Sixty Years of UFOs

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 8, 2007 in Science |

roswell daily record 1947 Sixty Years of UFOs

It’s hard to believe it, but sixty years ago today (July 8th, 1947) the first news story about UFOs appeared in Roswell, New Mexico:

“The intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment group at Roswell Army Air Field announced at noon today, that the field has come into possession of a flying saucer. According to information released by the department, over authority of Maj. J. A. Marcel, intelligence officer, the disk was recovered on a ranch in the Roswell vicinity, after an unidentified rancher had notified Sheriff Geo. Wilcox, here, that he had found the instrument on his premises. Major Marcel and a detail from his department went to the ranch and recovered the disk, it was stated. After the intelligence officer here had inspected the instrument it was flown to higher headquarters. The intelligence office stated that no details of the saucer’s construction or its appearance had been revealed.”

It’s interesting because while we’re still debating if the above episode even happened, the real revolution is that in scientific circles it’s now been pretty well accepted that someplace out there are aliens (who may or may not be like us). I think the major turning point in this debate was when Carl Sagan started to push this idea in the 80s about forty years after Roswell. And I half suspect that we might encounter alien life forms in our lifetimes, although they might only be humble microbes living on Mars or Titan.

But to get an taste for how far that we’ve come in the last sixty years, just check out the tone of this pulp magazine cover below from the 1950s:

ufo: friend or foe?

Looking at that cover you’ll notice that while people today are still into debunking UFOs, that in the face of moon landings, discover water on Mars, and finding so many planets in orbit around other solar systems the idea of alien life becomes more and more real every day. And I think for better or worse we have Roswell to thank for the start of the trend…

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