Could some airmen wearing pith helmets (see background personnel) in the hot desert sun started the Archeologist part of the Roswell story? (HQ USAF)

 Chapter 14: Doctor Holden I Presume

By Timothy Printy 1999

Updated November 2003

I pointed out before the fact that there are always a group of archeologists in any Roswell tale. It may be because of the original Barney Barnett story or because of the fact that it lends some degree of credibility to the tale. However, it appears there is no good evidence that one archeological team was at the Roswell crash. That is until, Kevin Randle talked to an aging old archeologist named Dr. W. Curry Holden.

During the Randle/Schmitt investigations, Randle and Schmitt received a phone call from an anonymous person who stated he saw a downed spacecraft north of the Capitan Mountains near the Brazel ranch. He saw one other man there and described the situation, "Maybe half a mile, maybe more... was something that looked like a crashed airplane without wings" (Randle and Schmitt Truth 125). This individual claimed it was damaged, had no dome, porthole, or hatch. He added that three alien bodies were visible and they were wearing silver colored flight suits. He claimed to be an Archeologist and described how the military showed up, ordered them to be quiet, took down their names, and then threatened them if they talked. The individual to this day remains anonymous. There is no way to verify his story. However, Randle and Schmitt pursued the archeologist line further.

In shades of Gerald Anderson, a woman named Mary Ann Gardner stepped forward following the "Unsolved mysteries" show. She reports hearing the story from a woman ten years before (1979) who was dying of cancer in the hospital. Although Mrs. Gardner could not remember the woman’s name, she did remember her talking about the usual events with a saucer crash (people find crash, dead aliens, military shows up and takes over, etc. Just like in the TV show). She remembers her using the words "spaceship" and that the woman said she was with a friend "...hunting rocks and looking for fossils..." (Randle and Schmitt Truth 126-7). Randle and Schmitt were quick to get on the trail of the story but were unable to locate records concerning the woman’s death. They state the records were not available and the newspaper accounts were too massive for them to handle because Gardner could not remember the woman's name (of course). Again, it seemed like the elusive archeologists could not be located.

The missing archeologists remained so until a fortuitous set of circumstances allowed one researcher to uncover a lead on the matter of roadblocks north of Roswell. Enter vertebrate paleontologist, C. Bertrand Schultz. With this piece of information, Randle calls Schultz, a first hand witness to the crash and that he knows the exact location! However, Schultz never saw any craft at all. How could he pinpoint the location other than stating he saw roadblocks/military vehicles north of Roswell? Upon further research, Randle learned that Schultz never was even in the Roswell area that fateful weekend.

Schultz now produces the name of Dr Holden as the leader of the archeology group that found the crashed saucer. The investigators then talked to Dr Holden, who was 96 at the time of the interview and close to death but he admitted being present. Although they could not get any details, he stated that, "I was involved…I was there and I saw everything" (Pflock 22). According to Randle, he asked three different ways but got the same ambiguous answer. One thing to note is that this was just before Dr Holden died and was unrecorded (of course). It would be interesting how this "vulture" asked the questions. I am sure they were so considerate towards the poor man. It always amazes me how Randle and Schmitt manage to extricate "deathbed confessions" out of thin air. Despite the protests of his wife and daughter stating he easily became confused, reordered events in life, and never mentioned this to either of them ever before, Randle and Schmitt believed his tale and state it supports their conclusions!

