Something happened in Roswell, New Mexico, 60 years ago this summer. In June or early July 1947, a farmer found strange debris while working on a ranch about 70 miles north of Roswell. He put some of it in a box and drove to the local sheriff. Neither man knew what to make of it, so the sheriff called Roswell Army Air Field, which sent two men to investigate.On July 9, 1947, the Roswell Daily Record, a newspaper, printed a story with the alarming headline: "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in RoswellRegion." Other than those facts, there appear to be few things people agree on regarding what has become known as "the Roswell incident."Six decades later, competing UFO enthusiasts promote their own theories, skeptics dismiss the spaceship claims as outrageous, and the military, which originally claimed all the fuss was over a weather balloon, now sticks to its story that it was an experimental spy craft.
resident Milton Sprouse, 85, said he knows what happened in Roswell
---- not because he favors one theory over another, but because he was
As for the outrageous stories of mysterious metal, alien corpses and a military coverup?
It's all true, he said.
From atom bombs to flyingsaucers
Before arriving at Roswell
Army Air Field in 1945 as a corporal and engine mechanic, Sprouse
already had participated in an undisputable historic event.
As a member of the 393rd
Bomb Squadron assigned to the 509th Composite Group, Sprouse worked on
the ground crew of Big Stink, one of the B-29 bombers stationed on the
Pacific island of Tinian, where the two atomic bomb missions on Japan
were launched to end World War II.
After the war, the 509th
Composite Group was reassigned to Roswell, where they were renamed the
509th Bomb Wing.
Sprouse continued to lead the ground crew of Big
Stink, which had been renamed Dave's Dream after the pilot.
"There was nothing there but tumbleweeds blowing for miles," he said about arriving at Roswell in November 1945.
Sprouse firstlearned that
something odd ......
In 1947, a controversial event took place in New Mexico near the town of Roswell. The "Roswell Incident," as it has come to be known, remains the paramount case in UFO crash/retrieval history. In addition to the claims of a downed alien ship, alien bodies were said to have been recovered from the debris.The United States Air Force (USAF) and U.S. Federal Government have kept a steadfast opinion that the object in question was a high altitude balloon project, code named: Mogul. The project was designed to detect nuclear blasts in the USSR.The bodies that were recovered, according to the USAF, were parachute test dummies that had been released high abovethe desert, and had eventually drifted into the "balloon" crash area.
The USAF finally settled on this fabricated version of events and passed it off to the American public as truth.
During my long years of
service in our national space program, I was very fortunate to come to
know and exchange some very exciting data with former German
scientists, who had been brought to the USA under Operation Paper Clip
following Word War II.
These men were the elite of the German rocket
programs controlled by Adolph Hitler. On many occasions I had the
distinct privilege of speaking with Dr. Wernher von Braun, the leader
of the elite group, and several other scientists who were assigned to
the ABMA (Army Ballistics Missile Agency) launch crews at the Cape
Canaveral launch sites. Eventually, these same men were incorporated
into the new National Aeronauticsand Space Administration (NASA)
organization. During the periodic MFA (Manned Flight Awareness)
meetings that were held at Cocoa Beach, I was able to talk freely and
briefly with such scientists, particularly Dr. von Braun.
On one such occasion, he
and I had taken a break and stepped out of the Cocoa Beach Ramada Inn
into the back patio. I admitted that I was aware that he and his German
Scientific team were located not too far from the crash site at that
time. They were launching captured V-2 rockets from the White Sands
Testing Range. On this night, I asked him a question concerning the
Roswell Incident that caused his eyebrows to raise.
Did the Roswell Incident in
fact happen, was an alien craft recovered along with alien bodies? Did
you have a chance to go to the crash site?"
Dr von Braun was a
cigarette smoker and he lit oneu......
Exactly 60 years ago, a light aircraft was flying over the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, at a height of around 3000m. Suddenly, a brilliant flash of light illuminated the aircraft.Visibility was good and as pilot Kenneth Arnold scanned the sky to find the source of the light, he saw a group of nine shiny metallic objects flying information. He estimated their speed as being around 2600km/h - nearly three times faster than the top speed of any jet aircraft at the time.Soon, similar reports began to come in from all overAmerica. This wasn't just the world's first UFO sighting, this was the birth of a phenomenon, one that still exercises an extraordinary fascination.
authorities issued a press release, which began: "The many rumours
regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the
intelligence officer of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force,
Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a
The headlines screamed: "Flying Disc captured by Air Force".
Yet, just 24 hours later,
the military changed their story and claimed the object they'd first
thought was a "flying disc" was a weather balloon that had crashed on a
The key witness was Major Jesse Marcel, the intelligenceofficer who had gone to the ranch to recover the wreckage.
He described the metal as being wafer thin but incredibly tough.
It was as light as balsa wood, but couldn't be cut or burned.
These and similar accounts of the incident have largely been dismissed by all except the most dedicated believers.
Astonishing new twist
But last week came an astonishing new twist to the Roswell mystery.
Lieutenant Walter Haut was
the public relations officer at the base in 1947 and was the man who
issued the original and subsequent press releases after the crash on
the orders of the base commander, Colonel William Blanchard.
Haut died last year but left a sworn affidavit to be opened only after his death.
In 1986, on his death bed, retired Major Jesse Marcel told his son; "You must tell the world the truth about Roswell. When the military no longer has a hold over you and your family, please set the record straight!"Major Jesse Marcel was the head of intelligence at an Army Air Field located at Roswell, Nevada. On July 7, 1947 Major Marcel was sent to inspect what was being reported as the crash of an unidentified object on a ranch seventy-five miles northwest of the base.After inspecting the crash site, Marcel stopped by his home to show his family what he had discovered. Jesse Jr. was only eleven years old at the time, but vividly remembers his father's excitement,and seeing and handling a foil-like material that his father said was scattered around the wreckage.
It was shiny
and paper thin, but could not be torn or cut.
It also retained a
memory, mysteriously unfolding each time his father tried to fold it.
And then there was that beam of metal several feet long, which was
covered with hieroglyphic-type writing and markings. It was indeed
something that was not of this world.
Upon return to his Air
base, Major Marcel's superior officer, Col. William "Butch" Blanchard,
ordered him to fly the material to Wright Patterson Air Base in Akron,
OH, first stopping in Fort Worth, TX to show the strange findings to
Gen. Roger Ramey,,the head of the Eighth Air Force. When Ramey learned
that Blanchard had issued a press release stating they had recovered a
"flying disc," and that it was being flown toWright-Pat, Ramey was
livid, and immediately called a press conference. Marcel would be
photographed (see photo right) holding remnants of a weather balloon,
and was forced to tell the media that these were his only findings at
Roswell. From that time on, and despite dozens of collaborating
witnesses at the crash site, Major Marcel was forced to live with that
lie the rest of his life.
His father's words haunted
Jesse Jr. for nearly twenty years. As his retirement finally
approached, while serving his tour of duty in Iraq in 2004, Jesse Jr.
decided to put pen to paper. In a few short months the U.S. Military
could no longer force he and his family to keep the secret any longer.
He remembered how embarrassed his father was when he was forced to tell
the world that the object he inspected was only a weather balloon. The
famous photo of his father (see right), kneeling and......