By Clyde Lewis

If you are one of the "skeptics" about the so-called Roswell incident and wish that it would go away you may not have to wait too long for that to happen. The witnesses are dying off. While the experts can speculate and render data regarding the incident, it is always best to hear what really happened from a person who was there. The story needs to be accurately told and the witnesses are vital. It is time to listen. To not reveal the truth is mockery to the memory of those who were there.

In 1945 the war in Europe was drawing to a close. It was during that period that many strange and interesting things were transpiring. Bomber crews were starting to notice glowing orbs near their planes as they flew over the German air space. The strange balls of light were displaying incredible acrobatic maneuvers and would fly at incredible speeds around the propeller driven aircraft. Some of these orbs were clocked at 17,000 to 2000 miles per hour. This was unheard of during this time.

Many of the allies determined that these orbs had hostile intent. Some planes were often forced into a dive to avoid collisions with these unknown craft. These orbs were called Foo Fighters long before the word UFO crept into the lexicon and was associated (according to the popular media) with "lone nuts" who see things in the skies, and chase weather balloons and "swamp gas."

It is a part of history that has yet to be tainted by so called "skeptics" who by name should sit on the fence and analyze yet find it good sport to try and "debunk" and make light of the documented evidence that substantiates this aerial phenomenon.

When the war ended there were questions raised as to the origin of these strange balls of light. Germany claimed that they had nothing to do with the strange lights and theorized that perhaps they were a "top secret" weapon being used by allied forces to outpace their new jet propulsion technology that was being developed.

In 1946 there seemed to be an excitement over Germany and Scandinavia regarding the sighting of fiery rockets in the sky. The Allies feared that a resurgent fanatical group of Nazis were developing rocket technologies to start another war. It was theorized that these strange new rockets were being test fired from underground bases.

People feared that they were new weapons of mass destruction and saw them moving in erratic ways shooting up into space and then coming down in fiery balls of light. Some people journeyed into the areas where they thought the "rockets" had landed thinking that perhaps there would be scorched land or even a small fire.

There was no fire to be seen. Before there were UFO’s there were craft of unknown origin and they were very real. They may have even been thought of as alien to the witnesses who had never seen such aircraft before. The fascination and magic of such craft wound up in dime store comic books and science fiction magazines.

On June 24th 1947 the word flying saucer was coined by journalists who were reporting an odd story about Kenneth Arnold who while flying his plane over Washington spotted a boomerang shaped craft that seemed to skip across the air as a "saucer would skip across water." These unknown craft were mirror bright and traveled at fast speeds, faster than any jet that would eventually show up in the skies many years later.

The "flying saucers" had arrived only because the media said so. For many years the balls of light and the strange aircraft had been seen and many theories as to what they were crept into the pulp novels of the day.

The Flying Saucer was most definitely a media creation; a marketing label developed to sell newspapers. It would become a word that not only was used to support the believers and the witnesses but it also was used in a derisive manner.

Much like the word UFO has been used to either support or taint a story about aircraft of unknown origin today. The irony is that the Military created that terminology.

The media was beginning to pay attention to "saucer hysteria" as soon as the suggestion was made. This may be the reason why we may never hear the true stories of what was really happening in an era that was just recovering from a major World War and preparing for several other smaller wars yet to come.

One of the unfortunate repercussions of media coverage of these events in 1947 was that reporters were printing stories that pigeon holed these anomalous events into the realms of pulp science fiction.

It was a clever way in which every anomaly could be conveniently classified and labeled as a "flying saucer" and eventually debunked as "Venus" or a "weather balloon." During this time, there could have been a number of significant events taking place that could very well have been glossed over or made to look like figments of an overactive imagination.

That is why witness testimonies are vital to cases that over the years have become embellished or thrust into the communal mythology.

One such event that sadly has become the best example of communal mythology is the Roswell crash in 1947.

With the help of the media, and several "experts" the Roswell incident has become a fact mixed with pulp science fiction and disinformation levied by opportunists and the military combined.

