ARLINGTON -- Something crashed in New Mexico 70 years ago, or was it someone? Whatever wrecked in the famous “Roswell Incident” in 1947, it was already world news before the crash debris was delivered to Fort Worth.
In New Mexico, a U.S. Army Air Force spokesman called it a “flying saucer,” setting off a worldwide sensation. But later that day, officers at what is now Naval Air Station Fort Worth showed a Star-Telegram reporter a bundle of tinfoil and sticks and identified it as a weather balloon.
The mysterious debris has made then-Star-Telegram reporter J. Bond Johnson famous, and his photos the most requested and studied in the newspaper’s 111 years. The press interview here always has been called a cover-up.
A later federal investigation described the wreckage as a top-secret spy balloon that officials were hiding. But the debris in the photos looks like a plain old weather balloon.
And why blame a UFO? Johnson happened to be in the newsroom July 8, 1947, when city editor Cullum Greene sent him to see the wreckage flown by a B-29 from Roswell.
What the information officer there first described as “nothing made on this earth” was unfolded here and looked like foil, paper and sticks. Both the rancher who gathered it up from a ranch near Corona, N.M., and the pilot who flew it to Fort Worth also described it as just a small bundle.
"‘Disk-overy’ Near Roswell Identified As Weather Balloon,” the headline read.
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