Talk:Roswell UFO incident

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Semi-protected edit request on 27 August 2016[edit]

It was a craft so put that in this besides a balloon. There were witnesses that said the real crash was replaced with a balloon. (talk) 22:55, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Needs a reliable source. -Roxy the dog™ bark 23:04, 27 August 2016 (UTC)

Deletion of valid new material[edit]

David J Johnson... Please explain the reason for your deletion of the valid material I added to this section of the Roswell page. Your abrupt note in the Edit summary (with no explanation here on the Talk page) merely says: Revert per WP:UNDUE. Why are you keep quoting Dunning?) (sic) So why did you not follow WP:BRD, which says: Reversion should be a last choice in editing: the first choice in editing should always be to improve an article by refinement, not to revert changes by other editors.? Per WP:BRD I am now going to TRY to achieve consensus:

I believe the material I added is valid. It does nor dispute the majority viewpoint, and is material not previously covered here, so what about this addition has "undue weight" per WP:UNDUE in your opinion?

For your reference I am adding here the entire text you deleted yesterday. For context, this followed an existing examination of the claims made by Glenn Dennis (which constitute a large part of the Roswell fable). The refernce provides a concise connect-the-dots explanation for Glenn Dennis' confabulation, and this was the summary:

In 2007 scientific skeptic author Brian Dunning evaluated the significance of Glenn Dennis to the Roswell mythos and concluded that "Virtually all popular details of the story of an alien crash at Roswell are based upon the personal recollections of Glenn Dennis. He hadn't thought about the subject for 42 years, until he saw the (September 20, 1989 "Roswell Crash" episode of Unsolved Mysteries) TV show. Suddenly he started putting two and two together, tying together bits and pieces of this and that from his memory, and with the help of Stanton Friedman, connected the dots and wove the fabric of modern Roswell mythology." RobP (talk) 18:58, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Quite simply it is only a rerun of most the material already contained in the article and I see no reason for the adding the Dunning quotation, an author whom you seem to have a fixation with. You are adding WP:UNDUE to one person's view - as you have with another article. I would also remind you that the "R" in WP:BRD is "revert" if it is not an improvement - and then discuss. However, I am happy to accept a consensus view, should other editors wish to comment. Regards, David J Johnson (talk) 19:10, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Personally, I don't see it as a "rerun", but maybe I'm wrong. So I would appreciate others input on this topic. RobP (talk) 20:27, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
Hi, I don't know the etiquette with reverts per undue, but I would like to say that considering Glenn Dennis's contribution through the autopsy story I think the quote was fine considering where it was placed (Recent evidence: Shoddy research) as it kind of puts a lid on it, and it's what a lot of people think of when they talk about Roswell. I don't see it as a rerun as Dennis (rightly!) doesn't appear in other parts of the article. Hope my comments are helpful. Mramoeba (talk) 09:17, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

David Johnson, thank you for encouraging more input. I am a colleague of RobP, so it won't be surprising that I agree with him. His addition was a significant expansion on the description of Glenn Dennis' role. Currently the page mentions Dennis mostly in that he was the source of the alien corpse story. The only duplication I see is that Dennis is relying solely on 42-year-old memories. I would like to see more on 1) the relationship between Dennis and Friedman, 2) an expert opinion on human memory, and 3) a calculation on the odds of the entire staff of an air base keeping a conspiracy secret for the remainder of their lives (with the possible exception of Dennis, who it seems had forgotten about this earth-shaking event. Is there any documentation that Glenn Dennis was even at the site at the time? As it stands the article does not provide any. That should also be noted in the article.

People are free to evaluate Dunning's expertise as a skeptical writer, as opposed to, for example, an expert on human memory (neurologist?) or a planetary biologist.

