The Roswell incident: how 'UFO sighting' led to 68 years of conspiracy theories

Jul 8, 2015

An incomplete account by the US government followed by the declassification of top secret files may have helped fuel interest in UFOs

By Brian Edwards

On 8 July 1947 the Roswell Daily Record newspaper published a front page article with the headline "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region", and the legend of America's most famous brush with aliens was born.

Today, many conspiracy theorists consider the so-called "Roswell incident" to be one of the most conspicuous pieces of evidence that the US government has covered up the existence of extra-terrestrial life on Earth. But the Roswell story's position in the public imagination was far from immediate.

What was the Roswell incident?

On 7 July 1947, around 75 miles north of the town of Roswell in New Mexico, debris from a highly classified project used by the US Army Air Force (the precursor to the US Air Force) to detect atomic bomb tests in the Soviet Union, was recovered from a ranch after being reported by ranch worker William Brazel.


Intrigued by the idea of flying saucers, Brazel gathered some of the debris and went to Roswell where he told Sheriff George Wilcox about his find. According to reports he "whispered kinda confidential like". Wilcox immediately reported the encounter to the USAAF base at Roswell which promptly sent agents to visit the ranch, but not before the press picked up the story.

What was reported at the time?

On 8 July 1947 Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) issued a press release stating that a "flying disk" had crashed on a ranch near Roswell during a powerful storm. Later in the day, as government scientists arrived in the area, the story appeared to change. A press conference was held and it was stated instead that a weather balloon had crashed. Reporters were shown debris said to be taken from the crash area, such as foil, rubber and wood, which appeared to confirm that the object had been a weather balloon.

After initially suggesting that Brazel's debris had come from a UFO, the Roswell Daily Record reported a correction which included the USAAF statement that it was a weather balloon that had been found at the site. Brazel later went on record to say that he regretted the publicity that his misidentification had caused.

According to the official accounts, the debris Brazel found came from a balloon which was part of an experimental technology trial codenamed Project Mogul.

What was Project Mogul?

The classified Project Mogul was designed to detect sound waves in the upper atmosphere from Soviet atom bomb tests by flying microphones on trains of balloons at high altitude. Although the technology was quickly superseded, it remained secret for more than 20 years after the event. The fact that the balloon was involved in Cold War surveillance of the Soviet Union may have helped to propel rumours of a cover-up.

How did it become a cause celebre?

For 31 years the story was largely forgotten until The National Enquirer reported the original Roswell Daily Record story again, but not the correction. Following the publication of the new story, theories suggesting that the government's incomplete account had been an attempt to cover the discovery of an alien spacecraft began to take root.

What did other witnesses say?

Several people claimed to have seen debris scattered over a wide area and at least one person reported seeing a blazing aircraft in the sky shortly before it crashed, but the key account came from a former mortician, Glenn Dennis, who claimed in 1989 that a friend who worked as a nurse at the Roswell Army Air Field had accidentally walked into an examination room where doctors were bent over the bodies of three creatures. They apparently resembled humans, but with small bodies, spindly arms and giant bald heads.

In 1995, Ray Santilli, a London-based entrepreneur, released "footage" of an alien autopsy performed in Roswell in 1947. Experts immediately ridiculed the footage as a hoax and he admitted years later that it was almost entirely fake. Nevertheless, Santilli insisted real footage existed, but due to its poor condition he had been forced to recreate it.

Critics have questioned the validity of various witnesses and pointed out that many claims over the years have come from "friends of friends" who supposedly saw something out of the ordinary.

Stranger than fiction?

Coincidentally, the republication of the story came just one year after the release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a film about a government conspiracy covering up alien visits to Earth. The film was released in the USA in November and the following year in the UK. That year 750 sightings were officially documented in the UK by the Ministry of Defence UFO desk, the highest figure on record.

Did UFO sightings continue to increase?

Looking at UFO sightings data from both sides of the Atlantic, a direct correlation between popular films involving aliens and real world UFO sightings becomes evident. In 2009, The Guardian detailed the popular culture influences that may have helped propel UFO sightings in the UK in 1996. In the year that Independence Day and Mars Attacks were released there were 609 UFO sightings across the UK, significantly more than the years just before or after.




International UFO Museum and Research Center

n July 1947, something happened northwest of Roswell, New Mexico, during a severe thunderstorm.
Was it a flying saucer? Was it a weather balloon? What happened?
Neon SignThe answer was nothing for many years until leading UFO researcher Stanton Friedman came across the story in the early 1980s and began the search for information and witnesses. That research brought him to Roswell looking for the public information officer at Roswell Army Air Field in 1947.

That officer was Lt. Walter Haut. He still lived in Roswell and remembered the press release and the orders from his commanding officer.
Friedman’s investigation also led to many others, military and civilian, who had information to add to the Roswell Incident story. Steppi
ng into the picture very strongly in the late 1980s were Don Schmitt, Kevin andle and Tom Carey. Schmitt and Carey dedicate their research to Roswell.
The debris recovered by rancher WW Mack Brazel was gathered up by the military from the Roswell Army Air Field under the direction of Major Jesse Marcel, the base intelligence officer.

On July 8, 1947, public information officer Lt. Walter Haut issued a press release under orders from base commander Col. William Blanchard. The release said basically we have in our possession a flying saucer.

