The Roswell incident: truth and fiction

The last century turned out to be rich in alien visits. But none of them affected human minds more than the Roswell incident. The alleged UFO crash near the American city of Roswell has turned into one of the greatest mysteries of American history and has also spawned an entire subculture.

Finding of Roswell incident

The city of Roswell in New Mexico is a typical backwater, whose population even in the 2000s was a little more than 45 thousand people. In the yard on July 4, 1947 – the Independence Day of the USA. A local farmer, William Brazel, heard something at night that resembled a strong bang or explosion, accompanied by a strong flash of light.

Nothing was surprising in this – there was a strong thunderstorm on the eve of Independence Day. In the morning, Brazel went to look for his sheep, which were not there, most likely, they were afraid of a thunderstorm and scattered. But the wasteland seven miles from the pasture was literally littered with debris of unknown origin. Mr. Brazel suggested that some kind of aircraft had fallen, but not a weather balloon. Sometimes they were brought to the farm from the territory of local testing grounds, so the man knew what they looked like.

The wreckage found looked different. Among other things, Brazel found some parts made of extremely light material. According to him, they did not burn and did not succumb to any influence at all. The material found resembled foil, with the only difference that it was impossible to tear it, and it had the property of taking on its original appearance. But one of the strangest finds was glass balls, inside of which it was possible to distinguish something like human figures. An important point: there were strange symbols that resembled either Chinese characters or Indian writing on some details.

On the advice of prudent neighbors, Brazel decided to hand over the finds to the local sheriff. He, in turn, quickly realized what was what turned to the military. But Brazel himself was not idle. Soon he told about everything on the air of a local radio station.

Air Force Colonel William Blanchard, who arrived at the scene, analyzed the situation and ordered the Armed Forces to publish a statement in local newspapers. It makes sense to quote it in full: “Roswell Army Air Base, New Mexico, July 8, 1947, morning. Numerous rumors about flying discs were confirmed yesterday when the intelligence department of the 509 bomber Regiment of the Eighth Air Army, with the assistance of a local farmer and the county sheriff, managed to get hold of one of these discs. The flying disc was allegedly discovered near a ranch in the vicinity of Roswell last week. Due to the lack of a phone, only a few days later, the farmer was able to notify the sheriff, who, in turn, notified the head of the intelligence department of the 509 aviation regiment, Major Jesse A. Marcel. Measures were immediately taken, the disk from the ranch was delivered to Roswell Air Base, where it underwent a preliminary examination, after which it was delivered to headquarters by Major Marcell.”

Strange, to say the least, isn’t it? After all, the authors of the statement are military. They should have identified one of their lost vehicles in the wreckage of the “flying disk”.

It was not difficult to predict the reaction to such a message. On July 8, many American newspapers were full of sensational headlines about the discovery of an Alien spacecraft. The European press also did not lose. But soon, the military in the person of General Roger Mason Raimi disavowed their words. Already on July 9, the Roswell Daily Record newspaper completely refuted the message published a day earlier.

Contrary to a common stereotype, the term “unidentified flying object” does not at all imply an alien spaceship. Initially, an unidentified flying object was called any celestial phenomenon that does not have a logical explanation.

What was that?

A planned prank for Independence Day, elementary negligence, or a clumsy attempt by the authorities to hide some secret?

General Raimi’s explanations sounded quite convincing. According to him, a weather balloon crashed near the city of Roswell. After that, all the talk about the alien ship disaster subsided for a long time. William Brazel himself, after communicating with the military, refused to give any information.

It will be appropriate to highlight one important point here. It should be understood that the events unfolded not in our time but in the distant 1940s. The relations of society and the authorities at that time were fundamentally different. When the authorities said: “relax, guys, it’s just a weather balloon,” most of the population switched to another channel.

To prove his words, General Raimi presented the wreckage to journalists. The military was allowed to carefully examine, photograph, and even touch the details of the aircraft. There was nothing mysterious about them. These were the most ordinary details from familiar materials. But experienced journalists, suspecting a trick (the wreckage could have been substituted), wished to meet with Colonel Blanchard personally, responsible for publishing the first statement about the flying disk. They failed to do this. At the entrance to the territory of the Roswell Air Base, journalists were told that the commander had gone on vacation.

