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Many believe that the debris discovered at Roswell was the remains of a UFO. Source: aleciccotelli / Adobe Stock

Beyond Top Secret: Eyewitness Accounts to the Roswell Incident


On the night of July 4, 1947, at 11:27 PM, something highly unusual crashed into the arid desert northwest of Roswell, New Mexico. This event has spawned decades of conspiracy theories, with claims that the debris belonged to some kind of UFO, aliens included. Eyewitness accounts have emerged ever since, creating a picture of what happened that night.

Discovery of Mysterious Debris Near Roswell

After the crash, two separate debris fields were discovered the next morning. One was 75 miles (120 km) from Roswell, and the second one 36 miles (58 km) toward the north, where strange bodies were also seen. U.S. military personnel did not arrive from Roswell Army Airfield (RAAF), however, until July 8, 1947.

That very same day, the Roswell Daily Record newspaper published the first official story, released by First Lieutenant Walter Haut, the base public affairs officer: “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region: The intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment Group at Roswell Army Air Field announced at noon today, that the field has come into possession of a flying saucer… recovered on a ranch in the Roswell vicinity… (by) Major (Jesse A.) Marcel.”

Just 24 hours later, the Army Air Corps changed its story completely, creating a second, official version. “That mysterious object… was a harmless, high-altitude, weather balloon, not a grounded, flying disk… Brig. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, commander of the Eighth Air Force… cleared up the mystery,” claimed the report in the Roswell Daily Record.

Report from the Roswell Daily Record (Author supplied)

Report from the Roswell Daily Record (Author supplied)

The Roswell Incident Army Cover Story

Supporting this new claim, on July 8, 1947 General Ramey and his chief of staff, Colonel Thomas DuBose, as well as Major Jesse A. Marcel, all posed in an office on the base with genuine weather-balloon debris. However, DuBose, as a retired brigadier general, signed a sworn affidavit on September 16, 2001, insisting that “it was a cover story. The whole balloon part of it. That was the part of the story we were told to give to the public and news and that was it… This is more than Top Secret. It’s beyond that.”

Local rancher W. W. “Mac” Brazel initially discovered the debris on July 5th, told the sheriff on July 6th, and led the Army, including Major Marcel, to the correct location on July 8th. He was subsequently held incommunicado in military custody until July 15th, when he informed the local newspaper that he was sorry he had told the Army about it. “I am sure what I found was not any weather observation balloon!” added Brazel. When asked about “little, green men,” Brazel responded: “No, they weren’t green, and our lives will never be the same again.”

Local news report in the Sacramento Bee on July 8, 1947, discussing the Roswell UFO incident. (Public domain)

Local news report in the Sacramento Bee on July 8, 1947, discussing the Roswell UFO incident. (Public domain)

Major Jesse A. Marcel, the base intelligence officer assigned to recover the downed object later stated that “there was all kinds of stuff; small beams… with some sort of hieroglyphics on them that nobody could decipher… They were pink and purple… the pieces of metal that we brought back were so thin, just like tinfoil… You can’t make a dent on it.”

30 years later Marcel recalled that he “was amazed at what I saw… It was not anything from this Earth… It certainly wasn’t anything built by us… There was a cover-up… about this whole matter.” He had told his son, Jesse Jr., that it was “a flying saucer.”

At Fort Worth Army Air Field, Major Jesse A. Marcel holding foil debris from Roswell, New Mexico, UFO incident in 1947. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram Photograph Collection / CC BY-SA 4.0)

At Fort Worth Army Air Field, Major Jesse A. Marcel holding foil debris from Roswell, New Mexico, UFO incident in 1947. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram Photograph Collection / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Roswell Eyewitness Reports Coming Out of the Woodwork

James Bond Johnson, the Army photographer who took the posed photos of Ramey, DuBose, and Marcel, later surprised everyone by earning a Ph.D. degree, and becoming a psychologist, Methodist minister, and National Security Council (NSC) consultant at the White House. But he never forgot Roswell along the way, and became a highly-credible, highly-placed, direct source for the truth:

“I was the photographer of the 1947 Roswell UFO crash wreckage in the office of General Ramey… they simply did not know what they had… The… weather balloon ‘cover story’… the media bought Gen. Ramey’s sudden cover-up story without any question… only the best body was kept… The other three must have been in very bad shape.”

