On a stormy evening on 02 July 1947, a controversial event took place near Roswell New Mexico. William “Mac” Brazel, who was a foreman on the Foster cattle ranch when this event occurred, was waiting out the storm that night.
This was nothing new as the “monsoons” (thunderstorm season) were in full swing. The next day Mac went out to check the pastures to see where the most rain had fallen as he would then move the herd into the best pasture for feeding.
In those days (1940’s) it was common to move around the countryside on a horse. As Mac rode into one pasture he noticed it was littered with debris of a substance that was not familiar to him.
This metallic material was unlike anything that he had ever seen. It was very light much like our present day aluminum foil but extremely strong and would pop back into it’s original shape if you rumpled it up.
You couldn’t cut or burn it, it seemed indestructible. There were also small solid girders that had strange hieroglyphics printed or embossed them. They too seemed to be very strong.
These pieces of aluminum-like foil were scattered over an area of several hundred yards, like something had crashed or crash landed there.
Mac was a rancher, not an aviator, but he did feel compelled to tell someone of authority about this. He contacted Sheriff Wilcox in Roswell on 07 July 1947. The Sheriff’s office didn’t have any clue as to what this “crash or crash landing” was, as there was no reports of any civil aircraft missing.
About 2 weeks earlier, the infamous story about Kenneth Arnold seeing a flight of strange aircraft traveling at very high speed near Mt. Rainer in Washington state. Arnold said they looked like saucers skipping on a pond.
The media then dubbed the phrase “flying saucers”. Flying Saucer mania swept the country. So when Brazel spoke with Sheriff Wilcox, Mac asked if this might be one of those “Flying Saucers” that was scattered over the Foster Ranch? Mac wasn’t sure what it was.
When asked when he found the material, account #1 Brazel said he first noticed it around mid-June (he wasn’t sure of the exact date). He collected some of it and hide it under some sagebrush on the ranch.
Account #2 states it was the morning of 03 July 1947 when he first noticed the material. So when Mac contacted Sheriff Wilcox, they both went out to the ranch to have a look together. Sheriff Wilcox thought it best to contact the Army at Roswell AAF base.
So Wilcox then contacted Major Jesse Marcel at the 509 Bomb Group at Roswell Army Air Force Base (the Air Force branch of the military had not yet been formed). Maj. Marcel accompanied Brazel back to the ranch to inspect the debris. Maj. Marcel reported his findings to his superior. Then up the chain of command to Colonel William Blanchard, the Base Commander of the 509th at RAAF at Roswell.
That day 07 July, the Public Information Officer Walter Haut released the “infamous” story how the Army had captured and recovered a “flying disc”. The story was picked up by the major news sources in the country and a sensational wave of excitement broke out.
However Col Blanchard’s boss General Roger Rainey released a news release that the debris was a weather balloon that had got caught in a storm. No saucer.
In the next 30 years the story was dead. Then in 1978 Stanton Friedman interviewed Jesse Marcel, one of the few survivors of the original event and investigator of the event. Jesse claims that there was a lot more to the “event” then was originally reported. He said that the Army knew that an alien spaceship had crashed on the Foster Ranch so many years ago.
The legend grew larger as more folks entered the “fray”. In the next 15-20 years many books were written about alien bodies (someone even said there was a live alien at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH.)
By now with over “300 witnesses” according to some sources, it was said that the U.S. government was covering up what “really” happened, that is, that an alien spaceship had crashed at Roswell and the military/government knew all about it and they were covering up the truth from the public.
Many of these writers demanded that the truth be released to the public. (It is kind of hard to release something you don’t have.)
In 1994 the Air Force released a finding about a now de-classified project called Operation Mogul. Mogul was a Top-Secret operation that launched high altitude balloons. In 1947, we did not have satellites of any kind, as that wouldn’t come until the late 50’s.
We didn’t have any high flying spy airplanes at that time, again not until the 50’s. So what was Operation Mogul all about? The Soviets had just developed the atomic bomb but the U.S. government didn’t have much data on how far along they were in development or how well these weapons worked.
The idea come along that if you could send some atomic testing equipment aloft, to 100,000 feet or so at that altitude you could determine how often and what strength and when these weapons were tested.
The Army modified their existing weather balloons to carry the heavy lift of the test instruments. In those days, radios and other scientific equipment was large, bulky and heavy. Miniaturization was years off, not until the Apollo moon missions took place.
The modified high altitude balloons used materials that were generally not available to the public. These had to be light and strong to with stand the turbulence and winds aloft. Thus Operation Mogul was born.
Like I mentioned in the beginning, the “monsoons“ or thunderstorms were active that night. Now think this out, if you were from another star system and had developed a space vehicle that could travel hundreds or perhaps thousands of light years in a very short time wouldn’t you be able to navigate around Earth’s puny little meteorological events.
However an unmanned high altitude balloon on it’s way up to high altitudes might not be so fortunate. This I believe is what Mac Brazel found on the Foster Ranch that morning. But this is not a very exciting proclamation like a crashed saucer from beyond the stars.
The story was a financial boon for good many writers, Hollywood and Roswell itself. Now it is up to You-the reader to form your own opinion on what happened in Roswell in 1947. Will it be following a legend like Paul Bunyan and his Ox Blue or coming to the conclusion that is was a far less romantic adventure like Operation Mogul.