The 1947 Roswell Incident Explained: No, No Alien Spacecraft Crashed in the USA

In the early days of July 1947in a location not far from the town of Roswell, in New Mexico (United States), a rancher collected debris from a crashed aircraft on his ranch. Rumors spread that it could be a flying saucer of alien originbut a few days later the US Air Force explained that the remains belonged to a survey balloon meteorologicalThe story fell into oblivion until the late 1970s, when it was rediscovered by ufologists and conspiracy theoristsaccording to which an alien craft had indeed crashed in Roswell, but the American government had made sure that the news did not spread. A plausible explanation emerged in the 90s: it was neither a weather balloon nor an alien spaceship that had crashed. Behind the Roswell incident, there was, most likely, one of the many secrets of the Cold War and, in particular, a spy ball of the Mogul Project.

The Roswell Incident of July 1947

Between the end of June and the beginning of July 1947, in the Chaves Countyin New Mexico, something fell from the sky. The county, whose capital is the town of Roswellwas inhabited mainly by breeders and the military of an air base. It was the breeder William MacBrazel to find on his ranch, located about 90-100 km from Roswell, some “mysterious” debris: a material similar to tin foil, sticks, canvas. Brazel reported the discovery and among the inhabitants of the county the rumor began to circulate that it was a flying saucer fell of extraterrestrial origin. The rumors solidified on July 8, when the Roswell Air Force Base issued a vague statement, reporting the discovery of an unidentified object. The story reached the national newspaperssome of whom reported without a doubt that a flying saucer had crashed in New Mexico.

On July 9, however, the USAAF (United States of America Air Force) released an “official” explanation: the remains found in New Mexico belonged to a ball for atmospheric surveysmore precisely to a hot air balloon ray wind to measure the speed of the winds at high altitude. The press release, accompanied by images of the wreckage, put an end to the affair, which was quickly forgotten.

The “rediscovery” of the Roswell case

The Roswell case returned to public attention among the late 70s and early 80s. In 1978 the ufologist Stanton Friedman interviewed a soldier involved in the 1947 discovery, Jesse Marcel, who said the Air Force version was false.

In 1980 Charles Berlitz and William Mooretwo authors known for writing conspiracy and pseudoscientific books, published a volume destined for success, The Roswell Incident (published in Italy with the title It happens in Roswell) who also availed themselves of Friedman’s consultancy, and claimed that a flying saucer had crashed in Roswell and that the US government had covered up the news. Berlitz and Moore also added some fanciful details, writing for example that among the debris there were extremely thin and super-resistant sheets of metal, on which appeared hieroglyphics of an alien nature.

After the publication of the book, the flying saucer theory was taken up by other “ufologists” and supporters of conspiracy theories, who added new details, including a particularly disturbing one: the aircraft was also said to have contained some extraterrestrial beingswhose bodies were recovered and autopsied. Furthermore, according to some versions of the story, the US military had intimidated, or eliminated, any possible witnesses.

Book cover

What Really Happened at Roswell?

A credible explanation of the Roswell case emerged in the 1990s. Since the story aroused suspicion among a portion of American citizens and even in Congress, in 1994 the USAAF provided its version: it was not a weather balloon that had crashed, but neither a flying saucer or other extraterrestrial aircraft; in Roswell a spy ball belonging to a top secret operation, the Mogul Projectwhich involved the launch of hot air balloons equipped with sound detection devices, with the aim of intercepting possible atomic tests by the Soviet Union. The balloon was launched on June 4 from the base Alamogordo aerialin the same New Mexico, and then suffered a breakdown that caused it to crash on Brazel’s ranch.

To understand the story, we need to consider the context: in 1947, the United States was the only country with nuclear weapons, but it was aware that other countries were intent on building them.Soviet Union was the prime suspect, also because in 1947 the rivalry that would give rise to the Cold War had already emerged. The Americans’ suspicions, after all, were well-founded: since 1945 Stalin had ordered to accelerate the program for the development of nuclear weapons and in 1949 the USSR detonated its first atomic bomb, ending the American monopoly.

For obvious reasons, in 1947 the Americans could not reveal that they were spying on Soviet atomic tests and so they invented the story of the weather balloon. To this day, this explanation it is not entirely proven (there are no contemporary documents linking the Roswell case to the Mogul project), but it is the most likely. Certainly, however, No alien craft crashed at Roswell.

Moreover, even the alleged extraterrestrials – who, let us remember, “appeared” in the stories more than thirty years after the facts – are a invented detail and not reported by any witness. Perhaps the addition was inspired by the memory of the dummies that, in some cases, the American Air Force had launched from airplanes in order to study their impact on the ground.

The popularity of the Roswell case

Even today there are those who believe that an alien craft crashed in Roswell and that, for some unclear reason, the American government and other “powers that be” want to keep the truth hidden. Films, television series, books and various stories have contributed to popularizing the story. There has also been no shortage of hoaxers who have manufactured testimonies and even footage to support the theory of the crash of an alien spaceship. However, if one examines the story without prejudice, it becomes clear that no evidence or reliable testimony proves that the debris found in Roswell belongs to an extraterrestrial craft.

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