Gerald Anderson and Stanton Friedman (Friedman and Berlinner)
Chapter 12: The amazing Anderson
By Timothy Printy Ó 1999
By the early 90s Roswell was rapidly becoming a sensation to Saucer buffs. The TV show "Unsolved Mysteries" ran a piece on Roswell and there was a line set up so that people could call in and tell Investigator/Writer Stanton Friedman their stories about Roswell. Of those that called, one man excited Stan the most. His name was Gerald Anderson and he had vivid memories of incident that occurred when he was FIVE YEARS OLD! Anderson is brilliant and had a wonderful memory of the whole event. He even remembered reading the name "Armstrong" on an officers uniform. Asked how he could read at so early an age, Anderson responded, "Oh Yeah, I was able to read at six. I was very good at six.... I was sort of a prodigy" (Randle 51).
The entire Anderson tale encompasses a good section of Crash at Corona and is considered to be the prize witness for this scenario. According to Anderson, he was with his family that July morning and they were making a day trip to the plains from Albuquerque:
...What we saw was a silver object, a circular silver object stuck in the ground, kind of at an angle.... When I realized what I was looking at...then it crossed my mind that it was a dirigible, a blimp that had crashed...when we got up close to it, my Dad told me to stay back. Fifty to Sixty feet: We were practically on top of it. There was a big gouge mark where it had cut a big furrow across the arroyo from another hill on the other side....
That's when my brother said, "That's a goddam spaceship! Them's Martians!"...And there was three of these crew members laid out on the ground, under the edge of this thing, in a shaded area, and there was one sitting upright. The ones that were laying on the ground, two of 'em weren't moving at all, they were just laying there.
They looked like they had some sort of bandages on 'em. One of them had it over his arm. The one that I touched had it around his midsection and partially over his shoulder..... The only one that really moved was the one that was sitting up, and it obviously was scared to death of us. It was scooting backward against the underside of the saucer.... Dad and Ted were kneeling down next to the creature that was alive, and Ted was trying to talk to it in Spanish and it wasn't responding...It seemed to be in pretty good shape. It's uniform was torn in a couple of spots. The others, they were obviously injured, their uniforms were in pretty sad shape.... I didn't see anything that looked like blood, though.... The one [whose] chest was moving funny, one leg didn't quite look right, like it might have had a fracture. The others really didn't show any deformities or anything like that. I'm convinced that the one I [touched], his eyes were open, staring blankly, was dead. It felt dead when I touched it, it was very cold.... See, I thought they were dolls. I didn't think they were real even though I'd seen this one moving and reacting.
I remember putting my hand against the side of the saucer, and it was cold, almost like it was refrigerated...It was very cold! Like it was wintertime and you were touching something metal....
I could see directly into it, and was looking through the outer hull and into another bulkhead, and that bulkhead was shaped exactly like the outer hull...you could see what looked like components.... They were all seemingly hooked up by these cables...there was lights all over the ends of them...they were flashing...and you could see others of those went from one kind of package of components to another kind of package...each one of these component boxes there would be scribbling, it was almost a pink color on sort of a brown, wood-like background.... (Friedman and Berlinner 90-94)
An amazing tale from an amazing man. Of course, Anderson had a lot of information from the television show to base his story. One of these bits of the tale is the arrival of the infamous archeologists. In order to identify the leader of this expedition, Anderson was given an identikit and was able to give a profile of a man named Buskirk. According to Anderson, Buskirk tried to talk to the aliens in many languages (although why would Buskirk try and communicate in German with an alien is beyond me). How amazing of Anderson to be able to recognize German, Spanish, and even sign language at the age of five! After Buskirk showed up, a man that looked like President Truman arrived. He is supposed to be Barney Barnett. Was Anderson so amazing at the age of five that he knew who the President of the United States was and what he looked like?
With the correct group of witnesses in place, we now are treated to the arrival of the military. The list of vehicles includes:
An old military Plymouth with a red flag.
A Jeep-like truck that had a bunch of radios in it and two big antennas. In it was an
operator wearing headphones and operating the radio
Two big Army transport trucks with the covered wagon-type tops.
