An alleged UFO spacecraft is said to have crashed into a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico, sometime in June 1947. The crash gathered widespread attention from the media with reports of a “flying disc” over Roswell spreading like wildfire. According to the US military, the culprit behind the mystery was a downed US Army Air Force weather balloon. Conspiracy theorists and UFO enthusiasts alike, however, have spent decades rejecting the sterile explanation.
Many members of the UFO-hunting community remain certain in their conviction an alien spacecraft crash-landed in Roswell and was dragged off to an air force facility in Nevada, known as Area 51.
But there are also those who look over the Pacific rather than up to the stars to explain what happens in Roswell more than 70 years ago.
Book author Annie Jacobsen, who penned the 2011 book Area 51: An Uncensored History, has argued Roswell was part of a wider conspiracy to distract the US from Russian activities.
The author alleged a Soviet aircraft with children up to the age of 12 onboard was the real object which crashed in New Mexico.
But could this really be the case of what happened all these years ago?
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Nigel Watson, the author of UFOs of the First World War by History Press, told Express.co.uk Roswell is the perfect story for conspiracy enthusiasts to digest.
It is still hotly debated and believed in by members of the UFO community
He said: “Roswell has got everything. It’s got government conspiracy, it’s in a remote location, it’s got stories of aliens and spaceships, and there’s the belief the wreckage was taken to Area 51.
“It looked as if it was really a crashed spaceship incident when the infamous Alien Autopsy film was revealed in the 1990s.
“When pressed about its authenticity it was reluctantly admitted to feature re-enactments of the real film that got lost or destroyed.
“It has since been comprehensively declared a hoax, but it is still hotly debated and believed in by members of the UFO community.”
According to Mr Watson, John Keel, author of the Motorman Prophecies, speculated a Japanese FUJI balloon launched during World War Two, crashed into Roswell two years after the war ended.
But the UFO expert said the general consensus in the UFO community is an other-worldly object smashed into Earth.
A 1995 report by the US General Accounting Office stated the crash was caused by Project Mogul – a top-secret US project into spying on the Soviet Union.
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Mr Watson said: “Their second report produced in 1997 looked at the rumours and stories about recovered alien bodies.
“This concluded that they were a combination of rumours and half-forgotten memories of missions involving the recovery of injured pilots or anthropomorphic dummies used in experimental projects unconnected with UFOs.
“Several years later in 2005, a similar theory was put forward by UFO author Nick Redfern, in his book Body Snatchers in the Desert: The Horrible Truth at the Heart of the Roswell Story’ who claimed that the Roswell crash was caused by a balloon based on Japanese technology.
“The balloon was used to launch a glider that had a pilot and crew consisting of handicapped people.
“The object of this and other missions was to study the effects of radiation and high altitude on the human body.”
Whatever the case may have been, Mr Watson said Roswell was only the tip of the iceberg as far as UFO-related incidents go.
Since 1947, there have been t least 300 reports of alleged UFO crashes throughout the word.
Mr Watson said: “ Like the Roswell incident, they become more spectacular and mysterious as time goes by.