The Day After Roswell

On July 7, 1947, the Army Air Force reported that it had recovered the debris of some sort of aircraft crash near Roswell, New Mexico. A day later, the Roswell Daily Record and the Sacramento Bee both reported that what had been recovered was debris from a flying disc or flying saucer — that is to say, an alien spacecraft. Pretty soon, the Army’s all like “weather balloon this” and “Project Mogul” that, and the rest is conspiracy-theory history.

Among the assertions about what happened at Roswell are some pretty vivid accounts, including those of Jesse Marcel, a Colonel who believed the military had engaged in a cover-up of a flying saucer crash, and that of Walter Haut, who claimed to have seen alien bodies recovered from the Roswell crash. In addition to spawning a library of books on the incident and about a zillion cheesy movies, this best-known of all (possible) alien encounters also inspired the annual Roswell UFO Festival that went down this past weekend.

No matter what awesome footage ends up on YouTube, Roswell remains the Tanelorn of UFO nuts — proof, in our hands, stolen away but there to be found some day given enough brains, balls and earnestness.

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