Friday, July 04, 2008

"Larry King Live" airs show on Roswell 1947 "UFO" incident: massive military cover-up may still be in place

"Larry King Live" tonight (July 4) aired (on CNN) a stunning report on the Roswell Incident in early July 1947, when allegedly an alien craft may have landed in the desert 30 miles north of the town and bodies may have been recovered. The show was called “Top Secret Incident Unmasked.”

Let’s run down who was on the show, which started a some structure called Building 84. First up was Jan Rooney, who reported that her father knew military secrets that he had been sworn never to reveal. There followed authors and investigators Dan Schmitt and Thomas J. Carey, who have interviewed descendants of those present. Also speaking was Sgt. Earl Fulford.

Then Carlene Green said that her father saw alien bodies. Schmitt then recounted how, shortly after the incident, the government visited witnesses and threatened them. They were sworn to secrecy under penalty of treason. Some were threatened with loss of pension.

Opposing these was Bill Nye, “The Science Guy” who makes educational films for school systems. He claimed that these were SkyHook weather balloon, a followup of the military Operation Mogul. The idea had been to fly the balloons across the Pacific and sky on Soviet nuclear weapons testing. Subsequently, Carey would note the problems with the Mogul story: for one thing, a supposed launch of SkyHook on June 4 had been cancelled, and the balloons launched June 5 were subsequently recovered. Carey would say that the government has advanced at least four “explanations” for the Roswell incident over the years. One of them claimed that the bodies were just crash dummies or mannequins. During this time, the Defense Department was being reorganized, as the Air Force would be created as a separate branch of service the following September.

The Frankie Rowe appeared, and claimed that her father told her (just before his death) that he had seen the aliens before they died and that the aliens had communicated by telepathy -- rather more instantaneous that chat or email.

Former astronaut Edgar Mitchell (the sixth man to walk on the Moon) appeared, and, after some discussion of “black budget financing” and general remarks about the secrecy that the military enforced, admitted that he had been told about aliens by credible people.

Bill Nye remained skeptical, but at the end of the show said that there was a good chance that another Mars experiment soon would find chemicals (besides water) in Martian soil that provided strong evidence that life had once existed there. That, if true, he said, would change history, and get taught in schools without controversy.

I visited the Roswell site in April 1998, on a weekend excursion through Dallas with a long rent car drive (how difficult to pull off now). I was living in Minneapolis at the time which was personally important. (I had recovered from a hip fracture and given an important cable speech on my book.) I had called that winter and found that the family that owned the land had postponed tours because of medical problems in the family, but by April the tours had resumed. The tour was operated from Roswell by bus and cost around $30 then, and took about four hours. I walked over all the grounds where the aluminum like material and bodies had been recovered.

Paramount-Viacom made a feature cable film “Roswell” in 1994.

Minnesota filmmaker Timothy B. Johnson (whom I have met) made a film called “Six Days in Roswell” in 1999, about the UFO culture of the town, with the UFO museum, where UFO history makes a major tourist attraction.

Some people know that I participated in an organization called "Understanding" in the 1970s. It was located in Tonopah, AZ, 40 miles west of Phoenix on I-10. The property had been founded by Dan Fry (and his wife Florence) and comprised a number of saucer-shaped buildings for meeting and dormitory space for conventions. The buildings are no longer there (I visited the site in May 2000 and could find only a cotton plantation). The website of Fry's activities and writings is here.

I had gotten interested in this after the supposed abduction of Travis Walton in northern Arizona in 1975 (indeed, a "National Enquirer" newspaper in the NYC subway one morning had read, "Arizona Man Captured by Flying Saucer"). I had done some sleuthing of local journalists in the area in 1976 and found some believed the story. This became a Paramount film in 1993, "Fire in the Sky."

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