Tag Archives: Roswell Incident

Roswell, It Happens Here!

The Roswell Daily Record Newspaper ran the following article I wrote to help promote the “2017 Roswell Daily Record’s Roswell Incident” festival June 30th, thru July 2nd. My sister Debbie Ziegelmeyer and I will be speaking Saturday, July 1st at 9:00am, kicking off a great day of speakers.

Roswell Daily Record Article Link

The July 1947 event just outside of Roswell is probably the most important UFO related event in American history. First, very unusual looking debris was found near Corona, and then the military was informed, and then there was a press release, and then a retraction. If it was today, the retraction would have said, “Our bad, what our experts at Walker Army Air Field thought was a UFO, was just a dumb old weather balloon.” Talk about “Fake News! Actually it wasn’t the press that “Faked” the news, it was our military. Once they realized what they had in their possession, including the small bodies they found, it’s been 70 years of denial from them. Well, there’s no denying what the rancher saw, and there’s no denying what Jesse Marcel Jr. saw, and there’s no denying there’s a lot more to Roswell than what happened in 1947.

I’m a UFO/Paranormal Field Investigator, and I’ve been researching and investigating the 1947 Roswell incident for over 30 years. When my children were quite young, my wife Tammy and I would pile them into our motor home, and go on vacation. No matter where we went, I always figured out a route which included Roswell as one of the stops. Back in the day, there were three UFO related museums in Roswell I used to visit. I talked to people and researched material, while my wife and children waited patiently in the RV watching TV. Sometimes we would camp near Roswell, and other times I would have a four to six hour window, then it was back in the RV, driving to our next destination. Sure it was a lot of work, but it paid off, I got to meet Glenn Dennis and Walter Haut. I spent time with them listening and learning about what happened back in ’47. Then in the late 1990’s, my sister Debbie Ziegelmeyer, who is a UFO Field Investigator out of Missouri, joined my obsession with Roswell to combine forces to step-up the investigation. Tag-teaming at the International UFO Museum and Research Center, we acquired GPS coordinates to the debris site from Glenn Dennis. Now we were cooking!

With combined forces, Debbie and I started investigating the debris site. Well one thing led to another, and we landed an opportunity to do a sanctioned archeology dig in 2002 for the Syfy Channel’s documentary, “The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence” hosted by Bryant Gumble. Then in 2006 we were asked back again by Syfy to do another dig, this time for their show, “Syfy Investigates: The Roswell Incident.” All pretty exciting except for one thing, we found something back in 2002 on the first dig. A little triangular piece of metal reminiscent to what Jesse Marcel Jr. saw back in 1947. Here’s how we found it.

Back in the 2002 dig, it was mine and my sister’s opinion, that we were wasting way-too-much time, and digging way- too-deep, looking for artifacts from 1947. Out in the summer desert for five days, and digging holes over 100 centimeters, or 3 feet deep, volunteers started leaving. At one time, they started to revolt against the people in charge, and one of them I had to tackle before he yanked one of the head honchos out of the camera helicopter. By the way, I never got a thank you from that head honcho. Yeah I’m not revealing any names because that’s not important, what’s important was what happened afterwards. Debbie and I convinced the lead archeologist, my good friend now, Dr. Bill Doleman, to let us run our own dig for a day. It was that last dig that found the little triangular piece. We dug 1 by 3 meter strip digs only digging 8 to 10 centimeters in depth, in an area where erosion could have moved material over the years since 1947.

Debbie and I will talk about that little artifact along with what we learned at this year’s, “Roswell Daily Record’s, Roswell Incident” festival. But wait there’s more! In 2007 while lecturing at the Roswell Civic Center we were approached by Roswell resident, Robert Ridge. He showed us a very unusual rock with a crop circle design on it, which he found just outside the city. We took it upon ourselves to spend a year trying to find the origins of this rock, and debunk its very existence. With no luck debunking the rock and realizing Robert had a very significant artifact in his possession, in 2008 right in Roswell’s Civic Center, we ran a press release, christening the rock, “The Roswell Rock”. But wait, there’s even more.

Just last year in 2016, my sister and I were lecturing for the Roswell Cosmicon, and on July 3rd, late Sunday night, we decided to drive out to the area where the Roswell Rock was found. It was at that location we had our own UFO experience, and we’ll share what we saw and what we learned at our lecture in July.

So if you think the only unusual event in Roswell happened in 1947, then you’re sadly mistaken, because Roswell is still a hot spot and is being watched. The 100 dollar question is; who’s watching and why? C-ya at Roswell!

The post Roswell, It Happens Here! appeared first on Chuck Zukowski UFO/Paranormal Investigations.

Darwin Rasmussen and the Roswell Bodies

Darwin Rasmussen and the Roswell Bodies

     In keeping with my series on Chasing Footnotes, I have found a subtopic that is almost as interesting (well, it is to me) which is finding original sources (which, of course, is sort of the same thing). Not all that long ago I ran across an analysis of the Roswell case in which it was claimed that Captain Darwin Rasmussen (later Colonel) had assisted Major Jesse Marcel in recovering the alien bodies. I have never heard anything like that and it puzzled me because, as far as I knew, only Stan Friedman and I had interviewed Rasmussen’s cousin, Elaine Vegh.

By Kevin Randle
A Different Perspective

Now that you all are thoroughly confused, let me explain. Back in 1990, I learned of Elaine Vegh whose claim to fame in this arena was that her first cousin, Darwin Rasmussen, had been a career Air Force officer who was stationed in Roswell in 1947. According to her, she had been standing near her father when Rasmussen reportedly said, “…never doubt that there is a cover up here. We did pick up bodies and the Air Force does have them.”

She also said, “He had seen what was picked up. He had seen the craft.”

First, before the skeptics all go nuts, let me point out that this is a second-hand story of an overheard conversation that had taken place at least a decade and a half prior to that. As evidence of anything, it isn’t worth very much. Elaine Vegh was probably relating the story as best she could remember, but see didn’t see anything herself and her memory of this is somewhat clouded… I’ll get back to this.