The next day another press release was issued, but this time from Gen. Roger Ramey, stating it was a weather balloon. That was the start of the best know and documented UFO coverup.

Once it became public, the event known as The Roswell Incident, the crash of an alleged flying saucer, the recovery of debris and bodies, and the ensuing coverup by the military were of such magnitude and so shrouded in mystery that 60 years later there are still more questions than answers. Books have been written and TV documentaries have been filmed. Witnesses have come forward. Skeptics have issued rebuttals to the Incident, and the debate continues.

In early 1990, the idea of a home for information about the Roswell Incident and other UFO phenomena was fostered by Haut. He got together with another Roswell participant Glenn Dennis and the two sought a home for the UFO Museum.



The Roswell UFO Museum is a 501c3 non-profit educational organization with the mission of educating the general public on all aspects of the UFO phenomena. The museum maintains its position as the serious side of the UFO phenomena.

The museum is located at 114 North Main Street, Roswell, New Mexico, telephone number: 1-575-625-9495

The museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, except for the following:


* Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.

* Closed at noon the day before these holidays.


The Crash Near Roswell

An unidentified flying object crashed on a ranch northwest of Roswell, New Mexico, sometime during the first week of July 1947.

BrazelRancher W.W. “Mack” Brazel said later he found debris from the crash as he and the son of Floyd and Loretta Proctor rode their horses out to check on sheep after a fierce thunderstorm the night before. Brazel said that as they rode along, he began to notice unusual pieces of what seemed to be metal debris scattered over a large area. Upon further inspection, he said, he saw a shallow trench several hundred feet long had been gouged into the ground.


Brazel said he was struck by the unusual properties of the debris and, after dragging large pieces of it to a shed, he took some of it over to show the Proctors.


Mrs. Proctor, who later moved from the ranch to a house closer to town, said she remembers Brazel showing up with the strange material.

The Proctors told Brazel he might be holding wreckage from an alien spacecraft — a number of UFO sightings had been reported in the United States that summer — or a government project, and that he should report the incident to Chaves County Sheriff George Wilcox.

Maj Jesse MarcelA day or two later, Brazel drove into Roswell, the county seat, and reported the incident to Wilcox, who reported it to Maj. Jesse Marcel, intelligence officer for the 509th Bomb Group, stationed at Roswell Army Air Field.

In their book, A History of UFO Crashes, UFO researchers Don Schmitt and Kevin Randle say their research shows military radar had been tracking an unidentified flying object in the skies over southern New Mexico for four days. On the night of July 4, 1947, radar indicated the object had gone down about 30-40 miles northwest of Roswell.

The book says eyewitness William Woody, who lived east of Roswell, said he remembered being outside with his father the night of July 4, 1947, when he saw a brilliant object plunge to the ground.

The debris site was closed for several days while the wreckage was cleared, and Schmitt and Randle say that when Woody and his father tried to locate the area of the crash they had seen, Woody said they were stopped by military personnel who ordered them out of the area.


Col William BlanchardSchmitt and Randle say Marcel, after receiving the call from Wilcox and subsequent orders from Col. William Blanchard, 509th commanding officer, went to investigate Brazel’s report. Marcel and Capt. Sheridan Cavitt, senior Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) agent, followed the rancher off-road to his place. They spent the night there and Marcel inspected a large piece of debris Brazel had dragged from the pasture.

Monday morning, July 7, Marcel took his first step onto the debris field. Marcel would remark later that “something ... must have exploded above the ground and fell.” As Brazel, Cavitt and Marcel inspected the field, Marcel was able to “determine which direction it came from, and which direction it was heading. It was in the pattern ... you could tell where it started out and where it ended by how it was thinned out …”

According to Marcel, the debris was “strewn over a wide area, I guess maybe three-quarters of a mile long and a few hundred feet wide.” Scattered in the debris were small bits of metal that Marcel held a cigarette lighter to to see if it would burn.

Along with the metal, Marcel described weightless “I”-beam-like structures that were three-eights inch by one-quarter inch, none of them very long, that would neither bend nor break. Some of these “I”-beams had indecipherable characters along the length, in two colors. Marcel also described metal debris the thickness of tinfoil that was indestructible.

After gathering enough debris to fill his staff car, Marcel decided to
stop by his home on the way back to the base so he could show his family the unusual debris. He’d never seen anything quite like it.

“I didn't know what we were picking up,” he said. “I still don't know what it was ... It could not have been part of an aircraft, not part of any kind of weather balloon or experimental balloon ... I’ve seen rockets ... sent up at the White Sands Testing Grounds. It definitely was not part of an aircraft or missile or rocket.”

Under hypnosis conducted by Dr. John Watkins in May 1990, Jesse Marcel Jr. remembered being awakened by his father that night and following him outside to help carry in a large box filled with debris. Once inside, they emptied the contents of the debris onto the kitchen floor.

Jesse Jr. described the lead foil and “I”-beams. Under hypnosis, he recalled the writing on the “I”-beams as “Purple. Strange. Never saw anything like it ... different geometric shapes, leaves and circles.”

Under questioning, he said the symbols were shiny purple and they were small. There were many separate figures. This too, under hypnosis: [Marcel Sr. was saying it was a flying saucer] “I ask him what a flying saucer is. I don't know what a flying saucer is ... It’s a ship. [Dad’s] excited!”

Marcel reported what he found to Blanchard, showing him pieces of the wreckage, none of which looked like anything Blanchard had ever seen.


