Flying Saucer Found – The Roswell UFO

An overview of the most coherent information to date about the most famous UFO event in American history
Roswell UFO
Kingsley Amis' "New Maps of Hell". Art By: Bruce Pennington (Used with permission)

The Roswell UFO incident is the most researched encounter of alleged extraterrestrial remains ever recorded in American history.

The near legendary story of a New Mexico rancher making the unprecedented discovery of flying saucer wreckage was made famous when the Associated Press broadcast the local story nationwide, stating that the elite 509th nuclear bombardment group had in their possession an alleged craft not of this world.

The United States Air Force’s inexperienced efforts to falsify the story after so blatantly admitting their possession of the craft nearly succeeded in concealing the incident from further scrutiny, but interest renewed following many distraught military insiders’ revelations of a UFO cover-up at Roswell to renowned UFO investigator, Stanton T. Friedman starting in 1978.

A story started to emerge that the rancher had not only found wreckage of a downed craft, but possibly the remains of extraterrestrial bodies as well. The Roswell UFO crash has since been the most investigated UFO encounter ever to be revisited.

Strange Debris

A thunderstorm had recently passed over the small town of Corona, New Mexico one morning around Independence Day weekend 1947, and rancher William ‘Mack’ Brazel set out on horseback to check on his sheep. When he caught up to the herd he found them spooked by unusual metallic debris scattered across the grazing grounds of his livestock.

The debris was spread over a large area close to a mile long with singed vegetation where it laid. Brazel presumed the debris had come from some kind of an aerial explosion judging by its appearance and collected a small amount to study later, while he finished herding his sheep.

Roswell UFO Marcel Debris

Major Jesse Marcel Poses with alleged wreckage found in Roswell NM. 1947. 

Afterward, Brazel drove to visit his closest neighbors, Floyd and Loretta Proctor to view the strange assortment of wreckage he had collected. Also unable to identify the material, the Proctor’s were convinced that the object he had brought with him was unique and encouraged him to report his find to the authorities.

He took their advice and the following day delivered a small box of collected debris to the Chaves County Sheriff, who in turn alerted the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF). Head intelligence officer, Maj. Jesse Marcel found the story of a suspected downed aircraft substantial enough to investigate and immediately assembled a small detail to meet with Brazel at the Sheriff’s office.

The Ranch was so remote, that it took the officers an entire day to get to the crash site from Roswell by car. They spent the following day collecting and inspecting debris at the Foster Ranch.

The officers took the strange material to base in the early morning of July 8th, and once the Army determined Brazel’s find extraordinary, they held him in military custody.

They kept him there about a week, under guard. He was real talkative about that stuff until he came back; then he wouldn’t say much at all… He wouldn’t say anything except that they had told him it was some sort of balloon. Anyway, they kept ‘Mack’ down there several days and they sent a crew up here and hauled everything away. -Floyd Proctor 6

He was reportedly not the same person as before regarding the story of the downed debris. Friends and neighbors who had caught up with him even years after the incident found him upset at the very mention of it.

Whatever happened during his time in military custody still remains a mystery, but Brazel’s elder sister, Lorraine Ferguson when Interviewed by William Moore in 1979 recalled “Mack’s” discovery in good detail, making note of his instructions to keep quiet.

Whatever he found it was all in pieces and some of it had some kind of unusual writing on it – Mac said it was like the kind of stuff you find all over Japanese or Chinese firecrackers; not really writing, just wiggles and such… At first they called it a weather balloon, but of course it wasn’t that…. Mack didn’t ever like to be in the limelight, so he just naturally tried to avoid talking about it. Also, of course, the Air Force people had told him to be quiet too. 6

The Roswell UFO

Maj. Marcel got the chance to test the material himself, remarking its surprising abilities to retain it’s shape after intense manipulation. Asserting he could crumple it up in his hands – making a crackling sound – and upon release would instantaneously renew its appearance without any signs of stress. During a television interview in 1980, he told of his experiences testing the limits of this bizarre material in his own words;

