(From David Gelles, TODAY Producer)
NBC Historian Michael Beschloss and I recently traveled to Roswell, New Mexico to report on the 60th anniversary of the Roswell incident. WATCH VIDEO
Roswell is perhaps the most famous UFO sighting in American history. The mystery of what happened here continues to draw thousands of hardcore alien believers who will tell you it’s all a “government cover-up.”
As the story goes, something strange fell from the sky in the summer of 1947. The first reports from the U.S. military claimed the strange debris recovered was the wreckage of a flying saucer, although the military quickly retracted that report claiming it was a weather balloon. The Roswell Incident was mostly ignored until 1978 when UFO researcher Stanton Friedman interviewed Maj. Jesse Marcel, the Army intelligence officer who recovered the actual debris. Marcel claimed what he found 31 years ago was from another planet and the government had ordered him to keep quiet.
We interviewed both Stanton Friedman and Jesse Marcel Jr., the son of Maj. Jesse Marcel to include in our story.
Even if you don’t believe in UFO’s there’s probably no better place to spot one than looking up into the wide open New Mexico sky.
Driving south from Albuquerque, the road to Roswell leaves a lot to the imagination.
But don’t expect to find a sign telling you where to find the official UFO crash site here.
After driving up and down a deserted highway for over an hour we spotted this empty billboard. Much like everything in the story of Roswell, the details are kind of sketchy, and everyone has a different opinion on what really happened. The site where we shot our story is one of three “official” crash sites.
Driving down the abandoned dirt road on our way to the “crash site” our camera crew got a flat tire (possibly from driving over some “alien” debris)
Finally, we set up the camera and started shooting Michael’s stand-ups.
Later on, when we got into town I was “abducted” by aliens at the UFO festival’s “alien costume contest”
…After this photo was taken I became a “true believer.” (Almost as embarrassing as the Miss New Jersey photos)
Not everything we filmed made the final cut. I decided not to use this standup we filmed in front of the UFO museum