Roswell, New MexicoRoswell is a city located in Chaves County, New Mexico. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 45,293. It is a small ranching community, that until July 4, 1947, was a site for much of Robert Goddard's later rocketry work. On that day, however, an object crashed nearby.
On July 8, the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) allegedly announced it was an UFO, and four alien bodies were supposedly recovered from the landing site. The following day, U.S. Air Force officials stated that it was not an UFO, but a weather balloon. Since then, Roswell has been a focus of alien and conspiracy theory, rivaled only by Area 51, where the alien bodies are said to be stored.
Today, UFO tourism is a major income for people around Roswell. The place has also been featured in many books, comics, movies and television series. (For example, in the Star Trek universe, the object was a Ferengi ship from the future.) In 1994, the "Roswell case" was officially closed (see ), though Ray Santilli, a British film producer, produced a film in 1995 supposedly showing the autopsy of an alien from the crash. It is the county seat of Chaves County6.
So what did crash in Roswell? Was it a flying saucer, a weather balloon, or something else? And if it wasn't a flying saucer, why the initial reports of UFOs and the veil of secrecy? Here are some probable explanations by Karl T. Pflock in his book "Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe":
- The initial report of a UFO crash by the Army was the blunder of a particular officer suffering from a case of hubris, and the desire to "scoop" the biggest story he could see, which involved the growing number of UFO sightings.
- What crashed in the desert was a balloon with a long train of equipment, and this balloon was of a top secret project -- Project Mogul, hence the veil of secrecy.
- Several years later, an aerial tanker crashed near Roswell and badly burned bodies were found. Due to the time that passed, this memory merged with the original balloon crash and thus was born the story of alien bodies being found.
GeographyRoswell is located at 33°23'14" North, 104°31'41" West (33.387160, -104.528116)1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 75.0 km² (29.0 mi²). 75.0 km² (28.9 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.07% water.
As of the census of 2000, there are 45,293 people, 17,068 households, and 11,742 families residing in the city. The population density is 604.3/km² (1,565.2/mi²). There are 19,327 housing units at an average density of 257.9/km² (667.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 70.96% White, 2.47% African American, 1.28% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 21.29% from other races, and 3.31% from two or more races. 44.34% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 17,068 households out of which 34.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% are married couples living together, 14.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% are non-families. 27.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.58 and the average family size is 3.13.
In the city the population is spread out with 28.5% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 88.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $27,252, and the median income for a family is $31,724. Males have a median income of $26,554 versus $21,408 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,589. 22.6% of the population and 18.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 31.1% are under the age of 18 and 13.8% are 65 or older.
- See also : Roswell television show