Core English I
Roswell NM : Crashed Weather
Balloon or Government Conspiracy?
One of America’s most noteworthy
conspiracy theories resulted from a weather balloon crash outside Roswell, New
Mexico in 1947. Many believe Roswell was the sight of the most widely
publicized cover up of alien activity in recent human history (History para
1-3). Whether or not one believes the theory the crash at Roswell and its
aftermath is an example of how important media coverage is to shaping public
perception. The original press release regarding the crash stated that the air
force had recovered a “flying saucer” whether this was the result of an over
excited and misinformed individual or honesty that was later rescinded remains
to be seen (Biography Para 1). However that headline would go on to affect
american consciousness and culture in the decades to come. Whether or not
Aliens made first contact in 1947 it is clear that it sparked a curiosity in
the American people that would continue even into the next century.
It is impossible to say with absolute
certainty what was found in Roswell in 1947. Eye witness accounts disagreed
even in 1947 and after 70 years most people who were there are dead, and if any
remain, time will have seriously diminished their recollection. Stories range
from a simple weather balloon crash, to the actual discovery of alien bodies,
although many of these stories lack sufficient corroboration or evidence. What
can be confirmed is the testimonies and statements of those who were there.
Also the events and the time that they occurred that can be confirmed by
government documents and the media of the time.
The events that would later be
referred to by some as the “Roswell Incident” began on June 14,
1947(Smithsonian para 1). A rancher named “Mac” Brazel and his son discovered a
large amount of wreckage while driving on their property. Brazel said of the
wreckage ” it was a large
area of bright wreckage made up of rubber strips, tinfoil, and rather tough
paper, and sticks” (Smithsonian para 2). Upon finding the wreckage
Brazel collected and delivered it to the local sheriff George Wilcox. Wilcox
was also confused and could not identify the wreckage. Wilcox contacted the
local air force base for help and they dispatched Major Jesse Marcel to
investigate both the wreckage and the crash site. Marcel examined the wreckage
and crash site and made a statement to his commanding officers (Smithsonian
Para 2-5). The official press release was drafted by LT.45 Walter Haut
(Biography Para 1).The next day the Roswell Daily Record reported that the air
force had recovered a “flying saucer.”
The headline written by the Daily
Record is the major force behind the belief Roswell Alien Conspiracy. The
theory alleges that Marcel told the press what he truly believed, and that
resulted in the initial headline by the Daily Record. Meaning that it was only
after the fact, at the behest of his superiors that he changed his story and
the event was covered up. The story goes on to say that the government
maintained a large presence around the crash site in the following weeks and
months. In particular there were allegations made by Brazel that the government
was monitoring him, and he stated that “he was sorry he told them about it”
(Daily Journal Para 1). Where the story truly becomes compelling is when
considers the stories told by those who were there. These stories are quite
detailed and some of them come from high ranking military personnel who appear
to have nothing to gain from lying.
The original inspector (Marcel) was
interviewed years later and insisted that he still believed that what he say
that day was not of this earth and likely an alien spacecraft (Time Para 1).
Lt. Walter Haut, who was both a military officer and the drafter of the press
release claimed to have seen the crashed saucer himself and said of the
think it was an extremely well-planned cover-up,” (Biography Para 3). Both
Brazel and Marcel describe what they both agree to be an “other worldly” metal.
Marcel described it more specifically saying it was incredibly strong but at
thin as tin foil. He also compared it to plastic for its ability to take back
its shape after being bent out of place (CSI para 4). While many reports agree
about the saucer and the metal, there is really little to no evidence to
support the claims that alien bodies were ever found.
Skeptics believe that no alien
activity occurred and that all of the strange reporting and eye witness inconsistency
can be explained by a secret government project that was going on at the time
called “Project Mogul”. The project allegedly involved securing recording
equipment to weather balloons in an attempt to detect the use of nuclear
weapons. The American government at the time was very secretive and had no
problem lying to the public (Smithsonian). Some believe that this project
explains the original headline. Marcel was either unfamiliar with the equipment
he was looking at an accident made a false statement or he purposely lied to
the press in order to protect and preserve the security and secrecy of an
ongoing secret operation.
