The Roswell Daily record for July 8th, 1947 (Brookesmith 148)

Popular Roswell myths

Timothy Printy July 2002 (Updated July 2003, August 2006, December 2006, July 2008)

Throughout the time I have been reading about Roswell on the Internet, I have discovered many of the Roswell myths being perpetuated. These myths are often produced by incorrect and inaccurate retellings by other individuals. Other methods of producing the popular myths surrounding Roswell are the "second wave" witnesses expounding on stories told by some of the early eyewitnesses. If one looks at the early records and interviews one can see that the popular stories are simply myths with no basis in fact.

Myth #1: The Roswell Army Air Force reported they had recovered a crashed flying saucer

One can trace the origin of this myth back to the original writings about the case. However, the actual press release announces the RAAF only recovered a crashed flying disc and not a "saucer" or a "spaceship". In July of 1947, not even the USAAF had any idea what exactly was the definition of a "flying disc". Nobody did and anything that was unidentified, looked bright/shiny, and went through the air was considered a "disc". One can see an example of such a story at http://www.project1947.com/fig/1947f.htm. In particular, the story of July 8, 1947 from the Roswell Daily Dispatch. It is interesting to see how these "discs" in this one article, which may have been read by Blanchard just before Marcel presented his crashed disc, sound a lot like radar reflectors used with weather balloons.

In 2008, Kal Korff and Kevin Randle got into an argument about this myth. It all surrounded the use of the term "saucer". Just to make it clear, the word "saucer" was widely used in the press but the actual press release used the word "disc". It seems like a small point but both descriptions are very vague. IF the RAAF had recovered an actual alien spaceship. as the proponents suggest, I would think using a vague description such as disc or saucer would have been unlikely. The release would have read something like, "an unknown craft was recovered by RAAF that could be the source of the stories concerning "flying discs/saucers" seen in the skies the last two weeks".

Myth #2: There were metallic I-beams in the wreckage with purple hieroglyphics embossed into them.

This comes from Jesse Marcel Jr. recollections of the materials he held when his father brought them home around 2AM on the morning of the 8th of July. This was reinforced by his father's recollections of purple figures on the beams. However, Jesse Sr. never declared there were I-beams in the wreckage. In fact, in an interview with Linda Corley he stated, "Jesse didn't have that right to begin with...He said they looked like I-beams. But it wasn't... " (Pflock 163). There are a few others who reported I-beams but many did not start saying so until the story about I-beams being in the wreckage had been published.

Additionally, the purple writing on the beams were not embossed on during his initial interviews. Jesse Jr. originally stated in The Roswell Incident these figures were, "imprinted along the edge" (Berlitz and Moore 79) and his father stated these figures "looked like they were painted on" (Berlitz and Moore 72-73). The fact they were embossed is something that was added later in retellings of the story.

Lastly, we have what happened to the debris in the Marcel kitchen that night. After Jesse Sr. picked up most of the debris and put it back in his car, there were some scraps left on the floor. Jesse Sr. did not take any effort to pick these pieces up and Jesse Jr. did not pick up any souvenirs for his collection of whatever twelve-year olds collect. However, Mrs. Marcel did not want this in her kitchen. She grabbed a broom and swept it out the door into the yard! According to Jesse Marcel Jr:

I doubt if all the smaller fragments were picked up from the kitchen, and, indeed, my mother remarked that some of it was probably swept out the back door. (Berlitz and Moore 80)

Does this sound like something was "not of this earth" or does it sound more like something unusual but "earthly" and not too important?

Myth #3: There was a huge gouge in the earth at the Foster ranch pointing towards the second crash site (to the southeast).

The beginning of this myth started in The Roswell Incident. It was the book UFO Crash at Roswell that added new information and based this on the statements of Bill Brazel. According to him, it took some two years for the ground to heal up. Despite this, many witnesses, who were neighbors, never mention a gouge in their interviews. His sister flatly denied such a thing ever existed. Another odd thing is that Bill Brazel did not say anything about a gouge in early interviews for The Roswell Incident.

Statements made by Jesse Marcel Sr. also contradict the gouge:

Whatever it was had to have exploded in the air above ground level. It had disintegrated before it hit the ground. The wreckage was scattered over an area of about three quarters of a mile long and several hundred feet wide. (Berlitz and Moore 69)

...nothing actually hit the ground, bounced on the ground. It was something that must have exploded above ground and fell...scattered all over. Just like you'd explode something above the ground and just fall to the ground... It was traveling from north-east to south-west, it was in that pattern, you could tell where it started and where it ended by how it thinned out. (Pflock 230)

Finally, Sheridan Cavitt, who accompanied Marcel, denies such a gouge existed.

Strangely, many ignore the testimony of Marcel Sr. when it comes to the gouge story. Others contend that the gouge was created AFTER Marcel made his trip to the ranch when the military trying to collect all the debris with the dirt using some sort of plow or digging machine. Most UFOlogists agree that the material was scattered over a wide area and that many soldiers/airmen were used to walk through the area picking every little scrap up. A narrow gouge created by some sort of plowing vehicle makes no sense in this manner. Did they just make one pass and then decide to give up with the plow? This seems like an unlikely explanation and is more of a contrived excuse to explain away this damaging testimony.

Recent investigations in 2002 and 2006 by Professor Bill Doleman at the alleged area of the debris field has yet to uncover any physical evidence of a gouge. Initially a trench in the area produced an anomaly that might be the evidence of a gouge. However, in his final report, Dr. Doleman determined it was more than likely produced by a coyote or a fox. Some have suggested that he is digging in the wrong place but, according to Kevin Randle, it is the location pointed out by Bill Brazel, who claims that this was where the gouge existed. The physical evidence of a gouge does not yet exist and it seems unlikely that it will ever be found, which makes one really question about accounts concerning a gouge!

This myth about a huge gouge in the earth at the Foster Ranch is important because it eliminates the possibility that what was found could have been produced by balloons/radar reflectors. So far, the stories about a gouge have yet to have been proven and are contradicted by many of the primary witnesses (Marcel Sr., Cavitt, Bessie and Mack Brazel) to the debris.

Myth #4: The debris field was large and dense.

This comes from Jesse Marcel Sr and then expounded upon by UFOlogists. However, the senior Marcel did not say the debris field was dense. He used the description of the density was always "scattered". Notice that he does not use terms like densely distributed or material every few feet. The term "scattered" can be interpreted many ways. Interestingly, Mack Brazel in his Roswell Daily Record interview also used this description. The size of the debris field varies between witnesses. Jesse stated it was over an area about 3/4 miles long and Mack/Bessie Brazel described the debris field as less than a fifth of this size. What can be considered is that the original debris field found by Mack/Bessie was a concentration of the bulk of the material. This was collected by the Brazel family as stated in the Brazel interview. When Marcel Sr. arrived, he expanded the search of the area and found more patches of material. This was described in the Fort-Worth Star Telegram article on the 9th of July:

...we spent a couple of hours Monday afternoon looking for any more parts of the weather device. We found a few more patches of tinfoil and rubber. (Klass What 5)

As a result, both were probably right. The debris field may have been large but, as stated in all the interviews by each of these individuals, it was not "densely packed" with debris as some UFOlogists want everyone to believe.