Meanwhile, Glenn Dennis, a young mortician working at Ballard Funeral Home, received some curious calls one afternoon from the RAAF morgue. The base’s mortuary officer was trying to get hold of some small, hermetically sealed coffins and also wanted to know how to preserve bodies that had been exposed to the elements for a few days and avoid contaminating the tissue.

Dennis later said that evening he drove to the base hospital, where he saw large pieces of wreckage with strange engravings on one of the pieces sticking out of the back of a military ambulance. He entered the hospital and was visiting with a nurse he knew when suddenly he was threatened by military police and forced to leave.

The next day, Dennis met with the nurse, who told him about bodies discovered with the wreckage and drew pictures of them on a prescription pad. Within a few days she was transferred to England; her whereabouts remain unknown.

Roswell Army Air Field Press Release

Lt Walter HautAt 11 a.m., July 8, 1947, Lt. Walter Haut, RAAF public information officer, finished a press release Blanchard had ordered him to write, stating that the wreckage of a crashed disk had been recovered.

Roswell Daily Record, 8 July 1947 He gave copies to the two radio stations and both of the local newspapers. By 2:26 p.m., the story was on The Associated Press wire:

“The Army Air Forces here today announced a flying disk had been found.”

As calls began to pour into the base from all over the world, Lt. Robert Shirkey watched as MPs carried loaded wreckage onto a C-54 from the First Transport Unit.

To get a better look, Shirkey stepped around Col. Blanchard, who was irritated with all of the calls coming into the base. Blanchard decided to travel out to the debris field and left instructions that he'd gone on leave.

Headquarters Gets Involved

Blanchard had sent Marcel to Fort Worth Army Air Field (later Carswell Air Force Base) to report to Brig. Gen. Roger M. Ramey, commanding officer of the 8th Air Force.

Gen Ramey and Maj MarcelMarcel told Haut years later that he’d taken some of the debris into Ramey's office to show him what had been found. The material was displayed on Ramey's desk for the general when he returned.

Upon his return, Ramey wanted to see the exact location of the debris field, so he and Marcel went to the map room down the hall — but when they returned, the wreckage that had been placed on the desk was gone and a weather balloon was spread out on the floor. Maj. Charles A. Cashon took the now-famous photo of Marcel with the weather balloon in Ramey's office.

It was then reported that Ramey recognized the remains as part of a weather balloon. Brig. Gen. Thomas DuBose, the chief of staff of the 8th Air Force, said, “[It] was a cover story. The whole balloon part of it. That was the part of the story we were told to give to the public and news and that was it.”

Roswell Daily Record, 9 July 1947 Later that afternoon, Haut’s original press release was rescinded and an officer from the base retrieved all of the copies from the radio stations and newspaper offices. The next day, July 9, a second press release was issued stating that the 509th Bomb Group had mistakenly identified a weather balloon as wreckage of a flying saucer.

On July 9, as reports went out that the crashed object was actually a weather balloon, cleanup crews were busily clearing the debris. Bud Payne, a rancher at Corona, was trying to round up a stray when he was spotted by the military and carried off the Foster ranch. Broadcaster Judd Roberts and Walt Whitmore were turned away as they approached the debris field.

As the wreckage was brought to the base, it was crated and stored in a hangar.

Rancher Harrassed Back in town, Walt Whitmore and Lyman Strickland saw their friend, Mack Brazel, who was being escorted to the Roswell Daily Record by three military officers. He ignored Whitmore and Strickland, which was not at all like Mack, and once he got to the Roswell Daily Record offices, he changed his story. He now claimed to have found the debris on June 14. Brazel also mentioned that he’d found weather observation devices on two other occasions, but what he found this time was no weather balloon.

The Las Vegas Review Journal, along with dozens of other newspapers, carried the AP story:

“Reports of flying saucers whizzing through the sky fell off sharply today as the Army and the Navy began a concentrated campaign to stop the rumors.”

The story also reported that AAF Headquarters in Washington had “delivered a blistering rebuke to officers at Roswell.”

The military has tried to convince the news media from that day forward that the object found near Roswell was nothing more than a weather balloon.


In the summer of 1947, a rancher discovered unidentifiable debris in his sheep pasture outside Roswell, New Mexico. Although officials from the local Air Force base asserted that it was a crashed weather balloon, many people believed it was the remains of an extraterrestrial flying saucer; a series of secret “dummy drops” in New Mexico during the 1950s heightened their suspicions. Nearly 50 years after the story of the mysterious debris broke, the U.S. military issued a report linking the incident to a top-secret atomic espionage project called Project Mogul. Still, many people continue to embrace the UFO theory, and hundreds of curiosity seekers visit Roswell and the crash site every year.

One morning around Independence Day 1947, about 75 miles from the town of Roswell,

New Mexico


, a rancher named Mac Brazel found something unusual in his sheep pasture: a mess of metallic sticks held together with tape; chunks of plastic and foil reflectors; and scraps of a heavy, glossy, paper-like material. Unable to identify the strange objects, Brazel called Roswell’s sheriff. The sheriff, in turn, called officials at the nearby Roswell Army Air Force base. Soldiers fanned out across Brazel’s field, gathering the mysterious debris and whisking it away in armored trucks.


