It has been suggested that a find of a weather balloon sometime prior to July 5, 1947, is similar to that made in Roswell a few days later. A story, headlined, “Flying Disc Believed Found on Pickaway [Ohio] Farm,” published on July 5, 1947, in the Circleville Herald, is similar to that published on July 8 by many newspapers around the county including the Roswell Daily Record. It is believed that this is, in a similar sense, the Roswell story and how the same explanation can be applied in Roswell that was applied in Ohio.
That short article in the Ohio newspaper and later picked up by other media said:
One of the flying discs puzzling aviators all over the United States was believed Saturday to have been found on a Pickaway County farm.
Sherman Campbell who lives on Westfall Road in Wayne Township, near the Pickaway-Rose county line reported the finding of a star-shaped silver foil covered object which he believed is one of the mystery “flying saucers.” While working in the field he spotted a strange object. He described his find as 50 inches high, 48 inches wide and weighing about 2 lbs. He said the silver foil was stretched over a wooded frame. The star-shaped object had 6 points.
He said there was a balloon attached which had deflated and there was no way of knowing how big it was. Discovery of the object was the first reported in the country. A Coast Guardsman on the West Coast reported photographing one from a distance, but no one has seen a flying disc close.
It is quite clear from the article that Campbell recognized it for what it was when he found it, meaning that he knew that it was a balloon-borne device, and he had the balloon. He was not talking about anything else and the original description, meaning the first reporting of it, is quite clear. He thought that when airborne, the six-pointed star, if spinning, could give the impression of a disc shape in bright sunlight.
Contrast this to the press release that was put out by Walter Haut, on orders from Colonel Blanchard. Here too, it is claimed that they had recovered a flying disc, but they believed, it seems, that a balloon and radar target did not explain it.
The Associated Press version, as it appeared in a number of west coast newspapers said:
The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff’s office of Chavez County.
The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff’s office, who in turn notified Major Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office.
Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher’s home. It was inspected at the Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters.
There is no clue here that any of those involved, the rancher, Brazel; the sheriff, Wilcox; the intelligence officer, Marcel; or the base commander, Blanchard, knew it was a balloon or balloon-borne device. By the time we get to Ramey’s office, and we have photographs of the alleged debris, it is quite clear that it is a balloon and radar target. The blackened balloon can be seen in the picture as well.
Campbell knew what it was when he found it, and according to later articles, the sheriff knew what it was when he saw it, and later the object found in Ohio was displayed in the newspaper office. They didn’t notify the military, and although the story was widely reported in Ohio, no military officers, no FBI agents, and no local authorities arrived to take charge of the debris. It was eventually returned to Campbell, at least according to what his daughter told me twenty some years ago.
The other report from Roswell, that is the original United Press bulletin, said:
Roswell, N.M. – The army air forces here today announced a flying disc had been found on a ranch near Roswell and is in army possession.
The Intelligence office reports that it gained possession of the ‘Dis:’ [sic] through the cooperation of a Roswell rancher and Sheriff George Wilson [sic] of Roswell.
The disc landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher, whose name has not yet been obtained, stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the Roswell sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office notified a major of the 509th Intelligence Office.
Action was taken immediately and the disc was picked up at the rancher’s home and taken to the Roswell Air Base. Following examination, the disc was flown by intelligence officers in a superfortress (B-29) to an undisclosed “Higher Headquarters.”
The air base has refused to give details of construction of the disc or its appearance.
Residents near the ranch on which the disc was found reported seeing a strange blue light several days ago about three o’clock in the morning.
Again, the contrast is startling. In Ohio, there was a description of the object found, and there is no one confusing it for something more than it is, or was. In Roswell, though many had examined the debris, there is no clue that this might be a balloon and radar target. Just several people, including many who should have known better, unable to identify what turned out to be, if we accept the cover story, a weather balloon.
|Photo of balloon and rawin from|
the Circleville newspaper.
You have to ask yourself, how is it that those in Ohio knew that it was a balloon and those in New Mexico did not? Isn’t it interesting that both stories talk of the balloon debris being found “last week,” though in Roswell that was eventually changed to “three weeks ago”? Isn’t it interesting that eventually, the balloon and radar reflector are displayed in Fort Worth, but not in Roswell? And if our old friend Sheridan Cavitt is to be believed, he knew the instant he saw it what it was, but made no attempt to inform either Marcel or Blanchard. Why did he remain mum, when he was with Marcel out in the field, or when he, with Marcel and some of the wreckage were examined by Blanchard in his office on the morning of July 8?
You might ask yourself (and I do, risking the wrath of the skeptics), did those in Roswell, who might well have known about the Circleville case, take a cue from there, changing the storyline so that it mimicked that in Ohio to hide the facts in New Mexico? Did they change the narrative so that reporters, and civilians, would not be inclined to ask the difficult questions that were then never asked?
The two storylines are interesting, to say the least. Of course the spin put on them takes you in a direction that you might wish to take… that is, they are so similar that Roswell is clearly a balloon… or they are similar to a point, but there is no mention of the balloon debris in the first of the Roswell stories. You might say that the Ohio report seems to underscore the mundane nature of the debris found in Roswell. The two stories are the same… and yet, they are not.
But the real question… the real difference… is the reaction of the military to these two events. At Circleville they ignored it. Clearly it is a balloon and posed no threat. The day after the press release in Roswell, both the Army and the Navy begin to suppress stories of the flying saucers. Why would they do that? What is the difference here? Why, suddenly, on July 9 do they care that people are seeing flying saucers but they had not cared prior to that?