June 1, 2008 3:11 PM
following article was published in the Dallas Observer April
half century later, witnesses insist little green... or maybe
brown-men crashed in New Mexico
It was a snow-covered December in 1995 when President Bill
Clinton, visiting Northern Ireland in support of the country's
new and fragile peace process, spoke to a large gathering that
had arrived for a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The president
opted to dismiss politics and keep the mood of his speech light.
At one point, he drew laughter as he referred to a letter he'd
recently received from a 13-year-old boy in Belfast.
"Ryan," the president said, "in case you're out there, here
is your answer: No. As far as I know, no spaceship crashed
at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. And if the Air Force recovered
any extraterrestrial bodies, they did not tell me."
Such is the widespread and ongoing fascination attached to
a legendary event that many believe actually took place on
the late J.B. Foster's sheep ranch more than a half-century
What has transpired since that Independence Day weekend when
a "flying saucer" was allegedly recovered by military personnel
from Roswell Army Air Field has fueled a debate that continues
56 years later. Is it possible that such an unearthly event
really occurred? The question has spawned an industry of books--well
more than 100 at last count--and documentary films, inspired
popular television shows and sci-fi movies, a prospering museum
business in Roswell and insistence by many researchers that
an ongoing government cover-up of the historic discovery puts
Watergate to shame.
Perhaps Clinton should have visited with Midland's Anne Robbins
before giving his answer. The widow of a career military man
stationed in Roswell at the time, she might have changed his
mind. She would probably have shared the description of the
saucer that her husband, Technical Sergeant Ernest Robert Robbins,
told her he helped recover long ago and the three small
"men"--one dead, one near death and another very much alive--found
outside the spaceship.
But we're getting ahead of the story.
Was the arid Lincoln County region actually visited by inhabitants
of another world? If so, why has the government refused to
admit it? And could it be true, as some now claim, that many
modern-day technical advancements--from lasers to fiber optics,
integrated circuit chips to Velcro--have evolved from scientific
examination and reverse engineering studies of a now hidden
As the story goes, William "Mac" Brazel, who leased the Foster
Ranch at the time, was on horseback herding sheep when he happened
onto a large field of strewn debris unlike anything he'd ever
seen. He would later tell neighbors Floyd and Loretta Proctor
it was clearly something that had fallen from the sky; perhaps
the cause of the too-loud-to-be-thunder boom he'd heard during
the previous night's rainstorm.
Brazel allegedly showed the Proctors some of the pieces he'd
collected, metallic but thin as tinfoil. They watched in amazement
as he wrinkled one, laid it on a table and saw it immediately
smooth to its original shape. And there were the pieces of
stick-like material, no heavier than balsa wood, bendable but
impossible to break or cut with a knife. On some were what
he later compared to Indian petroglyphs, series of strange
symbols and pastel-colored drawings.
The neighbors, aware of the flying-saucer mania then sweeping
the nation, suggested he tell authorities. Thus, two days later,
on the morning of July 7, 1947, Brazel made the 60-mile drive
to Roswell and told Chaves County Sheriff George Wilcox of
his discovery, showing him several pieces of the strange debris
he had collected. Wilcox phoned Major Jesse Marcel at the nearby
air base and suggested he might want to speak with the 48-year-old
After examining the material and hearing Brazel's description
of the size of the debris field--three-quarters of a mile long
and 200 to 300 feet wide, with a lengthy "gouge" in the ground
at its north end--Marcel arranged to meet Brazel at the ranch.
Thereafter the story becomes a blur that historians are still
attempting to sort out. According to evidence gathered by numerous
researchers--both scientists and laymen collectively calling
themselves UFOlogists--a small, elite group of military personnel
was assigned to guard the area, collect the debris and take
it to the base. There, orders had already been received from
Brigadier General Roger Ramey, commanding officer of the 8th
Air Force, that everything recovered was to be flown immediately
to what would later become Carswell Air Force Base in
Still, the story might never have created a worldwide frenzy
had the base public information officer, Lieutenant Walter
Haut, not issued a startling press release that appeared beneath
a banner headline in the next day's edition of the Roswell
"RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region."
Haut's press release, ordered by Colonel William Blanchard,
the base commanding officer, made it clear that something more
than pieces of scattered debris had been found. "The intelligence
office of the 509th Bombardment group at Roswell Army Air Field
announced at noon today that the field has come into possession of
a flying saucer," it read. The release went on to explain that "Major
Marcel and a detail from his department went to the ranch and
discovered the disc."
Soon, calls were coming to Haut from news agencies throughout
Now 80 and co-founder of the International UFO Museum and Research
Center in Roswell, Haut says, "After meeting with Colonel Blanchard
in his office and getting the information for the press release,
I wrote it and went to town around five that afternoon to deliver
it to the radio and newspaper people.
"That done, I went on home and was having dinner when people
from all over the world started calling. Finally, about midnight,
my wife, who was getting a little unhappy with the flood of
calls, just took the phone off the hook and told me we were
going to bed."
Then, just as quickly as the excitement had developed, it came
to a crashing end with a Fort Worth news conference called
by General Ramey the following day. Despite claims by Marcel
to investigators years later that the amount of debris loaded
onto the B-29 that was flown from Roswell to Fort Worth "was
enormous," half filling the huge plane, reporters and photographers
who gathered in the general's office were shown only tattered
remnants of a weather balloon and given a smiling apology for
all the unwarranted excitement. In attendance was Major Marcel,
admitting he had been mistaken.
