Roswell and Hangar 18 ...by Bill Knell

Roswell, NM, is a small town with a rich history in a state known for history. Robert Goddard experimented with early rockets in the area during the 1930s. In the 1940s, an Army Air Base in town became the home of bombers that could delivery atomic bombs in the event of war or conflict. The region includes the White Sands government testing area, the birthplace of the Atomic Bomb is not far away, there are lava fields from an extinct volcano nearby and itís a nice drive to the old stomping grounds of Billy The Kids and his cohorts. As if all this wasnít enough, many believe that at least one and possibly more Alien Spacecrafts crashed in the region during the 1940s.

What Happened At Roswell? This is from a Press Release sent out by the International UFO Museum in Roswell, NM:

On the evening of July 3, 1947 Dan Wilmot, a respected business owner, and his wife were sitting on their front porch when they saw a bright saucer shaped object with glowing lights moving across they sky at 400-500 miles per hour. Dan Wilmot estimated that the unidentified flying object was about 20-25 feet across. The flying object appeared from the Southeast and disappeared to the Northwest. Dan Wilmot reported his unusual sighting to the Roswell Daily Record.

In early July W.W. (Mac) Brazel, the Foreman of the J. B. Foster Ranch rode out to check his sheep after a night of intense thunderstorms. Mac Brazel discovered a large amount of unusual debris scattered across one of the ranch"s pastures. Mac Brazel took some pieces of the debris, showed them to some friends and neighbors and eventually contacted Chaves County Sheriff George Wilcox. Suspecting that the materials described by Mac Brazel might be connected with military operations, Sheriff Wilcox notified authorities at the Roswell Army Air Field (subsequently renamed Walker AFB) for assistance in the matter.

Major Jesse Marcel, the Intelligence Officer at the 509th Bomb Group, was involved in the recovery of the wreckage which was initially transported to Roswell Army Air Field. On July 8th the Roswell Daily Record"s headline story revealed that the wreckage of a flying saucer had been recovered from a ranch in the area. When questioned Major Jesse Marcel disclosed that the wreckage had been flown from New Mexico on to higher headquarters.

Colonel William Blanchard, Commander of the 509th Bomb Group, issued a press release stating that the wreckage of a crashed disk had been recovered. A second press release was issued from the office of General Roger Ramey, Commander of the Eighth Air Force at Ft. Worth Army Air Field in Ft. Worth, Texas within hours of the first press release. The second press release rescinded the first press release and claimed that officers of the 509th Bomb Group had incorrectly identified a weather balloon and its radar reflector as a crashed disk.

The Ballard Funeral Home in Roswell had a contract to provide ambulance and mortuary services for Roswell Army Air Field. Glenn Dennis, a young Mortician who worked for Ballard Funeral Homes, received several phone calls from the Mortuary Officer at the air field prior to learning of the recovery of the wreckage. Glenn Dennis was asked about the availability of small hermetically sealed caskets and for his recommendations on the preservation of bodies that had been exposed to the elements for several days. His curiosity aroused, Glenn Dennis visited the Base Hospital that evening and was forcibly escorted from the building. This behavior only incited Glenn Dennis" curiosity and he arranged to meet a nurse from the Base Hospital on the following day in a coffee house. The nurse had been in attendance during autopsies performed on "... several small non-human bodies ...". Glenn Dennis kept drawings of aliens that the nurse had sketched on a napkin during their meeting. This meeting was to be their last and Glenn Dennis could learn no more about the alien bodies, as the nurse was abruptly transferred to England within the next few days.

On July 9th the Roswell Daily Record revealed that the wreckage had been found on the J.B. Foster Ranch. Mac Brazel was so harassed that he became sorry he had ever reported his find to the Chaves County Sheriff.

In the following days virtually every witness to the crash wreckage and the subsequent recovery efforts was either abruptly transferred or seemed to disappear from the face of the earth. This led to suspicions that an extraordinary event was the subject of a deliberate government coverup. Over the years books, interviews and articles from a number of military personnel, who had been involved with the incident, have added to the suspicions of a deliberate coverup.

