Associated Press Chronology
The following chronology of Associated Press wire stories on the Roswell events appeared in the Daily Illini newspaper on July 9, 1947, and has been an important source of information on how the AP covered the story in its early stages.
All times are Eastern Standard Time. For times in Fort Worth (Central Time), subtract one hour and in Roswell (Mountain Time), subtract two hours.
All times in the chronology have been highlighted in red. More significant items in the chronology have been highlighted in blue and marked with arrows.
Key events are as follows:
4:26 EST -- Roswell base press release of recovered flying disk first goes out over the wire.
4:55 -- Location of where disk recovered described.
5:10 -- AP goes after the story nationally. In Albuquerque, AP reporter Jason Kellahin and photographer/wire machine technician are dispatched to Roswell to directly cover the story.
5:11 -- The Pentagon claims they don't know what's going on.
5:53 -- In this story out of Washington and the Pentagon, Gen. Ramey's involvement is first mentioned. Ramey has also apparently said that the "disk" had been shipped to Wright Field. This is the first hint in the AP stories that the action has shifted to 8th Army Headquarters at Fort Worth and that the flight from Roswell was bound for Wright Field. It also tells us that Ramey was on the phone to the Pentagon before this time (as described in some stories). In Fort Worth, reporter/photographer J. Bond Johnson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is dispatched to Fort Worth AAF to cover the story.
6:02 -- AP has put together its first full story. This appears in some Western evening newspapers, but is too late for the East coast and Central papers.
7:03 -- Pentagon starts to hint at weather balloon explanation.
7:30 -- It is announced that the so-called "flying disk" has been identified by a Fort Worth weather officer as a weather balloon. The story dies.
Finally, note the interesting comment at the end the story how there was a collective sigh of relief that the story wasn't true, since it might mean "there really were 'men from Mars.'" That the flying disks might be alien in origin was very definitely in the minds of many.