Three Government Reports - Three Public Reactions

1947 Roswell Crash

After something crashed outside Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947, the United States announced it had recovered a UFO. The story was later changed to a weather balloon, but it was too late: the public's imagination and belief in UFO's was sparked.


United States, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, 1995
The Roswell Report: Fact versus Fiction in the New Mexico desert
This item is available in MAIN.
Full Text: http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/roswell.pdf
In the 1990's, the UFO community demanded a full report from the U.S. Government on the Roswell crash. While the Air Force does not dispute that something crashed, the report cites a secret government program to investigate Soviet atomic blasts as the reason for the crash.



Officially, a balloon such as this one, crashed at Roswell.

Roswell Balloon
Roswell Balloon

This image shows Major Jesse Marcell holding some of the wreckage. This is perhaps the most famous images taken just days after the crash.

Roswell Wreckage
Roswell Wreckage

United States, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, 1997
Case Closed: Final Report on the Roswell Crash
TL789.5.N6.M33 1997 Multiple copies on campus.
Executive Summary: http://www.af.mil/library/roswell/
Because the first report was met with criticism by the UFO community, the U.S. Government published a second report on the Roswell crash. The report provided more information on the secret government program to investigate Soviet atomic blasts mentioned in the first report.


United States. General Accounting Office, 1995
Government records: Results of a Search for records concerning the 1947 crash near Roswell, New Mexico
TL789.3 .A33 1995 This Item is available in MAIN
Full text: http://www.gao.gov/archive/1995/ns95187.pdf
At the request of Steven H. Schiff (R-New Mexico), the GAO conducted a government records search on the Roswell Crash. The GAO search turned up few records, including an FBI message about a hexagonal disc attached to a balloon.


United States. Department of the Air Force, 1969
Project Blue Book
TL789 .P7 1966. Available in MAIN
Fulltext of the report: http://foia.fbi.gov/foiaindex/bluebook.htm
From 1947 through 1969, the U.S. Air Force kept statistics on objects seen in the sky by pilots. Of the 12,618 objects seen, 701 remain unidentified.


Saler, Benson; Ziegler, Charles and Moore, Charles 1997
UFO Crash at Roswell: Genesis of a Modern Myth
TL 789.5 N6 S25 1997. Available in MAIN
The authors of this book assert that Roswell "can best be understood as an example of a modern myth." They find that Roswell can be looked at 3 ways: the public image found in the media, the scholarly image found in the writings of critics, and the believers image found in books and articles by members of the UFO community.


Klass, Philip J. 1997
The Real Roswell: Crashed-saucer Coverup
TL789.5.N6.K58 1997 Multiple copies on campus
Klass states that "…the only credible evidence of a 'UFO coverup' that I've been able to find is by those who make accusations against the government, and by the producers of TV shows." [original text is italicized]


Smith, Toby 2000
Little Gray Men: Roswell and the Rise of a Popular Culture
TL789.5.N6.S65 2000 Available in MAIN
Smith examines how the Roswell incident has inspired the UFO culture, becoming the basis for many books and movies on UFOs.


Ruppelt, Edward J 1956
The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects.
TL789.R8 Available in MAIN
Ruppelt, involved with Project Blue Book, spells out his take on UFO's. Though he coined the acronym UFO, he does not claim that UFOs are interplanetary spacecraft, only that this is one of the many possible conclusions of the sightings.

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