On July 8, “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer on Ranch in Roswell Region” was the top story in the Roswell Daily Record. But was it true? On July 9, an Air Force official clarified the paper’s report: The alleged “flying saucer,” he said, was only a crashed weather balloon. However, to anyone who had seen the debris (or the newspaper photographs of it), it was clear that whatever this thing was, it was no weather balloon. Some people believed–and still believe–that the crashed vehicle had not come from Earth at all. They argued that the debris in Brazel’s field must have come from an alien spaceship.

These skeptics grew more numerous during the 1950s, when the Air Force conducted a series of secret “dummy drops” over air bases, test ranges and unoccupied fields across New



. These experiments, meant to test ways for pilots to survive falls from high altitudes, sent bandaged, featureless dummies with latex “skin” and aluminum “bones”–dummies that looked an awful lot like space aliens were supposed to–falling from the sky onto the ground, whereupon military vehicles would descend on the landing site to retrieve the “bodies” as quickly as possible. To people who believed the government was covering up the truth about the Roswell landing, these dummy drops seemed just as suspicious. They were convinced that the dummies were actually extraterrestrial creatures who were being kidnapped and experimented on by government scientists.

It turned out that the Army knew more about Brazel’s “flying saucer” than it let on. Since World War II, a group of geophysicists and oceanographers from Columbia University,

New York


University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod had been working on a top-secret atomic espionage project at New Mexico’s Alamogordo Air Field that they called Project Mogul. Project Mogul used sturdy high-altitude balloons to carry low-frequency sound sensors into the tropopause, a faraway part of the Earth’s atmosphere that acts as a sound channel. In this part of the atmosphere, sound waves can travel for thousands of miles without interference, much like under the ocean. The scientists believed that if they sent microphones into this sound channel, they would be able to eavesdrop on nuclear tests as far away as the Soviet Union.


According to the U.S. military, the debris in Brazel’s field outside Roswell actually belonged to Project Mogul. It was the remains of a 700-foot-long string of neoprene balloons, radar reflectors (for tracking) and sonic equipment that the scientists had launched from the Alamogordo base in June and that had, evidently, crashed in early July 1947. Because the project was highly classified, no one at the Roswell Army Air Field even knew that it existed, and they had no idea what to make of the objects Brazel had found. (In fact, some officials on the base were worried that the wreckage had come from a Russian spy plane or satellite–information that they were understandably reluctant to share with the public.) The “weather balloon” story, flimsy though it was, was the simplest and most plausible explanation they could come up with on short notice. Meanwhile, to protect the scientists’ secret project, no one at Alamogordo could step in and clear up the confusion.

Today, many people continue to believe that the government and the military are covering up the truth about alien landings at and around Roswell. In 1994, the Pentagon declassified most of its files on Project Mogul and the dummy drops, and the federal General Accounting Office produced a report (“Report of Air Force Research Regarding the Roswell Incident”) designed to debunk these rumors. Nevertheless, there are still people who subscribe to the UFO theory, and hundreds of thousands of curiosity seekers visit Roswell and the crash site every year, hoping to find out the truth for themselves.

Summary: To the general public, Roswell is the best known alleged UFO incident. The way the evidence for this case has evolved, it is simply a matter of who you choose to believe, i.e. either the official story put forth by US Air Force, or the named witnesses, both civilian and military personell (all first-hand witnesses are deceased, but they have given video interviews and signed affidavits) positioned at Roswell at the time. For a recap of the case, listen to SDI444 interview of Dr Rudiak summarizing the Smitt and Carey 2007 book.
News Jun-2007: Lt. Walter G. Haut was the Roswell base public information officer, who wrote the famous press-release which made world headlines on 8-Jul-1947, which began "The many rumours regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence officer of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc. [...]". Haut, who lived in Roswell, became one of the most interviewed and public Roswell witnesses and key advocate of a UFO crash. He always said he thought the original press release was the truth and he was convinced "the material recovered was some type of craft from outer space" (ref: his 1993 affidavit). Yet he continued to disclaim personal knowledge of the debris or of the actual craft and recovered bodies.
Haut had left a sealed, notarized affidavit to be opened after his death. In it, Haut testifies that he personally saw the crashed craft at Roswell Base Building 84 a/k/a Hangar P-3. He descibed it as 12-15ft long, not quite as wide, ~6ft high, more of an egg-shape, no windows, portholes, wings -- NOT the classic round flying saucer. He also saw alien bodies (short 4ft) as well as handling the strange debris
PS: Read
New revelations on Haut affidavit. Also the question arises how such a small craft -and apparently mostly intact- could produce the huge area of debris, which Maj. Marcel Sr spoke about... Testimonies mention two crash sites. Could the small craft seen by Haut have been just an "escape capsule" while the main craft exploded in the air producing the widely scattered debris field Maj. Marcel and others talked about?

Need for disintermediation: Due to intense and continuous disinformation efforts and -in general- superficial, sensationalistic media coverage, it is imperative that anyone who wants to form an opinion on the true facts about the 1947 Roswell incident, does not trust the stories published in various media (particularly the big corporate media), but instead reads the first-hand witness accounts in affidavits, statements and/or their video interviews in person, as well as the skeptical arguments.

