Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Truth Behind Roswell

The following guest article is by Rupert Matthews, author of the book Roswell.


The Truth Behind Roswell
By Rupert Matthews

When I first started investigating the Roswell UFO Crash in detail there were two aspects that really surprised me. The first was the date on which the Flying Saucer was alleged to have crashed into the desert near Roswell: July 1947. The second was the date on which the investigation into the apparent crash had begun: 1978.

My previous reading on the Roswell Crash had, I must admit, been rather sketchy and had been restricted to secondary sources such as magazine articles or books written by people who had not been there. I had somehow come to form the impression that the crash had taken place in the 1950s and had been investigated at the time. Shows how wrong you can be.

As I started to work my way through the assorted eyewitness accounts given in interviews, written as letters or in books I was in for another surprise. Nobody had claimed to have seen a UFO crash near Roswell at all. One person had seen a UFO. Another had heard a loud bang and seen some scraps of debris. A third had seen the US military cordon off a large area of ground. A fourth had seen a crashed aircraft of some kind. A fifth had seen some dead bodies.

However, when all the various accounts were put together they did form a cohesive story that held together pretty well. Quite clearly something very odd and unusual had fallen from the skies on to the desert near Roswell in early July 1947. The United States Air Force had moved quickly to recover the object and had thrown a veil of secrecy around the whole incident. Those who had seen debris from the crash all agreed that it was composed of very odd materials that they did not recognise and that it had some odd properties.

But I kept getting pulled back to the two initial surprises. The early date bothered me. July 1947 was a long time ago, even further in terms of UFO research. The epochal sighting by Kenneth Arnold that propelled Flying Saucers into the international media had taken place on 24 June 1947 - just over a week before the alleged crash at Roswell. That timing had two important impacts on the Roswell story.

The first is that Flying Saucers (or Flying Disks as they were also termed in 1947) were a major news item across the media at the time. Everyone was talking about them, far more than is the case today. The second was that there was no generally agreed description of what a UFO was like (and even the term UFO had not been coined). These were very early days indeed. It was possible that almost any unusual object in the sky or falling to the ground would be described as being a Flying Saucer. So just because the people who saw the object that fell at Roswell called it a Flying Saucer does not mean that it was what we would today term a UFO.

Reading the very few descriptions of the object given by those who claim to have seen it, does not read like more recent witness statements of a UFO. The object was said to be roughly triangular or conical in shape with stubby little wings or fins. There does not seem to have been anything terribly odd about it all, it sounds very mundane.

The fact that investigations did not begin until more than 30 years after the event also bothered me. Several of the key witnesses had died over the years. Their accounts survived only second hand. A neighbour remembered what one man had told him 30 years earlier. A son recalled what his father had told him. Such accounts are intrinsically vague and lack detail. Crucially the person is not there for the investigator to ask for more detail or to seek out cross references. Other witnesses were still alive, but they were being asked to recall events more than 30 years old. The human memory is a notoriously frail and deceptive thing. Dates can be blurred and details merged. One of the witnesses who was able to give a very good and clear description of dead bodies could not be certain when he had seen them - he did not even know which year never mind the precise day. Even more alarming is the fact that we humans are rational creatures and we seek to rationalise events. We are all capable of misremembering events so that they fit into an accepted pattern better than what we actually saw. After 30 years all sorts of details could easily be forgotten or remembered incorrectly.

By the time I was half way through my research I had almost given up hope of ever finding out what had really happened at Roswell back in 1947. There were so many contradictions in the evidence, so many details that did not match, so many accounts that were vague.

But then I decided to take a step back from all the mass of fine detail and look at the bigger picture. There was one thing that all those people who had been in Roswell in 1947 did agree on. Something had happened and that something had been very odd indeed. True, some witnesses contradicted each other. True, some details that at first seemed linked to the crash turned out to be quite unrelated. True, some apparent facts turned out to be nothing of the sort.

But in the final analysis something fell out of the sky in early July 1947. The United States Air Force did move quickly to collect the wreckage, then quickly launched a determined effort to kill the story and keep the find secret.

Can I tell you what it was that fell from the sky? No. There are several possibilities that would fit the evidence - and an alien spacecraft is but one of those.

Rupert Matthews is the author of the book Roswell which is available on Amazon and from all good bookshops. You can find Rupert’s website at He also maintains a blog about the unexplained at

If you would like to contribute a guest article for the website please contact Richard Thomas at

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