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In the summer of 1947 something mysterious crashed in the New Mexican desert near the town of Roswell. Whether it was an alien spacecraft manned by tiny humanlike beings or–the US government’s official explanation–a scientific research balloon has long been a subject of passionate debate. Transcending the believer-versus-skeptic debate, anthropologists Benson Saler and Charles A. Ziegler contend that the Roswell story is best understood as a modern American myth. They show how the story–and its continual retelling–tap into modern fears about the power of technology, the duplicity of the government, and the power of the media. UFO Crash at Roswell also includes physicist Charles Moore’s meticulous account of how 1947 experiments to launch balloon-borne radar reflectors may have led to the Roswell UFO myth.
“A sound case study of contemporary . . . mythmaking, as well as an excellent and objective account of a very curious, and potent, period in American history.”–Journal of American Folklore
“UFO Crash at Roswell persuasively explains the wreckage that is key to Roswell; the later tales of alien intrusion; and the varying assumptions, hopes, and fears that likely motivate these tales.”–Stewart Guthrie, Professor of Anthropology, Fordham University
“Thought-provoking reading.”–Anthropological Forum