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Late in the night of July 4, 1947 a mysterious object of an unknown nature and unknown origin came in out of the north-northwest sky over the desert flatlands of New Mexico traveling at an incredible high rate of speed. It streaked across the ink-like darkness in an ever descending trajectory all the while shedding bits and pieces of metal and foil only to end up slamming into the cold granite boulders along the lower north slope of the Capitan Mountains some fifty miles west of Roswell.


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Not many eyes of the local population were watching that night, the event remaining for the most part, unnoticed except by a few. A man and his wife sitting on their porch. Two nuns going about a shift change at a local hospital. An archaeologist and his students camping out overnight while on a field trip.

Bigger eyes were watching, however. Secret electronic eyes.

To the east of the downed object was Roswell Army Air Field. To the west, the White Sands Proving Grounds. Both had radar on that night tracking an object that had been coming in and out of their scopes over a period of a couple of nights, an object "appearing to defy convention by exhibiting high rates speeds and non aircraft-like maneuvering." That night it disappeared off their screens, not by going out of range, but by going down. Going down at such an incredible high rate of speed it could have only crashed or exploded. The military, not sure what came down, dispatched an armed contingent to investigate.

By the time the military pinpointed the object's location and set up operations to retrieve it civilians arrived on the scene. It seems the object plunged into the ground within a short hiking distance of the archaeologist and his student's camp site. Waiting for the morning light they went looking for it. Just as dawn was breaking they stumbled across the impact site, the object nearly sideways and fully positioned against the rocks looking like a crashed airplane with a flat fuselage and no wings. The military, apparently convinced they were the only ones that had an interest in the object, escorted the civilians out of the area and told them to keep quiet about what they had seen.

That should have ended it except for one thing. Unknown to the miltary authorities at the time another civilian, a ranch foreman out checking his stock that same morning miles away from the impact site, discovered a huge section of his pastureland covered with metal debris and scattered pieces of foil. The main portion of the debris field appeared to be three-quarters of a mile long and two to three hundred feet wide. A gouge starting at the northern end extended four or five hundred feet toward the other end. Some of the metal pieces had imprinted or etched symbols on them resembling Hieroglyphic Writing. Some pieces of foil mysteriously unfold themselves leaving the surface flat without creases or wrinkles if crumpled up. Later that morning the rancher drove into Roswell and told the local sheriff about the weird stuff scattered all over his property. The night before, sometime past midnight, the sheriff had received a phone call from one of the students traveling with the archaeologist. The student said they thought they observed a plane come down in the mountains close to their campsite. The sheriff thinking the two incidents might be connected or that the wreckage might possibly be some sort of a classified aircraft belonging to the military because of the unusual nature of the debris, calls authorities at the air field.

From there things changed rapidly. The military had contained the situation in the mountains, but the debris field, unknown to authorities at the time slips through their fingers, opening up to an ever wider circle. Before anyone very high up can implement full and total damage control word spreads that a flying saucer had crashed and a number of people had seen and handled pieces of it.

On Tuesday morning July 8, 1947, four days after the crash, the following headline appeared blazened across the frontpage of the local paper The Roswell Daily Record:

RAAF Captures Flying Saucer
On Ranch in Roswell Region

The very next day however, the lid is clamped down. The saucer story is denied and the paper now prints the debris is from a weather balloon. People are rounded up and told to be quiet or recant their stories.(see) The crash site and debris field are cleaned up and remade to look the same as they did prior to the incident. The hope is that the story will go away.

But the story doesn't go away. Unrelentless reporters, investigators, and interviewers trace down and turn over even the smallest scrap. Eventually a mountain of information is accumulated. Two months after the crash the noted astronomer and meteorite hunter Dr. Lincoln La Paz is recruited by the military to determine the trajectory of the object --- unusual in itself in that the object was claimed by the same military to be nothing more than a slow moving wind borne weather device. During his investigation La Paz discovers that the debris field seems to have been reworked, plants moved and replanted, livestock turned loose to trample down evidence. He brings in a notorious bio-searcher with an intimate knowledge of indiginous plants of the desert southwest to see if it is possible to determine what if any plants, had been tampered with, thus hoping to get a direct insight into the trajectory. In the process they discover a previously unknown touchdown point about five miles from the debris field. The plants are wilted, the sand is fused to glass, and a slight blue hue is spread the length of the swath. The two locations form a direct line to the Capitan Mountains impact site.

Interesting enough, Dr. La Paz, who had thousands and thousands of hours of scientific time observing celestial objects himself, reported on July 10th, 1947, six days after the Roswell crash, seeing a huge eliptical-shaped object flying in the sky near Fort Sumner, New Mexico, while driving by car with his wife and children. He saw a luminous unknown object sort of oscillating beneath the clouds. Its brightness was stronger than the planet Jupiter and its shape regular and elliptical. The nature of this object was unknown to the astronomer.

In a Life Magazine article dated April 7, 1952 La Paz is quoted as saying the object "..exhibited a sort of wobbling motion" and then disappeared behind some clouds. It reappeared and "projected against the dark clouds gave the strongest impression of self-luminosity." The object then moved slowly from south to north and two and a half minutes behind a cloudbank. According to La Paz's calculations, confirmed by his wife, the object was huge, as large or larger than the infamous "Battle of Los Angeles" object as presented in UFO Over Los Angeles seen by thousands in February, 1942, being some 235 feet long and 100 feet thick (NOTE: according to reports as cited in the above link, the Los Angeles UFO was, however, thought to be closer to 800 feet in length). La Paz reported the horizontal speed of the object he observed ranged between 120 and 180 miles per hour and its vertical rise between 600 and 900 miles per hour.

