The truth about Roswell is there was a cover-up. The front-page headline in the Roswell Daily Record (the local paper) the day after Roswell was “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region”. The story in the paper the day after that, was that a weather-balloon had crashed. Now, if that doesn’t scream “cover-up”, I don’t know what does.
Jesse Marcel, who leaked the story to the Press in the first place, was a Major stationed on an Air Force base that used weather balloons regularly. As such, there was no way he could’ve mistaken a weather balloon for a Flying Saucer (for starters, weather balloons aren’t covered in alien-looking hieroglyphics and aren’t made of a strange “memory metal” that always springs back into it’s original shape no matter how its folded or crumpled).
When the crash happened, Marcel wasn’t in the “cover-up loop”: he hadn’t been briefed on how all knowledge of extraterrestrials and their spacecraft had to be kept top secret, and how to feed disinformation to the public. So Marcel originally told the press the truth about what crashed in Roswell. But then General Roger Ramey (who would be the unofficial “head of UFO cover-ups” for the next few years) ordered Marcel to tell the press that it was only a weather balloon, and to have his picture taken with debris from an actual weather balloon. Marcel would only tell the truth about what he saw, and how he was forced to cover it up, many decades later, and shortly before he died.
Most of the information in this blog comes from The Day After Roswell, by Philip J. Corso. For two years in the 60s, Lt. Colonel Corso was head of the Foreign Technology desk in Army Research and Development at the Pentagon. As such he was entrusted with a single filing cabinet containing the Roswell Files: all of the information pertaining to the extraterrestrial spacecraft that crashed at Corona, near Roswell, in 1947. This is the story of what really happened before and after that crash, according to Lt. Colonel Corso.
It is only a slight exaggeration to say that UFOs were “buzzing” the Roswell army base (officially called the 509th airfield) for the three days leading up to the 4th of July, which is when the crash happened, by most accounts. At that time, the 509th was home to the only nuclear capable bomber squadron on Earth, which is why it may have been of particular interest to ETs. The volume of reported UFO sightings increased dramatically after the explosion of the first atomic bomb, leading many UFO experts to theorise that that was when extraterrestrials started to see us as a potential threat, that they needed to keep a close eye on.
The sightings at the 509th began and continued all night on July 1, in the form of blips on the Base radar.
“The blips would appear at one corner of the screen and dart across at seemingly impossible speeds for aircraft, only to disappear off another corner. Then they’d start up again. No earthly craft could have maneuvered at such speeds and changed direction so sharply. It was a signature no one could identify.” — The Day After Roswell.
The frequency of these inexplicable blips increased steadily over the next couple of days, “until it looked like a steady stream of airspace violations”. A couple of civilians — Dan Wilmot and Steve Robinson — reported seeing a bright elliptical object streaking across the sky much faster than any airplane could fly, but no military personnel saw what was causing the “blips”. The airfield scrambled jets to try to intercept the blips, but by the time those planes were in the sky, the UFOs were long gone.
“On the evening of July 4, 1947 (though the dates may differ depending on who is telling the story)”, the blips went out in a blaze of glory. They began to pulsate (brightening, then dimming, then brightening again) as they raced across the screen. Perhaps they were being affected by (if not creating) the tumultuos thunder storm that was going on at the time. One particular blip seemed to be taking the worst of it, darting back and forth erratically at speeds over a thousand miles an hour and pulsating so frantically it was almost throbbing. Finally, just as there was a particularly apocalyptic detonation of lightning and thunder, the blip “arced to the lower left hand quadrant of the screen, seemed to disappear for a moment, then exploded in a brilliant white fluorescence”, and vanished completely.
All of the radar operators watching knew immediately what had happened: one of the blips — whatever they were — had crashed. They also knew immediately what they had to do: send out a team to retrieve the wreckage before anyone else could get their hands on it! At the time, it was believed that:
“this was an enemy aircraft that had slipped through our radar defense system either from South America or over the Canadian border and had taken photos of top-secret military installations. They also wanted to keep civilians away just in case, they said, there was any radiation from the craft’s propulsion system, which allowed it to make hairpin turns at three thousand miles an hour.” — The Day After Roswell.
The commander of the 509th, Colonel William Blanchard, sent a convoy of all the two-and-a-half ton trucks they could quickly round up, plus the base’s “low-boy” flatbed wreckers to bring the aircraft back.
“If it was a crash, they wanted to get it under wraps in a hangar before any civilian authorities could get their hands on it and blab to the newspapers.” — The Day After Roswell.