That was really all she said to me. Her cousin had been part of a retrieval team; he had seen bodies and the wrecked craft. She had nothing in the way of evidence, there are or were no family letters or documents, and according to Vegh, Rasmussen said, “I was there… but we were told to forget what we saw…”

Well, Rasmussen’s picture is not in the Yearbook, but that doesn’t matter. I have a copy of the Roswell base telephone directory published in August 1947, and his name is in there. That puts him in Roswell at the right time. I also found his name associated with a 509th flight crew.

Second, this little tale has not been used very often. Friedman seems to have ignored it, and given everything, I’m not overly surprised. It is second hand without any corroboration. Rasmussen died in 1975 and Vegh’s father died in 1983. No one else heard the conversation and there wasn’t much in the way of detail.

Yes, I used it in UFO Crash in Roswell and Tom Carey and Don Schmitt used it in Witness to Roswell, interestingly without providing credit for the interview. Their footnote just mentioned an interview in 1990 (March 1, 1990 to be precise) but failed to mention that I conducted it, taped it, and supplied a copy to Don. Anyone reading their book might conclude they had conducted the interview.
There was a reference to Rasmussen and what he had seen here.

In this case, it was suggested that Rasmussen had seen four bodies and Vegh did say that he, Rasmussen “… had first hand knowledge of four beings and their craft…” Here Rasmussen is described as the Operations Officer for the 715th Bomb Squadron which was part of the 509th. The referenced sources here are both UFO Crash at Roswell and Witness to Roswell. In Witness to Roswell he is described as a flight operations officer and in UFO Crash at Roswell as an Operations Officer (and unfortunately the organization is misidentified as the 718th). I have since located some records that showed he was assigned to an aircrew as a radar officer for Operation Crossroads. That information, which does not relate to Roswell, can be seen here.

Another reference found retold the story, clearly from UFO Crash at Roswell, but the text does identify the source, and it comes back to me. It adds nothing to it until that recent note that injected Jesse Marcel into it by someone else.

I can find nothing to explain where the idea came that Rasmussen had mentioned Marcel. Tracing the tale to the source, which is probably me given that Friedman didn’t use it, I know that Vegh did not say that to me. The conclusion that I draw is that someone somewhere just assumed that Marcel would have been involved and injected him into a tale in which his name had not surfaced. In Witness to Roswell Carey and Schmitt argue that Marcel had to have seen the bodies so it is not a large step to Marcel and Rasmussen being together at some point. This, I believe, is an assumption made by them but is not based on any testimony.

And finally let’s talk about that clouded memory. Vegh had said that she had overheard the story when she was 10 or 12. In 1990, and I’m sure she would be annoyed for me saying this, she was 62. She also said that she had graduated from high school in 1945… which means that, if she had the timing right, this had nothing to do with Roswell…

That’s a point she figured out later as we discussed this. I mentioned that the crash was in 1947 (is that such a big secret that I should have kept it to myself… and oh, she had seen the Unsolved Mysteries broadcast before we spoke so I wasn’t giving away anything and we had talked about the date throughout the interview) she said, “I graduated high school in 1945 so I must have been little older.”

So, we see that her original memory was of her overhearing this when she was younger was inaccurate, and I’m not sure that’s the real problem here. Misremembering her age seems fairly trivial in the overall scheme of things. The real problem is the lack of corroboration for the story. True, her cousin was in Roswell at the right time, and since he died in 1975, this would have been before all the Roswell information came out (she didn’t mention it until 1990 remember) but there is just nothing here we can prove. It is a story with almost no real foundation, told by a sincere woman who clearly believes it, but it is also told by a woman who did not accurately remember her age at the time. This tale is one of those little bits of trivia that seem to dot the Roswell landscape.

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Former Astronaut Edgar Mitchell Has Died

Former Astronaut Edgar Mitchell Has Died

By www.palmbeachpost.com

     Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, who was part of the Apollo 14 space crew that flew to the moon in 1971, died late Thursday in West Palm Beach, according to his family.

Mitchell, 85, lived in suburban Lake Worth and died at a local hospice at about 10 p.m. Thursday, his daughter, former West Palm Beach City Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell told The Palm Beach Post. […]

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Stanton Friedman Argues The Case for UFOs on The Shulman File | VIDEO

Stanton Friedman Argues The Case for UFOs on The Shulman File

By The Evergreens Project

     Editor’s Note: Stanton Friedman appeared on the The Shulman File (1977 – 1983 Canadian CITY-TV) to discuss UFOs with host, Morton Shulman; the latter’s bias is evident in the interview. Stan gets kudos for keeping his composure and staying on point–FW

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Who Told Walter Haut about the Rowell Debris Field?

Walter Haut
By Kevin Randle
A Different Perspective

     Since this debate about the press release has gained a little traction here, I thought I’d add a few facts and perspective to see if we can’t reach some sort of a reasonable conclusion. We do have a great deal of information and while some of it is in dispute, there are aspects of it on which we all seem to agree.

Jesse Marcel Sr (Young)
Major Jesse Marcel, Sr.
Given the testimony we have and the articles that appeared in the newspapers of the time,it seems that Major Jesse Marcel, Sr. and Captain Sheridan Cavitt followed Mack Brazel out to the ranch sometime on Sunday July 6. Marcel, in his interview with Linda Corley suggested they had left in the early afternoon, but I think it was more likely they headed out later in the day. In today’s world, it takes about three hours to drive from Roswell to the ranch. In 1947 the roads wouldn’t have been quite so good and the route might not have been quite so direct. It might have taken four or five hours. With sunset coming sometime around 9:00 p.m., and Marcel’s suggestion they arrived about dusk, it seems they might not have left Roswell much before four in the afternoon.

There is also a question of where they stayed the night. We had heard that it was the “Hinds” house which in the 1990s was a one-room shack that was used to store hay. It was some five or six miles from the actual debris field. If, on the other had they stayed at the ranch house (which, I believe had been, at the very least, remodeled in the 1980s or so) then they were some fifteen or twenty miles from the debris field.

