MYSTERY WIRE — It’s been 74 years since one of the most enduring mysteries of modern times burst into the public arena. The reported crash of a flying saucer is known simply as the Roswell incident.

Last week was the annual UFO Festival celebrating the incident and all things UFO.

Front page of the Roswell Daily Record in 1947

July 8 is the 74th anniversary of the Roswell Daily Record’s headline “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region.”

At this year’s UFO Festival, Roswell researcher and author Donald Schmitt was one of the featured speakers. In May of this year, he and co-author Tom Carey published a book titled “Touched by Roswell”, one of many the pair has published over the years. The new book goes in-depth with how the story of the Roswell incident has affected well-known people’s lives.

When asked about the recent UFO report from the Pentagon, Schmitt was candid with his thoughts, “My disappointment is that they do not acknowledge the history, that they have made this contemporary, that they present a situation of only concerning reports, experiences citing since 2004. When in reality, the phenomenon clearly goes back to 1947. They brandish this word threat around as though it’s something new, what wasn’t a threat back in the 40s, back in the 50s 60s. So in other words, they’re revising history. And the moment you start doing that, you’re once again, you’re twisting reality, and you’re being less than genuine, you’re actually being quite disingenuous.”

The U.S. military has said it was all a misunderstanding caused by a downed weather balloon, but many believe it was the discovery and cover-up of a crashed flying saucer.

In the 1990’s the Air Force issued two other versions of the story, basically admitting it had lied twice before saying the debris was from a secret balloon and then claiming the reports about saucers were probably caused by test vehicles for the Viking space probe.

Some Roswell researchers suspect the confusion is on purpose, meant to discourage a fair review of the case, which at its core, is still hard to explain.

Major movies have looked at it, dozens of books have been written about it, and mainstream media articles have been published about it.

After years of stories being told about the incident, the town of Roswell embraced the tourism potential of the story, even opening a museum dedicated to the crash.

Even the strongest supporters of the story disagree about the basics such as the actual crash date. Debates continue to this day over whether there was one or two crashes, and if aliens on board and recovered by the government.

The U.S. military, specifically the Air Force says it doesn’t matter. It closed the case on Roswell saying it was only a downed weather balloon.

For one man it was personal. Eyewitness Dr. Jesse Marcel Jr. said, “It’s the degree of strangeness of the material and my dad’s excitement that really made an impression upon me. It would be pretty difficult to forget what I saw.”

Marcel Jr. passed away in 2013 at his home in Montana, but always said he had handled the Roswell wreckage in 1947.

His father, Major Jesse Marcel, was the intelligence officer for the 509th bomb wing stationed at Roswell’s Army air base, the only atomic bomb wing in the world.

Before they went to New Mexico, Marcel and the 509th were based in Wendover, Nevada where they trained to drop the bombs on Japan. 

His father’s credibility is one of the main reasons Marcel Jr. talked about the events of 1947 and why he wrote a book, “The Roswell Legacy”.

Since the Roswell story resurfaced in the late 1970’s, Marcel was attacked. He was often called a liar, an incompetent, even a traitor, by those seeking to discredit the flying saucer story. The critics forget that the story began not with UFO buffs, but with the Army.

As the story goes, a rancher named Mac Brazel discovered strange debris covering a field about 75 miles north of Roswell.

Brazel boxed it up and took it to town where it was turned over to the air base.

Major Marcel was sent to investigate. He packed up his car with debris, drove back to town, and stopped at home to show the strange material to his family.

He didn’t speak publicly about it until decades later when he was contacted by nuclear physicist Stan Friedman.

Major Jesse Marcel said he tried to burn it and bend it with no luck.

Marcel Jr. Said, “The most unusual debris was the I-beams. I remember them, like I-beams. They were metal and on the inner surface of the beams, there were symbols like hieroglyphics.”

When the base commander saw the wreckage, he okayed a press release announcing the recovery of a flying saucer. It caused a worldwide sensation, for one day.

That’s when General Roger Ramey told the world the debris was from a weather balloon.

Ramey, Marcel, and others posed for reporters with scraps from a real weather balloon, but Marcel said years later this wasn’t what he found in the desert.

By the mid-2000’s, computer technology with image enhancement made it possible to read parts of the telegram Ramey held during the news conference. Phrases refer to a second crash site, aviators in the disc, and victims of the wreck.

“These people are telling the truth,” Friedman said. “It’s not one person. It’s not ten people. It’s over 100 people.”

Below you can read the transcript of the interview with Donald Schmitt.

QUESTION (off camera)
After so much research and so many books, how can there possibly be new content about Roswell?

Donald Schmitt
You raise a very good question, in fact, that’s the reason that our most recent book is called Case Closed. Because we present it like Roswell’s day in court by providing an opening arguments and evidentiary, and then all the eyewitnesses and then a closing position, which is basically we feel we’ve taken this as far as anyone possibly could. And that from all impressions, all conclusions, all eyewitness testimony, including deathbed, which are admissible in a court of law, we feel we have proven this beyond any, you know, any shadow of a doubt.

QUESTION (off camera)
The new UAP report to Congress focused solely on UFO cases from 2004 on. Are you encouraged by the report?  Do you think it could eventually lead to support for a more vigorous investigation of older cases, including Roswell?

