The Roswell Incident
Military Operation Dedicated to Recovering Alien Craft and Aliens Themselves



The Roswell Incident
Military Operation Dedicated to Recovering Alien Craft and Aliens Themselves

The Roswell UFO incident involved the recovery of materials near Roswell, New Mexico, in July 1947, which have since become the subject of intense speculation and research. There are widely divergent views on what actually happened and passionate debate about what evidence can be believed.

The United States military maintains that what was recovered was a top-secret research balloon that had crashed. However, many UFO proponents believe the wreckage was of a crashed alien craft and that the military covered up the craft's recovery.


In the mid-1990s, the United States Air Force issued two reports which, they said, accounted for the debris found and reported on in 1947, and which also accounted for the later reports of alien recoveries.

The United States military maintains that what was recovered was a top-secret research balloon that had crashed.

However, many UFO proponents believe the wreckage was of a crashed alien craft and that the military covered up the craft's recovery.

On July 8, 1947, the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) public information officer Walter Haut in Roswell, New Mexico, issued a press release stating that personnel from the field's 509th Bomb Group had recovered a crashed "flying disk" from a ranch near Roswell, sparking intense media interest.

The following day, the press reported that Commanding General of the Eighth Air Force (Roger M. Ramey) stated that, in fact, a radar-tracking balloon had been recovered by the RAAF personnel, not a "flying disc." A subsequent press conference was called, featuring debris said to be from the crashed object, which seemed to confirm the weather balloon description.

The incident was quickly forgotten and almost completely ignored, even by UFO researchers, for more than 30 years. Then, in 1978, physicist and ufologist Stanton T. Friedman interviewed Major Jesse Marcel who was involved with the original recovery of the debris in 1947.

Marcel expressed his belief that the military had covered up the recovery of an alien spacecraft. His story spread through UFO circles, being featured in some UFO documentaries at the time. In February 1980, The National Enquirer ran its own interview with Marcel, garnering national and worldwide attention for the Roswell incident.

Additional witnesses added significant new details, including claims of a huge military operation dedicated to recovering alien craft and aliens themselves, at as many as 11 crash sites, and alleged witness intimidation.

In 1989, former mortician Glenn Dennis put forth a detailed personal account, wherein he claimed that alien autopsies were carried out at the Roswell base.

'Reports of recovered alien bodies were likely a combination of: innocently transformed memories of military accidents involving injured or killed personnel; innocently transformed memories of the recovery of anthropomorphic dummies in military programs like Project High Dive conducted in the 1950s; and hoaxes perpetrated by various witnesses and UFO proponents'

  –– Office of the Secretary of the Air Force

In response to these reports, and after congressional inquiries, the General Accounting Office launched an inquiry and directed the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force to conduct an internal investigation.

The result was summarized in two reports.

The first, released in 1995, concluded that the reported recovered material in 1947 was likely debris from a secret government program called Project Mogul, which involved high altitude balloons meant to detect sound waves generated by Soviet atomic bomb tests and ballistic missiles.

Project Mogul (sometimes referred to as Operation Mogul) was a top secret project by the US Army Air Forces involving microphones flown on high altitude balloons, whose primary purpose was long-distance detection of sound waves generated by Soviet atomic bomb tests.
The second report, released in 1997, concluded that reports of recovered alien bodies were likely a combination of:
  • innocently transformed memories of military accidents involving injured or killed personnel
  • innocently transformed memories of the recovery of anthropomorphic dummies in military programs like Project High Dive conducted in the 1950s
  • and hoaxes perpetrated by various witnesses and UFO proponents.

The Roswell Incident

The Roswell Incident involved the recovery of materials near Roswell, New Mexico, USA, on July 7th, 1947, which has become the subject of intense speculation, rumor and questioning.

There are widely divergent views on what actually happened and passionate debate about what evidence can be believed.


The United States military maintains that what was recovered was a top-secret research balloon that had crashed.


Many UFO proponents believe the wreckage was of a crashed alien craft and that the military covered up the craft's recovery.


The incident has turned into a widely-recognized and referred to pop culture phenomenon, and for some, Roswell is synonymous with UFOs. It ranks as one of the most publicized alleged UFO incidents.


In April 2011, the FBI posted a document from 1950 on their website written by agent Guy Hottel which discussed a report forwarded by an investigator from the Air Force of three alien craft and their occupants having been recovered in New Mexico.

The memo stated that "three so-called flying saucers" were recovered, each circular in shape with raised centers, each about 50 feet in diameter. Three occupants of "human shape," each about three feet tall, were found in each craft, and all were dressed "in metallic cloth of a very fine texture."

The memo said that reports were "high-powered radar" had affected the alien crafts' control systems, causing them to crash. No date was mentioned, though the memo was date-stamped March 22, 1950, and no location more specific than "New Mexico" was mentioned.

The memo stated that "no further evaluation was attempted" by the person who supplied the information. Numerous sources connected the memo to the Roswell UFO incident of 1947.

Other sources said the memo had been in the public domain for years and was revealed as a hoax as far back as 1952 in an article in True magazine. They said the hoax was perpetrated by several men who were peddling a device purported to be able to locate gold, oil, gas or anything their victims sought, based on supposed alien technology.

The two men, Silas Newton and Leo A. Gebauer, were convicted of fraud in 1953.



"I had the evidence that a crash did happen here....Give this information to the young people of the world and this country....They want it. Give it to them. Don't hide it and tell lies and make stories. They're not stupid....It's their information. It doesn't belong to the Army or the Department of Defence. If it's classified, take the classification off and give it to them!"

–– The late Colonel Philip J. Corso, who made this impassioned plea not long before his death (Summer 1998)



The Roswell Incident


The psychological effects of time compression and confusion about when events occurred explained the discrepancy with the years in question.

These reports were dismissed by UFO proponents as being either disinformation or simply implausible.

However, significant numbers of UFO researchers discount the probability that the incident had anything to do with aliens.

While books published into the 1990s suggested there was much more to the Roswell incident than the mere recovery of a weather balloon, skeptics, and even some social anthropologists instead saw the increasingly elaborate accounts as evidence of a myth being constructed.

After the release of the Air Force reports in the mid-1990s, several books, such as Kal K. Korff's The Roswell UFO Crash: What They Don't Want You To Know, published in 1997, built on the evidence presented in the reports to conclude "there is no credible evidence that the remains of an extraterrestrial spacecraft was involved."