||By Lee Speigel
The Huffington Post
Something crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, 68 years ago. The first military authorized press release stated, “RAAF (Roswell Army Air Field) Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch In Roswell Region.” That’s right, the military was the first to indicate it was a flying saucer.
Then, they quickly said that was a mistake. It was just a weather balloon. But UFO researchers were never satisfied with that answer, even decades later, and the controversy only grew.
The military later revealed that this wasn’t a simple weather balloon, but an aircraft used for clandestine purposes — part of the Army’s top secret “Project Mogul”— to monitor atomic weapon testing in the old Soviet Union. The military also claimed that crash test dummies may have been mistaken for ETs. But that explanation only stirred the controversy.
The central figure surrounding the events of the 1947 Roswell UFO issue was Maj. Jesse Marcel, the intelligence officer for the 509th Bomb Group at Roswell Army Air Field. He was assigned the initial task of going out to the debris field to collect some of the material, described as shiny wreckage, including pieces of rubber, super-resistant tinfoil, wooden sticks and metallic-looking I-beams.
Here’s an excerpt from a 35-year-old interview conducted by this writer with Marcel, when he finally felt comfortable talking about the Roswell case more than 30 years after it happened: . . .
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