The Hinds House Near the Debris Field
The Hinds House Near the Debris Field

Marcel said that they had cold beans and crackers for dinner. He said nothing about the time they might have gotten up the next morning which is July 7. We know, ironically, based on the Mogul records that sunrise was about five and in similar circumstances, meaning outside my comfort zone, that I would have awakened about dawn. Marcel said nothing about breakfast, what time they got up, or what they did before they went out to look at the debris field.

Don Schmitt & Bill Brazel
Bill Brazel showing us the Debris Field

Given all this, I would suspect that they arrived at the field no earlier than eight, but hell, that’s a wild ass guess. If I was Marcel or Cavitt, I’d want to get home as quickly as possible, so the earlier, the better. As I said in another post, Brazel saddled two horses and he and Cavitt rode out while Marcel drove his car. If they were at the Hines house, the travel time might have been thirty to sixty minutes. If they were farther north, at the location of the ranch house, travel time could have been longer. No one asked about that and there is no one to ask in the world today. All we can do is guess based on other timing.

Marcel said that the debris field was three-quarters to a mile long and a couple of hundred feet wide. Bill Brazel, when he took us out to the field showed us basically where it started and where it ended. We later measured that at about a mile long. This was based on what Brazel said was the length of the gouge, which is a detail that Marcel never mentioned.

Sheridan Cavitt
Sheridan Cavitt

We have no idea how long they spent on the field. Cavitt told Colonel Richard Weaver that he recognized the debris as the remains of a weather balloon

immediately, but no one asked Cavitt why he hadn’t mentioned that to either Marcel or to Blanchard. (I will note here that according to what Cavitt told me, he hadn’t been there… this was after he had given his interview to Weaver.) Anyway, Marcel eventually told Cavitt to head on back to the base. He stayed, and according to what Marcel told Corley, stuffed his car with the debris, which, of course, suggests something more than a weather balloon.

As I’ve said, I don’t understand how they could have spent more than an hour or so at the field, but if they were walking the whole thing to make sure they saw everything around there, it might have taken longer. I have no idea how long it might have taken Marcel to load his car, and we have no information if they had eaten breakfast. I mention this simply because if Marcel, on his way home, stopped for lunch, then that adds time to the trip. Again, according to what Marcel told Corley, he got home late, but we don’t know exactly what that means either. All we really know is that Marcel did not go out to the base that night. He went in the next morning, that is, July 8.

Walter Haut (Young)
Walter Haut
So now we come to the point of this long recap. How did Walter Haut learn about the debris recovery? Haut said that Blanchard had called him and either dictated the press release to him or gave him the major points and Haut wrote it. Marcel
said that they had an “eager beaver” press officer which tells us nothing about how Haut learned about the recovery or if he made a habit of issuing press releases on his own.

Here are a few facts that are new. Based on information in the Roswell airfield telephone directory, I know that Blanchard’s office was in building 810. Marcel had his office in building 31 and Haut’s office was in building 82. What this means is that Haut wouldn’t have run into Marcel in the hallway or near a coffeepot as they came to work or went about their duties. There is no evidence that they would have mingled in a professional sense other than both would have been in attendance at the staff meetings but Marcel would have been considered a member of the primary staff and Haut on the secondary. That means Haut’s job was not essential to the main operation of the bomb group but that Marcel’s was.

So again the question that must be asked is, “How did Haut learn about the recovery?”

And the only answer that works is that Blanchard told him. Cavitt, as the counterintelligence guy would not have wanted to talk to the PIO, nor would he want to be associated with any sort of investigation that would call attention to him, his subordinates or his duties. In fact, in 1947, even his rank was classified so that no one knew what rank any of the counterintelligence guys held or as Cavitt said to me, “You didn’t really want anyone to know that a sergeant was investigating a colonel so our ranks were classified. No one knew what rank we were.” The exception to that would have been Blanchard and some of the senior officers but not many.

Although Marcel lived on the same street as Haut, their houses were a few blocks apart and it seems they didn’t socialize that much. Since they worked in separate buildings, there is very little chance that they ran into each other on the morning of July 8 so that Marcel could tell Haut that he had picked up the debris. Even if they had met, it is unlikely that the topic would have come up. Marcel would have been reluctant to talk about it given the nature of his job. If you had no need to know, then you were outside the loop.

That leaves us with Blanchard. Haut told us that Blanchard called him and told him to issue the press release. Blanchard was the one to make that decision and Blanchard was the only one who had the information and the contact with Haut. There were only three people who knew about the recovery (and I exclude Brazel here because on that morning he was still at the ranch) and two of them wouldn’t have said a word about it to Haut if for no other reason than they wouldn’t have seen him that morning.

I think that we can now end the discussion of who authorized the press release. Without Blanchard telling Haut about the recovery and providing details, Haut wouldn’t have had the information. If Blanchard gave him the information, then it was a tacit approval of the press release. If Blanchard had not dictated it to him but only gave him the basic information, Haut could easily have called back to read him the final draft but, no matter how you slice it, Blanchard is the common denominator here.

I can see no other way, given the facts, which Haut would have learned about the recovery. He could not decide on his own to write the story because he didn’t know about it. He was given the information by Blanchard and told to issue the press release. This should stop the endless speculation about Haut issuing the release on his own.

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The Roswell [Flying Saucer] Press Release and Colonel Blanchard (Pt II)

RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region

By Kevin Randle
A Different Perspective

      I often assume a level of knowledge on the parts of those who visit here and shouldn’t do that. I thought the last posting was clear but there are questions that seem to transcend the point of that post. With that in mind, here is some clarification for everyone.

There were some variables that I have ignored. First was the timing of the story told by Brigadier General Thomas DuBose. We all believed that the flight made by Colonel Al Clark was on Sunday afternoon, but that might not be right. At the moment, this isn’t important to understanding the last post and I mention it only so that everyone is aware that DuBose had said that Clark made his flight to Washington, D.C. on Sunday, July 6, 1947 or on the same day that Mack Brazel went into Roswell. This is something that is the subject of another post.