The official version of the Roswell incident thus became that
a military weather balloon launched to detect wind velocity
and direction at high altitudes had come crashing down on Foster
Ranch. End of story. The headline in the next day's Roswell
paper was as definitive but not nearly as exciting as the one
published the day before: "Gen. Ramey Empties Roswell Saucer." In
a more innocent and patriotic time, with World War II still
fresh in the public's mind and trust in the government blindly
indisputable, the explanation was good enough. For most. For
Anne Robbins, who until now has never spoken publicly on the
matter, says what her late husband saw 56 years ago was hardly
a downed weather balloon.
Seated in a meeting room at the newly opened Odessa Meteor
Crater Museum, the 84-year-old Robbins clearly recalls a July
night when her husband received a call to report to the base.
She would not see or hear from him for 18 hours. And when she
did, he told her bits and pieces of a bizarre story that has
puzzled her for a lifetime.
"We had been to a dinner party at the NCO [non-commissioned
officers] club on the base," she says, "and didn't get home
until 10:30 or 11. We'd already gone to bed but weren't yet
asleep when everything outside lit up like it was daylight.
It was like that for what seemed like several minutes, and
we both assumed that it was probably helicopters from the base
with searchlights on."
Soon thereafter, the phone call came to their home and her
husband told her he had to report to the base.
"I just assumed that there had been a plane crash somewhere
nearby," she says. "But I couldn't figure why my husband, a
sheet-metal man who repaired planes, was called in."
She was even more puzzled when he returned home the following
evening, his uniform wrinkled and damp. "I asked him what had
happened to him, why he was so wet, and he told me he'd had
to go through the decontamination tank at the base. I asked,
'In your clothes?' and he said, 'They were what I was wearing
when I was out there.'"
Still assuming that he'd been called to the site of a plane
crash, she quizzed him further. "He told me, 'Well, I guess
you might as well know; it's going to be in the papers. A UFO
crashed outside of Roswell.'"
Her response? "I told him he was crazy."
"No," Sergeant Robbins replied, "I'm not." Then he showered
and went to bed.
"I don't remember him being particularly shocked or very emotional
about it," she says. "In fact, he seemed cool as
a cucumber. He just made it clear to me that he wasn't going
to talk about it."
The following morning she continued to press for details. "I
asked him again if it was really true and he said, yes, it
When she asked what the UFO looked like, he explained that "if
you took two saucers and put them together, that's what it
looked like." On the top layer, he told her, there were oblong-shaped
windows all the way around the craft. And, no, he said, he
had not looked inside the crashed ship.
"I asked him if there was anybody on it. He said, 'I can tell
you this much: There were three people. One was dead and two
were still alive. I can't tell you anything more.'"
It was not until several days later that Sergeant Robbins finally
agreed to drive his wife out to the crash site. By then, all
debris had been cleared away and neither a spaceship nor signs
of military personnel was evident. "He didn't say much of anything
until we got to a place where there was this big burned spot,
a perfect circle so black that it was shiny. No normal fire
could have made something like that." It was, she says, as
if the sand had been melted and turned into a sheet of black
"This," Sergeant Robbins said, "is where I was for 18 hours."
"On the drive home," she says, "I asked him what happened to
the spaceship, what happened to the people who were on it.
Her husband's reply: "I can't tell you that; don't ask me any
It was the last time her husband spoke of "the Roswell incident" until
long after he'd retired from the service. Until his death of
a heart attack two years ago, he never told his wife who was
with him that night or what role he had played.
Following his retirement from the Air Force in 1961, they moved
to Saginaw, near Fort Worth, and he worked first for General
Dynamics, then LTV, as an aircraft repairman.
"It was years later, when our kids were in high school, that
our son Ronald was working on some kind of report on unidentified
flying objects and asked his father to tell him about what
happened back in Roswell. He didn't say much, basically just
what he'd told me years earlier," she says.
"But you know how kids are. Ronald kept asking questions, like
what the men found at the crash looked like. Finally, Papa
[as she referred to her husband throughout their 57-year marriage]
got a pencil and drew this pear-shaped head with large black
eyes. Their skin, he said, was brown and they had no nose,
"When Ronald asked him what their bodies looked like, all he
would say was, 'Son, you don't want to know about that.'"
The Robbins' son, now living in Arizona, could not be reached
by the Dallas Observer. "He wouldn't talk to you about it,
his mother insists. Neither of her children, in fact, has ever
spoken publicly of their father's alleged involvement in the
Roswell incident. "Barbara, my daughter, tells me, 'Daddy's
dead, don't bring it up.'"
"All I remember," says Barbara Wattlington, "was Dad saying
he was stationed in Roswell and that a UFO crashed there."
The last time Anne Robbins remembers any conversation about
the matter was a few years before her husband's death in January
2000, when they sat in their Saginaw living room one evening,
watching television. A show whose title she can't recall was
on, re-creating the Roswell event and posing the question of
whether it was an ageless hoax or the well-hidden truth. "I
asked him, 'Was it a hoax?' and all he said was, 'It's the
truth. It did land.'
"I asked him, 'Well, if it did, where is it?' He again said
he couldn't tell me that."