This myth was replayed recently on a program "Best Evidence" for the Discovery Times Channel. An interesting experiment was conducted where they inflated 12 balloons with three radar reflectors and parachute. After shooting out all the balloons, the debris came down, as one might expect, in a clump. UFOlogists quickly endorsed this experiment as proof that an NYU flight could not have produced the Brazel debris field. Of course, the experiment had several flaws that they chose not to recognize:

  1. The experiment was done on a relatively windless day. On June 4th, 1947, winds were blowing at a moderate 10-20 mph. Had they allowed the balloon train to drift as they shot out the balloons, the train would have come down with a horizontal component that would have drug the reflectors/parachute across the terrain.
  2. The terrain shown was relatively smooth with no sharp rocks or plants present, which is one might expect at the Foster ranch.
  3. The reflectors were not left out for any period of time. The actual balloon materials would have been left out for at least ten days before being discovered. Had these reflectors been exposed to sunlight, rain, and wind, they would have been ripped to shreds and decomposed as the elements had their way with them.

Myth #5: Some of the metal could be folded up and immediately spring back into shape.

The origin of this description can be traced back to Bill Brazel's original testimony in The Roswell Incident. Jesse Marcel Jr. never described such properties and he does not recall his father showing him this. In his interviews, Jesse Marcel Sr. did not specifically describe this either. He talked about unbreakable items and things that could not be dented or bent. Later Roswell witnesses would add to the description given by Bill Brazel making it appear that everyone was reporting the same thing. When interviewed in 1997, Bill Brazel clarified his comments about the material returning back to its original shape, "It took some time to do it though" (Rodden 31). The idea that it could be folded up into a ball and immediately return to its original shape is refuted given this information.

Myth #6: Alien Bodies were found

This is what one would expect in a spaceship crash but what evidence is there that there were bodies? The bodies stories start with the The Roswell Incident by giving second hand testimony surrounding Barney Barnett. This testimony was later rejected. Additional testimony from individuals like Jim Ragsdale, Gerald Anderson, Glenn Dennis, and Frank Kaufmann has since been rejected since all were shown to have openly lied about parts of their stories. When it comes down to it, there is very little good primary testimony for dead alien bodies. Most of the testimony relies on stories by people who heard somebody else in the past talking about bodies. Most important is the testimony of the people who should have known about alien bodies.

The presence of alien bodies is brought into question when one examines the testimony of medical personnel present at RAAF at the time. Lorenzo Kimball, who was the RAAF medical supply officer, had talked to Major Comstock, the hospital CO and reported:

Major Comstock lived in the Hospital BOQ, located in the hospital complex. Any unusual activity was immediately reported to him by members of the medical and nursing staff. He told me (this was in 1995 prior to his death in February 1996) that NOTHING of this nature occurred in July 1947 at the Base Hospital. (Kimball Online)

Paul McCarthy also interviewed the only surviving nurse from this time period, Rosemary McManus, who also cast doubt on the existence of alien bodies:

What's more, she told me, she had witnessed nothing to suggest a crash at Roswell or any unusual goings-on at the base hospital. "I had no sense of anything weird happening at all," stated Rosemary Brown, formerly McManus.

Interestingly enough, based on readings in recent years, she felt the crash scenario along with the recovery of bodies was plausible. "I know that something went on, and I know it was very hush-hush. And I know I didn't know anything about it (at the time). It was closed up tight as a drum, you know, by the base officials."

She didn't hear any scuttlebutt about it from base personnel, either. "I can tell you that people who I knew, who were on active duty at that time, if they knew anything, they kept their mouths shut -- you know, the pilots and others. I heard nothing directly." (McCarthy)

Jesse Marcel Sr. denied ever seeing any alien bodies when asked by Linda Corley in 1981. Linda Corley states that Marcel said, "Had there been bodies of aliens in the debris, I would have picked them up and brought them in" (Martin). It is hard to believe that Marcel and the medical staff would have no knowledge of this part of the recovery.

The evaporation of credibility for the primary witnesses (i.e Kaufmann, Dennis, Anderson, Ragsdale, etc.) to aliens (alive or dead) over the years makes one openly question this portion of the Roswell story as nothing more than a myth.

Myth #7: The spaceship was struck by lightning

Originally implied by Bill Brazel in The Roswell Incident. This was later described by Frank Kaufmann, who has since been shown to be lying about his involvement in the event. Research on weather records do not show any severe thunderstorms in the area for the time in question. There is no evidence, other than the words of a few individuals, that a lightning strike caused the spaceship to crash. Again, this is a myth often stated as fact.

Myth #8: The material was unbreakable

This was presented by Jesse Marcel Sr and others in the book The Roswell Incident. The "sledge hammer" test was never seen by Jesse. He was too busy doing other things and only suggested that it had been attempted by some unidentified enlisted men. One has to wonder how such an incredibly strong metal could shatter into thousands of pieces most of them no bigger than a few feet across. An aircraft crash, which uses normal metals, does not disintegrate in this manner when it explodes in the air.

Myth #9: Threats were made by military personnel to civilians.

Made by second generation witnesses to the whole Roswell affair. The following witnesses made comments about threats from military personnel:

  1. Glenn Dennis - Threatened by soldier that he could end up as "dogfood". Story is now considered a falsehood
  2. Frankie Rowe - Threatened to be taken out into the desert and lost if she told her story about seeing the unusual materials. Story is suspect. Pflock's interview of surviving fire fighters did not verify Rowe's claim about her father going to crash site on an emergency call. There are no records of such a trip by the fire department either.
  3. Inez Wilcox - Hearsay testimony from granddaughter Barbara Drugger. Supposedly military threatened to kill Wilcox and all of their family members.
  4. George "Jud" Roberts - Call from Washington DC threatening to shutdown the radio station if they released information about the event along with Mack Brazel's interview. No other radio stations or news media outlets received such threats. Mack Brazel had been interviewed by the Roswell Daily Record with no threat of closing down the paper.

These are the major witnesses to military threats and they do not bring much credibility to the claims of commando style tactics of the US military. Despite a detailed description of the man who threatened her, nobody has ever come forward stating they were the individual and Frankie Rowe has not been able to pick the individual out of the Roswell yearbook as the culprit. In fact, the military makes it clear they do not want their Military Police (MP) interfering with civilians, "Except on military reservations, or where martial rule is in effect, military police have no jurisdiction over civilians who are not subject to military law..." (War Department FM 19-10 9). MPs are so trained and to interfere with civilians and civilian authorities would require some form of formal order that would be documented and clearly defined. In the case of Roswell, this did not happen. In fact, it seems that the MPs acted more like something from The Godfather than a disciplined army unit. Individual soldiers were taking matters into their own hands without any sort of authority. This is also addressed by the military, "Assume no authority beyond that vested in military police" (War Department FM 19-10 7). Anybody who has served in the military would recognize these threats of killing people as more myth than fact

Other statements were that the military swept through news offices to take away evidence of the press release. The stories of a "sweep" are based on one person's statement. Frank Joyce mentions it but then produces copies of the UP wire showing the story as it broke. Why weren't these caught by the "sweep"? Others who operated media outlets in Roswell reported no such action. Again, it is highly unlikely that the MPs would act in such a manner without proper orders and those issuing the orders would have to defend their actions to the upper chain of command. No individuals were disciplined or court-martialed for improper conduct and there are no documents indicating that orders to ransack civilian agencies were given. Again, these stories appear more like a myth than a fact.

