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Marcel family shares never-before-seen artifacts; Treasure trove for UFO researchers, historians will shine light on Roswell Incident

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A treasure trove of never-before-seen historic documents, military records, photos and a personal journal by intelligence officer Maj. Jesse Marcel were recently uncovered by members of the Marcel family, long considered to be the first family of the Roswell Incident.

On the morning of July 7, 1947 Maj. Jesse Marcel was called to the desert just outside Roswell to investigate a mysterious object that had crashed from the sky. Marcel, a World War II combat pilot and intelligence officer entrusted with oversight of the first and only atomic-bomb strike force in the world, personally handled and transported the debris, which he characterized as “not of this world.” The next day, the U.S. military issued a press release stating they had recovered wreckage of a flying saucer at Roswell, which was published in the Roswell Daily Record. Two days later, the military reversed the release claiming the wreckage was actually a weather balloon. Marcel was ordered to pose for photos with the balloon debris. This resulted in the widespread belief of a government cover-up. The Roswell Incident — as it has come to be known — went on to become the world’s most famous and enduring UFO mystery.

Did their grandfather leave behind clues to what actually happened in Roswell among his papers and journal? Jesse Marcel III, his brother John Marcel and family are determined to find out. “My grandfather was used as the fall guy and I owe it to him and my family’s legacy to get to the truth about what happened back in July 1947,” Jesse Marcel III said.

Jesse Marcel III had hinted at last year’s UFO Festival that the family was planning a huge project. He had said his grandfather had always been proud of his military career and about the Roswell Incident. “People don’t realize that it was a badge of honor for him (his grandfather),” he said. “He liked being associated with it. He felt that this was life-changing news — something that will change history forever.”

In a phone interview, Jesse Marcel III talked about the project. Relatives and friends who had communication from Maj. Jesse Marcel were asked to participate and collect any documents, photos and correspondence by Maj. Jesse Marcel.

“This is from all the Marcels, all over the U.S., Louisiana, myself, my brother John and sister Denise,” Jesse Marcel III said.

The family found support in Larry Landsman, president and executive producer at AEP Media LLC. Landsman is documenting the process.

Asked when the documents will be made available to the public, Landsman said, “We haven’t been specific. It is a large cache of historical military documents, but it all goes back to that time period (mid-40s). What’s the most intriguing is what historians and cryptographers will decipher.”

One of the biggest finds is the journal of Maj. Marcel. “It’s his personal journal from back then, which is so intriguing and may potentially shed light on the truth of what really happened,” Landsman said.

“To his dying day, my grandfather and my father never changed his story,” John Marcel said. “We’re hoping that these artifacts and personal writings during the time of the incident will blow open the years-long cover-up.”

Based on surprising findings made by forensic document examiner John Osborn, the Marcel artifacts will undergo a thorough review by historians, cryptographers, and leading experts in military and intelligence tradecraft to help shed light on what really crashed to earth in July 1947. Osborn was the 33rd president of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners with an expertise of 20 years in his field.

Was it a weather balloon? A top-secret, high-altitude military device used to detect Soviet atomic tests? Or as many believe, an extraterrestrial craft? These questions still persist today, with decades of speculation and conjecture fueling the now-legendary case. It’s a controversy that has garnered the attention of mystery hunters and mainstream news media for more than 70 years.

Once the Marcel artifacts are deciphered, the International UFO Museum and Research Center have the approval to curate the historical cache. “We at the International UFO Museum & Research Center are grateful and honored that the Marcel family have chosen us to be a repository for their recently discovered artifacts,” said Jim Hill, director of the museum. “The family’s commitment to authenticating the materials speaks volumes as to their resolve to learn the truth. We look forward to the day these documents will be available for public viewing.”

Since opening to the public, the IUFOMRC has had more than 3,900,000 visitors from around the world. During the 70th anniversary of the alleged crash last year, the IUFOMRC welcomed a record number of 223,559 visitors. The museum’s library is the second-largest collection of its kind in the world. Classified as a special collections library, it is open to the public year-round.

Christina Stock may be contacted at 622-7710, ext. 309, or at vision@rdrnews.com.