Over at his UFO Conjecture(s) blog, Rich Reynolds has a new post titled "'Roswell' in a blog title increases blog-views." And, as you'll see from Rich's stats, indeed it does! But, the big question is: why? Well, at first glance, the answer seems simple. Let's face it, Roswell is the most well-known of all the thousands of UFO cases on record. Even people who have no interest (or belief) in UFOs know of Roswell and the basic theme of the story. Namely, that of a flying saucer crashing to earth back in the 1940s, and a hasty cover-up of the facts, a cover-up which persists to this day. But, it's not because Roswell is so famous that it achieves greater hits than - let's say - a sighting of a "Flying Triangle," or the discovery of a Crop Circle in some angry farmer's field. It's due to something else: Panic.
The fact is that Ufology is always looking for proof that UFOs exist. And, by proof, I mean hard, solid evidence that can be examined and studied - if, of course, "they" would only "tell us the truth." Almost seventy years have gone by since Kenneth Arnold kicked off the flying saucer controversy - after encountering a squadron of unidentified aerial vehicles near Mt. Rainier, Washington State. And, although we have masses of material, eye-witness testimony, photos, declassified files, etc., the fact is that we still don't have hard evidence of - or definitive answers for - what UFOs actually are. Roswell, however, theoretically offers us those answers. If, that is, we could uncover the alleged bodies, wreckage, old files, and so on. And presuming, of course, that Roswell was an alien event and not something else. Such as something down-to-earth and which still has to remain hidden at all costs.
All of which gets us to the heart of the matter of why Ufology views Roswell as being so important, and why Rich's statistics soar whenever the "R Word" is mentioned. The fact is that Ufology is not just seeking hard, undeniable proof that UFOs exist. Much of Ufology is desperate to find pro-E.T. evidence for Roswell, chiefly so that all those decades of research won't be seen as a waste of time. Those UFO researchers now in their seventies and eighties are faced with meeting the Grim Reaper before they get to see the doors to the "secret Roswell hangar" opened wide.
For those researchers, the answers have to come, and they have to come soon. So, for those who conclude aliens crashed back in July 1947, the Roswell affair - with its large number of first-, second-, and third-hand witnesses, and with the government having changed its stance on what happened more than a couple of times - is the one that could really tip the scales. And, with the scales tipped, the world would know that the UFO community was right all along and it was all worth it. All thanks to Roswell.
There's very little doubt in my mind that when Ufologists see the word "Roswell" prominently referenced in a new online article, there's an immediate sense of "Maybe, this time, we really have it nailed." I saw just such a thing happen when the fiasco/disaster/high-speed car crash with multiple fatalities mangled in the burning wreckage/circus/house of horrors/ known as "the Roswell Slides" surfaced a few years back. And look where that steaming, heaped pile of you-know-what finally got us: nowhere!
There's another reason why Roswell is so important, but from a very different perspective. If, one day, Roswell is conclusively proven not to have been an extraterrestrial event - maybe, instead, some dark and murky domestic experiment - then I firmly believe that the UFO community will have a collective breakdown/meltdown of epic proportions and from which it will never recover. Shaking knees, breathing slowly into paper bags, stomach ulcers, antidepressants, and uncontrollable bladders will be the collective order of the day. Don't even get me started on out-of-control bowel movements.
In that sense, Ufology is desperate to see Roswell confirmed as an extraterrestrial event. Ufology cannot consider Roswell as anything else: it's unthinkable. So, again, whenever Roswell pops up - and particularly so amid rumors that "something big" is coming - there's a need and a desperate yearning for something tangible. So, everyone clicks on the link, praying for the definitive breakthrough that has consistently failed to surface; the breakthrough that only "St. Roswell" can (maybe) deliver into Ufology's eager hands.
Roswell has been elevated and championed as an E.T. event to such an incredible degree that it can - single-handedly - completely make or break Ufology. Forever. However you look at the case - and whatever your personal opinion on what happened in '47 on the Foster Ranch, Lincoln County, New Mexico - that's why it's important.