The accepted timeline is that Brazel drove into Roswell on Sunday and eventually made his way to Sheriff George Wilcox, who in turn, called the base. That call eventually made its way to Major Jesse Marcel, though thinking about it, Wilcox would have been more familiar with Major Edwin Easley, the provost marshal, or the “chief of police” out at the base. Thinking about it further, and given the circumstances, it would be more logical for Wilcox to call Easley… Marcel might have been brought in if Easley was not immediately available. Remember, this is speculation on my part and something that I mention with trepidation. (And let’s not forget that we do have photographs in Brigadier General Roger Ramey’s office on July 8.)

Marcel said that he had been eating lunch in the Officer’s Club when he got the telephone call from Wilcox. Marcel would say that he met with the sheriff, saw the material that Brazel had brought in with him and returned to the base. He spoke with the commanding officer, Colonel William Blanchard, who mentioned that they now had the counterintelligence guys there and he, Marcel, should take one of them with him.

Marcel and Sheridan Cavitt met at the sheriff’s office, Marcel in his POV (privately owned vehicle, which is the military term for your car) and Cavitt, apparently in a military vehicle. They then followed Brazel to the ranch. Given all the moving around, it would seem that they probably left (note the qualification) around five in the afternoon, but Marcel would say later that it was early afternoon. They got out to the ranch about dusk, according to Marcel, which was too late for them to explore the debris field.

The next morning Brazel saddled a couple of horses and he and Cavitt rode out to the site. Marcel drove in his car and given the terrain, that wouldn’t have been all that difficult. I have driven cars cross country in that area, so Marcel could have easily done it.

They spent the morning out there, and given the descriptions of the debris field, I can’t see what they would have been doing for more than an hour or so. Marcel told Cavitt to head back in, so it would seem that Brazel and Cavitt rode back to their cars and Cavitt would have returned to Roswell. Marcel loaded his car with debris, or according to what he told Linda Corley in 1981, “I loaded my ’42 Buick to the hilt with it and I came on home cause I was late getting home.”

At this point we have the sheriff who had apparently seen some of the debris on Sunday, Marcel and Cavitt following Brazel to the ranch on Sunday afternoon, and then all of them out on the debris field on Monday, July 7. They spent time out there and eventually all leave, with Marcel getting home late on Monday.

Marcel, in the interview with Corley said, “…I brought some of the stuff and put it in the kitchen… So I put a lot of stuff on the floor in the kitchen. One thing I don’t remember is whether I picked up or you [Marcel’s wife] and Jesse picked it up and put it back in my car. Cause I didn’t get back to the base that night [emphasis added].”

Jesse Marcel holding a mock-up of the I-beam he saw in 1947.
Jesse Marcel holding a mock-up of the I-beam he saw in 1947.
This suggests that at the time Marcel didn’t see anything that suggested to him that it was alien in nature. Unusual yes, but metallic debris is basically metallic debris and if you don’t have something more than that, it is impossible to make the leap to the extraterrestrial. Marcel would tell Corley about a beam that was small and squared, not like the tiny I-beam described by his son. They agreed that it was small and that there were pinkish/purplish figures on it. He mentioned the foil that he said couldn’t be winkled and had said that it was about the thinness of the foil in a pack of cigarettes. He had found a piece that was about two feet long.
Marcel told Corley, “He [a fellow who worked for Marcel] said, ‘You see this piece of metal? … I tried to bend it, tried to mark on it. You can’t mark it.’ … He took a sixteen pound sledgehammer and put the piece of metal on the ground and he hit it like that and it bounced off.” Marcel pointed the cigarette pack again and said that the foil was as thin as that.

Anyway, according to Marcel, he got home late, but that could easily mean that rather than arriving at five or six in the evening, he got there are seven or eight. He had nothing that caused him to believe he needed to go to the base that evening. Instead, according to this testimony given to Corley, he waited until the next morning. He might have alerted Blanchard that he was back and Blanchard told him to wait until morning.

Given my experience, realizing that it began some twenty years later, I would think that Marcel would have driven out to the base no later than seven-thirty the next morning. It was certainly fairly early and he would have reported to Blanchard, taking him samples of the material. Remember, this is 1947, and people aren’t thinking in terms of an alien spacecraft. Reading the newspapers of late June and early July, 1947, there are hints, but most of the speculation revolves around terrestrial-based technology. It might be Soviet, it might be the Navy, it might be something from White Sands, or it might be some kind of other experiment but no one really thought it was from outer space.

We can speculate that there was a lot of classified message traffic going into the Roswell base; most of it would have been routinely destroyed when it was no longer valid. A purging of the files of classified would be accomplished on a regular basis, eliminating that material that was not relevant to the operation of the 509th Bomb Group. Nothing nefarious there. All military facilities that receive classified material routinely destroy it as it is superseded and no longer useful. There might have been messages about the flying disks, but they would have been informational rather than offering much in the way of explanation. Some of that might not have been classified but those messages are long gone. There is no way to verify what was being transmitted.

There would have been nothing going into Roswell to suggest there was anything classified about these flying saucers at that point. The newspapers were filled with stories about them including explanations for them. The case out of Circleville, Ohio, is important to our discussion, because it suggests some sort of metallic material having been recovered, but again, it was nothing of a classified nature.

The Circleville story struck me as important, not only because everyone there seemed able to identify the balloon for what it was while those in Roswell could not but also because it suggested that what they had wasn’t all that extraordinary. Blanchard, maybe having seen that story, but certainly having seen many of the others printed in the newspapers of the time, issued his press release about capturing a flying saucer.

Given all that, Blanchard called Haut (Marcel certainly wouldn’t have thought to call the public relations guy) and either read to him a press release or gave him the information to write it himself according to what Haut would tell me later. Haut then passed it around Roswell where both George Walsh and Frank Joyce put it on their respective news wires.

At this point nothing was classified. It was just some rubble recovered in a rancher’s pasture seventy or so miles northwest of Roswell. It was unusual material, but no one was talking about anything classified, and even if you wish to bring in Mogul, that material, if it was what had been found, was not classified. Nobody was violating regulations at this point.