Roswell is considered a landmark case in UFO history. To the general public it is the best known alleged UFO crash incident. Over the years many books, TV documentaries (but also mockumentaries such as ABC Peter Jennings Special "UFO: Seeing is believing" in 2005 and National Geographic Channel's "The Roswell Incident - The true story" in 2007) and conferences have featured it. Jul-2007 was the 60 year anniversary of the event and there was a host of commemoration activities in the small town of Roswell, NM, USA.


As an introduction, you may want to watch a short 10min long extract from an older BBC documentary on Roswell produced in late 1980s BEFORE the release of USAF's 1994 and 1997 "Case Closed" Report (which was considered a "pre-emptive strike" against the US GAO investigation initiated by US Congress). Ever since, Establishment Media basically spin the official "Mogul balloon" line. This old documentary features witness accounts (all considered reliable, with the exception of Frank Kaufman at the end):"I've talked with people of stature, of military and government credentials and position, and heard their stories, and their desire to tell their stories openly to the public. And that got my attention very, very rapidly...

The first hand experiences of these credible witnesses that, now in advanced years are anxious to tell their story, we can't deny that, and the evidence points to the fact that Roswell was a real incident, and that indeed an alien craft did crash, and that material was recovered from that crash site." -- astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell, documentary "UFO 50 years of denial" 38'55"-39'40"

The Roswell incident occured 60yr ago in Jul-1947 in Roswell, New Mexico, USA. Evidently, all first-hand witnesses of alien bodies had been silenced, by either appealing to their patriotism, by their military security oaths or -in a few cases- by heavy-handed intimidation right after the event. As a result, the incident was practically forgotten for 3 decades, until it re-surfaced in 1978. It gained wide publicity in the 1980s, through the efforts of UFO investigators like Stanton Friedman, Kevin Randle, Don Schmitt, Dennis Balthaser and many other dedicated researchers and courageous witnesses. As information started leaking out in the 1970s-1980s in "deathbed confessions" of first-hand witnesses, there was an intense disinformation campaign by officialdom. Therefore it is very hard to distinguish reality from lies and truth-seeking independent researchers from paid disinformation agents. There are no first-hand witnesses of the Roswell incident still alive today.

The last official explanation of the Roswell crash, as outlined in the 1997 USAF Special Report "Case Closed", claims that the object which crashed was a balloon, launched by Top-Secret project "MOGUL".

Researchers who support the UFO/ET scenario for the Roswell crash, consider the Mogul balloon Flight #4 to be a convenient modern-day scapegoat for the Roswell crash because there is no data on it to tell us exactly how it was configured when it was launched, what direction it headed, how long it was airborne, how high it got, or where it ended up. There are no surviving documents on it to tell us any of these things. Therefore, it can be molded into anything you want it to be and do. Also, it's important to keep in mind that in Mogul project only the PURPOSE was classified, the balloons and targets used were off-the-shelf material (see Mogul balloon train photos), plastic or rubber or balsa wood sticks which were used in the construction of balloons, Mogul or otherwise.

There have been several testimonies in favor of Roswell being an UFO/ET event: witness descriptions of strange debris, 3 to 5 alien bodies short 3.5-4ft humanoid, and a "flying disk" (actually the crashed craft was described to be oval/egg-shaped 12-15ft long, 6ft tall, rather than a classic round flying saucer). Witnesses were mostly ordinary civilian residents, named, able to document direct involvement by being at Roswell in 1947 or related/friends of same. In addition to "alien", terms also used were "non-human" or "little people, not human people" or "space beings" (in addition to "spaceship"): Frank Joyce/Mack Brazel story, Frederick Benthal, Elias Benjamin, Miriam Bush story, Marion Magruder story, Melvin Brown story, Anayas/Joseph Montoya story, Oliver Henderson story, Glenn Dennis story, Sheriff Wilcox story.

Other witnesses were military people or their families with documented direct involvement or who we know were there: Marcel, Haut, Shirkey, Smith, Henderson, Dubose, Easley to name but a few.

Other witnesses about Roswell crash being a UFO/ET incident include Jesse Marcel Jr (son of Maj. Marcel who located the debris) Jesse was a LtCol who just served in Iraq as a medical doctor, flight surgeon and helicopter pilot (having been called back in at age 67).


lawyer Daniel Sheehan (who testified that he examined photos of the classified section of Blue Book project), former TSgt Moe Cox (who claims to have seen classified section of BlueBook archive files/photos of the Roswell crash: three dead aliens and two living and an egg-shaped craft -- src: SciFi Roswell Startling New Evidence CD2 2002 @ 19'33") and astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell.

Roswell related research Websites include:

Roswell video documentaries and mockumentaries (i.e. disinformation material):

  • The Roswell Incident, older BBC documentary about the crash of a UFO in Roswell New Mexico in July-1947. Many interesting witness testimonies (Marcel Jr, Glenn Dennis the town's mortician) and some testimonies which have later been discounted (Frank Kaufman's and hoaxer Ray Santilli). At the end, includes complete footage of the fake Ray Santilli "Roswell Alien Autopsy" black-and-white video. (GoogleVideo 1hr4min 223MB)