In later books, Randle restructures what Holden told him. When you read The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell, he states simply that Holden could not remember any details. However, in his two follow-up books, he changes this. In The Randle Report, Dr Holden now supposedly confirms the shape of the craft and the precise location! How does Randle get this information out of, "I was involved…I was there and I saw everything" (Pflock 22)? To add further insult to the reader, in Conspiracy of Silence, Randle states,

Holden told me that he had been in the field, north of Roswell, and seen both the craft and the bodies.... As I asked the questions, often putting a negative spin on them so there could be no accusation of leading the witness, Holden confirmed that he had been on the scene. The craft was impacted into the cliff, there were small bodies near it, and it looked like nothing he had ever seen. (Randle Conspiracy 26-27)

I am curious about the questioning technique but since he did not even record this interview, we have to take Randle's "word" that he was being honest about this. Remember that all Holden stated was that he was there and saw everything. It makes you wonder about where they got all that extra information and what kinds of questions were asked. If they had asked him if he saw a flying saucer which was a mile wide and shaped like football, he probably would have said the same thing! I doubt they asked the man any test questions of this nature to see if he would correct them. The same response sounds like the questions were "loaded" to take advantage of him. Despite Randle's claims of all these confirmations, Tom Carey contradicts him in his article "The Continuing Search for the Roswell Archaeologists: Closing the Circle", when he states, "Randle was not able to "flesh out" the details of Holden's experience at the impact site during this interview..." (Carey)

Randle attempted to verify his story through his papers. The only thing he found out was that he had cashed a check in Lubbock Texas on July 3rd and was invited to a wedding on July 8th. From this Randle supposition that he left Lubbock for Roswell which was only 2-3 hours drive away to be there on the critical Sunday in question. The distance from Lubbock to Roswell is much further than a simple 2-3 hour drive. It is roughly 160-180 miles through back roads and non-interstate road travel. This is just to the town of Roswell. There would have to be an additional 30 miles or so to get to the crash site. So the total distance was roughly 200-210 miles to the site. How do we get 2-3 hours? In addition we have the problem about the dates. Recently, Kaufmann stated the crash was on the 3rd and not the 4th. Also, in his scenario, the date in question is not Sunday (the 6th) but Saturday (the 5th)! Both of these statements are deliberate attempts by the authors to mislead the reader that it was easy to get there from his home and that he had plenty of time for the trip. Yes, he could have driven there and it would have taken the better part of 4 or 5 hours to do it but what was he doing near Roswell? Was their some project he was working on? Surely he must have written a paper about his trip/findings. In any case, he would have billed the University for expenses and there would be records of that. Randle and Schmitt could not find anything to confirm a trip to Roswell that weekend. Author Peter Brookesmith states that Dr Holden's diaries (which Randle and Schmitt did not mention) indicate that he was in Lubbock the whole time getting ready for the wedding and not doing any archeology work. Tom Carey, who did most of the research for Randle mentions in his article that Holden was teaching that June and July. According to Randle, Dr. Holden must have decided to stop teaching that Thursday afternoon and then proceeded to Roswell. There is no proof of this and it means he would have given up on a holiday weekend with his family and driven for 4 hours to an area he had no record of being in prior to this event! Holden then never bothers to confide in anyone, including his wife and daughter, concerning the events he supposedly witnessed. However, out of the blue, he mentions it to Schultz!

Schultz provides no evidence he was in Roswell on the critical dates to hear the stories of the archeologist Holden. In fact, Randle found out that he was in Nebraska on July 10 and there were no records to indicate he even was in Roswell the week before that! Even more difficult to understand is why Schultz would drive north of Roswell other than to go to and from Nebraska (assuming he even went to Roswell on "business"). Had he seen the "cordon" on his way to and from Nebraska, he would only had driven a few miles north of town before heading northeast on US-70. Traveling to the northwest to go to Nebraska would have been the most torturous route. To change direction back towards Nebraska would have required using secondary roads. So what is being suggested is that Shultz took the most indirect route to get to Roswell in order to view the "cordon". In light of this, it is unlikely that Shultz could have seen the "cordon" when traveling to and from Nebraska. There would have been no reason for such a trip up US-285.