This theory while reasonably well
backed and thought out is very easy to refute due to the area’s proximity to an
air force base. 1947 was the start of the Cold War and the American military
was doing everything it could to ramp up its Air Force, Army, and Navy. It is
perfectly logical and understandable that the government would be testing
aircrafts and even weapons that they would not want to inform the press about.
The Government’s narrative seems airtight and logical, and now that Project
Mogul has been declassified it is easy to believe that the American public is
being given the full story. The only area where the story struggles is the
eyewitness accounts by even military personnel at the time.
Many people struggle to understand
why the United States government would continue to cover up this alleged
conspiracy over 70 years after it occurred. The simple yet unexciting answer is
the government would likely have nothing to gain by releasing this information.
People would also have an adverse reaction to the fact that their government
has been lying to them for the better part of a century. The government would
never risk its credibility for a decades old event that they probably believe
is better left alone. There is also little reason to believe that the average
high ranking military official of today would know anything more about Roswell
than the information the general public already has access to. This would be
the major factor in keeping government silence about the Roswell incident, in
short most of the government does not know a thing about it. Just as the
general public has dismissed this conspiracy as the creation of nonsense by
crazy people. It is likely that many high ranking people in the U.S government
have the same view with no additional insight.
Even with the conflicting stories,
and explanations that seem incomplete it is difficult to reach the conclusion
that government was covering up alien activity. Their explanation that the
cover up was for Project Mogul and not for alien activity seems sound. Any
inconsistencies with the government’s current story could be explained by the
70 years since, information has been lost and distorted and although Project
Mogul is now declassified some information may still be unavailable due to the
high level of secrecy around the project. As far as any witness testimony
claiming Alien activity, these statements could either be personal opinion made
through an individual’s own perception of events. Some of these statements and
claims might be made by people who are knowingly spreading incorrect
information to gain attention or notoriety. While it is certainly more exciting
to believe the Alien Conspiracy, decades of research would appear to support
the government’s current narrative. It is very unlikely that Aliens landed at
Roswell in 1947.
The Roswell Alien Conspiracy will
likely never gain traction among the general public because it has been tagged
with the title “conspiracy theory.” The unfortunate truth is that when most
educated, intelligent individuals hear those words, they immediately disregard
the story that follows it. The official Roswell account raises some questions
that the government has offered answers to on more than one occasion. While
whether these answers offer the full truth or not will likely never be
determined. Despite an overwhelming amount of eye-witness accounts, and
government and media documentation mysteries and inconsistencies still plague
the Roswell case. It is because of this that further research is unlikely to
yield new proof or insight. While it is unlikely there were Aliens at Roswell
it is interesting to see how the public respond when they are not given the
Donovan. “In 1947, A High-Altitude Balloon Crash Landed in Roswell. The Aliens
Never Left.” Smithsonian.com,
Smithsonian Institution, 5 July 2017,
Staff. “Roswell.” History.com,
A&E Television Networks, 2009,
Rancher Who Located ‘Saucer’ Sorry He Told About It.” Roswell Daily Journal, 9 July 1947.
Lilly. “UFOs and Aliens in Roswell, New Mexico: Read the Original Report.”
Time, Time, 7 July 2015,
Staff, Biography S. “Walter Haut.” Biography.com,
A&E Networks Television, 2 Apr.
Joe. “Roswell UFO ‘Strange Metal’ Mystery.” CSI,
Committee for Skeptical Inquiry , May 2017, www.csicop.org/sb/show/roswell_ufo_strange_metal_mystery.
of Air Force Research Regarding the ‘Roswell Incident.'”Https://Er.jsc.nasa.gov/Seh/UFOS.pdf, U.S Air Force, July 1994,