->''"Is there any secret technology that hasn't come from Roswell?" mused Proton. "That flying saucer must have been ten miles in diameter!"''
-->-- '''Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space'''

On July 7, 1947, personnel from the Roswell Army Air Field recovered materials from a ranch outside Roswell, New Mexico. Their initial press release stated that the materials resembled a "[[FlyingSaucer flying disc]]"; later the same day, they issued a correction that it was in fact a weather balloon, which is quite the switch.

The RoswellIncident was forgotten for over 30 years, until ufologist Stanton Friedman interviewed Major Jesse Marcel about it in 1978. Marcel claimed that the government had pressured him and other eyewitness into silence about what they had seen: the object recovered from Roswell was a spacecraft containing alien bodies. Interviews with other witnesses added to the story until it grew into a major piece of UFO lore. In the '90s, the government offered a new explanation of the events: there was a coverup, but it was to hide the existence of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Mogul Project Mogul]], not aliens (Note that in both versions of the story, the debris was from high-altitude balloons.) In light of this, and the questionable research of some Roswell conspiracy theorists, even most serious pro-UFO advocates have become convinced there were no aliens involved.

Regardless of what actually happened (TheOtherWiki [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roswell_UFO_Incident has a good overview]] of what's known), the idea of a crashed alien spacecraft--and a subsequent government coverup - has become permanently associated with the city of Roswell in the popular imagination. The fame and ambiguity of the original incident have inspired every SpeculativeFiction series ever to [[ExternalRetcon explain]] (or just [[HistoricalInJoke make an oblique reference to]]) "what ''really'' happened", with varying amounts of seriousness. The town itself, meanwhile, has capitalized on this, building a lucrative tourist industry around the event and aliens in general.

Named after an Emmy award-winning episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', which posited that the entire incident was caused by the Planet Express ship accidentally travelling back in time and showing up in Roswell on that fateful day. The "flying disc" in question is actually a deconstructed Bender's "[[CatchPhrase shiny metal ass]]".

The wreckage and bodies from Roswell may be stored in {{Area 51}}. At least one AlienAutopsy was performed and videotaped. TheMenInBlack may be involved in the coverup. And we may have reaped the wreckage for [[ETGaveUsWiFi our own technological benefit]]. (But there probably isn't, there probably wasn't, they probably weren't, and we probably didn't. Makes for good plot fodder nonetheless.)