  • Roswell debris tested comments by Dr Leir MD and Jesse Marcel Jr, a medical doctor/flight surgeon in reserve who served 1yr in Iraq in 2005 despite being 67yr old (son of Jesse Marcel Sr, the Intelligence Officer of the Roswell AirForce Base, who examined the debris field in July-1947)
  • Hon. Paul Hellyer At Exopolitics Conference (Toronto, 25-Sep-2005) Paul Hellyer, former Canadian Defense Minister (period 1963-1967) endorses the validity of LtCol Philip J Corso's Book "They Day After Roswell", which states that an extraterrestrial "flying saucer" crashed in 1947 in New Mexico and that in the early 1960s he, Corso, distributed debris to US companies for reverse-engineering. (GoogleVideo 31min 109MB). Personally I find it hard to believe all of Col.Corso's claims.
  • Friedman on National Geographic Channel Roswell mockumentary

Roswell books (and publication year):


Researcher David Rudiak's (www.roswellproof.com) review of Carey & Schmitt's 2007 book "Witness To Roswell":
Tom Carey and Donald Schmitt's new book, Witness To Roswell just came out, which I just received from Amazon.com. As the name attests, the book focuses on witness testimony, and Carey and Schmitt have a slew of new witnesses to report, including a few first-hand accounts of seeing the alien bodies. There are also a ton of second-hand alien body stories, plus a few to seeing the spacecraft either out at the crash site or in the Hangar 84/P-3 at the base.

The hangar is the focus of many of the accounts, seemingly being the centralized collection point for the debris, craft, and bodies for further processing and transport out of the base. The number of reports on alien bodies was surprising to me, including several of a live alien. I had no idea there was so much testimony along these lines. The prize witness is Walter Haut, as most of us know, the Roswell base public information officer, who put out Colonel Blanchard's recovered flying disc press release on July 8, 1947.

Haut in 2002 filled out a notarized affidavit, to be sealed until after his death. Here the affidavit is revealed in full. Haut, as he first did in an oral history with Wendy Connors and Dennis Balthaser in 2000, reveals seeing the crash object and several small bodies with big heads at Hangar 84, being taken there by Col. Blanchard. This was on Tuesday, July 8 in the afternoon, after the press release had hit the wires. Haut also reveals first hearing about the Brazel debris field and another crash location 40 miles to the north, where the main craft and bodies were, on Monday afternoon, July 7, after returning to the base from home after the 4th of July weekend.

The northern site had just been found by civilians and rumors of the two sites were beginning to break out in town and on the base.
The following morning at 7:30, Haut attended the senior staff morning meeting where everybody was briefed as to what was happening. Marcel and Cavitt described their findings at the Brazel debris field and Blanchard filled in everybody on the second crash site. Haut also states Gen. Ramey and Col. Dubose were there, meaning they had flown in from Fort Worth.

Debris was passed around for everybody to handle and nobody could identify it. Much of the meeting was devoted to discussing how to handle the situation and what the public should be told. Here Haut discusses some of the rationale behind the issuing of the puzzling press release. According to Haut, it was Gen. Ramey's idea to divert public attention away from the closer and more important craft/body site. Haut felt Ramey was just carrying out orders from the Pentagon.

Haut also states he went out to at least one of the sites and brought back some debris of his own. He was aware of two teams that went out for months afterwards to try to uncover any physical evidence that might have been left behind. Although he doesn't say it, Haut is here providing some corroboration for various tales of debris confiscation afterwards, such as told by Bill Brazel Jr. Haut's affidavit plus other testimony below revives the crash site 40 miles of north of Roswell where the main craft and bodies were found.

Haut also presents a new timeline of the discovery of the site on July 7, which means recovery began at this site at the same time Marcel and Cavitt were out at the Brazel debris field investigating it. Another prize eyewitness is Sgt. Frederick Benthal. He was F.B. in Crash At Corona, but here he is identified publicly for the first time (or to me anyway). Benthal was the Army photographer flown in from Washington, taken out to the body site, and who photographed the alien bodies in a tent, with everybody else cleared out.

Corroborating this was a first/second-hand account from an MP at the site, PFC Ed Sain. He stated he was taken out to the site in one of the ambulances and ordered to shoot anybody who tried to enter a particular tent. His son said his father didn't like to talk about it, but had told him he had guarded the bodies in the tent until they were transported to the base. Sain indicated that another MP, Cpl. Raymond Van Why, had gone out with him to the site. Van Why's widow, Leola, said her husband first talked about it in 1954 when he got out of the service. He told her that he had been a guard at a crash site and had seen the round spacecraft. Sgt. Homer Rowlette was with the 603rd Air Engineering Squadron. His son Larry and daughter Carlene Green said he told them about it on his deathbed in March 1988. He was part of the cleanup detail sent to the impact site north of Roswell. He handled the infamous "memory foil" described by many others. He described the ship as "somewhat circular" and said he had seen "three little people" with large heads. At least one was alive (just one of the 'live alien' stories). PFC Rolland Menagh was another MP at the site, according to sons Michael and Rolland Jr. He described the ship as egg-shaped and seamless. Michael recalled him describing three dead bodies. His father said they loaded the ship onto an 18-wheeler and covered it with a tarp. He escorted it in a jeep as they drove it through the center of town to the base and deposited it in a hangar.

This brings us back to Roswell base.

