Of all the 6,700 previous top-secret files in the FBI’s online reading room, one single- page memo about a UFO report has attracted almost a million viewers over the last two years. However, the FBI now says it never followed up on the unconfirmed account of extraterrestrial life.
In the popular 1950 memo titled “UFOs or No?” then head of FBI field office in Washington, D.C. Guy Hottel related the UFO story to then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Hottel wrote that three “flying saucers” were recovered in New Mexico. The saucers, which were “circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter,” each had “three bodies of human shape but only three feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture” inside.
(MORE: A Brief History of UFOs)
According to the FBI, the “anything-but-ordinary” story was a second- or third-hand report that eventually found its way to the ears of a FBI agent. The memo ends by saying that the bureau attempted no further evaluation.
But the 63-year-old memo has been making the rounds again recently after some publications, such as British tabloid The Sun, say the file is proof of the famous 1947 UFO saga at Roswell, New Mexico. The incident is the most popular UFO folklore in U.S. history. In 1994, the U.S. government declassified almost 1,000 pages of secret files, telling the American people “everything the Air Force knew about the Roswell claims.”
The FBI says there is no reason to believe that the Hottel memo, which is three years apart from the 1947 event, is connected to the legendary Roswell UFO sightings. The Bureau acknowledges that it is “occasionally” involved in investigating UFO reports, but says that their Washington Field Office obviously “didn’t think enough of that flying saucer story to look into it.”
At the end, the FBI apologizes, “ Sorry, no smoking gun on UFOs, the mystery remains…”