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Roswell - Operation UFO (60th Anniversary Edition)
Roswell - Operation UFO
60th Anniversary Edition
Actors: Hosted by: Jonathan Frakes, Hosted by: Bryant Gumbel
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Documentary
NR     2007     3hr 0min

WATCH THE SKIES! THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE! No other event in the 20th century has captured the imaginations of people everywhere like the supposed crash of a flying saucer near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. The belief that...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Hosted by: Jonathan Frakes, Hosted by: Bryant Gumbel
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Aliens, Documentary
Studio: Medialink Ent Llc
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 07/17/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 3hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

An essential purchase for those with an interest in the Rosw
Philip A. Carter | Sydney, NSW Australia | 08/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This double DVD set consists of two seperately produced documentaries which together form an exceptional package that I consider an essential purchase for anyone with more than a cursory interest in the Roswell story.

Disc 1 of 2 - Roswell : Cover-ups and close encounters (1997)
Produced and Directed by Don Goldman
Hosted by Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation 1987-1994)
Duration: Approximately 1 hour 31 minutes

Summary : What crashed in Roswell in 1947 - Extra-terrestrial Craft or some type of Balloon?

This program, produced in 1997, is a thorough summary of the events that took place in Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947 and the political and social backdrop at that time.

It is suitable viewing for those interested in the Roswell event, and for those with an interest in UFO's in general. If you don't believe the Roswell event was the crash of an extra-terrestrial craft, but rather a classified US Air Force Project or something similar, you may find this program of some interest as well.

The program begins with a little background information on Roswell. It is a city in New Mexico that was founded in the 1860's, and was home to the 509th bomber group which at one time (including in 1947) was the only bomber group associated with nuclear weapons deployment. The Roswell Army Base at which the bombers were assigned was closed in the 1960's.

An event occured in Roswell in 1947 which some believe was the crash of an extra-terrestrial craft or UFO, whilst others say it was simply a classified experiment gone wrong. Either way, Roswell has gained a notoriety and is now a name known world-wide.

1947 was just after the end of World War 2 and the cold war with the Soviet Union had just begun. The documentary notes that there was a pervasive feeling of paranoia within society. New Mexico was a hot-bed of secrecy and had nuclear capabilities. Then this:

June 1947
There is a wave of sightings of unidentified craft in the skies over the United States. Kenneth Arnold, pilot, sees 9 unknown objects flying in formation at high speed near Mt. Rainier in Washington. The term "flying saucers" is coined after he described them as looking like "saucers skipping over a pond".

Friday 4 July 1947
There are violent thunderstorms over Roswell, New Mexico. A rancher, Mac Brazel, is awoken that night by an ear-splitting explosion.

Saturday 5 July 1947
Mac Brazel, whilst out riding on the ranch to investigate the noise he heard last night, discovers a large quantity of "light weight metallic debris" scattered over an area "3 quarters of a mile long and several hunded feet wide".

Sunday 6 July 1947
Brazel rides 75 miles into Roswell and reports his find to Chavez County Sheriff George A. Wilcox who in turn, upon witnessing the debris field himself, decides to notify military authorities at Roswell Army Air Field. In the meantime, Wilcox speaks to Frank Joyce, an announcer for local radio station KGFL in Roswell.

Monday 7 July 1947
Brazel escorts intelligence officer Major Jesse Marcell and Sheridon Cavitt of the counter-intelligence corp to the debris field. The two then gather and load up some debris and return to Roswell.

Tuesday 8 July 1947
Troops are deployed to begin recovery of the debris field. By now soldiers are already deployed and guarding a second area some distance away believed to have been an actual crash site. Colonel William Blanchard, commanding officer of the base, instructs Lieutenant Walter Haut to issue a press release disclosing that the army has recovered the remains of a "flying disc". That afternoon, the story hits the newswires and headlines the local paper and the phone lines are jammed.

Evening papers all over the West pick up the story. Also that afternoon, Major Marcell is sent with some debris to Fort Worth, Texas, to meet with Brigadier General Roger Ramey. At a hastily arranged press conference, Ramey announces that the identification of the recovered debris as a flying saucer has been a mistake and that it is nothing more than the remains of a downed weather balloon with an attached radar reflector.

Wednesday 9 July 1947
The Roswell Daily Record newspaper runs the revised "sanitized" version of the story.

During this program you will hear the original radio announcement detailing the Roswell incident, and see the original newspaper headlines covering the story.

