“This is the biggest story since the parting of the Red Sea!” ~ ‘Scotty’, the newspaper reporter, in ‘Thing from Another World’
If UFOlogy had a ‘Moses’, he’d have come down from the Mount bearing copies of the Roswell Daily Record for the multitude.
The Roswell Army Air Force had captured a ‘flying saucer!’ To be exact, the Air Corps Intelligence Officer said ‘flying disk’ a termed coined only weeks before by a pilot who’d spotted a string of nine, shiny, disk-like objects flying past Mount Rainier–the first post-War II sighting in the United States that garnered nationwide news coverage.
As reported by the Record, there had been two witnesses.
Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wilmot 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 than 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.
The rancher who discovered the debris told the Record that he and his son saw a “large area of bright wreckage made up of rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks.”
The ‘incident’ hit the media like an A-Bomb. Roswell was flooded with inquiries from all over the world. But no mention was made of an ‘alien spaceship’ or ‘alien bodies.’ The term ‘UFO’ had yet to be uttered.
The next day’s headlines: ‘Army Debunks Roswell Flying Disk as World Simmers with Excitement‘.
‘Not a grounded flying disk, but a harmless high-altitude weather balloon.’
The Army Air Corps invited reporters in for a look. Close examination revealed that the balloon carried neither weapons nor technology. Attached was a ‘kite’, an aluminum reflector to attract radar, dispelling any notion of a secret surveillance device.
In short order, the excitement was over. Strangely, no Roswell residents sought any further explanations and would be silent about the ‘incident’ for more than thirty years. They would blame ‘government agents’ who threatened them with jail if they spoke up. Later this shadowy sect would be known as ‘The Men in Black’.
On September 18th, the Roswell ‘incident’ all but forgotten, the Army Air Corps officially became the United States Air Force.