On this day in 1997, U.S. Air Force officials released a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier. The truth is out there, and perhaps these five fascinating facts will help you decide where you stand…
Strange Flying Object Crashes Near Roswell
During the middle of 1947, debris from a strange object was found by a rancher named William Brazel and his son near Roswell, New Mexico. Brazel collected the pieces of wreckage and took them to the local sheriff’s office. Some people in the area believed that the wreckage was from an alien spacecraft and that alien bodies were removed from the site to be studied, either at Area 51 in Nevada or in Roswell. It was admitted by the government that the object was part of Project Mogul, high altitude balloons that were capable of detecting nuclear testing by the Soviets.
It Wasn't Just the Aircraft That Crashed. According to several eyewitness accounts, troops removed several bodies from the scene that were far from human. All accounts claimed to see the same short, 3-to-4-foot tall bodies carted away. Each had a large head, big eyes, and a single hole for a nose. The Air Force claimed that the "bodies" were, in fact, crash dummies used on the weather balloon. However, believers are quick to call the bluff on that excuse.
A Future President Saw What Might Have Been a UFO Sightings of UFOs were common during the 1970s, and the governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, reported seeing one a few years before he was elected president. He was so convinced that he said he would publicize the government’s knowledge of UFOs and the mysterious crash at Roswell if he was elected president. After Carter was elected in 1977, he stated that if the information related to UFOs was released, it could be a risk to national security.
Some Claim Area 51 is Famous for More Than Just Aliens. As if one conspiracy theory wasn't enough for this famed government test site, some believe that Area 51 was home to the staged lunar landing video, too. Though just 6 percent of Americans are still skeptical about the Apollo 11 mission, those who do are pretty vocal about it and have some interesting theories. The idea that Area 51 was involved actually isn't too far from the truth—the government used the site for testing several vehicles used by the astronauts.
UFOs are Everywhere in Roswell Today The alien culture and celebration in Roswell lives on, even as the story was debunked. Every year, Roswell is home to a large festival to commemorate and celebrate the crash landing with costume parades for people and pets, live entertainment, guest speakers, and family-friendly activities. This year, the festival celebrated the 70th anniversary of the UFO incident. Further up the road in Roswell, you can find a flying saucer-shaped McDonald’s restaurant, an international UFO museum and research center, and UFO tours to the Project Mogul balloon crash site.