UN Office of Scientific Investigation and Research Archives

The Watch and the Roswell Incident


By 1947, UFO sightings had become more frequent. The U. S. government and military decided to institute new programs to discretely investigate these strange phenomenon. Monitoring these investigations, unseen, was The Watch. 

Chronology of the Roswell Incident 

March 17, Cascade Mountain Range, Oregon: The Watch's parapsychology team gathers a group of psychics together in a research center in the Cascade Mountains. The team was to test the range of their psychic abilities by attempting to contact a similar group in New England. The experiment yields spectacular but unexpected results. Contact is made, not with the target team, but instead with strange, unearthly minds. The contact lasts only thirteen seconds, but that brief time would change the course of history. Although they could make out little of what they mentally encountered, the psychics become certain of one thing: extraterrestrial life is present on Earth. 

July 1, White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico: During the flight monitoring of a V-2 rocket fitted with advanced guidance systems, radar stations begin to track a UFO moving over the missile range erratically, but under apparent intelligent control. 

July 2, White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico: Under direct orders of Brigadier General Martin Scanlon, a 24-hour radar vigil is established to track the object. Through a contact in General Scanlon's staff, The Watch learns of the developing situation. 

July 3, White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico: The Watch convenes to decide on a course of action. Two options arise from the discussion. Some members of The Watch believe that the crew of the UFO could be contacted telepathically, using knowledge gathered from the March 17 contact and subsequent research. They propose that The Watch open a line of communication with the aliens and attempt a peaceful exchange of information. They are opposed by those members of Watch overwhelmingly concerned with the danger posed by an unknown intelligent extraterrestrial race. They recommend shooting the craft down and analyzing the technology, so that when later communications are initiated, something is known of the aliens. After a long and heated debate, a narrow majority decides to attempt peaceful communication. The mission is designated Operation Dove. The research team of parapsychologists and psychics in the Cascade Mountain research center is enlisted. They establish a base of operations on an isolated mesa in the New Mexico desert. Complete consensus had not been reached within The Watch. Those who opposed Operation Dove, convinced of the folly of contacting extraterrestrial unprepared, form a second team. This rogue group secretly meets and initiates Operation Pigeon Shoot. 

July 4, White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico: While the Dove team waits on the mesa top for the UFO to reappear, Operation Pigeon Shoot readies itself in secret on the far side of the missile range. A V-2 rocket with the experimental guidance system is hastily reprogrammed and loaded with high explosives. The exact order of the events that follow is unclear. The following account of the incident has been reconstructed from the chaotic records that remain. At 21:18 (local time), radar contact is reestablished with the UFO that had been tracked over the last four days. As the Dove psychics attempt to contact the crew of the craft mentally, Pigeon Shoot finalizes their preparations and awaits the launch command. A few minutes later, the alien craft appears to notice the psychics efforts, stops and hovers within sight of the mesa. Encouraged, the psychics redoubled their efforts. Presented with the stationary target they hoped for, the Pigeon Shoot team launches the rocket. Three events appear to have occurred nearly simultaneously. First, the psychics succeed in contacting the alien minds in the UFO. Second, the V-2 rocket detonates on the hull of the ship. Third, an intense psychic assault devastates the assembled psychics. The ship immediately begins to accelerate away at an incredible speed, but is fatally damaged. The craft touches ground once, gouging the earth and scattering debris over a large stretch of a ranch near Roswell. Several miles later, it crashes into a cliff side. 

July 5, Roswell, New Mexico: Prepared, in fact hoping, for this eventuality, Operation Pigeon Shoot springs into action. By dawn the next day, the final crash site is located and a recovery team is dispatched. The recovery team loads the wreckage, including four alien bodies, onto trucks for transport to Roswell Army Air Base for temporary storage. At Roswell, the wreckage is packed away and loaded onto cargo planes for transport to Fort Worth Army Air Field. By nightfall the day after the crash, some of the wreckage arrives at Fort Worth. The Watch's influence in the military allows the Pigeon Shoot team to operate freely at the Roswell and Fort Worth without fear of questioning. Although it is obvious to the soldiers stationed there that something was afoot, none ask any questions. While Operation Pigeon Shoot secures the alien wreckage, Operation Dove attempts to salvage what they could of their team. Of the nine psychics who attempted to make contact, two die almost immediately of cardiac arrest and brain hemorrhaging. Another actually bursts into flame. A fourth slips into permanent catatonia. Three more soon develop debilitating psychoses. Only two survive with their sanity intact. After nearly a full day of damage control and debriefing, the Dove leaders realize they have been betrayed by other members of The Watch. Moving quickly, the remnants of Operation Dove pull themselves together and attempt to outmaneuver their new enemies. Using what military pull they could immediately muster, and aided by a little psychic sleight-of-hand, Dove manages to redirect one of the cargo planes heading for Fort Worth to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. There, a Dove team secures the cargo. Unbeknownst to either group, the chaos at Roswell hid the actions of yet another group of Watch members. These individuals, some of the most powerful of the founding members of The Watch, learn of the split in their group and are dismayed. They commandeer another of the cargo flights and take the shipment to Washington, DC. They make certain that the shipment they appropriate includes an alien corpse and an impressive amount of crash debris. The group, the plane and the cargo mysteriously vanishes. A very long time would pass before any hint of their whereabouts would arise. 

July 6, Roswell, New Mexico: By 03:00 the day after the crash, all Watch personnel had been evacuated from Roswell Air Base and White Sands Proving Ground, believing that all traces of the crash had been recovered. All are mistaken. While patrolling his property that morning, a local rancher, Mack Brazel, finds the trough and debris left when the craft touched down briefly before crashing. Later in the day, he calls the Roswell sheriff to report his find. The sheriff in turn calls Captain Jesse Marcel at the Roswell Air Base, thinking the wreckage is the result of a military test. Captain Marcel investigates the touchdown site, patrols the trench and gathers some of the debris. He loads up his jeep with debris and returns to the Base. The Base Commander, visions of promotion dancing in his head, issues a press release that the Army had recovered the wreckage of a UFO. This news reaches the Operation Dove team at Wright-Patterson AFB. A few well-placed calls are made, and Captain Marcel and the debris are immediately summoned to Wright-Patterson. Part of the Operation Dove team returns to Roswell to oversee the recovery of the debris at the ranch. 

July 7, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio: Under orders from Operation Dove, General Roger Ramey, the Commanding Officer of Wright-Patterson, holds a press conference in which the Roswell press release and its officers are portrayed as fools for having misidentified a weather balloon as a UFO. The embarrassed Captain Marcel is ordered to pose holding fragments of a weather balloon claimed to be the recovered debris. In Roswell, Operation Dove agents finish cleaning up the debris field and escort rancher Brazel to the Roswell Base for three days of questioning. 

July 8, Roswell, New Mexico: The debris collected from the ranch is sent to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. July 9, Roswell, New Mexico: Mack Brazel is released from custody at the Roswell Base and soon appears on a local radio show to confess. He explains that the UFO story was a hoax and that he knew the wreckage was just a balloon all along. The combination of this "confession" and the Watch's pressure on other witnesses keeps the incident under control. The American public accepts the story and the Roswell crash remains all but forgotten for over forty years . . .

Report by Mark Kram

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