There is a spaceship that looks like a flying saucer in Roswell. Thousands of motorists drive past it every day, and hundreds of people go inside. It’s on North Main Street in this southeastern New Mexico city, its metal skin gleaming as it basks in the glow of the sun. Its neon lighting burns into the retinas of those who view it throughout the evening, and it’s rather hard not to admire. After all, aside from its striking looks, who doesn’t fancy a burger every now and then? That’s right: This spacecraft is one of the city’s McDonald’s restaurants.
So why is the building shaped that way? It’s not that far from the site of a mysterious incident which took place in 1947 — the day when a rancher discovered debris scattered around his sheep pasture, prompting speculation that an unidentified flying object, or UFO, had crashed there.
In June, or possibly early July 1947, William Brazel had woken for a normal day’s work on the J.B. Foster ranch in Lincoln County, New Mexico, 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Roswell, when he made a shocking discovery. He found on the ranch "a large area of bright wreckage made up of rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks," Brazel said in an article published on July 8, 1947, in the Roswell Daily Record.
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