Newspaper report from the time of the weather balloon explanation. (Author supplied)

Newspaper report from the time of the weather balloon explanation. (Author supplied)

Frank J. Kaufman, the Army counterintelligence agent assisting Marcel, said that the main part of the craft, which was 25 to 30 feet (7.62 to 9.14 m) long, had crashed into an arroyo at the base of a tall cliff. According to Kaufman, there were five alien bodies, about five feet (1.5 m) tall. Four were outside the craft, and one was inside.

“Guards were placed all the way around it [the spacecraft],” explained Kaufman when describing the events surrounding the Roswell incident. “You couldn’t get near the place… it was maybe 20 by six [feet], a large crate.” Kaufman even sketched the downed spacecraft, which rather than a flying disc, was more of a triangular vessel with rounded corners and two small, vertical stabilizers, more like an exotic aircraft than a flying saucer.

First Lieutenant Walter Haut, the base public affairs officer, stated in a sworn affidavit in 2002 that, “Col. Blanchard took me personally to Building 84, a B-29 hangar… under heavy guard… It [the object] was approx. 12 to 15 feet in length… about 6 feet high… I was able to see a couple of bodies under a canvas tarpaulin... the bodies suggested the size of a 10-year old child… what I personally observed was some type of craft and its crew from outer space.”

Further Eyewitness Accounts of the Roswell Spacecraft

In 1947 Brigadier General Arthur E. Exon was a lieutenant colonel at Wright Field, Ohio, and later commanded the entire base in 1964. He knew all about the debris arriving by B-29 from Roswell, and about the “special project” for testing its properties and he later flew over the Roswell crash sites. “There were bodies… they were all found, apparently, outside the craft itself, but were in fairly good condition,” explained Exon when discussing the Roswell case. “Roswell was the recovery of a craft from space… Everyone from the White House on down knew that what we had found was not of this world within 24 hours of our finding it.”

“This one was in trouble,” noted Master Sergeant Lewis S. “Bill” Rickett, a Roswell counterintelligence agent. “Maybe the guidance system on it happened to fail… not being from Earth.” He went on to explain that the “Air Force’s explanation that it was a balloon was totally untrue. It was not a balloon… it wasn’t ours…it might have been some higher civilization checking on us.” He added that the craft had a curved front, and wide wing with a “bat-like” trailing edge.

First Lieutenant Robert Shirkey, the assistant flight safety officer, recalled that the spacecraft debris “did not shine or reflect like the aluminum on American military airplanes” and that there were “hieroglyphic-like markings.” When it came to the alien beings, Shirkey claimed that “bodies were laid out in Hangar 84,” adding that “all of those involved… were shipped out to different bases within two weeks.”

An alien autopsy, as depicted in the International UFO Museum and Research Center located in Roswell, New Mexico. (CGP Grey / CC BY 2.0)

An alien autopsy, as depicted in the International UFO Museum and Research Center located in Roswell, New Mexico. (CGP Grey / CC BY 2.0)

Alien Autopsy: Film Footage from the Roswell Incident

A 17-minute, black-and-white film, entitled Alien Autopsy, was released in 1995 by Vidmark Entertainment and was narrated by Jonathan Frakes. It showed and discussed an astounding film allegedly made at Fort Worth AAF in July 1947. This film was given to a London film specialist by an 82-year-old American, who proved he was a military combat cameraman from about 1939 to 1949.

Kodak officials proved that the film could only have been made in 1927, 1947, or 1967. The wall clock seen was standard, government issue for the 1940s, and the wall phone was a 1937 Bell dial model. The film quality was entirely consistent with a military-issue, Bell and Howell movie camera. The film footage shows a 5’2” humanoid body, with six digits on each hand and foot, no body hair, no visible genitalia, and removable, filmy material on eyes. The internal organs were not consistent with human tissue.

Doctor Cyril Wecht, a noted, forensic pathologist with over 40,000 autopsies done, believes this to be a genuine autopsy. Hollywood’s very best special effects experts, from Jurassic Park and Alien, said that no one can currently reproduce the combined effects of the skin, blood, bone, moisture, and tissue flexibility shown in the film, and that it certainly could not have been done in 1927, 1947, or 1967. This film does not appear to be a hoax!

Roswell Witnesses Sworn to Secrecy

Grady L. “Barney” Barnett of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service led a survey team in July 1947 west of Magdalena, New Mexico, onto the Plains of San Augustin, 200 miles (321 km) west pf Roswell. There, Barnett said that he came upon disc-shaped, UFO crash wreckage the color of dirty stainless steel on July 3, 1947, and saw four dead bodies of the alien crew, four-to-five feet tall, in one-piece, gray suits. The military arrived within minutes, and swore the team to secrecy, threatening them. Several other sources and archeologists have corroborated his story.

