The Roswell UFO incident refers to an event in mid-1947, when a United States Air Force surveillance balloon crashed at a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico, prompting claims alleging the crash was of an extra-terrestrial spaceship.
After an initial spike of interest, the military reported that the crash was merely of a conventional weather balloon. Interest subsequently waned until the late 1970s when ufologists began promulgating a variety of increasingly elaborate conspiracy theories, claiming that one or more alien spacecraft had crash-landed, and that the extraterrestrial occupants had been recovered by the military who then engaged in a cover-up.
In the 1990s, the US military published reports disclosing the true nature of the crashed Project Mogul balloon. Nevertheless, the Roswell incident continues to be of interest in popular media, and conspiracy theories surrounding the event persist. Roswell has been called "the world's most famous, most exhaustively investigated, and most thoroughly debunked UFO claim".
Roswell and “Flying-Saucerism” Today
Today, many people continue to believe that the government and the military are covering up the truth about alien landings at and around Roswell. In 1994, the Pentagon declassified most of its files on Project Mogul and the dummy drops, and the federal General Accounting Office produced a report (“Report of Air Force Research Regarding the Roswell Incident”) designed to debunk these rumors. Nevertheless, there are still people who subscribe to the UFO theory, and hundreds of thousands of curiosity seekers visit Roswell and the crash site every year, hoping to find out the truth for themselves.