Saturday, August 21, 2010

Brief history And a few Type of Robots

Learn about some of the fascinating moments that have helped define the history of robotics. This timeline features a number of historic events of the past as well as recent developments that have helped shape the world of robots and technology in general. Read about advances in artificial intelligence, changes in industrial robotics, research into robotic arms used in car manufacturing, mars rovers and much more. Follow the history of robotics from its humble but visionary beginnings right through to the complex robots of today. These robots tie together a range of interrelated areas such as computing, philosophy and engineering into increasingly impressive feats of human achievement.

320 BC

Greek philosopher Aristotle made this famous quote:

“If every tool, when ordered, or even of its own accord, could do the work that befits it... then there would be no need either of apprentices for the master workers or of slaves for the lords.”


1495

Around 1495 Leonardo da Vinci sketched plans for a humanoid robot.


1700 - 1900

Between 1700 and 1900 a number of life-sized automatons were created including a famous mechanical duck made by Jacques de Vaucanson that could crane its neck, flap its wings and even swallow food.


1913

Henry Ford installs the world’s first moving conveyor belt-based assembly line in his car factory. A Model T can be assembled in 93 minutes.


1920

Karel Capek coins the word ‘robot’ to describe machines that resemble humans in his play called Rossums Universal Robots. The play was about a society that became enslaved by the robots that once served them.

This idea is now a common theme in popular culture, ie Frankenstein, Terminator, The Matrix etc.

1932

The first true robot toy was produced in Japan. The ‘Lilliput’ was a wind-up toy which walked. It was made from tinplate and stood just 15cm tall.


1937

Alan Turing releases his paper “On Computable Numbers” which begins the computer revolution.


1941

Legendary science fiction writer Isaac Asimov writes the short story ‘Liar!’ in which he describes the Three Laws of Robotics. His stories were recompiled into the volume “I, Robot” in 1950 – later reproduced as a movie starring Will Smith.
Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


1950

Alan Turing proposes a test to determine if a machine truly has the power to think for itself. To pass the test a machine must be indistinguishable from a human during conversation. It has become known as the ‘Turing Test’.


1954

George Devol and Joe Engleberger design the first programmable robot ‘arm’. This later became the first industrial robot, completing dangerous and repetitive tasks on an assembly line at General Motors (1962).


1957

The Soviet Union launches ‘Sputnik’, the first artificial orbiting satellite. This marks the beginning of the space race.


1964

The IBM 360 becomes the first computer to be mass-produced.


1968

Stanley Kubrick makes Arthur C. Clark's, 2001: A Space Odyssey into a movie. It features HAL, an onboard computer that develops a mind of its own.


1969

The U.S. successfully use the latest in computing, robotic and space technology to land Neil Armstrong on the moon.


1977

The first Star Wars movie is released. George Lucas‘s movie inspires a new generation of researchers through his image of a human future shared with robots such as the now famous R2-D2 and C-3PO.


1986

The first LEGO based educational products are put on the market and Honda launches a project to build a walking humanoid robot.


1994

Carnegie Universities eight-legged walking robot, Dante ll, successfully descends into Mt Spur to collect volcanic gas samples.


1997

On May 11, a computer built by IBM known as Deep Blue beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov.

The first Robocup tournament is held in Japan. The goal of Robocup is to have a fully automated team of robots beat the worlds best soccer team by the year 2050.


1998

LEGO launches its first Robotics Inventions System.


1999

Sony releases the first version of AIBO, a robotic dog with the ability to learn, entertain and communicate with its owner. More advanced versions have followed.


2000

Honda debuts ASIMO, the next generation in its series of humanoid robots.


2004

Epsom release the smallest known robot, standing 7cm high and weighing just 10 grams. The robot helicopter is intended to be used as a ‘flying camera’ during natural disasters.


2005

Researchers at Cornell University build the first self-replicating robot. Each ‘robot’ is made up of a small tower of computerized cubes which link together through the use of magnets.


2008

After being first introduced in 2002, the popular Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner has sold over 2.5 million units, proving that there is a strong demand for this type of domestic robotic technology.






Learn about a variety of interesting types of robots that lead the way in the world of robotics and artificial intelligence. There’s the best in Japanese robots, humanoid robots, autonomous robots and entertainment robots. Get information on popular robots such as ASIMO, AIBO, QRIO and more.

QRIO

Made by: Sony
Height: 61cm
Pronounced “curio” the name stands for “quest for curiosity” in Japanese.

Purpose: To live with you, make life fun and make you happy.

What can it do? Walk, talk, run, dance, recognize voices and faces, play ball games and surf the web.

Features:

  • Foot sensors so it can play soccer.
  • Ankles with ball joints so it can walk on uneven surfaces.
  • Picks itself up after falling and even checks itself for damage.
  • Moves with quick, smooth movements.
    QRIO

HRP

Made by: Kawada Industries
Height: 1.5m
Weight: 58kg

Purpose: To work in human environments and use human tools.

What can it do? Walk, get up from awkward positions, walk on uneven surfaces and grasp objects.

Features:

  • It can walk, crouch and get up off the floor as swiftly and smoothly as a human.
  • Capable of working alongside humans in a range of industrial and domestic settings.
  • Said to be the strongest and most agile of humanoid robots.
    HRP


ASIMO

Made by: Honda
Height: 1.2m
ASIMO stands for: Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, it also takes its name from robotic visionary Isaac Asimov.

Purpose: Began in 1986 as a study into human movement and has since evolved into a robot capable of a wide range of tasks.

What can it do? It can walk, run, turn corners, recognize hand gestures, carry objects, dance and climb up and down stairs.

Features:

  • May be the most advanced humanoid robot in the world.
  • Can perform simple tasks, such as switching on a light switch.
    ASIMO


PARO

Made by: The Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (Japan)
Length: 45cm
Weight: 2.7kg

Purpose: Paro is a therapeutic toy designed to comfort those in need like the elderly and sick.

Features:

  • Responds to stroking/cuddling through special touch sensors beneath its fur and on its whiskers.
  • Modeled on a baby harp seal.
  • Has voice recognition and authentic seal sounds.
    PARO


PaPeRo

Made by: NEC
Height: 38cm
PaPeRo stands for: Partner-type Personal Robot

Purpose: To both entertain and assist around the house.

What can it do? Recognizes speech, talks, moves, responds to users, controls household devices.

Features:

  • Recognizes 650 phrases and 3000 words.
  • Can wirelessly control your TV and surf the internet.
  • Designed to look cute so humans feel protective rather than threatened.
    PaPeRo


AIBO

Made by: Sony (Japan)
Height: 27cm
AIBO stands for: Artificial Intelligent Robot

AIBO features a variety of senses:

  • Touch - Feels human contact through sensors on head, back, chin & paws.
  • Hearing - Detects sound through a pair of stereo microphones, voice recognition.
  • Sight - Color camera, distance sensors and facial recognition.
  • Balance - Keeps balance through acceleration sensors.

Other features:

  • AIBO possesses 5 basic instincts: Love, Search, Movement, Recharge & Sleep
  • Each AIBO begins life as a newborn puppy, over time it will develop its own unique personality based upon how it is raised.
  • AIBO likes to dance & play with his toys - An AIBOne and pink ball, he also likes to perform tricks with them.
  • When AIBO is low on power he will seek out his energy station on his own.
  • AIBO can take photos on command or whenever he chooses to, these can be sent via email or stored on his memory card.
  • AIBO can look after you’re house when you are away, he can detect movement and sound, taking a picture and notifying you via email.
  • As well as voice recognition, you can also communicate to AIBO using his graphics cards, these are useful when the surroundings are noisy.
    AIBO

Saturday, August 14, 2010

FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY AND RELATED SCIENCES

WHAT IS FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY??
Forensic Anthropology is the application of the study of the humans to situations of modern legal or public concern. It includes the collection preservation and analysis of human skeletal remains for identification and reconstruction of the events surrounding the death of an individual.
  • The scope of Forensic Anthropology is immense and is increasing everyday. The preference of many killers to dump the bodies of their victims in remote sites means that most often the police have nothing but skeletal remains to aid in their investigation. It is then left to the forensic Anthropologist to use this flimsy evidence to shed some light on the case with his expertise.
APPLICATIONS :
Determination of species - The bones should be sorted out into Human and Non Human bones.
Determination of Age - The appearance and union of centres of bone growth and certain other changes in bones and teeth helps the investigator in determining the age of the individual at the time of death.
Determination of Sex - The adult skeleton has several morphological differences between the different sexes which are utilised to determine the sex of the individual.
Determination of Race - The bones have certain morphological characteristics which are confined to individuals of a particular race. Based on these, the racial group to which the individual belongs can be arrived at.
Height - The height of the individual can be calculated with reasonable accuracy by applying formulae to the length of individual bones, especially the long bones of limbs.