One of the most famous documents confirming the UFO version of the Roswell incident is the report of FBI employee John Hottel. With reference to an informant from the Air Force, Hottel describes a story very similar to the story of Walter Hout. The report appeared on the FBI’s website in 2011 and quickly became one of the most popular documents of this department. It is generally believed that this report is based on deception.

The pursuit of sensation

It seems that this whole story would have been safely buried and would never have come back to life if not for one episode. In the late 1970s, an interview was published with the head of the intelligence department of the 509th Aviation Regiment, Major Jesse A. Marcel. Its contents immediately became a sensation. If you believe the words of Major Marcel, the official version is nothing more than an ordinary falsification. All photos depicting the wreckage of the aircraft are fake. But in fact, what Marcel saw coincided like two drops of water with the story of farmer William Brazel: non-bending foil, unknown symbols, elastic heavy-duty bars made of light, but at the same time incredibly durable material. Marcel noted that although he had repeatedly seen weather balloons before, there was nothing in the found debris that even remotely resembled the details of it.

However, Marcel and Brazel are far from the only witnesses to the disaster. But most of such evidence causes reasonable skepticism. What did not numerous eyewitnesses discover at the crash site? If you take their words on faith, then at the crash site, you could see not only the wreckage of the aircraft but also the aliens themselves.

According to some evidence, the fallen ship was not seriously damaged. At least, in its outlines, it was easy to guess a UFO. To be more precise, a flying saucer, well-known to residents of the United States from science fiction films about aliens. Something else is unclear. Major Marcel’s long-term silence about what he saw can be explained by the fact that at the time of the incident, he was a military man, and duty forced him to keep his mouth shut. But what forced ordinary mortals to remain silent?

Debris of Roswell incident.
Debris of Roswell incident. ©Wikipedia

After Marcel’s interview, the flywheel of sensations was already launched. To attract attention, it was enough to say: “I saw it with my own eyes.” Many residents of Roswell did so. As a result, the truth was buried under a multi-ton layer of falsifications. We can say that the scammers have achieved their goal.

The small town of Roswell quickly turned into a real Mecca for flying saucer lovers from all over the world. Now the entire local economy is supported by a multimillion army of tourists. Interest in the event of more than half a century ago does not weaken. And if it goes down, then there is little doubt that new eyewitness accounts will soon appear. However, not so much the eyewitnesses themselves, as their children or grandchildren.

The absolute majority of UFO sightings find their own completely earthly explanation. Most often, natural phenomena or experimental aircraft are mistaken for UFOs. Only about 5-10% of all observations really defy explanation.

The will

Anyway, it makes sense to tell about one more important testimony. On December 15, 2005, a certain Walter Hout died at the age of 84. In 1947, Lieutenant Hout served at Roswell Air Force Base and was responsible for public relations. It was he who, on the orders of Colonel William Blanchard, compiled the text of the statement about the discovery of the wreckage of an unidentified flying object.

The text of the will (drawn up back in 2002), made public after the death of Walter Hout, read: “Before I left the base, Colonel Blanchard personally took me to the building No. 84 (hangar P-3)… Even on the approach, I saw that it was heavily guarded from the outside and from the inside. Inside, I was allowed to look from a safe distance at an object that had just been picked up north of the city. It was about 3.5 – 4.5 meters long, not very wide, about 1.8 meters high, and had a more or less ovoid shape. The lighting was poor, but its surface seemed metallic. I didn’t see any windows, portholes, wings, tail, or landing gear. Also, from some distance, I saw a couple of corpses under a tarp. Only their heads were sticking out from under it, and I couldn’t make out the features of their faces. The heads were larger than an ordinary person’s, and the contours of the bodies under the tarpaulin were the size of 10-year-old children. Later, Blanchard in his office raised his hand about 1.2 meters above the floor, showing their height.”

An illustration of an Alien
An illustration of an Alien

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