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In December, 1947, six months after the Roswell crash a vertebra paleontologist named C. Bertrand Schultz attends the the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association held in Albuquerque. There he meets a long time friend known to participate in archaeological digs throughout the general Roswell area. He tells Schultz he came across some sort of a downed object over the fourth of July weekend and before he had a good chance to look at it he was escorted away by armed military personnel. Over the years word gets out that an archaeologist was at the crash site. Many people are suspected but famed UFOlogist Thomas J. Carey most accurately narrows it down to two. One person is a rather scruffy but highly regarded amateur rockhound and Pothunter by the name of William Lawrence Campbell, known as Cactus Jack. Cactus Jack had seen Foo Fighters during World War II and who, in regards to the Roswell Incident, claimed to be "out there when the spaceship came down" and seeing a "round object but not real big." The indication is as well that he was at the fused-glass site at the same time as La Paz and the bio-searcher. In all of Carey's attempts to find and talk with Cactus Jack the closest he got was a series of interviews with some that knew him. Word had it he had been seriously burned in a camper truck fire and after that he just sort of disappeared.

In the process of the same investigation however, Carey continually ran across rumors that C. Bertrand Schultz had personal knowledge of who the Roswell Archaeologist was. When Carey approached Schultz hoping to get further information on Cactus Jack, Schultz told Carey the man he was looking for was William Curry Holden.

Holden was a professor at Texas Tech known for working archaeology sites in the general Roswell area. He had never discussed the incident and it was well into his later years before he was actually even inteviewed on the subject. His daughter is on record as saying that at the time interviews were being conducted, because he was well advanced in age, her father was easily confused. Memories from his life were jumbled and reordered, and, even though she and her dad were close, he had never mentioned the Roswell Crash.

Backtracking in time a bit, the sheriff, sometime prior to contacting the air field that morning following his discussion with the ranch foreman, thinking the downed object might be an airplane with possible injured passengers or crew after the phone call from the student in the middle of the night, dispatched members of the local fire department to the scene. By the time they arrived and turned onto the dirt road from the main highway to the suspected location they found the military already there manning a temporary road block. The firefighters were told everything was under control. While they waited to see if they might be needed, one of the crew, Dan Dwyer, slipped away through the rocks and trees to a point where he was able to see a number of uniformed military personnel, various pieces of equipment such as jeeps, radio rigs and other communication vans. He also saw what he later described as a "strange craft" being lifted into the air by a crane and set on a flat bed truck. He continued to watch until the object was secured with chains and cables and covered by a tarp. None of the other firefighters joined him, so no one other than Dwyer was an actual eyewitnesses to the event.

When the archaeologist and the students arrived on the scene the military had only just shown up. By the time Dwyer observed the scene from his perch hidden amongst the rocks the military was by then, fully entrenched and loading a "strange craft" on a flat bed truck and the archaeologist long gone. Neither saw each other.

During that same summer a young boy was traveling with his uncle visiting various archaeological sites and places of interest throughout the desert southwest. The boy and his uncle were on a road trip so the boy could learn first hand about The Long Walk endured by the Navajos and Apaches as well as visit the gravesite of Billy the Kid after an excursion into the Arizona Strip. The two had been searching for fossils related to the Teratorn, a giant bird with over a twenty-foot wingspan thought to be the inspiration of Native American Thunderbird legends. During that same trip the two stopped at Elden Pueblo where a rare meteorite, said possibly to have been from the surface of Mars or the Moon, had been buried by prehistoric Native Americans in a super-specific ritual style then to Meteor Crater before continuing on to Fort Sumner. On Fourth of July weekend of that year the boy and his uncle, the same notorious bio-searcher tapped two months later by Lincoln La Paz to help trace the trajectory of the downed object, were about to turn onto a main highway from a side road near the fort. In the process they were stopped by a five or six truck convoy of military vehicles headed northeast at a high rate of speed. Several were carrying huge wooden crates, some covered with tarps.

In 1997, Col. Philip J. Corso, a military officer stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas in the summer of 1947, wrote a book titled The Day After Roswell. In it Corso writes that on the afternoon of Sunday, July 6, 1947, two days after the crash of the mysterious craft outside Roswell, five two-and-a-half-ton trucks and side-by-side low-boy trailers arrived at the base loaded with huge wooden crates, some covered by tarps. That evening he approached a sentry guarding the perimeter where the trucks were bedded down. The sentry told him the crews of the deuce-and-a-halfs had their own security and they told him the boxes were from an accident in New Mexico.

In the meantime smaller boxes and crates are packed up and loaded into waiting aircraft and airlifted out. Both the debris field found by the rancher and the impact site stumbled across by the archaeologist and his students are completely reworked and cleaned up so no sign of a military presence or downed craft remain.

By the middle of July, 1947, except for three truck loads taken to Timken Company in Canton, Ohio reported by convoy truck driver, Ralph A. Multer, that was basically the end of it. After that, but for the the most accurate works of radio broadcaster Frank Edwards around 1956 that really didn't take root, most of the world had forgotten.


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