Compare TheTunguskaEvent.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''SerialExperimentsLain'' gives a discussion on the Roswell incident and conspiracy theories, and implies that the Wired might have been [[ETGaveUsWiFi created using alien technology]]. Whether that's true, and how relevant it is to the story, is left entirely open, since [[spoiler: Lain's world is one where [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve consensus reality]] is in full swing]].
* ''AxisPowersHetalia'' has a strip for this, in which the arrival and existence of America's friend Tony are explained.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The Roswell Incident figures big in the second volume of ''ComicBook/TheInvisibles''.
* ''RoswellLittleGreenMan'' from Creator/BongoComics. The series followed the misadventures of an extraterrestrial who arrived at Earth via the 1947 Roswell UFO incident.
* ''Roswell, Texas'' is all about the Roswell crash in an alternate Texas. Turns out there was only one alien, the rest were humans from Mars.
* ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}: Scenes involving Hellboy's childhood and the early years of the BPRD are sometimes set at the Roswell Army Air Field, where the Bureau was based until the famous 1947 spaceship crash. (It's possible that they might've been able to stay there, were it not for an incident involving kid Hellboy, his dog Mac, and some of the residue from the ship. In the aftermath, it was decided that the time had come for the Bureau to go its own way, at which point it moved to the Connecticut facility seen in stories set during Hellboy's tenure as a BPRD agent.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/IndependenceDay'': the crashed spaceship from Roswell (stored in {{Area 51}}) proves vital to humanity's battle against the alien invaders.
* In ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull'', debris from Roswell is seen in {{Area 51}}.
* At the end of ''LiloAndStitch'', Cobra Bubbles is revealed to have saved the Earth from aliens by convincing them mosquitoes were an endangered species; this occurred at Roswell... [[BaitAndSwitch in 1973]].
* In ''Film/TheRock'', the secrets that John Mason stole include the truth about Roswell.
* ''MyFavoriteMartian'' alludes to it, when a Man in Black, frustrated, says that they're not going to get any more out of this than that Roswell fiasco. His boss immediately rebukes him, saying "Not only is that incident classified, but ''it never happened''."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* The below-mentioned ''Roswell'' series was based on Melinda Metz' YoungAdult book series ''Literture/RoswellHigh''.
* ''Series/StargateSG1: Roswell''.
* Mario Acevedo's ''The Nymphos of Rocky Flats'' is (apparently) about a soldier who is now a vampire, stuck between vampire hunters and the Roswell aliens. Sounds [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot awesome]].
* In Neal Shusterman's novel ''Everlost'', Roswell is explained to have happened when a "Afterlight" boy who died in the {{Hindenburg}} crash ended up flying the ghost of the Hindenburg to Roswell for sixty years. Somehow it ends up being seen by non-Afterlights...in 1947.
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', their version of Roswell (many things were renamed ostensibly to obscure the character's location from Yeerks) explained the object that they found was... an Andalite toilet.
* ''Literature/LittleGreenMen'' explains that the Roswell "crash" was one of the first events faked up by [[GovernmentConspiracy MJ-12]] to prove that aliens existed and imply that the United States possessed their technology in the ColdWar.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''{{Roswell}}'', natch. The protagonists are alien survivors of the Roswell Incident, [[{{Masquerade}} masquerading]] as humans.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', "[[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS04E08LittleGreenMen Little Green Men]]": The aliens were Quark and co., sent back in time by accident.
* ''Series/SevenDays'': the TimeTravel machine was reverse engineered from alien technology salvaged from the Roswell crash. [[spoiler: Which was an alien prison transport spaceship.]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E6Dalek "Dalek"]], the mileometer from the Roswell ship is seen in a museum of alien artifacts. In the same episode, Van Statten claims that [[ETGaveUsWiFi alien tech from the incident ended up creating Broadband]].
** The Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse has multiple and contradictory takes on Roswell, most recently in the animated ''Dreamland''. (Older instances include the Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures novel ''First Frontier'' and the Literature/PastDoctorAdventures novel ''Devil Goblins from Neptune''.) It '''is''' ''[[NegativeContinuity Doctor Who]]'', after all; the Time-War and universal cracks have pretty much left us with a great big TimeyWimeyBall (and even before then, the show favoured BroadStrokes).
* ''Series/TheXFiles''
** Subverted however in "[[Recap/TheXFilesS06E19TheUnnatural The Unnatural]]", which involves TheGreys in Roswell in 1947, but has nothing whatsoever to do with any crashed UFO.
** ''The X-Files'' implied several times that Roswell was a smokescreen for several other alien salvage operations that were more successful.
* ''Series/{{Taken}}''
* ''Series/StargateSG1'': {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in "Prometheus". A group of reporters are told by Sam that [[spoiler: ''Prometheus'' was designed from reverse-engineered parts of an alien crash in Fairbanks, Alaska.]] Jonas, knowing the truth, inquires "Fairbanks?" Sam answers that it sounds a lot better than Roswell.
* ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' makes mention of it during one episode. Apparently, it ''was'' just a weather balloon, and is a [[NeverLiveItDown constant embarrassment]] to the visiting bowling team from {{Area 51}}.
* Subverted in the ''Series/BabylonFive'' spin off ''Series/{{Crusade}}'' has the episode visitors from down the street. Were they meet 2 aliens who claim that events similar to the Roswell crash and subsequent cover ups are all done by order of Earth. It turns out that the aliens are all paranoid and their leaders use Aliens as a way to divert blame and responsibilities from themselves in order to prevent civil war, mainly caused by their leaders being corrupt. The Captain takes steps to reveal the truth by the end.