The program then asks - what happened to remnants of the wreckage? Apparently, some material was flown to Fort Worth to be inspected by General Ramey. The program states it is well documented that wreckage was sent on to Wright Field which at the time was the Army's centre for top secret technological research, and was where captured German and Soviet hardware was dismantled and studied, adding there is also evidence that within hours of the initial reports a sachel of material was flown to Washington for a briefing with President Truman.

What follows is a discussion about whether the UFO story is plausible or whether the Governments official line was true - that the material recovered, whilst not a weather balloon, was in fact another type of balloon; part of Project Mogul, top secret in 1947, whose purpose it was to detect Soviet Nuclear exposions in the atmosphere.

The program contains interviews with various experts in their field and/or interested parties including:

Glenn Dennis - This former Mortician at a Roswell funeral home received a call in 1947 from an army mortuary officer wanting to know if he had any caskets 3'6" to 4 feet long that were hermetically sealed, airtight, and waterproof. The army man explained they wanted to see how well prepared the funeral home was in case of an epidemic breaking out amongst the army base's children!

Bill McDonald - Forensic Sketch Artist who has produced sketches of a what the alien craft may have looked like based on his interviews with witnesses.

Albert C. Trakowski (Colonel, US Army, retired) - "Why he did not know this was ordinary meterological material is simply explained by the fact that he didn't know what it was. That he had no prior experience... no knowledge of what it was so he simply could not identify it".

Dr. Jesse Marcell, Jnr. (Son of Major Jesse Marcell) - Recollections about the material he saw that his father brought home in 1947 to show him and his mother. "The material I saw did not fit the description of a weather ballon or targetting device used for radar reflection". "He used to bring some weather balloons home for me to play with. There was no balloon component to the wreckage that we saw. My father went to radar school ... he would know if it was a radar target."

Phillip Klass (Aviation Author) - "There is a cover up. After many years of investigation I am certain that there is a cover up as far as Roswell. Not by the US Air Force.... not by the US Government ...but by those people who falsely claim that the government is covering up. They are the ones withholding key information from the public."

Thomas DuBose (Brigadier General, US Air Force, retired) - Fascinating testimony filmed at the age of 89 whilst apparently under hypnosis

Walter Haut (Public Information Officer, 509th Bomb Group, retired) - "In 1947, if we were told to do something, we did it. We didn't ask why. Basically you didn't have a need to know." "If the boss man said that we had a flying saucer in our possession then we had one, and that was it. I was just told to put out a press release".

Stanton Friedman (Investigator/Author) - "There is no question whatsoever that agencies in the United States Government are withholding UFO information." "Many people think that it's easy with Freedom of Information ... this magic key that unlocks all the doors... all you gotta [do is] ask and you get anything you want. Nothing could be further from the truth. You have the right to ask, they don't have to reveal 'cos there's a page full of exclusions. And the major exclusion is national security." "None of the arguments made by a very small group of debunkers or noisy negativists as I call them... stand up under careful scrutiny. The arguments sound great until you look at the evidence and they collapse of their own weight. The evidence is overwhelming that planet earth is being visited by intelligently controlled extra-terrestrial spacecraft. In other words, some UFO's - underline some twenty times - ARE alien spacecraft. Most are not. I don't care about those".

Steven Schiff (U.S. House of Representatives 1989-1998, New Mexico) - "There seems to be no doubt that these materials, when picked up, don't seem to have been treated like they were part of a weather balloon. These materials were flown out of New Mexico under armed guard by military police. Now weather balloons are not normally shipped under armed guard."

John Pike (Space Policy Director, Federation of American Scientists) - "There are a lot of reasons the government might want to cover up the fact that it was in contact with an extra-terrestrial civilization. It could destabilize our society and political system, call into question religious or economic beliefs, and it could get a lot of other governments on this planet very nervous about what sort of advantage we were getting from our contact with the aliens."

Lee Shargel (Metal Scientist/Author) - "Suppose there was something contained within that craft, some alien technology that could be used, either for or against us, but its effect could change the course of history. Withholding it would prevent that change from occuring at that time. Maybe some technology that might alter our dependence on oil. Just imagine if tomorrow we didn't have a dependence on oil... we didn't need it anymore. We discovered some energy source... some engine.... some power that relinquished our dependence on oil. What would that
do to the economic system of the world.... it would collapse overnight".

Unnamed young lady from Roswell - "I've heard of it but I don't believe in it. I think it's just.... like, a bunch of stuff, made up... and stuff."

Albert C. Trakowski (Colonel, US Army, retired) - "Only a fool would say that there is no possibility of life elsewhere but on Earth. Yes there must be life out there but I must say that we on Earth have not seen it yet". [My note: This is a pretty bold statement which in my view only a fool would make. How could he possibly know?]