Myth #10: Huge security measures were taken to protect the retrieval of the saucer. This included the formation of a "cordon" with "checkpoints" to prevent people from getting to the area.

For the sake of understanding, the military defines a "cordon" and "checkpoints" as the following in 1946:

A check point is a place where military personnel stop all persons and vehicles for identification and/or investigation. A cordon is a series of check points so established around an area that persons and/or vehicles cannot enter or leave the surrounded area without being stopped at one or more check points. (HQ US Zone 50)

The "cordon" story is actually generated by mostly minor witnesses associated with the Roswell story.

  1. William Woody, who recalls driving north of Roswell with his father that weekend and seeing guards at many of the exits:

    About 19 miles north of town, where the highway crosses the Macho Draw, we saw at least one uniformed soldier stationed beside the road. As we drove along, we saw more sentries and Army vehicles. They were stationed at all places--ranch roads, crossroads, etc.--where there was access to leave the highway and drive east or west, and they were armed, some with rifles, others with sidearms...We stopped at one sentry post, and my father asked a soldier what was going on. The soldier, who's attitude was very nice, just said his order were not to let anyone leave 285 and go into the countryside...As we drove north, we saw that the Corona road (State 247), which runs went from Highway 285, was blocked by soldiers. We went on as far as Ramon, about nine miles north of the 247 intersection. There were sentries there too... (Pflock 291-2)

  2. Bertrand Schultz, who reports being in Roswell on business during this time period, saw the elements of the "cordon" north of Roswell during his trip. Records show he was in Nebraska on 10 July. This means the Cordon was in effect before the 10th.
  3. Jud Roberts added that he could not get to the site because he was turned away by a military person, who stated it was a restricted area.
  4. Bud Payne, who lived nearby, recalls trying to get onto the Foster Ranch and running into MPs near the site.
  5. Jason Kellahin reports military personnel at the crash site.
  6. Frank Kaufmann is the source of many reports where the military had sealed the crash site. Frank is a proven hoaxer/liar and his testimony is not to be taken seriously (although some UFOlogists seem to want to cling to bits of his story)..
  7. Bill Rickett described being stopped prior to getting to the debris field when he went out with Sheridan Cavitt on the 8th of July.

It is interesting to point out that, except for the Schultz/Woody testimony, there seems to be not a whole lot of supporting witnesses that state that all exits off the major highway of US 285 north of Roswell were guarded. Some of these witnesses refer to only a few guards interfering with them getting to the debris field and do not mention the massive use of guards at all the exits. Still, many UFOlogists take the Schultz/Woody testimony to imply just that. This seems rather odd and one can only assume by this line of reasoning, that the "cordon" would have to extend in a 360 degree arc around the Foster Ranch in order to prevent people from getting to the site. If one looks at a map for this type of "cordon" one can see great difficulties. One must assume the military would seal off all exits of major highways leading to the Foster ranch. This includes the north, south, and western approaches as well as the east. There are a total of at least 12 major exits off of the highways but there are many more minor exits and side roads (On 285 alone, there are roughly a dozen such exits in the area defined by William Woody). Below is a map showing how the checkpoints (in red) would be established to "cordon" off the debris field from all major roads.

1946 Conoco oil map of the region. The red lines depict the checkpoints needed to seal off the Foster Ranch. (Conoco)

Now this methodology seems ridiculous in nature but it shows the level of absurdity for the "Woody-Schultz" cordon testimony. In reality it would have been far easier and more secretive to see the checkpoints established in two or three locations (as defined in blue). Even if one does not consider the methodology of sealing off the major roads to the south and west as shown above, there are still a dozen minor/major exits off of US 285 between the Macho Draw and Ramon. Manning such a "cordon" as well as conducting all the other operations requires an extensive use of manpower.

  1. 24-36 MPs to man a dozen checkpoints at the "cordon". This is based on the requirements to man checkpoints, "Normally the personnel of a check point will consist of two or more men, depending on the purpose, the length of time the post will be maintained, and the opposition or evasion to be expected" (United States Zone 50). Also one must consider the requirements for standing guard, "As soon as the new guard relieves the old guard at the guardhouse it is divided into three parts called "reliefs" . These reliefs are rotated so that each member of the guard has 2 hours on duty followed by 4 hours off duty..." (War Department FM 21-100 135). As a result each checkpoint should have been manned by three or more MPs.
  2. Each checkpoint would have to be relieved by a second group of men after 24 hours, "The length of tour of guard duty is 24 hours. at the end of time the "old guard" is relieved by the "new guard" of the same size" (War Department FM 21-100 135). This brings the total up to 48-72 MPs.
  3. In addition to the "cordon", there would have to be at least 2-3 more inner checkpoints leading to the debris field. This adds 8-18 more MPs as guards if they were at the debris field for more than 24 hours.
  4. Then there are the MPs at the debris field/second site making sure everyone is doing their job and not collecting a few personal souvenirs. Add a dozen MPs for this job.
  5. MPs were required to go through town collecting information from news media outlets and threatening anyone who might have seen something. This would be a small group of about 4-6 MPs.
  6. MPs were required to escort the bodies/disc to its next location. This would require another 4-6 MPs.

As a result, the base Provost Marshal, Edwin Easley, had to coordinate the efforts of about 100 men off base in order to control the Roswell UFO problem. Is it possible that he could have done so?

Stationed at Roswell was the 1395th MP company (aviation) for base security. According to Military Police Manual, this company had the responsibility, "...of providing security for the installations and personnel, and maintaining law and order among military personnel" (War Department FM 19-5 2). One might add concerns with nuclear security regulations at the only base with crews trained to drop atomic bombs even though there were no atomic weapons on base (most if not all the country's nuclear stockpile at the time was up near Los Alamos). The standard compliment for such a company was about 120 men and a few officers. While the exact manpower levels in July 1947 are not known, the 1945 Tinian Roster indicates 127 personnel including officers (http://www.childrenofthemanhattanproject.org/VET_TABLES/509%20Composite/1395%20MPC/table_4CG_01.htm). This brings up a very important issue. How could Easley maintain base security for Roswell Air Field with almost his entire command off base? In addition to all those on duty, were all leaves canceled and were the walking sick requested to man some of the checkpoints or base posts? There are no records of such activity found in the history of the RAAF and morning reports of the base. Additionally, there are no recollections by base personnel of being called in over or after the 4th of July weekend to pull double duty to support the "cordon". So where did Easley get the necessary personnel to man the "cordon", maintain base security, threaten civilians, escort/guard crates and clean up the debris field/crash site?

