History’s Greatest Mysteries, Roswell: Parts 2 & 3

Happy New Year, intrepid explorers!  History’s Greatest Mysteries on the History channel has now devoted three episodes to their investigation of the Roswell incident in 1947, and for the sake of conciseness and brevity, I’m going to combine discussion of S1, Ep. 6 and 7 here, as they represent fully four hours of airtime.

The second episode in the series (S1 Ep. 6) was titled, Roswell: The First Witness – The Memo. The investigation by History Channel was headed by former CIA operative Ben Smith, who did provide some new or at least lesser known information. For one thing, two sites are involved in the Roswell incident, one the “debris field” on the rancher’s land, and the other an impact site 25 miles away where the alleged UFO finally came to rest after “skimming” the intervening distance like a stone in a damaged condition. The impact site is where it really gets interesting as there were said to be both debris and alien bodies located there.  General Ramey referred to in the episode title is seen in photos as holding a folded memo that may have referenced bodies recovered.

Now Jesse Marcel, the first government witness on the site, claimed in a 1980 TV interview that he had been forced to lie about Roswell. A body language expert consulted on the footage did not find Jesse Marcel’s testimony to be deceptive, and said that he believed what he was saying. Other officers have testified as well to the presence of alien bodies, which were spirited away by the government to Hanger 84. The Ballard Funeral Home in the area contended to have provided three child-sized coffins for the transport of said remains, but were rebuffed in their efforts for further information. The military attributed a disc supposedly recovered as a misidentified Mogul weather balloon, and this remains the standard official explanation.

Jesse Marcel’s journal was found by a handwriting specialist not to be written by Jesse himself, yet it was considered important enough to him that it was carefully preserved for decades among his possessions. Cryptographers failed to discern any decipherable “code” in the journal, although the presence of a private encryption code remains possible, one which may have been developed by and was known to only someone in Jesse’s “inner circle” in the 509th bomber group. Efforts to identify who that person might have been were stymied by limited samples of handwriting available known to be that of specific people; in some cases, only a signature was available and confirmed.

The third episode in the series (S1 Ep7) titled Roswell: The First Witness – The Writer looked at the interactions of Jesse Marcel with his family and others that he trusted, revealing that he told the same story with the same details to such individuals. He was open with his grandchildren and cousins, and even drew a picture of an alien that he had supposedly seen. That picture did not survive, but a family member drew a picture of the picture, the image resembling a classic “alien gray.”  Pieces of debris had reportedly been stashed in a water heater in the house that Jesse occupied at the time, but that house has since been sold outside of the family, and its new owners would not permit inspection of the property when approached by the investigative team; one can hardly blame them.  Upon viewing the debris field wreckage, Jesse repeatedly told others that it was “not of this world.”

The final episode also incorporated consultations with an accident site investigator, who felt that whatever crashed into the terrain wasn’t lightweight, and that “scarring” of the ground observed couldn’t have come from a weather balloon. Strange magnetic signatures were found in the area of the crash site, which could have been caused by a plastic or neoprene layer, which would favor the weather balloon explanation. Alien “bodies” and their removal reported by local people had been explained away by the government as experimental crash test dummies dropped from aircraft to research pilot exit and survival procedures.

A private but earnest UFO investigator in New Mexico who had studied the phenomena for 20 years contended that seven UFO crashes had occurred in the general area over several years due to high powered radar in use in the area by the military base that caused short circuits or something similar in the unknown craft.  His father had owned the bar where the rancher had initially come following discovery of the debris on his fields. The private investigator had joined a team combing the sites in question and had samples of unknown debris, but a piece taken for analysis could not be determined to be otherworldly. 

While it could not be conclusively determined who wrote the journal possessed by Jesse Marcel, the base adjutant Patrick Saunders seemed to be a likely candidate. He was in charge of assigning troops to clean up the debris field, and his daughter when interviewed said he knew that the debris wasn’t a weather balloon. Her father was also described as being involved in the subsequent cover-up and even file alteration.