In 1979 Jesse Marcel was interviewed regarding his role in the recovery of the wreckage. Jesse Marcel stated, "... it would not burn ... that stuff weighs nothing, it"s so thin, it isn"t any thicker than the tinfoil in a pack of cigarettes. It wouldn"t bend. We even tried making a dent in it with a 16 pound sledge hammer. And there was still no dent in it." Officers who had been stationed at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio (where the wreckage was taken) at the time of the incident have supported Jesse Marcel"s claims.

Dr. Jesse Marcel, Jr., eleven years old at the time of the incident, accompanied his Dad during the retrieval efforts. Dr. Jesse Marcel Jr. has produced detailed drawings of hieroglyphic like symbols that he saw on the surface of some of the wreckage. Dr Marcel testifies regularly on his belief that a UFO of some type crashed in Roswell.

The Roswell UFO Crash would probably never have been more the a footnote in some obscure UFO book if the Government had not chosen to release a statement to the press. But in July of 1947, the U.S. Army Air Force released a statement saying that a Ďflying discí had been recovered from a crash site near the town of Roswell, NM. The government later changed their story saying that what had crashed was an experimental radar balloon. They have changed that story several times since then. The problem is that Roswell was then, and is today, a small town where secrets donít stay secret very long.

Almost immediately after the crash which most people believe occurred between July 2-5, 1947, strange things started happening. Major Jesse Marcel, an officer and scientist working out of the Roswell Army Air Force Base, was put in charge of the investigation. The material he collected from the crash site was odd. It couldnít be burned or damaged in any way. Despite this, he was ordered by superior officers to say that what crashed was a weather balloon with a reflective surface designed to test the limits of radar. Marcel came forward years later with this account feeling that he had been made the scapegoat for the cover-up of an actual UFO crash by his superiors.

Marcel at the staged press conference showing the "Weather Balloon"

One thing that became very clear after the crash was that the incident put the Air Base into a near panic situation. There were planes suddenly flying in and out, stories of strange non-human looking bodies being moved from here to there and a local Funeral worker who later said that he received a call from the base asking him if he had six or eight child-sized coffins on hand. Additional tales of hastily organized autotrophies involving small gray beings, threats against witnesses and rewards given to those who kept their mouths shut also began to circulate. I have visited the Roswell area many times over the years and went there long before it became famous. Although I have spoke with a number of people who claim to have personal knowledge of the crash, the most interesting story I have heard came from a former Roswell Fireman. He told me that the fire department responded to the crash site as a matter of course. In addition to the debris that was spread over a wide area, he claims that what appeared to be a large piece of a broken disc-shaped object was floating a few feet just above the ground. Although several of the fireman tried standing on it to see what would happen, it remained in the air. He says that they tried towing it back to town with the firetruck, but the item was confiscated by government authorities. Several other people authenticated his story. The original press release from the government stated that the Roswell material was taken by plane to Wright Field in Ohio for further examination. Today thatís Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Wright has always been a very secretive place and home of the Foreign Technology Division of the U.S. Air Force, considered to be the most secretive part of the base. It was there that the legend of Hangar 18 was born. In a time before Area 51 was known to the public, many people believed that Aliens and UFOs may have been examined or even stored in a secret hangar at Wright. Enough witnesses have come forward over the years for us to believe that Wright -Patterson AFB was the temporary home of crashed UFOs. But as the area around Wright grew, the objects and possibly dead or living occupants were moved elsewhere. While there is no actual Hangar 18 at the base today, it"s important to know that buildings there are numbered and that the numbers have been changed over the years.

Roswell UFO Museum

Wright Patterson Air Force Base

A visit to Roswell is, by no means, a waste of time. Start at the UFO Museum and get everything you need from there. Wright Patterson Air Force Base is also a great stop. There donít like to talk about UFOS, but have a fabulous Air Force Museum that should be on the list of every American as a must-see at least once in your lifetime. Plan to spend several days in Roswell and at least one at Wright Patterson.


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