On July 2, 1947 something crashed into a ranch in the New Mexico desert near a sleepy town called Roswell, and we’ve been looking for alien life forms since.
Today is World UFO Day, calling attention to the most profound questions we can ask. “Whatever you think about it, wherever you sit in the belief spectrum, questions such as are we alone in the universe are some of the biggest questions we can ask on World UFO Day,” says Nick Pope, who worked for the British government’s Ministry of Defense exploring UFO sightings from 1985 to 2006.
One July 9, 1947, explaining what the “flying disc” a local rancher found in a field, the local paper in Roswell printed this:
“The balloon which held it up, if that was how it worked, must have been 12 feet [3.5 m] long, Brazel felt, measuring the distance by the size of the room in which he sat. The rubber was smoky gray in color and scattered over an area about 200 yards [180 m] in diameter. When the debris was gathered up, the tinfoil, paper, tape, and sticks made a bundle about three feet [1 m] long and 7 or 8 inches [18 or 20 cm] thick, while the rubber made a bundle about 18 or 20 inches [45 or 50 cm] long and about 8 inches [20 cm] thick. In all, he estimated, the entire lot would have weighed maybe five pounds [2 kg]. There was no sign of any metal in the area which might have been used for an engine, and no sign of any propellers of any kind, although at least one paper fin had been glued onto some of the tinfoil. There were no words to be found anywhere on the instrument, although there were letters on some of the parts. Considerable Scotch tape and some tape with flowers printed upon it had been used in the construction. No strings or wires were to be found but there were some eyelets in the paper to indicate that some sort of attachment may have been used.”
The U.S. Department of Defense discontinued the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program in 2012 without fully resolving what was suspected or known about unidentified flying objects or alien life forms. “Whatever they’re sitting on, it does seem to be something. I’m not saying they literally have a spaceship hidden away in a hanger somewhere, though some people say they do,” says Pope.