The story that launched two different affidavits and two different crash sites! (From

Chapter 15: Love in the Desert

By Timothy Printy 1999

One of the most interesting tales to date concerning the Roswell crash has to do with a man attempting to enjoy a camping trip with another man’s wife. The man was a regular Don Juan and while he was enjoying her company, he was "interrupted" by the crashing saucer! This 1947 Casanova was named Jim Ragsdale and his story is one full of passion, treachery, and deceit.

Jim Ragsdale was north of Roswell on the night that Frank Kaufmann states was the night of the crash. He was with a woman named Trudy Truelove (now the name sounds awful fictitious but this is what Jim says her name was). According to Randle and Schmitt, Ragsdale’s family members, who included his wife and mother-in-law, "Grandma Lucky", confirmed the story! Poor Trudy was killed in an automobile accident about a month after the camping trip/UFO crash and was unable to be questioned. Was there even a woman by this name in the Roswell area? Has the obituary been verified? Ragsdale's wife later told reporter William Barrett that after 40 years of marriage (they were divorced in 1994), he "never talked about seeing any bodies until Schmitt came calling in 1993" (Barrett). However, she added that he did mention it one previous time to a friend when he was drunk. Despite the lack of supporting data, Randle and Schmitt accepted his testimony for their book, The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell because it was Jim Ragsdale, who provided the necessary proof to link the crash site to Frank Kaufmann’s claims.

On the night of July 4th, as Jim and Trudy were out camping, they suddenly saw a brilliant flash in the sky following a thunderstorm. Due to weak batteries in their flashlights, Trudy and Jim could not got to where the object supposedly crashed because it was too dark. As the story goes, they could make out the shape of a craft impacted into the side of a cliff. The story told in the book and the story in the interview are interesting because in the transcript of the interview he states there were two spacecraft. Being careful not to "lead" the witness, Don Schmitt responds to this by saying, "Is it possible that because it was hit by lightning that it broke up and part of it went down..." (HQ USAF 216). I am amazed at this line of questioning. Wouldn’t this be considered to be "leading" the witness? Better yet, it sounds like Schmitt is force feeding the witness with his theory. This demonstrates how Schmitt could extricate deathbed confessions from the witnesses.

The next morning, Jim and Trudy head down to the crash area to see the object in the daylight. Trudy was supposedly scared and wanted to leave but Jim pressed on and saw the craft sticking in the side of the cliff at an angle of thirty degrees. He and Trudy picked up some scraps of memory metal and then they noticed the bodies. According to The Truth about the UFO crash at Roswell, Jim Ragsdale describes them as, "...bodies or something laying there. They looked like bodies. They weren't very long...four or five foot long at the most" (Randle and Schmitt Truth 9). When one looks at the full transcript of the interview, we find that Randle and Schmitt are not being totally honest with the reader. Fortunately, the USAF did print the transcript and we find that the actual answer that Ragsdale gave was:

Ragsdale: ...but it was either DUMMIES (My emphasis) or bodies or something laying there...

Ragsdale: One part was kind of buried in the ground...and part of it was sticking out of the ground...about like that (DS: about a 30 degree angle?) Yeah...and I'm sure that was bodies...either bodies or DUMMIES (My emphasis)...

Schmitt: Why do you say DUMMIES (My emphasis)?

Ragsdale: The federal government could have been doing something because they didn't want anyone to know what this was ...THEY WAS USING DUMMIES (My emphasis) in those damned things...they could use remote control. (HQ USAF 215-219)

Now why didn't they print the transcript portion where he thought they were dummies? This is another deliberate attempt for deception on the part of the authors. It sort of makes you wonder about all those "deathbed confessions" and unrecorded interviews!

After looking at the bodies, Jim and Trudy put a few souvenirs in his vehicle and drive off quickly to avoid the approach of the military. Jim describes the convoy in detail:

...It was two or three six-by-six army trucks, a wrecker and everything. Leading the pack was a '47 Ford car with guys in it, MPs in it. He said that one vehicle had a siren, and that was what had first drawn his attention. (Randle and Schmitt Truth 9)

Do these vehicles sound familiar? This and the constant reference to dummies indicate that he was most likely recalling one of those dummy drops. However, Randle and Schmitt bought it hook, line and sinker because Ragsdale was confirming the site picked out by FRANK KAUFMANN. The statements confirm nothing. First, the site selection was a matter of showing pictures to Ragsdale in the hospital and him stating that this looked like the place. Second, the story does not even match Frank Kaufmann’s story. According to Frank, the military arrived before dawn and had to set up lights. Yet Ragsdale had to wait until daylight to get to the spaceship. After dawn, they managed to look around a bit before the military showed up. The authors are ignoring basic flaws in each story to put together a situation that meets their criteria. .