FORENSIC TAPHONOMY

Forensic Taphonomy is a subfield of forensic anthropology that examines how taphonomic forces have altered evidence that is the subject of a medico legal investigation. It examines the remains themselves and asks how decomposition and destruction (or a lack thereof) of the hard and soft tissues was brought about. It is basically used to determined the time since death.
The factors include:-
• Environmental factors are external variables, such as climate (abiotic) and animals (biotic).
• Individual factors are those that the subjects bring to the decomposition process themselves, such as body size and age at death.
• Cultural (or Behavioral) factors are variables that characterize human mortuary activities, such as embalming, autopsy procedures, and assailant-induced trauma.

FORENSIC ARCHEOLOGY

Forensic archaeology is the application of archaeological techniques and methods to the Medico-legal field, normally the enforcement of criminal law.For example forensic archaeologists have been employed by police to excavate grave sites in order to reconstruct the events that took place prior to the burial of the victim.

FORENSIC CRANIOMETRY

Craniometry is the technique of measuring the bones of the skull. Brain volume data and other craniometric data is used in mainstream science to compare modern-day animal species, and to analyze the evolution of the human species in archeology

FORENSIC ODONTOLOGY

Forensic dentistry or forensic odontology is the proper handling, examination and evaluation of dental evidence, which will be then presented in the interest of justice.The evidence that may be derived from teeth, is the age (in children) and identification of the person to whom the teeth belong. This is done using dental records or ante-mortem (prior to death) photographs.

FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGY: FACIAL RECONSTRUCTION

FORENSIC FACIAL RECONSTRUCTION is the process of recreating the face of an individual from their skeletal remains through an amalgamation of of artistry , forensic science, osteology , anthropology and anatomy.
The identification could be :

  1. POSITIVE : is established when a unique set of biological characters of a person are matched with a set of skeletal remains .
  2. CIRCUMSTANTIAL : is established when an individual fits the biological profile of a set of skeletal remains . It does not prove identity because any number of individuals may fit the same biological description.

AGE PROGRESSION
It is a method used to scientifically depict how a person will look like in the future. This method can be used to establish identity of children or adults who have been missing for a number of years.

METHODOLOGY

  • 2-D RECONSTRUCTION

These are hand drawn portraits based on radio graphs , ante mortem photographs and the skull. Usually requires collaboration of an artist and a forensic anthropologist.

Recently, computer software's have been developed for this purpose they allow high speed reconstruction and subtle variations to be applied to the drawings.

  • 3-D RECONSTRUCTION

They are either SCULPTURES made from casts of cranial remains ,created with modelling clay and other materials or HIGH RESOLUTION ,3-D computer images.
Computer programmes create reconstructions by manipulating scanned photographs of the unidentified cranial remains, stock photographs of the facial features and other available reconstructions.
Skull is the basis of facial reconstruction. It is examined thoroughly, focusing on the identification of any bony pathologies or unusual landmarks , ruggedness of muscle attachment . profile of the mandible .symmetry of the nasal bone , dentition, etc.

Then a plaster cast of the skull is prepared .once it is set, colored plastics are attached at 21 landmarks that correspond to the data. These sites represent the average facial thickness of tissue for the persons of same race, sex, age as that of the remains.

  • SUPERIMPOSITION
    Forensic superimpositions are created by superimposing a photograph of an individual suspected of belonging to the unidentified skeletal remains over an x-ray of the unidentified skull. If the skull and the photograph are of the same person, then the anatomical features should align accurately.

    It is not always included as a technique as investigators must already have some kind of previous knowledge about the identity of the skeletal remains with which they are dealing.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Roswell UFO Crash



On July 2, 1947, an object crash landed on a ranch, approximately 75 miles northwest of Roswell, leaving a large field of debris. The local air base at Roswell investigated after the rancher first reported it to Roswell authorities on July 6. On July 8, the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) announced it had recovered a "flying disk". A few hours after the initial "flying disk" press release, U.S. Army Air Force officials stated that it was not a UFO, but a weather balloon. When the question of what crashed was revived in the early 1980s, the "Roswell Incident" became a focus of conspiracy theorists, "abductees," and UFO investigators. It is believed the crashed UFO's were used for 'reverse engineering', explaining the rapid advancement in technology since that time.
Metaphysics and Media

Reality is a series of metaphors brought forth for the experiencer to awaken consciousness:

  • The name Roswell goes to Rose (the rose bloodline)
  • Well (water or the collective unconsciousness.)
  • July 2 is close to July 4 linked to creation of the American government and its symbology roots within the Masonic (mother sound) Program. Eye Symbology
It is not be accident the Roswell UFO crash occurred shortly after the end of WW II in 1945, with Nazi advanced research into time travel and the esoteric.

The Roswell incident makes us wonder about human bloodlines, many people feeling a connection with something alien, or sensing that we are part of a biogenetic experiment. People have speculated on a crashed UFO and visitation by gray aliens with an agenda - perhaps working with the US government in terms of reverse engineering.

Many books, documentaries, films and theories have surfaced with references to the crash, my favorite being the 2002 Spielberg miniseries, Taken. I have worked with many UFO researchers and conspiracy theorists through the years and all agree - something not of our world crashed in Roswell.

Reported Details of the Incident

On June 24, 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing disc, or saucer-shaped objects flying at high speed near Mt. Rainier in Washington state. In the days thereafter, hundreds of reports of the new "flying saucers" (or "flying disks") appeared in newspapers across the United States.

During the first week of July 1947 - July 2, 1947 - rancher William "Mack" Brazel discovered a large amount of unusual debris scattered widely over his ranch about 75 miles northwest of Roswell. Neighbors told him about the new "flying disk" phenomenon and suggested he go to Roswell to report his find.

Brazel informed the local sheriff in Roswell, George M. Wilcox, that he may have found a "flying disk" and Wilcox then contacted the local USAAF airbase in Roswell.

The base commander, Colonel William Blanchard, sent his head Intelligence Officer, Major Jesse Marcel, with the head of the Roswell Army Counterintelligence Corps, Sheridan Cavitt, to investigate. Marcel and Cavitt went with Brazel to his ranch, retrieved some of the debris and returned with it to the Roswell base on the evening of July 7. Some debris was later flown to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, home of the USAF's aeronautical research labs.

The next afternoon, July 8, Col. Blanchard issued an official USAAF press release from Roswell reporting that a "flying disk" had been found "sometime last week" by a local rancher and that it had been recovered by the Intelligence Office at the base for transfer to "higher headquarters". United Press also reported that residents near the ranch saw "a strange blue light several days ago about 3 a.m."

Roswell Daily Record for July 8, 1947

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.

Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wilmot apparently were the only persons in Roswell who saw what they thought was a flying disk. They were sitting on their porch at 105 South Penn. last Wednesday night at about ten o'clock when a large glowing object zoomed out of the sky from the southeast, going in a northwesterly direction at a high rate of speed. Wilmot called Mrs. Wilmot's attention to it and both ran down into the yard to watch. It was in sight less then a minute, perhaps 40 or 50 seconds, Wilmot estimated.

Wilmot said that it appeared to him to be about 1,500 feet high and going fast. He estimated between 400 and 500 miles per hour. In appearance it looked oval in shape like two inverted saucers, faced mouth to mouth, or like two old type washbowls placed, together in the same fashion. The entire body glowed as though light were showing through from inside, though not like it would inside, though not like it would be if a light were merely underneath.

From where he stood Wilmot said that the object looked to be about 5 feet in size, and making allowance for the distance it was from town he figured that it must have been 15 to 20 feet in diameter, though this was just a guess. Wilmot said that he heard no sound but that Mrs. Wilmot said she heard a swishing sound for a very short time. The object came into view from the southeast and disappeared over the treetops in the general vicinity of six mile hill.

Wilmot, who is one of the most respected and reliable citizens in town, kept the story to himself hoping that someone else would come out and tell about having seen one, but finally today decided that he would go ahead and tell about it. The announcement that the RAAF was in possession of one came only a few minutes after he decided to release the details of what he had seen.

Roswell Daily Record for July 9, 1947 - AP

An examination by the army revealed last night that mysterious objects found on a lonely New Mexico ranch was a harmless high-altitude weather balloon - not a grounded flying disk. Excitement was high until Brig. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, commander of the Eighth air forces with headquarters here cleared up the mystery.

The bundle of tinfoil, broken wood beams and rubber remnants of a balloon were sent here yesterday by army air transport in the wake of reports that it was a flying disk. But the general said the objects were the crushed remains of a ray wind target used to determine the direction and velocity of winds at high altitudes. Warrant Officer Irving Newton, forecaster at the army air forces weather station here said, "we use them because they go much higher than the eye can see."

