Disc Mystery is 'Solved' For Three Hours Until Roswell Find Collapses
San Antonio Express, Main Story
Flying Disc Turns Out
To Be Weather Device
Army Admits Mistake In Identifying Object;
Calls Swamp Small Town
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
ROSWELL, N. M., July 8 (AP)--A rancher's discovery of a strange object at first identified by an Army public information officer as a flying disc touched off a temporary flurry of excitement across the saucers-conscious nation today.
It was a good three hours after the first official announcement before an Army weather officer burst the bubble.
Journal: The object, he declared, was nothing more than an Army weather balloon and its kite.
Express: The object, he declared, was nothing more than a weather device.
Even as his decision was given, inquiries from as far away as London still clogged the telephone circuits into this medium-sized eastern New Mexico town. Sheriff George Wilcox' line was the busiest.
"The London Daily Mail called, and I've just finished talking to New York," he told a reporter late in the afternoon. "I also had calls from two other London papers--I forgot to get their names--and there were more from every big newspaper in the United States, the radio networks and still others."
(Journal): The identification, later discredited, of the mystery object, picked up in a pasture near the center of the state, came from Lieut. Walter Haupt [sic], public information officer at the Roswell Army Air Field.
(Express): The later discredited identification of the mystery object, picked up in a pasture near the center of the state, came from Lieut. Walter Haupt [sic], public information officer at the Roswell Army airfield.
"The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th (atomic) bomb group . . . was fortunate enough to gain possession of the disc," Haupt had said in a statement. The object was flown to Fort Worth Army base in an Army B-29 and the final identification was announced there.
Sheriff Wilcox said W. W. Brazell [sic], about 50, made the find on the Foster ranch near Corona, 85 miles northwest of Roswell.
(Journal): Brazell, who has his own small ranch nearby, notified the sheriff's office yesterday and related he made the discovery some days before, Wilcox said.
(Express): Brazell, who has his own small ranch nearby, notified the sheriff's office Monday and related he made the discovery two or three days before, Wilcox said.
The sheriff said he called Maj. Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group intelligence office at once, and the officer
accompanied Brazell back to the ranch to recover the object.
Wilcox said he did not see the object but was told by Brazell it was "about three feet across." The sheriff declined to elaborate. "I'm working with those fellows at the base," he said.
Army weather experts in Washington discounted any idea that weather targets might be the basis for the scores of reports of "flying discs."
Brig. Gen. Donald N. Yates, chief of the AAF weather service, said only a very few of them are used daily, at points were some specific project requires highly accurate wind information from extreme altitudes. Without field reports he would not hazard a guess on a precise number, he said.
Small differences between the Albuquerque Journal and San Antonio Express stories are noted below. Both are a rare AP version of the story. This may have been compiled by the AP office in Albuquerque that also dispatched reporter Jason Kellahin to Roswell to cover the story. Part of the story may have come from Kellahin.
AP stories generally blamed Roswell PIO Walter Haut for the "mistake." UP called it base commander Blanchard's release.
Newton, the weather officer, actually officially identified it as a rawin device or radar target. Gen. Ramey had been giving the weather balloon/box kite description before Newton, even calling the device a radar target.
Despite Sheriff Wilcox being inundated with calls, it is hard to find direct quotes from him. This AP article is an exception.
Again, Haut (misspelled as Haught in other AP articles) is blamed from the press release.
Giving Brazel's age is also unusual. This misspelling of Brazel's name is standard AP.
** Unique item and in direct contradiction to what Sheriff Wilcox is quoted as saying elsewhere. Here Wilcox is claiming Brazel made his discovery only a few days before. The UP, however, quoted Wilcox as saying 3 weeks before. Also UP had Wilcox saying Brazel came in "the day before yesterday" or Sunday. (See UP telexes)
This matched Marcel's recollection 30+ years later of the sheriff directly calling him.
** Unique item and confirms that Wilcox wasn't speaking independently. Later family members said the military had threatened him.
Comments of the Army weather experts in Washington can be found in other AP articles. The Express edited out this part of the article.