S. Sgt. Earl Fulford saw his close friend, S. Sgt. George Houck, drive off at 5:00 a.m. July 8 in a low-boy truck, which he presumed was to pick up some wreckage, one of his standard duties. Fulford was an aircraft mechanic who often worked at Hangar 84. During the day civilian mechanics from town kept questioning him about the rumored spaceship with little spacemen. At 4:00 p.m. as he left duty, Fulford saw Houck returning towing a lowboy trailer and carrying a tarped object about the size and shape of a VW Beetle. Houck refused to tell him what was under the tarp, saying he had been ordered not to say. When Fulford tried to get him to talk in the present-day, Houck still refused to talk about it. There was even more to Fulford's story. The next day he said he was "volunteered" to be part of a work detail of 15-20 men taken out to what we call the Brazel debris field to finish cleaning it up. They were given burlap bags and ordered to pick up anything "not natural".

He described an area hundreds of yards in extent and, like other witnesses, said it was ringed with MPs. He said it had obviously been cleaned up before, because there wasn't much left, and he could see tire tracks from big trucks that had been there hauling things away. He said he found only 7 pieces, and described picking up and handling, like so many other witnesses, the "memory foil" that returned to its original shape. When he got back to the base, he was awakened at 2:00 a.m. the next morning and ordered out to Hangar P-3. He was also a forklift operator and was ordered to load a wooden crate, 7 feet square, into an idling C-54. It handled as if whatever was inside weighed very little. Back at Roswell base, everything centers on Hangar 84/P-3.

Another eyewitness MP, PFC Elias Benjamin, described being ordered to pick up his gun and go out to Hangar P-3 for guard duty on the morning of July 8. He noticed unusually heavy activity around base headquarters. When he got to the hangar, the officer who had ordered him there was being subdued by MPs. He later found out he had been to the crash site, but when he saw the bodies at the hangar he had flipped out.Benjamin said he was placed in charge of escorting 3 or 4 bodies covered with sheets to the base hospital. One of them appeared to be moving. One of the sheets slipped and he saw a grayish face and large hairless head of something that wasn't human. When he got to the hospital and the sheets were removed, he got a much better view of one of the bodies and gave a familiar description of small body, large egg-shaped head, slanted eyes, slit mouth, and two holes for a nose. He thought it was alive and saw the doctors working on it.

Afterwards, he was debriefed, forced to sign a non-disclosure statement, and told if he ever talked about it very bad things would happen to him and his family. He still feared he would lose his pension. His wife, who encouraged him to go public, said he first told her the story in 1949 when they were married. At the hospital, Miriam 'Andrea' Bush, 27, was a secretary to the hospital administrator Lt. Col. Harold Warne. According to her brother George and sister Jean, she came home one night in a state of total shock. Finally she said that there were a lot of strange medical personnel at the hospital she didn't recognize.

Later Warne would take her to an examination room and she saw several small childlike bodies. One was moving. (Another live alien story) Their skin was greyish to brown and they were covered in something like white linens. Their heads and eyes were large. The next day she came home and said nobody was ever to say anything further about it. The family thought she had been very heavily threatened. They said the event so traumatized her that it ruined her life. She died under suspicious circumstances in 1989, with bruises covering her arms, but ruled a suicide by suffocating herself with plastic bag tied round her head. It is conceivable that mortician Glenn Dennis' "Nurse X" is based in part on Miriam Bush, who would have been about the right age and physical description.

There are several more MPs described guarding the hangar, to go along with some previous accounts, such as from Sgt. Melvin Brown. Pvt. Francis Cassidy told his wife, Sarah Mounce, of seeing the bodies inside. Wanda Lida said her husband, Cpl. Robert J. Lida, said he guarded the hangar and observed wreckage and small bodies inside being prepared for shipment. Several more witnesses to the heavily guarded B-29 crate flight from Roswell to Fort Worth are provided. We already knew about Robert Slusher and 'Tim', here publicly identified as Lloyd Thompson. One, S. Sgt. Arthur Osepchook, like the other men, was sure something very important was inside the crate. One interesting statement of his is that when they got back to Roswell they were debriefed and told there were no such things as flying saucers and that a crash of one didn't happen.

Two MPs described how they had guarded the plane as it was being loaded over the bomb pit. One described how the pit was wrapped with a double layer of fabric to prevent anyone from seeing in. He had to patrol blind between the inner and outer layer of cloth. Perhaps the most interesting new B-29 flight account came from Blanche Wahnee, daughter of Capt. Meyers Wahnee. She said her father told the family that the Roswell Incident was true in the last year of his life. A high-level security officer, he was flown in from Fort Simmons in Colorado to Roswell to oversee the transport of a "Top Secret item" from Roswell to Fort Worth on a special B-29 flight. The item was a single, large, wooden crate that Wahnee was to accompany as a security guard in the bomb bay. He said it contained the alien bodies recovered near Roswell. As did a few other witnesses in the book, he also said there were three sites. Three sites? Well of course the Brazel debris field, the body/craft site north of Roswell described by Haut and other witnesses, but what was the third site?

According to Carey and Schmitt, this was yet another body site near the Brazel debris field. The evidence for this is thinner. There is the Frank Joyce story of Brazel coming to town in a highly stressed state and describing very smelly non-human bodies to him in addition to the large debris field. They also mention young Dee Proctor, who the Proctor family said was with Brazel when he made his debris field discovery, but also reported he had seen something else that had severely traumatized him. He never said exactly what it was, but he took his mother Loretta to the spot in the 1994 when he thought she might be dying. C & S say the story of the Brazel debris field had already circulated widely in the Corona area and many ranchers and rancher kids already knew about it before Brazel reported it. One of these kids was Sydney 'Jack' Wright. He told them that he and two other rancher children had gotten there too. They finally got him to state that, "There were bodies small bodies with big heads and eyes. And Mack was there too. We couldn't get away from there fast enough."

