Dec 31, 2022 I Nick Redfern

A Significantly Different Approach to the Secrets of the Roswell "UFO" Affair

When it comes to the issue of what really happened on what was once known as the Foster Ranch, Lincoln County, New Mexico in early July 1947, there are things we know, things we suspect, and things we will probably never know. But, that something happened – something which caused the U.S. Air Force to offer multiple explanations for the event – is not a matter of any doubt at all. It was an incident that clearly concerned elements of not just the military, but the government, too, and to a highly significant degree. Eye-witnesses – both military and civilian – were warned not to talk about what they had seen and / or heard. More than a few of those warnings crossed the line and can only accurately be described as death threats. People were plunged into states of fear. Lives were changed forever; even scarred. Some lives may have ended; as in terminated. It was on July 8, 1947 that the strange event surfaced publicly. Associated Press (among many other news outlets) reported on the startling, then-breaking news on what happened at Roswell:

“The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff’s office of Chavez County. The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff’s office, who in turn notified Major Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office. Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher’s home. It was inspected at the Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters.” 

(Nick Redfern) Flying Saucers at Roswell (They're models...)

The story was quickly picked up not just across the United States, but across the planet, too. In barely no time at all, however, the flying disc angle was blown out of the sky: the whole thing was nothing but a huge, embarrassing mistake. The materials found on the massive ranch – by rancher William Ware “Mack” Brazel – were not the remains of a disc, after all. What had really been found, and subsequently collected and brought to the Roswell Army Air Field, was weather-balloon debris. Or, so the military was careful to try and assure everyone. With Brazel at the time of the discovery – which had actually occurred days earlier – was a young boy named Dee Proctor. He would go on to be one of the most important people in the Roswell story. We also know for sure that three, key military men, all of whom were destined to become part and parcel of the Roswell affair, were also present at the ranch – and specifically before a veritable battalion was on-site and ordered to recover the massive amount of whatever-it-was. They were Major Jesse Marcel, the intelligence-office of the 509th Bomb Group at Roswell; Captain Sheridan Cavitt, of the Counter-Intelligence Corps; and CIC Master Sergeant Lewis S. “Bill” Rickett. All three were at ground-zero. They all saw the wreckage. Years later Marcel would open up wide on the matter of the debris he saw and collected. Cavitt and Rickett may have seen more than debris. Way more. Possibly bodies, strange bodies. Brazel and little Dee may have seen one or more of those bodies, too. 

(Nick Redfern) The "Crash-test dummy" theory for Roswell.

One of the most surprising of all the revelations made by Bob Lazar was that, by 1988 / 1989 the team out at S-4 had made very little progress when it came to the matter of trying to understand the alleged extraterrestrial technology. In fact, at times, it sounded like the environment was more akin to a museum than a place where high-tech research and development was speeding along. To some degree, the image mirrors the final scenes of the hit 1981 movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, starring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. In those final moments, we see the Ark of the Covenant – which the Nazis were desperate to get their hands on – hidden away, as a result of its awesome, destructive powers. And kept hidden from just about everyone. Could it be true that, rather than having duplicated the alien technology, the staff at Area 51's S-4 are in a very similar position: they have a mountain of alien-originated technology, but no significant way to use it. A lack of understanding of the alien science may have ensured that much of the recovered material is just sitting on shelves, boxed away, and remaining largely untouched until our science catches up. Let’s explore this possibility to a greater degree.

If creatures from another world really did crash to earth in July 1947 (I am, of course, talking about the Roswell affair) and wound up at Area 51, then why is it that the material evidence has never surfaced? That important issue aside, Roswell, as an event, is a matter of record. The case has, after all, been the subject of numerous non-fiction books and has featured in a near-endless number of TV series and documentaries, movies and novels. The controversy has also been the focus of two U.S. Air Force investigations and a report by the Government Accountability Office. Regardless of what really happened on that now-infamous, remote ranch all those years ago, Roswell is the cornerstone of Ufology; no doubt about it. Roswell is to Ufology what the 1967 “Patterson Film” is to Bigfoot research, and what the 1945 disappearance of Flight 19 is to those who believe in the existence of the Bermuda Triangle. My personal opinion is that the U.S. government (and I use those words – “the U.S. government” – as a catch-all term for the U.S. Air Force, the intelligence community, and elected officials) is, today, out of the loop when it comes to knowing the full, unexpurgated facts surrounding Roswell. Far more likely, as I see it, the Roswell secrets are maintained by a kind of “shadow agency.” That’s to say a group which is (a) answerable to no-one; (b) not officially known to exist; and (c) funded in a deeply clandestine fashion. And it’s almost certainly operating out of Area 51.

But, there’s another side to all of this: It’s one thing to have a secret group that oversees the Roswell case at S-4. It is, however, quite another issue for this group to have successfully hidden every bit of wreckage, every single page of every single document ever prepared on the event, and every highly-classified photo. And all without making a single mistake (just one!), to the point where absolutely nothing – not even the merest scrap – has surfaced in seven decades. How is such a thing possible? Let’s face it, we hear numerous stories of extraterrestrial debris found on the Foster Ranch, Lincoln County, New Mexico, which is then (sooner or later) “back-engineered,” perhaps at Area 51 or elsewhere. We’re told the Roswell technology and materials played major roles in the development of everything from night-vision goggles to integrated circuits, and from lasers to fiber-optics. If the stories are true (even just a few of them), then such programs would have required the dedicated, secret work of countless people and numerous companies and industries. And with so many scientists and personnel involved – combined with the reams of paperwork such studies and research would surely have generated since 1947 – is it too much to expect that not even one legitimate smoking-gun would surface? No, it is not. Something is wrong with this picture.

