The one-page memo, dated March 22, 1950, was addressed to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover from Guy Hottel, then head of the FBI's Washington, D.C., field office. It relayed some information from an informant.
"An investigator for the Air Force stated that three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico," Hottel writes. "They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed fliers and test pilots.”
No further evaluation was attempted, Hottel reports.
The file, released in April 2011 under the Freedom of Information Act, has been viewed nearly a million times, the FBI said, in part because media outlets "erroneously reported that the FBI had posted proof of a UFO crash at Roswell, New Mexico [in 1947] and the recovery of wreckage and alien corpses."
"The Hottel memo does not prove the existence of UFOs," the bureau said in a blog post on its website this week. "It is simply a second- or third-hand claim that we never investigated."