Her husband, she says, was never one to embellish or lie; neither
prankster nor teller of tall tales. "He was a good, Christian
man. He loved the military and his country and never spoke
bad about either." No, she says, he would never have made up
such a story. Nor, if ordered not to, would he have ever talked
of matters he was told to keep secret. "That's just the way
he was," she says. "On the day he died, the last thing he told
me was that he wanted me to promise to fly the flag in front
of our house until I drew my last breath."
Though she insists she has never researched the numerous theories
of the Roswell crash presented in the countless books or documentaries,
she does admit that she has lingering questions she hopes will
one day be answered. "That UFO they found didn't just fly away," she
says. "So where is it? And what happened to the people on it?
I still say the Air Force knows what happened. Someday, I hope,
we might find out the truth."
Two years ago she did get an answer to one question that had
long bothered her. "I could never figure out why an airplane
repairman would be called out in the middle of the night to
participate in the investigation of a crashed UFO," she says.
Only after filing her husband's death certificate with military
officials in Washington, D.C., did she learn that he had intelligence
clearance during his Roswell tenure.
Still, if Anne Robbins had embarked on a thorough study of
the massive collection of research done on the fabled Roswell
crash, she would not find her husband's name among any of the "witnesses" who
have come forward over the years. Yet the sketchy details he
gave her generally mesh with most of the reconstructed stories
found in the ever-growing volume of literature devoted to the
It was not until 1978, three decades after the brief flurry
of interest in the crashed UFO-turned-weather balloon, that
Jesse Marcel, the intelligence officer who had been at the
center of the original event, came forward with a story far
different from the one told attendees of the Carswell news
The material flown from Roswell to Fort Worth was never actually
shown to the media, he confided to nuclear physicist-turned-UFO
investigator Stanton Friedman. It was, instead, quietly delivered
to a research laboratory at Wright-Patterson Army Air Force
Base in Dayton, Ohio.
Marcel's revised recollections of the 1947 event, along with
those of others who had finally chosen to speak out, ultimately
appeared in the 1980 book The Roswell Incident co-authored
by William Moore and Charles Berlitz, setting off a renewed
appetite for information. Soon it came in a virtual flood of
eyewitness reports and recollections of family members who,
like Anne Robbins, began revealing secrets they had long been
told to keep. The Roswell story exploded into the best-known
alleged UFO encounter in history.
According to the story now told by researchers, ranging from
the serious to those writing for the supermarket tabloids,
things far more bizarre had already occurred before Mac Brazel
discovered the debris field. Those who have written about the
event in the years since suggest a fascinating sequence of
events that occurred in the early days of that July:
For several nights, Roswell residents had reportedly seen a
strange flying object in the night sky. Though no one would
know about it for 30 years, two Franciscan Catholic nuns, working
at the local St. Mary's Hospital, even made notations in their
diaries that at some time after 11 p.m. on July 4, 1947, they
had seen a large flash in the night sky, assuming that it was
a plane in distress.
What Roswell AAF radar operator Frank Kaufmann said he saw
was even more remarkable. On that same evening he was tracking
the strange movement of a mysterious object flying at an incredible
rate of speed. Suddenly it began losing altitude and the blip
on the radar screen enlarged into a large starburst pattern
that suggested an explosion had occurred. It was estimated
that the event had occurred somewhere within a 100-mile range
northwest of the base and a search team was immediately dispatched.
Jim Ragsdale would later tell of seeing what occurred at much
closer range. He and his girlfriend, on a rock-hunting trip,
were parked at a secluded campsite on what was known as Boy
Scout Mountain, when they saw a flash, then heard a thundering
explosion. Within seconds, Ragsdale would later tell researchers,
the UFO skipped along the desert not far away, then came to
rest at the base of a nearby bluff. Grabbing flashlights, he
and his girlfriend made their way to the crash site where he
says a saucer-shaped vehicle had come to rest. Not only
did he eventually tell of seeing the crashed UFO but the bodies
of several "childlike" passengers. After picking up a few pieces
of debris from the wreckage, the young couple decided to return
to their pickup and wait until daylight for a better look.
When they did return, Ragsdale later wrote in a sworn affidavit,
they saw a military convoy arriving and briefly hid to watch
before deciding to leave (taking with them pieces of the debris
he says they later showed to numerous people in a nearby bar).
Had they remained, the story goes, they would have eventually
seen the UFO hoisted by crane onto the bed of a flatbed truck
and the bodies placed in another military vehicle that was
ordered to quickly return to the Roswell base hospital.
The actual crash site, then, had been swept clear by military
personnel hours before Mac Brazel rode up on the debris field
several miles away. Later, researchers would assume that the
craft had apparently first hit on the Foster Ranch, sliding
along for a distance, then had briefly managed to become airborne
again before crashing.
If the material found in such books as The Truth About the
UFO Crash at Roswell, Crash at Corona, Beyond Roswell, and
Alien Contact: Top Secret UFO Files Revealed is to be believed,
the interplanetary visit was, in many respects, a pretty poorly
kept secret from the get-go. The only problem is, it was years
before folks would talk about it.
Yet, before their deaths, numerous people or their descendants
recounted anecdotes of involvement in and observations made
during the strange event.
For instance, long after his father's death in 1986, Dr. Jesse
Marcel Jr., 66, still tells of Major Marcel stopping by the
house on an early July morning in 1947 to show him and his
mother pieces of the crash debris that he had collected. Eleven
years old at the time, Dr. Marcel recalled his father bringing
pieces of the downed "flying disc" from his car and spreading
them on the kitchen floor. He recalled handling the aluminum
foil-like material and seeing the unusual symbols on what he
said looked like pieces of black plastic.