Common Roswell folklore is that the base acquired multiple personnel from the auxiliary units like the cooks, clerks, and motor pool. This is possible but, again, we are faced with the lack of records showing this use of manpower. Also, we are left with the odd response by many of those on base, who were unaware of such actions being taken. This included Walter Haut, who stated, when asked by Don Schmitt about unusual activity on base indicating a recovery, "Not that was known to the average people. Carry this one step further. It was never mentioned in a staff meeting. And I used to sit in all the staff meetings" (Randle and Schmitt 142). If the average person did not know about their fellow soldiers being sent out into the desert, it seems that such use of additional manpower was very limited to just a few individuals or it just never happened.

In a rather interesting comment, Kevin Randle suggested that the air base had an extra compliment of MPs for such a task, "Easley alerted me to the fact that there were two MP units on the base. That is, one besides the 1395th MP Company" (Randle Re: Korff Online). Strangely, Randle is quiet about this other unit's designation and the 1994 AF report makes no reference to any other MP company. According to a history of the AAF military police,

Down sizing and manpower shortages plagued the AAF Military Police units after the end of the war, as they lost their most experienced personnel, leaving behind the young and inexperienced in undermanned units, with officers and NCOs in command, who had little or no police training at all. (Newton)

This was common throughout the military at the time with Army Air Force manpower being drastically reduced from wartime levels of millions of men to just over 300,000 in 1947. According to a history of the Strategic Air Command:

The 509th Composite group had dropped the two atomic bombs on Japan and many regarded it as the nation's most important strategic air unit.  It was not spared.  In January of 1946, it was stationed Roswell AAB, New Mexico.  Drastic cutbacks in manpower and support had an enormous impact.  It could barely keep it's  bombers in the air to maintain even minimal pilot proficiency.  (Broyhill)

Considering this manning issue problem, Easley should have counted himself lucky if the 1395th was even at full strength without even considering an additional "mystery" MP company. Perhaps Randle was trying to confirm the existence of Frank Kaufmann's secret commando group/collection of MPs from surrounding bases through Easley. We don't have a quote by Easley but it is likely that he might have made some sort of comment that Randle interpreted to mean there was another unit. In 1997, Kevin Randle was willing to believe Frank Kaufmann's story and anything that could confirm it. However, in 2002, he had to admit that Kaufmann (like Jim Ragsdale, Don Schmitt, and Glenn Dennis) had fooled him for over a decade. Many of Randle's conversations with Easley were not taped/recorded and we are stuck with, "Kevin Randle said that Easley told him..." Baseless claims of mysterious units that can not be identified appear more like shades of Frank Kaufmann's bizarre scenario rather than anything based in fact.

When there seemed to be no evidence of the mystery MP company, Randle would change this to suggest that 390th Air Service Squadron under the direction of Major Easley was used to guard the base while the 1395th was out scaring civilians, guarding the debris field, and manning check points. I have seen this unit called the 390th Air service group and, according to the wikipedia entry, was composed of the 603rd Air Engineering Squadron (Specializing in plane repair/modification), the 1027th Air Material squadron (ordinance and supply), and other base support units. However, the base history calls it the 390th air service squadron and it was commanded by Lt. Col. Walter Lucas. One would think that the history of the 509th would have stated that Major Easley needed to assume temporary command of the unit or the unit was used to assist in guard duties during the early part of July. However, the unit history is silent about any significant activity (possibly they were involved in the inspection being conducted at the time by the 8th AF). The important thing to recognize is that the 390th was not a security unit and its function was to provide support services to the bomb group. It almost sounds like Randle is stating the same story told over the years. That being that the hard pressed MP company was required to enlist cooks, medics, airplane mechanics, clerks, dishwashers, truck drivers, etc. to help guard the base as well as retrieve all the debris! I am sure these personnel had some military training and could stand guard duty but there is no evidence that a massive number of personnel were required to stand extra guard duty or were assigned to tasks outside their normal duties. Randle just states it matter-of-factly with no evidence to back it up. Once again, one has to wonder why Haut, who stated he was at all the staff meetings and was aware of what happened on base, was completely unaware of this major redistribution of personnel.

Based on the limited manpower available and the lack of any records for a widespread use of personnel, it seems that security off base probably was not as extensive as claimed by the crashed UFO proponents. Additionally, the idea of a "cordon" is also directly, or indirectly, refuted by many witnesses.

  1. Bill Brazel had easy access to the Foster Ranch when he came to find his father around the 10th. Either the "cordon" was gone by then or it did not exist.
  2. Mack Brazel had no problems getting through the "cordon" to report his find in Roswell on the 7th (or the 6th depending on the timeline). If the cordon existed, then they would have stopped him (the "Cordon" works both ways as one can see in the definition) if he had any debris from a crashed spaceship and/or probably would have had him escorted directly to the base.
  3. Jesse Marcel Sr. reported no "cordon" or interference on his drive to the Foster ranch on the 7th (or the 6th depending on the time line) and back on the morning of the 8th. This is after or during the time that Woody was seeing all the soldiers guarding the exits. This implies that no "cordon" was in effect until after the morning meeting of the 8th at the earliest.
  4. Floyd Proctor had no problems driving down to Roswell and back to see Mack Brazel being escorted around town starting on the 8th (or later depending on when you choose to believe Brazel was in custody of the military or Walt Whitmore Sr.).
  5. Sheridan Cavitt states there was no such "cordon".
  6. Loretta Proctor never mentioned military personnel interfering with trips on and off their ranch.
  7. The fire department (according to Frankie Rowe's story) had no problem reaching the crash site after being alerted. The "cordon" would have stopped them.
  8. The archeologists (whoever they were) had no difficulty reaching the crash site despite the "cordon".
  9. Walt Whitmore Sr. had no difficulty in getting up to the Foster Ranch and bringing Mack Brazel back to town.

If this isn't enough to make one wonder if there ever was a "cordon", one has to look at the primary testimony for a "cordon". As shown above the idea of a huge "cordon" on 285 does not make much sense as far as manpower is concerned. William Woody's detailed description of the "cordon" has to be openly questioned when one recalls that he was 14 at the time yet he could not remember the exact date of the events in question. Additionally, he states his father determined from this one observation that it was a meteorite that must have fallen 40 miles north of town. The use of an exact distance by his father seems ridiculous and indicates that he was "catering" to those wanting specific information to verify the Kaufmann site in the same general location. Considering the above witnesses abilities to get to and from the Foster ranch and/or the second site, Woody's testimony becomes suspect.

