The US government’s official version of the Roswell find is simple and unequivocal. A weather balloon crashed in the desert and was recovered by military personal after a local rancher reported a wreckage on his land.
Press officer Walter Haut’s statement on July 8 that a flying disc had been recovered on the Foster ranch north of Roswell was quickly dismissed by General Roger Ramey, who held a press conference the next day to put forward the weather balloon explanation. Parts of the balloon were even paraded in front of an expectant collection of reporters.
Major Jesse Marcel, who was in charge of security for the military’s nuclear test sites across the US and the Pacific, backed up this theory at the time due to the sensitive nature of his position within the armed forces.
Both Marcel and Haut would later claim that the recovered object was an alien spaceship, and that the weather balloon had been substituted for the craft after it was taken to Fort Worth for further testing.
In the early 1990s, when interest in the Roswell incident was at its peak, the air force revealed that it had been carrying out tests in 1947 on a high-altitude balloon as part of Project Mogul, in an attempt to detect Russian nuclear tests.