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Roswell UFO Incident

Roswell's UFO Incident: What Really Happened There?

Sixty-six years ago, Roswell, a small desert town in the southeastern corner of New Mexico, was thrust into the national spotlight. An Army Air Force intelligence officer had recovered debris from what appeared to be a flying disc, but the exact kind of aircraft — or the cargo it carried — remained a mystery.

Much of what happened in Roswell is now speculation. There was a 1999 TV show based on the events, and an International UFO Museum was built in the New Mexico town to provide information about unidentified flying objects to researchers, students, and media.

Thinking about launching your own investigation into the possible E.T. sighting? Start with these essential facts about Roswell's unexplained extraterrestrial phenomenon.

  • On July 8, 1947, public information officer Lt. Walter Haut issued a press release stating that a "flying disc," which was "hexagonal in shape," had been found. The disc resembled a "high-altitude weather balloon with a radar reflector," according to the report.
  • A Roswell Daily News article stated two people, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wilmot, reported seeing a "large glowing object" speeding out of the sky from the southeast.
  • The Air Force concluded that the UFO was the result of a high-altitude research balloon launch, and claims of "alien bodies" were a combination of a 1956 KC-97 aircraft crash in which 11 Air Force members died and a 1959 manned balloon accident that ended with two pilot injuries.
  • In the 1970s, Major Jesse A. Marcel, an Army Air Force intelligence officer, revealed that the material recovered in Roswell was indeed extraterrestrial, and the story began to unravel. He claimed that there was a "parchmentlike substance" with unrecognizable hieroglyphic-type inscriptions.
  • Extensive research has been done on the UFO sighting. Learn more about the eyewitness accounts, government intelligence reports, and Roswell residents at the time in UFO Crash at Roswell by Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt and The Roswell Incident by Charles Berlitz and William Moore.
Source: US Air Force
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