* Alluded to on ''Series/TheWestWing'', when CJ explains why she doesn't believe in government conspiracies.
-->There is no group of people this large in the world that can keep a secret. I find it comforting. It's how I know for sure that the government isn't covering up aliens in New Mexico.
* ''Series/{{Sliders}}'''s episode "The Return of Maggie Beckett": Adlai Stevenson becomes President and signed the Reticulan-American Free Trade Agreement (RAFTA), giving the US access to advanced alien technology.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* TabletopRPG ''TabletopGame/ConspiracyX''. The RoswellIncident was the reason for the creation of (and split between) Aegis and the Black Book. The scientists who later formed Aegis wanted to make peaceful contact with the aliens, but the soldiers who formed the Black Book shot the ship down.
** After which Black Book accused Aegis of responsibility in order to sign a treaty with TheGreys.
* The ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' spin-off ''Delta Green'' plays with this.
* Two different ''{{GURPS}}'' worldbooks - ''Atomic Horror'' and ''Black Ops'' - mention the event. As the books are not set in the same continuity, the exact details are different; in AH it was an actual starship crash, whereas in BO the event was a hoax created to divert public attention from a ''real'' paranormal event elsewhere.
** A third, ''GURPS: Warehouse 23'' claims that the crash, while genuinely alien, was not a spacecraft - it was a classroom, with technology designed to be easily reverse-engineered by humans, dropped as something of a bribe to the CIA and similar forces.
* SecretsOfTheThirdReich: The members of [[OperationBlank Program]] [[CaptainPatriotic "Sentinel Of Freedom"]] (essentially CaptainAmerica [[{{Expy}} Expies]]) are given their powers with the "Roswell Cocktail", reverse-engineered from the crash's tech. The British HeroUnit Black Jack is a {{Cyborg}} made with salvaged mechanics from the ship (ironically because [[WeCanRebuildHim his body fatally rejected the Cocktail]]).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* ''Roswell: The Musical'' exists. [[http://www.logoschristian.org/MUSICAL/ There's something]] [[http://weeklywire.com/ww/07-17-00/alibi_feat4.html in the air!]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''DestroyAllHumans'', the alien protagonist travels to [[NoCommunitiesWereHarmed "Rockwell"]] to free a comrade.
* Historical in-jokes are par for the course in ''ShadowHearts''. In the third game, Roswell is where the heroes find septucentenarian Roger Bacon and vampire Hilda Valentine, having crashed when their flying machine ran out of gas.
* Not historical, but definitely an in-joke. ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs 3}}'' featured a side-quest where your heroes fend off alien invaders, complete with {{Flying Saucer}}s. The name of the paranormal investigator you speak to for the quest? Roswell.
* ''StarOceanTheLastHope'' implies that the party member [[CatGirl Meracle Chamlotte]] is the Roswell alien.
* In ''[[VideoGame/TexMurphy The Pandora Directive]]'', Tex finds out from a former {{Area 51}} scientist that [[WorldWarThree World War 3]] was started using AntiMatter salvaged from the Roswell craft. Area 51 itself is on lockdown, after most of the staff were infected with an alien parasite and were gunned down by the guards. Worse, there's a larger vessel hidden somewhere in jungles, and its fuel tanks are full of anti-matter.
* In ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', the alien Pokemon Elgyem and Beheeyem's Pokedex entries highly imply that they were the survivors of the Roswell, New Mexico crash.
* Supposedly, if one takes the map of the world of ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER|1}}'' (a game about an alien invasion), turns it upside-down, and places the city of Ellay where L.A. would be in real life, the protagonist's house roughly corresponds to Roswell, New Mexico.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* A story arc of ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'' has the Series/MythBusters travel to Roswell in 1947 and [[StableTimeLoop innocently convince]] the local Army Air Field commander that what crashed in the nearby desert is just a weather balloon. (It isn't.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The SCPFoundation has determined that an un-hatched [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1051 SCP-1051]] was the [=UFO=] recovered as Roswell. It later hatched and replaced the hangar at Area 51.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': in [[Recap/FuturamaS3E19RoswellThatEndsWell the episode]] that [[TropeNamer gives this trope its name]], the Planet Express crew accidentally {{Time Travel}}s back to 1947 and causes the Roswell Incident.
--->'''Bender:''' That's no flying saucer! That's my ass!
* ''WesternAnimation/TrippingTheRift'': One of the main characters is the alien responsible for the original incident.
* Ditto ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad''.
* Max and [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Xylene]] from ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' use the phrase "[[NoodleIncident we'll always have Roswell]]." However, Max was still a very young child in 1947, so there must have been a different alien incident in the same area...
* ''WesternAnimation/BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand'' plays this out in reverse when Team Lightyear crash-lands on the home planet of the aliens responsible for the original Roswell Incident ([[ALongTimeAgoInAGalaxyFarFarAway possibly]]), which happens to be an awful lot like 1950's New Mexico.
* The entire ''WesternAnimation/RoswellConspiracies'' animated series, of course.
* The Roswell UFO crash appears in the prologue of one ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuestTheRealAdventures'' episode taking place in the Anasazi region of the US Southwest.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'' "New Mexico," Elise sneaks into Area 51 and steals a spaceship in order to take her revenge on the state.
* There was an episode of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' SpinOff ''PostcardsFromBuster'' that visited, among other places, Roswell.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'', it is revealed that the Roswell incident occurred when the Earth Protection Force, led by Agent Bishop, shot down an alien ship belonging to the aliens that initially abducted him.
[[/folder]]
----