Roswell "Roswell," the very mention of the word brings images of a crashed UFO, aliens, government cover-up, autopsies, hidden debris, guarded charred bodies, and weather balloons. In the history of UFO reports, no case has received the world-wide attention as the Roswell event of 1947. Not only did the alleged crash of a flying saucer create mass coverage at the time of the event, but remains today as an often discussed case by which all other cases are judged. So many books and articles have been written about Roswell, it is not an easy task to write another, but I feel that no UFO enthusiast cannot include it among his comments. The Roswell event is the cornerstone of UFO research. The case offers everything one could imagine; a crash of some flying craft, direct, hands on testimony of witnesses who handled crash debris, government cover-up and secrecy, and most of all a list of participants which is generally listed at around 500 first and secondhand testimonials. Ironically, the alleged crash story originally died as quickly as it began. It would be many years before UFO researchers refueled the fire behind its enormous potential. Most all of us are familiar with the famous Roswell headline stating that the Army had captured a "flying saucer," and then the retraction a few hours later, substituting a balloon for the crashed saucer. At the time of the original event, a sense of naivety and trust gave birth to a rapid, quiet acceptance of the retraction, and there the event died. But, fortunately, it was resurrected in 1976, and has kept pace with all other events of the last 50+ years. It would be January 1976, when ufologists William Moore, and Stanton R. Friedman were mulling over some interview notes from two witnesses whom Friedman had met with. A man and a woman, who both had knowledge of a crashed saucer in July 1947 in Corona, New Mexico were the key witnesses. A retired Air Force officer, Major Jesse A. Marcel asserted that he had first hand involvement in the crash debris, and the Air Force cover-up. The woman was Lydia Sleppy, who had been employed at an Albuquerque radio station KOAT. She claimed that the military had covered-up the story of a crashed saucer, and the bodies of "little men," who were aboard the craft. She also claimed that the Air Force had literally stopped the sending of a teletype news report of the incident. The USA Military had announced to the world that it had captured a flying saucer on a remote ranch in Corona, and then about four hours later corrected the story, saying that what was found was just a weather balloon with a radar reflector kite. We have two stories. Which one is the truth? Though subsequent confirmations of the balloon theory continue, as long as we have firsthand witnesses who defy this explanation, the investigation must continue. Of all of the explanations given to Project Bluebook, it is quite strange that the Roswell story was never mentioned. The story that died so quickly was rarely mentioned from the beginning, the only one, to my knowledge, was in a mid-1950's lecture by UFO enthusiast Frank Edward. It seems that from the beginning, a grass roots group of believers would perpetuate this grand story. When we solve the puzzle of the many UFO reports, it will be due to this grass roots movement. The truth is hard to kill. It would be June 24, 1947, when the term, "flying saucer" was coined by pilot Kenneth Arnold. He used this term to describe UFOs flying over Mr. Ranier, and only a couple of weeks later, the phrase was used by the Air Force to explain what had been found in Corona, New Mexico. The alleged crash debris was flown to Eight Army Air Force Headquarters in Ft. Worth, Texas, and somehow between the time that Jesse Marcel Sr. had handled the "other worldly" material and its arrival in Ft. Worth, the strange material had lost its luster, and became just a weather balloon. The Air Force had effectively murdered the eye witness accounts, and made fools of all who were involved. Marcel would categorically state that the debris he held in his hands, and showed to his family, was not the same material shown in photos of the "balloon wreckage." What happened to the saucer debris? An uncertified, but controversial document might provide an answer. Supposedly a brief prepared for then President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower, this document was authored on November 18, 1952. It asserts that on September 24, 1947, President Harry S. Truman ordered the genesis of the highly top-secret "Operation Majestic-12," to study the remains of the Roswell crash. These papers would arrive in a plain manilla envelope, postmarked Albuquerque, in the post of Los Angeles television producer Jaime Shandera in December 1984. In the early part of 1987, another copy was given to Timothy Good, a British ufologist. Good released it to the British press in May. These documents caused quite a stir, but their authenticity cannot be established beyond doubt. The jury is still out on the MJ-12 papers, but many ufologists view it as a hoax. The issue itself is not insurmountable, however, as a huge amount of evidence still remains to establish the Roswell crash as a reality. What happened to the saucer debris? An uncertified, but controversial document might provide an answer. Supposedly a brief prepared for then President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower, this document was authored on November 18, 1952. It asserts that on September 24, 1947, President Harry S. Truman ordered the genesis of the highly top-secret "Operation Majestic-12," to study the remains of the Roswell crash. These papers would arrive in a plain manilla envelope, postmarked Albuquerque, in the post of Los Angeles television producer Jaime Shandera in December 1984. In the early part of 1987, another copy was given to Timothy Good, a British ufologist. Good released it to the British press in May. These documents caused quite a stir, but their authenticity cannot be established beyond doubt. The jury is still out on the MJ-12 papers, but many ufologists view it as a hoax. The issue itself is not insurmountable, however, as