But the civilian authorities were already involved, whether the army liked it or not. Shortly after midnight on the morning of July the 5th, Chavez County Sheriff George Wilcox started receiving calls that an airplane had crashed out in the desert. The crash had been witnessed by a group of Indian artifact hunters who had been camping in the desert, and they radioed the location of the crash site to Sheriff Wilcox, who radioed it to the Fire Department, who dispatched two trucks to the site, escorted by Wilcox in his police car.
However, the army got there first. A picket of sentries was posted, and a series of floodlights strung around the area. Even in the dark, army counter intelligence officer Steve Arnold (who had seen the blip go down on radar), could tell it was no ordinary aircraft. Although there were small pieces of debris strewn all over the area, the craft was mainly intact — it hadn’t broken apart the way a normal airplane would.
Then the floodlights kicked on, and the whole crash site was lit up like a football stadium during a night game. Although the press would call the ship a flying saucer, what Steve Arnold saw was more delta-shaped, like a modern stealth bomber. (Possibly the newspaper got it wrong because Jesse Marcel had not been at liberty to disclose such details to the press; he could only say what the 509ths commander authorised him to say). In The Day After Roswell, the craft is described as a “soft-cornered delta shaped eggshell” that had buried its nose in the ground at a 45 degree angle, and was “essentially in one piece”, “except for a split seam running lengthwise along the side.”
Arnold was able to sneak a peek into the craft through the tear in its side, and the interior was as bright as day. The light source was like nothing he’d seen before: it appeared to be a lens in the roof of the craft that greatly magnified the sun’s rays (even though they were invisible to the naked eye at night-time).
There were also five alien bodies close to the tear in the fuselage, where they’d been thrown out or crawled out. The bodies ranged from four to four-and-a-half-feet tall. These were the original “Greys”, that all other Greys in UFO literature are based on. One of them started thrashing about on the ground, turning its large egg-shaped head back and forth as if gasping for something to breathe. As medics rushed to aid the creature, it
“made a crying sound that echoed not in the air but in his [Arnold’s] brain. He heard nothing through his ears, but felt an overwhelming sense of sadness as the little figure convulsed on the ground…” — The Day After Roswell
Arnold had barely taken all this in when his attention was drawn by a soldier shouting, “Hey you!”
Arnold turned to witness one of the greatest tragedies in human history. One of the Greys had gotten up and was trying to run out of the impact crater. “Halt!”, the soldier yelled after it again. The creature did not respond, but “slipped in the sand, started to slide down, caught his footing, and climbed again.” By now, other soldiers were rushing to the scene. “Halt!” the first soldier shouted a final time, as he brought his M1 (assault rifle) to bear.
“The sound of soldiers locking and loading rounds in their chambers carried loud across the desert through the predawn darkness.
“No!” one of the officers shouted.
Arnold couldn’t see which one, but it was too late. There was a rolling volley of shots from the nervous soldiers, and as the small figure tried to stand, he was flung over like a rag doll and then down the hill by the rounds that tore into him. He lay motionless on the sand as the first three soldiers to reach him stood over the body, chambered new rounds, and pointed their weapons at his chest.” — The Day After Roswell
Army medics loaded the bodies of all five Greys (including the one that was still barely alive, and the one that had just been brutally murdered) onto stretchers, and loaded the stretchers into the back of a truck. A crane hoisted the crashed aircraft out of the impact crater and deposited that in the back of a truck, too. Then a team of soldiers formed an arm in arm “search and rescue” grid to scour the area clean of all debris.
In the midst of this, the police car containing Sheriff Wilcox and another officer, and the two fire trucks, arrived. Firefighter Dan Dwyer saw both the aircraft and the bodies being loaded into the trucks. He saw one of the bodies moving, and took advantage of the general confusion to get close enough for a good look. He made eye contact with the Grey that was still feebly clinging to life.
“It was no bigger than a child, he thought. But it wasn’t a child. No child had such an oversized balloon shaped head. It didn’t even look human, although it had human like features. Its eyes were large and dark, set apart from each other on a downward slope. Its nose and mouth were especially tiny, almost like slits. And its ears were not much more than indentations along the sides of its huge head. In the glare of the floodlight, Dwyer could see that the creature was a grayish brown and completely hairless, but it looked directly at him as if it were a helpless animal in a trap.
