The Roswell Rods: Cryptid or Bad Photography?

The Roswell Rods are a hybrid cryptid/UFO mystery that seems to have arisen in the 1990's, though some claim the phenomenon dates back much farther. Despite the name, the Roswell Rods have nothing to do with Roswell, New Mexico's famous UFO stories. They are named such because they were first filmed just outside of Roswell and the man who filmed them is from Roswell, New Mexico. Believers in the Roswell Rods will tell you that he has discovered a new life form. Skeptics will tell you there must be something in the water in Roswell.

Jose Escamilla claims to be the first to catch Roswell Rods on film. He is certainly the man who gave them their name. What he filmed are rod or rope-like blurs in the sky. At first glance, this may sound like a UFO story. However, believers do not think of them as unidentified flying objects. They think of them as unidentified flying organisms. These mysterious blurs caught on film are thought by some to be cryptids–creatures that have yet to be seen or studied by scientists.

What appears in these photographs and videos of Roswell Rods are long blurs with propeller-like appendages. Alternatively, they look like strings or ropes that are moving in rapid spiral motions. The size of these "creatures" ranges from 4 inches long to several hundred feet. (These lengths are estimates based on stills.) According to Jose and others, they cannot be seen without photographs or video. They claim that the Roswell Rods move so fast they you need film to capture them. It is true that this is the only way they have ever been seen and there are a great number of Roswell Rod photos.

For some, it is hard to make the leap from blurry, rod or string-like object in a photograph to heretofore-undocumented creatures. The problem is that many insects and birds move so fast that they create a blur on film. That blur can be interpreted however you like. There is also the fact that it would be difficult for a creature that grows to be several hundred feet to escape notice. Where are all the dead Roswell Rods? Why have they not smacked into aircraft or fallen to the ground?

To believers, there is no doubt that these creatures exist. There are claims that Roswell Rods are from another world and that is why they can move so fast and dead ones escape attention. The fact that photos of them come from all over the world is more evidence in their eyes. However, there simply is not enough proof to document this cryptid. There is no way anyone can make claims that it certainly exists. Photographic evidence simply is not enough.


Roswell Rods, retrieved 11/8/10,

Russell, Davy, Roswell Rods, retrieved 11/8/10,