[Of course, much of the evidence cited in Wikipedia relies on human memory (e.g. a scientist remembering a series of experiments and reporting on them to a journalist), but when the memories are 1) 42 years old 2) documented to have at least one error (nurse) 3) from a person who willfully changes his memory (changing nurse's name) 4) not by an expert (even if Dennis saw what he thought were alien corpses, how does he know they weren't, for example, soldiers who were placed too close to a nuclear detonation) and; 5) have been subjected to un-evidenced suggestions for up to 42 years, and, if Dunning's implication is correct, direct influence by someone with a stake in the outcome, i.e. Friedman, ... then the memories are utterly suspect. I just watched a movie for a 2nd or 3rd time that I had seen maybe 7 years ago. I "remembered" whole scenes that were not in the movie, and I have not discussed the movie with anyone or, as far as I remember, read anything about it.] (talk) 13:43, 12 October 2016 (UTC) Sorry, I forgot to login. The text above, starting with "David Johnson, thank you for encouraging more input." is mine. ScienceExplains (talk) 18:18, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

Originally, there was a fair bit on Dennis as the second Air Force report harshly criticized him for perpetuating a hoax - though it didn't explicitly accuse him of it, it pointed out that some of the details he "remembered" were in fact of other events, notably what clearly was Joseph Kittinger Jr.'s high-altitude record attempt in Nov 1959 which went wrong and caused a security scare at the Roswell base and a clamp-down. The presence of a black officer clearly meant this was not 1947 and the Report's author found it implausible that Dennis "innocently" had the dates wrong, conflating it with the events surrounding the July 1947 UFO incident. Bottom line is some choice quotes from the Report would underline the implausibility of his "recollections," as well as the fact he had a rather glaring conflict of interest in that he ran one of the museums promoting the aliens! Canada Jack (talk) 03:17, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
How about now? Dunnings is worth a mention, without warranting at the same time a full-blown block quote citation, which kind of overwhelms the section. Other authors are quoted in-line, and the same could be done for Dunnings, in theory, but I don't see any particular reason not to summarize the text instead. --Deeday-UK (talk) 23:39, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
Deeday-UK: Just saw your edit and I'd say that fits the bill perfectly! Thanks so much. Are we all good now? RobP (talk) 13:31, 15 October 2016 (UTC)

I can't find any evidence here, or references to evidence, to support the Project Mogul explanation. The footnote referring to the military report says the material was concluded to be a Project Mogul balloon, without any detail (here) about how that conclusion was reached. I see a tendency in other places in the article to make conclusory statements without backing them up with evidence. For instance, the Problems with Eyewitness Accounts section says, "dubious deathbed" declarations. None of June Crain's declarations that I've encountered, for instance, were deathbed declarations. She had a secret clearance and worked for the military in Ohio. To automatically call her testimony, as collected I think by Clark, dubious, I think requires a POV that this stuff didn't happen and any possible evidence to the contrary can be dismissed out of hand. To waive a hand and dismiss an entire range of late-life assertions as "deathbed" is inaccurate on its face. In addition, there should be a "Strengths of Witnesses' Accounts" section to balance the Problems.

Sweeping generalizations and incautious use of words like best and most: Gildenberg's line that Roswell is the best debunked UFO case is an opinion against which a decent, if problematic, case could be marshalled. It hints of carelessness even in its wording because to know that Roswell is the best debunked requires detailed knowledge of Every Other Case that has ever been debunked. That's a bunch. No human could possess such knowledge. There isn't time in one lifetime to do it. Has Gildenberg looked at, say, 8,000 debunked cases in the detail required to compare how well debunked each one is compared to Roswell? Of course not. Someone called Acadia National Park the "loveliest island on Earth." These kind of statements are for the PR dept, not the encyclopedia. It presumes knowledge of every individual island's degree of loveliness. If there were only 1000 islands, or 1000 debunked UFO cases, that would be impossible, and there are many thousands of islands as well as UFO cases. Also, deciding an island's loveliness, like deciding how well debunked Roswell is, is not completely an exercise in objectivity. It involves weighing of elements and forming of opinions.

Next point: how do we conclude that, in and of itself, suspecting the government of conspiracy to cover something up makes someone a questionable source, i.e., Friedman? The government is Ever in the business of orchestrating the efforts of those who work for it to tell part of a story and not all of it, in 1000 subjects. Obama's drone program. NSA surveillance. Remote viewing experiments. No end to it.