(Nick Redfern) Roswell: UFO Number One (along with Area 51).

Since we clearly don’t have that much-sought-after smoking-gun (if we did, you would hardly be reading these words right now), the skeptics conclude that’s because it doesn’t exist. There is, however, another angle that needs to be addressed. It’s an angle to which few people ever give much thought. What if aliens did crash in New Mexico in 1947, but very little (if, indeed, any) notable progress has been made in studying and understanding the alien technology? More to the crux of the matter: what if the recovered evidence has barely been investigated in the slightest? Taking things a step further than that, what if the material is so baffling and appropriately alien that it has just been hidden away, in museum-style? And that’s all. Such a scenario might sound strange, but bear with me. Consider the possibility that all the stories of “back-engineering” are bogus and were designed – at the height of the Cold War – to unnerve and confuse the Soviets. And what if the reality is that zero progress has been made when it comes to the examination of the Roswell materials? That is very close to the scenario Bob Lazar described. Now, with that said, back to Roswell. Despite what has been stated about a UFO crashing in New Mexico in 1947, the fact is that – for the most part – we actually have very few, credible stories of a UFO being found on the Foster Ranch. What we have, chiefly, are reports of a massive field of debris and a varying number of bodies of perceived, non-human origin.

Consider the possibility this is all our theoretical group that oversees the Roswell affair has in its possession. No “power-plant,” no “engine,” no “flight-deck,” and no “fuel-tank.” Just a lot of mystifying, so-called “memory metal,” as the debris is described, on account of its mystifying abilities to spring back to its original shape, even after being crushed. As for the bodies – whether in fairly good shape or pulverized and shattered – what if studies have yielded very little beyond the conclusion that they aren’t exactly what you would call locals? But, how is it even possible for us not to have made any progress since 1947? The answer to that question is: very easily, that’s how. Imagine sending a modern-day car back in time, let us say 300 years, and dumping it where it’s sure to be found. The finest minds of that era would, very likely, be able to conclude it was designed to transport people from one place to another. If the ignition key was turned on, the engine then rumbled into life, and the steering-wheel was turned, chances are those same finest minds would actually be able to drive the car – after a fair bit of practice, of course. But what happens when the car runs out of fuel? If the people of that period are unable to duplicate the fuel that the car requires – whether diesel or unleaded gasoline – they will be left with a shell that offers great potentials, but which is as good as dead and useless. And that should make us wonder if something similar has happened regarding Roswell – if, of course, the answer goes down an alien path and not a far more down-to-earth one.

If all that our theoretical, secret group at Area 51 has in its possession is a huge mass of memory-metal and a bunch of corpses (and nothing else), then it becomes incredibly easy to understand how very little progress might actually have been made. And particularly so if (in the same way that unleaded fuel could not be successfully duplicated 300 years ago) we have not yet developed adequate means to understand and use the technology. The possible outcome? The corpses and the debris are stored away somewhere (Raiders of the Lost Ark-style), perhaps even barely ever studied, until such a time comes when our technology allows for meaningful scrutiny to be undertaken. The skeptics do, admittedly, make a very good point that with thousands of people hypothetically working on the analysis of a crashed UFO and its crew, the truth should have surfaced by now, whether by the actions of some Edward Snowden-type character or by accident – the latter perhaps more likely, due to the complex logistics of trying to oversee and contain so many inter-related programs and projects. The believers counter this stance by making comparisons with the Manhattan Project that led to the development and deployment of the atomic bomb. It was a project on which a massive number of people worked, but that remained secret for years. Yes, it did. But not for almost seventy years – which is where, today, we’re almost at with Roswell.

I should stress I’m not skeptical – in the slightest – of the idea that something of significance occurred back in July 1947. It clearly did. We should be very skeptical of the idea that with supposed “UFO back-engineering” going on all over the map – and with claims in circulation of numerous programs established to replicate alien technology found outside of Roswell – the smoking-gun would not, by now, have surfaced. And, it can be suggested, if aliens did die in New Mexico almost seventy years ago, then the Indiana Jones / Raiders of the Lost Ark scenario may be the correct one – as incredible and as unlikely as it may sound to many. The wall of secrecy that has prevented us from knowing the truth of Roswell has not been knocked down. A strong case can be made that it has barely been dented.

(Nick Redfern) Roswell: The crash site.

That may not be (as many UFO researchers believe) due to highly efficient, incredible security surrounding every single aspect of what amounts to a gigantic program involving the military, the government, the intelligence community, who knows how many private industries and corporations. The Roswell secrets may remain so successfully hidden because no-one – at all – is doing anything with the debris, or with the bodies, beyond keeping everything locked behind closed doors, until such a time comes when our technology “catches up” and we can finally begin to understand it. Certainly, the easiest way to hide something perceived as deeply worrying, and perhaps even sinister – for nearly seventy years, and from the General Accounting Office, the Air Force, the media, and the UFO research community – is to lock it firmly away and do absolutely nothing with it. Of course, this is only a theory. But, I do think it's right, at least, to give the theory some air.

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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