Lewis Rickett was one of Cavitt's CIC personnel. His story tends to contradict Cavitt but is it accurate? (Randle and Schmitt Truth)
Chapter 18: The joker and the Spaceship
By Timothy Printy Ó 1999
Back during the Jesse Marcel Sr. saga, we glossed over a man named Lewis Rickett. Not only does Rickett support the claim that the debris on the Brazel ranch was extraterrestrial in nature but he also claims to have seen the spaceship that crashed. Rickett, according to popular myth, went out on the day of the press release to the crash site with Sheridan Cavitt. We are told that Rickett made several claims associated with this visit. Cavitt recalls Rickett going out with him to the site but we are not sure when this exactly was. Along the route to the site, Rickett claims that there were checkpoints they had to pass through. This is something Cavitt denies happened. When they arrived, Rickett reports seeing all sorts of debris and huge gouges in the ground. Edwin Easley is there and his clean up efforts are underway. Rickett tests the metal and tries to bend a thin piece of it but can not. This is far different than the materials described by Bill Brazel, Jesse Marcel Sr., and others. All those materials could bend and fold but would spring back to position. In this case, Rickett could not bend it at all. After looking at the surrounding area, Rickett claims that Cavitt told him, "You and I were never out here. You and I never saw this. You don't see any military people or military vehicles out here" (Randle and Schmitt UFO 62-3). However, Cavitts recollections indicate he felt the whole trip was a waste of time and that his conversation may have been more like, "Rickett, this has been a big boondoggle. I don't even want 700 CIC headquarters to know we wasted our time on it. Forget we ever did it" (HQ USAF Attachment 18).
In UFO Crash at Roswell, Rickett seems to be content to talk about debris in the field with a gouge (that Marcel said never existed). However, we learn that Rickett made some other claims later on. In The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell, Rickett now remembers that he saw the crashed spaceship as well. Apparently, these were told during an October 1992 interview (which was not taped and only comes from notes) just before he died. You guessed it, Randle and Schmitt managed to wrangle out another deathbed confession that can not be independently verified by anyone. Ricket described it as "long, thin with a bat-like wing" (Randle and Schmitt Truth 174). Randle states that Rickett states the object was "heel-shaped" and matched Kaufmanns description (Randle Conspiracy 264). However, Ricketts description never described it as "heel-shaped". It was "long and thin" according to Rickett. A far cry from the somewhat compact craft described by Kaufmann. In 2002, Walter Haut signed an affidavit that stated the shape of the craft was not "long and thin" and the shape of the craft was now described as being "egg shaped". Karl Pflock notes that in the later years, Rickett was in very poor health and he got confused easily. Don was pushing Rickett just days before he died to describe the space ship in a way that would confirm the Kaufmann story. I would be curious to see the notes on that interview. As we have seen that these authors can "bend" the testimony of witnesses to their benefit. Now it appears that Rickett's description can not be considered accurate because newer witnesses are now stating the shape was something else.
Rickett adds that Marcel and Cavitt had an argument over the reports that were filed. Marcel, for some reason, wanted to see Cavitts report. Rickett claims that Cavitt refused because he did not have to take orders from Marcel. However, when you ask Cavitt, he states he never wrote any report and the fact that nothing turned up concerning this during the GAO investigation tends to back Cavitt up. An interesting note is that Marcel never mentions this confrontation in any of the interviews he made. Cavitt also mentioned in his interview with Colonel Weaver that Rickett tended to tell some wild tales.
Ricketts participation in this matter does not end with the crash site. According to Rickett, he helped astronomer Lincoln LaPaz determine the location of the crash site. This is in conflict with his other testimony. If he already knew where the craft was because Cavitt took him there, why did he have to get LaPaz to investigate the location of the crashed object? LaPaz was dead by the time Roswell became a big issue. However, LaPaz had told Hynek that he felt the "green fireballs" were the answer to the UFO problem in the 1960s. If LaPaz knew about the UFO crash at Roswell, he certainly would have mentioned it to Hynek and never claimed that the "green fireball" phenomena was anything significant. It does appear that Rickett and LaPaz may have done some scouting around Roswell but not during the year 1947. He supposedly received orders from Colonel Rees at Kirtland AFB but Rees was not stationed at Kirtland until September 1948. This work probably had to do with the "green fireball" phenomena seen in that year. In a memo dated 21 February 1949 from LaPaz to Rees, we read LaPaz mentioning Rickett. He states, "At Roswell where very effective cooperation was provided by the OSI group at Walker AFB under Lt Paul Ryan, and the local CAP unit under Lt H. K. Cobean, special agent Bill Rickett was added to the survey party and gave much aid in later work."(Blackvault Online) The memo specifically mentions a brilliant fireball on January 30, 1949 and efforts to locate any meteorites.
The 1949 document which describes the work of Rickett with La Paz in 1949, not 1947. (Project Grudge)
Rickett apparently confused these events in later years. Rickett also stated that LaPaz spoke "fluent Spanish" when communicating with the locals (Randle and Schmitt UFO 119). This is not true because Karl Pflock received a letter from his daughter and she stated that he could not speak Spanish!
While Ricketts recollections are questionable, one has to compare them with others at RAAF. If you recall Kent Jeffrey discovered that the pilots had no recollections of a crashed spaceship. However, there was one person, who, according to Randle, went to his grave without exposing the greatest secret known to man.
HQ USAF. The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert. Washington: US Government, 1995.
Project Grudge documents "The Black Vault" Online WWW: http://www.blackvault.com
Randle, Kevin. Conspiracy of Silence. New York: Avon Books, 1997
Randle, Kevin and Donald Schmitt. UFO Crash at Roswell. New York: Avon, 1991
---. The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell. New York: Avon, 1994.
Chapter 19 - Here's the Truth!
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