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Roswell UFO: Don’t Be A Dummy

Back in the summer of 1997, when the Roswell, New Mexico incident was all the news (due to the fact that the case – involving who the hell knows what – was then precisely 50 years old), the U.S. Air Force came out with a still-controversial report suggesting that the alleged “alien bodies” found outside of Roswell were very likely crash-test-dummies used in high-altitude experiments.

The theory provoked a wealth of debate within the domain of Ufology, and even the mainstream media addressed the scenario with some doubt when it was demonstrated by eagle-eyed sleuths that the dummy tests didn’t even begin until 1952 – five years after Roswell occurred. No wonder the debate continues to rage and outraged Roswell obsessives continue to foam at the mouth.

Anyway, for those who are interested, you can find one of the dummies in question on display at the UFO Museum at Roswell. But, that’s not all: there is one interesting (to me anyway!) thing about the crash-test dummy story that very rarely – if ever – gets touched upon.

I have heard UFO researchers say time and again that it would be absurd to imagine that people could mistake dummies for aliens – chiefly because the dummies were all six-footers (or thereabouts), and the bodies at Roswell were said to have been only from three- to five-feet in height.

The UFO Museum in Roswell NM

The UFO Museum in Roswell

I agree that the dummy scenario does not solve whatever it was that did or did not happen at Roswell on that long gone, fateful day. But (yep, another but), the dummy on display at the UFO Museum is not a six-footer. It’s probably around five-foot-two or -three. I’m just over six-foot-tall, and I tower over the one in the museum display! So, even though I am not in the slightest bit persuaded by the theory that the Roswell bodies were dummies, contrary to what many UFO researchers have claimed, the dummies were not all big “guys.”

That’s one of the issues I have with many facets of Ufology (and Forteana in general): certain incorrect statements (such as this one about the heights of the dummies, the “95 per cent of all UFOs can be explained” statement, the “alien abductions began with Betty and Barney Hill” assertion, and the “Kenneth Arnold coined the term Flying Saucer” claim, etc, etc) are trotted out time and again, and without any independent attempt to confirm the statement.

Why? Easy! Because someone else said it, and someone else said it before them, and so on and so on. And it’s easy and lazy not to do one’s own research – for many.

So, no, in my view the dummies of Roswell are most assuredly not the bodies of Roswell. And the dummies were certainly not dwarf-like in size. But, here’s the important thing: they were not all 6-footers either. In fact, nowhere near. If you don’t believe me, just go to Roswell, and have your photo taken next to the town’s resident dummy. You’ll see for yourself exactly what I mean.

If people want to say something about UFOs, and UFO events, they should investigate them. They should not be relying on what someone else said and simply assume it’s fully correct. Don’t, in other words, be a dummy.


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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