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The FBI opened “The Vault“—a library of documents released to the public through the Freedom of Information Act—in 2011. In the following two years, a particular document now known as the “Hottel Memo” received nearly a million views.
It was written on March 22, 1950, by Guy Hottel, then head of the FBI field office in Washington, D.C. It states:
“An investigator for the Air Forces stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico. They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only three feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed fliers and test pilots.”
In 2013, the FBI made a public statement on the memo, since it had received widespread attention.
Some people had connected the memo to the alleged conspiracy to cover up a UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico. The FBI stated, “The Hottel memo is dated nearly three years after the infamous events in Roswell in July 1947. There is no reason to believe the two are connected.”
After initial reports that a UFO crashed in Roswell, the military said it was a weather balloon that had crashed.
The FBI said it did not further investigate the saucers reported by Hottel: “The Hottel memo does not prove the existence of UFOs; it is simply a second- or third-hand claim that we never investigated.”
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