The other primary witness to the US 285 "cordon" has to be openly questioned when one considers some details. Bertrand Schultz stated he saw the "cordon" when he drove into town on business (according to Crary) and/or as he drove out of town (according to Randle). However, he drove to and from Nebraska and would have most likely taken the US-70 road to enter/exit town. Taking US 285 north would result in him driving to the northwest and then using secondary roads to get back to the direction of Nebraska. As a result of driving via US-70, his distance traveled on US 285 would only be about 4 miles. The only point he could have seen guards would have been on State Road 48. Additionally, because he had to be back into Nebraska by the 10th (where he is recorded to be performing a dig), he would have had to start his 800 mile trip home sometime on the 8th. Realize that this is 1947 when there were no interstates and speed limits were not that high (the NM map from 1946 that I have states the speed limit was 45 mph on highways). The departure time on the 8th probably would have been in the morning, which brings up the possibility that Schultz never could have seen the "cordon" at all because:

  1. Jesse Marcel Sr. never mentions a cordon when he drove back to the base on the morning of the 8th.
  2. Walt Whitmore Sr. seems to have had no problem making it out to pick up Mack Brazel on the morning of the 8th.

This, along with the probability of using US-70 to travel to and from Nebraska, suddenly make the Schultz story seem highly suspect.

References to military personnel stationed along major roads and establishing widespread security throughout the region seem to be inflated claims based on all of this information. What may be more likely is that a few personnel were sent to see if any remains were at the Foster Ranch on the afternoon of the 8th and, possibly, the 9th. Over thirty years later, a few civilians, who happened to brush into these soldiers/officers, recall something far greater than what actually happened. As an end result the maximum security effort becomes a myth accepted as fact. In reality, it seems highly unlikely that Easley dispersed his command away from his primary responsibility of providing security for Roswell Army Air Base without any form of documentation showing he did so.

Myth #11: There are hundreds of eyewitnesses to the events at Roswell

Authors of the Pro-saucer crash books claim to have interviewed hundreds of witnesses but when one examines closely the number of witnesses presented this value rapidly dwindles. Interviewing hundreds of witnesses and the number of witnesses to the actual events are two different things. According to Karl Pflock, there are only 41 individuals on record to have been actual witnesses to the events in question. Of these only 23 can be considered to have actually come in contact with the debris and only 7 actually state seeing unusual properties in this debris. Many of the 41 witnesses Karl lists were not even interviewed. After examining the list of witnesses in most of the books, I could only find about fifty or so, primary witnesses or witnesses that might have had knowledge of the events. Out of these 50, some stated they saw nothing unusual or have been shown to have fabricated much of their testimony.

Interestingly that in all the books, we are given lists of primary, secondary, and hearsay witnesses but we are not exposed to the individuals who stated they knew or saw anything unusual. This was addressed by Kent Jeffrey when he talked to bombardiers and pilots of the 509th, who were stationed there at the time,

The men who were at Roswell during July 1947 feel very strongly that absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happened and that the whole matter is patently ridiculous. The 509th was the only atomic bomb group in the world in 1947 and was composed of a very elite group of individuals, most of whom still feel a definite sense of pride in their former outfit. To them, the crashed-saucer nonsense, along with all the hullabaloo and conspiracy theories surrounding it, makes a mockery of and is an insult of the 509th Bomb Group and its men. (Randle Roswell 173)

The argument against these individuals is that they had no "need to know". It is an odd argument when one realizes the vast amounts of manpower that would be required to man the "cordon", clean up the crash site and debris field, terrorize civilians, and ferry tons of debris to secret locations. Somehow, these pilots, who would have been curious about strange events happening on and off base, were completely oblivious to all of it. The myth of hundreds of witnesses is shattered when one realizes that a great number of witnesses report nothing unusual at all.

Myth #12: Mack Brazel was programmed to provide the description he made to the Roswell Daily Record.

This was presented by authors of the books when it was obvious that Mack Brazel's words were very damaging. Bill Rickett is the source of one statement that Mack was being programmed and the Provost Marshall stated Brazel was a guest on base for some time. However, one must examine what is known about Brazel's whereabouts during the time between Jesse Marcel Sr. leaving the ranch and Mack's arrival 24 hours later at the Roswell Daily Record. Reading the article, one sees that Brazel was in the company of Walt Whitmore Sr. Additional testimony by Walter Haut, Jud Roberts, and Walt Whitmore Jr all confirm that Walt Whitmore Sr had brought Mack into town and was putting Mack up at his home. If Mack was with Walt Whitmore Sr during this time period, how was it possible for the military to program Mack Brazel? When faced with such details one must consider the "programming" idea is a myth generated to explain away Mack Brazel's rather damaging (and earthly) description of the debris he found.

Several witnesses reported seeing Brazel being escorted around town days after the event. However, one has to wonder, why the military would escort Brazel around town when he was safe right on base in the guest house? Most military bases have all the necessities of living right at the base PX (BX or NEX depending on branch of service). There was no need to take Brazel into town (if the military was programming him/holding him hostage) other than to tell the story to the media and that is known to have occurred on the 8th of July and not days after the event!

Crashed alien spaceship proponents like to point one comment by Brazel that supposedly eliminates the NYU balloon project explanation. Brazel stated, "Brazel said that he had previously found two weather observation balloons on the ranch, but that what he found this time did not in any way resemble either of these" (Brookesmith 158). The argument is that if he knew what a weather balloon looked like, then he could have determined that the materials were weather balloon in nature and not make a big deal of it. However, this argument is false in that the difference between a single weather balloon being sent aloft and a 600-foot long train of multiple balloons, multiple radar reflectors, and various other items (such as rings, parachutes, etc) attached. The amount of resultant debris from an NYU flight is significant and far more than one would expect from a single weather balloon that Brazel had recovered on other occasions. It is easy to see how Brazel/Marcel may have drawn the conclusion that it was the remains of one very large balloon lifting some sort of tin foil and wood construction. This is apparently what Brazel meant when he stated that it wasn't like a weather balloon.

Myth #13: The message in General Ramey's hand describes "victims" from the crash.

One should reference myth #6 for this one. However, like a bad penny, the alien bodies keep turning up. In one of the photographs taken at Fort Worth, General Roger Ramey is shown holding a document with wording on it. Wording found in this "document" vaguely looks like the word "victims" and have been presented by several UFOlogists to show that there was a crash of an alien craft. The wording is not clear at all and the interpretation can be highly subjective. For instance, another interpretation could be that it is not "victims" but "remains". All the letters are very blurry and some are not clear at all. When Kevin Randle subjected the photograph of the document to visual inspection by an untainted pool of observers who knew nothing of where it came from, not one reported seeing the word "victims". He concluded, "The real point here, however, is that the word "Victims" is not clearly legible to those who have not been told that it appears in the memo, or told where to look" (Randle Re: Last Online). Despite this experiment, UFOlogists keep repeating that the document definitely describes "victims" as a certainty, which is not the case. Without any further verification, stating this is a description of the bodies retrieved from a spaceship crash is a myth based on sketchy reading of vague marks in a photograph.

Myth #14: There was another crash site, in addition to the Foster ranch debris field, which was discovered before Marcel went to the debris field. This is where the bodies and actual spacecraft were found.