That is probably the chief reason why the Roswell case is the case that most people wish would go away. Many "skeptics" and "debunkers" have come forward to say that UFO believers are chasing after the weather balloons of the gods and ignoring the real data that suggests that what crashed at Roswell was a weather balloon with crash test dummy occupants.

On June 24th 1997 The Air Force used that explanation in their response to the GAO report which concluded:

"Aliens" observed in the New Mexico desert were actually anthropomorphic test dummies that were carried aloft by U.S. Air Force high altitude balloons for scientific research.

The "unusual" military activities in the New Mexico desert were high altitude research balloon launch and recovery operations. Reports of military units that always seemed to arrive shortly after the crash of a flying saucer to retrieve the saucer and "crew," were actually accurate descriptions of Air Force personnel engaged in anthropomorphic dummy recovery operations.

The Air Force was certain that their tidy little conclusion explained why they needed hermetically sealed coffins as reported by Mortician Glen Dennis. This was why the witnesses were threatened by military personelle who warned that if any one spoke they would be picking their bones out of the desert. This is why they allegedly ordered a B-29 to fly the dummies and the weather balloon to Fort Worth and then to Wright Patterson Airforce base. The Air Force thought that it was wise to point out that many of the eyewitnesses to the events at Roswell were becoming senile and meshing many events into one solid one.

However the witnesses once again pointed out that it was the airforce that had meshed the events together, The project in which anthropomorphic dummies were used was called project "High Dive" and it was in operation in 1956. The project was not classified and the dummies were clearly marked so that if a wind carried them aloft and they were lost, civilians were offered a $25 dollar reward for their recovery.

Another problem with the report was the inclusion of pictures that purported to show space probes that easily could have been mistaken as "flying saucers." The photographs in the report were taken not in 1947, or 1957. They weren’t even taken in 1967. The photos were of a Viking space probe and a NASA Voyager-Mars space probe taken in 1972! The media swallowed up the story and to this day there are many books and in depth news stories that claim that this explanation is satisfactory and that if we use Occam’s Razor we will clearly see that this is "probably" the best explanation to date.


I always hear the old Occams Razor argument when classic debunkers speak of the events that happened in July of 1947. Of course Occam’s razor states that if you have two equally likely solutions to a problem, you should choose the simplest. Debunkers will tell you that the simplest solution to Roswell is that it was a weather balloon with dummies in tow. If it even comes close to the simplest explanation then why was the explanation changed three times over a 50-year period?

Occam’s Razor has become a cliché "end all be all" for debunkers who think that it is an axiom of physics and a quick fix to uncomfortable or inconclusive data.

It isn’t. It is obvious to me that it has become a crutch for people who just can’t accept the possibility that there are things in the universe that have no explanation.

It should be pointed out that Occam’s Razor does not always apply when you are dealing with cosmology or psychology, doubly so when you are dealing with parapsychology.

The simplest answer (if one still chooses to use it) is that a "craft of unknown origin crashed near the plains of St. Augustine (Roswell was the closest town and not the exact location of the crash). The Army Airforce recovered the craft. The aircraft was piloted by a human crew, which appeared to show abnormal characteristics such as a small frail body, a large head, large eyes and grayish skin color. The popular term for the craft in the news media at the time was "flying saucer" which arguably tainted the whole story and reduced it to the level of Pulp Science Fiction.

The term "flying saucer" has evolved in the communal mythology to be UFO, a term that originally meant Unidentified Flying Object. But now it seems to be stuck as a marketing label on everything mysterious which includes, the Chupacabra, crop circles, mutilated cattle, Men in Black, government conspiracies, alien abductions, genetic manipulation, and everything else that seems to have no definitive answer.

Unfortunately the Roswell incident has become a fact that has snowballed into an extraordinary myth. It was evident that when I attended the 50th Anniversary of the crash that everyone had a story to tell about the incident.

It is as if Saucer euphoria has engulfed the area and while a finite number of people were involved with the Roswell incident the number of those who claim first hand knowledge about it will go beyond the official census.