Another perhaps related account came from the widow of Sgt. LeRoy, another MP. She said he was called away one evening to go to a crash site outside of Corona "to help load the bodies." When he returned home the next morning, he had a horrible stench on his clothes. She burned the clothes, but the horrible smell lingered on his body for another two weeks. Carey and Schmitt feel that under the circumstances, Jesse Marcel must have seen the bodies too when Brazel took them back to the ranch and debris field.

They cite two witnesses who said Marcel did briefly mention seeing the bodies, one a relative, Sue Marcel Methane, who said he told her shortly before he died in 1986. Another was Tech Sergeant Hershel Grice, a ground maintenance crew chief, but who also was a member of Marcel's intelligence team. Grice described Marcel as a "straight arrow." (Haut described him to me this way also. Grice said Marcel described the bodies as "white, rubbery figures." There are numerous other witness accounts presented in the book, some already well-known in the Roswell literature, some new.

I've covered most of the major new ones here. One of the more interesting remaining ones came from four sons of Lt. Col. Marion M. Magruder, a legendary WWII Marine aviation commander. According to them, on his deathbed, he confessed to seeing crash wreckage and a live alien at Wright Field two weeks after the incident in mid-to-late July 1947. He had just started Air War College at Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama, attended by elite high officers who the various services considered to be the future military leaders.

They were flown up to Wright Field to get their opinion on an urgent matter. They were then told about the recovery of an extraterrestrial spaceship that had crashed near Roswell, examined wreckage, and then were led to another room and shown a surviving alien.

Mike Magruder said his father described the "creature" as under 5 feet tall, "human-like" but with longer arms, larger eyes, and an oversized, hairless head. It had a slit for a mouth and two holes but no appendages for a nose and ears - the standard 'grey' description. There was no question in his mind that it "came from another planet." A number of other military witness accounts center around rumors running rampant at the base of the flying saucer and bodies, of something very big going on, a lot of security, severe warnings to keep their mouths shut, and the base being in lockdown. Some examples were other members of the 603rd Air Engineering Squadron that witness Fulford was in. PFC Eugene C. Helnes: "It was definitely not a balloon. ...I know fellows who were out at the site to clean it up. All the talk was of a crashed saucer . right up to the time that I left the base in mid-1949."

Sgt. Harvie L. Davis: "Stories were going around, and I don't doubt the people involved. I believe that it was a UFO." John Bunch: "Everything was hush-hush. We all knew something was going on, but we didn't know what. A lot of planes were coming in and going out, and the airstrip was shut down for a period. The base went into lockdown, and they checked us real close going in and out." So there you have it, a whole bunch of witness stories to chew over, including various live alien ones. The description of the main crash object is different here, having changed from a heal- shaped or bat-wing shape into an egg-shape from several witnesses, and also appearing to be a little smaller than previously described.

Haut, e.g., in his affidavit described it as about 15 feet long, and Fulford described the tarped object on the truck as about the size of a VW Beetle. Alien body descriptions are impressive in their consistency: large heads, large eyes, small bodies, slit for mouths, two holes for nose and ears, usually greyish or brownish. I am also very impressed with the consistency of the accounts as they often neatly fit together into a cross-corroborating narrative of what happened, which I've tried to indicate in the presentation of the various witness accounts. It is also hard not to be impressed with the shear numbers of witnesses that have been compiled. Can all of them be lying? Would a Mogul balloon cause this? I have some quibbles about the organization and writing up of some accounts in the book. Tables summarizing witnesses would have been very useful. There are very large numbers of them to keep track of and they are often scattered throughout the book. However, in general this is a very impressive body of testimony that Carey and Schmitt have collected and has given me a lot of things to think about.

David Rudiak

Roswell related hoaxes:

  • Fake Ray Santilli Roswell alien autopsy video Ray Santilli fake "Roswell Alien Autopsy film" and "Roswell crash wreckage" videos aired in 1995, are a confirmed hoax (see Eamonn investigates "Alien Autopsy" 2002 TV documentary or quick summary of Eamonn on Santilli hoax and comments by Philip Mantle). Although Santilli changed his story in 2002 and claimed to have done a staged "restoration" filmed in an old apartment around London with the help of friends, as the supposedly original film footage was worn out and practically unusable, it is practically certain that the entire affair was a hoax. The Santilli "Roswell alien autopsy" film hoax was an attempt to "exploit", to capitalise on the public's interest. Only "consolation" would be, as Stanton Friedman -who correctly refused to accept it as authentic from the beginning- put it: "Because of that footage that has been shown in 32 countries there has been a great deal of public discussions about UFOs that would otherwise not have occurred."

I do not think there is much of anything about Roswell which will contribute to our understanding of the UFO phenomenon. Nor anything which requires further debate or clarification (unless US government suprises us and comes clean on the subject). More effort should go into investigating and debating other historical cases with substance and first-hand witnesses who are living and willing to talk (such as the Rendlesham UK and Varghina Brazil UFO incidents).You are welcome to subscribe (free) to the  UFO Updates RSS feed. If you enjoyed this page, you are welcome to link to it from your Website or Blog, or add it to "social bookmarking" services so others can find it too.   














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