After 70 years, the Roswell UFO Incident is still a source of mystery and speculation.
“People are willing to invest time and money in this. That tells me that it (the incident) is still very active,” Chuck Zukowski, a UFO/paranormal field investigator said.
In early July 1947, rancher William Ware “Mack” Brazel reported discovering debris near Corona about 80 miles northwest of Roswell.
Zukowski said he and his sister, field investigator Debbie Ziegelmeyer, and archaeologist Bill Doleman found metallic debris in the early 2000s at the site of what some allege is a downed alien aircraft.
The pieces were sent to an aerospace company for testing, he said, and the material was believed to be an unknown polymer.
The pieces are now at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology in Albuquerque.
“People are going back there and still finding pieces,” Zukowski said.
For Zukowski, that’s enough reason to keep looking for answers.
Deputy director Karen Jaramillo of the Roswell International UFO Museum and Research Center said the incident is discussed more today than 70 years ago.
Jaramillo said the museum, which had more than 200,000 visitors last year, is designed to create conversations about the what has been dubbed the “Roswell Incident.”
She said many people visit the museum for access to their research library. And most who visit the City of Roswell associate it with creatures from outer space.
“It impacts the city a lot,” she said. “Most people who come to the museum are already aware of it.”
Whether curiosity or a legitimate belief in extraterrestrial life draws them to the city, those who come are almost always looking for answers.
Jaramillo said some community members and museum patrons speculate that there was an cover-up by military personnel.
She said residents did not speak much of the incident until the 1980s when UFO researcher Stanton Friedman visited the city and interviewed people in the community.
“It’s definitely not a story that is going away,” said Zukowski.
When Brazel first noted the collection of debris on the farm he reached out to Chaves County Sheriff George Wilcox.
The incident was referred to Maj. Jesse Marcel of the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) shortly after.
In a strange twist of history, it was the military who reportedly first launched the idea of an extraterrestrial visit gone wrong.
According to an article published on July 8, 1947 in the Roswell Daily Record, the intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment Group at RAAF reported being in possession of a “flying saucer.”
Brig. Gen. Roger Ramey at RAAF quickly shut down the story. In an article published on July 9 he stated that the debris was from a weather balloon.
Brazel’s account of what he saw at the site became a question for history when in another article published on July 9, 1947, the Roswell Daily Record reported that Brazel, contrary to earlier statements, was unsure of what he found.
He even went so far to say he first noted the debris a few weeks prior, on June 14.
Brazel’s report to Wilcox was then alleged to have come only after hearing stories of flying disks, leading him to suggest the debris may have came from an extraterrestrial source.