Mac Brazel, who discovered the debris which sparked the Roswell UFO incident, died in 1963, well before researchers started to interview witnesses to the incident. However, he was interviewed in 1947 and his accounts of debris appeared in the Roswell Daily Record on July 9, 1947. In the interview he said he found “bright wreckage made up of rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks”.
Jesse Marcel was approached by researchers in 1978 and he recounted details suggesting the debris Brazel had led him to was exotic. He believed the true nature of the debris was being suppressed by the military. His accounts were featured in the 1979 documentary UFOs are Real, and in a February 1980 National Enquirer article, which are largely responsible for making the Roswell incident famous by sparking renewed interest.
There was all kinds of stuff—small beams about three eighths or a half inch square with some sort of hieroglyphics on them that nobody could decipher. These looked something like balsa wood, and were about the same weight, except that they were not wood at all. They were very hard, although flexible, and would not burn….One thing that impressed me about the debris was the fact that a lot of it looked like parchment. It had little numbers with symbols that we had to call hieroglyphics because I could not understand them. They could not be read, they were just like symbols, something that meant something, and they were not all the same, but the same general pattern, I would say. They were pink and purple. They looked like they were painted on. These little numbers could not be broken, could not be burned. I even took my cigarette lighter and tried to burn the material we found that resembled parchment and balsa, but it would not burn—wouldn’t even smoke. But something that is even more astonishing is that the pieces of metal that we brought back were so thin, just like tinfoil in a pack of cigarettes. I didn’t pay too much attention to that at first, until one of the boys came to me and said: “You know that metal that was in there? I tried to bend the stuff and it won’t bend. I even tried it with a sledgehammer. You can’t make a dent on it,” Marcel said.
Second-hand accounts from Alice Knight and Vern Maltais show descriptions which suggest dummies again, and an uncertainty about the date of occurrence. “I don’t recall the date,” said Knight. “Their heads were hairless,” said Maltais, and their clothing was “one-piece and gray in color.” (p. 58-9)
A first-hand account from Gerald Anderson similarly offered descriptions that seemingly matched dummies: “thought they were plastic dolls,” he said. He also described a “blimp,” further suggesting a misidentified military recovery operation. (p. 61) A description of a “jeep-like truck that had a bunch of radios in it” sounds very much like a modified Dodge M-37 utility truck not used until 1953, further suggesting a confusion about dates.
The Air Force report concluded: “The descriptions examined here, provided by UFO theorists themselves, were so remarkably — and redundantly — similar to these Air Force projects that the only reasonable conclusion can be that the witnesses described these activities.” (p. 68)