The truth is that the true witnesses are aging, dying or dead. The others can only speculate and more so, others can only believe the stories their relatives have told them. There are also countless experts who demand your belief and their stories can only carry you so far.

I am pointing this out not because I am disillusioned or disenchanted but because it needs to be said that an overreaction to the whole affair taints it and unwittingly makes witnesses look silly or delusional.

It is not far from the truth when I tell you that 50 years of Hollywood gerrymandering has made Roswell virtually unbelievable. The known facts have been embellished. A consensus history has been constructed by a small number of people who have never been to Roswell and have never talked to eyewitnesses.

If you don’t believe me, the next time someone in the mainstream media writes a story that deals with UFO’s or ET’s count how many times the word Roswell, Area 51, and Hangar 18 come up. Also read on and see how many times Roswell and Area 51 are somehow related in the same legend. Also check out how many times alien bodies and Santilli’s alien autopsy film are some how blended to show that all of them occurred in one big event.

Throw in a few crop circle legends, a cattle mutilation, and a few appearances by the Men in Black and you have a sensational news story. A story that has all of the gimmicks and trigger words that wet the appetite of what news people think the typical UFO enthusiast wants to hear.

The reality is that the new breed of UFO enthusiasts are tired of the gimmicks and want to know the truth. Roswell is not like the legend of Loch Ness, however it’s edging closer to that kind of story.

For example, the main stream press will point out that Roswell is the only event that kooky UFO followers treat as something equivalent to the "Alien nativity". Many will completely overlook the events that set the stage for Roswell and the fact that Roswell was only "big news" 30 years after the alleged event.

I theorize that the reason for this is because of Hollywood and derivative movies like "Independence Day" that try and cram 50 years of information into a 2-hour popcorn film.

This does not mean however that nothing happened. There is little doubt that something fell out of the sky and that it was unknown. The authorities knew it, and official action had to be taken.

This action led to the separation of the Army and the Airforce, the creation of the CIA and President Truman signing the National Securities act which basically established a single Department of Defense.

Many skeptics claim that all testimony about Roswell is simply an overreaction to a mundane happening yet we see the actions taken by a government scrambling for answers to a complex event, an event that has been kept secret for over 50 years.

The Roswell crash scenario is a hot bed for all kinds of outrageous theory and lately it has seen the backbiting of rival theorists bashing each other and demonstrating where each story is incompatible with the other.

Article after Article and book after book can feed the mythology and create a cash cow for those believers in search of a belief, yet there are still eyewitnesses that in their final years have decided to come forward and tell it like it is.

Robert J. Shirkey was in the thick of it all in 1947 and his story is that "He was there." Indeed he was.

Shirkey is a former pilot and first lieutenant with the U.S. Army Airforce and was assisting group operations officer with the 509th bombing group at Roswell army airfield in July of 1947. Robert Shirkey was ordered by Col. Blanchard on July 8, 1947 to assemble a crew and have a B-29 ready for take-off.

Shirkey witnessed at close range boxes that were full of the debris that were loaded on to a B-29 bomber. Shirkey claims that the debris was from something extraordinary and not a weather balloon. Shirkey saw Jesse Marcel carry a box with one of the glyph covered I-beams sticking out of it.

Shirkey also recalls that a car pulled up just beneath the tail section, from which several boxes were unloaded and put in the plane.

His eyewitness accounts have made it into books and articles and now he has decided to reveal it all in his own book. It is evident after reading his book "Roswell 1947. I was there" that the United States Government and Military are lying about what really happened in the New Mexican prairie and that they have smeared the reputations of honest and dedicated men who served the country. No veteran or serviceman who fought and served our country should be treated this way.

But many have been. Such as Jesse Marcel and others. In a time where it is difficult to get an unbiased and truthful view of the Roswell affair, Shirkey’s book is a breath of fresh air.

Its purpose is to bring integrity to the stories that each individual has told. He does not use trigger words or phrases that have been axioms for the stereotypical UFO enthusiast. It avoids media hype and the tantalizing mythology that has been used to create a less realistic view of what truly happened in the area of T6-R23, Chaves County, New Mexico.

