Other than the initial newspaper article that was retracted the next day, no one associated Roswell with UFOs until 1978. So what happened in 1978 that brought it all back to life? Was it a whistleblower that finally told the truth? Was it the discovery of unclassified records? Nope. It was simply the National Enquirer reprinting the original Roswell Daily Record article about a UFO crash and conveniently not mentioning anything about how it was retracted the next day. It wasn't until that point - 31 years after the incident - that the UFO world took notice.
Here is a very interesting review of the timeline and how the story was essentially created by none other than Stanton Friedman and two authors - Moore and Berlitz
You can listen to the 10 minute podcast or read the transcript. But here is the gist of the analysis:
....the Roswell Daily Record reported that a Flying Saucer was captured, and the following day, printed a correction that it was merely a weather balloon, along with an interview with Mac Brazel, who deeply regretted all the unwanted publicity generated by his misidentification.
It should be stressed that this was the end of the incident, and nothing further was said or done by anyone, until 1978 (that's 31 years in which nobody remembered or said anything), when the National Enquirer, on what must have been a slow news day, reported the original uncorrected news article from the Roswell Daily Record. UFO fans went nuts. Stanton Friedman, an obsessed UFO wacko, started interviewing everyone he could find who was still alive who had been connected with the incident and began constructing all sorts of elaborate conspiracies. These primarily centered around Major Marcel, who agreed that Friedman's assertion was possible — that the government was covering up an actual alien spacecraft.
Two years later in 1980, UFO proponents William Moore and Charles Berlitz published The Roswell Incident. There wasn't much new information in this book, it was essentially a collection of suppositions and interviews with a few people who were still alive, or their relatives. Even so, by this point, it's important to note that the story really had not grown beyond the question of what debris had actually been recovered from the Foster Ranch in 1947.
Upon the book's publication, the National Enquirer tracked down Marcel and published their own interview with him. This was all well and good, but since there still wasn't any new information or any evidence that Roswell was anything other than the Project Mogul balloon, things quieted down for a long time.
The story finally started to break open for real in 1989. The TV show Unsolved Mysteries devoted an episode to an imaginative "reconstruction" of what some of these authors had written.
It seems fairly clear to me that the whole Roswell story as so many know it today is simply a post hoc creation driven by folks who simply wanted to make a buck. Not dissimilar to the whole Mothman story, what actually happened and the story we know today are lightyears apart.
You should remember, Rafterman, that Stanton Friedman is a scientist who has personally investigated the UFO phenomenon for 39 years, (which I'm sure you haven't), and during that time he has studied an awful amount of government documents and interviewed a great many people regarding the Roswell incident. By calling him a 'UFO nut' you are similarly labelling everyone else with the belief that there IS something to the subject. You seem to forget that Stanton isn't the only 'UFO nut' around. What about the pilots both civilian and military who have seen with their own eyes and reported very real and mysterious objects close to them in the sky making impossible manoeuvres, (for earthly aircraft that is)? What about the radar operators both air and ground control who have reported seeing on their screens objects, (obviously structured), moving at incredible speeds and making right angled turns without any deceleration? Not to mention the many police officers who have reported some incredible aerial events. Are all of those people 'UFO nuts' as well? You seem to be a typical example of the mindset, 'don't bother me with the facts my mind is made up'! So why couldn't it have been a flying saucer that crashed, (two of them actually). I'm sure that, (like ours), their technology isn't perfect either. I'm think Mr. Friedman would be more than willing to debate you on the subject which I think you would decline! Do some serious research and you might have a change of mind.
You might find the following of some interest:
SCIENTIST CHALLENGES AIR FORCE REGARDING UFOs.
Nov. 13, 1997.
By Stanton T. Friedman.
"Frankly I am sick and tired of the US Air Force lying to the public, the press, and members of Congress about UFOs," said nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman at a public lecture “Flying Saucers ARE Real” in Albuquerque. “I have had a serious interest in UFOs for 39 years, lectured in a dozen countries, and visited seventeen document archives,” he continued. “For 50 years there has been massive misrepresentation about UFOs in general, and in recent years the Roswell Incident in particular. The Air Force has come up with four different answers for Roswell:
A flying saucer.
