7-5 What really happened at Roswell
70508 flying saucer
SANTA FE -- What do you suppose really happened on July 7, 1947 at the Roswell Army Air Force Base to cause Col. William "Butch" Blanchard to announce that a flying disk had been captured?
An announcement of that magnitude would have to be carefully considered and not issued without direction from the highest authorities in Washington, D.C.
The mystery of what happened at Roswell hinges on what took place behind closed doors that day. Official records indicate that absolutely nothing out of the ordinary occurred at the base during the entire week. Everyone who believes that, please raise your hand.
No mention is made of anything unusual being brought to the base. There is no mention of a flying disk press release, no mention of calls from throughout the world seeking further information, no mention of calls to Eighth Army Headquarters in Fort Worth or to top officials in Washington, D.C.
There are people who believe the Army's story. I put them in the same category as the crazies who talk about bodies being found. There had to be much activity. Numerous personal accounts tell of a flurry of officials and workers who flew in for some purpose.
Placitas, N.M., UFO researcher Karl Pflock considered the question of why Col. Blanchard issued the news release and concluded that Blanchard was a "loose cannon."
My guess is that Pflock felt he had exhausted all other explanations. Blanchard simply overreacted. That's possible except that it doesn't explain why such an embarrassment to the military didn't end Blanchard's career. That's what normally happens.
But Blanchard, who disappeared for awhile after issuing the news release, continued his rapid advance through the ranks in increasingly responsible positions. In 1965, he became vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force and promoted to a four-star general.
Blanchard was considered a sure bet to become chief of staff when he suddenly died on May 31, 1966 of a massive heart attack in his office at the Pentagon. That sounds more like someone who always played by the book and was part of the team.
It appears someone much higher in the chain of command may have badly misjudged the best response and likely paid for it with an early retirement.
The military's latest explanation is that it was covering up the discovery of a spy balloon it was developing to detect Soviet nuclear testing. Some of the material found fit that description. But those balloons were landing all over New Mexico at the time and shouldn't have triggered that big a reaction from the Army.
My inexpert guess is that something else fell out of the sky in the days before July 7. Besides spy balloons, research was being conducted in New Mexico on much more advanced aircraft using German scientists captured two years before.
The Soviets also had taken their share of scientists and a feverish race was on to see whose scientists would be first to perfect some of the advanced projects Hitler had his scientists developing.
One of those projects was revealed in a November 2000 Popular Mechanics article based on information released by the Air Force in 1997, fifty years after the Roswell crash.
In the late '40s, we were developing what was called a Lenticular Reentry Vehicle. It was a modified disk, flat across the back, and partially nuclear powered. The technology for takeoff had not been developed so it was designed to be taken by a heavy-lift balloon to 170,000 feet and released.
At the 1997 Roswell UFO Festival, a film company had a display depicting the '47 UFO crash. The spacecraft was shaped just like the pictures in the Popular Mechanics article.
A retired aircraft mechanic from Alamogordo, who was employed at White Sands Proving Grounds in 1947, had been telling me for a year that he had worked on spacecraft there and he was sure one of them was what crashed at Roswell.
He just happened to be at the exhibit the same time I was. He pulled me aside and said he worked on a craft just like that.