Donald Schmitt
We were never optimistic that there would be any disclosure of any sort, only because of the long track record with the Pentagon specifically. And the fact that the Air Force, which one would think was in charge of, you know, our sovereign airspace, has already had three studies on the phenomenon, Project Sign, Project Grudge, Project Bluebook. That scouting the subject, actually stating that there was no UFO phenomenon, there’s nothing there, people aren’t seeing anything, that they would acknowledge anything. The interest being now with the Navy speaking out. And one branch of the military being in competition with another, the thought was that maybe the Navy is finally fed up with the Air Force speaking on their behalf. And maybe they’ll finally, you know, say something, even with a small d, for disclosure. My disappointment is in that they do not acknowledge the history that they have made this contemporary, that they present a situation of only concerning reports, experiences citing since 2004. When in reality, the phenomenon clearly goes back to 1947. They brandish this word threat around as though it’s something new, what wasn’t a threat back in the 40s, back in the 50s 60s. So in other words, they’re revising history. And the moment you start doing that, you’re once again, you’re twisting reality, and you’re being less than genuine, you’re actually being quite disingenuous. And so it’s like, we could have predicted this. To us it’s absolutely nothing new. What is new, is that by their acknowledging that there is a phenomenon, that something is there, and that they are investigating it, they are looking into it, it’s removed the stigma, because now the skeptics can’t say, once again, you’re chasing ghosts, nothing new. No, now at least we UFOlogists can say, well, we’re investigating the same thing. We have been all long. Welcome to the party.

QUESTION (off camera)
Do you think there is still a cache of Roswell documents or evidence hidden in government vaults, or in the hands of defense contractors?

Donald Schmitt
In many respects, we’ve come full circle. Even as early as 1947. The military was conceding the phenomenon was real. There’s that famous Nathan Twining, the four star general, letter come two months after Roswell, where it states the phenomenon is real and not visionary or fictitious. Then it goes on to describe the shapes 30 to 50 feet in diameter, that they are able to outmaneuver anything we have and that we need to have a full scale investigation. That almost sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it? So then the very first project was called Project Sign. They submitted their report to the then Secretary of the Air Force, General Hoyt Vandenberg. And Project Sign’s conclusion at the end of 1949 was its Extra Terrestrial. So there was a conclusion. And Vandenberg ordered the report burned, that the public was not ready. So it’s like been there. I mean, it’s long before my time, but in being a student of the history, it’s like, why do we keep spinning our wheels on this? Why did we keep revisiting what we have long known? because the United States government already acknowledged the existence of the phenomenon back in 47, in 49, and in different reports and studies since. So do I expect anything new, just the same old shell game about now you see it now you don’t. And that’s sad. Because you young people, you especially deserve to know the truth. Because you’ve grown up in the space age, I have, the space race, race to the moon, Star Trek, Star Wars, we’ve all been conditioned to accept that maybe something else is out there. So that makes it all the more suspicious as to why they have such a hard time acknowledging what we all would readily accept. I mean, if they were to make the announcement tomorrow, it’s like, yeah, we know, we know, we’ve been accepting it for all these years. The difference with Roswell and just about every other UFO event, is that you have taken a physical possession of a craft, of bodies. It’s something you can take into a lab and you can analyze an autopsy. And you can, you can actually attempt reverse engineering. All other UFO events are something fleeting, it’s something in the sky, even on the ground, but now you see it now you don’t, it’s gone. But with Roswell, you have the physical evidence that would demonstrate beyond any doubt that we’re dealing with an off the earth technology. And so because of that, the documentation alone, the level of photographs, of film, of lab tests, reports, and all the failed efforts in trying to ascertain the nature of the material, I mean, you can only be … enough to fill up a whole room. So that’s another reason the investigation continues with the confidence that some days something’s going to leak out. And it will be irrefutable. It will demonstrate, especially if it’s a piece of the actual physical craft, that we are dealing with someone else’s technology.

QUESTION (off camera)
Given that the Roswell events occurred 74 years ago, do you think there are still undiscovered witnesses, or the descendants of original witnesses, who can help clarify the true story?

Donald Schmitt
At the moment we’re working with the descendants, the World War II generation, sadly, they’re just about all gone. Our witnesses, we’ve interviewed to date over 600 people, either directly or indirectly involved, and many of them over 150 firsthand, describing the characteristics of the nearly indestructible metal like material, the bodies that were recovered at the crash site. And clearly we’re dealing with something off the planet based on all those eyewitness accounts. So in dealing even with the families, now we’re losing the families, even the sons and daughters are passing away. So the race with the undertaker is over. They’ve won. But all that information, all that testimony, all the way to their deathbed testimonies, confirming that this is all true that this genuinely happened back in 1947. It’s provided us with a wealth of information, of material to still study and contemplate, and then understand and realize that we had the good fortune of meeting all those brave souls who had the courage to come forward and go on the record and state that this indeed did happen.

QUESTION (off camera)
Is it possible someone has stashed away pieces of the wreckage and would such evidence amount to the ultimate proof that something otherworldly crashed there? 

Donald Schmitt
We’ve had many false alarms. We’ve had dozens of potential opportunities where it was claimed that so-and-so still had a piece of their possession or piece was just found, or an old army footlocker in an attic had evidence that the families, one of the turn over to us, we have to investigate every such lead, just with the slightest chance that it may be true. It may be genuine. But again, to our frustration, nothing has been, whether photographs, slides, film, wreckage, everything has been a false alarm so far. But there’s still, you know, the good chance that someday it will be the genuine article. I will point out and emphasize that the entire situation with the congressional UAP report, that there is no mention of Roswell and that’s also by intent. That’s also by design. And what we need to see, Congress needs to step forward and call for hearings, congressional hearings, and people be granted immunity, especially military whistleblowers, that they can step forward, go on the record and describe, you know their own personal UFO encounters. And I think anything short of that will, will not be as far as accepted on my part. We need to move the ball forward. We need you oppose to be brought to the forefront because we are, if all true, we’re dealing with the biggest story of the millennium.