The weather balloon was found several days ago near the center of New Mexico by Rancher W. W. Brazel. He said he didn't think much about it until he went into Corona, N. M., last Saturday and heard the flying disk reports. He returned to his ranch, 85 miles northwest of Roswell, and recovered the wreckage of the balloon, which he had placed under some brush.

Then Brazel hurried back to Roswell, where he reported his find to the sheriff's office. The sheriff called the Roswell air field and Maj. Jesse A. Marcel, 509th bomb group intelligence officer was assigned to the case.

Col. William H. Blanchard, commanding officer of the bomb group, reported the find to General Ramey and the object was flown immediately to the army air field here. Ramey went on the air here last night to announce the New Mexico discovery was not a flying disk. Newton said that when rigged up, the instrument "looks like a six-pointed star, is sivery in appearance and rises in the air like a kite."

-

In Roswell, the discovery set off a flurry of excitement. Sheriff George Wicox's telephone lines were jammed. Three calls came from England, one of them from The London Daily Mail, he said. A public relations officer here said the balloon was in his office "and it'll probably stay right there." Newton, who made the examination, said some 80 weather stations in the U. S. were using that type of balloon and that it could have come from any of them. He said he had sent up identical balloons during the invasion of Okinawa to determine ballistics information for heavy guns.

The press release caused a media feeding frenzy and phone lines into New Mexico and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. became jammed as reporters clamored for more details.Within an hour of the release, the head of the Eighth Air Force in Fort Worth, Texas, Brigadier General Roger Ramey, began changing the story. The object retrieved was now a weather balloon with "hexagonal" radar target attachment. He would later describe it on the radio as "remnants of a tin foil-covered box kite and a rubber balloon" and denied there were any identification markings or instruments found with it.

United Press also reported that Ramey said, "he couldn't let anybody look at the thing or photograph it because Washington had clamped a 'security lid' on all but the sketchiest details." However, he thought "...it was nothing to get excited about. It looks to me like the remnant of a weather balloon and a radar reflector." He said he would bring in a weather officer to confirm this. Soon after, a weather officer was summoned to make the identification official. Ramey had pictures taken of the weather balloon and radar target displayed in his office, which he said was the recovered Roswell debris.

Gen. Ramey also had Major Marcel make a statement for the press. Instead of the object being found "sometime last week" in the original press release, Marcel was quoted by Associated Press as saying the object was found "3 weeks previously" (or mid-June). Further, when Brazel first found the debris he "bundled the tinfoil and broken wooden beams of the kite and the torn synthetic rubber remains of the balloon together and rolled it under some brush."

When Brazel first learned of the "flying disks" on Saturday night, July 5, he "hurried home, dug up the remnants of the kite balloon on Sunday, and Monday headed for Roswell to report his find to the Sheriff's office."(AP story)

While the new date of discovery agreed with Brazel's account a few hours later of first finding the debris on June 14, it conflicted sharply with his story of when and how he collected it: "At the time Brazel was in a hurry to get his round made and he did not pay much attention to it. ...on July 4 he ...went back to the spot and gathered up quite a bit of the debris."

Inconsistent Accounts and Cover Stories

Marcel and Ramey's then chief of staff, Brigadier General Thomas Dubose (ret.), would later claim that the weather balloon was a cover story to get the press off their backs. Gen. Dubose, in fact, stated he personally received the order from Washington to start the coverup. Both said they were acting under Ramey's orders when they made statements to the press about the object being a weather device. Supporting this to some extent was another quote attributed to Marcel from 1947 by AP saying that the balloon debris was "scattered over a square mile," inconsistent with the small amount of balloon material that was publicly displayed. Another quote inconsistent with what was shown oddly came from Ramey himself, who was quoted by the Washington Post, United Press, Associated Press, and others saying that the "box kite" covered with foil would have been "about 25 feet in diameter" if reconstructed.

Gen. Ramey also had one of his intelligence officers, Major Kirton, make statements on his behalf, starting about two hours after the initial press release. Kirton changed Ramey's 25-foot "box kite" to the balloon being "20 feet" in size when speaking to the Dallas FBI office and Reuters news agency. Kirton also told both the FBI and Dallas Morning News that the object was a weather balloon and attached radar reflector. However, he told the Morning News that the identification was definite and the flight to Wright Field was cancelled. (Morning News story) Contradicting the public statement, the FBI was instead told that the object was still being transported to Wright Field. Wright Field also stated that they disagreed with the weather balloon assessment. (FBI telegram) ABC News also contacted Wright Field and was told by officials there that they expected "the so-called flying saucer to be delivered there, but that it hasn't arrived as yet." (ABC News radio broadcast)

After Ramey brought in a weather officer for definitive identification, the weather balloon story became official three hours after the first press release of a "flying disk" from Roswell base. Soon after this, Brazel showed up in Roswell at the local newspaper for an interview. Two reporters at the scene later related he was accompanied by military officers. The base provost marshal, Col. Edwin Easley, likewise later confirmed that they were holding Brazel at the base. (A number of other witnesses also testified to seeing Brazel in military hands or hearing him complain bitterly afterwards about his treatment by the military.) Initially Brazel seemed to be describing a balloon crash of some kind.

According to the story published the next day, Brazel said he found five pounds of ³rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper, and sticks. ... Considerable Scotch tape and some tape with flowers printed upon it had been used in its construction... The balloon which held it up, if that was how it worked, must have been about 12 feet long, he felt... The rubber was smoky gray in color and scattered over an area about 200 yards in diameter.²

But at the end of his interview, Brazel seemingly recanted his earlier balloon description stating that, "...he had previously found two weather balloons on the ranch, but that what he found this time did not in any way resemble either of these. 'I am sure that 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.'"

Also contradicting the initial balloon story, Brazel said at the start of his interview that he "whispered" to Sheriff Wilcox that "he might have found a flying disk." (Roswell Daily Record, July 9, 1947) (However, some skeptics argue that there was no contradiction since Brazel allegedly found a different type of balloon device from the weather balloons he had previously found.)

Sheriff Wilcox was also quoted in other stories.

According to United Press Wilcox claimed that Brazel came in saying that he thought he had found a "weather meter." This contradicted Brazel's denial that he had found any type of weather balloon and he instead told Wilcox that maybe he had found a "flying disk."

Wilcox did say that Brazel also said the object "more or less seemed like tinfoil" and was about 3 feet across. However, when Associated Press asked Wilcox for more details about the object's description, they reported he declined to elaborate saying "I'm working with those fellows at the base." Various Wilcox family members would later claim that he was threatened by the military.

A number of UFO researchers charge that the change in the military's story from flying saucer to weather balloon was disinformation and that the U.S. government was withholding or suppressing information. Whether Ramey showed the actual debris and whether Brazel and Marcel's newspaper statements accurately describe what was actually discovered remain highly contentious to this day in debates between advocates and skeptics. Also hotly debated is whether there really was a coverup and whether some witnesses like Brazel and Wilcox were coerced.

Later stories of strange debris

Beyond dispute is that a number of military and civilian witnesses, including Marcel, Dubose, and Brazel's son, gave very different accounts of the events and debris many years later, reviving interest in the case. Instead of flimsy weather balloon material, the debris allegedly possessed highly anomalous physical properties. Some material resembled dull aluminum or lead foil yet, when crumpled, straightened back up leaving no creases or wrinkles, similar to a shape memory alloy.

Other debris bore some resemblance to balsa wood in lightness and color. But like the foil material, witnesses claimed that it could not be burned, cut, or otherwise damaged. All debris was said to be extremely light in weight. Some, including metallic-looking "I-beams," was said to be covered with strange writing or "hieroglyphics." witness debris descriptions.

The alleged Roswell Glyphs say "Elephtheria" or "Freedom".

There is another word on the I-bar which, at the time of the first translation, was still unknown. The second word appears on the bottom line of the glyphics block. It is written in forward and also in reverse order. The word Freedom is written backwards in the top line. There is no translation for this reversed sequence. However, the amazing thing is that the second word can be translated both ways! The correct Greek letters to the 4 bottom line characters are I-S-H-R. The literal translation, from the Greek word ishrigmos, means high-frequency sound. The opposite spelling, RHSI, means "saying," "maxim", or "motto!" Another remarkable insight is that when the translation high pitched sound is added to the word freedom, we can apply the suggested "audio" element in the meaning further- Liberaton and Independence.

Stories of a "Disc" Craft and Alien Bodies

Even more controversial than the debris descriptions were stories to emerge later of an intact "disc" and even alien bodies being recovered, primarily second-hand accounts from friends and family members of those involved, such as the Wilcox family. Not surprisingly, no mention of bodies was made in newspaper accounts from 1947. If anything, Gen. Ramey made a big point that the object was "too lightly constructed to have carried anyone" and "scoffed at the possibility that the object could have been piloted." However, it is pointed out that another of Ramey's 1947 statements of the foil-covered "box kite" (or radar target) being about 25 feet across if reconstructed would be consistent with later testimony from two eyewitnesses of seeing a damaged craft about 25 feet in size.

