The Roswell Reports: What crashed in the desert?

Decades after the Roswell Incident people are still fascinated by it. Last October we wrote about National Archives moving image holdings relating to Project Blue Book and unidentified flying objects (UFOs).

In addition to Project Blue Book we also have records relating to the alleged UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. The U.S. Air Force (USAF) conducted several interviews in the early 1990s as well as researching textual records during the investigation into the crash, culminating in the publication of The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert in 1995.

In 1997 the Air Force released a follow-up report titled The Roswell Report: Case Closed. Both reports are available in the series Moving Images Relating to “The Roswell Reports” Source Data Research Files, 1946 – 1996 (Local Identifier: 341-ROSWELL / National Archives Identifier: 566658). The Air Force also produced the video Roswell Reports in support of the textual report. This video provides great background information on the Roswell incident and subsequent investigation.

Roswell Reports (Local Identifier: 341-ROSWELL-1 / National Archives Identifier: 2788598)

We also have audio interviews with USAF personnel and alleged witnesses to a UFO crash in the series Sound Recordings Relating to “The Roswell Reports”, 1991 – 1996 (Local Identifier: 341-ROSWELLa / National Archives Identifier: 566843). The USAF interviewees discuss the dropping of anthropomorphic, or crash test, dummies from high altitude balloons to study freefall characteristics and improve parachute design.

One of the interviews is with Colonel Dan Fulgham, who was in a May 1959 parachute accident with Colonel Joseph Kittinger, Jr. and Colonel William Kaufman in New Mexico. The accident resulted in serious swelling of Fulgham’s head and discoloration of his face. Some people believe that the stories of the 1947 Roswell Incident and the injured men from the 1959 accident got confused and the two stories turned into the one that we hear today. You can hear about the accident in the two recordings below.

Interview with Col. David D. Fulgham, USAF (Ret.), May 26, 1995 (Local Identifier: 341-ROSWELLa-6)

Images of Fulgham’s injuries can be seen in Roswell Reports (above).

Statement of Witness and Transcript  341-ROSWELLa-6


Interview with Col. Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr., USAF (Ret.), June 23, 1995 (Local Identifier: 341-ROSWELLa-11)

Statement of Witness and Transcript  341-ROSWELLa-11


You can check out more interviews on YouTube.

Gerald Anderson Interview (Local Identifier: 341-ROSWELL-16 / National Archives Identifier: 2788892)


W. Glenn Dennis Interview (Local Identifier: 341-ROSWELL-14 / National Archives Identifier: 2788762)


Interviews with Jed Roberts, Marilyn Strickland & Alice Knight (Local Identifier: 341-ROSWELL-17 / National Archives Identifier: 2788893)