For those who believe Roswell was alien, it would be clear that the second site where there was a craft and bodies was found sometime after the press release had been delivered. It seems, based on the documentation, that about fifteen minutes or so after Walsh received the press release, he put it on the wire. It was then too late to recall it, if that had been in their minds.

The answer to the question about Marcel and Blanchard compromising classified information seems to be that they didn’t. At the time they acted, nothing was classified and they did what they thought to be the best thing to do. Blanchard thought they had a partial though mundane answer to the flying saucer mystery and ordered the press release. It was later that they received other, better information, but by that time the high headquarters had taken over. I think this covers the questions that are being asked. It does address some of the concerns and makes sense. Blanchard just wanted people to know that the Army was on top of things and had pieces of one. The press release was designed to make the Army look good to the public and he couldn’t have envisioned the explosion of interest in the topic or the direction some research would take. He just thought he was doing something important for the community.

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The Roswell [Flying Saucer] Press Release and Colonel Blanchard

RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region

By Kevin Randle
A Different Perspective

      I’ve been thinking about this press release issued by Colonel Blanchard that has the skeptics in such turmoil and I must confess worries me a bit as well. There just doesn’t seem to be any logic in it if we start with the premise that they thought they were finding parts of an alien spacecraft on the debris field.

But as I was driving across Nebraska, which is fairly boring, I got to thinking about this and what the press release actually said. The terminology is important and the lack of any real detail is also important. If we look at what was said about what was found on the ranch managed by Mack Brazel and what was seen by Jesse Marcel, Sr. and Sheridan Cavitt, we might be able to figure some of this out.

For those unfamiliar with what the press release said, this is the Associated Press version based on the information supplied by Walter Haut:

Roswell, N.M. – The army air forces here today announced a flying disc had been found on a ranch near Roswell and is in army possession.

The Intelligence office reports that it gained possession of the ‘Dis:’ [sic] through the cooperation of a Roswell rancher and Sheriff George Wilson [sic] of Roswell.

The disc landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher, whose name has not yet been obtained, stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the Roswell sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office notified a major of the 509th Intelligence Office.

Action was taken immediately and the disc was picked up at the rancher’s home and taken to the Roswell Air Base. Following examination, the disc was flown by intelligence officers in a superfortress (B-29) to an undisclosed “Higher Headquarters.”

The air base has refused to give details of construction of the disc or its appearance.

Residents near the ranch on which the disc was found reported seeing a strange blue light several days ago about three o’clock in the morning.

According to the best evidence available today, Brazel found a field that was covered in metallic debris a few days before heading into Roswell. He provided almost no descriptions of it but did want to know who was going to clean up the mess. Tommy Tyree, a sometimes ranch hand working for Brazel, explained that the material was so tightly packed that the sheep refused to cross it but that doesn’t tell us much about the density. All we know is that the material, and I’ll guess some of it stirring in the wind, frightened the sheep. There was enough of it to make it a chore to collect. Jesse Marcel, Sr., would later suggest that it was an area that was about three quarters of a mile long and a couple of hundred feet wide. Bill Brazel would talk about a gouge through the center of the area that was a half mile or so long which tells us nothing about the amount of debris but does suggest something about the length of the debris field.

We know, based on the records, that Brazel did drive into Roswell to talk with the sheriff and that the sheriff contacted the Roswell Army Air Field. Jesse Marcel, along with Sheridan Cavitt accompanied Brazel back to the ranch, arriving late in the day. It was too late that night to go out to the field, so they made that trip the next morning according to Marcel. Cavitt, according to what he told Colonel Richard Weaver, went out with Bill Rickett, his NCOIC, and thought that Marcel might have gone out with them (and it is here we see some of the trouble with memories that are decades old).

Marcel said that he, Cavitt and Brazel went out the next morning and gathered some of the debris. Marcel said that he told Cavitt to head back to the base and he would stay, though I don’t know why he would have done that. Marcel said that he filled his car with the debris and that he then drove back to Roswell.

And here we encounter the beginnings of the real problems. Even if Marcel moved slowly, it shouldn’t have taken no more than an hour to fill his car, and even if he drove slowly back to Roswell, it shouldn’t have taken no more than four or five hours, which would seem to put him in town in the early evening at the latest. Which, of course, suggests that he didn’t have to wake up his wife and son to show them the debris, which, according to Jesse Marcel, Jr., his father called a “flying saucer.” He might have stopped at the house to show them what he had found because it was parts of what he thought of as a flying saucer and for that reason it was mildly interesting. Flying saucer didn’t necessarily mean alien spacecraft at the time, though that was certainly one of the interpretations, one of the least likely of the interpretations, given the tone of most newspaper and radio reports.

The Circleville Flying Saucer
The Circleville Flying Saucer
Now, here is what I’m thinking about this. On July 6, 1947, newspapers around the country carried the story of a flying disk recovered in the Circleville, Ohio area by a farmer, Sherman Campbell. Pictures of it were published in the newspapers, including one with Campbell’s daughter holding up what are clearly parts of a rawin radar reflector. Campbell identified it as did the local sheriff and newspaper reporters. Campbell though if it was high aloft with the wind causing the reflective surface to spin, it might look like a disk from the ground.
I don’t know if they saw or heard this story in the Roswell area, but it was national news and it certainly offered a plausible answer for some of the flying saucer/flying disk reports. Some sort of strange metallic debris with a nearly intact radar target had been found in Ohio. This might have suggested something to Blanchard.

So Marcel shows up early the next morning (which in the military wouldn’t have been all that early when you remember that flight operations as well as other tasks might start at four or five in the morning) and I would guess somewhere around seven or seven-thirty. According to what he would later say, and given the descriptions of the material recovered provided by Bill Brazel, Loretta Proctor, Bud Payne and Tommy Tyree, there wasn’t much in the way of diversity. They had some light weight wood that had the density of balsa, some wires that Bill Brazel suggested were like monofilament fishing line but that would transmit light, some foil and some parchment. Nothing to suggest an alien spacecraft, only some materials that were sort of familiar but a little bit different and nothing that would suggest any sort of identification. Besides all that, we have Cavitt telling Weaver that it was all a balloon (though Cavitt told me personally in 1991 that he had been too busy in July 1947 to go chasing balloons).