There is also a current contention that the telegram held by Gen. Ramey while being photographed with the weather balloon does speak specifically of "the 'disc'" and "the victims of the wreck" (enlargement of message above right). [9] However, some skeptics claim the text is not clear enough to be read with any certainty. The USAF similarly claimed in their 1994 summary report that they had submitted the message to a photo-analysis lab of "a national level organization" and then claimed that nothing could be read. However, the Air Force has never identified the organization or provided the actual report of the lab to document their claim, despite prolonged efforts to obtain this information using FOIA.

The Roswell Incident briefly received national and even international attention in 1947, but after it was reported that the crash was of a weather balloon and not a "flying disk", the event faded from public view for over 30 years as most people simply took the government's word at face value. It did, however, occasionally receive passing mention, such as in a special article on UFOs published in Look magazine in 1967.

The Roswell incident received little mainstream attention until 1978, when researchers Stanton T. Friedman and William L. Moore compared notes from a series of interviews each had conducted independently.

Friedman and Moore interviewed Lydia Sleppy, a teletype operator who worked at an Albuquerque, New Mexico, radio station in 1947, and United States Air Force Lt. Colonel Jesse A. Marcel (ret.), chief intelligence officer at Roswell base in 1947. Sleppy claimed that the FBI had stopped their teletype story of "the crashed flying disk with bodies" from being transmitted after a Roswell radio reporter had phoned in the story. Marcel reported gathering highly unusual materials near Brazel's ranch, which he said were "not of this Earth." He was then ordered to fly the recovered debris to Wright Field, first stopping in Fort Worth, Texas, to see Brigadier General Roger Ramey, head of the 8th Air Force there. Marcel also stated that the weather balloon explanation subsequently put out by Gen. Ramey was a cover story.

Impressive testimony about the Roswell Incident came from retired Air Force Brigadier General Arthur Exon [13], as related by ufologists Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt. In 1947, Exon was stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. In recorded interviews, Exon said that shortly after the reports of the saucer crash, strange material was shipped to Wright Patterson. Though it was very thin and lightweight, Exon said, the metal could not be bent, dented or scorched. He also said he heard reports of bodies being recovered. Further, there was a national level effort to cover the whole thing up and the White House was involved. Exon added, "Roswell was the recovery of a craft from space." [Randle & Schmitt (1991), 108-112, 231-234; Randle & Schmitt (1994), 73-78, 119-120; Randle (1995), 142-149; compendium of Exon's testimony]

By 1961, Exon had been promoted to general, and was Wright-Patterson¹s base commanding officer from 1964 to 1966. Another statement of Exon's was that other UFO crash recoveries staged out of Wright-Patterson occurred during his tenure as base chief, though he wasn't privy to details. However, critics charge that Exon's knowledge was mostly secondhand, as Exon himself stressed in interviews and in a letter to Randle and Schmitt. In order to have access to U.S. government classified information, one must have both the proper level of security clearance as well as a need to know the information. In consequence, Exon was denied access to areas of the base where UFO-related studies were ongoing, and was never officially briefed regarding their findings. Thus it is claimed his reported statements decades later may have reflected rumor or opinion not based on personal knowledge. Against this, he also stressed that he spoke to firsthand witnesses to both the debris and bodies, people he personally knew.

Another report about the events at Roswell came from retired Air Force officer Brigadier General Thomas J. Dubose. In 1947 he was a colonel and Gen. Ramey's chief of staff. In recorded interviews, Dubose said the whole Roswell matter was conducted in the strictest secrecy and even involved the White House. One such secretive event involved a shipment of debris by "colonel courier" from Roswell to Washington D.C., first stopping at Fort Worth. Dubose handled the high-level phone communications and said he personally received the order from Gen. Clemence McMullen in Washington to cover up what happened at Roswell. He said McMullen told him the matter was so highly classified that it went "beyond top secret". He also confirmed Marcel's account that the weather balloon explanation put out by Gen. Ramey was the cover story to get the press off their backs. Dubose affidavit and audio.

Adherents to the UFO theory point to other witnesses in the Roswell case. Family and friends of Capt. Oliver Henderson, a senior pilot at Roswell, stated that he told them of flying the remains of a flying saucer to Wright Field and seeing small alien bodies. Lewis Rickett, a member of the Army Counter Intelligence Corp at Roswell base, confirmed that the metallic debris was highly anomalous and that the military engaged in a large and highly secretive recovery operation at the Brazel ranch.

Bill Brazel, Jr., Mack Brazel's son, independently corroborated Major Marcel's descriptions of anomalous debris, the large, linear debris field, and his father's finding of the debris after hearing a tremendous explosion. Both Rickett and Brazel, Jr., described what appeared to be a linear impact groove, as did Gen. Exon, who overflew the site later.

Brazel, Jr., also said the military detained his father at the base; this seems to have been corroborated by the base provost marshal, Major Edwin Easley. When pressed for details of his involvement, Easley said he had sworn an oath not to talk about what had happened. Family members also claim that on his deathbed Easley spoke of the "creatures" at Roswell, though Easley never mentioned this in interviews with researchers.

Project Apollo astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, though not a direct witness, has also stated on numerous occasions that Roswell was a real alien event based on his high-level contacts within the government. "Make no mistake, Roswell happened. I've seen secret files which show the government knew about it‹but decided not to tell the public."

Mitchell has also spoken about bodies: "A few insiders know the truth . . . and are studying the bodies that have been discovered." St. Petersburg Times article, Feb. 18, 2004

Another high-level, indirect witness was Senator Barry Goldwater, himself a retired Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, a 1964 Presidential nominee, and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee. Goldwater many times told the story of trying to get into the area at Wright-Patterson where alien artifacts were rumored to be kept.

When he brought the subject up with his good friend General Curtis LeMay, USAF Chief of Staff, Goldwater claimed LeMay swore at him, told him never to bring up the subject again, and finished by saying that even he did not have clearance to get in.

Retired Brigadier General Stephen Lovekin (North Carolina State Guard) similarly claimed to have received a Pentagon briefing on a 1947 New Mexico crash when he was a young tech specialist stationed at the White House in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1959 to 1961. Those briefed were allegedly shown some of the anomalous debris and were also told that alien bodies were recovered.

Skeptics state that some witnesses, whose testimony at first might have seemed compelling, have since been largely or entirely discredited. A notable recent example was Frank Kaufmann, who claimed to have been a member of an exclusive team in charge of the craft and body recovery. After his death it was found that he had hoaxed documents about the crash and about his background in intelligence.

Another important witness whose credentials were recently challenged was Stephen Lovekin. Roswell researcher Kevin Randle originally claimed that he could find no evidence to support Lovekin's rank of brigadier general and also questioned whether he would have been old enough to have served in the White House when he said he did. However, Randle's research has since been shown to be incomplete and some of his statements inaccurate.

Documents released by Lovekin and posted at The Disclosure Project website would seem to verify Lovekin's claimed credentials, most importantly having served in the White House Army Signal Agency when he said he did. Documents Randle has since printed a retraction. (Randle's blog) However, it would also be misleading to claim Lovekin as a high-level military witness, since his current brigadier general rank is only in the State Guard. Lovekin retired from active duty in the U.S. Army as only a sergeant.

A further common criticism is that the bulk of testimony on Roswell, particularly on the subject of bodies, is secondhand or even further removed from the actual events. Witnesses like Exon, Goldwater, and Lovekin would largely fall into this category.Some other witnesses, though probably sincere, are contended to suffer from various types of memory distortions such as senility, false memory, or retrospective falsification. Counterarguments are that "faulty memories" are speculative and also not equally applied to witnesses supporting the skeptical point of view.

Similar Incidents

  • The 1946 European "ghost rockets" involved numerous objects being sighted and tracked by radar, crashes reported, military investigations and searches, and debris fragments reported recovered. The official conclusion was that the ghost rockets were real.
  • The December 1980 Rendlesham Forest Incident involving many USAF personnel is sometimes called the "British Roswell" because of its importance, though no crash was involved.
  • The December 1965 Kecksburg UFO incident was another alleged military crash recovery of a UFO and is sometimes called the "Pennsylvania Roswell."
  • The Shag Harbor incident was the crash of an unknown object in Shag Habor, Nova Scotia, Canada, in October 1967, and involved attempts by the Canadian military to recover the object. The crash object was referred to by several Canadian government agencies, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as a "UFO".
  • The Height 611 UFO Incident was a 1986 Russian crash with analysis of physical debris.
  • The 1996 Varginha incident was another alleged recovery of one or more aliens by the Brazilian military.

