History Channel - 12/3/08
The UH team goes to Roswell, NM to follow up on old leads and dig up new witnesses -- while they still can. The show starts with a recap of the Roswell story from the initial report to the Friedman research tp the recent Air Force report debunking the incident. Working with local researchers, the crew points out that time is running out on the witnesses -- as, one by one, they're dying off due to old age. One new witness is Earl Fulford, who was at the Roswell airbase at the time, but never spoke about it until now. He says he saw floating objects in the sky near the airbase before the crash; circular objects that hung motionless in the sky and then disappeared -- perhaps a week or ten days before the crash. Later, Earl went with with members of the base to pick up unusual debris from a crash 70 miles NW of Roswell. As part of the UH team takes Earl to see the crash site, other parts of the team research the Plains of San Augustin, site of another alleged crash during the same time period. They also look for debris from the crash that may have been hidden in caves by local farmers. (The team finds caves, but no debris.)
Earl describes picking up a strange metal-like substance, and -- in the most interesting part of the episode -- the team sets up an experiment to see if they can determine what he and the others recovered. Meanwhile, another local researcher has debris from the second site that seems highly unusual; the team takes the twisted blob of something to be tested. In the crash metal test, UH takes a handful of different metals, cardboard, and plastic-like substances. They then have two witnesses who claim to have touched the substance -- Earl and Jesse Marcel Junior -- examine the samples in independent viewings. Both men pick silver acetate as being very similar to what they encountered. It has the right consistency and it springs back to its original shape when crumpled. And while acetate was available at the time, the government document about Project Mogul, the supposed explanation for the crash, says that mylar was used in the Mogul targets, not acetate. (Although, when I was in art school, the terms were used almost interchangably -- and what they show as acetate is what I picture when I hear the word "mylar.") The mysterious melted substance found in the 2nd crash site turns out to be HDPE - a plastic used in Tupperware, fuel tanks, and aircraft windows. Oddly, the plastic only melts at 250% farenheit, too hot for normal desert conditions. (Though it seems to me that the investigators have ignored potential, manmade causes of melting -- like bonfires.)
Though the show tries to draw conclusions about the artifact found and the "memory metal" test -- seeming to imply that the things encountered had not been invented at the time they were found -- the fact that both objects had very ordinary explanations seems to me to bely this argument. In a sad coda to the story, Earl Fulford (81) passed away before the show was aired -- adding to the show's eerie warning about the witnesses to the event dying of old age.
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