Thursday, July 8, 2010

Where's Mulder When You Need Him?

Sixty-three years ago today, the United States military issued a press release that it had recovered the wreckage of a "flying disc" from a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico.

The next day, that statement was retracted, and it was claimed that the wreckage was in fact that of a weather balloon.

And for thirty-one years, no one really cared.

In 1978, however, Major Jesse Marcel, who had been involved with the recovery of the wreckage years earlier, said in an interview that he believed that it had in fact been an alien craft, and that the government was actively suppressing the information.

A UFO-enthusiast Mecca was born.

In the years since, many other people claiming to have inside knowledge of the cover-up have come forward bringing countless theories with them:

Aliens (dead and/or alive, depending on which theory you subscribe to) were also recovered from the site.

Reverse engineering of the alien technology recovered has led to every single modern advancement, from microwave ovens to cell phones to cars powered by water (also suppressed by the government, but that's a completely different post;)).

Some believe that what was really recovered that day was the wreckage of top-secret U.S. or Soviet spy technology, and that's why everything is being covered up.

I don't know what happened that day in Roswell. Is there really a cover-up? It's conceivable; we know the government doesn't always play fast and loose with information.

Did something truly important happen that day, did nothing remarkable at all happen, or is the truth some strange amalgamation of the down-to-earth and the way-out-there?

I don't know, and I'm sure I never really will.

And I don't care.

Because the idea of it all is more fun than anything else.

The Roswell UFO Incident has worked its way into popular culture, influencing countless tv shows, movies, books, comics, etc...

Mega-cultural touchstones such as "The X-Files" wouldn't have existed if not for the Roswell Incident's influence.

Each year, Roswell holds a UFO Festival, and thousands of UFO enthusiasts, ranging from multi-degree scientists who are studying the phenomena all the way to that guy with tinfoil on his head descend on the area to meet, greet, discuss and purchase all things alien and UFO-related.

Some people believe with die-hard ferocity that something from another world crashed at Roswell, and that the government is hiding it.

Some people believe that it really was just a weather balloon.

Me? I don't really know which particular camp to place my tent in, but I can sit back and enjoy the entire spectacle with amusement.

No matter where you stand on the issue, July 8, 1947 is a date that certainly made the world a bit more interesting.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my alien neighbor is firing up his microwave, and if I don't put some tinfoil on my head, he'll be able to control my thoughts.

Thanks for reading my ranting,



  1. I love the idea of alien visitors. Loved the X files, love V...but I will say that the movie, The Fourth Kind, freaked the zombies out of me!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  2. That's cool, Brad. I don't know where to stand either. The idea is more fun sometimes than the truth. Just look at all the stories about Princess Anastacia of Russia. Numerous movies about her disappearance and wishes that she'd escaped and living incognito or without her memory, but I think they'd finally proved that she'd died with her family. The stories were more interesting that the cold facts. I think I'm afraid to find out for sure the truth of what happened in Roswell. I'd much rather imagine the what-ifs and listen to everyone else's stories.

  3. Exactly, Jaleh!

    It's kind of like, what if they proved the existence of Sasquatch, or Nessie, or even the chupacabra?

    From a scientific standpoint, it would be thrilling.

    But it would also be kind of sad, because there would be that much less mystery in the world.