a huge amount of evidence still remains to establish the Roswell crash as a reality. The events of Roswell began on either July 2 or July 4 (there is some disagreement here). A throwback to western days, William W. "Mac" Brazel, a sheep rancher, would etch his name forever into UFO history, a designation that he neither desired, nor appreciated. A common working man, Brazel was foreman of the Foster Ranch in Lincoln County, near Corona, New Mexico. Brazel was a family man, but his wife and children lived in Tularosa, near Alamogordo. The reason for this arrangement was so his children could attend better schools than they would at Corona. Brazel stayed in an older house on the ranch, where he tended sheep, and the general chores of the ranch. He was a simple man, content with his job, family, and his life. Mac would be thrust into the limelight for a brief period of time, and ultimately regret ever reporting what he was about to discover on the range of the Foster Ranch. An evening thunderstorm was raging at the close of another workday, The storm was highlighted by numerous bolts of lightning. These summer storms were not uncommon for these parts, but this evening Mac noticed something different.. a sound, like an explosion mingled with the typical sounds of a storm. Two of Mac's children were staying with him that night at his farm house. Mac retired with his two children, and temporarily forgot about the sounds of that night. The next day's sun brought Mac out again to ride the fences, and check on his sheep. He was accompanied that day with a seven-year-old neighbor boy, William D. "Dee" Proctor, who often rode with Mac. As they rode into the open field, ahead of them they noticed an area about a quarter of a mile long and several hundred feet wide, covered with debris of some type. The debris was composed of small pieces of a shiny, metallic material, a material that Mac had never seen before. The sheep would not cross the fragmented pieces, and they had to be taken the long way around that day. Because of the curious nature of the debris, Mac picked up some of it and carried it back to store in a shed. Little did he know the significance of his find. One of his children, Bessie Brazel recalled: "There was what appeared to be pieces of heavily waxed paper and a sort of aluminum-like foil. Some of these pieces had something like numbers and lettering on them, but there were no words you were able to make out. Some of the metal-foil pieces had a sort of tape stuck to them, and when these were held to the light they showed what looked like pastel flowers or designs. Even though the stuff looked like tape it could not be peeled off or removed at all." "[The writing] looked like numbers mostly, at least I assumed them to be numbers. They were written out like you would write numbers in columns to do an addition problem. But they didn't look like the numbers we use at all. What gave me the idea they were numbers, I guess, was the way they were all ranged out in columns." "No, it was definitely not a balloon. We had seen weather balloons quite a lot, both on the ground and in the air. We had even found a couple of Japanese-style balloons that had come down in the area once. We had also picked up a couple of those thin rubber weather balloons with instrument packages. This was nothing like that. I have never seen anything resembling this sort of thing before,- or since..." Later that afternoon, Mac took young Dee Proctor back home, a journey of about 10 miles. He took along a piece of the debris that he had found, and showed it to Dee's parents, Floyd, and Loretta. Mac tried to get the Proctors to go back with him, and look at the strange material strewn in the fields. Floyd Proctor would later state: "[He said] it wasn't paper because he couldn't cut it with his knife, and the metal was different from anything he had ever seen. He said the designs looked like the kind of stuff you would find on firecracker wrappers...some sort of figures all done up in pastels, but not writing like we would do it." Loretta Proctor remembered: "The piece he brought looked like a kind of tan, light-brown plastic...it was very lightweight, like balsa wood. It wasn't a large piece, maybe about four inches long, maybe just larger than a pencil." "We cut on it with a knife and would hold a match on it, and it wouldn't burn. We knew it wasn't wood. It was smooth like plastic, it didn't have real sharp corners, kind of like a dowel stick. Kind of dark tan. It didn't have any grain...just smooth." Major Jesse A. Marcel was the intelligence officer at Roswell Army Air Force Base, which was home of the only bomb group in existence at the time. It should be noted that all of the personnel at the base had high security clearance. Marcel was a veteran officer, who was trusted fully. He had been a highly skilled cartographer before World War II, and was sent to intelligence training by the Army, because of his impeccable character. He was even an instructor for a time at the training school. He also logged over 450 hours of combat duty as a pilot during the War, and was highly decorated with five air medals for shooting down enemy aircraft. After the War ended, he was chosen as a member of the 509th Bomb Wing, handling security for "Operation Crossroads," which conducted nuclear testing in 1946. After being awarded a commendation for his work on the nuclear project, he was named the intelligence officer for Roswell AAFB. Marcel was on a lunch break when he received a phone call from Sheriff Wilcox. Wilcox informed him that rancher Mac Brazel had found debris from a crash of some object on a sheep ranch. Marcel went to town, talked to Brazel, and reported his findings to Colonel Blanchard. Marcel was given orders to go to the site, which he did, accompanied by CIC officer Sheridan Cavitt. Arriving too late for ample light for a search, the two soldiers spent the night with Brazel, and then proceeded to the sight the next morning. Marcell related the events of the search through the debris in his own words: "When we arrived at the crash site, it was amazing to see the vast amount of area it covered." "...it scattered over an area of about three quarters of a mile long, I would say, and fairly wide, several hundred feet wide. "It was definitely not a weather or tracking device, nor was it any sort of plane or missile." "I don't know what it was, but it certainly wasn't anything built by us and it most certainly wasn't any weather balloon." "...