Lea Lake, Bottomless Lakes State Park near Roswell, New Mexico. In honor of the famous first reports on this date of a mysterious “flying saucer crash landing” 90 miles or so northwest of Roswell in 1947.
What happened at Roswell in 1947? I prefer the opinion of aviation pioneer Orville Wright, who was still alive at the time. If you go to the UFO Museum in Roswell and scan the newspaper articles displayed on the walls, you may, if you look hard, find a quote of his at the bottom of one of the front pages there. When asked about it, he said he was convinced that the whole affair was a lame attempt by the Army to generate a little hysteria to preserve funding after the end of the war. It turns out that Mr. Wright had a lot of insight into the Army brass at the time. They were, indeed, in something of a panic as to how to gracefully deal with a fiscal cliff of their own, especially since they were very concerned about the Russians – a threat that the public did not yet grasp.
Was this desperation at the root of the over-eager way in which the Roswell base command reported the incident to the press? Was it a real incident at all or just a local stunt? The tone of the original statement seemed awfully non-professional and devoid of all caution, almost like it was a joke. There’s no question that they subsequently downplayed the incident, but was this a cover-up or just a way to cover their tracks after a publicity stunt got out of hand? We’ll probably never know. Even at the Museum in Roswell, there are lots of questions and tales and artist perceptions, but very few real answers.