RAAF CAPTURES FLYING SAUCER ON RANCH IN ROSWELL REGION
No Details of Flying Disk Are Revealed
Roswell Hardware Man and Wife Report Disk Seen
The intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment group at Roswell Army Air Field announced at noon today, that the field has come into possession of a flying saucer.
According to information released by the department, over authority of Maj. J. A. Marcel, intelligence officer, the disk was recovered on a ranch in the Roswell vicinity, after an unidentified rancher had notified sheriff Geo. Wilcox, here, that he had found the instrument on his premises.
Major Marcel and a detail from his department went to the ranch and recovered the disk, it was stated.
After the intelligence office here had inspected the instrument it was flown to "higher headquarters".
The intelligence office stated that no details of the saucer's construction or its appearance had been revealed.
Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wilmot apparently were the only persons in Roswell who have seen what they thought was a flying disk.
They were sitting on their porch at 105 South Penn. last Wednesday night at about ten minutes before ten o'clock when a large glowing object zoomed out of the sky from the southeast, going a northwesterly direction at a high rate of speed.
Wilmot called Mrs. Wilmot's attention to it and both ran down into the yard to watch. It was in sight less than a minute, perhaps 40 or 50 seconds, Wilmot estimated.
Wilmot said that it appeared to him to be about 1,500 feet high and going fast. He estimated between 400 and 500 miles per hour.
In appearance it looked oval in shape like two inverted saucers, faced mouth to mouth, or like two oldtype washbowls placed together in the same fashion. The entire body glowed as though light were showing through from inside, though not like it would be if a light were merely underneath.
From where he stood Wilmot said that the object looked to be about five feet in size, and making allowance for the distance it was from town he figured that it must have been 15 or 20 feet in diameter, though this was just a guess.
Wilmot said that he heard no sound but that Mrs. Wilmot said she heard a swishing sound for a very short time.
The object came into view from the southeast and disappeared over the treetops in the general vicinity of six mile hill.
Wilmot, who is one of the most respected and reliable citizens in town, kept the story to himself hoping that someone else would come out and tell about having seen one, but finally today decided that he would go ahead and tell about seeing it. The announcement that the RAAF was in possession of one came only a few minutes after he had decided to release the details of what he had seen.
Roswell Daily Record, July 8, 1947
The Daily Record was one of the four local Roswell news outlets that received the base press release.
However, the press release seems to be paraphrased rather than quoted (e.g., the term "flying saucer" is used rather than "flying disk" used by AP and UP). There is also a strong emphasis on the intelligence office as the center of the story, whereas there is no such emphasis in he AP and UP accounts. Other differences between the Daily Record and AP/UP accounts are detailed below.
Neither AP nor UP provided a time of the announcement. UP reported the intelligence office made the statement, but afterwards laid the responsibility for the press release at the feet of base commander Blanchard. In contrast, AP merely said the intelligence office recovered the object and the announcement came from the base public relations officer. AP also later personally blamed him for making a misidentification and releasing the information. The Daily Record's time of noon is generally in accordance with local press people's memories of getting the release shortly after noon, but the release didn't hit the AP wire until nearly 3:30. This long delay remains unexplained.
UP never mentioned Marcel by name in their initial bulletins, only the intel office recovering the disk, examining it, and flying it to "higher headquarters.". AP mentioned Marcel by name as the intel officer contacted by Sheriff Wilcox and the one who flew the "disk" to higher HQ. The Daily Record version seems to make Marcel more of a centerpiece of the story. Some debunkers have seized on this, claiming that Marcel issued the release for self-glorification, never explaining how he managed to do this and never dealing with the differences in the various versions of the press release which either don't mention him at all or only as a one of he principles, like Sheriff Wilcox.
AP stories always made it sound like Marcel was the sole intel officer involved. After phoning Wilcox, UP quickly updated the story to indicate that an "enlisted man" went out with an "intelligence officer" and then later used Marcel's name. UP stories also sometimes using the plural "intelligence officers" retrieving the object. Rancher Brazel later that evening indicated that "a man in plain clothes" accompanied Marcel. Here, the Daily Record calls it "a detail."
This is very similar to UP and AP accounts, particularly UP which didn't name Marcel. Missing from the Record account, but present in both UP and AP versions, is the statement that the rancher found the object "sometime last week."
The local disk sighting from the previous week (July 2) of Mr. and Mrs. Wilmot formed the bulk of the story. In early Roswell books, this was assumed to be the crash object. The closest thing to this in the initial wire service accounts was UP's statement with the rest of the press release that residents near the ranch reported a "strange blue light" several days before. The Wilmot family later allegedly said that Dan Wilmot actually saw the object explode in the distance, though nothing like that is in this story.