Summary: Brief overview article on the Roswell incident, from Roswell Online
In early July 1947 an incident occurred in the desert just outside of Roswell, NM. Many people have heard of the Roswell UFO crash, but very few people know the details of the incident. The following account of the 1947 UFO incident was taken from public records, from information provided by the International UFO Museum and from the press release for UFO Encounter 1997.
On the evening of July 3, 1947 Dan Wilmot, a respected business owner, and his wife were sitting on their front porch when they saw a bright saucer shaped object with glowing lights moving across they sky at 400-500 miles per hour. Dan Wilmot estimated that the unidentified flying object was about 20-25 feet across. The flying object appeared from the Southeast and disappeared to the Northwest. Dan Wilmot reported his unusual sighting to the Roswell Daily Record.
In early July W.W. (Mac) Brazel, the Foreman of the J. B. Foster Ranch rode out to check his sheep after a night of intense thunderstorms. Mac Brazel discovered a large amount of unusual debris scattered across one of the ranch's pastures. Mac Brazel took some pieces of the debris, showed them to some friends and neighbors and eventually contacted Chaves County Sheriff George Wilcox. Suspecting that the materials described by Mac Brazel might be connected with military operations, Sheriff Wilcox notified authorities at the Roswell Army Air Field (subsequently renamed Walker AFB) for assistance in the matter.
Major Jesse Marcel, the Intelligence Officer at the 509th Bomb Group, was involved in the recovery of the wreckage which was initially transported to Roswell Army Air Field. On July 8th the Roswell Daily Record's headline story revealed that the wreckage of a flying saucer had been recovered from a ranch in the area. When questioned Major Jesse Marcel disclosed that the wreckage had been flown from New Mexico on to higher headquarters.
Colonel William Blanchard, Commander of the 509th Bomb Group, issued a press release stating that the wreckage of a crashed disk had been recovered. A second press release was issued from the office of General Roger Ramey, Commander of the Eighth Air Force at Ft. Worth Army Air Field in Ft. Worth, Texas within hours of the first press release. The second press release rescinded the first press release and claimed that officers of the 509th Bomb Group had incorrectly identified a weather balloon and its radar reflector as a crashed disk.
The Ballard Funeral Home in Roswell had a contract to provide ambulance and mortuary services for Roswell Army Air Field. Glenn Dennis, a young Mortician who worked for Ballard Funeral Homes, received several phone calls from the Mortuary Officer at the air field prior to learning of the recovery of the wreckage. Glenn Dennis was asked about the availability of small hermetically sealed caskets and for his recommendations on the preservation of bodies that had been exposed to the elements for several days. His curiosity aroused, Glenn Dennis visited the Base Hospital that evening and was forcibly escorted from the building. This behavior only incited Glenn Dennis' curiosity and he arranged to meet a nurse from the Base Hospital on the following day in a coffee house. The nurse had been in attendance during autopsies performed on "... several small non-human bodies ...". Glenn Dennis kept drawings of aliens that the nurse had sketched on a napkin during their meeting. This meeting was to be their last and Glenn Dennis could learn no more about the alien bodies, as the nurse was abruptly transferred to England within the next few days.
On July 9th the Roswell Daily Record revealed that the wreckage had been found on the J.B. Foster Ranch. Mac Brazel was so harassed that he became sorry he had ever reported his find to the Chaves County Sheriff.
In the following days virtually every witness to the crash wreckage and the subsequent recovery efforts was either abruptly transferred or seemed to disappear from the face of the earth. This led to suspicions that an extraordinary event was the subject of a deliberate government coverup. Over the years books, interviews and articles from a number of military personnel, who had been involved with the incident, have added to the suspicions of a deliberate coverup.
In 1979 Jesse Marcel was interviewed regarding his role in the recovery of the wreckage. Jesse Marcel stated, "... it would not burn ... that stuff weighs nothing, it's so thin, it isn't any thicker than the tinfoil in a pack of cigarettes. It wouldn't bend. We even tried making a dent in it with a 16 pound sledge hammer. And there was still no dent in it." Officers who had been stationed at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio (where the wreckage was taken) at the time of the incident have supported Jesse Marcel's claims.
Dr. Jesse Marcel, Jr., eleven years old at the time of the incident, accompanied his Dad during the retrieval efforts. Dr. Jesse Marcel Jr. has produced detailed drawings of hieroglyphic like symbols that he saw on the surface of some of the wreckage. Dr Marcel testifies regularly on his belief that a UFO of some type crashed in Roswell.