There is no hard evidence out in public that nonEarth ships or materials have ever come to Earth, and this is true of Roswell. Yet what we can't prove is not the end of this story, but the beginning. Here we have,say, four dozen hints from apparently responsible persons with no connections to each other, that something genuinely out of the ordinary may have occurred at Corona. They don't add up to proof, but they add up to something. They don't add up to nothing. We can have massive disagreement about what they add up to, but it's not nothing. Case in point: Crain, who was never in Roswell, described a light, resistant material given her by a colleague, to see what she could make of it. Her description seems greatly similar to, say, that James Wood of Roswell gave of a piece of something given him for a birthday.

It would be nice if this article were written with the same skepticism and openness of Howard Blum's book, Out There, (1990) detailing the government's secret investigation looking for extraterrestrials. It refers on a few pages to Roswell, but not in detail. I haven't signed in. If I get more serious about contributing I'll relearn how to do that. Alan Rasmussen, Tucson, Az — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:36, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

I can't find any evidence here, or references to evidence, to support the Project Mogul explanation. There used to be a separate page describing the two reports, but for the purposes of the page, it suffices to state that that conclusion was reached.
For instance, the Problems with Eyewitness Accounts section says, "dubious deathbed" declarations. The section describes the issues critics have with many of the witness accounts, and the "dubious death bed" claim is cited to Korff. Obviously, those who think there is more to the case believe otherwise, but the section is clearly about the critics and their issues with the evidence and how they characterize that evidence.
To automatically call her testimony, as collected I think by Clark, dubious... That's a stretch. She is not mentioned and there is no generalized comment that ALL claims of aliens are death-bed confessions. Again, the section simply notes critics' issues with the evidence, death-bed confessions being one of them.
Sweeping generalizations and incautious use of words like best and most: Gildenberg's line that Roswell is the best debunked UFO case is an opinion against which a decent, if problematic, case could be marshalled. But this is clearly presented as an opinion, clearly identified as the view of the person making the statement, and it is cited: B. D. Gildenberg has called the Roswell incident "the world's most famous, most exhaustively investigated, and most thoroughly debunked UFO claim".[3] The "fact" is that he made the statement. Whether the statement is accurate is up for debate. But I've not personally seen anything close to the coverage - both pro and con - to the Roswell case, so the statement rings true and isn't clearly misleading or inaccurate.
Next point: how do we conclude that, in and of itself, suspecting the government of conspiracy to cover something up makes someone a questionable source, i.e., Friedman? I'm not sure what this refers to. Where is it stated that, "in and of itself," suspecting a government cover-up disqualifies one as a source? When it comes to claims of alien visitations, however, this is a fringe belief, as mainstream consensus is that we have not been visited by aliens. So, if the government is accused of covering up alien visitations, it is the claim of alien visitations which is the reason the source is questioned - NOT the claim that the government was engaged in a cover-up which, per se, doesn't make one "fringe."
Here we have,say, four dozen hints from apparently responsible persons with no connections to each other, that something genuinely out of the ordinary may have occurred at Corona. Well, now you are simply debating the plausibility of the claim aliens landed. But many "genuinely out of the ordinary" things happen all the time, so it neither here nor there. And in the end none of the debunkers can honestly say they can prove no aliens in fact were involved. The best that can be said (unless we have the exceedingly unlikely presentation, after 70 years, of compelling evidence) is that the evidence presented doesn't add up to what we'd expect to see if an alien craft in fact did crash at Roswell/Corona. Canada Jack (talk) 16:47, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Page Protection[edit]

This article has been a regular target for vandalism and other forms of disruptive editing for at least the last ten years despite frequent periods of temporary page protection. (I didn't go back farther in my edit history check.) As a consequence I have indefinitely protected this article. Requests for edits from IPs can be made here on the talk page or alternatively you can register for a user account. I apologize for any inconvenience but this has gone on long enough. -Ad Orientem (talk) 22:54, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

I totally agree with your comments above. Many thanks for the indefinite protection from disruptive "editing". David J Johnson (talk) 23:08, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Edits by Peter K Burian[edit]

Someone asked me today to explain my edits. THE QUESTION: This is a controversial website (to some). Please explain your edits so that the rest of us understand what you are doing.

