THE ROSWELL INCIDENT, 1947
On the evening of July 2, 1947, a bright, disk-shaped object was seen flying over Roswell, New Mexico, heading northwest. The following day widely scattered wreckage was discovered about seventy-five miles northwest of Roswell by a local ranch manager, William Brazel, together with his son and daughter. The authorities were eventually alerted and a quantity of wreckage was recovered by Major Jesse Marcel, a staff intelligence officer of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office at the Army Air Forces base at Roswell Field, together with a Counter-Intelligence Corps officer.
When the officers had returned to the Roswell base, an official press statement was released, authorized by Colonel William Blanchard, confirming that wreckage of a flying disk had been recovered. Shortly after that, Marcel was ordered to load the debris on a B-29 and fly it to Wright Field (currently Wright-Patterson AFB) at Dayton, Ohio, for examination.
On arrival at an intermediate stop at Carswell Army Air Forces Base, Fort Worth, Texas (headquarters of the Eighth Air Force), General Roger Ramey took over and ordered Marcel and others on the plane not to talk to reporters. A second press statement was issued which stated that the wreckage was actually the remains of a weather balloon and its attached tinfoil radar target, and this was prominently displayed at the press conference. Meanwhile, the "real" wreckage arrived at Wright Field under armed guard; Marcel returned to Roswell, and Brazel was held incommunicado for nearly a week while the crash site was stripped of every scrap of debris.
A news leak via press wire from Albuquerque describing this fantastic story was interrupted and the radio station in question, and another, were warned not to continue the broadcast: "Attention Albuquerque: Cease Transmission. Repeat. Cease Transmission. National Security Item. Do Not Transmit. Stand By..."
The unidentified wreckage, scattered over an area three-quarters of a mile long by several hundred feet wide, consisted of various types of debris, which according to Major Marcel was like nothing he had seen before or since. In his words, "There was all kinds of stuff---small beams about three eighths or a half inch square with some sort of hieroglyphics on them that nobody could decipher. These looked something like balsa wood, and were of about the same weight, except that they were not wood at all. They were very hard, although flexible, and would not burn. There was a great deal of unusual parchment-like substance which was brown in color and extremely strong, and a great number of small pieces of a metal like tinfoil, except that it wasn't tinfoil."
Marcel added that one piece of metal foil, two feet long and a foot wide, was so durable that it could not be dented with a sledgehammer, despite its being incredibly light. Marcel was absolutely convinced that the material had nothing to do with a weather balloon or radar target. His testimony cannot be dismissed, owing to his background in aviation: he had served as bombardier, waist-gunner, and pilot, had logged 468 hours of combat flying in B-24 aircraft, and was awarded five air medals for shooting down enemy aircraft in World War 2. Toward the end of the war he was attached to the 509th Bomb Wing, an elite military group for which all involved required high-security clearances. Following the Roswell incident he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assigned to a Special Weapons Program.
Marcel was certain that no bodies were found among the debris, and that whatever the object was it must have exploded above ground level. But the evidence suggests that there was another crash site, in an area west of Socorro, New Mexico, known as the Plains of San Agustin, where witnesses supposedly discovered not only a damaged metallic "aircraft" resting on the flat desert ground, but also dead bodies.
The first witness on the scene was Grady L. "Barney" Barnett, a civil engineer with the US Soil Conservation Service who was on a military assignment at the time. He told some friends that in early July 1947 he had encountered a metallic, disk shaped "aircraft" about twenty-five or thirty feet in diameter. While he was examining it, a small group of people arrived who claimed to be part of an archaeological research team from the University of Pennsylvania.
Barnett later told his friends, "I noticed that they were standing around looking at some dead bodies that had fallen to the ground. I think there were others in the machine, which was kind of a metallic...disk It was not all that big. It seemed to be made of a metal that looked like stainless steel. The machine had been split open by explosion or impact."
"I tried to get close to see what the bodies were like. They were all dead as far as I could see and there were bodies inside and outside the vehicle. The ones outside had been tossed out by impact. They were like humans but they were not humans. The heads were round, the eyes were small, and they had no hair. The eyes were oddly spaced. They were quite small by our standards and their heads were larger in proportion to their bodies than ours. Their clothing seemed to be one-piece and gray in color. You couldn't see any zippers, belts, or buttons."
"While we were looking at them a military officer drove up in a truck with a driver and took control. He told everybody that the Army was taking over and to get out of the way. Other military personnel came up and cordoned off the area. We were told to leave the area and not talk to anyone whatever about what we had seen... that it was our patriotic duty to remain silent."
It is not known for certain if the craft and occupants allegedly witnessed by Barnett were connected with the Roswell wreckage. The Plains of San Agustin, near Magdalena, New Mexico, are about 150 miles west of Brazel's ranch site. Was the wreckage recovered at Roswell part of the same craft that had somehow managed to remain airborne for that distance before crashing on the Plains, or was it another craft that had also crashed? Some believe that two flying saucers collided, with one crashing at Roswell, the other making it to the Plains of San Agustin before crashing.
Bill Moore (co-author of "The Roswell Incident"), in one of his updated research papers on Roswell, concludes that while there is insufficient evidence to substantiate Barnett's story or to justify linking it with what he calls the "proven" recovery of out of the ordinary wreckage at Brazel's Roswell ranch site, there is no reason to entirely dismiss the account.
There is also the intriguing theory that the first press release, announcing the recovery of a crashed disk, was a counterintelligence ploy to deflect attention from the craft and bodies then littering the Plains of San Agustin.
Leading researchers Stanton Friedman (a nuclear physicist and author) and Bill Moore have interviewed at least ninety-two witnesses who provided information about this sensational incident, of whom thirty were involved with the discovery, recovery, or subsequent official cover-up. Ten of the original witnesses have identified the object as nonterrestrial in origin.