On July 8, 1947, a newspaper article appeared in the Roswell Daily Record about an object that crashed on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico in late June or early July. The headline read “RAAF [Roswell Army Air Field] Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region.”
Later the same day, Roger Ramey, the Commanding General of the 8th Air Force indicated that the debris recovered by the RAAF was from a weather balloon, and a press conference was held which featured foil, rubber, and wooden material alleged to have been recovered. The incident was then dismissed by the public, and the “weather balloon” was accepted as the explanation.
It wasn’t for another 30 years that the case came back into the public eye, when physicist and ufologist Stanton Friedman interviewed Major Jesse Marcel, who was involved in the original debris retrieval. It was Major Marcel’s belief that the government had covered up what was actually the retrieval of an extraterrestrial spacecraft.
Known as the “Roswell incident,” the crash at Roswell has been the subject of many books, movies, and television shows ever since, as well as one of the most well-known conspiracy theories involving extraterrestrial life. Conspiracy theorists often purport that not only was the crash that of an alien spacecraft, but that the US government took possession of alien creatures from the wreckage.
Throughout the years, various witnesses have come forward claiming to have been part of the investigation of the site, the retrieval of debris and alien bodies, autopsies on those bodies, etc. Some have been debunked hoaxes, while others have stood the test of time. The only thing that has remained constant over the years has been the confusion surrounding the incident.
What exactly crashed in Roswell, New Mexico? Was it an alien spacecraft? Was it just a weather balloon? As with most controversial topics involving “conspiracy theories,” there is such widespread information (and misinformation and disinformation) that it’s doubtful if we ever will know.