Today marks the 66th anniversary of the Roswell UFO incident and debate still continues regarding what exactly happened on that day. All we know for sure is something happened, and the subsequent confusion (some may say cover-up) in the press covering the event and contradictory statements from the US military has been fuel for speculation ever since.
Did the United States recover the wreckage of an alien craft or a weather balloon? Here’s what we know for sure (or pretty close to sure):
On July 8, 1947, Roswell Army Air Field Public Information Officer Walter Haut issued a press statement indicating that a “flying disc” had been recovered from a crash site on a local ranch by elements of the 509th Operations Group. Local newspaper the Roswell Daily Record ran with the story, publishing a front-page feature with the title “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region”. Later that day, another statement was released, this time under Commanding General of the Eight Air Force Roger Ramey. It stated that the object was in fact a weather balloon. At a press conference later that day, officials presented the press with bits of debris that they claimed were part of the balloon.
Decades later, UFOlogist Stanton Friedman interviewed a retired intelligence officer named Jesse Marcel who claimed to have been one of the first officers on the scene of the crash. He stated that the material recovered had unusual properties that led him to believe it to be the remains of an alien craft. It was extremely lightweight and resistant to damage. Other people who examined the material, including a reporter from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, stated that they were satisfied with the military’s explanation that it was a weather balloon.
In time, other former military witnesses, or at least people who claimed to be witnesses, came forward, all with variations on a similar story: A UFO had indeed crashed and they were involved in the recovery of not only that, but also two small bodies. Other government employees and civilians came forward as well, all of them corroborating this alternative narrative.
When Walter Haut, author of the original “flying saucer” press release died in 2002, his posthumous affidavit was released. In it Haut stated that there were actually two crash sites, and that the public’s attention was diverted to the first one in order to keep prying eyes away from the primary site where the UFO had come to rest. Haut further stated that he had actually seen the bodies and an egg-shaped craft.
Was Haut telling the truth, or was it a parting prank at the expense of UFO enthusiasts and the military?
Maybe it was something else. The intelligence community has been known to use the UFO community to spread disinformation to overly curious citizens and rival intelligence agencies alike. Why should Roswell be any different?
What do you think, Disinfonauts? What really happened at Roswell?