Many researchers have theorized that the Roswell UFO craft and the Magdalena craft, which apparently contained two separate species of extraterrestrial brings, based upon the autopsies, may, in fact, have suffered a mid-air collision over western New Mexico, causing both vessels to crash.

In March through June 2004, Chuck Wade of Corona, New Mexico, visited the Plains of San Augustin, found the alleged, UFO crash site, and recovered metal and other artifacts: “What method was used to manufacture these foils is a mystery to the experts! I have asked experts, and they can only guess.” Odd, metallic fragments were recovered, with a very unusual composition of 91-percent aluminum, six-percent iron, and three-percent silicon alloy, not produced in these ratios anywhere on Earth!

Eyewitness reports claim having seen the body of a four-foot, human-shaped alien with pale gray skin. (adimas / Adobe Stock)

Eyewitness reports claim having seen the body of a four-foot, human-shaped alien with pale gray skin. (adimas / Adobe Stock)

“Make No Mistake, Roswell Happened”

“Make no mistake, Roswell happened… the evidence points to the fact that Roswell was a real incident, and that indeed an alien craft did crash, and that material was recovered from that crash site,” claimed Apollo 14 astronaut Doctor Edgar D. Mitchell, D.Sc., who spoke out in 1971 and again in 2009. “The government knew about it, but decided not to tell the public… A few insiders know the truth…and are studying the bodies that have been discovered.”

“The U.S. Government hasn’t maintained secrecy regarding UFOs. It’s been leaking out all over the place. But the way it’s been handled is by denial, by denying the truth of the documents that have leaked. By attempting to show them as fraudulent, as bogus of some sort. There has been a very large disinformation and misinformation effort around this whole area. And one must wonder, how better to hide something out in the open than just to say, ‘It isn’t there, You’re deceiving yourself if you think this is true.’ And yet, there it is right in front of you.”

In 1985, astronaut Colonel Gordon Cooper addressed the United Nations, publicly stating that, “I had a good friend at Roswell, a fellow officer. He had to be careful about what he said. But it sure wasn’t a weather balloon, like the Air Force cover story… what crashed was a craft of alien origin, and members of the crew were recovered… more technically-advanced than we are here on Earth… but nobody wants to make them public.”

The Day After Roswell: Corso and his Controversial Book About Roswell

Colonel Philip J. Corso’s amazing 1997 book, The Day After Roswell, was a very controversial, insider “leak” of detailed information about Roswell. He claimed that he inspected a military convoy in July 1947 at Fort Riley, Kansas, which was bound from Roswell, New Mexico, toward Wright Field, Ohio. He looked inside a crate and saw “a four-foot, human-shaped figure… in a thick, light-blue liquid… pale gray skin… tiny nose… the eyes sockets themselves were oversized and almond-shaped… one-piece, head-to-toe (gray) fabric covering the creature’s flesh.”

Corso worked at the Pentagon in 1961, at the Foreign Technology desk of the Research and Development Division. He said that he was in charge of “seeding” Roswell artifacts to defense contractors for reverse-engineering and technology development (he called it “the devil’s plan”):

“Let there be no doubt. Alien technology harvested from the infamous, saucer crash in Roswell… led directly to the development of the integrated circuit chip, laser and fiber-optic technologies, particle beams, electromagnetic propulsion systems, depleted-uranium projectiles, stealth capabilities, and many others. How do I know? I was in charge!” All of these items were definitely created after 1947. He described the Roswell craft as, “more like the flying-wing shape.”

Was Roswell the Result of a Crash-Test-Dummy Army Project?

“For nearly 50 years, the secrecy apparatus within the United States government has kept from the public UFO and alien information,” explained Doctor Brian Todd O’Leary, Ph.D., a scientist and former astronaut on September 18, 1994. “We have (present day) contact with alien cultures… the suppression of UFO and other extraterrestrial intelligence information for at least 47 years, is probably being orchestrated by an elite band of men in the CIA, NSA, NSC, DIA and their like.”

O’ Leary added on September 14, 2005, and in 2009, that “this massive cover-up has been going on for almost six decades since the UFO crash near Roswell… an event which was certainly not caused by balloons… Not only is the phenomenon very real, but there’s also a very elaborate cover-up.”