We found a piece of metal about 1½- 2 feet wide and about 2-3 feet long. It was almost like you had nothing in your hands, it wasn’t any thicker than the foil out of a pack of cigarettes. The thing about it that got me, was you couldn’t bend it, you couldn’t [dent] it, even a sledge hammer would bounce off of it! So I knew I’d never seen anything like that before and as of now I don’t know what it was.– Maj. Marcel Sr. 10

Roswell UFO debris markings

Symbols as seen on Roswell debris, on display in the Roswell UFO Museum

With a load of debris in his car, Maj. Marcel stopped home the night before delivering the strange material he had collected to the RAAF, rousing his wife and son to share in the discovery yet to be declared classified by the military. Jesse Marcel Jr. was only eleven at the time he witnessed the debris, but remembers handling the material vividly.

Among the shards of foil pieces he described handling I-beam pieces with strange “hieroglyphic” writing embossed along the sides, that were etched in a striking pink and purple hue.

The mention of strange pictorial figures on the side of the foil debris was echoed by Brazel’s own daughter, Bessie Brazel Schreiber, who at only twelve years old at the time of her encounter could recall handling the debris as well.

There was what appeared to be pieces of heavily waxed paper and a sort of aluminum-like foil. Some of these pieces had something like numbers and lettering on them, but there were no words that we were able to make out. Some of the metal-foil pieces had a sort of tape stuck to them, and when these were held to the light they showed what looked like pastel flowers or designs. Even though the stuff looked like tape it could not be peeled off or removed at all. It was very light in weight but there sure was a lot of it.6


Breaking News

Public relations officer, Lt. Walter Haut received an urgent call around 10:30am insisting he report to Col. William Blanchard’s office as soon as possible. A startling press release was quickly dictated to the Lieutenant to share with local news outlets.

He told me exactly what he wanted in the press release — in essence that we had in our possession a flying saucer that had crashed north of town and that Maj. (Jesse) Marcel, our intelligence officer, had flown the material to Fort Worth. 5

The now famous story was instructed to be hand delivered to news-media outlets in town, and was soon picked up by the United Press making the claim an International sensation, “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region.”


Roswell UFO Roswell Daily Record RAAF Capture Story


No Details of Flying Disk Are Revealed

“The intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment group at Roswell Army Air Field announced at noon today, that the field has come into possession of a flying saucer.

According to information released by the department, over authority of Maj. J. A. Marcel, intelligence officer, the disk was recovered on a ranch in the Roswell vicinity, after an unidentified rancher had notified Sheriff Geo. Wilcox, here, that he had found the instrument on his premises.

Major Marcel and a detail from his department went to the ranch and recovered the disk, it was stated.

After the intelligence officer here had inspected the instrument it was flown to higher headquarters.

The intelligence office stated that no details of the saucer’s construction or its appearance had been revealed…

With phones ringing frantically for more information from journalists nationwide, the airfield was under a lot of pressure to display the pieces of debris recovered from the rancher’s field. Journalists complained that they were denied the opportunity to scrutinize the material first hand.

The following day Brigadier Gen. Roger Ramey laid to rest the ‘flying saucer’ story, correcting the record from a press release at Fort Worth, Texas with the still widely believed weather balloon version. Under the headline, “Gen. Ramey Empties Roswell Saucer” he cites the delivery of “[a] bundle of tinfoil, broken wood beams, and rubber remnants” in the July 9th issue of the Roswell Daily Record.

Ramey continued to describe how the silvery pieces were the crushed remains of a RAWIN target, assembled to look like a six pointed star that was flown to high altitudes much like a kite to assess wind speed. Ramey’s confident account swiftly laid to rest the public’s interest in the alleged discovery of a flying disk.

General Ramey was the one who told the newspapers what it was and to forget about it, it was nothing more than a weather observation balloon. Of course, we both knew differently. -Maj. Jesse Marcel 10

False Front

Significantly, the 509th composite group stationed in Roswell were the most elite flight team in the country at the time, charged with dropping the historic nuclear bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan in August of 1945. The 509th were exceptionally trained and remained the only flight crew in the U.S. authorized to deliver nuclear weapons until 1948.

