9781588340634

UFO Crash at Roswell

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781588340634

  • ISBN10:

    1588340635

  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2010-06-22
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Books
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Summary

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 U.S. 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. Book jacket.

Author Biography

Benson Saler is professor emeritus of anthropology at Brandeis University Charles A. Ziegler is a senior research associate in anthropology at Brandeis University Charles B. Moore is professor emeritus of atmospheric physics at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations and Tables
vii
Acknowledgments viii
Introduction ix
Mythogenesis: Historical Development of the Roswell Narratives
1(29)
The Form and Acquisition of the Myth
2(2)
The Roswell Myth (1996)
3(1)
The Myth's Historical Core
4(6)
The ``Real'' Cover Story
10(2)
Genesis of the Myth
12(18)
Version 1 (1980)
17(2)
Version 2 (1988)
19(1)
Version 3 (1991)
20(2)
Version 4 (1992)
22(3)
Version 5 (1994)
25(2)
Version 6 (1994)
27(3)
Analysis of the Roswell Myth: A Traditional Folk Motif Clothed in Modern Garb
30(44)
Parallels with Traditional Folk Narratives
34(18)
Motivations of the Mythmakers
52(13)
Functions of the Myth
65(7)
A Cultural Perspective
72(2)
The Early New York University Balloon Flights
74(41)
Background
75(2)
The First NYU Balloon Flights
77(3)
The June 1947 Balloon Flights from Alamogordo
80(28)
An Analysis of the Roswell Incident Debris
108(5)
Conclusion
113(1)
Epilogue
113(2)
Roswell and Religion
115(35)
Conceptualizing Religion: An Orientation
115(5)
A Matter of Belief
120(6)
A Religious Dimension of Roswell: Nonhypothetical Truths
126(5)
Aliens as Superhuman Beings
131(7)
Situatedness
138(4)
Emotional Tones
142(2)
Flying Saucers and Religion
144(6)
Three Images of Roswell
150(19)
The Public Image: A Case of Mistaken Identity
150(3)
The Scholarly Image: A Case of Dubious Historicity
153(7)
The Believers' Image: A Case of Embattled Truth
160(4)
Portents and Omens
164(5)
Appendix 1: The Origins of the ML-307B/AP Pilot Balloon Targets 169(6)
Appendix 2: Later Experiences Pertaining to the Roswell Incident 175(6)
Notes 181(4)
Bibliography 185(8)
Index 193

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