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 about the same weight, except that they were not wood at all. They were very hard, although flexible, and would not burn at all. There was a great deal of an unusual parchment-like substance which was brown in color and extremely strong, and great number of small pieces of a metal like tinfoil, except that it wasn't tinfoil. I was interested in electronics and kept looking for something that resembled instruments or electronic equipment, but I didn't find anything. "...Cavitt, I think, found a black, metallic-looking box several inches square. As there was no apparent way to open this, and since it didn't appear to be an instrument package of any sort, we threw it in with the rest of the stuff." "It had little numbers with symbols that we had to call hieroglyphics because I could not understand them. They were pink and purple. They looked like they were painted on. I even took my cigarette lighter and tried to burn the material we found that resembled parchment and balsa, but it would not burn , wouldn't even smoke," "...the pieces of metal that we brought back were so thin, just like the tinfoil in a pack of cigarettes," "...you could not tear or cut it either. We even tried making a dent in it with a sixteen-pound sledgehammer, and there was still no dent in it." Having rode to the site in two vehicles, Marcel sent Cavitt back to the base with his Jeep full of the material, and Marcel took his Buick, and stopped by his house to show his wife and son his amazing find. Dr. Jesse Marcel Jr.(Marcel's son): "The material was foil-like stuff, very thin, metallic-like but not metal, and very tough. There was also some structural-like material too,- beams and so on. Also a quantity of black plastic material which looked organic in nature." "Imprinted along the edge of some of the beam remnants were hieroglyphic-type characters." When Marcel arrived back at the base, he was instructed by Colonel Blanchard to load the debris on a B-29, and fly with it to Wright Field in Ohio, stopping on the way at Carswell AAFB in Ft. Worth, Texas. The military was hard at work at Roswell. Colonel Walter Haut was given an order from Col. Blanchard to write a press release stating that the RAAF had in its possession a "crashed saucer." According to Haut, the saucer was transported to the 8th Air Force, to be turned over to General Ramey. Haut discharged his duty, and finished the press release he'd been ordered to write, giving copies of the release to the two radio stations and both of the newspapers. The famous headlines hit the newspapers. When Marcel arrived at Carswell, Brigadier General Roger Ramey, Commander of the 8th Air Force took full charge of the case. The debris from Brazel's field was taken into Ramey's office, and photographed. The photographer was James Bond Johnson. Marcel was in one photo with the real debris. Ramey took Marcel into another office, and upon their return to Ramey's office, some new and different material was spread on the floor. Marcel, under orders, stated that this debris was from a weather balloon. After more photos were taken, Ramey sent Marcel back to Roswell, along with a stern warning not to disclose anything he had seen at Carswell. It was then reported that General Ramey recognized the remains as part of a weather balloon. Brigadier General Thomas DuBose, the chief of staff of the Eighth Air Force, after many years of silence would state: "[It] was a cover story. The whole balloon part of it. That was the part of the story we were told to give to the public and news and that was it." There can be NO doubt that the orders to cover-up the saucer story came from our Chief Executive. Eye-witness accounts What about the alien bodies? There are many rumors about the "little men." Some say there were three, some say four, some even count 5. Let's see if we can find the truth behind the rumors by relying on eye witness testimony. Ray Danzer, a plumbing contractor, was working on the Roswell Base. He was standing outside of the emergency room, when he saw alien bodies being brought into the base hospital on stretchers. Dumbfounded by the event, he was shaken back to reality by military police who warned him to leave, and forget what he saw. Steve MacKenzie saw four bodies around the crashed UFO. He said that another one was out of sight. Major Edwin Easley was commander of the Military Police who cordoned off the crash site. He related to his family that he made a promise to the President that he would never speak of what he saw that day. Herbert Ellis, a painting contractor at Roswell AAFB, reported that he saw an alien "walking" into the Roswell Army hospital. Mary Bush, who was secretary to the base hospital administrator, told mortician Glenn Dennis that she saw "a creature from another world." She was called on to assist two doctors in a hospital room where three "alien" bodies were being examined. Though suffocated by an overwhelming odor from the bodies, she clearly recalled that the aliens had four fingers, and no thumbs. Joseph Montoya, Lt. Governor of New Mexico, told Pete Anaya that he had seen "four little men." One of them was still alive. He states that they had oversized heads, with big eyes. Their mouth was small, like a cut across a piece of wood. "I tell you they're not from this world." Sergeant Thomas Gonzales, with the 509th, was a guard at the crash site, and saw bodies he called "little men." A member of the Army COINTEL, Frank Kaufman, saw a "strange looking craft embedded in a cliff." He also states that he saw debris being put into crates which were stored under heavy military guard at Roswell AAFB. What do we conclude from this? is that something did happen on that date and was covered up very quickly, this incident is never going to go away.