FBI: ‘Flying Saucers’ Most Popular Item on FBI Website

March 29, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

The file is only a page long and touches on a incident in 1950 about reported UFOs being spotted in New Mexico.

Guy Hottel, special agent in charge in Washington, wrote to former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover: “An investigator for the Air Force 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 3 feet tall,” according to the memo.  

The note adds, “According to Mr. [redacted], the saucers were found in New Mexico due to the fact that the Government has a very high-powered radar set-up in that area and it is believed the radar interferes with the controlling mechanism of the saucers.”

It concluded that “no further evaluation” was made about the UFO.

FBI historian John Fox told CNN that the note was based on third-hand information. It was either faked or that “someone was simply reporting hearsay.”

“It certainly looks like, they thought this was third-hand information,” he added.

The note later goes on saying that the bodies were “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.”

Earlier this week, the FBI elaborated on the file, which has been viewed nearly a million times in the past two years. “It is only a single page, relaying an unconfirmed report that the FBI never even followed up on,” a press release said.

The agency said that when it was published on the Vault website, some media erroneously reported that the FBI confirmed there were UFOs or flying saucers.

“The resulting stories went viral, and traffic to the new Vault soared,” said the agency. It added, “Finally, the Hottel memo does not prove the existence of UFOs; it is simply a second- or third-hand claim that we never investigated. Some people believe the memo repeats a hoax that was circulating at that time, but the Bureau’s files have no information to verify that theory.”

The FBI also noted that the memo has been public since the late 1970s, but it was only put on its website recently.