Jun 04, 2022 I Nick Redfern

The Roswell "UFO" Affair: When Things Get Strange and Almost Sinister

A couple of days ago, I was asked if my research into the Roswell affair of 1947 might have been "secretly monitored." Well, I think a lot of people who dig deep into some of the more controversial UFO cases have been quietly watched. In fact, it's almost inevitable. And, because I believe that Roswell was a secret experiment of ours - rather than a UFO crash - that might provoke certain people to focus on my findings. So, yes, I do think I've been watched. And, no, it's not paranoia. Consider this: In 1992, in a privately published paper titled: Have You Checked Your File Lately? the late Robert Durant, a UFO researcher and pilot, discussed the theme of an all-encompassing, Government-sanctioned-and-controlled operation designed to covertly monitor the activities of the UFO research community in the United States. Here is just one portion of Durant's paper: “You, the reader, are among the approximately 4,000 Americans who subscribe to ufological journals or newsletters, buy UFO books through the mail, attend conferences, or spend time with others who engage in such activities. Not a large group. We are only 3% of the total number of citizens the government admits to watching with intense care. A very easy group to track. Building your file is so much easier than compiling one on a Russian spy or a Mafioso. There is a file on you at the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, the driver’s license bureau of the state in which you are licensed, the commercial credit card companies that do business with your bank and your lenders, your doctor’s office, and so forth and so on. Is it really unreasonable to suspect that a UFO file would be created?" Now, back to Roswell.

Although this particular story is focused on certain things that occurred in the summer of 2005, I have to first inform you of something both strange and disturbing that happened in late 2004, as it solidly sets the scene for what is to follow. Virtually all of the research for the book was completed for my Roswell-themed book, Body Snatchers in the Desert by the end of 2003, and the first seven or eight months of 2004 were spent writing the manuscript for Simon & Schuster. Only days after I mailed a copy of the Word document to the publisher – yes, back then, publishing houses still wanted a paper copy, as well an emailed attachment – it vanished, overnight, from the offices of S&S in New York. Those who worked on the editing of the book, were perplexed – and more than a little disturbed and concerned, too. June 21, 2005 was the official publication date of Body Snatchers in the Desert. “Coincidentally,” that was also the very same day upon which a high-level meeting of a group known as the Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group (IWG) was held at the National Archives, Maryland. In attendance were representatives of the CIA, the FBI, the Department of State, the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Investigations, the National Security Council, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Some friends in the UFO research field suggested to me something weird: that the date issue amounted to a deliberate action by shadowy individuals in the intelligence community who were engaged in some grand scheme; a scheme that was beyond the scope and full understanding of those outside of the Roswell loop.

(Nick Redfern)

The subject of the IWG meeting was notable: nothing less than a discussion to determine how many official files still existed on Japanese war crimes that were carried out during the Second World War. Much of the focus was on Unit 731 and its terrible, insanity-filled experiments. A large portion of all this was directed towards the extent to which the still-existing Unit 731 papers could be found and declassified. If you have read my Body Snatchers in the Desert book, you'll know I make a deep connection between the Roswell affair and Unit 731. It was, to be sure, a very weird time: on the very same day that I began the publicity campaign to promote my book, certain identical matters were being discussed by representatives of some of the most powerful and secret agencies in the United States. Things got even more surreal when, only one day later, I received a strange phone call from a representative of the IWG. She expressed a great deal of interest in Body Snatchers in the Desert. I asked the woman how she knew of the book. In matter-of-fact style, she told me she had Googled “Unit 731,” specifically under the “News” section to see what was being said about the latest work of the IWG, and my book popped up – which made perfect sense, given the publication date of the book and the countless references within its pages to Unit 731. I outlined for her the Roswell story as it was told to me. She listened carefully, asked a few questions about names, sources, places and dates, and then thanked me and said her goodbyes. 

There was, however, one somewhat strange aspect to the conversation. Just before hanging up, the woman casually announced that several of her colleagues had read my book several weeks earlier. This was, however, pretty much impossible, as the book didn’t surface until June 21, only twenty-four hours before her call. Kindle wasn’t introduced until November 2007 – so they could not have quickly gotten a downloaded version of the book before the paperback hit the stands. I found it very intriguing that she brought that matter up, knowing that I would be wondering how the IWG knew of the contents of the book before it had even surfaced. I did wonder if what her colleagues had access to was not the published book, but, instead, the Word document that went walkabout from Simon & Schuster’s offices one mysterious night in 2004. If this was an attempt to try and destabilize me with strange mind-games, it was not going to work. And it didn’t.

(Nick Redfern) The Roswell crash-site...but not of a UFO

If you think this is all just a bit too much paranoia on my part, well, consider the many people in Ufology who we know for sure have been the subject of official government files of both the U.S. and the U.K. They include: George Adamski (whose FBI file was in excess of 300 pages), George Van Tassel (whose file was also more than 300 pages long) Orfeo Angelucci, George King, Leonard Stringfield, Robin Cole, and...well...the loaded list goes on and on. It's important, too, to note that none of those people were watched by the FBI because of UFOs and aliens. It was because of the politics of most of them. And, that's the same with me: my research into Roswell has nothing to do with aliens. It's all about post-Second World War highly classified experiments that crossed the lines. And, very soon, I'll share with you the weirdness that occurred when the sequel - The Roswell UFO Conspiracy - to Body Snatchers in the Desert surfaced in 2017.

Nick Redfern

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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