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Jan Harzan, chief executive of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), believes the legendary Roswell incident DID involve aliens and a cover up by the US Airforce.
But the following day it retracted the statement, saying it was in fact a damaged US Air Force air balloon.
Witnesses later came forward to say there had been alien bodies within the “crashed craft”, which along with the wreckage were then taken to the mysterious top-secret Area 51 military base in Nevada.
Speaking to Forbes.com, Mr Harzan was asked if he thought Roswell was real or a hoax.
He said: “Real. Get a copy of the video presentation of ‘Recollections of Roswell’ filmed by MUFON member and well-known UFO researcher Stanton Friedman.
“It is interviews with some 30 survivors of Roswell, including first-hand witnesses, their spouses and their children.
“What they tell you will send chills up your spine.
“If you don’t believe something extraordinary happened after watching this video, then nothing will convince you.
“I can tell you this: It was no weather balloon.”
He was then asked why the governments appeared determined to cover up alleged incidents of alien visitations such as Roswell.
He said: “One possible reason is because they believe, rightly or wrongly, that Earth’s population is not ready for such a revelation.
“Other thoughts are that the knowledge would create widespread panic, cripple the stock market and end religion as we know it.
“Another possible reason is that the technology these beings have is so far advanced – whether it be faster-than-light travel, time travel or other far-advanced technology – that it poses a national security threat to America, especially if these capabilities were to fall into enemy hands.”
US-based MUFON is the world’s largest organisation dedicated to research of UFO and alleged alien sightings and keeps a global database of incidents going back years.
Mr Harzan has been a believer since experiencing a close encounter aged 10.
He said: “At the time (I was) with my brother Jeff, nine, when we witnessed a landing craft in our backyard in Thousand Oaks, California.
“It was 30 feet from us, hovering 10 feet off the ground, making a humming noise much like a transformer on a telephone pole.
“There were four landing gear on the craft, and it was completely smooth and seamless. It was a life-changing experience, to say the least.”