Blanchard probably (and note the qualification) looked at the debris, thought it nothing all that extraordinary but would be something that might be associated with the flying saucer stories. As far as he was concerned, there was nothing classified about the material. They hadn’t found a craft. They hadn’t found bodies. There was nothing to suggest that it was a project from White Sands or an experimental aircraft that had crashed. It was just a field filled with metallic debris… strange debris to be sure but nothing that would lead to the conclusion that it was extraterrestrial.

If Blanchard was aware of the report from Circleville, that might have inspired him to order Haut to issue the press release. Even if he hadn’t seen that story, he had certainly seen many others. Given the time, that is July 1947, few of the explanations suggested interplanetary craft as opposed to interstellar. Scientists, military officers and government officials were offering their take on the sightings but there was certainly nothing that was classified about it. Blanchard’s message center would have been receiving directions and intelligence about a wide variety of subjects on a daily if not hourly basis but I doubt that much space was wasted on flying saucers in those early days.

What this means is that on the morning of July 8, when Blanchard ordered Walter Haut to issue the press release, they weren’t dealing with classified material. They were dealing with some strange debris found by a rancher. They might not have known exactly what it was, but they weren’t thinking in terms of classified material. This explains the press release because it demonstrates that Blanchard was telling the local community they had found elements that might have been part of a flying saucer, whatever that might have meant at that time.

And it explains Marcel taking the material home to show his wife and son. In fact, given the nature of the debris, Marcel might not have felt it necessary to report it to Blanchard until the next morning. He stopped at his house, not necessarily to show them the debris, but because it was on his way to the base, the duty day was over, and there was nothing classified or critical in his possession. He could wait until the morning.

This would, of course, alter the various timelines created about these events, but it doesn’t change anything radically. All it does is provide an answer for why the press release was issued and why Marcel took the material home to show his wife and son. At that point nothing was classified. That would come later, when additional wreckage was found, but at that precise moment, they were dealing with the mundane and not the extraordinary.

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The Roswell UFO Crash and Reporter, Jason Kellahin

The Roswell UFO Crash and Reporter, Jason Kellahin

By Kevin Randle
A Different Perspective

(Blogger’s note: Since this has come up, I thought I’d republish, with appropriate updates, the article from my The Roswell Encyclopedia about this. I believe I was the first to interview Jason Kellahin, first briefly on the telephone, and then in his home. I did notice one thing as we walked through his house. There was a copy of The Roswell Incident on his desk, as well as a number of newspaper articles about the Roswell crash that he referred to periodically. Clearly he had been reviewing that material before I had arrived and just as clearly that influenced what he told me based on the documented facts available. That interview was videotaped and a copy was provided to the Fund for UFO Research and does not agree with the affidavit that he signed some time later.)

     Jason Kellahin was an AP reporter based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the summer of 1947. He received a call from the New York office of the Associated Press telling him that he needed to get down to Roswell as quickly as possible. According to Kellahin, “We [Kellahin and Robin Adair] were informed of the discovery down there…the bureau chief sent me and a teletype operator from the Albuquerque office.” Please note that he specifically mentioned the discovery down there.

I interviewed Kellahin in his home more than forty years later and he told me then, “It must have been in the morning because we went down there in the daytime. It would take a couple of hours to get down there…”

Kellahin continued, saying, “We went down to Vaughn [New Mexico]. Just south of Vaughn is where they found the material.”

The ranch, according to Kellahin, wasn’t very far from the main highway (Highway 285) from Vaughn to Roswell. They turned from that highway just south of Vaughn, onto the Corona road. They were driving to the west and saw “a lot of cars and went over. We assumed that [this] was the place. There were officers from the air base. They were there before we got there.” This does not agree with the affidavit that Kellahin would sign sometime later.

Kellahin described military cars, civilian cars and even police vehicles parked along the side of the road. In one of the fields adjacent to the road, at the far end of it, were a number of military officers, not more than five or six of them. Kellahin left his vehicle and entered the field where he saw the scattered debris.

“This man from Albuquerque with me [Adair], he had a camera. He took some pictures of the stuff lying on the ground and of the rancher who was there…Brazel was there and he [the photographer] took his picture.”

Kellahin asked Brazel a few questions, interviewing him there, in the field. “I talked to him. He told me his name [Brazel] and we had been told it was on his ranch.”

Convenience store in Vaughn, NM
Convenience store in Vaughn, NM
Kellahin didn’t remember much about what Brazel had said. “About the only thing he said he walked out there and found this stuff and he told a neighbor about it and the neighbor said you ought to tell the sheriff…it was the next day [he] went down to Roswell.”

Standing there in the field, near the debris, Kellahin had the chance to examine it closely. “It wasn’t much of anything. Just some silver colored fabric and very light wood…a light wood like you’d make a kite with…I didn’t pick it up. In fact, they [the military] asked us not to pick up anything…You couldn’t pick it up and have identified it. You have to have known [what it was]. But it was a balloon. It looked more like a kite than anything else.”

The debris covered a small area, not more than half an acre. The military men were standing close by as Kellahin interviewed Brazel but didn’t try to interfere. “They weren’t paying much attention. They didn’t interfere with me. I went wherever I wanted to go. They didn’t keep me off the place at all. Me or the photographer.” Kellahin tried to talk to the military people, but they didn’t give him any information. “They were being very, very cautious because they didn’t know.”

He didn’t have much time for the interview because the military officers came over and told him they were finished and were going to take Brazel into Roswell. With Brazel gone and the cleanup of the debris finished, there wasn’t much reason for the AP reporters to remain. Kellahin and Adair continued their trip to Roswell, arriving before dark.

Kellahin confirmed some of this, saying that “We went down to the Roswell Daily Record and I wrote a story and we sent it out on the AP wire…Adair developed his pictures and set up the wire photo equipment and sent it out.”

