over 75 Several years after something—something— crashed outside Roswell in early July 1947, and the name took on a life of its own. Today, it’s shorthand for UFOs, extraterrestrials, and vast government conspiracies, and perhaps even where the very concept of the Deep State itself originated. . This city of 50,000 people in southeastern New Mexico, about three hours from Albuquerque and El Paso, has lived up to its notoriety. There’s a UFO museum, a spacewalk, and even a McDonald’s shaped like a flying saucer, not to mention a number of kitschy stores. Souvenir stand.
But unraveling what exactly happened there took a half-century journey through secret government programs, the Cold War, nuclear secrecy, and the rise of conspiracy theories in American politics. We know that something crashed at Roswell in late June or early July 1947, just a few weeks after the era of flying saucers began. The modern UFO era began on June 24, 1947. Kenneth Arnold, a 32-year-old Idaho businessman and experienced rescue pilot with about 4,000 hours of flying time at high altitudes, noticed a bright light outside his window. A Cole Air A-2 propeller plane flies near Mount Rainier in the Pacific Northwest.
At first, Arnold thought it was just the glare from another plane, but then he realized that what he was seeing was probably spreading out over five miles and moving through the air at breakneck speed in formation. I noticed that there were as many as nine objects in the sky. “I couldn’t find any clues about these things,” Arnold later recalled. “They left no trace of a jet. I determined it was at least 100 feet wide. I thought it was a new type of missile.” The light “weaved at great speed, like the tail of a Chinese kite. As they continued to move together, he used the clock on his car’s dashboard to measure how long it would take for the light to travel between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. That was amazing. Measurements showed that these objects, whatever they were, were traveling at about 1,200 to 1,700 miles per hour, much faster than anything known at the time. Arnold observed the object for a total of about three minutes, during which time he sometimes opened the plane’s windows to check for reflections on the windshield.
Once he landed, he told friends at the airport about his bizarre sighting, and the next day he repeated it to reporters at the airport. eastern oregonian. An initial version of the article referred to the objects as “saucer-like aircraft,” but headline writers across the country later abbreviated the label to “flying saucers.” The reports and interviews Arnold gave after landing aroused national interest and made headlines across the United States. Each week, dozens more “flying saucer” sightings were reported, eventually totaling more than 34 states.
Against this backdrop, a portion of the wreckage found in rural New Mexico was delivered and shown to the commander of Roswell Army Airfield. From the moment he saw it, Colonel William Blanchard knew something was wrong with the wreckage before him. The jagged pieces of wood and pieces of reflective material had been hastily gathered from the crash site discovered the day before, and they didn’t belong to any aircraft he could identify, and the strange symbols were not in a language he recognized, either. It looked like hieroglyphs, so to speak. .
It was discovered by a local rancher named Mack Brazell, he said. The local sheriff, assuming it was the military, sent Mr. Brazell to the nearest air force base to report the discovery, but was soon followed by Maj. Jesse Marcel and, according to Mr. Brazell, a police officer in civilian clothes. Two military intelligence agents arrived, one anonymous man. They returned with him to investigate, walking around the field and collecting fallen “rubber pieces, aluminum foil, some pretty hard paper, sticks” before transporting them to the 509th Bomb Wing’s headquarters.