A Jeep that was pulling a trailer with a generator or motor on it.
A C-47 transport aircraft
An observation aircraft
Trucks with cranes
A tanker type truck
Military ambulances (HQ USAF 196)
The soldiers were, supposedly, military police that started pushing his uncle around. In anger, his uncle knocked down one of the MP's. The soldiers responded rapidly and according to Anderson operated the bolts on their rifles and cocked the triggers. This is once again amazing because all military side arms and rifles in 1947 were automatic (the M-1 and the .45 were popular and pretty universal issue) and did not require bolt action or cocking of triggers. The head of this group of rather dangerous soldiers was a red-haired captain named ARMSTRONG (remember Bill Brazel's Captain Armstrong?). His driver was a BLACK Soldier who was a sergeant (remember Bill Brazel's Black sergeant?). Remember the authors who wrote this tale wanted to link the captain in this story to the Brazel claim. Randle states that Bill Brazel never met any black soldiers at the Ranch but Berlinner said that he did. The soldiers activities were discussed by Anderson, which he saw as his family departed the area:
I looked back and there was a lot of soldiers and they were all around that disc, and I couldn't see the crew [of the saucer] that was layin on the ground anymore...There were a lot of things happening back there. They were stretching cables of some kind. Looked like they were stretching stuff out on the ground, dragging stuff out of these trucks... (Friedman and Berlinner 107)
Away went the Anderson family with their amazing five-year old son ending Andersons extraordinary tale. To confirm his story, Anderson showed everyone a family diary.
It would seem that his tale was confirmed but shortly after telling his story, unsettling facts were revealed about Anderson. Starting with the diary, Randle and Schmitt state the events described occurred 60 miles from the area, Anderson said it happened. Also, the ink used was not made until after 1974. To add to these problems, Anderson forged a phone bill to reflect in incorrect amount of time talking to Kevin Randle (although it is not clear why he did this). The biggest blow to Anderson's credibility is that Dr Buskirk was not in the area in 1947. He was in Arizona in July 1947 working at the Fort Apache Reservation and was too busy for anything else. Dr Buskirk did teach a high school class in anthropology. One of his students was (surprise!) GERALD ANDERSON! Anderson denies it but school records show him taking his class. So, for once, Randle and Schmitt are correct. Anderson's story is made up. His estranged wife, Peggy, even states this, "He makes things up. I dont know how to explain it, but its very few times that you can believe that man" (Randle 52).
It appears that Anderson can not be trusted to tell the truth but his story does sound like a tale inspired by something. Probably too many comic books or television I suppose. However, the USAF feels that Andersons tale was inspired by one of their test drops in the 1950s. Anderson would have been between 10-13 years old, a very influential time in someones life. If he actually saw one of these events, he could have drawn on it to create his story. If you recall he "thought they were dolls. I didn't think they were real even though I'd seen this one moving and reacting" (Friedman and Berlinner 92). This could be a reference that he saw actually dummies. In the transcript of the interview he described the aliens in detail (more so than that documented in the book, Crash at Corona) :
The head...They were so shiny, they had almost a bluish tint to them when the light reflected off of them...The skin...was kind of a bluish tinted milky-white...No visible ears...just a rise there and then a hole...Lips were just a straight line...There was no hair. They were completely bald...They just had a thumb and three extra digits...I didn't see anything that looked like blood... (HQ USAF 188)
A dummy dropped from high altitude (HQ USAF)
All these descriptions fit the Alderson labs/Sierra Sam test dummies used by the USAF. The dummies sometimes had only a hole instead of an ear. They were bluish in tint in color. They sometimes were missing digits due to damages from missing flights. His description of the suits is also similar:
They were wearing one piece suits...sort of a real shiny silverish gray color...there was a seam on his shoulder and around the color it was trimmed in what appeared to be maroon, like cording....They were all dressed exactly the same. (HQ USAF 189)
Alderson test dummies used gray flight suits that had red tape around the cuffs and neck to prevent air from filling the suit. His early references to bandages were probably observations of tape used in keeping the arms from flailing about.
