The news of a UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico sent shockwaves through the nation, but what was once a headline of a newspaper on July 8, 1947 now seems to be nothing more than an urban legend.
The Roswell event started with a flying saucer in military possession to it being nothing more than a weather balloon, and a UFO expert Pope Nick told DailyMail.com that the ‘180 narrative flip’ was effective in ‘killing the story’
Nick Pope, who ran the British Government’s UFO project from 1991 to 1994, told DailyMail.com in a phone interview: ‘The US military released a press release that we had recovered a flying disc, which they said was once of those mystifying discs spotted over the US weeks before.
’24 hours later, they completely reversed the narrative.’
If the debris at Roswell was not of this world, than this could be one of the best cover story in American history, Pope suggested.
‘I am not saying this is deliberate, but the best cover story is the one that makes you laugh, makes roll your eyes,’ he said.
‘If something becomes a joke then serious politicians, military personal, scientists and journalists don’t want to touch it or if they do, they come from a perspective that they do not really believe it.’
The ‘180 narrative flip,’ as Pope calls it, refers to the intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment Group announcing that day at noon that they were in possession of a flying saucer and then stating that it was later determined by military officials to be a radar-tracking balloon.
‘I am still undecided,’ said Pope when asked if he believes it was an alien aircraft that crashed on the ranch 75 years ago.
‘As much as I believe in life out there, I am not sure about visitation.’
The wreckage was first discovered by W.W. ‘Mac’ Brazel, who was taking his sheep to a nearby stream.
The news of a UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico sent shockwaves through the nation, but what was once a headline of a newspaper on July 8, 1947 now seems to be nothing more than an urban legend
The debris is described as being a metallic-looking, light but strong material. Pictured Jesse Marcel, a former military personnel, holding the debris
Brazel spotted the debris over his land and called the authorities who came to the scene for a deeper analysis – which they determined was a flying saucer.
The Roswell Daily Record quickly got the story out on the front page with the headline: RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region.’
The story described the debris as being a metallic-looking, light but strong material.
But the excitement was gone in what seemed like an instant and no one thought twice about it.
‘The late 40s was a more trusting era,’ Pope said.
The ‘180 narrative flip,’ as Pope calls it, refers to the intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment Group announcing that day at noon that they were in possession of a flying saucer and then stating that it was later determined by military officials to be a radar-tracking balloon
The wreckage was discovered in In July 1947, by a rancher living in Roswell, New Mexico
‘This was an era where trust in the government and military was very high and it was an era before the internet and social media.
‘Because most people didn’t have a telephone, the morning newspaper was their window on the world. I think it was treated as gospel.’
Pope also pointed out that any UFO books written in the 1950s to 1960s do not include any information on the Roswell event.
‘The killing of the story was that effective,’ he said.
Pope continued to explain that it would be fascinating if the 75-year-old case could be solved and if the result was that the debris was from a UFO.
This file video grab image obtained April 28, 2020 shows part of an unclassified video taken by Navy pilots that have circulated for years showing interactions with ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’
‘I won’t pretend we have a smoking gun because we don’t,’ he said.
Mystery of the 1947 Roswell wreckage
In July 1947, a rancher reported pieces of debris scattered over his land.
Authorities were called to the scene and after investigating the wreckage, determined the pieces were from a flying sauce.
The local paper’s front page story reported that the Roswell Army field recovered a flying saucer on a New Mexico Ranch after metallic-looking, light but strong material was scattered across the land.
‘The intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment Group at Roswell Army Air Field announced at noon today, that the field has come into the possession of a Flying Saucer,’ Roswell Daily Record reported on July 8, 1947.
However, shortly after the ‘UFO’ discovery made headlines, the War Department in Washington released a statement claiming the debris was the remains of a weather balloon.
‘Conversely, the people at the Roswell military base was where only atomic bomb squadron was housed and these people were the best of the best.’
‘If ever there were people less likely to misidentify a weather balloon it would be them.’
Playing devil’s advocate, Pope says the cover up could have been a way to conceal something like a top secret weapon that had crashed.
The conversation about UFOs and aliens is not taboo in the US, as over the past year the government has released video footage showing military jets chasing what could be a flying saucers.
There was also a recent public congressional hearing about UFOs, which saw three former cavalrymen testify about their encounter with a UFO at a Middle East US military base in 2014.
They said they saw eight bright objects hovering and zipping across the sky at incredible speeds from a desert outpost in Sinai, on the Egyptian border, around December 2014.
The three cavalry scouts, who are trained in identifying aircraft, believe the objects they witnessed were of non-human origin.
‘It is strange that despite all that interest and congressional hearings you hardly ever hear senators or congressional representatives s mention the ‘R’ word – Roswell,’ said Pope.
‘Maybe the stigma is still there and they can’t bring themselves to say Roswell and ask what about Roswell
‘The original ‘cover story’ if it was, may have been too effective and may have taken out of people’s minds in the media, public and government.’