Roswell: The First Witness - Episodes
Roswell: First Witness series follows the grandchildren of Major Jesse A Marcel, the first person on the scene of the Roswell crash in July 1947. His family believe Major Marcel was pressured by the US government to retract his original statement of what he discovered at the crash site and deny he ever saw evidence of a UFO. They possess Marcel’s diary, believed to contain clues about the truth of what happened at Roswell and new evidence of where the alien wreckage might still lie buried. The investigation is led by Ben Smith, a former CIA operative.
The Journal, part 1 - Tuesday 9 Feb at 9pm
The Journal, part 2 - Tuesday 16 Feb at 9pm
A journal belonging to the first official witness to the legendary Roswell crash, Major Jesse A Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office is handed to former CIA Operative Ben Smith to examine and decipher. Marcel’s grandchildren want to know if the journal could help vindicate their grandfather, who faced widespread criticism and condemnation after publicly describing the debris he saw as being ‘not of this earth’. His claims were disputed and discredited by the US military, which claimed he had misidentified the wreckage of a simple weather balloon. Marcel’s private journal launches Smith on an investigative journey that takes him to New Mexico, Washington State, Louisiana and Colorado.
In New Mexico, Smith brings in archaeologists and geophysicists to conduct a scientifically exhaustive examination of the area where the debris was discovered. With cutting-edge technology they look deep into the earth for clues about what really happened on that day in July 1947.
The Memo, part 1 - Tuesday 22 Feb at 9pm
The Memo, part 2 - Tuesday 2 March at 9pm
Ben Smith and Jesse Marcel’s grandson, Jesse III, visit Jennifer Naso, one of America’s top document experts, to see if she can help verify that the handwriting in the journal belonged to Major Jesse A Marcel, thereby authenticating the journal. Smith then heads to Arlington, Texas, to magnify and inspect a crucial photo taken at the Army press conference in 1947 where the US military claimed that what Marcel had originally identified as a flying saucer was in fact a weather balloon.
Ufologists take Smith to the crash site - a place unknown to the public – to inspect the secret area where, seventy-three years ago, Jesse Marcel claimed to have discovered the wreckage of a craft ‘not of this earth’. Smith later brings David Soucie, an expert on aviation crashes, to survey the site and take readings that could ultimately reveal what fell to earth in 1947, and a body language expert examines video interviews of Marcel, looking for indications of whether he believed he was telling the truth or not.
The Writer, part 1 - Tuesday 9 March at 9pm
The Writer, part 2 - Tuesday 16 March at 9pm
Ben Smith meets with one of the only people to have recorded a lengthy interview with Jesse Marcel, and for the first time in 39 years is able to hear Marcel tell his remarkable story in his own words. Stumped by the random quotes in Marcel’s journal, Smith enlists the help of top code-breaker Professor Craig Bauer’s to see if it might contain encrypted messages. Ben then speaks with journalist Leslie Kean about her ground-breaking investigation into recently disclosed footage, allegedly of US Air Force pilots encountering unidentified flying objects – the so-called ‘tic tac craft’.
Finally, Smith shares his findings with Jesse Marcel’s grandchildren to help them understand what it was their grandfather saw that day in 1947 which so haunted him until his death, nearly forty years later.