Texarkana, TX 78° Tue H 85° L 60° Wed H 84° L 62° Thu H 85° L 62° Weather Sponsored By:

Something Out There?

Something Out There?

Weekend marked 72 years since start of UFO craze

July 8th, 2019 by Gazette Staff in Opinion Editorial

This weekend marked 72 years since the U.S. first started seriously worrying there might be something "out there."

But was it the truth or just fantasy?

It started back on July 7, 1947, when a man named William Brazel had something to get off his chest

He worked as a ranch foreman and had been out in the desert a couple of weeks back when he came upon something strange. Something out of place.

It was a lot of debris. Wreckage of some sort. Sticks and tinfoil. Paper and rubber.

The stuff didn't much concern him at first. But then he began hearing stories. Stories about strange lights in the sky.

Brazel drove to town that day nearly seven decades ago to talk to the sheriff. He told him about finding the wreckage. And he told him that the debris might not be of earthly origin.

The town, as you might have guessed, was Roswell, N.M.

Most are familiar with what happened next. Sheriff George Wilcox got in touch with Major Jesse Marcel at the Roswell Army Air Field and they went to investigate the wreckage. The next day Col. William Blanchard of the 509th Bomb Group at RAAF issued a press release saying the remnants of a crashed "flying disc"—as UFOs were popularly known at the time—had been recovered.

The news made headlines across the country. And that's when things started to get complicated.

The Eighth Air Force in Fort Worth took control of the investigation and the story. It took just a few hours before a new press release was issued, saying it had all been a mistake. The material found was from a weather balloon.

Since then, the story has been taken apart, debated and challenged. Millions of Americans believe in UFOs. And many of them believe that something from another planet crashed out in the desert not far from Roswell back in 1947. Some even claim the U.S. government has kept hidden alien bodies taken from the crash all these years.

So what really happened in Roswell nearly seven decades ago? The government later admitted there was more to the story—but nothing out of this world. The crash was hushed up because the weather balloon was part of Project Mogul, a top-secret operation targeting Soviet nuclear tests.

But many skeptics don't buy that explanation. Nor will they consider anything but a UFO scenario.

What really happened in Roswell was the birth of a phenomenon. There had been sightings of UFOs before, but the Roswell incident sparked a wave of sightings, news stories, magazine features, books, movies and TV shows. The country went mad for flying saucers.

The craze has died down considerably over the years, but there are still true believers who keep watch on the skies. Including, most recently, the U.S. Navy, which has renewed investigations into the UFO phenonemon.

And who knows? Maybe one day they will find what they are looking for.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com