by Curtis Peebles
© Copyright 1997
July 1997 was the 50th anniversary of the events which are known as the Roswell Incident. Some 40,000 visitors attended the festivities in Roswell, a dozen books related to the subject have been printed, and the arguments continue unabated. I do not propose to rehash these arguments, and my presentation cannot prove or disprove that a UFO crashed in 1947. What I will discuss is an aspect of Roswell that has been overlooked by both sides. It is offered as "food for thought."
Every telling of the Roswell Incident, however they may differ in details, always ends the same way. "...And the Air Force removed every trace of debris." But can they? What happens when an airplane crashes? What does the U.S. Air Force do about it? And, most important of all, what traces of a crash remain after 50 years? Aircraft crash sites can serve as a starting point for analysis of crashed-saucer reports. I believe, based on my own experience, that such an analysis has major implications for Roswell.
Two Crash Sites
On June 5, 1948 the second prototype YB-49 flying wing was undergoing stall checks. Although the YB-49 was an attractive design, it suffered from major aerodynamic and handling-qualities shortcomings. During the stall checks, the aircraft went into an uncontrolled dive. The crew attempted to pull out, but the aircraft exceeded its G-limit, and broke up in flight. The center section of the fuselage impacted on a slight slope north of the Rogers Dry Lake. The impact started a fire, which scorched a large area. The outer wing panels impacted short distances away, while scattered debris rained down over a wider area. The five men aboard were killed. This included the project pilot, Capt. Glen W. Edwards, for whom Edwards AFB is named.
In 1994 and 1995, I visited the crash site with Peter Merlin, a member of the Aerospace Archeology Field Research Team. As you drive up to the site, it is immediately apparent that something had happened. An area of about 100 by 200 feet is devoid of brush. This is a result of the post-impact fire - the soil was scorched and, even after nearly 50 years, still cannot support significant plant life.
A close examination of the site reveals large numbers of metal fragments. Most are small, on the order of an inch or less. There are some larger fragments which can be found with effort. At the far end of the site are what appear to be light gray rocks with a porous surface texture. They are not rocks, but are, in fact, melted aluminum from the crash. Leading away from the site is a small gully. Over the decades, the metal fragments from the site and the surrounding area have washed down and been concentrated in this gully.
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The opinions in this article are exclusively those of Curtis Peebles based on his experience and many years of research and do not necessarily reflect those of "The San Diego UFO Information Homepage" or other organizations represented at this website. - Paul
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