On July 24, 1997, the U.S. Air Force released The Roswell Report: Case Closed, stating that the, “Air Force report concluded that the… recovered debris from an Army Air Forces balloon-borne research project.” The report went on to claim that “‘Aliens’ observed in the New Mexico desert were actually anthropomorphic, test dummies.”

However, retired Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Madson, aged 80, refuted the official report on April 10, 2009. Madson was the project officer for the Air Force’s Project High Dive, “crash-test-dummy” program from 1956 to 1960 at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, which used six-foot-tall (1.82 m) dummies in aerial drop tests.

Furthermore, in 1997, the Air Force claimed that the balloon launch on June 4, 1947, was the one responsible for the Roswell incident. However, in the same document, they published the log of one of the technicians who was associated with the program, and his entry for June 4, 1947, indicated no balloon was launched, due to bad weather. There was a balloon launched on June 5, and the records show that it was recovered fully intact 25 miles (40 km) east of Roswell. So, the Air Force’s own third Roswell report clearly contradicts itself, totally destroying its credibility.

The cover of the Roswell Report – Case Closed. (Public domain)

The cover of the Roswell Report – Case Closed. (Public domain)

So, Did Roswell Happen? Or Not?

On June 23, 2012, former CIA officer Chase Brandon appeared on the Coast- to-Coast AM radio talk show claiming that he saw and opened a box labeled “Roswell” at CIA headquarters in the mid-1990s: “I absolutely know… that there was a craft from beyond this world that crashed at Roswell, that the military picked up remains of not just the wreckage, but cadavers, and all of that was made public for a short while… 100-percent guarantee… Roswell happened… It was not a damned weather balloon… It was a craft that clearly did not come from this planet.”

On February 5, 2013, former CIA Director Robert Gates told the Sarasota, Florida, Herald-Tribune, that, “I have a lot of respect for Chase. I’ve known Chase as a martial-arts instructor for the Agency… So I’m not going to question Chase.”

After 75 long years, the U.S. government still officially and adamantly insists that the Roswell incident was nothing more than a weather-balloon recovery. But virtually all of the key eyewitnesses have told a radically-different story. I’ll conclude this article with a very revealing quote from former NASA Science Officer Clark McClelland:

“The day will arrive when the governments of Earth will finally admit we are not alone, that humans have come face-to-face with other life forms from the cosmos. Anyone still on the fence about the existence of UFOs must contend with the testimonies of these respected and honored men.”

Top image: Many believe that the debris discovered at Roswell was the remains of a UFO. Source: aleciccotelli / Adobe Stock

By Warren Gray


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Tonja's picture

Thank you for such an informative article regarding Roswell.  I never knew so many military officials had publicly disclosed that Roswell was an alien craft and alien bodies were recovered! 

I also had been left to believe from a few online sources that "Alien Autopsy" had been debunked, but perhaps not! 

I went to another favorite website,  archive . org. 

There are hundreds if not thousands of books there that can be accessed for free!  "The Day After Roswell" is there.  

Again, thank you for this awesome article! 

cpl2602's picture

The Roswell event happened, but things are not always as they seem. High altitude primate research with chimpanzees in pressure suits was launched from White Sands and sent aloft in a mylar balloon. Mylar was classified at the time and not known to the public. One ruptured and went down. The deflated mylar balloon appeared as a metallic disk on the ground and chimps in pressure suits gave rise to the alien angle. The cover story of “crashed weather ballon” was not far off, but the nature of the mission was misrepresented to keep it secret. This is not my theory or idea, but I believe it because it is not fantastical or magical, it is consistent with the technology and research of the period and the official cover story fits the template much better than the alien craft story. 

Where there is confusion there is deceit.

Clearly this incident is real. As was the Aztec incident a few weeks later. As for being alien to this world, I'm not convinced. There is so much on earth that is yet unexplained. We have barely mapped the ocean floors, and really don't know what lies more than a mile deep in the mantle of our planet. These beings may well come from another planet, but so might we! So much we do not know.
One thing the Roswell and other incedents prove however is that there is a military industrial complex on earth that is above presidential knowledge grade. Personally I find this much more frightening than the existence of extraterrestrials. ALL WARS ARE BANKERS WARS

Well the way we have treated these beings (denial) it is no wonder that they have not come back.


This should be mandatory reading for everyone alive.

Warren Gray's picture


Warren Gray is a retired, U.S. Air Force intelligence officer with experience in joint special operations and counterterrorism. He served in Europe and the Middle East, earned Air Force and Navy parachutist wings, four college degrees, and was a distinguished graduate... Read More

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