The story about all this that appeared in the newspaper ended saying, “Adair and Kellahin were ordered to Roswell for the special assignment by the headquarters bureau of AP in New York.”
Kellahin, when he left the ranch, had expected to see Brazel in Roswell, the next day, but said, “I don’t recall that I did. I think the military was talking to him and wouldn’t let him talk to anyone else to my recollection…I saw him there but…there were some military people with him.”

Following the story as far as he could, Kellahin talked to Sheriff Wilcox. “When we got down there to the newspaper, he was there. I saw him there or at his office…By that time the military had gotten into it. He was being very cautious.”

“It was a weather balloon,” said Kellahin. “In my opinion that’s what it was. That’s what we saw. We didn’t see anything else to indicate it was anything else.”

Once they finished in the newspaper office, Kellahin returned to Albuquerque and Adair was ordered to return to El Paso to finish his job there. By the time Kellahin arrived in to Albuquerque, there was a new story for him that had nothing to do with flying saucers. Another assignment that was just as important as his last.

There are some points that must be made. The raw testimony from Kellahin must be put into context with that provided by others, including Adair. Both Kellahin and Adair were trying to answer the questions as honestly as they could, attempting to recall the situation as it was in July 1947. However, they are at odds with one another. There clearly is no way for Adair to be both in El Paso as he claimed and in Albuquerque as suggested by Kellahin.

Given the circumstances, there are some things that can be established. A number of newspaper articles about the events, written in 1947, have been reviewed. Although many of them had no by-line, they did carry an AP slug and did identify the location as Roswell. Since Kellahin was the only AP reporter there, assigned by the bureau chief in Albuquerque at the request of the AP headquarters in New York, it is clear that he wrote the articles.

The first problem encountered is Kellahin’s memory of getting the call early in the morning. That simply doesn’t track with the evidence. Walter Haut’s press release was not issued until sometime after noon on July 8 and it didn’t go out on either the news wires until later. George Walsh of radio station KSWS remembered that Haut had telephoned the press release to him “about mid-day.” He copied the press release exactly, as Haut read it to him over the phone. Walsh, in turn called it into the Associated Press in Albuquerque. From there the release was put on the AP wire and that story was published in a number of newspapers.

There is a document, created in 1947, that provides the exact times for some of this. According The Daily Illini, the first of the stories on the Associated Press wire appeared at 4:26 p.m. on the east coast. That would mean that the stories went out from Albuquerque, sometime prior to 2:26 p.m.

That means there would be no reason for the AP to assign a reporter (Kellahin) on the morning of July 8. There was no story about the flying saucer until that afternoon. And, by the morning of July 9, the story was dead and no reason to send anyone to Roswell. The photos had already been taken of the debris in Fort Worth and the information about the nature of the debris had already released to the press. Besides, the story in the July 9 issue of The Roswell Daily Record makes it clear that they, Kellahin and Adair, had already arrived in Roswell, coming down on July 8.

Second is the story that Kellahin saw the weather balloon on the Brazel ranch. His description of the location, south of Vaughn but just off the main highway to Roswell is inaccurate (which is the advantage of having been there myself. I knew what the terrain looked like and how close, or far, it was from the highway.) The debris field, as identified by Bill Brazel and Bud Payne, is not close to the Vaughn – Roswell highway. In fact, the field where the debris was discovered is not visible from the roads around it. It is a cross country drive into a shallow valley.

More importantly, by the time Kellahin could have gotten to that field, the balloon should have been removed if it was just a balloon as described by Kellahin. In fact, according to Marcel and the newspaper articles, the balloon was already in Fort Worth if we believe what has been reported. After all, a balloon wouldn’t have taken long to collect and Marcel had done that the day before.

Kellahin said in his affidavit that he had visited Brazel at the ranch house, met Brazel’s wife and young son. That is different from what he told me, and from the neighbors said and what Bill Brazel said. After meeting Brazel at the ranch house, they drove to the field where the debris was found.

Kellahin’s testimony of seeing a balloon out in the field is intriguing, not because he is an eyewitness to the balloon on the crash site, but because of what it suggests. If there was a balloon, it would mean that the Army had to bring one in. In other words, they were salting the area, and that, in and of itself, would be important. It would suggest that the Army had something to hide, if they were planting evidence.

Given the sequencing of events, based on the newspaper accounts and other testimony, the earliest that Kellahin could have been in the field was late in the afternoon (around four or five p.m.) on July 8. However, by that time, Marcel and the special flight from Roswell were already in Fort Worth. If the balloon explanation is accurate, then the evidence had long since been collected and there would be nothing for Kellahin to see.

Kellahin also said there had been photographs taken while on that field. These photos, according to Kellahin had been transmitted from Roswell. The photo of Brazel transmitted, however, was one that had been taken, not in the field, but in the newspaper offices. If there were pictures taken in the field they have never been printed. Had they existed, even if of poor quality, they would have been printed. After all, what could be better than pictures of Mack Brazel with the debris in the field? Here was the most persuasive of evidence… Brazel, military officers, standing in the field with the remains of a balloon but apparently those pictures were never printed by any AP newspaper at any time.

By contrast, the seven pictures taken in Ramey’s office were printed throughout the country. All seven have been located. Even the fairly rare picture of Irving Newton was printed in Texas newspapers and was used by the editors of Look when they printed their Flying Saucers special in 1966. But those that Kellahin claimed had been taken of Brazel on his ranch with the debris clearly displayed have never been found. That suggests that Kellahin’s memory is flawed on this point.

The best evidence available is that Kellahin did not stop at the ranch on his way down to Roswell. He is mistaken about that. The lack of the photographs and evidence about the location of Brazel on the afternoon of July 8 suggest it. The location that Kellahin gives is in error though he does suggest in his affidavit that rather than stumbling upon the field, he was led to it by Brazel. The ranch was not close to Vaughn, and the debris field is not close to any road.

