It was an incident that soon died down as if it had never happened, only to be awoken in controversy years later, creating mass hype and curiosity.
It would start the modern fascination with anything extra-terrestrial and other-worldly, and be perhaps the most famous event to have spawned multiple conspiracy theories attached to it in our modern time. It has been the subject of movies, documentaries, books and a popular teen television series was created depicting events from said event.
It is the Roswell Incident.
Sometime in either June or July of 1947 (depending on the source) an object was said to have crash landed on a ranch near Roswell, and a foreman by the name of William "Mac" Brazel came upon debris that he described as a "large area of bright wreckage made up of rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks."
Upon reporting the wreckage to the local authority he was accompanied by RAAF Major Jesse Marcel and a "plain-clothed man" back at the ranch where more of the debris was collected.
Truth, Lies, Coverups?
It was in 1978 that the incident became news again, when Major Jesse Marcel was interviewed on American television and, supposedly on his death-bed, was interviewed by a UFO researcher and made claims that it was actually a "flying saucer", not a weather balloon that had been recovered, and that that wasn't all. Stories began emerging of the Army recovering a number of alien bodies, in some accounts they were dead, some claimed at least one was alive when found.
Soon books began being released by so-called UFO researchers claiming not only that a bunch of archaeology students had found the crash site first, but witnesses, some being nurses and army personnel, saw alien bodies being retrieved, examined and possibly destroyed. People began claiming that they saw and held some of the wreckage before the Army retrieved it, and that they had all been threatened and harrassed by Military officers wanting to perpetuate a cover-up. Some began claiming that the debris shown to the media by Major Marcel was in fact a weather balloon, but not the actual debris recovered from the ranch.
The following years saw numerous similar claims being made, and a number of new claims were made, including that there was another original crash site, that people who had spoken out about the incident were being visited by "Men In Black", and more witnesses emerged claiming to have seen dead alien corpses and unbreakable, un-burnable material.
The 1990's saw more claims, and it became encased in popular culture, and late in the decade film footage emerged of an "alien autopsy" supposedly having occurred shortly after the Roswell crash. It was supposedly taken by an American military officer, and is in poor quality. This film is considered a fake, although some die-hard UFO proponents still claim the footage is real, although the identity of the camera-man has never been revealed.
In July 1994 the Pentagon launched their own investigation, due largely to mounting public interest and pressure, and admitted in their findings that, yes, the official weather balloon story given was in fact a lie, and yes, there was a cover-up of sorts, however it didn't involve anything extraterrestrial. It was a high-altitude balloon used in what was called Project Mogul, a top-secret experiment in detecting Soviet nuclear tests and missiles. The so-called witness testimony of alien bodies was explained away by mis-identification of test dummies, with claims even being made perhaps people saw deformed, dead monkeys that were used in military experiments. Many purported eyewitnesses swore and still swear that they did not see monkeys.
The story has become mythic, encased in controversy, contradiction and confusion. Roswell has become a Mecca for UFO researchers and believers, and the story has helped tourism and the local economy.
Did an extra-terrestrial craft and its alien crew crash near Roswell in 1947?
Or did the U.S. Military cover up a experiment investigating Soviet activities, inadvertantly bringing about the creation of UFOlogy and modern conspiracy theories regarding spacecraft?
Put together by Ashley Hall 2014