Officer Prefers Cases with Touch of History His Books Reflect Roswell Research

Article excerpt

ROSWELL, Ga. -- Like his fellow police officers, Michael Hitt loves to solve mysteries. The catch: He prefers the kind that are more than a century old.

Hitt, a 44-year-old police officer in this northern Atlanta suburb, has developed a passion for the meticulous study of history, writing a dozen books.

Among the mysteries he has helped unravel is the arrest and deportation of 400 workers from the Roswell Mill in 1864. He's provided information on Roswell's historic cemeteries, located the burial sites of 26 of the 27 soldiers who died in Roswell during the Civil War and discovered what happened to the body of the 27th soldier. He drowned in the Chattahoochee River.

Most of Hitt's work covers the Civil War, which has become something of an obsession for him. Growing up in Atlanta's Buckhead section, Hitt occasionally taught his high school history classes when the period came up.

The exception is Georgia's Aerial Phenomenon -- 1947-1987, a book he wrote on UFO sightings in Georgia that was published last year.

The love of history has made Hitt something of an expert on his town. He created a diorama of Roswell, circa 1864, that is displayed at the Roswell visitors center.

Hitt superimposed modern streets and landmarks on the historical version. …