What Is the Popular Folklore Pertaining to Roswell New Mexico's Area 51?

Roswell, New Mexico, is the site of a supposed UFO crash in 1947, and a 1990s alien autopsy video purports to show alien bodies retrieved from the crash. Area 51 is allegedly where the government stores and researches alien military technology. Many said that the government shipped wreckage from the crash to Area 51 for study.

In 1947, a rancher near Roswell found debris that he could not identify on his land. The rancher called the sheriff, who contacted the military at Roswell Army Air Force Base. The military retrieved the material, and after a story about a flying saucer appeared in the Roswell newspaper, announced that the debris was from a weather balloon. In 1994, the Pentagon declassified Project Mogul, revealing that the crash actually involved an espionage balloon.

The alien autopsy film surfaced as a 1995 television show in the United States and Britain. The show attracted ratings, despite immediate debunking. In 2006, a Manchester, England, artist claimed the film as his handiwork, relating how he created the effects and played the role of the pathologist.

Area 51 is the research facility for cutting-edge aircraft. A combined effort of the Air Force, CIA and Lockheed-Martin, Area 51 produced the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes and the F-117A stealth fighter. During the Cold War, Area 51 was the storage and research site for captured Soviet aircraft.

Roswell and Area 51 are quite distant. Roswell is in southeast New Mexico, roughly at the center of a triangle formed by Albuquerque, El Paso and Lubbok. Area 51 is part of Nevada's Nellis Air Force Range, in the desert between Las Vegas and California, next to the former Atomic Energy Commission Nevada test site.