8 July, 1947: The Army Air Field at Roswell, New Mexico, issued a press statement about salvaging the remnants of a “flying disc” from a nearby ranch and taking it to the air field, where it was quickly spirited to an undisclosed location.
It wasn’t till about 30 years later (probably after the release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)) that dozens of people started asserting they’d seen aliens, flying saucers, men in black, and so on.
It was good business for a long time. But it wouldn’t even pass muster with Stephen Glass.
Truth remains an elusive, slippery beast, too amorphous for most of us. So we fall back on Keats, who wrote an Ode on a Grecian Urn: