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Roswell? No. Close? Maybe…

Whenever anyone wants to talk about a reported UFO crash outside of the United States, it always seems to be touted as the “British Roswell,” the “Canadian Roswell,” the “Australian Roswell,” the…well, you get it, right? Yes, I know that whatever happened outside of Roswell, New Mexico in the summer of 1947, it was an event of deep significance. I know! I really do! But, can we please stop with the Roswell comparisons just once in a while when discussing other alleged UFO crash cases?

I hope so, since I have one to tell you about that very few will have any awareness of. Yes, it’s intriguing and notable. Yes, it caught the attention of the U.S. military. But let’s not get over-excited and loudly proclaim it as the next Roswell, just because that’s what is usually expected. And with that said, here’s the story…

A multi-page document, prepared by the 468th Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) detachment of the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), describes an intriguing event that occurred in the River Lagarfljot, Iceland in August 1954. The paperwork in question, declassified under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, and available for scrutiny at the National Archives, tells a notable story.

According to the Air Force’s files, shortly before 9.00 p.m. on the night of August 24, 1954, a fast-moving, low-flying, dark-gray colored and cylindrical-shaped UFO was seen in the vicinity of Egilsstadir by an individual at Hjardabol, a farm located near the junction of the Lagarfljot and Jokula Rivers, in North-eastern Iceland. The event would probably have been dismissed, for lack of evidence, particularly since it took the witness a full week to summon up the courage to tell the authorities, were it not for one startling aspect of the story.

The man in question, a farmer whose name is excised from the files, told the Air Force that as he watched the unknown craft on its flight-path, it suddenly lost speed and slammed into, and violently bounced across, a sand-bar on the Lagarfljot River, and quickly sank into the water. Evidence of nothing less than a crashed UFO might just be waiting to be uncovered, excited Air Force personnel could not fail to note.

Evidently impressed by the words of the farmer a detachment of Icelandic and U.S. military personnel hastily set off from Reykjavik to the scene of all the potential alien action. And given what was potentially at stake – the possible recovery of a craft from another world – the search was meticulous in the extreme. It was September 11, 1954 when the team finally reached the exact point of impact, but, unfortunately, as the Air Force noted:  “Between the time of the sighting, the Lagarfljot River had risen twice and washed over the sand-bar where the object reportedly landed, altering the size and shape of the sand-bar.”

The military was far from dissuaded from pressing on, however. Upon satisfying themselves that they had reached the right spot, the Icelandic/American team brought in a trio of mine-detectors in an effort to determine if they might assist in locating the object, or perhaps priceless fragments of it. It was an action that ended in failure, much to the deep frustration of all involved. But they were not quite done yet. Local divers were even enlisted – and sworn to secrecy in the process – to search for the device on the riverbed, but they too came up empty-handed.

There were two possibilities, the Air Force concluded: the UFO had not sunk to the bottom of the river, but had got swept along by the running waters and was now much further away than suspected, or it was deeply buried in the bed of the river, something that would require considerable equipment to locate and recover it.

Interestingly, while Air Force files exist, and have also been declassified into the public domain, showing that plans were initiated to carefully and completely search the entire river-bed with sophisticated equipment, including portable cranes from Reykjavik, the files revealing the outcome of this action, rather predictably, have yet to see the light of day.

Perhaps Icelandic and American military personnel really did secretly recover a ship from another galaxy back in 1954. Or, even more amazing and thought-provoking, perhaps it still remains buried, somewhere deep in the mud of the Lagarfljot River. Not quite Roswell. But, perhaps, worth another look around the area in question, even after all these years…


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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