Major Jessie Marcel was dispatched from the nearby Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) as lead investigator. He accompanied Brazel, the sheriff and another man (assumed to be a counter-intelligence officer) to the desert area and collected some of the debris. Marcel was apparently so intrigued by the fragments, he took a box of it home to show his wife and son. Some of the items included I-beam shaped fragments with a purple writing on them (which none of the witnesses could identify); and a foil-like material which would immediately resume its shape after being crumpled up. Major Marcel's son would later go on to be one of the primary eyewitnesses for UFO investigators on the case.
On July 8, 1947, the Army issued a press release confirming their capture of a "flying disk" which prompted a media sensation. But then something happened. By the end of the day, the Army was reversing it position and claimed the shattered object was actually a crashed observation balloon. Major Marcel even famously posed with some of the "balloon debris" for reporters' cameras. At the time, the public accepted the Army's explanation and the story disappeared from sight for the next thirty years. It wasn't until 1978, when physicist and UFO investigator Stanton Freedman interviewed Jessie Marcel — who refuted this official version of the crash — that Roswell became synonymous with UFOs, extraterrestrials and government coverups.
As time went on, new and more elaborate aspects of the crash emerged. A larger debris field was apparently discovered by a team of archaeologists in the Corona area — a debris field which contained multiple dead alien bodies. A smaller object (considered by some to be an escape pod) was also found closer to Roswell, partially embedded in a canyon wall on a local ranch. This "pod" was said to contain several dead and dying alien beings. The bodies of these creatures were allegedly sent to the funeral home in Roswell, where they were viewed by local mortician Glenn Dennis. Eventually, the remains were moved to Edwards Air Force Base and vanished. Presumably, they're still there somewhere. Maybe locked up next to the Ark of the Covenant?
As a change of pace, I've decided that this Favorite Spooky Story won't have a thing to do with ghosts, as ghosts are not particularly required to make something spooky. Instead, I'm going to take a look at the famous Roswell UFO crash of 1947 and my family's unusual but distant connection to what's certainly the most famous legend about extraterrestrials in American history.
In case you live under a rock, here's a brief summation of the incident:
In either late June or early July 1947, during a violent thunderstorm, a large object crashed in a remote desert area of central New Mexico. In the days that followed, a local sheep rancher named Mac Brazel discovered some strange debris on his ranch just north of Roswell and mentioned it to the sheriff.