Roswell, New Mexico

Day 496

     Van C. Smith, a businessman from Omaha, Nebraska, and his partner, Aaron Wilburn, constructed two adobe buildings in 1869 that began what is now Roswell, New Mexico. The two buildings became the settlement’s general store, post office, and sleeping quarters for paying guests. He called the town Roswell after his father’s first name.

     Most people associate Roswell with the Alien landing in 1947. Actually, the Aliens did not land, they crashed. Furthermore, they crashed on a sheep farm near Corona, New Mexico, about 70 miles from Roswell.  

     William “Mac” Brazel worked as foreman of the Foster Sheep Ranch during the summer of 1947. On July 2nd during a sever thunderstorm he heard a loud noise, different from the thunder. The next day, working the ranch property checking for damage from the storm, he discovered a huge area covered with debris of strange looking material. The material was flimsy, silver color on one side and brown on the other that could not be torn, burned, or punctured. It had the thickness of the foil from a cigarette pack. 

     That Sunday, July 6, 1947, he took 2 boxes filled with pieces of the strange looking debris to Sheriff George Wilcox in Roswell. Neither the Sheriff nor his deputies could identify the material. The Sheriff then contacted Major Jesse A. Marcel, intelligence officer of the Roswell Army Air Field. 

     On Monday, July 7th, the Army responds to the ranch, and evidently finds a crashed saucer with two dead bodies, and a third still alive. The remains of the “ship” and “bodies” were discovered about 40 miles north of Roswell, separate from the debris field. That same day, Senator Carl Hatch of New Mexico sought an urgent, private meeting with President Truman. 

     By now, the townspeople of Roswell heard about these strange things. Col. Blanchard, the officer in charge of the Air Field, issued a press release on July 8, 1947 indicating the debris seems to have come from a Flying Saucer that crashed on the ranch. This is carried by the Associated Press nationwide.

     Major Marcel is ordered to take the debris to General Ramey in Fort Worth, Texas. Ramey tells Marcel to leave the room and the debris. When Marcel is told to return, the debris he brought is gone, and in it’s place are parts of a weather balloon. Marcel is ordered to pose for pictures with the pieces of the balloon.      

     On July 9, 1947, the AP reports that the recovery of a flying disk was just the recovery of a weather balloon, and the story dies. 

     Meanwhile, during the period of July 9-12, Brazel is held by the military so they could “inspire” him to modify his story to that of a crashed weather balloon. The townspeople of Roswell were told the same story and informed that “loose lips sink ships”. Being close to the end of World War II that is sufficient for them not to discuss the matter further. 

     However, some people resisted, and they were physically threatened by the Government. At the base hospital, autopsies were performed on the “aliens”. Miriam Bush was the personal secretary to Lt. Colonel Harold Warne of the field hospital were the crashed victims arrived and she walked in and saw what was happening.

     Day 496 Roswell NM 7049_dif

     She indicated she saw one of them move. She first thought they were children, but realized they had child like bodies, grayish in color. Their head were too large for their bodies and they had large oval eyes. She described all of this to her family.  Like all the other base personnel, she was warned not to speak about anything she saw. When she refused to cooperate, she was murdered with the explanation that she committed suicide. 

     Day 496 Roswell NM 7051_Fotor

Technical Stuff: Albuquerque, NM to Roswell, NM: 210.7 miles

4 hours 8 minutes 

10.1 MPG

Diesel: $2.46


Balloon Fiesta Last Day, NM

Day 495Day 495 Balloon last day NM 7004_Fotor

     We got up before sunrise and went the half mile to the Balloon Fiesta Launch Field, and this is what we saw:Day 495 Balloon last day NM 7002_Fotor

     The balloonists were all waiting to see if the winds would die down. The yellow flag was flying, indicating that all launches were on hold because of high wind (above 10 MPH).Day 495 Balloon last day NM 7008_Fotor

     It wasn’t looking good. The balloonists began dumping their propane. Day 495 Balloon last day NM 7007_Fotor

     By 9:00 A.M. the red flag was out. Day 495 Balloon last day NM 7015_Fotor

     Oh Well, on to our next adventure.


Balloon Launch, New Mexico

Day 494Day 494 launch balloon NM 6944_Fotor

     The couple in the RV two down from us own the balloon Santa Fe Sunrise, and they invited us out to watch them launch.

