Today I found myself in Roswell, New Mexico, best known for what is now called the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident. An alien spacecraft reportedly was found near Roswell and its occupants were captured. Many people believe the military then engaged in a cover-up. The incident has turned into a widely known pop culture phenomenon, making the name Roswell synonymous with UFOs. One of the better-known local organizations that popularizes the spacecraft theory is the International UFO Museum & Research Center on Main Street in Roswell. What better place to look for documentation about an ancestor who was "deposited here by a Martian spaceship?"
Today, I visited the International UFO Museum & Research Center and consulted with the staff. No, that is not a picture of the staff above. Instead, that is a mock-up of what some artist believes happened in June or July 1947. Any resemblance to my relatives is purely coincidental.
Click on the images to see larger pictures.
I soon found that the museum doesn't have any records of spacecraft sightings in 1811, the year of my great-great-grandfather's birth or in the next few years. There are some reports of strange flying craft in the skies in the late 1800s, however.
OK, so it turned out to be a bust genealogy-wise. Nonetheless, the International UFO Museum & Research Center is a rather interesting place to visit. It is a low-key facility, even a bit amateurish. However, it does contain an interesting collection of information (mostly photocopies) of the events of 1947 and for several years thereafter. Admission is very reasonable at $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and military, and $2 for anyone aged 5 to 14. Four-year-olds and younger are admitted free.
You can visit the web site of the International UFO Museum & Research Center at http://www.roswellufomuseum.com/.
I generally don't pay much attention to reports of flying saucers and aliens. However, the incident near Roswell and many other sightings and events of the following years make all this difficult to ignore. If you would like to read more, you can find more than two million articles about the Roswell Incident listed on Google if you start at http://goo.gl/26tEk.
It seems obvious there was a cover-up of something. Was it aliens in a flying saucer? It seems obvious that whatever crashed near Roswell was not a weather balloon, as claimed by the Air Force. There are too many eyewitnesses who have since told what they saw and did and none of those eyewitnesses claimed to have seen a weather balloon.
I am especially intrigued by the story of William W. "Mac" Brazel, the man who first found the wreckage. He was a tenant farmer who lived a subsistance lifestyle and was described by neighbors as a man "who didn't have two nickels to rub together." A couple of months after reporting the incident, Brazel purchased a brand-new pickup truck, resigned his job as caretaker/farmer of someone else's ranch, moved to Tucumcari, and purchased a meat packing business, reportedly paying cash for the company. His former neighbors assumed he had been "paid off" by the Air Force to keep silent about what he saw and experienced. Brazel never answered questions about the incident for the rest of his life.
I'll leave all this to you to decide the truth.