The Roswell Slides: Adios

The controversy surrounding what have become known as the “Roswell Slides” has been going on for more than a couple of years now. It began as a trickle of whispers, rumors, and conversations with various sources, some known and others still unknown. Then it hit the Net. There was debate back and forth. Opinions were voiced. And there was the still-unresolved matter of computer hacking, in the summer of 2014, in relation to the story. But, now, in March 2015, there’s something else.

Check out the latest blog-posts and comments at Kevin Randle’s A Different PerspectiveRich Reynolds’ UFO Conjecture(s), and Paul Kimball’s The Other Side of Truth. It’s not an exaggeration to say that all-out, bloody war has practically erupted within the field of Ufology. The only things absent are incoming missiles, drone strikes, and panzer divisions on the horizon. There are the believers, the doubters, the middle of the road crowd, and those who find the whole thing downright bizarre. And, in certain cases, views are changing. Which brings me to the point of this article.

When I first heard the story of the slides, and learned of the background to it, the people who reportedly took the photos, and their geographical location in relation to the town of Roswell, I thought: well, this sounds interesting; even very interesting. And, just maybe, I also thought: it’s the real deal. The hacking issue amplified the controversy even further, and enraged those who were hacked and who are now doing their utmost to get revenge – which includes me.

Today, however, with lines being drawn, daggers at throats (well, almost), and online confrontations expanding by the hour (maybe by the minute!), it’s an appropriate time for me to address where I now stand, as of the last couple of weeks, and now that the images have surfaced online. It goes like this: do I think the slides are a decades-old fabrication? No, I do not. Do I think they are a modern day hoax? Nope, not at all. But do I now think they show an alien found dead on the Foster Ranch, Lincoln County, New Mexico, nearly seventy years ago? No, I don’t. And I have my reasons why.

There is one thing about the “Roswell slides” which I think is important, but which seldom gets mentioned. It begins as follows:

I don’t know if the US Government does have alien bodies on ice or doesn’t. But what I do know is that in nearly all the reports of extraterrestrial corpses held at military installations, the bodies are generally described as being very carefully preserved. People talk about seeing missile-like creations in which the bodies are stored. Others talk about large tanks, filled with well-preserved remains.

But the “Roswell slides” show something very different. Namely, a body that is  placed on a blanket, in a glass case, and with a presently indecipherable, hand-written message in view. This provokes the instant reaction that the body was not in a situation where preservation and analysis were the key, paramount issues. Rather, the way the body is presented, and with the attendant hand-written note, suggests (to me) that the body is on display. And is meant to be on display, too.

Regardless of what the slides show, it’s that display issue which makes me now think the body is not alien. The way in which such a unique specimen would be handled (if alien, and in unforeseen, out of the blue circumstances provoked by a UFO crash) would be to quickly maximize preservation, not to worry about “displaying” it in a glass case.

Now, before anyone gets on a screaming, high-pitch rant, I would say that, perhaps, ten or twenty years after the alleged “Roswell UFO crash” of 1947 occurred, an alien body might very well have been placed on display for the people working on the project to see. In that sense, the body could have been contained in a kind of “historical, top secret museum,” (something which, from a hypothetical perspective, I recently wrote about here at Mysterious Universe).

But here’s the deal: we’re told that the pictures were taken in 1947, the year of the Roswell event. The photos, in that sense, must have been taken only days, weeks, or, at the very most, months, after the crash occurred, for them to have been developed in the very same year as the crash. This raises an important question: only days, weeks or months after aliens reportedly crashed in New Mexico, would the bodies have been so casually stored in glass cases and in display-style? I would suggest not.

They would have been subjected to careful preservation and laboratory analysis, and in an environment where they would not degrade. And, in all likelihood, they would be kept in a sterile environment. After all, we are talking – allegedly – about creatures from another world. Thoughts, too, would surely have been given to matters such as alien viruses, and potentially deadly contamination from the biological remains of an unknown, unearthly species. And with those thoughts in mind, all you are going to do with such possibly highly hazardous bodies is to put them in glass cases? On blankets? That’s ridiculous.

Okay, some might say that thoughts of deadly viruses might not have crossed the minds of those tasked with examining the Lincoln County bodies back in the 1940s. I say that’s crap, and I’ll tell you why. Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI has declassified an interesting, lengthy file – one which  chiefly covers the period from the early 1940s to 1950. It’s title is Bacteriological Warfare in the United States. Of its nearly 1,800 pages, more than 1,000 remain classified. But, the papers that have been released – as well as additional files that originated with other agencies – tell an extremely interesting story.

