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The History of World UFO Day

July 2nd, 2009

ufo-history-day.jpgJuly 2nd is a fairly non-celebratory day for most Americans. It’s two days before Independence Day, but other than that, there is nothing most people will recognize as remarkable about this particular day. A certain percentage of the population, however, will instantly recognize the significance of July 2nd. It is, as any member of MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) or any believer in extraterrestrial life will tell you, World UFO Day, specifically the date of the infamous Roswell incident in 1947.

To that end, UFO enthusiasts and believers started the unofficial World UFO Day, a day on which participants should encourage their governments to disclose covered-up secrets concerning alien life. UFOlogists from around the world gather in Roswell every year during the Fourth of July weekend to meet and discuss this and other ideas concerning life from outer space and other planets. Yet, given the vast pop-culture influence Roswell has had on all sorts of mediums, it may be time for re-examination of just what happened on that day, and why so many encourage an international holiday devoted to “fessing up” about alien activity.

It was on July 2nd, 1947 that New Mexico rancher Mac Brazel discovered a strange piece of metal on his property. His initial thought was that it appeared to be a piece of a wreckage of some kind; he also did not recognize the type of metal. Brazel contacted the military, and soon authorities removed the wreckage from the site. This by itself would seem to be highly unconvincing, yet military reports detailed an Unidentified Flying Object in the area around the same time. Afterward, however, the report was changed so that there was no mention of any kind of UFO. This is what sparked many controversies over what, if anything, the government had attempted to cover up.

The response to Roswell was vast indeed. There was a huge increase in sightings of UFOs as well as an increase in reports of actual alien abduction. Photographs of UFOs popped up in newspapers and magazines across the country. Many were revealed to be hoaxes. Some were not. Television documentaries explored the phenomenon in countless investigations into specific sightings or generalized examinations of certain occurrences (i.e. crop circles, lights in the sky). Ultimately, Roswell is responsible for the creation of virtually every UFOlogist organization. It is responsible for a movie and narrative television series of the same name and the highly-acclaimed X-Files.

In fact, the influence on aspects of pop culture is seemingly endless, including books, cartoons, music, and even marketing campaigns (just look at any commercial or advertisement for the Alienware line of computers to see this in action). If anything, this alleged “cover up” has done very little to disguise much of anything. People are more curious than ever about what the government has hidden from them especially with regard to suspected paranormal happenings. July 2nd is now a day for UFO conventions and other such gatherings of believers.

Many feel as though more insistent pressure from the public would ultimately force the government to reveal secrets concerning evidence of aliens. The thinking of many is summarized best by the phrase on the poster that hangs on the wall of Special Agent Fox Mulder’s office in The X-Files — “I want to believe.” Indeed, many of us want to believe that UFOs exist. Until we have concrete proof that they do, we are left with an obscure holiday and thousands of enthusiasts waiting for lights in the sky.


Andrew Shaner is a freelance writer from Pennsylvania with a wide range of expertise. His interests are in film, literature (especially comic books), music, and gaming. His published works include poetry, narrative fiction, and several articles on film, television, and current events. He loves the city of Philadelphia and enjoys travel. Places he has visited include Paris, Barcelona, Athens, Rome, Florence, and Zurich. He also enjoys writing “About the Author” sections in the third person.


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