen anthropomorphic dummies that were used in a special study and dropped in the desert from high-altitudes.
"The object of these studies was to devise a method to return a pilot or astronaut to earth by parachute, if forced to escape at extreme altitudes," the report explained.
However, the Air Force concluded that all of the witnesses to alien bodies were wrong about seeing them in 1947 because the dummies weren't used until 1953.
"From 1953 to 1959, anthropomorphic dummies were used by the U.S. Air Force ... as part of the high altitude aircraft escape projects High Dive and Excelsior," the report stated.
Gerald Anderson, one of the witnesses to alien bodies, was a young boy at the time of the 1947 incident and was on a family outing in west-central New Mexico when the group stumbled upon the wreckage of a purported space vehicle.
"There was a large silver disc shaped object ... embedded in the side of the ridge line," Anderson told Air Force officials. "There was debris and wreckage strewn about the area, mainly this thing was intact. When we got up to it there were four bodies there ... not human."
Anderson said he at first thought the four crew members were "plastic dolls" until he realized that one of them was moving and alive.
"These creatures, all of them, were, oh, about four foot tall, four and a half feet tall," Anderson told the Air Force. "They had very large heads that were shaped larger on the top and they kind of tapered down where they were thin."
Anderson said two of the creatures were dead, another very badly injured and "one of them apparently suffered no ill effects."
"It didn't appear to be injured and was ambulatory."
Anderson said military personnel then showed up at the site and ordered the civilians to leave immediately or face the consequences - imprisonment or death.
The Air Force, however, assessed in its report that the "crew members" Anderson saw were dummies.
"The statement 'I thought they were plastic dolls' seems an odd choice of words to describe an extraterrestrial being and is a likely reference to an anthropomorphic dummy whose skin was made of plastic," the report concluded.
Friedman doesn't understand how the Air Force can construe Anderson's choice of words "odd" in describing the extraterrestrial beings, unless, of course, the Air Force knows for a fact that an extraterrestrial being doesn't look like a plastic doll.
As for reports witnesses were threatened, the Air Force asserted these claims as "profoundly inaccurate."
"Threats, intimidation, or other types of misconduct by Balloon Branch personnel would have served no purpose since without the cooperation of local persons, many (dummy) recoveries would not have been possible," the report concluded.
The Air Force also maintains that the crashed large, disc-shaped spacecraft witnesses allege the aliens were apparently ejected from was actually a suspension rack that carried a payload of anthropomorphic dummies.
Friedman said he and other UFO proponents agree that the U.S. government must think people are dummies if they expect the public to believe the Air Force report demystifies the events that occurred in Roswell in 1947.
If anything, the report only serves to further corroborate the UFO reality because the Air Force explanations for witness accounts of alien bodies, extraterrestrial spacecraft and alleged military intimidation are "ridiculous," he said.
Friedman offers five reasons why the government continues to cover up any knowledge of UFOs.
From a government's viewpoint, what is most important about flying saucers is the technology ... the first country to duplicate the ability of flying saucers to move at very high speed and very slowly, to make right angle turns at very high speed, to move up and down vertically, usually with little noise or exhaust or visible external engines, will rule the planet ... Fifty-five years is a very, very short time to try to learn the technological secrets of a civilization (or civilizations) that might be thousands or millions of years ahead of us, especially since technological progress comes from doing things differently in an unpredictable way.
Governments must be concerned about the possibility of "the other guy" ... figuring out how (flying saucers) work before we do ... we certainly don't want them to know we know they know.
The third problem for governments is political ... church attendance would increase as would mental hospital admissions. The stock market would go down. The biggest reactions ... would be a push from the younger generation ... for a new view of ourselves as Earthlings instead of as Americans, Canadians, Peruvians, Chinese, etc. Friedman "knows of no government that wants its citizens to owe their primary allegiance to the planet instead of that government."
Certain Christian fundamentalists have strongly expressed the view that mankind represents the only intelligent beings in the universe and that this flying saucer stuff is the work of the devil ... they would be up the creek without a religious paddle should an announcement be made.
Economic chaos likely would result if an announcement were made that the earth is being visited by intelligent life from other planets, Friedman explained. "We earthlings don't seem to be very good at large scale economic transitions," he said.
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