Area 51, UFOs and Conspiracy Theories

By Judy Berman

Flying saucers have been reported on land and in the air. Are they of our making or from outer space?

The truth is out there. But what it is depends on who and what you believe.

On a lonely stretch of highway about 100 miles north of Las Vegas lies Area 51 – the site connected to the Roswell Incident in early July 1947. Rancher W. W. “Mac” Brazel reported that the wreckage of odd tinfoil-like material was spread over a large area on his property near Corona, New Mexico – about 75 miles from the town of Roswell.  A few witnesses also reported seeing strange bodies.

“The case for Roswell actually started in 1979, when Jesse Marcel, the Army major who played a role in the recovery of the crash debris, started publicly saying how he thought it was an alien spaceship. Until then, Roswell had totally dropped out of UFO history,” states UFO expert Bruce Maccabee in a Dec. 18, 2009, interview in Popular Mechanics.

Off a lonely stretch of highway, Area 51's function is a mystery to many. But some claim to have seen UFOs and aliens near Roswell.
Off a lonely stretch of highway, Area 51’s function is a mystery to many. But some claim to have seen UFOs and aliens near Roswell.

Many believe that a “flying disk” crash-landed here, and alien bodies were removed from the wreckage and are housed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

WDTN-TV producer Darl Day, who has investigated this, reported that one “pretty good explanation” about the Roswell “incident” was the debris came from “a top-secret high-altitude spy project.”

So were there alien bodies? Day’s interview includes some intriguing details. John K. Mosgrove, a dental technician, said while he worked at a Veterans Administration hospital in Dayton, Ohio, (about a 30-minute drive from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base), “he was assigned the task of replicating a strange mandible or lower jawbone, taken from a createure of unknown identity.”

The cast was broken and tosssed into the trash, but Mosgrove retrieved it later and pieced it back together. His conclusion was that it was not human or animal.

“At this point, the weight is still toward the unknown, rather than toward the known. … A lot of these people I’ve talked to are very reliable individuals, and there is something going on. I don’t know what. There’s a lot going on at Wright-Pat. I had sources at Wright-Pat that were pretty reliable who really wanted to get to the bottom of it. Even with their clearances, they couldn’t find anything,” Day said.

What became of those “remains” and the “UFO?” The government said at the time that there were no bodies and that it actually was a weather balloon. UFO believers say it’s a government cover-up.

A couple of weeks before that crash, on June 24, 1947, airplane pilot Kenneth Arnold had a strange experience. “I observed a chain of nine peculiar-looking aircraft flying from north to south at approximately 9,500-foot elevation. … They seemed to hold a definite direction, but rather swerved in and out of the high mountain peaks.

Arnold said they approached Mount Rainier, and he saw their outline against the snow quite plainly. He could not identify what the vehicles were. Arnold compared their motion to “a saucer, if you skip it across the water,” which some later interpreted as a “flying saucer.”

“As I was flying in the direction of this particular ridge, I measured it and found it to be approximately five miles, so I could safely assume that the chain of these saucer-like objects were at least five miles long,” Arnold stated in a memo posted by PROJECT 1947. (PROJECT 1947 is a worldwide effort to document the origins of the modern UFO phenomenon.)

The pilot thought “it was very peculiar that I couldn’t find their tails, but assumed they were some type of jet plane …”

Pilot Kenneth Arnold's drawing of one of the flying disks that he saw in 1947. Officials found him credible, but thought he was mistaken.
Pilot Kenneth Arnold’s drawing of one of the flying disks that he saw in 1947. Officials found him credible, but thought he was mistaken.

Air Force investigators found Arnold to be a credible witness, but concluded that what he “had seen was a mirage, not actual flying ships,” according to

Arnold said: “A number of newsmen and experts suggested that I might have been seeing reflections or even a mirage. This I know to be absolutely false, as I observed these objects not only through the glass of my airplane, but turned my airplane sideways, where I could open my window and observe them with a completely unobstructed view.”

So, what do you think?

There’s no shortage of conspiracy theories. In Part 2: The Dark Side of the Moon (Landing).

