This week in history


Reviewing history in the military, the Air Force and triumphs and misadventures in airpower.

On June 24, 1997, the Air Force released “The Roswell Report, Case Closed,” stating there was no evidence that any kind of life form was found in the Roswell, New Mexico, area in connection with the reported UFO sightings that occurred decades prior.

Air Force photo

When Americans began to focus on the skies in the 1940s, Roswell became a hot topic in the UFO department.

It started when rancher “Mac” Brazel found debris scattered over some of his land in July 1947. According to, he “turned the material over to the sheriff, who passed it on to authorities at the nearby Air Force base. On July 8, Air Force officials announced they had recovered the wreckage of a ‘flying disk.’” Once this became public, Roswell took center stage for everything UFO-related.

The Air Force later retracted their story claiming the debris was nothing but a downed weather balloon. In 1994, they quieted the rumors once again by publishing a 1,000-page report, “The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert,” saying that it was a “high-altitude weather balloon launched from a nearby missile test-site” as part of a classified experiment dubbed “Project Mogul.”

With report after report, “The Roswell Report, Case Closed,” intended to dispel rumors once and for all.

“This volume represents the necessary follow-on to that first publication and  contains additional material and analysis” wrote former Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall in the opening address. “I think that with this publication  we have reached our goal of a complete and open explanation of the events  that occurred in the Southwest many years ago.”

Roswell continues to thrive as a tourist destination with strong believers like Air Force Maj. Jesse Marcel, who not only worked on security and atomic testing during the Roswell incident, but believed the military had covered up the “alien spacecraft recovery” from Roswell until his death in 1986.


About Author

Leave A Reply