As a consequence of his explanation, General Ramey had completely undermined the entire RAAF’s ability to discern the remains of a commonplace weather instrument made up of unmistakable everyday items. Additionally, the remote location of the airfield would undoubtedly place the launch of such equipment under the 509th’s charge making Ramey’s accusations of their incompetence even more senseless.

The smoke screen of inexperience imposed onto the personnel in Roswell was also forced onto Brazel. In the same issue of the Roswell Daily Record debunking the claims of a flying saucer, another headline : “Harassed Rancher who Located “Saucer” Sorry he Told About It.

The article relied heavily on what appears to be an influenced story from Brazel about how he came to find the wreckage, and it’s apparently mundane appearance of sticks, tape, and aluminum foil. Brazel did however risk a sovereign opinion near the end of the interview, being quoted:

I am sure what I found was not any weather observation balloon…But if I find anything else besides a bomb they are going to have a hard time getting me to say anything about it. – Brazel 6

His opinion at the end of the piece reflected his previous experience finding weather balloons on his property, renewing his opinion that what he had found was unique.

Reinforcing Brazel’s claims, Operations officer Robert Shirkey was present when Maj. Marcel accompanied the debris into the base. He was able to view the debris that was being loaded onto the B-29 bomber headed to Fort Worth, reiterating the peculiarity of the contents being loaded onto the aircraft.

Maj. Marcel came along with an open cardboard box with several pieces of this aluminum-like material with one of the I-beams sticking up in the corner…with characters written on a portion of it. What the characters were I cannot recall at all. – Robert Shirkey 5

Shirkey stated later in an Interview with the Houston Chronicle that the wreckage he witnessed looked nothing like the weather balloons he’d seen launched from the weather building located near his office at the Roswell Air Force Base.

Making even bolder claims in a signed and witnessed affidavit that he’d discovered a detail of airmen who’d recovered bodies among the wreckage that were stored in Hangar 84, and shortly thereafter flown to Wright Patterson Air Field in a second outbound flight days later. 11

Alien Bodies

Frank Joyce was the radio announcer for KGFL radio in the Roswell region, 1947. He received the hand delivered story personally from Lt. Haut regarding the captured disc, and is largely responsible for the news’ national release being picked up by the Associated Press.

In a myriad of interviews starting 1982, Joyce recollected a phone conversation and followup interview with a terrified Mack Brazel immediately following his discovery.

As part of Joyce’s routine at the radio station, he would make calls off-air to the County Sheriff for any leads on noteworthy local occurrences during music intermissions. Brazel happened to be presenting his discovery to the Sheriff when Joyce made the call, and subsequently gave Joyce a very candid interview.

Joyce described Brazel as apprehensive, worried about who would take responsibility for cleaning up his property and losing his composure when talking about the ‘stench’ of the ‘little dead men’.4

Joyce was incredulous of Brazel’s story, but his emotional state was convincing. A few days later he received an unexpected phone call from Brazel who admitted that his first narrative “wasn’t quite right” and wanted to clarify the record. Joyce invited him over to the station for an interview, and noticed a small detail of military men escorting him into the lobby.

Brazel then began to tell Joyce a completely new version of the story regarding what he’d found on the ranch that day, much to the dismay of Joyce who was expecting a more detailed account for what was quickly becoming the scoop of the decade.

Joyce confronted Brazel off the air. “Just a minute!” said Joyce, “You know that this story that you’ve told me now in no way matches the story you told me on the phone.” After a pause, Brazel leaned closer and told Joyce, “Look, son. You keep this to yourself. They told me to come in here and tell you this story or it would go awfully hard on me and you.” -Joyce 4

Did Brazel find bodies? Joyce challenged the new story, there were now signs of witness intimidation and the mention of otherworldly bodies raised the stakes immensely. Visibly distressed, Brazel hinted at his coercion and spoke in earnest for their concerned safety, but not before making one final reference to his claims.