A radar reflector and weather balloon.
A Mogul balloon train over 500 feet long with 23 balloons, sonobuoys, etc.
And most recently, a Mogul balloon train plus crash test dummies dropped at least six years AFTER the 1947 crashes Southeast of Corona and West of Magdalena.”
Friedman, who spent fourteen years as an industrial nuclear physicist working on a wide variety of classified, highly advanced nuclear systems for major corporations, was the first civilian investigator of the Roswell Incident.
"I hereby challenge Colonel Richard Weaver, author of the outrageously misleading huge volume ‘The Roswell Report: Fact Vs Fiction in the New Mexico Desert’, and USAF Captain James McAndrew, author of the 1997 ‘The Roswell Report: Case Closed’, to a formal debate.
"These two officers have made a mockery out of serious investigation. They have used all the tools of the propagandist with selective choice of data, false reasoning, false claims, positive and negative name calling. These reports should be listed under fiction in the library.
"The Mogul explanation doesn’t fit. There are gross differences among the testimony of their witnesses, and they ignore the testimony they don’t want to consider while claiming falsely that they have talked to all the original witnesses still alive who handled material totally different from the Mogul explanation.
"They left out vital aspects of quotes from the FBI. They falsely tried to claim the Roswell story came to light because of a story in a tabloid in 1978. That story didn’t appear until 1980 after a colleague and I had talked to 60 people connected with the case. I was falsely portrayed as somebody who gets his UFO stories from tabloids.
"The fact is in 1978 I was the first to talk to a key witness, Major Jesse Marcel the intelligence officer for the only atomic bombing group in the world in 1947. I was referred to him by an old ham radio buddy of his who had seen the press stories in 1947. Jesse never sought publicity. I discussed many of these false charges in my book 'TOP SECRET MAJIC'.
"One of the silliest official USAF stories is the crash test dummy nonsense. I spoke in person with Colonel Madson, whose picture is in the Case Closed volume and was heavily involved in the research program. He is adamant that the explanation doesn’t fit. Remember that the dummies had to be the same height and weight as air force pilots. None were dropped anywhere near the two crash sites and none were dropped earlier than 6 years AFTER the 1947 events.
"They used a crazy explanation for the red-headed officer observed independently at the Roswell Base Hospital, and in the Plains of San Augustin. World class pilot, Joseph Kittinger, was a redhead and was at the Roswell base hospital after a ballooning accident. But it was twelve years later! If the explanation doesn’t fit, one must acquit. As it happens, I was the first to hear the two independent stories about the nasty red haired officer and the black sergeant, an unusual combination for 1947. The Air Force says nothing about the black sergeant, or the two independent stories.
"There are many other examples of massive misrepresentation by the Air Force about UFOs. The USAF Office of Special Investigations even told its own units to ignore their own regulations if they received an FOIA request from me about UFOs. The USAF apparently even lied to the CIA recently, falsely claiming that half the UFO sightings after 1955 were the results of observations of super secret reconnaissance aircraft, the U-2 and later the SR-71. But there was no increase in the number of sightings after 1955. Why would anybody report a very high flying aircraft moving in a straight line and never making right angle turns, as stopping on a dime, instantly reversing direction, or silently landing and taking off in the middle of nowhere, like UFOs so often are observed to do???
"The Pentagon based Air Force Liaison officer has written numerous one page letters in response to constituent requests for information about Roswell to congressmen. It took me five pages to correct all the false claims he made.
"Colonel Weaver wrote a researcher that the Operation Majestic 12 Documents, which are the subject of TOP SECRET/MAJIC are known by everybody to be BOGUS. In response to my Freedom of Information Act request for any memos, letters, documents, etc. supporting this ridiculous and baseless claim, I was told, ‘There are no records available.’ This is a clear case of research by proclamation.
"Doesn’t the Air Force have a responsibility to those who pay the bills to be honest? Or are they above the law? I repeat my challenge:
"USAF officers McAndrew and Weaver, do you have the courage of your convictions? Name the date and place. Perhaps Larry King or Walter Cronkite or Ted Koppel would be willing to act as moderator.”