Carey states that he had a difficult time interviewing Schultz, "…as with some people of advanced years, it was hard to keep him focused on the subject at hand. In order to get a minute’s worth of testimony relating to the reason for the interview, I had to endure an hour's worth of his life's story…" (Carey). Schultz was 86 years old and could very easily have confused events of the past. Schultz and Holden did attend the same meeting in December of 1947. Now we learn that Schultz may have heard the story from Holden at this meeting. Again, it is amazing that Holden manages to confide in Schultz, someone he does not have any close association with, the secret of the century but never even bothers to tell his wife.

Then we get back to the anonymous archeologist. According to Randle and Schmitt, a Dr. George Agogino was coerced into telling them that he had heard about the anonymous archeologists’ tale and knew the man but he was afraid to reveal himself. However, Tim Shawcross found out that Doctor Agogino states the man is Canadian and that he (the anonymous Canadian Archeologist) never saw the crash but heard of it from people in his crew. It is amazing that they use this very weak testimony as some sort of confirmation. Did the anonymous archeologist work with Dr Holden? Based on Tim Shawcross's statement, it sounds like he did not. What kind of work was he doing? Randle and Schmitt are very silent on this subject. No sense in investigating any further, they have their archeologists to fit into the story. I really think that Randle and Schmitt go out of their way on this one to concoct and UNCONFIRMABLE tale. There is no evidence that Holden and Schultz were even there. British critic, Christopher D. Allan pointed out that "at no point have Randle and Schmitt tried to establish whether the location they claim to be the ‘crash’ site was even known to be...of archaeological interest" (Brookesmith 152). Randle counters that there were plenty of sites in New Mexico to dig. However, where in the immediate vicinity of the crash site (10-20 mile radius) were there any digs or preliminary excavations being conducted? Did Holden, or these other people, just suddenly decide that Roswell offered something for them? Why did they bother to lose an entire Fourth of July weekend so far away from their homes? There isn’t even any record showing that somebody had found something of interest in that area before the incident. Clearly, Dr. Holden would have better luck looking into areas with more promise than the scrublands and desert 35 miles north of Roswell.

As for the USAF report, we discover that it was common to use uniforms appropriate for the desert. Bernard Gildenberg writes that many of the members of his parachute drop retrieval teams wore pith helmets and shorts. He believes that personnel dressed in such attire could have been mistaken for "archeologists" from a distance and thus has generated the "archeologists" portion of the Roswell story.

Schultz also mentioned checkpoints but one must recall that Gildenberg stationed all his retrieval teams on the only north-south road out of Roswell, which was highway 285 (The same road everyone claims seeing military personnel blocking access to the land west of the road). There is a body of evidence that Schultz wasn’t even in Roswell that weekend. Additionally, Philip Klass points out that there would be no need for such highly visible checkpoints and that it would have been easier to place them off the road where they could not be seen and raise suspicion of every passersby. On one hand we must accept that the Army was a perfect machine in covering up the entire event while on the other hand, we must believe they were so stupid as to put all their checkpoints out for everyone to see! Once again, one must wonder about the "facts" behind the stories told in conjunction with the Roswell tale.

The stories about archeologists being involved are tenuous at best and there is no positive indication that Doctor Holden was at the crash site described by Frank Kaufmann. So who are these other witnesses that confirm the crash site? The only other person to have actually seen the crash site, who positively confirms the Kaufmann location, is no longer alive. This adds another chapter to the three-ringed circus that is Roswell.

Works Cited

Brookesmith, Peter. UFO: The Government Files. New York: Barnes & Nobles, 1996.

Carey, Tom. "The Continuing Search for the Roswell Archeologists: Closing the Circle." International UFO Reporter. January/February, 1994

HQ USAF. The Roswell Report: Case Closed. Washington: D.C., US Government, 1997

Pflock, Karl. Roswell in Perspective. Mt. Rainier: Fund for UFO Research, 1995

Randle, Kevin. Conspiracy of Silence. New York: Avon Books, 1997

Randle, Kevin and Donald Schmitt. The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell. New York: Avon, 1994.

 

Chapter 15 - Love in the Desert

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