It is coming up on the 75th anniversary of perhaps the best-known incident in UFO history, but three-quarters of a century later, the Roswell mystery is still far from solved.
It is probably the most hotly debated topic of alien lore. It has been the subject of movies, TV shows, and dozens of books, both fiction and non-fiction. The mere mention of the word “Roswell” immediately conjures up UFOs, alien bodies, and conspiracy theories.
What happened on that now-famous ranch in New Mexico in 1947 has been one of the most thoroughly researched mysteries in the history of the UFO phenomenon and among the most enduring. However, barring a major revelation between now and July 8, the city of Roswell will mark the 75th anniversary of the alleged 1947 UFO crash that put it on the map with the debate over what occurred there far from settled.
One of the most famous accountings of the Roswell incident was the front page of the local paper, the Roswell Daily Record, which recorded initial reports of the incident along with a follow-up version of events presented by the military that some now view as one of history’s greatest cover-ups because of the way the paper recanted its original story about a found “flying saucer.”
It was The Record that showed the now-famous front page with a photo of Major Jesse A. Marcel posing with the debris of a “weather balloon” on July 8, 1947.
But one piece of local history recently surfaced that provides an interesting companion to those iconic 1947 headlines that sparked all things, Roswell, adding yet more pages to a still-growing historical and controversial record.
The Roswell Morning Dispatch, a long-defunct sister newspaper of the Roswell Daily Record, was published in the mornings from 1928 to 1950. The Dispatch covered the news of the day, and as such, like the more famous Dispatch, it carried accounts in July 1947 of the unfolding events related to the alleged recovery of a crashed “Flying Disk” outside Roswell, along with the military’s explanations for what had occurred.
Archives of the paper were recently uncovered. Of interest to UFO research enthusiasts — the July 9, 1947, headline in the Morning Dispatch read, “Army Debunks Roswell Flying Disk As World Simmers With Excitement,” followed by a subhead bearing a familiar assertion that would help fuel future accusations of a cover-up: “Officers Say Disk Is A Weather Balloon.” A sidebar describes then-sheriff George Wilcox fielding calls from media around the world as journalists sought information on what would come to be known as the Roswell incident.
Nick Pope, who investigated UFOs for the U.K. Ministry of Defense, said discovery of the old headlines holds significance for researchers and others interested in the phenomenon.
“It’s a fascinating piece of history that time had forgotten,” Pope said. “It just shows that 75 years after the Roswell incident, there are still discoveries to be made in the archives.”
Pope added, “Any historian will tell you that going back to the original sources is priceless when it comes to getting an insight into what happened and how those people involved were reacting and perceiving things, and what the feeling was in the local community.
“This is just an amazing glimpse into Roswell in 1947 — which was ground zero for this mystery that still endures to this day.”