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The Roswell Incident at 70: Facts, Not Myths

The seventieth anniversary of the so-called Roswell Incident came and went this past summer with a refreshing lack of fuss. One might even hope to think the passions it evokes among believers that a flying saucer crashed on a ranch in south-central New Mexico back in July 1947 have, over time, finally waned. But the rationalists in us realize that is not likely. Maybe they are just tired and will be back again after a rest.

That’s kind of what happened with Roswell. It was a big story back in early July 1947 for a few days, but then when the Air Force announced that what the rancher found was related to balloon flights and not to anything more mysterious, the story disappeared from public discourse until it was resurrected again by several unscrupulous writers in the early 1980s.

From your editor’s vantage point as a Roswell-watcher from Albuquerque, only about a hundred air miles from the supposed crash site, the most noticeable recent blip on the radar was an anniversary story by the Carlsbad Current-Argus reprinted in the July 8 Albuquerque Journal and titled “Roswell Incident Lives on 70 Years Later.”

The largest newspaper in the state, the Albuquerque Journal has been noticeably free of sensationalism about Roswell for a long time. This reprinted story was a bit of an anomaly. It basically recounted the myth and various claims believers have put forth about it since but unfortunately gave no information that explains the origin story.

That moved me to write a letter to the Journal that, to their credit, they published as a short op-ed piece in their Sunday, July 16, edition, “Roswell Myth Lives on Despite the Established Facts.” (Available online at https://www.abqjournal.com/1033584/roswell-myth-lives-on-despite-the-established-facts.html.)

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