Now living in Helena, Montana, Dr. Marcel says the most remarkable
memory he has of the pieces his father showed him was of the
geometric-like symbols on some of them. "I've always referred
to them as I-beams," he says, "though I have no idea what they
"My father was very excited about what they had found," Dr.
Marcel says, "and since our house was on the way to the base,
he just decided to stop by and show it to us. Then he took
it on out to the base."
Major Marcel's excitement, however, was quickly muted. "The
next day," his son remembers, "he sat down with my mother and
me and told us we were never to talk about what he'd shown
us. He said, 'Don't think about it. It didn't happen.'"
Today, Dr. Marcel remains convinced that the material his father
showed him came from another world.
Then there is the story that the late Sergeant Melvin Brown
waited until 1970 to tell his daughters. Retired and living
in England, he said that he had been at the crash site in '47
and was assigned to guard the alien bodies as they were being
transported back to the base. Though sworn to secrecy, he finally
told of being ordered to ride in an "ice-filled truck"
that was to take the bodies to a hangar. On the trip, Brown
told his daughter Beverly Bean, he had lifted a tarp and seen "two,
possibly three bodies."
And there were others who would eventually tell of seeing the
alien bodies, including Roswell AAF radar operator Kaufmann,
who would later claim to have been among those ordered to the
crash site where, he later told researchers Don Schmitt and
Kevin Randle, authors of UFO Crash at Roswell, he saw five
small aliens, all clearly dead.
Oliver "Pappy" Henderson, a World War II pilot assigned to
the Roswell Army Air Field at the time, allegedly told friend
Dr. John Kromschroeder during a fishing trip in 1978 that he
had flown much of the debris--and the bodies of what he only
described as "those little guys"--to Wright-Patterson aboard
a C-47. Shortly before his death in 1986, Henderson also told
the story to his wife.
In his book, The Day After Roswell, retired Colonel Philip
Corso is far more graphic as he writes of a night a sentry
urged him to enter an off-limits Wright-Patterson building
where more than 30 crates of Henderson's cargo had been stacked
against a wall, draped by large tarps. When the sentry pointed
to a particular crate he'd already looked in--in clear violation
of orders he'd been given --Corso opened it and shined a flashlight
on its contents.
"My stomach rolled right up into my throat, and I almost became
sick," he writes. "[Inside] was a coffin, but not like any
coffin I'd ever seen before. The contents, enclosed in a thick
glass container, were submerged in a thick light blue liquid...
"At first I thought it was a dead child they were shipping
somewhere. But it was no child. It was a 4-foot human-shaped
figure with arms, bizarre-looking four-fingered hands--I didn't
see a thumb--thin legs and feet and an oversized incandescent
light bulb-shaped head...the eye sockets were oversized and
Perhaps the most provocative story came not from a member of
the military but, instead, a Roswell mortician named Glenn
Dennis. Twenty-two at the time and director of the local Ballard
Funeral Home, he told of receiving a telephone call from the
base on the afternoon of July 5, 1947, asking if he could provide
several "small," hermetically sealed caskets. Thirty minutes
later, he would eventually recall to numerous researchers and
journalists, he answered a second call, this time with a series
of questions about the techniques of embalming and preserving
dead bodies and if such processes would alter the chemical
contents of blood and tissue. Finally, he reported, he was
asked what happened to body tissue after it had been exposed
to the elements.
Curious, Dennis says he asked if there was something he could
help with and was told the questions were only "for future
Later that day, Dennis recalled, he had driven an injured airman
to the base infirmary. While there, he noticed an unusual amount
of activity at the base hospital. Encountering a nurse named
Naomi Selff in the hallway, she was clearly surprised to see
him and warned that "he wasn't supposed to be there and had
better leave immediately."
Minutes later, his story went, he was escorted by two military
police all the way back to the funeral home.
It was not until the following day that he learned what had
been happening. He phoned nurse Selff and they agreed to meet
for lunch. Obviously distraught, she told him of seeing three
small bodies, two of which were badly mutilated, and of being
ordered by attending military doctors to take notes while they
conducted their examinations. The stench of the corpses, she
allegedly told him, had been almost more than she could stand.
Before he returned her to her barrack, Dennis recalled, she
drew sketches of the aliens on a prescription pad and gave
them to him with a warning that he should "show them to no
That, the mortician says, was the last time he ever saw her.
After numerous unsuccessful attempts to reach her by phone,
he learned several days later that she had suddenly been reassigned
to duty in England. Shortly thereafter, he was told that she
had died there in a plane crash.
Co-founder of the Roswell museum with Haut, Dennis is currently
in poor health and was unable to speak with the Observer about
his well-chronicled story.
But for every true believer there are skeptics, researchers
who have picked away at the colorful, unimaginable stories
in search of their flaws. And they have found many. Among the
debunkers is Kal K. Korff, author of The Roswell UFO Crash:
What They Don't Want You to Know. He not only questions why
so many waited so long to come forward with the stories but
points out that many of them are, like that of Anne Robbins,
hand-me-down tales allegedly kept secret until the firsthand
witnesses were dead.