General Dubose stated General McMullen in Washington DC and 8th AF knew nothing about the crashed disc until it was announced in the press. This means that no second crash site was found until after the press release had been issued on the 8th of July. If there were a crash of a spaceship over the Fourth of July weekend that year, Washington and Fort Worth would have known long before the press release had been issued. Additionally, Major Marcel states nothing about a second crash site on his trip to the Foster Ranch despite him being the principal witness regarding the recovery of materials there. All of the alternate crash site witnesses state they were at the second site on the July 4th weekend. Most, if not all, of these primary witnesses for the alternate crash sites have been refuted as liars. The second crash site is a myth until good solid evidence is provided to show otherwise.

In August/December 2006, I added a few more myths based on a barrage of emails I received from an individual, calling himself SkyEagle (He did not reveal his identity to me even when I asked for it but it appears his name is Aubrey Matthews), who claimed to have done a lot of research on the subject. Instead, he simply cut and pasted a lot of other people's work and presented it as his own opinion. It became apparent that his opinion was based on a certain point of view.

Myth #15. The US Air Force keeps changing it's story about what was found.

This is a myth generated by a lot of individuals who have never read any of the reports issued by the USAF and therefore, think they keep changing their story. In reality, the Air Force never has changed its official story for what was found on the Foster Ranch. However, according to this myth, the USAF has changed it four times. They are:

  1. Crashed flying disc
  2. Weather balloon
  3. Project Mogul
  4. Dummies

The first item was not even an official USAF (then the USAAF) statement. It was a press release issued under the authority of a local commander based on what they thought they had recovered. The first OFFICIAL statement was that of General Ramey, who stated they had found weather balloon equipment. That was the official version for almost fifty years. In 1994, because of an investigation by the GAO, the USAF conducted an investigation into the matter and stated that the identification of the material as weather balloon equipment was correct. However, they added that the source of this equipment was from a cluster of balloons flown by a team of New York University engineers in connection with a top secret project called MOGUL. Ramey had correctly identified what was found but he may or may not have known the source. The USAF had just identified the source. In 1997, the USAF issued another report concerning what may have produced the alien body stories and specifically addressed the tall tales of Glenn Dennis. However, the USAF never changed what they had found in 1994. They STILL STATED that the source of the debris on the Brazel ranch was from the NYU project. So, the USAF NEVER changed their story (unless you include the initial report of a flying crashed disc which was a misidentification). They only added more information for those concerned. To summarize:

  1. RAAF reports they found a crashed disc (but what was a flying disc? See myth #1)
  2. General Ramey at Fort Worth points out that what had been found was a weather balloon and RAWIN target.
  3. In 1994, the USAF states that the weather balloon and RAWIN target were CORRECTLY identified by General Ramey and Irving Newton. However, they clarified that it had come from one of the NYU flights out of Alamogordo, NM in conjunction with Project MOGUL. The material was still weather balloon equipment, it only clarifies that the equipment was not from a normal weather balloon.
  4. In 1997, the USAF STILL states that the 1994 report was correct but that, after some further research, they felt that reports of alien bodies (which was not addressed in 1994) could be reasonably explained. They determined that it was not entirely implausible for some of the reports to be from witnesses to dummies in parachutes being dropped from extremely high altitudes during the 1950s. Other reports could have been generated by several other incidents that occurred on or around RAAF/Walker AFB during the same decade.

Myth #16. The US Military/government purposefully destroyed all RAAF message traffic related to the Roswell Incident to cover up any information regarding the incident.

This was generated by congressman Stephen Schiff in reaction to the news that outgoing message traffic for Roswell air base from October 1946 to December 1949 was missing. These records were supposed to be retained according to the GAO but were, for some unknown reason, destroyed. However, Chief Archivist at the National Personnel Records Center, W. G. Siebert, disagreed and pointed out that their destruction was in accordance with regulations. The only problem was that nobody bothered to document when the records were destroyed. The final wording of the GAO report read,

The center's Chief Archivist stated that from his personal experience, many of the Air Force organizational records covering this time period were destroyed without entering citation for the government disposition authority. Our review of records control forms showing the destruction of other records - including outgoing RAAF messages for 1950 supports the Chief Archivist's viewpoint. (US Government Online)

What is never mentioned by those propping this myth up is that all the message traffic for Fort Worth and Wright Field was located and there were no messages related to the incident. The real reason for the destruction of the message traffic was that it was routine and somebody lost the paperwork describing when/how the items were destroyed. Even if these records were never destroyed and found during the GAO investigation, UFOlogists would have claimed that the real communications in regards to a spaceship crash would have been destroyed secretly in order to continue the cover-up. The US government was damned as being involved in a crashed UFO cover-up no matter what the GAO found.

Myth #17: It has been scientifically proven that NYU flight #4 could not have made it to the Foster Ranch.

David Rudiak has NOT stated this myth but it has now has been interpreted by others as a matter of fact that the winds would not support a trajectory towards the Foster Ranch. What many have missed is that, at one point, David Rudiak created a possible track that put the flight on the ranch. Rudiak has tried to demonstrate on his web site that Professor Moore falsified data in order to create a "force fit trajectory" that put the flight on the ranch. As I stated in my response to this argument, Rudiak has taken extremes in describing/attacking Professor Moore's work. Additionally, the winds were blowing towards the northeast from Alamogordo on June 4th, 1947 (the date of flight #4's launch). This means the flight would have started off in the general direction of the Foster Ranch. Exactly what trajectory it took (either Rudiak's model, Moore's path, or some other path) is really difficult to determine. However, when one takes into consideration the wind direction, the material reported by Mack/Bessie Brazel, what is shown in the photographs at Fort Worth, as well as a few other coincidences, it seems likely that flight #4 did make it to the Foster Ranch.

Myth #18. Mack Brazel was interred at Roswell Army Air Base for a week.

This is generated by one interview and then amplified by others. That person was Bill Brazel who originally stated in The Roswell Incident,

...they had shut him up in a room and wouldn't let him out. He was very discouraged and upset about the way they had treated him. They even gave him a complete "head-to-foot army physical. (Berlitz and Moore 85)

It has been interpreted that the military had Mack for the entire week because Bill Brazel later would state that Mack returned back to the ranch the following week. However, this information is contradicted in several accounts. For instance, on the evening of July 8th, Mack told his story to the local media and it wasn't the military who brought him to the news office. It was Walt Whitmore Sr who had gone out to the ranch and brought Mack into town. This is confirmed by his son, who stated that he recalled Mack spending time at the house for several days. Walter Haut also confirms this with the following information:

...Walt Whitmore had practically kidnapped him (Brazel). Walt was an old, old time newspaperman. You never could quite tell whether everything he was saying was all the truth ...I think the rumor was that Walt was moving him from place to place. This was a big...it’s a much more interesting story when you move a man from place to place...To my knowledge. I did not know he had been on base. (Randle and Schmitt UFO 143)

Finally, Bill Brazel's story seems to have been clarified in 1997, when he told UFO Magazine, "If I recall correctly, he was released after three days" (Rodden 30)

So, it wasn't a week but a few days. Apparently, Brazel spent the first half of the week with Whitmore, who seemed to be interested in creating some sort of spectacular story. Only when Whitmore was tired of taking care of Mack, did he turn him over to the military so they could return him to his ranch. Mack Brazel may or may not have spent time on base but it certainly wasn't a week.

