Date: Sat Sep 17 1994 00:00:24
From: Sheppard Gordon
Subj: Roswell and Believers
After eight months of rigorous investigation, the U.S. air force
has concluded that alien spacemen did not crash-land on a New
Mexico ranch 47 years ago.
What a relief: incompetent extraterrestrial pilots spying on the
American cattle industry are the stuff of nightmares.
But - call us naive - we find the idea a good deal less bizarre
than the U.S. penchant for believing such unfounded fantasy, and
its willingness to spend so much time and money trying to debunk it.
There was no coverup, a 25-page report declares. The mysterious
object that hit the ground near Roswell, N.M., was a top-secret
U.S. weather balloon monitoring for signs of Soviet atomic-bomb tests.
Sadly, however, the investigation did not ask the one question that
might have given the government some return on its money: why do
so many taxpayers refuse to believe such assurances? Partly, the
explanation lies deep in the human psyche. As demonstrated by each
new revelation about Elvis and John F. Kennedy, Americans adore a
good conspiracy theory.
But the first thing the air force should look at is its own
penchant for secrecy. If it had admitted in 1947 that a high-tech
instrument was involved - which would have surprised no one, least
of all the Russians - the Roswell Incident would now be long