The Roswell Debate


Mark O’Connell

Presentation: “The Roswell Debate,” with Donald R. Schmitt and Mark O’Connell, Saturday (Oct.15), Wisconsin Room

At a cursory glance, Donald Schmitt and Mark O’Connell have some things in common– both are Wisconsin residents, writers, and researchers of the UFO phenomenon. Both were guest speakers at our first Milwaukee Paranormal Conference last year. Both also have found inspiration from pioneering UFO researcher Dr. J. Allen Hynek.

However, they don’t quite see eye-to-eye.

The issue put forth in this debate: the alleged 1947 crash of a UFO at Roswell, undeniably the most famous UFO case of all time, explored thoroughly in books and the inspiration for TV shows, movies, and other popular culture.

Some of the things likely to be debated– the impact the Roswell case has had on UFO research, the credibility and relevance of the Roswell case, the Roswell Slides, and more.


Donald R. Schmitt

We are excited to host our first Milwaukee Paranormal Conference debate and we think this is a great opportunity to hear different perspectives on UFO research and the Roswell case.

Schmitt will have his books available, including his latest, Children of Roswell (2016). O’Connell’s new book, The Close Encounters Man, will be released in May of 2017.

The debate will be moderated by David Henning, head of Lakeland College’s debate and forensics program. Henning has over 30 years of debate experience. His students will assist in the debate.

KGRAlogoSPECIALborderWe are also happy to say that if you can’t make it to Milwaukee for the conference, you’ll be able to listen to the debate anywhere in the world thanks to a live broadcast from our media sponsors KGRA Radio.


Milwaukee Paranormal Conference tickets:
June is our VIP ticket drive. Tickets go up from $75 to $100 on July 1, so get yours today!

Roswell  101 Gallery


The front page of the Roswell Daily Record, July 8, 1947


RAAF Major Jesse Marcel displays pieces of a weather balloon, the official story of what was found crashed outside of Roswell. Many Ufologists say this story is a cover up.


One of the Roswell Slides released last year. Schmitt was a member of the team who revealed the slides, found in a collection in an attic. It was later determined the pictures actually show the mummified remains of a child on display in a museum.


Schmitt’s first book, released in 1991, became a best seller and part of the early 90s UFO-mania.


Dr. J. Allen Hynek was a pioneering ufologist. Schmitt is the former co-director of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies and O’Connell is currently wrapping up a biography of Dr. Hynek.



2015 Speakers: Ufology


DONALD R. SCHMITT: “The Evidence for the UFO Crash at Roswell”

Author and leading authority on the Roswell case

Donald R. Schmitt is the leading investigator on the case of the Roswell UFO crash of 1947. His books on the subject include the bestselling books UFO Crash at Roswell, Witness to Roswell, and his most recent book: Inside the Real Area 51: The Secrect History of Wright-Patterson.
Schmitt is the former co-director of the J. Allen Hynek Center for UFO Studies, where he served as Director of Special Investigations for ten years. Prior to that, he was a special investigator for the late Dr. J. Allen Hynek and the art director for the International UFO Reporter.
He has led and organized several archaeological dig projects at the actual Roswell crash/debris field over the years. The 2002 effort became the central theme of their highest rated show up till that time in the 10-year history of the SCI FI Channel – The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence, which also resulted in the book The Roswell Dig Diaries, of which he was a contributing author. The basis of his research and consultation has been the theme of many documentaries, and he makes frequent media appearances and lectures about the subject.
Mr. Schmitt was an on-set consultant at Paramount Studios on one episode of the popular Roswell TV series and was a UFO Consultant to NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries. He also appeared with Sally Kellerman in the pilot episode of “Greetings From the Unknown.”
By far his greatest achievement was the Golden Globe Best Picture nominated motion picture ROSWELL, which was based on the first book. Besides consulting on the movie, he made a cameo appearance. Presently, he is a contributing writer for UFO Magazine, and on the Board of Directors for the International UFO Research Museum. Currently, he is Associate Producer on the upcoming feature film 701.



MARK O’CONNELL: “High Strangeness in Wisconsin: Odd UFO Encounters in the Cheese State

Biographer of Dr. J.Allen Hynek and Mutual UFO Network Chief Investigator for Wisconsin

Mark O’Connell has written several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine — one of which, the DS9 episode “Who Mourns For Morn?”, was recently named by Hugo-winning science fiction writer Charlie Jane Anders as #72 on the list of the Top 100 Star Trek episodes of all time.

Mark has had feature film projects in development with Disney, DreamWorks Animation, Launchpad Productions, Barcelona Films and Al Ruddy Productions. He currently writes the UFO blog “High Strangeness” at, is writing the authorized biography of UFO scholar Dr. J. Allen Hynek, and is set to make his reality show debut in 2015 in “Monumental Mysteries” on The Travel Channel. Mark lives in southern Wisconsin with his wife.



NICHOLAS ROESLER: “Beyond Deep Black: UFO Secrecy, Black Projects, and the Road to Disclosure”

Researcher and author

Nicholas Roesler has been involved in UFO and paranormal-related research for nearly two decades.  In that time, he has served in multiple capacities for both the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), as well as the Smoking Gun Research Agency (SGRA), as well as consulting for a think tank dealing in national security concerns.  He has written and lectured extensively on the topic throughout the United States.  He is the author of IN FOCUS: Photographic Evidence of Unconventional Flying Objects (2009) and BEYOND DEEP BLACK: UFO Secrecy, Black Projects, and the Road to Disclosure (2015).  He hosts a weekly radio program on KGRA Radio, dealing with UFOs, the paranormal, and national security issues.