Roswell Plaque

Roswell Plaque

They reveal that in the summer of 1947 plague broke out in certain parts of New Mexico and specifically in none other than Lincoln County. The alleged UFO crash occurred in Lincoln County, in the summer of 1947, too. The plague reports continued up until 1950, with the most dangerous period being 1949, when a number of people from Lincoln County – both adults and children – contracted plague, and were rushed to nearby Fort Stanton for treatment. It was treatment that sadly came too late for most of them. But that’s not all.

The records show there was deep concern on the part of officialdom that the plague outbreak was not a random, chance event of Mother Nature. There were fears that the plague had been deliberately initiated and spread – possibly by potentially hostile, overseas nations. As a result, the FBI documentation on the Lincoln County plague deaths was shared with (a) the director of Naval Intelligence; (b) the director of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations; (c) the acting director of the Division of Security of the Atomic Energy Commission; and (d) the director of the CIA.

As for the bodies of the unfortunate dead people, they were handled, and disposed of, with the utmost care. Plague is, after all, a serious and deadly business. And all of this brings me back to Roswell.

We can prove (historically and via the Freedom of Information Act) that when people fell sick with plague and died in Lincoln County in 1947 and through 1949, the FBI rightly became very alarmed by the rumors that the plague outbreak had been deliberately orchestrated. The FBI was also right to contact the CIA, Air Force, Naval Intelligence, and the AEC – and particularly so if someone like the dreaded Reds were seen as possibly being responsible. In other words, the utmost concern was given to ensuring public safety, and the safety of medical personnel who tried to help the plague victims, too.

But, here’s where things don’t make sense. All of the above was undertaken because of plague outbreaks in 1947, in Lincoln County, New Mexico, where the “Roswell crash” occurred – in both location and time-frame. Just about every step was taken to prevent the plague from spreading any further. People were rushed to Fort Stanton and isolated. None other than the director of the CIA was kept informed of the situation. Yet, we are supposed to believe that utterly unique alien bodies – discovered in the same county and in the same time-frame – were treated so casually that only weeks or months after they were found, they were merely placed into nothing stranger or more sophisticated than glass cases. ABSURD.

And, remember, we’re told the images were taken in 1947, not decades later in a kind of “secret UFO museum” setting. Keeping the plague outbreak in mind (as well as the steps taken by the authorities to contain it ad figure out its origin), it’s utterly illogical and unthinkable that the finding of extraterrestrial corpses would not have been treated with the same level of concern – from a perspective of potential biological contamination.

The fact is, however, the glass case in which the body rests is clearly not intended for preservation Nor is it intended to protect people from contamination. That’s like suggesting holding an umbrella above your head will protect you from radioactive fall-out during a nuclear attack. Nope: the glass case is intended to allow for the body to be placed on display and nothing else. The accompanying hand-written message amplifies that.

Displaying the body (in a glass case, no less), only weeks after the crash, would hardly be a priority. The hypothetical, chaotic atmosphere, when faced with handling unknown entities from another world, would surely have ensured the bodies were placed in isolation, and where as much protection as possible could be given to the medical personnel tasked with studying the bodies. Putting them in glass cases doesn’t cut it – and certainly not right after the crash, when we’re told the photos were taken.

My guess? A mummy of some kind. Check the Internet. You’ll see numerous examples of small, humanoid bodies, in glass cases, positioned on blankets – just like the body in the “Roswell slides.” And again, before anyone starts screaming and ranting at me, all of this amounts to my opinion – and I base it on the application of logic in relation to the plague issue discussed above. And, yes, yes, yes, I know arguments have been made that the body isn’t a mummified child. But arguments have also been made that this is exactly what it is.

Do I apologize for changing my views, now that I have had the opportunity to see the images online, at various sites and blogs? No, of course I don’t; such a thing would be completely and utterly ridiculous and is totally unwarranted, too. Rational debate and argument is  vital. And both can often lead a person to alter their stance. Which is what has happened with me. Like it or like it not; that’s how it is.

Do I think the slides should be the subject of ongoing study? Definitely. And I’m sure they will be. And that’s a good thing, regardless of what the answers might be. I say that because despite my skepticism over the slides, I still think there is a chance that very unusual bodies were found on the Foster Ranch, Lincoln County, New Mexico, in the summer of 1947.

But do I now think the slides will shed any meaningful light on what happened at Roswell, or on what the bodies were? Nope.  I have no doubt that all they will do is add to the controversy and intrigue – and nothing else. But proof that ET crashed back in the 40s? Nah. With that said, given that I have no interest in the study of ancient mummies, I now wash my hands of the Roswell slides.

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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