Facts About The Roswell Incident in 1947

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Facts about the Roswell UFO
An artist’s depiction of a UFO in the sky over Roswell, New Mexico. The government said it was a weather balloon that crashed. But some people believe it was something that’s not from here.


The Mystery of Roswell: Exploring the Enigma of the 1947 Incident

In the early summer of 1947, something crashed in the desert of New Mexico near the town of Roswell. This incident has been a subject of fascination, controversy, and debate for over seven decades. The Roswell Incident has become a cornerstone of UFO lore and conspiracy theories, with many claiming that the United States government recovered an extraterrestrial spacecraft and its occupants. This article delves deep into the mysterious event that unfolded in Roswell, offering both eyewitness accounts and government statements to provide an extensive account of what truly transpired in the New Mexico desert.

The Incident

On July 8, 1947, the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) released a statement claiming to have recovered a “flying disc” on a local ranch (Berlitz & Moore, 1980). This announcement ignited the public’s imagination, spawning headlines and speculation across the nation. However, just a day later, the US military retracted its initial statement, insisting that the debris recovered was merely a weather balloon (Berlitz & Moore, 1980). This quick reversal sparked suspicion and disbelief, fueling conspiracy theories for years to come.

Eyewitness Accounts

Many witnesses came forward with their accounts of the Roswell Incident, from local ranchers to military personnel. One of the most notable witnesses was Major Jesse Marcel, who was involved in the initial investigation and recovery of the wreckage. In a 1979 interview, Marcel described the debris as “nothing made on this earth” (Friedman & Berliner, 1992).

Another key witness was Glenn Dennis, a local mortician who claimed that in the aftermath of the incident, he received a call from the RAAF requesting several small, hermetically sealed caskets (Randle & Schmitt, 1991). Additionally, Dennis stated that he saw strange debris and injured beings being transported by military personnel (Randle & Schmitt, 1991).

William “Mac” Brazel, the rancher who discovered the wreckage, also described the debris in a way that fueled speculation. Brazel said, “I am sure that what I found was not any weather observation balloon… But if I find anything else besides a bomb, they are going to have a hard time getting me to say anything about it” (Berlitz & Moore, 1980, p. 57).

Other witnesses included members of the military and civilians alike. For example, in a 1991 interview, former Lt. Walter Haut, who served as the RAAF’s public information officer at the time of the incident, claimed he saw an egg-shaped craft and small alien bodies being transported under military guard (Randle & Schmitt, 1991). Haut’s statements added to the growing body of evidence suggesting a government cover-up.

Alien spaceship or weather balloon?
An artist’s depiction of what aliens might look like if they existed, based on common descriptions.

Moreover, various researchers have collected testimonies from anonymous sources who claimed to have participated in the recovery and examination of the crashed object and its occupants (Corso & Birnes, 1997; Randle & Schmitt, 1994). These testimonies have fueled speculation that the United States government not only recovered an extraterrestrial craft but also conducted secret research on the technology and biology of its occupants.

The U.S. Government’s Response

The U.S. government has maintained its stance that the Roswell Incident was nothing more than a misidentified weather balloon. In 1994, the United States Air Force (USAF) released a report titled “The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert,” which concluded that the recovered wreckage was part of a top-secret project called “Project Mogul” (McAndrew, 1994). Project Mogul involved high-altitude balloons carrying sensitive equipment designed to detect Soviet nuclear tests (McAndrew, 1994). The balloons were made of unusual materials, which could explain the strange debris reported by witnesses.

However, this explanation has not satisfied many who believe that the government is covering up the truth about the Roswell Incident. In response to continued public interest, the USAF released another report in 1997, titled “The Roswell Report: Case Closed” (Klass, 1997). This report aimed to debunk claims of alien bodies, attributing them to misremembered military accidents and classified projects involving human test subjects (Klass, 1997). Despite these efforts, skepticism and suspicion remain.

The Influence of the Roswell Incident on Pop Culture

The mysterious events surrounding the Roswell Incident have permeated popular culture, inspiring numerous books, films, television series, and even music. The 1994 television movie “Roswell,” starring Kyle MacLachlan, dramatized the alleged cover-up, while the popular TV series “The X-Files” frequently made references to Roswell and the supposed government conspiracy. The 1999-2002 teen drama series “Roswell” centered on the lives of alien-human hybrids living in the town, blending science fiction with adolescent angst.

The Roswell Incident has also served as the basis for numerous documentaries, such as “UFOs: It Has Begun” (1979), “The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence” (2002), and “Roswell: The Final Declassification” (2005). These documentaries often feature interviews with witnesses, experts, and researchers, providing audiences with various perspectives on the incident.

The persistence of the Roswell mystery in popular culture demonstrates its enduring appeal and the public’s continued fascination with the possibility of extraterrestrial life and government cover-ups.

Alternative Explanations

As the debate over the Roswell Incident continues, various alternative explanations have been proposed. Some researchers suggest that the crashed object was an experimental aircraft, such as a Horten flying wing or a prototype of the Bell X-1 rocket plane, both of which were being developed and tested during the late 1940s (Sheaffer, 1998). Others propose that the recovered debris was part of a failed Soviet plot to sow panic in the United States by sending a hoax extraterrestrial craft (Jacobsen, 2011).

While these alternative explanations have their proponents, they have not gained as much traction as the extraterrestrial hypothesis or the official government explanation. The Roswell Incident remains a subject of intense debate and interest, with new theories and evidence frequently emerging.


The Roswell Incident remains one of the most enduring and enigmatic events in UFO history. The mysterious nature of the debris and the numerous eyewitness accounts have fueled speculation and conspiracy theories for decades. While the U.S. government has consistently offered explanations for the incident, many remain unconvinced, believing that the truth about extraterrestrial life is being concealed. As new evidence and testimony continue to emerge, the debate surrounding the Roswell Incident is unlikely to abate any time soon. Ultimately, the event serves as a testament to humanity’s enduring fascination with the unknown and our quest for answers to the mysteries of the universe.

Fact Sources:

Berlitz, C., & Moore, W. L. (1980). The Roswell Incident. Grosset & Dunlap.

Corso, P., & Birnes, W. J. (1997). The Day After Roswell. Pocket Books.

Friedman, S., & Berliner, D. (1992). Crash at Corona: The U.S. Military Retrieval and Cover-up of a UFO. Paragon House.

Jacobsen, A. (2011). Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base. Little, Brown and Company.

Klass, P. J. (1997). The Roswell Report: Case Closed. Random House.

McAndrew, J. P. (1994). The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert. U.S. Government Printing Office.

Randle, K. D., & Schmitt, D. R. (1991). UFO Crash at Roswell. Avon Books.

Randle, K. D., & Schmitt, D. R. (1994). The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell. M. Evans & Company.

Sheaffer, R. (1998). UFO Sightings: The Evidence. Prometheus Books.