Why then had so many people possibly participated in apparent misrepresentations and a cover-up? Government threats reported to their careers, safety, and even families were powerful motivators. Military people tend as well to have a strong sense of duty, of obeying superiors, and of protecting the country. As Jesse Marcel is reported to have repeatedly said, “there are things that this world is not ready for.” 

While no physical evidence of a UFO incursion or any “smoking guns” were found in the investigation, regardless of personal beliefs one is left with the impression that many key players in the Roswell incident carried a great and terrible secret about which they were both troubled and conflicted…


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15 Comments on “History’s Greatest Mysteries, Roswell: Parts 2 & 3”

  1. carycomic Says:

    I’m almost ashamed to admit I have not watched that two parter…as yet. But, hopefully, I can make up for that faux pas with what you might regard as bittersweet news.

    It was announced on the Season 7 premier, earlier today, that Trapper John (head of Travel Channel’s Mountain Monster Hunters) passed away.

    My condolences, as I know you were a big fan of the show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • vulpesffb Says:

      Oh no! Who will take his place! Surely not “Wild Bill?” 🙀
      I’ve stopped reviewing “Mountain Monsters.” The reviews brought me lots of reads, but I just couldn’t stand to do it anymore…

      Liked by 1 person

      • carycomic Says:

        Then, I apologize for an even bigger faux pas.

        Liked by 1 person

        • vulpesffb Says:

          Your fox paw is accepted…gimme a high five! 🦊

          Liked by 1 person

          • carycomic Says:

            OK! Enough morbidity and self-recrimination.

            I finally saw the trilogy on “History On Demand.” And it was like watching a hybrid of COLUMBO and THE X-FILES, in the way that Ben Smith went to this or that expert looking for the truth (no matter how “out there” it might be)!

            I’m a little surprised, though, why Ben Smith didn’t come to the obvious hypothesis, though. Namely, that if Adjutant Patrick Saunders really did initiate most of the cover-up measures, re: the salvage of the Roswell UFO, on Colonel Blanchard’s orders, then why couldn’t that have extended to burying the neoprene canvas of a Project: Mogul balloon at the alleged impact site?

            Of course, History Channel might have been saving that for another episode or two in the near-future.. Like, say, during the February Nielsen sweeps!? But, even if I’m wrong, it’s easy to see why most people think there’s some sort of on-going conspiracy that’s soon to celebrate it’s 75th anniversary.

            For one thing…my watching of Parts 2 and 3 kept getting interrupted by technical difficulties! Coincidence? I don’t think so.

            Liked by 1 person

            • vulpesffb Says:

              If you can get into podcasts, “Paranormal Mysteries” (available on iHeart radio and probably others) has a four part audio series called “The Roswell Interviews” that features actual early 1990’s interview recordings with people like the funeral home director asked to provide child-sized coffins, people who contend they blundered onto the impact site, the local radio station owner/operator, and Jesse Marcel’s son. It’s all pretty credible and detailed, and includes physical descriptions of the debris, craft, and alien bodies as well as events that transpired…compelling listening! 👽

              Liked by 1 person

  2. carycomic Says:

    I keep hearing about “podcasts,” these days. Is that like CB radio?*

    *Dead serious question.

    Liked by 1 person

    • vulpesffb Says:

      A podcast is a recording of an audio discussion on a specific topic or theme, often an ongoing series, that is hosted by a website. They are usually free, and you can subscribe to them, and listen to them any time! I recommend Stitcher or iHeart radio as podcast hosts or sources, but they are also available through Amazon, Apple, and other places. Download an app from the host of your choice or go to their website, and search there for a topic such as entertainment or paranormal. You’ll get dozens of podcasts brought up as possibilities! It’s really a growing field, and a great way to listen to stuff you’re interested in.


  3. carycomic Says:

    *Dick Van Dyke after smelling a wet wool sweater on an episode of his classic b/w sitcom.*

    “How do sheep stand each other in the rainy season?!”

    Liked by 1 person

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