UFO enthusiasts flocked to a conference in Mexico City recently to see the unveiling of supposed proof of aliens: photographs of a tiny alien body that were taken after the mysterious incident in Roswell, New Mexico, all the way back in 1947. But they were in for a rude disappointment, as the body pictured was quite human after all.
Presenters at the conference showed two photographs that were supposedly found in a collection of photographs kept in a trunk in the Sedona, Ariz. home of a man named Bernard A. Ray who apparently worked as an oil exploration geologist near the Roswell site that has since become practically the holy land for UFO believers. People packed the arena and interest came from around the globe, but internet detectives had some disappointing news for them: it was just a picture of a mummified child’s body, according to a Discovery News report.
Even though there was a Kodak representative on hand to verify that the photos were indeed quite old, he was not any sort of expert on the content of those photos. The picture of the body immediately raised suspicion among skeptics far and wide: why was the body in a display case, with an apparent plaque in front of it? And what does the plaque say?
Some people used a program called Smart Deblur to figure that out, and were able to make out some of the words on the plaque, which says “Mummified Body of Two Year Old Boy” and “San Francisco Museum” below that.
The obvious blunder has become an embarrassment for UFO enthusiasts. Nigel Watson, author of UFO Investigations Manual, even suggested that some nefarious people were at work attempting to undermine legitimate UFO research with a deliberate farce. He said it was a “shame” that the photos were presented as real evidence of aliens, and said the experts who were at the event had seen their reputations “tarnished,” further noting that it was the “lowest point” in UFO research history, according to a Metro.co.uk report.
Roswell sits in the southeastern quarter of the state of New Mexico as the county seat of Chaves County. It has a population of 48,411, as of the 2010 census, making it the 5th most populous city in the state. It is known for the 1947 Roswell UFO incident, which happened about 75 miles from Roswell and was actually a bit closer to the town of Corona.
The crash actually involved an Air Force surveillance balloon onto a ranch near Roswell, but rumors persist to this day that the government was covering up the crash landing of an extraterrestrial spaceship.
The military knocked down reports of aliens by claiming it was a weather balloon, which worked at first, until the 1970s when conspiracy theorists and ufologists began to claim that there was more than one alien spacecraft that crashed and the military had recovered the extraterrestrials that were within, and was engaged in a massive cover-up to conceal what really happened.
The military in the 1990s even took the unusual step of releasing details on the true nature of the crashed balloon in order to answer the constant conspiracy theories, but with limited success, as Roswell still holds the top spot when it comes to UFO folklore.
The town itself even celebrates its extraterrestrial heritage, as can be seen in the city’s official seal, which features an alien peeking over the seal in the background holding the sun that illuminates the countryside.
The top-secret Air Force project was called Project Mogul, and it involved the U.S. Army Air Forces using microphones on high-altitude balloons to detect sound waves that were generated by Soviet atomic bomb tests. Although the military found the project to be useful to a certain extent, it was very expensive and was discontinued in 1949 in favor of seismic detectors and air sampling, which tended to be both cheaper and more reliable than Project Mogul.
Project Mogul led to future espionage programs that involved using overflights and photographic surveillance of the Soviet Union during the 1950s, which were called Project Genetrix and Project Moby Dick. These overflights caused angry protests from the Soviets.
Project Mogul’s experimentation with infrasound detection led indirectly to a system we have today called Geophysical Measurement and Signal INTelligence (MASINT), which is a network of sound detectors that picked up the Chelyabinsk meteor in Russia in 2013.
Since the crash landing in the desert near Roswell, however, Project Mogul will perhaps best be remembered for spawning Roswell’s fame as the UFO capital of the world. To this day, there are rumors of alien autopsies and government coverups that abound in the imaginations of many.
Perhaps the only other area on the planet more famous for aliens than Roswell is the infamous Area 51, an Air Force facility in a remote part of Edwards Air Force Base in the Nevada desert. It is a top-secret, highly restricted location that is used to test experimental aircraft and weapons system, and the intense secrecy of the area has caused many conspiracy theories to crop up which, in combination with mysterious flying test projects by the Air Force, have led to theories of alien activity in Area 51. The CIA didn’t even acknowledge the existence of the base until July 2013, responding to a Freedom of Information Act request filed back in 2005.