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The Roswell Report: Case Closed

Graphic of the Roswell Report Executive Summary

In July 1994, the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force concluded an exhaustive search for records in response to a General Accounting Office (GAO) inquiry of an event popularly known as the "Roswell Incident." The focus of the GAO probe, initiated at the request of a member of Congress, was to determine if the U.S. Air Force, or any other U.S. government agency, possessed information on the alleged crash and recovery of an extraterrestrial vehicle and its alien occupants near Roswell, N.M. in July 1947.

The 1994 Air Force report concluded that the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army Air Forces, recovered debris from an Army Air Forces balloon-borne research project code named MOGUL. Records located describing research carried out under the MOGUL project, most of which were never classified (and publicly available) were collected, provided to GAO, and published in one volume for ease of access for the general public.

This report discusses the results of this exhaustive research and identifies the likely sources of the claims of "alien bodies" at Roswell. Contrary to allegations, many of the accounts appear to be descriptions of unclassified and widely publicized Air Force scientific achievements. Other descriptions of "bodies" appear to be actual incidents in which Air Force members were killed or injured in the line of duty.

The conclusions are

Air Force activities which occurred over a period of many years have been consolidated and are now represented to have occurred in two or three days in July 1947.

"Aliens" observed in the New Mexico desert were actually anthropomorphic test dummies that were carried aloft by U.S. Air Force high altitude balloons for scientific research.

The "unusual" military activities in the New Mexico desert were high altitude research balloon launch and recovery operations. Reports of military units that always seemed to arrive shortly after the crash of a flying saucer to retrieve the saucer and "crew," were actually accurate descriptions of Air Force personnel engaged in anthropomorphic dummy recovery operations.

Claims of "alien bodies" at the Roswell Army Air Field hospital were most likely a combination of two separate incidents:

  1. a 1956 KC-97 aircraft accident in which 11 Air Force members lost their lives; and,
  2. a 1959 manned balloon mishap in which two Air Force pilots were injured.
This report is based on thoroughly documented research supported by official records, technical reports, film footage, photographs, and interviews with individuals who were involved in these events.

Photos from the Report

Photo of Alderson Laboratories anthropomorphic dummies of the type dropped from balloons

Alderson Laboratories anthropomorphic dummies of the type dropped from balloons.

Photo of the aeroshell of a NASA Voyager-Mars space probe just prior to launch

The aeroshell of a NASA Voyager-Mars space probe just prior to launch.

Photo of a Viking space probe awaiting recovery at White Sands Missile Range following a supersonic test flight in 1972

Following a supersonic test flight in 1972, a Viking space probe awaits recovery at White Sands Missile Range.

Produced by the Air Force Web Information Service – June 24, 1997