Theories and Analysis

Conventional Theories - The Mogul Balloon Theory - 1994/95 Air Force Roswell report

Under pressure from a Congressional General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation initiated by New Mexico Congressmen Steven Schiff, the Air Force in 1994/95 presented evidence that the crash was actually that of a lost Project Mogul balloon launched from nearby Alamogordo, New Mexico, whose top secret purpose was long-distance detection of expected future Russian A-bomb tests. The early Mogul balloon arrays consisted of about two dozen rubber weather balloons and sometimes had several attached radar targets, balsa wood kites covered with a foil/paper material, used for tracking. They claimed this fully accounted for the 1947 debris descriptions, particularly rancher Brazel's, and matched the photos taken in General Ramey's office. Furthermore, the balloon arrays could be up to 600 feet in length, and this was said to account for the large size of the debris field reported by Brazel and Marcel. The Air Force declared the "Roswell case" officially closed.

A few weeks before the GAO released its own report in June 1995, columnist Jack Anderson of the Washington Post wrote that GAO investigators didn't believe the Air Force. They were "quietly skeptical about whether the U.S. Air Force told the truth" and were "not satisfied with the Air Force explanation," though they didn't believe the Air Force was covering up a UFO incident. However, one GAO source told Anderson, "...we do believe that something did happen at Roswell... Something big. We don't know if it was a plane that crashed with a nuclear device on it ... or if it was some other experimental situation. But everything we've seen so far points to an attempt on the part of the Air Force to lead anybody that looks at this down another track."

The Air Force based their Mogul theory primarily on interviews with a few surviving Project Mogul personnel and comparing descriptions of the Mogul balloons with statements from witnesses in 1947 and today. In particular, rancher Brazel's mention of "tape with flower patterns" was said to be a perfect match for tape allegedly used in the construction of the radar targets sometimes attached to the balloons.

Critics counter that the report was written by Air Force counterintelligence agents and charge they used classic propaganda techniques of ridicule, selective quotations, and omission of contradictory evidence, such as anomalous debris descriptions or testimony about a coverup, such as from General Dubose. In fact, Dubose, an important primary witness and one of their own generals, was never mentioned. They also note that the Mogul personnel were not directly involved and have no idea what may or may not have been recovered in the field.

The one primary witness the Air Force did interview was Sheridan Cavitt, the Army Counterintelligence Corp agent who accompanied Major Marcel and rancher Brazel back to the ranch and participated in recovery of the material. The Air Force claimed that Cavitt's balloon testimony also supported their theory. However critics contend that Cavitt's testimony was not credible and actually contradicted the Air Force's Mogul balloon hypothesis.

Cavitt claimed to find a balloon crash no bigger than his living room and denied any markings on the debris, including the so-called "flower patterns," claiming stories of such "hieroglyphics" came solely from crashed saucer promoters. Critics charge that Cavitt was merely repeating the original 1947 weather balloon cover story. Cavitt also denied going out with Marcel or ever meeting rancher Brazel. Critics note this begs the question how Cavitt found his tiny balloon crash without Brazel's help. It also directly contradicts Marcel's testimony and 1947 newspaper stories, including a statement by Brazel that Cavitt was with them. Finally they point out that Cavitt also contradicted himself by telling researchers for years that he wasn't involved in any way and/or not at Roswell at the time.

The Air Force also noted in their 1994/95 report that they deliberately weren't addressing the issue of alien bodies. One justification given was that the crash wreckage was from a Project Mogul balloon which had "no 'alien' passengers therein." Another reason they said was that some of the claims had been shown to be hoaxes or made by anonymous witnesses. Critics of the report note that the first reason is an example of circular reasoning, since the Air Force was using its own unproven explanation as justification for its other conclusion of no bodies being involved. Some witnesses were also clearly not hoaxers or anonymous, a notable example being Gen. Exon, whom the Air Force never interviewed.

1997 Air Force "case closed" report

However, after initially ridiculing the notion of bodies, the Air Force changed positions and did a follow-up investigation examining possible sources for the reports of bodies. In 1997 they issued another "case closed" report stating that stories of alien bodies were actually distortions of various aviation experiments from the 1950s and 1960s. They claimed to show that the testimony of the people saying they had seen bodies near Roswell was in good agreement with actual events involving crash test dummies dropped from high altitude balloons, aircraft accidents, and a manned balloon accident. The time discrepancy between the 1947 incident and the later period of crash test dummy drops and the accident they said could be accounted for by distortions of memory.

Critics of the 1997 "crash dummies" report note that it is inconsistent with the Air Force's earlier position that there was nothing to the stories of bodies because all witnesses were unreliable. Indeed, some of the witness testimony they relied most heavily on were from the same people strongly suspected of hoaxing. It is also argued that there is no resemblance between the six-foot test-dummies made to human proportions and the descriptions of small, non-human, decomposing bodies. Also the experiments were conducted in areas of New Mexico that were remote from Brazel's ranch and where witnesses said bodies were found. Finally, it is argued, the severe memory distortion theory is at best highly questionable and cannot account for the serious differences in times, locations, and body descriptions.

The question has been raised why the Air Force chose to deal with the issue of bodies after initially ridiculing and avoiding it. Speculation from some UFO researchers is that this may have been the result of pressure from the Clinton White House. President Bill Clinton is known to have had an interest in Roswell, instructing friend and associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell to find out what happened (reported in Hubbell's memoirs).

In November 1995, only a few days before the Air Force issued the final version of its first Roswell report, Clinton responded in a prepared speech to a child's letter about Roswell during a trip to Northern Ireland. Clinton said that as far as he knew "an alien spacecraft did not crash in Roswell, New Mexico," but then added, "If the United States Air Force did recover alien bodies, they didn't tell me about it, either, and I want to know." (See also 2005 Clinton Roswell comments in Recent Developments below, where he again states his doubts about Roswell but again raises the possibility of information being withheld from him.)

The question remains that if it was not a flying saucer, why the initial reports of a recovered "flying disk" and government secrecy? Here is a theory proposed by skeptic Karl T. Pflock in his book Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe:

  • Some officers at Roswell, particularly Major Marcel, allegedly bungled the identification of the Mogul balloon equipment and then compounded the blunder by putting out a press release that they had instead recovered a "flying disk."
  • Once the crash was publicly revealed and since Project Mogul was top secret, a coverup was imposed to protect the project's secrecy.

Proponents of this theory further claim the balloons used in Project Mogul were extremely strange looking and would have appeared otherworldly to observers, and the project itself was so heavily classified it was nearly unknown outside of the higher branches of the U.S. government.

Those who dispute this interpretation note that only the purpose of Project Mogul was classified, but the main components were not, being standard meteorological equipment such as rubber weather balloons and radar-target kites made of balsa wood and foil/paper also used for wrapping candy bars. None of this would have appeared otherworldly to anyone. It is also pointed out that such flimsy materials do not match the many descriptions of anomalous, extra-strong and heat-resistant debris reported by witnesses such as Marcel, Rickett, Brazel, Jr., and Exon.

A clear example of the non-classified, public side of the equipment and project was a scientific article written by three of the Mogul people in December 1947, published in the Journal of Meteorology in May 1948, and titled "Controlled-Altitude Free Balloons." It showed multiple diagrams of the altitude-control equipment used on the Mogul balloon flights, a photo of one of the new polyethylene balloons that replaced the original rubber weather balloons, detailed how the balloons were tracked, and had multiple graphs of some of the flights. The only thing left out was the top-secret purpose of some of the flights, namely listening for distant Soviet A-bomb tests.

It is further argued that Mogul records indicate that the military was unconcerned about civilians stumbling across other Mogul balloon crashes, since the components were unclassified and the balloon's top-secret purpose could not be discerned from the debris. One such noted incident from June 8 involved another New Mexico rancher, who immediately notified Alamogordo Air Force Base, which then sent out three men to retrieve the remains of the balloon. This is completely unlike the very large and secretive military response to what rancher Brazel found at his place in early July. However, some skeptics counter that the situtation was different because Brazel first claimed he found a "flying disk" and not a balloon. While this might explain an initial difference in response by the military, it is not clear why they would continue to behave in a heavy-handed manner once they had an opportunity to examine the debris. There was nothing secret or mysterious about any of the Mogul balloon debris.

Another point raised is that historically the military made no attempt to conceal the existence of the Mogul balloons. (Indeed, as some of the former Mogul people testified, it was impossible to do so.) For example, the day after the Roswell base press release, a mock Mogul balloon launch was staged for the press at Alamogordo and used to try to explain both the Roswell events and the recent nationwide flood of flying saucer reports (see Kenneth Arnold). Again, it is contended, this is inconsistent with the notion that a crashed Mogul balloon would be bathed in high secrecy, even if the purpose of the project was top secret.