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-15. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider,, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

*Photo: Extraterrestrial Highway – Nevada Highway 375 is thus designated because of its proximity to Area 51 and its association with UFO spotting. Photo taken by Astronautilus. May 11, 1997.

Questions for a UFO Expert: Bruce Maccabee on the Real X-Files, Roswell and His Own UFO Sighting

*Photo: Pilot Kenneth Arnold – drawing of flying disks – The letter with a drawing of flying saucers or flying disks submitted by pilot Kenneth Arnold to Army Air Force intelligence on July 12, 1947.

Pilot Kenneth Arnold – Project 1947 – who saw nine strange aircraft in the skies.

Article: Dental technician says “mandible” may be alien

Video link: Alien Encounters: The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Connection, National Archives and Records Administration – This WDTN-TV Channel 2 Dayton, Ohio, video recording is an investigative look at the Roswell “incident.” Producer Carl Day reports.

Video: Coverup at Roswell?

The Roswell files – The Truth about Roswell may be “out there,” but it has been shrouded by faulty and conflicting memories, hoaxes – and,  sometimes, deliberate lies.

“Unidentified Flying Objects – Project Blue Book” and “The Roswell Incident”

“How Area 51 Works” – Area 51 is the most famous secret military installation in the world. Learn about more Area 51 sightings next.(© HowStuffWorks)

  1. Our ability to witness, describe, and later recall events is flawed, often to the point of being useless. Even experienced pilots and astronauts can be fooled by the effects of altitude, light, atmosphere, and motion. I find it easier to believe that whatever happened that day in Roswell was related to military activity — these were the very earliest days of the Cold War, after all. When you consider things in that context, government secrecy and evasiveness fit right in.

    Thank you for all of the additional links and resources, Judy. You put a lot of work into these posts, and it’s appreciated.

    1. Glad your appreciate the effort, Charles. As you say, it was the Cold War. The UFOs might have been our own.
      As a teen, I felt that it’d be very arrogant to think that we were the only life forms in this vast universe. But, I’m not sure about whether we’ve had close encounters.
      Researching this was a lot of fun.

  2. I remember when I was about 10 years old, a family moved a couple of houses down, well I became friends with the daugher there, and we were upstairs rummaging some old magezines and books apparently the previous tenant left, and that box was full of magezines and books on ufos. we have a time of our life reading them, being kids and all it was a magical world. we looked and admired all the photos and stories of aliens, it was alot of fun.

    1. Early on, in my radio career, I remember hearing the stories of Betty and Barney Hill who said they were abducted and taken aboard a UFO. Their terror under hypnosis did not appear to be faked. It just fascinated me. I’m not sure what I believe. I just know I haven’t seen one. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Roberta.

  3. Okay, I admit that I was a big fan of the ROSEWELL series, so I really appreciate all the information and resources you’ve shared, Judy. And the first picture is oooOOOooo–really good.

    1. Thanks, Marilyn. I did find the information intriguing. My family – now only my brother – lives in Vegas, and I’ve been tempted to take a road trip to Roswell when we’ve visited him. Maybe, next time.

  4. We used to have a book at home called ‘Mysteries of the Unexplained’ and of course there were lots of alien stories in there. I especially loved the ones that connected them with crop circles and desert patterns. I still wonder, too, sometimes, and I think ‘mysteries’ like these will remain with us for a long time — which in a way is a good thing, otherwise it’d be such a boring world. 🙂

    1. One of my favorite radio shows was “Strange But True.” I was intrigued by those stories. I’m with you, Tita. The unexplained mysteries make us question and wonder ‘what if.” I’d rather have that than boring any day.

  5. On the subject of UFOs and related topics, I have one nagging thought or question; “Did God put all those beautiful and magnificent planets and stars in our sky just for our enjoyment, and just to arouse our curiosity? I don’t know, but someday, we’ll find out. I’d love to be around when we finally find out.

    1. As I stated above, it’d be arrogant to think that we’re the only planet in this vast universe and beyond that has life. Like you, I hope we’ll find out in our lifetime. Let’s hope they’re friendly. 🙂

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