It didn’t make a sound, but somehow Dwyer understood that the creature understood it was dying. He could gape in astonishment at the thing, but it was quickly loaded onto the truck by a couple of soldiers in helmets who asked him what he was doing. Dwyer knew this was bigger than anything he ever wanted to see and got out of there right away, losing himself amidst a group of personnel working around a pile of debris.” — The Day After Roswell
Before he left the scene, Dwyer managed to acquire a sample of what UFOligists now call “memory metal”: a piece of dull grey metallic cloth that he snatched off the ground before anyone else could see it. Dwyer squashed it into a ball in his fist, but the moment he opened his hand, “the metallic fabric snapped back into shape without any creases or folds.”
Dwyer had barely stuffed the material into his jacket pocket when an army sergeant noticed him, and hustled him in front of Major Jesse Marcel.
““Caught this fireman wandering around in the debris, sir, “ the sergeant reported. Marcel obviously recognized Dwyer, although the two weren’t friends, and gave him what the fireman only remembered as an agonized look. “You got to get out of here, “ he said. “And never tell anyone where you were or what you saw. “
“I mean it, this is top security here, the kind of thing that could get you put away, “ Marcel continued. “Whatever this is, don’t talk about it, don’t say anything until somebody tells you what to say. Now get your truck out of here before someone else sees you and tries to lock the whole bunch of you up. Move!” He faced the helmeted MP. “Sergeant, get him back on that fire truck and move it out. “”– The Day After Roswell
Dwyer wasn’t the only one who saw more than he was supposed to that night. Roy Danzer, a plumbing subcontractor who had worked through the night at the 509th airfield, had his own close encounter with the one surviving Grey. Danzer was taking a cigarette break in front of the base hospital, when his attention was attracted by a commotion at the main gate. A squad of MPs were forcing their way through a swirling throng of soldiers and other base personnel. Then the MPs headed straight for the hospital entrance, straight for where Roy was standing.
No one spoke to him — possibly they were so focused on what they were doing they didn’t notice him — so Roy got a front row seat as the stretcher bearing the single live Grey was marched right past him. Like Dwyer, he made eye contact with the creature.
“The pleading look on its face, occupying only a small frontal portion of its huge watermelon sized skull, and the emotion of pain and suffering that played itself behind Roy Danzer’s eyes and across his brain while he stared down at the figure told Roy it was in its final moments of life. It didn’t speak. It could barely move. But Roy actually saw, or believed he saw, an expression cross over its little circle of a face. And then the creature was gone, carried into the hospital by the stretcher bearers, who shot him an ugly glare as they passed. Roy took another drag on the cigarette butt still in his hand.” — The Day After Roswell
“What the hell was that?” Danzer wondered aloud. Then someone pushed him or slammed into him with tremendous force from behind.
“His head snapped back against the top of his spine as he went flying forward into the arms of a couple of MPs, who slammed him against an iron gate and kept him there until an officer — he thought it was a captain — walked up and stuck his finger directly into Danzer’s face.
“Just who are you, mister?” the captain bellowed into Danzer’s car. Even before Danzer could answer, two other officers walked up and began demanding what authorization Danzer had to be on the base. These guys weren’t kidding, Danzer thought to himself; they looked ugly and were working themselves up into a serious lather. For a few tense minutes, Roy Danzer thought he would never see his family again; he was that scared. But then a major approached and broke into the shouting.
“I know this guy, “ the major said. “He works here with the other civilian contractors. He’s OK. “ “Sir, “ the captain sputtered, but the major — Danzer didn’t know his name — took the captain by the arm right out of earshot. Danzer could see them talking and watched as the red faced captain gradually calmed down. Then the two returned to where the MPs were holding Danzer against the wall.
“You saw nothing, you understand?” the captain said to Danzer, who just nodded. “You’re not to tell anybody about this, not your family, not your friends — nobody. You got that?”
“Yes, sir, “ Danzer said. He was truly afraid now.
“We’ll know if you talk; we’ll know who you talk to and all of you will simply disappear. “
The treatment Danzer received was typical of that given to anyone in the town of Roswell who might’ve seen the crash or the crash site.
“With ill-advised threats of violence, actual physical intimidation, and, according to some of the rumors, at least one homicide, army officers bludgeoned the community into silence.” — The Day After Roswell
If Jesse Marcel hadn’t told the truth — or something like it — to the local newspaper in the first instance, Roswell might not have become the most badly bungled cover-up in UFO history; and we might not know, even today, that what crashed that night in July 1947 was anything but a weather balloon. I have no doubt that there have been many other cover-ups since, but those are much harder to prove, or even find any trace of, because those who would keep extraterrestrial beings and technology secret, learned all too well, from the mistakes that were made at Roswell.