|By Lee Speigel|
The Huffington Post
When the last of the 4th of July fireworks have exploded, festivities at Roswell will just be starting.
A three-day Roswell UFO Festival marks the 66th anniversary of a flying saucer legend that made the New Mexico town forever synonymous with paranormal conspiracies.
In early July 1947 -- the exact date isn't known -- something fell out of the sky and crashed on a ranch near Roswell, leaving scattered debris. The ranch foreman was the first to see the material and he eventually told the Roswell sheriff, who then alerted the military at nearby Roswell Army Air Field, home of the 509th Bomb Group.
Intelligence officer Maj. Jesse Marcel was assigned the initial task of heading to the debris field to collect some of the material, which was described as shiny wreckage, including pieces of rubber, super-resistant tinfoil, wooden sticks and metallic-looking I-beams.
One of the speakers at this weekend's Roswell celebration is Jesse Marcel Jr., who was 11 years old in 1947 and who, along with his mother, was shown pieces of the UFO material by his father. . . .
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