As he was leaving, Brazel turned and said, ‘You know how they talk about little green men? Well, they weren’t green.’ -Joyce 4


Hermetically Sealed Caskets

Roswell UFO Drawings

Artistic renderings based on alleged drawings by Roswell nurse. By artist, Walter Henn

The phone rang in the late morning hours for Ballard Funeral Home. Glenn Dennis answered the phone to a mortuary officer from the RAAF asking for current stock of hermetically sealed infant caskets measuring 3½ to 4 foot in length, as well as any information regarding embalming chemicals that could appropriate body tissue that had been exposed to the elements for several days.

Without any stock, he needed to order them for immediate delivery the following day, but he curiously probed as to why they needed the caskets and was swiftly denied any disclosure.

An emergency motorcycle accident the following day brought Dennis to the airfield on mortuary business, and consequently closer to the incident than anyone originally intended. While on the base, he noticed a large collection of strange looking debris.

Dennis asked if the funeral home should prepare for a crash gesturing to the pile of wreckage, while he was stopped by Military Police (MP). In recognition of his detachment with the incident, the MP’s rushed to immediately escort Dennis off of the base .

As he was being escorted out, a familiar nurse emerged from one of the hallway doors,

When the MP’s were taking me out of the hall that’s when she came out of the supply room with a towel over her face, and that’s when she screamed, “Glenn, get out of here as fast as you can!-Glenn Dennis 7

Dennis arranged to meet up with nurse ‘Naomi’ the following morning to talk about what was going on at the RAAF. Not a permanent resident of the airfield and destined for the St. Mary’s Catholic Convent, she wasn’t under instruction to keep quiet on what she’d seen and began to tell Glenn details of an alien body she took part in examining the day before.

After signing in for duty she was approached by two pathologists from Wright Patterson needing help examining a strange corpse. She performed measurements with the astonished specialists before they all began experiencing severe burning sensations on their face and eyes, consequently forcing medical personnel to seal the cadaver within one of the airtight caskets to be sent to Wright Patterson Air Force Base for further review.

It looks like what you see today, four fragile fingers, long arms, and the large eyes. She said the heads were almost completely demolished but they could see they only had two [nasal] orifices, they didn’t have earlobes only two ear canals, and the mouth was only about one inch. That’s the way she described it to me. – Glenn Dennis 7

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“Naomi” drew what she had seen from memory and presented it to Glenn (pictured above). She was transferred out of Roswell shortly thereafter, losing contact with Dennis from that time forward.

Dennis confessed later after much scrutiny from investigators that “Naomi” was a false name he had given the nurse to save her identity, unfortunately undermining his credibility as a witness for many researchers concerning Roswell UFO investigations. Nevertheless his additions regarding the detainment and attempted autopsy of alien bodies are interesting, and can be verified in part by the accounts of Col. Philip J. Corso in his book “The Day After Roswell” and so have been included in this summary.

Project MOGUL

A number of congressional inquiries in the 1990’s led the United States Secretary of the Air Force to conduct an official internal investigation into the Roswell incident in response to a growing amount of witness testimony being released in the late 1980’s that were summarized in two reports.

The first report titled, “The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert” went into great detail concerning a previously classified weather balloon surveillance venture by the name of “Project MOGUL,” But did little to address the crash debris, or mention of bodies found on Brazel’s ranch.

Project MOGUL experiments were made up of a line of 23 standard helium filled neoprene balloons, tied to a rope at 20 foot intervals, and would have been easily identifiable to the men of the 509th stationed at Roswell. Many have considered this report another attempt of disinformation following recently renewed interest in the now famous UFO cover-up.