The spacecraft he saw may actually have been a flight rack that held the dummies until they were released. It is interesting to note he referred to it as a "blimp" since balloons were used to transport the rack to high altitudes. The cabling, lights, and instrumentation he observed was more than likely the test equipment associated with the flight rack. He also mentions the aliens and the saucer were very cold. This is probably due to the exposure of the entire assembly to stratospheric temperatures, which ended up freezing the metal and dummies. It would take some time for the temperatures to equalize to ambient.
His description of the military vehicles is fairly accurate to that used by the balloon recovery teams. There was even a weapons carrier that was converted to carry radio equipment and several ambulances that were also converted for use in recover operations. The wreckers were used for hoisting the racks and dummies. The tanker trucks were used for filling the helium in the balloons and sometimes, carried fuel for observation aircraft, which were also used in recovery operations. The C-47's were sometimes employed in operations far from Holliman AFB and often were used to track the balloons.
Vehicles associated with launching and recovery (HQ USAF)
For personnel, the black soldier indicates the operation occurred in the 50's and not the 40's. Even more interesting is that there was a red-haired captain in charge of these operations. A man named Joseph W. Kittinger Jr., who deserves definite mention in the report, was in charge of many of the recovery operations. Since his character is in question due to Anderson's testimony, I will mention some of his accomplishments here. In my mind, he was a genuine American hero and could not even have said or done the things described by Anderson's overactive and faded memory. Captain Kittinger was the project officer for EXCELSIOR and STARGAZER (Code names the dummy project and another project for unmanned gondolas). Part of these tests involved human jumps from high altitudes. Kittinger holds the record for the highest parachute jump and free fall from a height of 102,800 feet on August 16, 1960 (He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for this). During this leap, he became the only person to exceed the speed of sound without the use of aircraft or spacecraft! He is, in my mind, America's first astronaut, since he was working from altitudes that were on the edge of the earth's atmosphere. Most of his tests helped in developing the American space program. According to the report, most of the interactions with civilians were very cordial and there were no records of any hostile confrontations. To suggest that Kittinger ordered his men to bully civilians and possibly shoot unarmed people is ludicrous.
With the downfall of Gerald Anderson and the realization that Barney Barnett's story is pure hearsay, one must realize that there are no witnesses to verify that a flying saucer crashed on the plains of San Agustin. Stanton Friedman has always believed that this is where the craft actually crashed. He continues to endorse the Barney Barnett story and fit it into a neat scenario of cover-up in his book Top Secret: MAJIC. What is more interesting is the preface to the paperback edition of "Crash at Corona". By the time the paperback edition was printed, the problems with Gerald Anderson's testimony had come out into the open. The preface includes some very disturbing comments by the authors:
Even though some of his testimony has been corroborated by others, the authors no longer have confidence in his description of the crash scene and the aftermath... Nevertheless, the authors remain convinced that there was a crash at the Plains of San Agustin in early July 1947, at about the same times as the crash near Corona. The basic story, and the U. S. Government's shameful culpability, remain established beyond any reasonable doubt. (Friedman and Berlinner preface)
I am not sure what witnesses really confirm Anderson's testimony because there are none. Even Barney Barnett's hearsay story never mentions a family with children in it!! Apparently, Anderson passed a polygraph exam but his confused memories of a possible "dummy drop" test (or tests, his story has elements of a launch and a drop) could easily have allowed him to pass the test. The final comment seems to indicate that Stanton Friedman and Don Berlinner feel they have a strong case to present. Unfortunately, their data and evidence is so lacking, that it would be hard for them to convince any court or independent scientific inquiry that they had any case.
While Friedman and Berlinner cling to their belief that there was a crash on the plains of San Agustin, Randle and Schmitt feel there was a crash closer to Roswell. Friedman and Berlinner's theory is that there were two crashes that July and one crashed near the Brazel ranch. However, Randle and Schmitt appear to disagree and feel there was only one spaceship based mainly on the testimony of one person, Frank Kaufmann.
Friedman, Stanton and Don Berlinner. Crash at Corona. New York: Marlowe & Company, 1997
HQ USAF. The Roswell Report: Case Closed. Washington: D.C., US Government, 1997
Randle, Kevin. A History of UFO Crashes. New York: Avon Books, 1995
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