Regarding Pflock's claim that Major Marcel was both incompetent and a publicity seeker, Marcel defenders note that his subsequent career and performance reviews by his superiors do not seem to bear this out. For example, Roswell base commander (and Marcel's commanding officer) Col. Blanchard raised Marcel's overall fitness report rating from "excellent" to the highest rating of "superior." A year later, Gen. Ramey called Marcel's performance "outstanding" and rated him command officer material. Marcel was also transferred to Washington and became the chief briefing and intelligence officer of a top secret project to learn of Soviet A-bomb tests. (Ironically, part of this program's intelligence involved Project Mogul.) It is pointed out that none of this fits the profile of an incompetent.

The nuclear accident theory

There is also some speculation that the Roswell incident was the result of a broken arrow: an accident involving a nuclear weapon. Even the GAO considered this possibility, according to columnist Jack Anderson. Some have proposed that the military created the cover story of a "flying disk" crash, rather than admit that a nuclear weapon had accidentally fallen out of their hands.

However, the facts do not support this theory. There are no known nuclear accidents from this period, despite dozens of such incidents being declassified and now in the public record. (See List of nuclear accidents) Indeed, the U.S. had no assembled nuclear weapon in its arsenal at the time. Some also argue that it makes no sense that the military would be completely unaware of losing a nuclear weapon until a sheep rancher notified them about it.

The horrible secret experiments theory

A variation of the nuclear accident theory came out in June 2005 when UFO researcher Nick Redfern published a book called Body Snatchers in the Desert: The Horrible Truth at the Heart of the Roswell Story.

Redfern's thesis is that the Roswell crash has nothing to do with aliens or Mogul balloons, but was instead the crash of an experimental spy craft hybrid involving advanced Japanese Fugo balloon technology lifting a German-based Horten flying wing glider and with a captured Japanese flight crew inside the glider.

The alleged experiment went awry when the glider prematurely decoupled and crashed at one site, while the lifting balloons drifted off and allegedly created the debris field at the Mack Brazel ranch site. Almost the identical theory was first presented in an article in Popular Mechanics magazine in July 1997, the 50th anniversary of the Roswell crash.

The "horrible truth" that was subsequently covered up to this day was allegedly the illegal detention and use of Japanese prisoners of war in this and other experiments, including biological weapons research, high altitude decompression tests, and radiation exposure.

Genetically deformed surviving victims of criminal medical experimentation by the notorious Japanese Unit 731 were also allegedly used. Further, captured Japanese war criminal scientists were allegedly brought over and participated in these experiments, similar to the program of using captured German scientists brought to the U.S. with Operation Paperclip.

Allegedly, the primary purpose of these criminal experiments was to obtain needed physiological data for the development of a Nuclear aircraft, plus other delivery systems for nuclear, biological, and chemical weaponry. Redfern also contends that the U.S. government is quite content with the public believing in aliens because it is less shocking and damaging than what really happened.

Allegedly other purported New Mexico flying saucer crashes were just cover stories for some of the experiments. Redfern wrote that when he contacted the U.S. Air Force, they had no comment on his theory and said they were sticking to their official Mogul balloon and crash dummy reports for explaining the Roswell incident.

Redfern bases his theory primarily on five sources, all of whom approached him, and several of whom Redfern says he knows to have been in contact with one another, raising the possibility of collusion. The main source was an unnamed colonel who provided details of the actual crash and other manned high-altitude experiments using human guinea pigs that supposedly took place from May through August 1947.

Another source, an unnamed official in the British Home Office, initially approached Redfern in 1996, and also claimed that he and others were told in 1989 of the alien Roswell crash and shown the alien autopsy film (see next section) by the CIA and British Ministry of Defense in an attempt to dissuade them from pursuing their own UFO studies. But instead, they allegedly suspected the Roswell story given them was bogus and the autopsy film a fake, part of a cover story to hide criminal U.S. experiments on Japanese POWs. Even Redfern admits he initially found this source's approach, story, and willingness to publicly disclose such information suspicious.

There are also no documents to support that any such program ever existed. One of Redfern's sources claimed that all documents and photos plus bodies were destroyed to eliminate all traces of this criminal activity. Some critics of Redfern's thesis note it is almost entirely based on dubious testimony of a few people who approached Redfern, nearly all of whom admit to previous psyops/counterintelligence backgrounds, with conveniently no way to ever check their stories against official records since allegedly all such records have been destroyed.

Critics also note other problems, such as the gross mismatch between the materials described by most witnesses from the Brazel debris field--numerous, mostly small metallic pieces with anomalous properties scattered along a long linear path--and what would be expected from a balloon crash. Redfern's sources also claim that part of the flying wing craft and one of the Japanese crew were carried away with the balloons and were also found near the main debris field.

Redfern states high priority was attached to recovering these and searches were initiated. Left unexplained is the seeming absence of any tracking or how searchers could have missed spotting the large, fully-exposed debris field from the air, despite over two days having elapsed from the time of the alleged disaster. Redfern attributes this to "bad luck."

Another serious objection raised was the historical fact that there were no survivors of the medical experiments of Japanese Unit 731. They were all killed to eliminate evidence when the Russians invaded China and quickly overran the Japanese positions. Hence there were no genetically deformed bodies for the U.S. to "snatch," seriously undercutting one of Redfern's key "horrible truth" arguments supposedly underlying the Roswell crash and subsequent coverup.

Nonetheless, Redfern's theory is undoubtedly provocative and has quickly gained much support inside the UFO research community along with much criticism.


1995 Roswell Autopsy Film

In 1995 a film claiming to be the autopsy of an alien captured in
Roswell New Mexico in 1947 was shown. It was proven to be a hoax.

Another twist in the Roswell story also occurred in 1995 when Ray Santilli, a British film producer, produced a film supposedly showing the autopsy of an alien from a 1947 New Mexico crash. In the U.S., portions of the film were shown on the FOX-TV network in 1996 along with some analysis by special effects experts and a pathologist.

Santilli claimed he accidentally ran into the former Army cameraman in the course of looking for archival film footage for another documentary. The crash described by Santilli's cameraman, however, does not conform to the classic Roswell crash of early July 1947 near Corona, New Mexico. Instead the cameraman was allegedly brought to the scene of the crash southwest of Socorro, New Mexico on May 30, 1947, and the autopsy depicted in the film was supposed to have been shot in Fort Worth, Texas in early July.

Skeptics argued that this film showed the alleged surgeons utterly disregarding conventional surgical and scientific procedure. Various special effects people argued that the "body" could have been easily manufactured using standard special effects techniques. For these reasons - and many others - the film was widely considered spurious both within and outside the UFO community. However, opinions of fraud were not universal among expert medical and special effects people, and nothing definitive was found in the film itself proving it a hoax. There was some testimony from others that they had seen this autopsy footage, or related footage, elsewhere before Santilli appeared on the scene. Some held out the possibility it might be a genuine autopsy of some kind.

On 4 April 2006, to coincide with the release of the film Alien Autopsy, British Sky Broadcasting broadcast a documentary, "Eamonn Investigates: Alien Autopsy" presented by Eamonn Holmes. In this program, Santilli finally revealed the full details of the creation of the footage.

Ray Santilli and Gary Shoefield now claim in 1992 that they originally saw 22 cans of film, averaging 4 minutes in length, shot in 1947 by a US Army cameraman in Roswell covering an alien autopsy. However, by the time he returned to purchase the footage two years later, the footage had degraded from humidity and heat with only a few frames staying intact. They now claim that they "restored the footage" by filming a fake autopsy on a fake alien "based upon what they saw".

A set was constructed in the living room of an empty flat in London. John Humphreys, an artist and sculptor, was employed to construct two alien bodies. In addition, Humphreys played the part of the key scientist undertaking the autopsy to allow him to control the body effects being filmed. After filming, they disposed of the bodies.

The "debris" footage of items from the crash site was also recreated by Humphreys, including the alien symbols and the six-finger control panels which Santilli admits to being "artistic license on his part". As an additional decoy, Santilli and Shoefield picked up an unidentified man on the streets in Los Angeles and filmed him in a hotel reading a statement "verifying" his identity as the original cameraman and source of the footage.

Santilli still claims that 5% of the film footage is genuine and intercut with the "recreation" though none of the contributors are able to identify which parts. However, the almost universal feeling among UFO researchers is that the entire episode is an unqualified hoax by Santilli and there never was any original film footage of an alien autopsy.

UFO Crash Theories

Some UFO proponents theorize events are best explained by a mid-air collision between two alien spacecraft. The first completely fragmented and its remains were found at Mack Brazel's ranch. The second, according to witnesses and people who uphold this theory, landed a short distance away. Allegedly four extraterrestrial entities were found - one alive, one dying, and two dead and were witnessed by many people, including a university professor and his class, who were going on a field trip.

