Did you know that a day before the Roswell crash was reported in New Mexico, a similar UFO was seen flitting over the Kansas town of Clay Center?
I featured the Clay Center sighting — an official government real-life X-files case — in the first chapter of my book, UFO Cold Cases: Kansas.
Both cases happened nearly 69 years ago, during early July 1947.
That was just a few weeks after the entire country was sizzling with news reports of so-called “flying saucers” seen skipping over mountaintops in the state of Washington.
On June 24, 1947, Kenneth Arnold, a private pilot, had seen nine shiny boomerang-shaped objects over the Rocky Mountains near Mount Ranier. And more people around the country began reporting they too saw similar objects and lights.
The military was scrambling to find out what they were: Our own secret experimental aircraft or balloons? Russian aircraft? Misidentified objects? Or something else — perhaps even extraterrestrial visitors?
In the Kansas case, a seasoned combat pilot was on a routine military flight when he spotted a shiny object about 100 miles west of his Kansas City destination over the town of Clay Center. It was in broad daylight and in good weather. It shot away and disappeared when he tried to follow it.
I go into his statements and the circumstances in detail in my book.
What was strange was how quickly the military tried to downplay it and even dismiss it. And how there seemed to be no effort to go on the ground and find out if anyone in that town had seen the craft?
It was almost as if a UFO playbook had been established early on by the military to explain away any reports of UFOs.
That’s what many UFO researchers believe happened in the famous Roswell case.
I just visited Roswell last week and toured some of the sites around the city where the alleged government conspiracy took place.
The conspiracy story is one of the most famous cases in the annals of ufology.
A thunderstorm spewing thunder and lighting takes place on a night in early July 1947. A rancher hears a loud explosion that night and goes out to check on his cattle the next day at a rugged desert site about 30 miles northwest of Roswell. That’s where he finds a debris field.
He collects strange material and takes it into town a couple of days later, talks to the sheriff, the local radio station, and a few others. When the military find out, they allegedly send out a team to the site and they put out an initial press release that they’ve captured a “flying disk.”
That news appears in the Roswell Daily Record and the story goes out over the newswires.
However, the very next day, the military backtracks. They say it was a mistake, that it was only a crashed weather balloon. And thus the coverup and conspiracy began, the researchers say.
Roswell researchers are convinced the conspiracy is true. Why the coverup? They claim the military was afraid to let the public know about the alien beings found on the ship, for fear of mass panic similar to what allegedly happened during the Halloween 1938 radio broadcast of Orson Well’s Mercury Theatre dramatization of H.G. Well’s science fiction story, The War of the Worlds. The military also didn’t want the rest of the world to know they got their hands on advanced technology.
While touring Roswell, the sense I got was that those who allegedly helped the military in the crash retrieval kept quiet because they felt honor-bound to forget what they had seen out of patriotic duty. They were also much more trusting of the government to do the right thing back then.
But there were also threats. They were afraid of being not only imprisoned, but killed, if they revealed anything. Some reported they were told it would be easy to take them out into the desert and make them disappear.
After five days of being detained by the military, the rancher who found the debris changed his story. And the radio station owner was warned if he broadcast his original taped interview with the rancher, the station would lose its FCC license.
More details on the Roswell story are easily obtainable online or by visiting the International UFO Museum in Roswell or by reading one of the books by Stanton Friedman, the original Roswell civilian investigator. Friedman is one of the speakers at Roswell’s annual UFO Festival June 30-July 3 in remembrance of the incident.
While much ado has been made of Roswell, there’s been very little written about the July 6, 1947, Clay Center incident, which was marked as a Project Blue Book “unknown” case.
I found it very odd that the government just dropped it and did no follow-up on the ground — at least that we know about. In light of what Friedman and others have uncovered about the Roswell case, it might be time to take another look at the Clay Center case.