Others interviewed or footage of statements made by them shown during the course of the program include:

- Kevin Randle Ph.D (Investigator)
- Don Schmitt (Investigator/Author)
- Richard Weaver (Colonel, US Air Force, retired)
- Charles B. Moore (NYU Project Mogul Engineer 1947)
- Ron Ray (Aerospace Engineer, Edwards Airforce Base)
- Frank Joyce (KGFL Roswell Radio Personality, retired)
- Sean Morton (Ufologist)
- Carl Sagan (Astronomer)
- Frank Drake (SETI Institute)
- Don Berliner (Aviation Historian/Author)
- Robert Shirley (Formet Pilot, US Army Airforce)
- Major General Samford (US Airforce 1952 Press Release)
- Robert Dean (Command Sgt Major US Army, retired)
- Bruce Maccabee Ph.D (Physicist/Investigator/Navy Optical Analyst)

In conclusion at just over 90 minutes long, this presentation is thorough and presents many views. The host, Jonathan Frakes (best known for his role on Star Trek: The Next Generation 1987-1994) is professional and seems interested in the subject matter. As he says at one point:

"The compelling question remains.... if this was simply a downed weather balloon as the government claimed, why was the material handled under such high security and why would a routine recovery require the immediate attention of so many high ranking officials including the Presisent of the United States?"

I recommend this DVD to you to help you answer this question for yourself!

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Disc 2 of 2 - The Roswell Crash : Startling New Evidence
Directed by Melissa Jo Peltier
Hosted by Bryant Gumbel (Best known for hosting NBC's 'The Today Show' 1982-1997)
Duration: Approximately 1 hour 25 minutes

Summary : Can an archeological dig help solve the Roswell mystery? Does an analysis of the Ramey Memo prove the official story to be a lie?

This documentary, produced in 2002, provides the background story to the events that took place in Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947. It also focuses heavily on two new sources of information:

1. An archeological dig of an area where witnesses claim something crashed on the Foster Ranch in 1947
2. An analysis using computer imaging of an original photograph showing General Roger Ramey holding a memo which is believed to contradict the governments official story about what happened

This is a well crafted production and is suitable viewing for those interested in the Roswell event, and for those with an interest in UFO's in general. If you don't believe the Roswell event was the crash of an extra-terrestrial craft, but rather a classified US Air Force Project or something similar, you may find this program of some interest as well.

An area of the Foster Ranch 75 miles outside of Roswell, New Mexico, is selected for excavation. The excavation site was chosen based on research by Tom Carey and Don Schmitt, who state they have walked the site with witnesses and logged hundreds of hours of testimony. An electromagnetic conductivity study of the site reveals two notable anomalies - areas that show strikingly unusual soil characteristics. The anomalies were located right where witness testimony placed the gouge created by whatever crashed there in 1947. The excavation was conducted by archeologists from the University of New Mexico led by Bill Doleman Ph.D who states "We are digging holes in the ground to look for physical evidence of an extra-terrestrial vessel impact".

The excavation itself and the stories that go with it make for interesting viewing. Unfortunately, by the end of the program, nothing of particular importance had been found. Bryant Gumbel informs us that:

"The Foster Ranch did produce unexplained disturbances in the soil and 66 bags of unidentified artifacts all of which cry out for further investigation".

"These samples and artifacts will remain locked in the safe of the Roswell Wells-Fargo Bank until they can undergo extensive testing at a materials lab".

The second area of investigation in this program seems to provide more definite results. A research scientist David Rudiak examines what he believes to be "the smoking gun" of the Roswell incident - a photograph that in 2002 had been in the public domain for 55 years:

"First there was the Roswell Base press release. About an hour after the press release [General] Ramey was already speaking on the phone to reporters and the Pentagon Press Room and saying it looked like a weather balloon to him and a radar target and that is in fact what is pictured here. So they brought in the photographer from the Fort Worth Star Telegram. He took six photos. Four of the photos have General Ramey's holding this message in his hand. In three of these photos the message is turned away from the camera. In this particular photograph for some reason it's facing the camera and fortunately for us the image is of sufficient quality that we can read quite a bit of the message, and it tells a very remarkable story".

Rudiak goes on: "The two-words here are weather balloon. These words are very important because it tells us this is about Roswell because Ramey is trying to sell a weather balloon story to the press. It's not his lunch order, it's not his laundry list, it's not Mrs. Ramey telling him to bring groceries home".

Rudiak says an analysis of the memo using computer imaging suggests that the weather balloon story was indeed a smokescreen. Rudiak believes the Ramey memo contains the words "victims" and "disc" and is convinced that these words on the memo, together with the rest of the message, prove that what happened at Roswell involved more than just some type of balloon.

