Cosmic Conspiracy: Six Decades of Government UFO Cover-Ups, Part One
(Vol. 16, No. 7, April 1994, pp. 34-40, 109)
By Dennis Stacy
Lightning flashed over Corona, New Mexico, and thunder rattled the thin
windowpanes of the small shack where ranch foreman Mac Brazel slept. Brazel
was used to summer thunderstorms, but he was suddenly brought wide awake by a
loud explosion that set the dishes in the kitchen sink dancing. Sonofabitch,
he thought to himself before sinking back to sleep, the sheep will be
scattered halfway between hell and high water come dawn.
In the morning, Brazel rode out on horseback, accompanied by seven-year-old
Timothy Proctor, to survey the damage. According to published accounts,
Brazel and young Proctor stumbled across something unearthly--a field of
tattered debris two to three hundred yards wide stretching some
three-quarters of a mile in length. No rocket scientist, Brazel still
realized he had something strange on his hands--so strange that he decided to
haul several pieces of it into Roswell, some 75 miles distant, a day or two
For all its lightness, the debris in Brazel's pickup bed seemed remarkably
durable. Sheriff George Wilcox reportedly took one look at it and called the
military at Roswell Army Air Field, then home to the world's only atomic-bomb
wing. Two officers from the base eventually arrived and agreed to accompany
Brazel back to the debris field.
As a consequence of their investigation, a press release unique in the
history of the American military appeared on the front page of the Roswell
Daily Record for July 8, 1947. Authored by public-information officer Lt.
Walter Haut and approved by base commander Col. William Blanchard, it
admitted that the many rumors regarding UFOs "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."
Haut's noon press release circled the planet, reprinted in papers as far
abroad as Germany and England, where it was picked up by the prestigious
London Times. UFOs were real! Media calls poured in to the Roswell Daily
Record and the local radio station, which had first broken the news,
demanding additional details.
Four hours later and some 600 miles to the east in Fort Worth, Texas, Brig.
Gen. Roger Ramey, commander of the Eighth Air Force, held a press conference
to answer reporters' questions. Spread on the general's office floor were
lumps of a blackened, rubberlike material and crumpled pieces of what looked
like a flimsy tinfoil kite. Ramey posed for pictures, kneeling on his carpet
with the material, as did Maj. Jesse Marcel, flown in from Roswell for the
occasion. Alas, allowed the general, the Roswell incident was a simple case
of mistaken identity; in reality, the so-called recovered flying disc was
nothing more than a weather balloon with an attached radar reflector.
"Unfortunately, the media bought the Air Force cover-up hook, line, and
sinker," asserts Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist and coauthor with
aviation writer Don Berliner of Crash at Corona, one of three books written
about Roswell. "The weather-balloon story went in the next morning's papers,
the phone calls dropped off dramatically, and any chance of an immediate
follow-up was effectively squelched."