Then the army came, warned the others away, and took care of the crash. Supposedly the surviving alien was christened Extraterrestrial Biological Entity 1 (EBE-1), and survived at a safe house in New Mexico until 1952, when it died of unknown causes. Most of this theory, however, is based on very dubious sources, including "documents" of highly questionable authenticity that arrived in some researchers' mailboxes.

Another theory is the craft was struck by lightning and partly exploded, creating the large debris field of small pieces found at Brazel's ranch. The rest of the crippled craft with crew came down at some other nearby location. Mack Brazel did tell his son Bill and Roswell intelligence officer Marcel that he first found the debris following a tremendous explosion he heard in the midst of a violent thunder and lightning storm. There are also other witnesses to this explosion, including some neighboring ranchers and a highly respected Roswell couple, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wilmot, who reported to the local newspaper on July 8 seeing a glowing flying saucer pass overhead on the night of July 2.

Marcel would later reveal in his last interview that Paul Wilmot had recently told him about his parents also seeing the craft explode in the distance after passing in the direction of Brazel's ranch to the northwest. Marcel added that Brazel came to Roswell a few days later to report the crashed flying saucer.

Regardless if this latter theory of the crash has merit, weather records do provide information on thunderstorm activity and can perhaps help pinpoint when Brazel found the debris field on his ranch. There were no thunderstorms in the region the first three weeks of June 1947, the period when the Project Mogul balloon allegedly responsible for the wreckage was launched (June 4) and when Brazel would later claim in a newspaper interview to have found the debris (June 14).

However, there were thunderstorms in late June and early July, specifically July 2 and July 4. The latter dates are at least consistent with the initial Roswell base press release of July 8 that said the rancher had found the "flying disk" "sometime last week." Local ranchers have also told researchers Brazel would not leave such debris sitting in his fields for three weeks since it would have been hazardous to his livestock's health. This again suggests an early July discovery of the wreckage, alien or not.

If Roswell was indeed a crash of an extraterrestrial craft, as some continue to insist, some ufologists would argue that several things follow:

  • The United States government knows that extraterrestrials have visited our planet since at least 1947 but still will not admit that fact.
  • The U.S. government is currently in possession of alien technology.
  • The reasons for initial government secrecy would be largely self-evident: high government officials would probably fear public panic from a potential alien threat (as happened in 1938) and there would likely be an attempt to conceal an advanced technology from the Soviets while secretly trying to reverse engineer it.

Recent Developments

In 2005, researcher Nick Redfern published his theory, detailed above, of horrible military experiments involving human guinea pigs that led to the Roswell incident, and claimed this lay at the heart of the high secrecy and subsequent coverup.

Another important recent development concerns attempts to read the text on a paper held by Gen. Ramey in a photo taken with Col. Dubose and the displayed balloon debris photo above. A Roswell investigator named David Rudiak, as well as some other examiners of the message, claim to have identified several important phrases, including "the victims of the wreck," another referring to the crash object as "the 'disk'" (Rudiak thinks it reads "aviators in the 'disk'").

This is cited as strong evidence that the Roswell incident was actually the crash of an alien spacecraft and that bodies were indeed recovered. However, some also note that these interpretations would also be compatible with Redfern's non-alien theory of events.

Rudiak also claims to have disproved the calculations done by some supporters of the Mogul balloon hypothesis that winds would have taken the purported lost balloon exactly to the Brazel ranch crash site. Redfern's anonymous colonel source states in Redfern's book this isn't surprising since Mogul had nothing to do with it, but served instead as a convenient cover story to the real balloon crash that had to be covered up.

In 2002, the Sci-Fi Channel sponsored a dig at the Brazel site in the hopes of uncovering any missed debris that the military failed to collect. Although these results have so far turned out to be negative, the University of New Mexico archeological team did verify recent soil disruption at the exact location that some witnesses said they saw a long, linear impact groove.

Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who headed the United States Department of Energy under President Clinton, apparently found the results provocative.

In 2004, he wrote in a foreword to The Roswell Dig Diaries, that "the mystery surrounding this crash has never been adequately explained - not by independent investigators, and not by the U.S. government."

In October 2002 before airing its Roswell documentary, the Sci-Fi Channel also hosted a Washington UFO news conference. John Podesta, President Clinton's chief of staff, appeared as a member of the public relations firm hired by Sci-Fi to help get the government to open up documents on the subject. Podesta stated, "It is time for the government to declassify records that are more than 25 years old and to provide scientists with data that will assist in determining the true nature of the phenomena."

In an interview in September 2005, former President Bill Clinton downplayed his and his administration's interest in the Roswell incident. He said they did indeed look into it, but believes it had a rational explanation and didn't think it happened. Many in his administration thought it was a "fraud". However, he added the caveat that he could have been deceived by underlings or career bureaucrats. If that were the case, he said he wouldn't be the first American president that had been lied to or had critical information concealed from him. He also said he would be very surprised if we didn't discover other forms of life in the universe in the near future.

In November 2005 an anonymous source claiming to be part of a high level group of people within the Defense Intellegence Agency DIA of the USA, began releasing information allegedly concerning a Project Serpo. This released information allegedly confirms that in July 1947 there were two extraterrestrial disks UFO that crashed in the state of New Mexico, referenced in this article Roswell UFO incident.

The Project Serpo releases further allege that there was one surviving alien entity EBE. Communication was allegedly established with this surviving EBE and it's home world. The EBE lived for 5 years and died in 1952 as noted in the section above. Communications continued with the home world, allegedly in the Zeta Reticuli star system, which lead to the arrangment of an exchange program alleging to took place between 1965 to 1978. This story has been propogated widely on the internet today as Project Serpo.


In February 2005, the ABC TV network aired a UFO special hosted by news anchor Peter Jennings. Jennings lambasted the Roswell case as a "myth" "without a shred of evidence." ABC endorsed the Air Force's explanation that the incident resulted solely from the crash of a Project Mogul balloon. Critics of the ABC segment counter that the brief treatment was one-sided and failed to consider many key pieces of evidence, such as the testimony of important witnesses like Generals Exon and Dubose or astronaut Edgar Mitchell.

In 2005, UFO and paranormal researcher Ethan A. Blight claimed to have identified several modern UFO photographs containing spacecraft of the same design as the Roswell craft.

In December 2005, a NASA spokesman changed the official position on the 1965 Kecksburg UFO incident, another alleged military UFO crash retrieval. Originally explained as a meteor fireball with nothing found, the NASA spokesman now admitted that NASA had indeed examined metal fragments that allegedly came from a "Russian satellite."

Furthermore, all documentation had allegedly been "lost" in the 1990s. The new story also contradicted the previous results of a NASA expert who had conclusively ruled out a Russian or any other satellite as being involved. AP story Although not specifically about Roswell, these revelations could possibly provide insight into how the government has covered up similar incidents

.In March 2006, the Discovery Channel aired a program on Roswell produced by Dateline NBC. It presented a historical review of the case and opinions of research experts. One group argued the preponderance of evidence pointed to an alien spacecraft crash; the other argued it pointed to a Project Mogul balloon.

For many ufologists, the Roswell case is considered one of the most important UFO events and the one that started the alleged UFO cover-up, while for the skeptics it is just the most widely popularized case, not specifically notable. The official position of the United States government, as of 2005, remains that nothing of a paranormal or extraterrestrial nature had happened. The final report of the USAF regarding the Roswell case is available, as well as the answer to that report by ufologists, who insist that the report is bogus.

Cultural Influence and Trivia

Today, UFO tourism provides a major income for people around Roswell. The 1947 incident has been featured in many books, comics, movies and television series.

Six Days In Roswell is a semi-documentary about the city's annual festival commemorating the 50th anniversary of the incident. Featuring comedian Rich Kronfeld, the film captures the annual event's unusual atmosphere: part scientific conference, part science fiction convention and part county fair.

The novel Majestic by Whitley Strieber (1989) was a part-fact, part-fiction account of the Roswell crash which Strieber claimed was based on an inside government source.

In 1994 the TV film Roswell was made starring Kyle MacLachlan and Martin Sheen. It featured MacLachlan as Jesse Marcel and focused on his quest to find the truth behind the Roswell story. Roswell was produced by Paul Davids, who reports having had a classic flying saucer sighting in Los Angeles. Davids' father was one of President Bill Clinton's professors at Georgetown University in his student days. Davids said he gave Clinton a copy of the book UFO Crash at Roswell, which was the basis of the film. The book was in Clinton's personal library at the White House when it was inventoried while Clinton was being investigated by a special prosecutor.

In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Little Green Men" (1995), the craft had come from the 24th century, and the aliens were the Ferengi characters Quark, Rom, and Nog. Similarly, in Futurama episode "Roswell That Ends Well", the characters came from the 31st century, and the captured alien was Dr. Zoidberg, and the crash debris was the dismantled body of Bender.