Myth #19. Mack Brazel found the debris in early July (most myths state the 3rd).

This is based on two items. The first is the RAAF press release which stated, "THE DISC LANDED ON A RANCH NEAR ROSWELL SOMETIME LAST WEEK"(Pflock 245). The second is the report in the Roswell Daily Record, which describes the sighting of the Wilmots on the evening of July 2nd. Supposedly, this was the UFO that crashed and UFOlogists often link the two items together.

The real story was told over the UPI news wires and later reported by Mack Brazel and Jesse Marcel Sr. to the news media.

MACK BRAZEL: Brazel related that on June 14 he and an 8 year-old son, Vernon, were about 7 or 8 miles from the ranch house of the J. B. Foster ranch, which he operates, when they came upon a large area of bright wreckage made up of rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks.(Brookesmith 158)

UPI News wire: SHERIFF GEORGE WILCOX (CORRECT) OF ROSWELL WAYS THAT THE DISC WAS FOUND ABOUT THREE WEEKS AGO BY A RANCHER BY THE NAME OF W. W. BRIZELL ON THE FOSTER RANCH NEAR CORONA, ABOUT 75 MILES NORTHWEST OF ROSWELL NEAR THE CENTER OF MEXICO. (Pflock 246)

Jesse Marcel Sr. - Brazell, whose ranch is 30 miles from the nearest telephone and has no radio, knew nothing about flying disks when he found the remains of the weather device scattered over a square mile of his property three weeks ago. (Klass What 5)

The information in the press release appears to have been repeated in several stories and on some news wires giving the conflicting stories. However, the initial information used to write the release may have generated this error and when the particulars were pursued by the media, it became clear that the actual date was in mid-June.

What Brazel would state in his interview probably cleared up the idea about how the "last week" idea had come about. In the interview, Brazel reported that he and his family had picked up the debris on July 4th (i.e. "last week"). This information may have been misinterpreted by Marcel/Haut that this was when they had found the debris. The real date of discovery was June 14th, only ten days after the NYU project launched flight #4.

Myth #20: Mack Brazel brought debris with him for everyone to see on his initial trip to Roswell. This material was then sent to Washington from Roswell via Fort Worth according to General Dubose.

The July 9th edition of the Albuquerque Journal confirms this, "Wilcox said he did not see the object…" (Albuquerque Journal Online). Both papers may have gotten this information straight from the news wires which at 3:42 PM Mountain time on the 8th stated: BRIZELL DID NOT BRING THE OBJECT TO THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE, BUT MERELY DROVE THE 75 MILES FROM THE RANCH TO ROSWELL TO REPORT HIS FINDING (Pflock 248). Confirming all of this is Bill Brazel, who has recently stated, "Dad had to go to Roswell on business, and got in touch with the military while he was there. HE DID NOT TAKE ANY OF THE MATERIAL WITH HIM (My emphasis)" (Rodden 30).

Additionally, we have the stories told by Frank Joyce. He never mentions seeing any debris and not bothering to go over and look at it if it were there. All he mentions is talking to Brazel on the phone. Even more curious is that the military was unaware of Brazel's arrival at this point. Why didn't Joyce suddenly report the event right away? Instead, Joyce reported nothing. If debris had been brought in, one would think Joyce or Wilcox would have gotten somebody to take a photograph of it. In fact, it is interesting that with all these people supposedly seeing and handling the debris before it even arrived at RAAF, not one individual bothered to take a photograph of it. I guess cameras and film were in short supply in Roswell.

Final clarification of how Dubose thought the date was a few days before the 8th can be found in his affidavit:

(5) In early July, I received a phone call from Maj. Gen. Clements McMullen, Deputy Commander, Strategic Air Command. He asked what we knew about the object which had been recovered outside Roswell, New Mexico, AS REPORTED IN THE PRESS (My emphasis). I called Col. William Blanchard, Commander of the Roswell Army Air Field and directed him to send the material in a sealed container to me at Fort Worth. I so informed Maj. Gen. McMullen. (Pflock 257)

This indicates the story about the debris making it to Fort Worth BEFORE Marcel arrived is completely incorrect. Dubose was completely unaware of the Roswell flying disc until the media had alerted McMullen. Since McMullen and Dubose were unaware of the events until the media activity, then the only time the debris could have been delivered was on the 8th and that was the day Marcel flew in with the debris, which produced the famous Ramey press conference and photo shoot.

Myth #21: Mack Brazel showed up in Roswell on the Sunday the 6th of July.

This is based mostly on the testimony of Jesse Marcel Sr., who had stated they spent the night at the Foster Ranch. The only way this was possible was for Brazel to have shown up on the 6th of July. To add to the confusion, some of the media reported that Brazel arrived in town the day before yesterday on the date of the press release, which would mean the 6th. However, when exact dates for his arrival are given by the media of the time, it is listed as Monday the 7th.. To further confuse everyone, Marcel, in one interview, changed the date from the 6th to the 7th. In The Roswell Incident he states, "We heard about it on July 7 when we got a call from the county sheriff’s office" (Berlitz and Moore 69). This continues to be the problem with the Marcel testimony. Despite being interviewed by numerous UFOlogists, nobody asked him point blank if it was a Monday or a Sunday that Mack Brazel came into town. This seems to be a common theme in these interviews. That being, "tell me a story Jesse and I will ask no difficult questions and believe everything you tell me".

Probably most important are the exact words of Brazel, Marcel and the local media once the details were sorted out that July. For instance, the Roswell Daily Dispatch (Roswell's morning paper) stated on July 9th, 1947:

The furor started MONDAY (emphasis added), when W. W. Brazel, a rancher living on the old Foster place, 25 miles southeast of Corona, came into the office and reported finding an object which fitted the descriptions of the flying discs…. (emphasis added). (Klass 91)

When interviewed for the Fort Worth newspaper, Marcel is recorded as stating:

'Brazell then hurried home, and bright and early Sunday, dug up the remnants of the kite and balloon,' Marcel continued, `and on Monday headed for Roswell to report his find to the sheriff.' (Klass What 5)

Of course, the Roswell Daily Record stated, based on Brazel's testimony, that:

Monday he came to town to sell some wool and while here he went to see Sheriff George Wilcox and "whispered kinda confidential like" that he might have found a flying disk. (Brookesmith 158)

Finally, Frank Joyce, during his interviews indicated it was Monday the 7th that Brazel showed up in town. According to Randle and Schmitt, "The next day, according to Joyce, Walter Haut, the PIO from the base, arrived at the station with a press release" (Randle and Schmitt 135). This being the day after Brazel came into town the first time. So there are two dates that are stated when Brazel came into town to report his discovery. Based on the story told to the press, Brazel arrived in town and everyone was at work and not at home or church! The Sheriff was in his office, Frank Joyce was at the station, and Marcel was at the officer's club enjoying his lunch. Additionally, Bill Brazel stated his father checked with the weather office that day who directed him to the Sheriff. Marcel would also add in one interview that Brazel had errands to run before they departed town. Would all these locations be open or people readily available on a Sunday in 1947? Additionally, Marcel was a senior officer and was not the Officer of the Day so there would have been no need for him to be on base. This makes it most likely that the date in question was not the 6th but the 7th.

