RTÉ News visits Roswell to hear about the strange events in the small town 50 years earlier and see how the incident is being commemorated.

Conflicting reports of  an unidentified flying object crash near Roswell in New Mexico on 8 July 1947 are still being discussed 50 years later.

The news of the alleged siting was broken on the radio by Walter Haut, then Public Relations Officer at Roswell's Army Air Base. It was his job to write a press release describing how the remains of a flying saucer had been found. 

I may have had a little bit of tongue in cheek about it. Having read these stories of sitings in other places, it just didn't seem very logical to a degree but on the other side of it being a military man when my commander says this is what it is, you believe him.

The statement was quickly withdrawn by the US Military, saying that the crashed spacecraft was, in fact, the remains of a weather balloon. However, years later, UFO investigators turned up new witnesses including Glenn Dennis. In 1947 Glenn Dennis was a mortician who received a puzzling phone call from the air force looking for a delivery of child-size coffins. Conspiracy theories of a US government cover-up developed around the event known as 'The Roswell Incident'.  

Sheila Corn owns the land where the aliens are supposed to have crashed. Now, a constant stream of visitors and UFO enthusiasts pay $15 to visit the site. 

The town of Roswell has become synonymous with UFOs and aliens and has cashed in on this notoriety. Stan Crosby, Roswell's Alien Supremo, is the organiser of the UFO Encounter '97, marking 50 years since the Roswell Incident. The town has a UFO museum and shops stock endless supplies of alien memorabilia. However, the commercialisation of the 'Roswell Incident' has its critics. Pastor Bear Barker runs a rock 'n' roll ministry 'Body of Christ' and is critical of 

The godless nature of these anniversary celebrations.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 July 1997. The reporter is Mark Little.