Korff's questions are valid: Why have some of the reported
witness accounts described the downed UFO as "saucer-shaped"
while others remember it being "triangular-shaped with small
wings?" While most who claimed to have seen the bodies recall
there being three, others say they saw as many as five. Some
say all were dead, others that one or more was still alive.
Descriptions of the color of the small bodies range from gray
to brown. How could mortician Haut have "lost" something as
important as the drawings he says his nurse friend made and
gave to him? And if, in fact, so many civilians collected pieces
of the strange-looking debris, why has not a single piece of
it ever surfaced?
It was not until 1994 that an Air Force investigation into
the aging Roswell affair resulted in an announcement that the
material found on the Foster Ranch was, in fact, a crashed
high-altitude test balloon that would eventually be able to
monitor Soviet nuclear testing. Actually a chain of radar-equipped
balloons, it had been launched on July 4, 1947, and was tracked
to within 17 miles of the Foster Ranch before disappearing.
When the explanation failed to satisfy many "believers," the
Air Force released yet another report in '97, this one titled
The Roswell Report--Case Closed, in which it attempted to answer
the lingering question of the "bodies" allegedly seen at the
crash site. What the so-called witnesses had seen, according
to the report, were nothing more than crash-test dummies that
were part of a military experiment in parachute and ejector
That, too, failed to satisfy those determined that the governmental
cover-up continued. Such tests, several military researchers
argued, had not even begun until the mid-'50s.
"The reason the interest in the Roswell case remains and, in
fact, seems to grow," says Mark Rodeghier, scientific director
of the Chicago-based Center for UFO Studies, "is the fact the
government has never given a reasonable explanation of what
occurred that summer of 1947."
Thus it continues, an unexplained event that has turned into
an industry. What happened or didn't happen 56 years ago has
lured 1.3 million to the International UFO Museum and Research
Center since it opened in 1992. A guided tour of the desolate "crash
site" is now available. Then, there was the long-lost film
of the "autopsy" of one of the Roswell aliens that was shown
on television worldwide before being discounted as fake, and
a stream of new books and articles that continues to flow.
Clearly, the public loves the mystery. According to a recent
poll, a large percentage of the U.S. population continues to
believe something unworldly occurred that July on the Foster
Walter Haut, one of the few major figures in the long-ago story
still living, is among them. "I'm sure," he says, "that over
the years much of the story has been exaggerated. But, yes,
I believe that something happened out there in 1947." And he's
not speaking of a weather balloon crash.
19th November 2003
following article appeared in the Roswell Daily Record.
debris site monument unveiled
Record Managing Editor
dawn broke on the second day of Roswell’s UFO Festival,
a small band of UFO enthusiasts slipped away from the throngs
of tourists to attend a monument dedication at the origin
of the Roswell Incident.On a rocky hilltop about 65 miles
north of the city, 23 people stepped out of their vehicles
Saturday morning and took a mental journey into the past.
Attendees of the invitation-only ceremony at the Corona “debris
field” found the dusty landscape fertile ground for
those attending were representatives from the International
UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, UFO investigators,
a film crew from the Sci-Fi Channel and descendants of
Mack Brazel, the rancher who discovered the debris which
the military initially reported to the media as the wreckage
of a flying saucer.
is where they picked up Mogul Balloon No. 4 ... or the
bodies. Depending on what you believe,” said Paul
Davids, executive producer of the 1994 movie
Shuster, UFO Museum director, said the monument is a tribute
to the people who came forward to report what they saw
in the fields north of the city and in Roswell more than
a half century ago.
monument is to honor the people involved in the 1947 incident,” she
“There were a lot of people involved ... it’s
affected so many people’s lives. It’s to say
that we know what you sacrificed.”
said those involved in the incident ended up having their
reputations damaged, their lives disrupted and spending
far more time than they could ever have expected addressing
Schmitt, author and UFO investigator, conducted the stone
monument’s unveiling. In his brief address, he recognized
the Brazel family members present and offered them his
sympathy for having to cope with the attacks the family
has suffered over the years. Schmitt said Brazel was merely
trying to be a good citizen by reporting what he had found.
He said neither Brazel nor his family have ever tried to
make money or gain fame from the incident. He challenged
anyone to show that the family has ever benefited in any
way from the incident.
were not trying to capitalize on it,” said Schmitt.
remarks complete, Schmitt unveiled the monument. The text
engraved on it’s surface reads:
July of the year 1947 a craft of unknown origin spread
debris over this site. Witnesses would report materials
of unearthly nature.
September of the year 2002 the Sci-Fi Channel brought scientists
from the University of New Mexico to search this ground
for evidence of that fateful night.
it observed, that whatever the true nature of what has
respectfully become known as the Roswell Incident, humankind
has been forever drawn to the stars. Dedicated July 5,
the event alongside cameras and camcorders was a video
camera from the Sci-Fi Channel, which has been continuing
its search for physical evidence at the location.
just thrilled that we could be part of this,” said
Larry Landsman, director of special projects for the Sci-Fi
the ceremony was a predominantly somber event, there were
light-hearted moments amidst the formality. Arriving at
the site, Davids tossed what appeared to be a homemade
silver disc near the monument and shouted, “There
of the attendees used the opportunity to reflect on the
Roswell Incident and said visiting the site served to drive
home that whether it was a balloon or an alien spacecraft,
the debris field is a real place and something did happen.
