NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Major Jesse Marcel at Fort Worth, Texas with balloon debris. This photo of Marcel with weather balloon material was widely published, but supposedly he would later admit the material he picked up at Brazel's ranch was not part of any kind of weather balloon or experimental balloon. In 1947, a crash of a military Air Force surveillance balloon at a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico gave rise to 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. In the 1970s there were a variety of increasingly elaborate conspiracy theories claiming that one or more alien spacecraft had crash-landed and that the extra-terrestrial occupants had been recovered by the military who then engaged in a cover-up. The Roswell incident continues to be of interest in popular media, and conspiracy theories surrounding the event persist.
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