In 1995, the rock group the Foo Fighters came out on the Roswell record label. Dave Grohl has always had an interest in UFOs named his record label after the city. The Foo Fighters' name comes from the term used to describe a UFO during World War II. To promote 2005's In Your Honor, the band played a show at Roswell.

Hangar 18 (1980) [was an early movie loosely based on the Roswell story. A UFO crashed in Arizona and was hidden away at Hangar 18 in Texas. ("Hangar 18" is really supposedly at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio and allegedly where the Roswell craft and debris were also taken initially.)In the 1996 movie Independence Day, the Roswell craft was a scout from the aliens' mother ship. The damaged craft and recovered bodies were moved to the secret base at Area 51 in Nevada for study. The craft, now flown by humans, played a key role in defeating the alien invasion.

In the 1996 movie The Rock, the FBI Director (Womack) comments that the alien crash at Roswell was one of the nation's deepest secrets along with such things as the Kennedy assassination.In the 1996-97 TV series Dark Skies, the Roswell crash was caused by the military shooting down a flying saucer after the aliens announced their hostile intent. President Truman created the secret team Majestic 12 to counter the alien threat. The series was based on much other contemporary UFO lore and conspiracy theories, including Kennedy being assassinated for wanting to reveal the truth about Roswell and UFOs. Robert F. Kennedy was depicted as being a member of Majestic 12, as was astronomer Carl Sagan.

In the TV series 7 Days (1998-2001), technology from the Roswell crash led to a secret time-travel device.In the 2002 TV series Taken on the Sci-Fi Channel, an Emmy-winning series on alien abductions produced by Steven Spielberg, the Roswell crash plays a central role in the story. Ironically actor Eric Close, who played the lead role in Dark Skies, now depicted an alien survivor of the Roswell crash who adopted human form and had a hybrid child with an Earth woman.

Also in 2002, the Sci-Fi Channel funded a scientific investigation at Roswell that revealed some anomalies, and collected many samples of local soil at the Brazel ranch debris field site. The program on the investigation, titled The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence, aired the same night as Taken. It also featured analysis of the message about the crash photographed in the hand of General Roger Ramey back in 1947.

Probably the most elaborate example of a Roswell-inspired TV series was titled simply Roswell. It followed the story of four alien survivors of the Roswell crash who adopt human form and live as teenagers in Roswell, one falling in love with a young human. The series ran for two seasons on the WB and a third on UPN between 1999 and 2002.

One of the executive producers and directors of Roswell was actor Jonathan Frakes, who played first officer of the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Frakes had also hosted an earlier Sci-Fi special on Roswell from 1997 and another on the alien autopsy from 1996 on FOX-TV.

The X-Files made much of the Roswell incident. In some episodes, characters from the Department of Defense tried to sell the idea that it was a staged distraction, while, in others, it is said that the crash was an alien scout ship brought down by its proximity to a deposit of magnetite (and led to the alien rediscovery of the virus in a deposit of oil).

In other episodes, the idea was advanced that aliens were just cover stories for genetically engineered human monsters made by the U.S. government, similar to the current theory advanced by Nick Redfern that an alien Roswell crash is just a cover story for horrible experiments on human beings in New Mexico. In at least one episode, as in other series, the Kennedy assassination was linked to the alien coverup conspiracy.

The episode "The Unnatural" took place primarily in Roswell itself, telling the story of an alien bounty hunter chasing a renegade survivor of the Roswell crash, who adopted human form, joined a Roswell minor league baseball team, and became their star hitter. In another episode, the writers had some fun with the alien autopsy film and FOX TV, which did a special showing the autopsy and was the X-Files home network. Agent Fox Mulder dryly commented that the alien autopsy film shown on FOX was an "obvious fake."

In the 2005 episode of Doctor Who, Dalek, a collector of alien artifacts owns the mileometer of the ship that crashed at Roswell. He invented broadband from technology aboard the ship.In many forms of fiction including computer and video games, the Roswell incident is often mentioned as being the source of many reverse-engineered advanced technologies.

In Deus Ex, one of Area 51's engineers posits that the facility's two large-scale antimatter reactors and four small-scale cold fusion plants were derived from technology recovered from the crash. His theory is supported by the presence of odd clones which resemble greys, an image which states the cold fusion plants as having the designation "Artifact ROS172-E" (Note the ROS prefix), and the same image describing the mechanism as under study. However, other sources within the game point towards these possibly being the results of secretive research, with the alien explanation being a simple red herring.

In the DC Comics universe, the official explanation is that it was a "crashed Dominator scoutship", but this is widely discounted as being a cover story. The humorous comic book "Roswell", from Bongo Comics, had as its hero the little green man, also called Roswell, who was found in the craft.

In the Delta Green supplement for the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, the crash at Roswell is depicted as a ruse by the supernatural Mi-Go monster race to influence the U.S. The monsters pretended to be aliens to trick the government into making concessions (i.e., kidnappings, murders) in exchange for supposed technological advances.

Roswell also features in the series of books The Time Machine. In book three, chapter fifteen was called "The Truth About Roswell". In it, Max goes back to 1947 and find out what happened at the time. He discovers that it was in fact a real alien spaceship that crashed, and the autopsy was also not faked. He makes it known to the public, before traveling back to his own time and finding that he has changed the world ever so slightly.

One such change is that the moon landing occurred in 1964, as opposed to 1969, and that humans landed on Mars in 2007."The Roswell Incident" is a popular topic in the fields of techno and other electronic music. For example, The Orb's ambient house album U.F.

Orb includes tracks entitled "Majestic" and "Blue Room". "Area 51" is the name of a track by British techno outfit Eat Static.In "Morangos com A├žucar"- on portuguese television- a series of episodes where shot in Roswell, NM. The plot occurs in 2005, and a second wave of alien incidents emerges. The sons and daughters of the 1947 aliens come to Earth looking for revenge. The highlight of the series is when the Portuguese army comes to rescue the USA-army from the invasion, and kicks out the aliens out of this galaxy!

Roswell International UFO Museum


Museum Photos by Kim who lives in Roswell

The International UFO Museum & Research Center in Roswell was started in 1991 by former Roswell base public information officer Walter Haut (who in 1947 issued the flying disc press release to the local Roswell media). Up until his death in 2005, Haut had been very outspoken about Roswell being a real saucer crash and not a balloon of some kind.

He also vouched for the high integrity and competency of some of the key people involved, such as Maj. Marcel and base commander Col. Blanchard, who ordered him to issue the press release. (Blanchard was a close friend.) The museum has a research library and various exhibits such as some alleged debris, allegations of the civilians being threatened by the US Army into compliance, depictions of the aliens, the UFO, etc. The "UFO Museum" is hard to miss, with its front showing a flying saucer crashing into the building.

Excerpts from newspaper account of Brazel's find

Brazel related that on June 14 he and an 8-year old son, Vernon, were about 7 or 8 miles from the ranch house of the J. B. Foster ranch, which he operates, when they came upon a large area of bright wreckage made up on rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks.

At the time Brazel was in a hurry to get his round made and he did not pay much attention to it. But he did remark about what he had seen and on July 4 he, his wife, Vernon and a daughter, Betty, age 14, went back to the spot and gathered up quite a bit of the debris.The next day he first heard about the flying disks, and he wondered if what he had found might be the remnants of one of these.

Monday he came to town to sell some wool and while here he went to see sheriff George Wilcox and "whispered kinda confidential like" that he might have found a flying disk.

Wilcox got in touch with the Roswell Air Field and Maj. Jesse A. Marcel and a man in plain clothes accompanied him home, where they picked up the rest of the pieces of the "disk" and went to his home to try to reconstruct it.

[The material] ...might have been as large as a table top. The balloon which held it up, if that is how it worked, must have been about 12 feet long, he felt, measuring the distance by the size of the room in which he sat. The rubber was smoky gray in color and scattered over an area about 200 yards in diameter.

When the debris was gathered up the tinfoil, paper, tape, and sticks made a bundle about three feet long and 7 or 8 inches thick, while the rubber made a bundle about 18 or 20 inches long and about 8 inches thick. In all, he estimated, the entire lot would have weighed maybe five pounds.

There was no sign of any metal in the area which night have been used for an engine and no sign of any propellers of any kind. Although at least one paper fin had been glued onto some of the tinfoil.

There were no words to be found anywhere on the instrument although there were letters on some of the parts. Considerable scotch tape and some tape with flowers printed upon it had been used in the construction. No string or wire were to be found but there were some eyelets in the paper to indicate that some sort of attachment may have been used.

Brazel said that he had previously found two weather balloons on the ranch, but that what he found this time did not in any way resemble either of these. "I am sure that what I found was not any weather observation balloon," he said. "But if I find anything else besides a bomb they are going to have a hard time getting me to say anything about it."

The Roswell UFO Incident Wikipedia