And regardless of what happened, it has sparked the curiosity
of countless people to wonder if mankind is alone in the
21st December 2003
Gen. Arthur E. Exon – His evidence
Exon has been the highest ranking military officer to
come out and say directly that Roswell was
the crash of a spacecraft and that alien bodies were
recovered. (Click here for Exon's biography on the Air
Force biographical Web site of their generals.) Exon
was another inconvenient, high-ranking witness, like
Brig. Gen. Thomas Dubose , that Air Force debunkers wouldn't
touch with a ten-foot pole. Even though his statements
on Roswell had been published before the Air Force began
its investigation in 1994, Exon was never interviewed
and completely ignored by AF investigators.
1947 Exon was a Lt.-Colonel stationed at Wright Field at the time
of the Roswell crash
and heard of the incident at that time. He said he also flew over
the area of the crash some months later.>From 1964-66 he was
the Commanding Officer of Wright-Patterson AFB, where crash material
was taken in 1947. He said other UFO-related field operations were
staged at W-P during his tenure. Teams of men would fly in from
Washington on an investigation. W-P would supply them with planes
and crews for their operations.
1955 to 1960, he was a colonel stationed at the Pentagon. He said
he was aware of a UFO controlling committee made up primarily of
very high-ranking military officers and intelligence people. His
nickname for this group was
"The Unholy Thirteen".
knowledge of the Roswell events was primarily second-hand. Except
for his later fly-over the crash area and the later operations
out of W-P when he was C/O, Exon disclaimed direct knowledge. He
said he never saw the actual Roswell crash
material, but was told the result of testing by other personnel
involved. Likewise for the recovery and shipment of bodies. How
the Roswell crash would have been handled and how it would have
been covered up seems to be largely speculative, based on his knowledge
of how the government and military chain of command would have
functioned under the circumstances. And seemingly he know only
indirectly of the UFO control group while he was at the Pentagon.
of the following material
UFO Crash at Roswell, 1991 &The Truth About the UFO Crash at
Roswell, 1994, by Kevin Randle &Donald Schmitt (Based on phone
and personal interviews from July 1989 - July 1990)
Roswell UFO Crash Update; Kevin Randle, 1995; transcript of interview,
Top Secret Majic, Stanton Friedman, 1996; (based on interviews
1989 - 1991) New!
Breathrough-- The Next Step; Whitley Strieber, 1995
Confirmation--The Hard Evidence of Aliens Among Us; Whitley
knew they had something new in their hands. The metal and material
was unknown to anyone I talked to. Whatever they found, I never
heard what the results were. A couple of guys thought it might
be Russian, but the overall consensus was that the pieces were
from space. ...Roswell was the recovery of a craft from space."
the things that Exon was very specific about was that everybody "from
Truman on down" had known about the Roswell incident from
the day it happened, and that it was known to be an alien spacecraft "almost
as soon as we got on the scene."
I originally spoke with General Exon [in 1991] after being introduced
to him by my uncle, he was quite straightforward about the fact
that he felt that the Roswell debris was extraterrestrial and that
the issues it raised had been debated in the White House. In interviews
for public attribution that he agreed to later [in 1994], he was
much more guarded.
Strieber's "uncle" was Col. Edward Strieber, who had
spent much of his career at Wright-Patterson AFB. Strieber then
wrote (Breakthrough), "My uncle informed me that he had knowledge
of the Majestic project. He spoke of the delivery of alien materials,
artifacts, and biological remains to Wright Field from the Roswell
Army Air Base in the summer of 1947. He felt sure that the existence
of these materials and what to do about them had been debated at
the highest levels of the government. ...In 1991, after I had written
Majestic , my uncle put me into contact with a general -- an old
and trusted friend of his -- who knew even more. The general, Arthur
Exon, is the cousin of Senator Exon..."]
heard the material was coming to Wright Field. [Testing was done
in the various labs.] Everything from chemical analysis, stress
tests, compression tests, flexing. It was brought into our material
evaluation labs. I don't know how it arrived, but the boys who
tested it said it was very unusual."
of it] could be easily ripped or changed... There were other parts
of it that were very thin but awfully strong and couldn't be dented
with heavy hammers... It was flexible to a degree... Some of it
was flimsy and was tougher than hell, and the other was almost
like foil but strong. It had them pretty puzzled.
be easily ripped or changed ...you could change it. You could wad
it up, you could change the shape, but it was still there and ...
there were other parts of it that were very thin but awfully strong
and couldn't be dented with heavy hammers and stuff like that...
which at the time were causing some people some concern... again,
say it was a shape of some kind, you could grab this end and bend
it, but it would come right back. It was flexible to a degree."
think the full range of testing was possible. Everything from chemical
analysis, and resist chemicals, stress tests, compression tests,
flexing... I don't know, at that time, if it was titanium or some
other metal... or if it was something they knew about and the processing
was something different."
was another location where ... apparently the main body
of the spacecraft was ... where they did say there were
bodies ... They were all found, apparently, outside the
craft itself but were in fairly good condition. In other
words, they weren't broken up a lot"
my information [that the bodies went to Wright Field]. But one
of them went to the mortuary outfit ... I think at that time it
was in Denver. But the strongest information was that they were
brought to Wright-Pat."
was] probably part of the same accident, but [there were] two distinct
sites. One assuming that the thing, as I understand it, as I
remember flying the area later, that the damage to the vehicle
seemed to be coming from the southeast to the northwest, but
it could have been going in the opposite direction, but it doesn't
seem likely. So the farther northwest pieces found on the ranch,
those pieces were mostly metal. ...I remember auto tracks leading
to the pivotal sites and obvious gouges in the terrain."
