Friday, March 6, 2015

Dr. Edgar Mitchell: Memories of Roswell

What's in a word?

Dr. Edgar Mitchell on Aliens and their Spacecraft.

An important distinction from a flying saucer scientist

Stanton Friedman uses the term flying saucer to indicate “intelligently controlled extraterrestrial spacecraft.” He says,
A truly enormous amount of material has been written about flying saucers. Some people don’t even want me to use the term, but I use it to make an important distinctionFlying saucers are, by definition, unidentified flying objects, but very few unidentified flying objects are flying saucers. - Flying Saucers and Science

1947 artist's conception of a flying saucer.

But flying saucer did not always have that meaning. It was only after Donald Keyhoe’s article and book, Flying Saucers are Real, and the science fiction movies of the 1950s, did the term come to be understood as spacecraft. It was for that reason, unidentified flying objects or UFOs was used by the Air Force to avoid the automatic association with alien craft (but that term, too became associated with spaceships).

In 1947, when a newspaper said “flying saucer,” it was putting a label on a mystery. Spaceship from other planets was mentioned by a few, but mostly in jest, as Men from Mars were familiar to people from Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers comic strips. At that time, many thought the flying saucer answer was atmospheric anomalies or secret military planes either of US or Soviet origin. It is only from our perspective, that yesterday’s headlines mentioning Flying saucers seem to be saying extraterrestrial spacecraft.

Telephone or Chinese Whispers is a game where people pass a whispered phrase around a circle to see how the story changes. It’s a good example of just how stories transmute even when there’s no intent to exaggerate or fabricate. Translation of a story from one language to another can unintentionally distort details  but a just having it paraphrased within the same language is enough to do the same thing, especially when it’s done from memory many years later.

A Newspaper Witness from Roswell?

From Edgar Mitchell’s introduction to the 2009 edition of Witness to Roswell:
“I was ready to begin my senior year in high school in the summer of 1947 when the Roswell Daily Record on July 8 proclaimed the recovery of a crashed alien spacecraft on a ranch northwest of Roswell.
The Roswell Daily Record from July 8, 1947, makes no such claims. The headline states
"RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region"
It does not characterize the object as a spacecraft, alien or otherwise.

On July 25, 2008, Edgar Mitchell appeared on BlogTalkRadio’s ShapeShifting, hosted by Lisa Bonnice. 
"Well, that the crash of an alien spacecraft in the Roswell area was a real event and much of the lore, I can't say all of the lore, but much of the fact that dead bodies were recovered and live ones were recovered, that they were not of this world, was the story. And of course it was reported in the Roswell Daily Record one day and promptly denied the next day and a cover story of a weather balloon, and that was pure nonsense. That was a cover-up.  (Quoted at

In this clip we see him claim that he heard stories about the Roswell alien bodies, but admits it wasn’t until after 1980, when the first Roswell UFO book was released.
Mitchell interview posted by German UFO site.

In this clip from "Roswell Slides" promoter, Jaimie Maussan, Mitchell claims that the newspaper published stories about a Roswell crash of an alien spacecraft and bodies were recovered. As seen earlier, the story was only about a “flying saucer.” 
“I read it in the newspaper. On one day- on the day it reached the newspaper, it was that an alien spacecraft has crashed and bodies recovered and the next day, thanks to the Air Force and the military, they hushed it up and said, no, it was a weather balloon.”

BeWitness video with Edgar Mitchell

Edgar Mitchell lived at Roswell at the time, but had no direct experience with the alleged UFO events. All of his information on the events come from the stories of others.  Combining his memory of the newspaper coverage with the modern definition of flying saucer, when he relates his experience, even though he is sincere, he is in error. 

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