He says that reporters have reported only portions of the incident and have sensationalized and falsified many things surrounding it.

Shirkey was quoted during the 50th anniversary of the Roswell incident and he remembers quite well that the "saucer" debris was loaded on to the B-29 and was flown out of Roswell. An hour later the story hit the papers:

"Suddenly we had this call from Col. Blanchard that said I want a B-29 parked in front of the Base Ops. I sent the crew down and they were ready for takeoff at about 2 o'clock. This was July 8. I came back from lunch that day and Col. Blanchard walked in behind me. He stepped back in the hallway and waved his hand at some people who were out front of the building. And they came through and down the hallway and walked out across the ramp.

They were carrying boxes of strange-looking material. One man had a piece, carrying under his arm right out in the open, about 16 by 22, coffee table sized. Maj. (Jesse) Marcel went through carrying this box with scraps of metal in it and one of the I-beams sticking up in the corner. Meanwhile a staff car had pulled up underneath the tail and they were handing some boxes up into the back door entrance."

The plane lifted off about 2 p.m., and at 3 p.m. the Roswell Daily Record hit the streets with the story of the flying saucer."

The article in the Roswell record stated:

The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the Intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff's office of Chaves County.

The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff's office, who in turn notified Maj. Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office.

Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher's home. It was inspected at Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters.

Under the direction of Colonel Blanchard the B-29 carrying the strange cargo had orders to fly to Fort Worth. They were told that the contents of the crates on board were that of a crashed plane however a destroyed plane would be sent to a salvage yard and not flown out. Shirkey arranged all of this. The important thing to mention is that Shirkey was never told to keep quiet about what he saw.

There are many questions about Roswell that seem to go unanswered by the military. While The Roswell crash has produced very little evidence of extra terrestrial origins it needs to be stated that the Military treated the wreckage and the occupants differently. All the witnesses say that it was definitely not a weather balloon.

This cargo was special and many actions by personelle need to be evaluated. Here are a few questions that need to be raised when dealing with the Roswell incident:
  • Why was there a need for secrecy when something as simple as a weather balloon crashed at Roswell?

  • If the Balloon was a Top secret spy balloon why was a picture of it splashed on the front page of newspapers around the world?

  • If the Balloon was used in a Top Secret Military exercise then why did a farmer have to notify them of a crash? Wouldn’t something that important be tracked and if it fell to earth wouldn’t it have been cleaned up and secured as soon as possible?

  • Jesse Marcel and others used weather balloons every day. Wouldn’t they have known the difference? None of the witnesses recognized the wreckage.

  • If what had fallen out of the sky was a secret military aircraft wouldn’t the 509th bombing group, a group used to secret activities like loading the atomic bomb be aware of that said aircraft?
The thing I find most unfortunate about Roswell is that the government is banking on the idea that after all of the witnesses have died that you will forget about what happened there. They hope that the myth making processes that tend to cloud the facts will eventually grow into a sugar coated unbelievable fairy tale.

The town of Roswell is banking on the tourism and history and continues to say that that it is a place where the aliens landed. So will the accurate stories endure? The answer is no.

History is doomed to say that Roswell was a place where a myth raged out of control about something strange that occurred in July of 1947. The truth will be taken to the graves of everyone that was affected and those who continue to chase the weather balloons of the Gods will celebrate an ever-enduring myth.

In order to understand Roswell fully is to understand the social climate of the times. It is a matter of coincidence that the Roswell crash happened where it did. It is also synchronicity that a crash took place and the rumors were that it fell from another planet. Not long after, mankind decided it was time to break the bonds of earth. To this day we still try to venture into the cosmos. To discover new worlds, and to explore the possibilities of life out there. Who knows, maybe some day we will be able to fly to a planet and crash land in one of its deserts.

I can only hope that the beings that find us are more merciful and kind than we were to them.


Copyright 1998-2007 Ground Zero Media, Clyde Lewis, and John Hart. All Rights Reserved.