The one-page memo detailed information from an official investigator for the U.S. Air Force. The FBI document is online with other UFO reports at: http://vault.fbi.gov/UFO. Here is what Agent Hottel, who was head of the field office in Washington, D.C., reported to the FBI director:
“An investigator for the Air Force stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico. They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed fliers and test pilots.
“According to Mr. (edited out) informant, the saucers were found in New Mexico due to the fact that the Government has a very high-powered radar set-up in that area and it is believed the radar interferes with the controlling mechanism of the saucers. No further evaluation was attempted by (edited out) concerning the above.”
Was this “investigator for the Air Force” fabricating this story? Did the FBI agent fail to include in his report that someone else had told this story to the investigator, as critics claim? The memo said nothing about second-hand information.
For some people, the fact that this story was reported by an FBI official to the FBI director and was not immediately disregarded as utter nonsense, but instead became classified information, gives some credence to the claim that something out of the ordinary had happened.
It seems astonishing that on the day the Air Force discovered the debris, with enough time to examine the materials, they would issue a national press release stating that a flying saucer had been captured and offered photos of soldiers examining a metallic-looking object. Then at a press conference later that same day in Ft. Worth, Texas, the Air Force suddenly recanted the entire story, announcing instead that the debris was simply pieces of a weather balloon.
A few days later, on July 9, 1947, the Roswell Daily Chronicle interviewed W.W. “Mac” Brazel, the rancher who first found the wreckage. A frustrated Brazel was quoted as saying, “I am sure what I found was not any weather observation balloon. But if I find anything else besides a bomb they are going to have a hard time getting me to say anything about it.”
Years later, a number of government officials close to the case came forward to tell stories of their participation in an alleged cover-up of the Roswell incident. Although the FBI may or may not have been interested in looking into the Air Force investigator’s claims, a July 1950 FBI statement made it clear that, “The jurisdiction and responsibility for investigating flying saucers have been assumed by the United States Air Force. Information received in this matter is immediately turned over to the Air Force, and the FBI does not attempt to investigate these reports or evaluate the information furnished.”
The Roswell incident took place during a rash of sightings of unexplained flying objects reported across the country. But after the “balloon” crash — from 1947 to 1954 — the FBI worked with the Air Force on documenting all UFO sightings nationwide. Many of these reports are now available to the public on the FBI’s new electronic reading room, “The Vault.”
To set the record straight, however, this one-page report is not a newly released document. A retired U.S. Navy optical physicist named Bruce Maccabee, who is also an investigator of UFO photographs and visual evidence, had obtained the Hottel memo from the FBI in 1977, through the Freedom of Information Act, and wrote about it in his book, “UFO-FBI Connection,” released in 2000!
So why is this FBI-UFO story appearing in newspapers across the country as if it was recently released? According to the FBI, when they launched their redesigned electronic reading room in April 2011, “some media outlets noticed Agent Hottel’s memo and erroneously reported that the FBI had posted proof of a UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico and the recovery of wreckage and alien corpses.”
The results? That one-page document is again making news for becoming the most popular file in The Vault, with nearly a million views in two years. But here’s another result: People can't help but wonder how numerous military and FBI activities could be launched by the crashing of a simple weather balloon? Why would any government official close to the case insist there is more to the story than the public knows and suggest the government is hiding something? Why are some things about this case still classified?
Yes, the truth is out there. But, like many unidentified flying objects, the truth appears and reappears, until someone is brave enough and honest enough to identify it, and if necessary, fight for it. Most people, however, cannot handle the truth.