MY REPLY:Certainly. I am very interested in all aspects of history.

I read the article as is, and some of it did not sound quite right. Not false, just not fully explained or with missing information. (From what I knew about the situation after reading one article a few days ago.) And the lede was very short; four paragraphs is the norm in the other articles I have edited.

So, I did a lot of research, only on highly rated sites such as the Washington Post, New York Times, and Psychology Today. AND on the site that shows the original news items from June 1947. The latter are critical since they quote the people who found the wreckage. NOT witness reports published many years later, from people trying to remember things that happened 20 or 30 years later.

Be sure to confirm that all the edits I made are fully sourced from one of those Web sites. And that the quotes are accurate.

As my User page should confirm, I have been editing on Wikipedia for years and have numerous contributions. Peter K Burian (talk) 02:42, 7 February 2017

Please provide edit a summary after each edit. Thank you. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 04:20, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Guidelines on edit summaries here. --Deeday-UK (talk) 09:47, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Good point; yes will do in more detail. Peter K Burian (talk) 15:29, 7 February 2017 (UTC) is not a WP:RS. Please revert the material you have added and cited to that source, thanks. - LuckyLouie (talk) 17:08, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

The only content from are verbatim newspaper articles. They are relevant but I need to find better sources for those news articles. Will do today and will revised the citations. Peter K Burian (talk) 18:07, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Also note that "" is not a WP:RS. - LuckyLouie (talk) 19:25, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

I removed the following content which had been on the page for many months. (I wrote new, similar content in the previous section.) Were these sources considered WP:RS before my involvement?? Such as angelfire? and and and unreliable source?

This content, with poor sources, was written long ago: On June 14, 1947, William Brazel, a foreman working on the Foster homestead, noticed clusters of debris approximately 30 miles (50 km) north of Roswell, New Mexico. This date—or "about three weeks" before July 8—appeared in later stories featuring Brazel, but the initial press release from the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) said the find was "sometime last week", suggesting Brazel found the debris in early July.[1] Brazel told the Roswell Daily Record that he and his son saw a "large area of bright wreckage made up of rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks."[2] He paid little attention to it but returned on July 4 with his son, wife and daughter to gather up the material.[3] Some accounts have described Brazel as having gathered some of the material earlier, rolling it together and stashing it under some brush.[4] The next day, Brazel heard reports about "flying discs" and wondered if that was what he had picked up.[3] On July 7, Brazel saw Sheriff Wilcox and "whispered kinda confidential like" that he may have found a flying disc.[3] Another account quotes Wilcox as saying Brazel reported the object on July 6.[1]

Wilcox called RAAF Major Jesse Marcel and a "man in plainclothes" accompanied Brazel back to the ranch where more pieces were picked up. "[We] spent a couple of hours Monday afternoon [July 7] looking for any more parts of the weather device", said Marcel. "We found a few more patches of tinfoil and rubber."[5]

The full description of the debris in the July 9, 1947 edition of the Roswell Daily Record:

The balloon which held it up, if that was how it worked, must have been 12 feet long, [Brazel] felt, measuring the distance by the size of the room in which he sat. The rubber was smoky gray in color and scattered over an area about 200 yards in diameter. When the debris was gathered up, the tinfoil, paper, tape, and sticks made a bundle about three feet long and 7 or 8 inches thick, while the rubber made a bundle about 18 or 20 inches long and about 8 inches thick. In all, he estimated, the entire lot would have weighed maybe five pounds. There was no sign of any metal in the area which might have been used for an engine, and no sign of any propellers of any kind, although at least one paper fin had been glued onto some of the tinfoil. There were no words to be found anywhere on the instrument, although there were letters on some of the parts. Considerable Scotch tape and some tape with flowers printed upon it had been used in the construction. No strings or wires were to be found but there were some eyelets in the paper to indicate that some sort of attachment may have been used.[6]

