Though today is Chocolate Day, I decided to feature the Roswell UFO sighting instead, as 2017 is the 70th anniversary of the occurrence. Before I do that, though, I must point out, as a person who used to live in Washington State, that although the Roswell incident became famous, the first UFOs were sighted on June 24 of that year near Mount Rainer. Private pilot Kenneth Arnold claimed that he saw a string of nine, shiny unidentified flying objects flying past Mount Rainier at speeds that Arnold estimated at a minimum of 1,200 miles an hour. He was the first to compare the objects to saucers, and so the term flying saucer is credited to him.
Meanwhile, Roswell, New Mexico got all the fame, partly, I think, because the government was involved. According to the History Website, on July 7, “about 75 miles from the town, a rancher named Mac Brazel found something unusual in his sheep pasture: a mess of metallic sticks held together with tape; chunks of plastic and foil reflectors; and scraps of a heavy, glossy, paper-like material. Unable to identify the strange objects, Brazel called Roswell’s sheriff. The sheriff, in turn, called officials at the nearby Roswell Army Air Force base. Soldiers fanned out across Brazel’s field, gathering the mysterious debris and whisking it away in armored trucks.” The Air Force claimed it was only a weather balloon, but the explanation seemed suspicious at the time and the rumors about an alien ship crashing continued to swirl. The interest in the site has ebbed and flowed through the years but never gone away.
The Army stepped forward in the 1990s to explain that the crash had actually been a highly secret project called Project Mogul, which had to do with Cold War espionage. Some call the Roswell incident the most definitely debunked UFO story of all time, but others continue to believe the government is still covering up the truth. It certainly has been fodder for many speculations and movies and TV shows through the years, and Area 51 is synonymous with government secrecy. What really happened that day? Most likely, the mundane answer is the truth, but the alien story is much more interesting!
Quotes about UFOs. Some surprising people believe the saucers do or could exist.
I happen to be privileged enough to be in on the fact that we have been visited on this planet, and the UFO phenomenon is real.–Edgar Mitchell, astronaut
I have had UFO experiences, and yet, at the same time, I can easily be convinced that none of it is true. It’s hard to say whether or not you’re a believer. I’ve been interested in that subject matter, like lots of people. Perhaps foolishly, I’ve allowed some of that stuff to creep into my music.–Frank Black
‘UFO’s’ attitude toward the subject is very similar to mine. It’s not an advocacy; its philosophy is more ‘I want to believe this, but I want it proved.’–Dwight Schultz
I don’t laugh at people any more when they say they’ve seen UFOs. I’ve seen one myself.–Jimmy Carter
I occasionally think how quickly our differences, worldwide, would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.–Ronald Reagan
I feel that the Air Force has not been giving out all the available information on these Unidentified Flying Objects. You cannot disregard so many unimpeachable sources.–John McCormack
Unidentified Flying Objects are entering our atmosphere at very high speeds and obviously under intelligent control.–Rear Admiral Delmar Fahrney
While flying with several other USAF pilots over Germany in 1957, we sighted numerous radiant flying discs above us. We couldn’t tell how high they were. We couldn’t get anywhere near their altitude.–NASA astronaut, L. Gordon Cooper.
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