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.
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.
Technical Stuff: Albuquerque, NM to Roswell, NM: 210.7 miles
4 hours 8 minutes