Dr. C.B. Moore, whom I have met, himself strongly claimed that neoprene out in the sun for weeks would be totally degraded. Did he forget that little detail? A June 4 or June 14 launching could not possibly have survived so well until early July. You also neglected to mention that many of the July 8 newspaper articles claimed the wreckage was found “last week.” But Rancher Brazel had been in the area just a few days earlier and could never have left that mountain of garbage where the sheep could ingest it. Mack had of course previously found two balloons. The newspaper of July 9 quotes him saying he was sure what he found wasn’t any weather balloon. – Stanton Friedman 2

The second report titled, “The Roswell Report: Case Closed” was meant to debunk the many sightings of bodies that were previously left out of the first publication, explaining them to be nothing more than the innocently transformed traumatic memories of dummies from “Operation High Dive”, a project dedicated to testing high altitude parachutes for pilots.   

The additional report asserts a laughable explanation for the phenomenon, as sightings of otherworldly bodies are hardly subject to misinterpretation. “Bodies are either people or they are not,” 9  and to every outspoken witness bold enough to claim testimony to alien remains, these were like nothing they had ever seen.

The events that took place in the remote desert region of Roswell, New Mexico are – to some – the smoking gun evidence of Earth’s extraterrestrial visitation. Insiders proclaim that modern technologies such as lasers, integrated circuitry, fiber-optics, and kevlar material all were seeded by the reverse engineering of the craft found at Roswell in 1947. 12

Whatever the case, it’s clear that the witnesses to the Roswell UFO cover-up are adamant that something happened in the New Mexico desert that challenged our reality, and perhaps altered our course in history.

Do you believe alien remains were discovered in Roswell, NM? Please leave your comments below!  

The story of Roswell is unimaginably vast and has filled many, many books with it’s finer details not fully represented in this condensed summary. If you would like to investigate further, FourthKind recommends the initial book that started it all, “Crash at Corona” by Stanton Friedman and Don Berliner. With honorable mentions, “The Roswell Incident” by Charles Berlitz and William Moore, and “The Day After Roswell” by Col. Philip J. Corso.

 Thank you for reading! If this story has earned your continued support, please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!


    1. The Roswell Incident.UFO Evidence. International UFO Museum and Research Center, Mar. 2011. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.
    2. Friedman, Stanton. “Open Challenge To The History Channel.Stanton Friedman – Articles. Stanton Friedman, 21 Dec. 1999. Web. 18 Sept. 2016.
    3. Holcombe, Larry. “The Roswell Incident.” The Presidents and UFOs: A Secret History from FDR to Obama. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2015. 37-49. Print.
    4. Carrey, Thomas J., and Donald Schmitt R. “Mack Brazel J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, Winter 1999. Web. 24 Sept. 2016.
    5. Johnson, Stephen. “Roswell Witnesses Interviewed.UFO Evidence. Houston Chronicle, 1 Feb. 2001. Web. 2 Oct. 2016.
    6. Berlitz, Charles, and William L. Moore. “Witnesses Speak – The Town Remembers.” The Roswell Incident. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1980. 28-30. Print.
    7. Dennis, Glen. “Roswell’s Mortician.” Interview. Youtube. Sirius Disclosure, 13 Dec. 2013. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.
    8. Roswell Revisited — Colonel Phillip J. Corso.YouTube. Sirius Disclosure, 06 Dec. 2013. Web. 02 Nov. 2016.
    9. Friedman, Stanton T., and Don Berliner. Crash at Corona: The U.S. Military Retrieval and Cover-up of a UFO. New York: Paragon House, 1992. Print.
    10. Marcel, Jesse, Maj. Interview. In Search Of: UFO Coverups. Sci-Fi Channel. 20 Sept. 1980. Television.
    11. Shirkey, Robert. “Affidavit.” Letter. 30 Apr. 1991. MS. N.p.
    12. Corso, Col Philip J. Ret., and William Jr. Birnes. “Chapter 1: The Roswell Desert.” The Day After Roswell: An Expose by Col. Philip J. Corso W/William J. Birnes. New York, NY: Pocket , a Div. of Simon & Schuster, 1997. N. pag. Print.
UFO Case Study

Joel is a professional visual effects artist with work in game, television, and film. He is an enthusiastic researcher of the mysterious and paranormal, and the founder of His favorite topics are history, pop culture, UFOs, extraterrestrial lore, and the spirituality that sometimes accompanies them.
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