Even if you don't follow conspiracy trends, chances are you've heard about Roswell, N.M. How could you not, with all the pop-culture phenomenon surrounding it and the countless sci-fi movies and TV shows that incorporate it into their story lines?

On July 8, 1947, the Roswell Army Air Field issued a press release, which stated that they had recovered a crashed "flying disc" from a ranch near Roswell.

"The many rumors regarding the flying discs became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the ranchers and the sheriff's office of Chaves County," said Lt. Warren Haught, public information officer. "The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff's office, who in turn notified Jesse A. Marcel, of the 509th Bomb Group intelligence office."

Haught's statement caused an immediate media sensation, and later that day a bold headline in the Sacramento Bee proclaimed, "Army Reveals It Has Flying Disc Found on Ranch in New Mexico."

A subsequent press conference was called, during which the military claimed that the crashed "flying disc" was actually a weather balloon. To back up the claim, officials produced debris from the balloon, which seemed to strengthen their story.

The military's explanation did not sit well with many people, including nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman. In 1978, Friedman interviewed Maj. Jesse Marcel, a soldier who had been involved in the recovery of the "balloon." During the interview, Marcel said that the recovered debris he saw was "not of this world."

Eleven years later, the claims gained even more steam when former mortician Glenn Dennis came forward and announced that alien autopsies had been conducted at the Roswell base.

Unable to ignore the media hype, the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force launched an internal investigation into the Roswell incident. In a 1995 report, the agency announced that the "weather balloon" they had recovered was actually a high-altitude balloon that was intended to detect bomb waves from atomic bomb and ballistic missile tests. In regard to alien autopsies, a second report was later released, in which officials stated that the alien bodies were actually those of dead soldiers and test dummies. The confusion about the autopsies was blamed on psychological effects.

Regardless of the government's attempts to debunk reports of the alien craft and autopsies, many UFO proponents continue to downplay the reports, opting to believe that a cover-up still exists.

Information found at http://www.investigationdiscovery.com/crime-fighting/10-conspiracy-theories.htm