     First the balloon is laid outDay 494 launch balloon NM 6893_Fotor

     It is attached to the basketDay 494 launch balloon NM 6894_Fotor

     Then it is inflated with “cold” airDay 494 launch balloon NM 6900_Fotor

     When it reaches 85% full, the burners are turned onDay 494 launch balloon NM 6908_Fotor

     until there is enough heat to make the balloon “stand up”Day 494 launch balloon NM 6909_Fotor

     Crew members hold the basket down while the balloon is fully inflatedDay 494 launch balloon NM 6926_Fotor

     There is a “Zebra” assigned to each balloonDay 494 launch balloon NM 6930_Fotor

     She consults with the balloon pilot, whom has been previously issued a launch ticket (authorization to launch on this day from this spot). The launch field is laid out in a grid of A-Z and 1-9. The Santa Fe Sunrise was assigned spot Q-7.Day 494 launch balloon NM 6911_Fotor

   The Zebra checks authorization to launch and all safety aspects of the balloon. She consults with other Zebra’s in the area, as balloons are launched by rows. She clears the area in front of the balloon (those rows had already been launched), and she gives the signal to launch.

     The crew release the basketDay 494 launch balloon NM 6963_Fotor   

     and the balloon goes upDay 494 launch balloon NM 6965_Fotor

     upDay 494 launch balloon NM 6967_Fotor

     and away.Day 494 launch balloon NM 6970_Fotor           

     Considering that 550 balloons are going up today in the space of 2 hours, it is amazing there are no crashes.Day 494 launch balloon NM 6987_Fotor

     Because the “Albuquerque Box” was working on this beautiful day, once all 550 balloons were launched, those that took off earlier returned to the field.Day 494 launch balloon NM 6994_land

     Here the “baby carriage” came in and landed.Day 494 launch balloon NM 6995_land

     It drooped as they began letting the hot air outDay 494 launch balloon NM 6998_land

     Until it collapsed, Day 494 launch balloon NM 7000_land

and was put away for tomorrow’s flight. 

Day 494 launch balloon NM 7001_land

     Post Script: I upgraded my subscription to WordPress today. You will no longer see advertisements. I try to respond to most comments left by you on these posts, but please remember to check the box that says: ” Notify me of new comments via email.” Otherwise you will not have the pleasure of my witty remarks. 



Day 493

     We decided to sleep in late after attending the Special Shapes Balloon Glow last night.

     As usual the balloons took off for the day’s activities at 7:00 AM. From our bed we looked out our window to watch the hundreds of balloons fly over head. For some reason they were flying very low, which gave us a spectacular view. 

     One balloon, Tiger Paw Express, looked like it was heading right for our Sphinx. It was. 

     It landed in front of us. 

Day 493 Watch Out NM 6843_Fotor

     I asked the pilot if that was intended, and he said it looked like a nice wide spot, so he landed. Actually, balloons were landing all around us.

     Twenty minutes later, the balloon Primary Reflections, came toward us

Day 493 Watch Out NM 6851_Fotor

It also landed next to the Sphinx. 

     Bystanders came over to help collapse the balloon

     The balloon crew dismantled the basket

     and folded up the balloon in a neat package

     They sure were accommodating to give us such a show, what more can you ask for?

Balloon Fiesta Special Shapes

Day 491Special Shapes Rodeo is for all the shaped, non-traditional balloonsWhile most think of hot air balloons as the traditional “around the world in 80 days” shape, quite a few of them are notWe talked to the pilot and designer of this baby carriage balloonwho told us that the cost of the fabric of the balloon was about $40,000 with another $20,000 for basket, burners and other stuff.According to a local TV station, this motorcycle balloon is the largest hot air balloon in the worldIf it is, then the Wells Fargo Wagon is a close secondWe all had a good timeTime to go, as the cow jumps over the moon


Balloon Competition, New Mexico

Day 490

The balloon competition continued   

Their were two main events, drop a weighted streamer on a target

or drop a ring over a spindle


     Rules are you must take off at least a mile from this target area and you cannot touch the ground.


     Usually the winning balloon is one designed for competition. It is more slender than the average round shaped balloon, has one person in the basket, and is designed lighter.

     The top prize was a pick-up truck

     Goodby, Zebras