UFO or Weather Balloon? Choose one.

July 7, 2014 | Ann

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Click for curious titles on Human Alien encounters! (image courtesy of Frank Kovalchek on a creative commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)

One summer night in July of 1947, residents reported witnessing an unidentified flying object (UFO) crash down in the northern outskirts of Roswell, New Mexico. This event was aptly termed, The Roswell Incident. According to military reports, the examination of the crash site concluded that the flying object discovered was, in fact, no more than remnants of a weather balloon.

Click for titles on air balloons!(Image of Transsosonde weather balloon from Wikimedia Commons.  Image holds no copyright under Public Domain Mark 1.0.)

Residents of Roswell claimed to have observed unusual lights in the sky, bizarre-looking pieces of debris where the spacecraft crashed, and strange-looking bodies extracted from the crash site. The website for The International UFO Museum Research Center (The UFO Museum) located in Roswell, New Mexico briefly illustrates reports taken from witnesses and the military who were there. 

Our collection features interesting titles on the Roswell Incident:

Dreamland: travels inside the secret world of Roswell and Area 51 The Roswell encyclopedia Roswell final declassification (DVD) UFOs:  the Roswell incident


Which interpretation is closer to the truth: reports from the public that witnessed this event or the report from the military? Some critics say that the residents of Roswell could have made up this story to gain national fame. The opposing view is that the military deliberately covered up an actual alien crash so as to test and utilize alien technology for political and military gains. 

A third view that favours the presence of the UFO comes from Jesse Marcel, Jr.'s (2009) book, The Roswell Legacy:  the untold story of the first officer at the 1947 crash site, where Marcel describes the events that his father, the first military officer there at the crash, witnessed and affirmed that the debris is believed to come from an extraterrestrial origin.

The Roswell legacy:  the untold story of the first military officer at the 1947 crash site


If this incident was indeed a government cover up, the following titles offer strong support for this argument:

The NASA conspiracies:  the truth behind the moon landings, censored photos, and the face on Mars UFOS and the national security state:  chronology of a cover-up 1941-1973 Witness to Roswell:  unmasking the 60-year cover-up Crash-when UFOs fall from the sky:  a history of famous incidents, conspiracies, and cover-ups


Unsure what to believe?  The following suggestions may help to ponder over this issue:

Think:  why you should question everything I don't know:  in praise of admitting ignorance and doubt (except when you shouldn't) Conspiracy panics:  political rationality and popular culture The borderlands of science:  where sense meets nonsense


Our collection also includes some amazing magazines on UFOs, science, critical thinking, and the awe-inspiring unearthly news.

Skeptic Magazine ForteanTimes magazine The Futurist magazine The Skeptical Inquirer magazine


Another approach to turn science fiction into scientific reality is by developing extraterrestrial capabilities through technological innovation.  In the near future, say the year 2023, humans may endeavour to live on Mars. Then it would indeed be us who will become the aliens (and Martians) of tomorrow.

Titles on Mars (Artistic depiction of human exploration of Mars.  This file is in the public domain because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted".)

Even with limited information to support the existence of extraterrestrial life, some people (including scientists) still gaze into the night hoping to catch a glimpse of an alien aircraft rocketing across the sky. Perhaps these willowy creatures may choose to revisit Earth--and not perish on our terrain as a result.