 See the citations used in the old content, below my signature. Many are from Surely that one is not acceptable.  Peter K Burian (talk) 21:44, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
@David J Johnson I had deleted my OWN content and you reverted them. I cannot object but the reason I had deleted my content (about news items) was because I had been told by LuckyLouie that the sources I had cited were not acceptable: WP:RS As my previous note above mentions however, I subsequently realized that there is a lot of old content in this article that cites sources not acceptable to Wikipedia.
I deleted a chunk of the old content, but because the new content I had added - with acceptable sources - covered the same issues. Peter K Burian (talk) 02:44, 8 February 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Template:'''unreliable source?"United Press Teletype Messages". Roswell Proof. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Harassed Rancher who Located 'Saucer' Sorry He Told About it". Roswell Daily Record. July 9, 1947. Archived from [ the original] Check |url= value (help) on January 9, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Template:'''unreliable source?Printy 1999, Chapter 2
  4. ^ "New Mexico 'Disc' Declared Weather Balloon and Kite". Los Angeles Examiner. Associated Press. July 9, 1947. p. 1. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  5. ^ [ "New Mexico Rancher's 'Flying Disk' Proves to be Weather Balloon-Kite"] Check |url= value (help). Fort Worth Star-Telegram. July 9, 1947. p. Front. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Harassed Rancher who Located 'Saucer' Sorry He Told about It". Roswell Daily Record. July 9, 1947. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
A brief reply, as I have significant real-life issues at the the moment. You appear to have totally ignored my main point - that you could have made most of your numerous edits into one or two edits, instead of the deluge of edits to be seen on the article history page. This type of editing is time wasting for other editors, who have to check every single change. Anyway this is a moot point, as I see that a admin has reverted most of your edits. Also, please do not state that you you have been on Wikipedia "for years" when your contributions appear to have started in 2015 and do not "shout" with the addition of caps. Thank you and regards, David J Johnson (talk) 10:47, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
If you mean me, I'm not an admin. But the reversion restored the article to a good state. Any proposed changes should ideally now be discussed here. Alexbrn (talk) 12:35, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Whoever reverted, I support their reversion. The work done by Peter K Burian was, in general, not an improvement. It basically moved all the detail from the article body into the article lead. Although it's true the lead could have used expansion, this was a bit excessive, i.e. the lead is supposed to summarize the article, not be the article. - LuckyLouie (talk) 14:08, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes, and erasing scholarly works from the lede and using (predominantly) a blog post instead, was not good. Alexbrn (talk) 14:42, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

Discs and saucers[edit]

@Alexbrn: your second lazy revert, apart from restoring a rather dodgy sentence structure, changed flying saucer back to flying disc because "Disc is correct". Well, saucer is certainly not incorrect, plus (reason No.1) it's exactly what the source quoted and reproduced right next to it in the infobox says, and (reason No.2) flying saucer is a meaningful link to a relevant article, while flying disc links to something unrelated. Have you got any compelling reasons to use disc instead? --Deeday-UK (talk) 01:15, 15 February 2017 (UTC)

Let me just say here that in my opinion, "flying disc" should be used as the term "flying saucer" has a different connotation now to what it had in 1947. A "flying saucer" is pretty well universally understood now to indicate an alien craft (in contrast, the preferred modern term "UFO" is suggestive of possibly being alien, but may be something else). However, "flying disc(k)" is not so familiar and in my view more accurately connotes "mysterious object" without the alien implication, which is what the reader in 1947 was more likely to understand that to mean. The term "flying saucer" had only been coined, after all, mere days before this incident and the reports motivated Brazel to call the base about something he had seen a few days earlier. Canada Jack (talk) 01:43, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
"Disc" is in the source cited. Alexbrn (talk) 04:44, 15 February 2017 (UTC)