By the time Kellahin and Adair arrived in Roswell and were ready to begin reporting, some of the pressure was off. Ramey, in Fort Worth, explained that the material found in Roswell was nothing extraordinary. The FBI had issued a telex that suggested it was a balloon after discussing all this with Major Kirton in Fort Worth though it doesn’t seem the FBI bought the explanation. No longer was New York demanding pictures. In fact, several pictures had already been taken in Fort Worth.

The interview with Brazel occurred on the evening of July 8, according to the newspaper article in the July 9 edition of The Roswell Daily Record. Brazel was brought in by the owner of KGFL, Walt Whitmore, Sr. Brazel was then interviewed by Kellahin, as well as a reporter for the Roswell Daily Record. The pictures transmitted, those of Brazel and George Wilcox, are ones that had been taken in the office for that purpose. Kellahin wrote his story, which appeared in the newspapers the next day.

With the story dead, Kellahin was ordered to return to what he had been doing. He left Roswell. Kellahin believed that nothing extraordinary had been found and there was no reason for the events to stick in his mind.

The point here, however, is that if you accept any of the Kellahin testimony as fact and use it to bolster a theory, you are building on a shaky foundation. We can document who was doing what and where at the time and Kellahin’s story does not match any of that. Yes, he was in Roswell and yes, he did interview Brazel, but he didn’t see him at his ranch, there are no pictures of Brazel in that field, and the time line suggested by Kellahin is badly flawed.

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The Extraterrestrial Vote

By Rebecca Leber

      NASA’s nine-year-old New Horizons mission made history on Tuesday by giving Earth its first close glimpse at the on-again, off-again ninth planet, Pluto. In response, President Barack Obama tweeted:

But was New Horizons really Pluto’s first visitor? John Podesta, who left his White House senior adviser position earlier this year to run Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, questioned the assumption:

Podesta is a well-documented science fiction enthusiast who’s regularly riffed on the X-Files tagline, “The truth is out there.”

In 2002, Podesta told reporters at the National Press Club that the U.S. government should “declassify records that are more than 25 years old.” He was, of course, discussing UFOs. “It’s time to find out what the truth really is that’s out there,” he said. . . .

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Lee Reeves and the Roswell UFO Crash

Dan Dwyer and members of the Roswell Fire Department
Dan Dwyer and members of the Roswell Fire Department

By Kevin Randle
A Different Perspective

     I have been asked about the story of Lee Reeves who supposedly accompanied Dan Dwyer out to the crash site where the alien creatures were found. Reeves’ tale appears in Witness to Roswell where it says, “When the call came in to the fire station that there had been a crash north of town, Dan Dwyer and Lee Reeves were dispatched with the station’s “tanker” (a pickup truck with a large, cylindrical water tank in the back) to the crash site. Arriving before the military could secure the site, Dwyer and Reeves got to see what had crashed. It wasn’t an airplane at all, but an egg-shaped vessel of some sort that they did not recognize. And the bodies! …”

From that point, Carey and Schmitt described, from Dwyer’s point of view (which is not to say they were quoting him, only using information that had been supplied by Frankie Rowe about what her father had said), that the creatures were small and that eventually Dwyer saw one that was still alive. When he got home that night, he told the family what he had seen and was asked what the creatures looked like. His “answer was succinct, ‘Child of the Earth,’” which is another name for the Jerusalem Cricket. That statement has an endnote that says, “Son (anonymity requested) of Dr. Foster’s housekeeper (anonymity requested), personal interview, 1992.”

Frankie Rowe
Frankie Rowe
That endnote tells us nothing and seems to reference a tale told later in that chapter of the book. It is clear from my interviews with Frankie Rowe that it was her father, Dan Dwyer, who made reference to the Child of the Earth. The description of seeing the two dead aliens and the single survivor is also from Frankie Rowe.

Lee Reeves, according to the information that I have, died in 1971 and therefore is not an original source for this information. He had been a laborer at the Malco Refinery in 1947, but he was also a member of the Roswell Police Department and had worked as a fireman at the Orchard Park prisoner of war camp south of Roswell and for the city of Roswell Fire Department at some time, so he did have a connection there.

The trouble arises when the testimony of J. C. Smith, a firefighter in Roswell in 1947 is recalled. He was first interviewed by Karl Pflock and Smith made it clear in that interview that the Roswell Fire Department had not made a run out to the crash site, even in a piece of make-shift firefighting equipment.

Later when Tony Bragalia and I interviewed Smith separately, he made it absolutely clear that the fire department had not gone to the crash site. When I asked Smith if he had known Dan Dwyer, he said that he had and that Dwyer had gone out in his personal car. Smith told me that an Army colonel had come into the fire station and told them that they didn’t have to worry about the crash. They, the Army, would take care of it.

Dwyer, however, drove on out on his own, according to Smith, and not in one of the fire station’s vehicles and not with someone else. There was no discussion of Reeves at all until his story surfaced sometime in the last decade or so and was apparently relayed by his son, though there is nothing in the Carey and the Schmitt book to tell us that. It is my deduction given the information available.

Where does that leave us? Well, with the Dan Dwyer story, we learn from family members that he did go out there and said that he did see the bodies. We learn from J. C. Smith that Dwyer did go out there, but in his own car. We learn from the fire department records that there is nothing to suggest that any of the fire station’s equipment was dispatched on a run outside the city limits in the time frame necessary to corroborate the Reeves’ part of the story. Given the nature of the log, had some of their equipment been dispatched, there was no reason not to mention it. And we see that the Reeves’ tale is contradicted by the first-hand testimony of J. C. Smith.

It is my guess that the Reeves’ tale was told by one of the Reeves children or grandchildren, most likely Lewis Lee Reeves. When confronted with this sort of problem, the best case scenario is to rely on the first-hand testimony, which is Smith and which was told some sixty years after the event (which doesn’t make it true, only that it is of a better quality). The second-hand testimony is not properly sourced, is clearly not from a first-hand source, and is in conflict with other information and documentation. It now falls into the category of a “friend of a friend” tale and we all know how that works out… (and to prevent someone from stating the obvious here, I realize that it is technically the son of the man, but then, given the way the information is published, we really don’t know that either.)

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