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Friday, May 27, 2011

Don't Panic!

Could it be that space aliens were playing a game of chicken over central New Mexico in 1947? A game that went terribly wrong with two spacecrafts colliding into each other, scattering debris from  Corona to the Plains of St. Agustin. Although this purported UFO crash is closely linked with Roswell, N.M. none of the alleged crash sites were within 70 miles of Roswell. The Roswell Incident as it is now known, is back in the news with the release of Annie Jacobsen's book "Area 51" published by Little, Brown and Co. A review of the book by The New York Times states that her reporting of the top secret base is backed by "numbingly intensive documentation." Although it primarily deals with the mysterious Air Force base in Nevada, it's her controversial  claim that the Roswell Incident was merely a hoax perpetrated by the Soviets that has UFO geeks spitting Red Bull all over their computer screens. Annie, you're fucking with my emotions here, the legend of space aliens crashing to earth in New Mexico, gave birth to  "A story cherished by conspiracy theorists and not easily refuted." or so The New York Times states. That wild tale of alien voyagers spawned Roswell's numero uno cash cow; The Annual UFO Festival, which takes places the first weekend of July. Annie Jacobsen speculates that Soviet dictator Josef Stalin recruited Nazi physician Josef Mengele after World War II to produce "grotesque, child-size aviators" who would fly into the United States. Once discovered their very appearance was supposed to instill fear and panic much like Orson Welles' War of the Worlds.
It sounds crazy as a shithouse rat, so let's take a closer look, these mutants while physical deformed would need the mental capacity required to understand aeronautics. They would have to fly their crafts to the American Southwest, since the technology for self guided or remote controlled aircraft was in it's primitive stages in 1947. So, the Soviets couldn't just pack some peabrained science experiment into capsules, someone had to operate the craft with some expertise. I smell cowpies and I'm not the only one with a working bullshit detector around here. New Mexico's resident UFO expert (yes, we have one) Bill Lyne of Lamy,N.M. also doesn't like what he smells, but for different reasons. "They're just saying what I've been saying all along, that it was a hoax," he said. "But that Mengele stuff is a bunch of hogwash because Mengele was recruited by the CIA, and he was actually brought to Albuquerque." That's right, remember that creepy guy at the Edelweiss German American Club who went around telling all the young girls "My what pretty blue eyes you have" yeah that was him.  Lyne goes on to say that the Roswell Incident was a hoax perpetrated by our own government and not the Soviets. Lyne also added that the alien remains recovered in New Mexico were rhesus monkeys, with all their hair shaved off, and their skin tinted green. Lyne's remarks seemed to set off a pissing contest between ufologists, Peter Davenport, who runs the National UFO Reporting Center crawled out of the woodwork to say: "If they (The Nazis) had that kind of technology, the Germans would have won the war," Clifford Clift of the Mutual UFO Network (I'm not making this stuff up) questioned why this would take place in the desert. "It is a stretch, one of my concerns is if they wanted to create panic, why in New Mexico and not New York where there are more people to panic?" I guess the Soviets didn't plan on lazy 'ol Mac Brazel ignoring the crash site for three weeks before reporting it to local authorities. That's no way to start a panic, ultimately there are too many holes in Annie's Soviet theory for it to be believable.
 On June 14th, 1947 William "Mac" Brazel, the foreman for the Foster Ranch, located 70 miles north of Roswell, came upon a strange debris field near a water tank. Brazel would later describe it to the Roswell Daily Record as "A large area of bright wreckage made up of rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks."  (Right there that should've set off all kinds of alarm bells.  These aliens were capable of intergalactic travel, yet the only material available to build their space crafts was rubber, foil & sticks?) Brazel would return to the site on July 4th to gather up some of the material. With the nearest telephones 30 miles away in Corona, Brazel felt no urgent need to contact authorities. Following a timeline of events that transpired during that first week of July, 1947, Dan Wilmot of Roswell  reported on July 2nd. 1947,  that an object had passed overhead which Wilmot described as "like two inverted saucers faced mouth to mouth." On the morning of July 3rd. 1947, on the Plains of San Agustin, 150 miles west of Corona.  Barney Barnett and a group of archaeologists supposedly stumbled upon an alien craft and its deceased occupants. Before they could report it, military personnel showed up and they were ushered out of the area. This would take us to July 6th. when Brazel met with Chaves County Sheriff Wilcox to report his find.
If Brazel first discovered the debris on June 14th, what did Wilmot see, an alien search party? Could it be that what Barnett's group discovered was wreckage that had been undiscovered since June 14th or earlier? The symposium of theories seems to be that both Brazel's & Barnett's discoveries were the result of the same accident. On July 7th. Brazel accompanied by Sheriff Wilcox, Maj. Jesse Marcel and a G-man dressed in black, traveled to the Foster ranch to examine the debris field. The men would spend a couple of hours at the site before returning to Roswell AAF, later it was reported that a company of soldiers arrived in trucks to scour the site clean of all crash evidence. The first public reports of the incident came out on July 8th, when the now infamous press release was made available:   "The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff's office of Chaves County. The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff's office, who in turn notified Maj. Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office. Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher's home. It was inspected at the Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters."  By the following morning, the military was doing some heavy duty backpedaling. Under orders from Gen. Roger Ramey of The Eighth Air Force at Carswell AAF in Ft. Worth, Tx. another press release was issued accompanied with a photograph of Maj. Marcel holding pieces of the debris. This release identified the object as being a weather balloon and its kite, which was a radar reflector used to track the balloons from the ground. For all intents and purposes that was the end of the story, everyone at Roswell AAF including Brazel and Sheriff Wilcox shut their pie holes.
On March 22nd, 1950, FBI Special Agent Guy Hottel issued a report to the Director of the Bureau which stated that the Air Force recovered three flying saucers and nine 3 feet tall human shaped bodies from the New Mexico crash sites. Which didn't seem to concern J. Edgar Hoover, as no action seems to have been taken. The story would lie dormant and forgotten even in Roswell until 1978,  when physicist and ufologist Stanton Friedman interviewed Major Jesse Marcel who was involved with the original recovery of the debris in 1947.  Maj. Marcel expressed his belief that the military had covered up the recovery of an alien spacecraft. His story spread through UFO circles, being featured in some UFO documentaries and The National Enquirer. This garnered national and worldwide attention for the Roswell incident, planting the seeds for a cottage industry that continues to thrive in Roswell to this day.  Just like all those self styled ufologists, I have an opinion of what took place: 1. What Mac Brazel discovered was in fact a Project Mogul balloon array and its tracking kite. 2. Barney Barnett's report of finding alien corpses and wreckage was a hoax  3. All reports of alien autopsies, mysterious nurses who vanished and requests for child size caskets are just part of the Roswell myth and legend. 4. Jesse Marcel tailored his recollection of  actual events to meet his self serving needs.  5. Not one scrap of evidence of any kind has ever turned up. There are people who will go to their deathbeds or have already done so, believing it happened. It's just as well, because who the hell would want to attend a Project Mogul Balloon Crash Festival.? 

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