During the course of the program many other people present their views or give their personal recollections including:

- Kevin Randle Ph.D (Investigator)
- Don Schmitt (Investigator/Author)
- Moe Cox (Technical Sergeant, Biggs Air Base Texas, retired)
- Charles B. Moore (NYU Project Mogul Engineer 1947)
- Frank Joyce (KGFL Roswell Radio Personality, retired)
- Tom Carey (Roswell Investigator)
- Karl T. Pflock (Ufologist/Author)
- Robert J. Durant (Retired Pilot/Roswell Investigator)
- Richard Dolan (Author/Ufologist)
- Robert J. Shirkey (Operations Officer 509th Bomb Group, retired)
- Major General Samford (US Airforce 1952 Press Release)
- Robert Dean (Command Sgt Major US Army, retired)
- Bruce Maccabee Ph.D (Physicist/Investigator/Navy Optical Analyst)
- Jesse Marcel Jr. MD (Son of Major Jesse Marcel)
- Jesse Marcel Snr (Army Intelligence, 509th Bomb Group, now deceased)
- Nancy Easley Johnson (Daughter of Major Edwin Easley)
- Walter Haut (Public Information Officer 509th Bomb Group, retired)
- Stanton Friedman (Investigator/Author)
- Glenn Dennis (Mortician, Roswell, retired)
- Robert Slusher (Staff Sergeant, Roswell Army Air Field, retired)
- Pete Anaya (Former Chairman, GI Forum Roswell)


Here are a few of their memorable quotes from the program:

"[The press] never saw the real material. The real material went on to Washington at that time... so Marcell is ordered to pose with the substituted radar reflector balloon. So the first press release that it was a flying saucer and six hours later "we're sorry ladies and gentlemen it's just a weather balloon". The question is which press release is the real story."

Don Schmitt (Investigator/Author)


"Let us hypothesize that the year is 1947 and that your name is Harry Truman. Now let us further hypothesize that your military somehow obtained crash wreckage of some kind of technology that wasn't your own and that wasn't Soviet. The quetion is what would you do about it. Well we know in 1947 for instance that the US had a monopoly of nuclear technology of working atomic bombs and we know that the entire world was hammering at the door of the United Nations to get the United States to make atomic energy public, that is... to put it under the control of the United Nations. The US response to that was absolutely no way are we going to share nuclear technology with anyone. If they're not going to share nuclear technology in 1947 what on earth are they gonna do about something as exotic as alien technology. Well I think the answer would be clear. You would make it so secret you would in a sense almost keep it secret from yourself."

Richard Dolan (Author/Ufologist)


"I was councelled just before I retired that I would keep my mouth shut to what I knew or forget it I was Fort Leavenworth bound. I didn't want to go to Fort Leavenworth so I kept my mouth shut about all this until oh I guess about a year a little better ago. I finally figured it's time somebody knew that it really-did-happen."

Moe Cox (Technical Sergeant, Biggs Air Base Texas, retired)


"I have a difficult time believing that Jesse Marcel as the intelligence officer of the 509th Bomb Group - the only atomic strike force in the world at that time - was so incompetent that he couldn't identify weather balloon remains when he saw them."

Kevin Randle Ph.D (Investigator)


"Their second "final" report was to deal with the bodies and they came up with anthripomorphic dummies that they were using to test ejection systems and parachutes from high altitudes. Which is fine but the tests didn't begin till 1953 six years after this event so it makes no sense."

Kevin Randle Ph.D (Investigator)


"People always remember the hoaxes. They'll remember that certain witnesses were discredited - they won't remember that every member of Colonel Blanchards staff we were able to interview with a single exception said this was an extra-terrestrial event."

Kevin Randle Ph.D (Investigator)


"I feel that they've been waiting until several of us old white-hairs die off who were there. Then they can say anything they want because there's no one to refute them."

Robert J. Shirkey (Operations Officer 509th Bomb Group, retired)


"I think it's very important people know about what happened here in Roswell. It happened, and it was shielded and hidden."

Moe Cox (Technical Sergeant, Biggs Air Base Texas, retired)


In conclusion at just over 85 minutes long, this presentation is thorough and presents many views. The host, Bryant Gumbel (best known for his hosting of Today on NBC 1982-1997) is professional and articulate.

I recommend this DVD to anyone seeking to learn more about the Roswell story and particularly for the new insights provided during the course of the excavation at the Foster Ranch and the from the analysis of the Ramey memo using computer imaging.

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