Recently one of my iGoogle science gadgets alerted me to an interview with Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell in which he says he believes there really was an alien spacecraft that crashed at Roswell, NM, in July 1947. Now, I hadn’t thought about that for a long time, probably not since the last time I saw X-Files on TV. I suppose this is timely, since the X-Files movie was recently released.
The Roswell incident has been debated for years: Was it just a weather balloon as was initially reported? Was it a top secret research device? Or was a UFO crash covered up by our government, and kept so secret that nobody knows the truth anymore, not even our President? Were previous Presidents unable to get to the bottom of it? (oooh, cue spooky music here)
As late as the 1990’s the government launched an investigation, and issued a report based on exhaustive Air Force research, The Roswell report: case closed (2nd-floor U.S. Federal Documents Collection, D 301.2:R 73).
A search of the Library Catalog would find a few more materials on this fascinating incident in our history, such as UFO crash at Roswell: the genesis of a modern myth (3rd-floor Main Collection, TL789.5.N6 S25 1997), and on UFOs in general, such as Hidden truth, forbidden knowledge: it is time for you to know (3rd-floor Main Collection, BF2050 .G74 2006).
You can search for New York Times articles from the time of the Roswell incident, or from the time that the incident was being investigated, using the Proquest Historical Newspapers database.
The National Archives has had so many requests for materials related to Roswell and UFOs that it actually has a web page explaining what records and documents exist, and what does not, e.g., “Periodically, it is erroneously stated that the remains of extraterrestrial visitors are or have been stored at Wright-Patterson AFB. There are not now nor ever have been, any extraterrestrial visitors or equipment on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.” Well, there you have it. If you decide to research this topic, don’t go looking for the aliens’ remains.
The University Library is a federal depository with many federal, state, local, and international documents on a variety of current and relevant issues available to you in print, microfiche, CD-ROM, and electronically. Come check out your government at the University Library!