also knew something of the cover-up, especially the one originated
Because he knew Blanchard [Roswell C/O], he said, "Blanchard's
leave was a screen. It was his duty to go to the site and make
the cover-up, Exon pointed out that there were no secret balloon
or weather devices that could account for the debris. The lab men
and officers at Wright Field, because it was their job, would have
known if the debris fit into those categories. The balloon explanation
was ready-made. "Blanchard could have cared less about a weather
know that at the time the sightings happened, it was to General
Ramey ... and he, along with the people at Roswell, decided to
change the story while they got their act together and got the
information into the Pentagon and into the president."
to Exon, the instant they understood the nature of the find, Ramey
would have alerted the chief of staff, Dwight Eisenhower. Once
they had the information in Washington,
control of the operation would have come from the Pentagon. The
men at Roswell would have been tasked with the clean-up because
they were there, on site, but the responsibility for the clean-up
would have moved up the chain of command and into the Pentagon
and the White House..
to Exon, the outgrowth of this was a top secret committee to study
the phenomenon and the debris found at Roswell. An oversight committee
was formed; its responsibility would be to protect the data, to
control access to it, and to design studies to exploit it; a small
group with control, a secondary group made up of aides, assistants,
and staff from the first group, and then a third level where actual
testing was done.
was sure that the material, at least some of it, would still be
housed at Wright-Patterson. There would be reports, probably filed
in the Foreign Technology Building,
that would describe everything learned in the last forty-plus years.
There would be photographs, from the debris filed and the crash
site, of the bodies and of the autopsies, filed away. Everything
needed to prove that Roswell represented the crash of an extraterrestrial
spacecraft would be found, if those reports were ever to be released.
Control Group -- "The Unholy Thirteen", "MJ-12"
that some of the following names of those allegedly involved are
most surprising revelation was the acknowledgement of an official
group that controlled access to the wreckage, bodies, and information
about the crash. He referred to them as the Unholy Thirteen, only
because he didn't know the actual name of the group. (And, after
studying what he said, it seems that the name, Majestic Twelve,
does not fit. Majestic Twelve, or MJ-12, was allegedly the group
created to study the Roswell material, according to a briefing
document released in the late 1980s. There is no evidence that
the document is authentic.)
to Exon, once the nature of the crash at Roswell was understood,
the information would have been passed up the chain of command.
Ramey probably called the Army Chief of Staff, Dwight Eisenhower.
General identified others on the committee, men who held high positions
in the government. Carl Spaatz, the head of the Army Air force
in July, 1947, who became the first Chief of Staff of the Air force
in September, 1947, was mentioned as a committee member.
named several others, including James Forrestal in his role as
Secretary of War (later Defense), Stuart Symington, at that time
the Under Secretary of War for Air, and President Truman. Given
the nature of the crash and the preliminary conclusions being drawn,
the president had to be included.
just know there was a top intelligence echelon represented and
the President's office was represented and the Secretary of Defense's
office was represented and these people stayed on it in key positions
even though they might have moved out."
thing that Exon made clear was that no elected officials, outside
the President, were ever included as a member of the top echelon.
Elected officials were excluded from knowing anything about it.
names were not supplied for the remaining members, but he knew
which offices were represented. These included the head of the
CIA in the fall of 1947, Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter. Exon said
there were representatives of the military intelligence community.
Nathan F. Twining, as the head of the Air Materiel Command, would
be another obvious choice.
were other men who may have had a major role. Brigadier General
Roger Ramey eventually left the Eighth Air Force, moving to Washington
and duties in the Pentagon. In 1952, Major General Roger Ramey,
Deputy Chief (of Staff) for Operations, was involved in UFO research.
(See section on Ramey and UFOs , including Ramey being called the
AF "saucer man" in 1952.)
inclusion would have been natural. He was involved almost from
the beginning, had managed to bury the story with the balloon explanation,
and the bodies did transit Fort Worth Army Air Field. (See section
on the unusual B29 flight with large crate. See also Ramey's telegram
message of shipping the "aviators in the disc" to the
8th AAF flight surgeon.)
General John Samford, the Chief of Air Intelligence, might not
have been an original member of the team, but by 1952 may have
held one of the second echelon seats.
Stuart Symington, who was Secretary of Defense [actually Sec. of
the Air Force], Carl Spaatz [A.F. Chief of Staff until 1948] ...all
these guys at the top of government. They were the ones who knew
the most about Roswell, New Mexico. They were involved in what
to do about the residue from that -- those two findings" [two
distinct crash sites].
the '55 time period [when Exon was at the Pentagon], there was
also the story that whatever happened, whatever was found at Roswell
was still closely held and probably would be held until these fellows
I mentioned had died so they wouldn't be embarrassed or they wouldn't
have to explain why they covered it up. ...until the original thirteen
died off and I don't think anyone is going to release anything
[until] the last one's gone."
1991, after I had written Majestic , my uncle put me into contact
with a general -- an old and trusted friend of his -- who knew
even more. This general, Arthur Exon, is the cousin of Senator
Exon, who himself has been interested over the years in UFO-related
subjects. The general appeared to me to have more knowledge of
the debates my uncle had referred to, and seemed to think that
President Truman, Secretary Forestall, and others had been involved.