While observing the entire event, Ragsdale notes that the military cleaned up the area of any debris. For those who are familiar with the dummy recovery operations, this was not unusual. Any debris had to be removed because of complaints and legal problems. As for Ragsdale’s prize pieces he picked up, they remained in his vehicle until it was stolen a short time later. The debris was lost with it.

The Jim Ragsdale story does not end with the book The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell. I mentioned treachery. Almost two years after his revealing testimony (less the dummies statements), James Ragsdale changed his mind and said he got the site wrong in his original AFFIDAVIT! He then signs a new affidavit, which puts the site at the new location 53 miles WNW of Roswell. Needless to say, Randle was extremely upset. In his book, The Randle Report, he devotes a whole chapter to good old Jim and describes how money was used to coerce him to change the location. Apparently, Hub Corn, the owner of the Kaufmann site, wanted to share in the revenues by leasing the land to the UFO museum in town for a tourist attraction instead of selling it outright. Hub, and his wife Sheila, make a pretty good profit on their tourist trade and were not about to let it get away ($15 a head). The UFO museum did not want anything to do with this idea and somehow managed to get good old Jim to move the site to some area, which was owned by the US Forest service. Jim got 25% of the proceeds from the entire museum in exchange for a new story, which includes aliens in silver uniforms with tight helmets. Jim removes a helmet off of one of the bodies and describes the aliens and their spacecraft. An even more interesting story and one not bought by author Kevin Randle. However, Jim did mention a route in his original interview that he took that would bring him to the second area instead of Kaufmann’s site. Randle and Schmitt did not pay attention to this and instead felt that Ragsdale may have turned north to their site even though there is no possible way to turn in that direction except by overland drive. An interesting side note in this saga is now that Ragsdale is "persona non grata"; Randle brings up that he described the bodies as dummies.

The man behind the whole enterprise of changing the Ragsdale story around is a man named Max Littell, vice president of Ragsdale productions. This is pretty much run by the entire Littell family and Ragsdale's daughter. The person who notarized the new affidavit was Kathy Weaver who worked with Judy Lott (Ragsdale's daughter) but she states she never saw Jim sign the document. Asked why she notarized the document, she stated it was not good practice but "we do it all the time" (Barrett). On July 1, 1995, about two and a half years after being interviewed by Don Schmitt, Jim Ragsdale died and the following spring a video and a book titled Ragsdale Productions Inc released "The Jim Ragsdale story".

So, it appears that Ragsdale has a new site but it has problems too. William Barret investigated the crash site and asked a lot of questions of the folks who lived in the area. They all stated they never heard of such a thing and knew nothing about it. When Ragsdale's ex-wife stated the burned spot in the ground was caused by a bunch of drunken campers back in 1969 or 1970, Judy Lott (her daughter but I guess they do not get along to well) shot back, "If my mother's lips are moving, she's lying" (Barrett).

The Ragsdale story has been pretty much disowned by Randle. When one couples the USAF report on the matter of dummy drops with Ragsdale’s statements you get a pretty good match. There are even several locations of the dummy drops landing near Roswell. The most interesting ones are just to the NW of Roswell. One is in the vicinity of Ragsdale site #2 and occurred on October 8, 1957, 10 miles east of Picacho, New Mexico. This is close enough to the Ragsdale site to be of interest to pursue. Was Ragsdale confused about the dates and years? Most of the time he was interviewed, Ragsdale was in the hospital and in poor health. Clearly, all parties concerned easily took advantage of him in this state.

The Ragsdale story is unable to confirm any crash north of Roswell. Are there any other witnesses available? Maybe, the local fire department could have responded to the crashing saucer sighted north of Roswell.

Works Cited

Barrett, William P. "Now Where Was it These Aliens Crashed?" Crosswinds Newspaper, August, 1996 Online. Internet. Link no longer available.

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

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


Chapter 16 - Where's the Fire?

Back to Roswell 4F: Fabrications, Fumbled Facts, and Fables index

Return to Roswell: The UFO case that keeps on giving