[Added Nov. 1, 2002]
128-130) ...In the summer of 1991, Randle and Schmitt were claiming
that Exon knew there was a control group (which they called the "Unholy
13") for Roswell, knew who the members of that group were,
and had direct firsthand involvement with the crashed saucer. They
claimed that Exon told them the members of the control group included
Stewart Symington, then Secretary of the Air Force; Carl Spaatz,
first chief of staff of the Air Force; General Eisenhower, then
Army chief of staff; General Ramey, head of the 8th Air Force;
and others. None of the people they mentioned were on the MJ-12
a MUFON conference in July 1991] ...I wrote a generally negative
review of the [Randle/Schmitt] book for the MUFON Journal... published
in the September 1991 issue... When I finished the review, I decided
to give General Exon a call. ..He had not seen Randle and Schmitt's
book, and so I read him portions of his supposed testimony from
the volume. He politely but firmly indicated that Randle and Schmitt
had attributed considerably more to him than he had said. He had
no firsthand involvement with Roswell, although he had heard lots
of scuttlebutt from people he trusted. He had been at Wright Field
in July 1947, when the Roswell wreckage had been brought there.
He had heard stories while he was base commander (not even as commander
did he have a need-to-know for all activities there) and also during
a stint at the Pentagon.
41) ...I interviewed General Arthur E. Exon, commander of Wright-Patterson
Air Force Base in the mid-1960s. He had heard a lot of scuttlebutt
about crashed saucers and aliens while stationed at Wright Field
in 1947, as commander of the base in 1964 and 1965, and later while
on assignment at the Pentagon. I met with him and we had several
telephone conversations. He could find no reason to quarrel with
the three primary MJ-12 documents or the list of original members.
[as opposed to an "Unholy 13" UFO control group attributed
to him by Randle &Schmitt]
recoveries or UFO investigations by Special Teams from Washington
Centered out of Wright-Patterson
would make an airplane available [at Wright-Patterson AFB] ...
T-39s, twin jets, and lots of times we sent a 240, Convair 240
with a crew, and they would go and these guys would do their business
and they'd sit [at] an air base someplace and cool it until the
guys came back. They'd come back, drop them off, and go about their
business. [The teams] would be eight and sometimes it would be
fifteen. ...They would come from Washington, D.C."
they'd ask for an airplane tomorrow morning and that would give
the guys a chance to get there by commercial airline, to meet them.
The airplane would take off at such and such a time. Sometimes
they'd be gone for three days and sometimes they'd be gone for
a week. I know they went out to Montana and Wyoming and
the northwest states a number of times in a year and a half that
I recall. There probably were other places. They went to Arizona
once or twice."
Our contact was a man, a telephone number. He'd call and he'd set
the airplanes up. I just knew there was an investigative team.
There probably was a name but I ...don't recall that there was."
Dec. 2, 1994, with a high-level, unidentified Congressional staffer
looking into the UFO question and Roswell. Exon had held discussions
with a few cleared Congressional staff members during the Congressional
Roswell investigation by the General Accounting Office in 1994-95.]
"General Exon is afraid. He was afraid he was being monitored
at that point. He was probably afraid his whole house was bugged."
When I originally spoke with General Exon [in 1991] after being
introduced to him by my uncle, he was quite straightforward about
the fact that he felt that the Roswell debris was extraterrestrial
and that the issues it raised had been debated in the White House.
In interviews for public attribution that he agreed to later, he
was much more guarded.
Disclaimer of Direct Knowledge
-- Letter to Kevin Randle, Nov. 24, 1991)
sorry that a portion of my interview has given you trouble. I will
acknowledge that the quick quote does have me saying that my flights
later, much later verified the direction of possible flight of
the object. I remember auto tracks leading to pivotal sites and
obvious gouges in terrain.
you both likely recall on many occasions during my visits with
you in person and on the phone when you wanted me to meet others
that I did not know anything first hand . Although I believe you
did quote me accurately, I do believe that in your writings you
gave more credence and impression of personal &direct knowledge
than my recordings would indicate on their own ! I felt that throughout
the portions where my name was used the quotes were O.K. but authoritative
emphasis was yours. I want to say that so far your use of my name
and discussions have not given me any problem. So let's leave it
at that. I did enjoy your and Donald's efforts in digging to who
Roswell UFO Crash:
What They Don't Want You to Know
Object: The World's Only Government-Documented UFO Crash
2004, Roswell Dig Finds Nothing
FLASH REPORTS -- In an ending similar to that of Geraldo
Riviera's Al Capone vault special, a team of investigators
who dug up a field near Roswell, New Mexico, found no
evidence to prove the 1947 UFO crash. The team of amateur
archaeologists and UFO investigators, who were backed
by the Sci-Fi Channel and the University of New Mexico,
document their search in the new book, "The Roswell
Dig Diaries" (Pocket Books).
UFO investigator, Donald R. Schmidt, says that some of the
items recovered are still being tested at the University
of New Mexico. But the important thing was to prove that
a UFO had made a gouge in the area they were excavating,
and, unfortunately, they didn't turn up any material which
suggested that was the case. While Schmidt is planning to
go back to the site, he knows that the odds are against him
finding anything more due to 30 mph winds, sudden rainstorms,
and animals stealing fragments. 2004-07-14 - Wireless Flash
Please Note: General Exxon and other military personnel have
indicated this is not the crash site. It is located northwest