The arrival of Brazel into town on the 7th is considered to be unlikely by Roswell crashed UFO proponents because of the thirty-year old recollections of Marcel, which stated they had arrived too late to see anything that evening. However, if Marcel, Cavitt and Brazel left between 1 and 2 PM, they could have driven up to the ranch, which was roughly 100 road miles away (about half of which was on paved road), in three hours. This puts their arrival time at 4 to 5 PM, which is over two hours before sunset (roughly 7:20PM). This is what was described by Marcel and Brazel in their interviews on the 8th. So the arrival on the 7th is not unlikely because of the timeline involved.

The arguments made about this and myths #19 and #20 have been generated by reciting news media reports that were probably inaccurate at the time and used to back up the thirty-year recollections of Jesse Marcel Sr, who could not even remember the year the event happened when first questioned on the subject. The initial confusing reports are then twisted around to suggest that it was all an elaborate cover story being generated on the spot and distributed by the military in order to cover up the details surrounding the retrieval of a real crashed alien spaceship.

Myth #22: There is a message from the War Department ordering Fort Worth and all other bases to explain flying saucers as weather balloon radar reflectors.

This is a myth generated by the same individual, who emailed me and has frequented numerous discussion boards presenting this as fact when it really is a gross misrepresentation of the message in question. The actual message can be found at the project 1947 web site. In this myth, the last sentence of the message is omitted by the individual in question. This line clearly states it involved communications with Tony Gaston, the news editor of WKZO radio in Michigan. It is hard to see how a secret military order would include a news editor for a radio station in Michigan.The truth is that Gaston apparently was inquiring about radar reflectors shortly after it had been revealed that these reflectors were what Marcel had brought to Fort Worth. The time tag is also important since it indicates the message was transmitted at 1015PM (CST or EST). The message was transmitted long after the press conference held by General Ramey hours before indicating it was not an order to use radar reflectors as a cover story. I attempted to explain this to the person in question but he just kept repeating over and over that it was a message from the war department ordering all military commands to use this explanation for any recovered UFOs.

The reason I included this myth is because I fear that people will see the statements on these message boards and not bother to look at the real message. As a result they will repeat this nonsense as a fact and not the myth it actually is.

Myth #23: Take your pick concerning NYU flight #4, the likely source of the Foster Ranch debris:

Flight #4 was never launched and just the balloons were released as a "service flight". Like Myth #22, this is a recent addition by the same individual. The key revolves around Dr. Crary's journal entry on the 4th of June 1947:

Jun 4 Wed. Out to Tularosa Range and fired charges between 00 and 06 this am. No balloon flights again on account of clouds. Flew regular sonobuoy up in cluster of balloons and had good luck on receiver on ground but poor on plane. Out with Thompson pm. Shot charges from 1800 to 2400. (HQ USAF FACT Attachment 32/Appendix 17)

Dr. Crary notes the only record of flight #4 even being launched. The subsequent launch the next day was NYU flight #5, which means this was probably flight #4. Note it mentions there was no flight on account of clouds. What some people have interpreted this to mean is that the whole flight was disassembled and put away. However, the truth would be that the NYU team would have had the balloon cluster all ready for launch and would simply remove the equipment and launched the balloons if the flight was cancelled for good. The next sentence mentions that a cluster of balloons was indeed launched with a sonobuoy microphone and tests were done to see if the microphone was picking up noises. This is being referred to as a "service flight" by some people and that it was not an actual NYU flight. However, to disassemble the planned flight and then assemble another flight would have been a ridiculous waste of manpower. The second sentence is simply referring to the first flight, which, instead of being cancelled, was now delayed by some local cloud conditions. Professor Moore has offered a reasonable explanation about this entry. He states that Crary's entry was a simple transcription of his field notes directly into his journal. The idea that this was a service flight and, as a result, would only be a few balloons and microphone does not stand to reason when one examines the facts concerning how hard it was to handle these flights once assembled (making it difficult to disassemble them) and the sequence of flight numbering.

Flight #4 did not have RAWIN targets attached. This has to do with Crary's entry not mentioning them in the flight that was launched on June 4th. First of all, Crary's journal was not an official record and he was not even present at the launch of the balloon cluster (he was out on the range at the time). Several of his entries concerning these flights are vague and never list all the materials found in a flight so his journal can not be considered an accurate representation of what was actually flown on the dates in question. His entry stated they flew a "cluster of balloons", which is the common terminology used for one of the NYU flights. The technical reports talk about grouping balloons in clusters. Additionally, if one looks at the drawing for flight #2, it's title reads "Train for cluster flight No. 2". ML-307 radar targets were used on flight #2 and it appears they were probably used on subsequent flights but not flight #5. According to Professor Moore, the inability to track the balloon train with radar was the major reason that the targets were removed for flight #5. It seems reasonable to assume that flight #4 could have had RAWIN targets attached just like flight #2.

Flight #4 did not exist. Crary's journal entry mentions a flight being launched on the 4th of June only one day before flight #5. Flight #4 is not in the NYU records simply because they did not obtain any information from the flight. Such flights were numbered but not listed in the NYU records.

Roswell Air Base knew all about what NYU was doing at Alamogordo and therefore would not have mistaken the debris for a crashed "flying disc". I have seen this one numerous times and Kevin Randle usually is the source of this information. He bases this on two points:

  1. The NYU team went to RAAF and talked to the base about their operations. This is misleading and it is based on what Randle interprets about Moore's comments. Moore stated they tried to get on base but could not because of base security. Therefore, none of them made it in to talk to any of the officers. When this happened is hard to pinpoint. Moore told the USAF that they had to set up their receiver in a hotel in Roswell because of being turned away. Maybe they didn't get on base because of a casual visit but some of the team did eventually make it into a meeting with Lt. Col. Briley. This happened 10 September 1947 and was documented in the 509th unit history. This is two months after the events in early July 1947. There is no evidence to suggest that the team met with RAAF officers/personnel in a formal visit before this date.
  2. The NYU team had to issue Notices to airmen (NOTAMS) and RAAF should have been aware of the flights. Again, this is misleading. On August 12, 1947, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) held a meeting in Fort Worth. The basic issue for the meeting seemed to have to do with the NYU's balloon activities and air traffic. One of the reasons, the NYU team went to NM from the east coast had to do with the density of air traffic (in addition to wind/weather problems). Apparently when the team came to NM, they had an unwritten agreement that they did not have to worry about coordinating with air traffic. The CAA stated they thought the flights were going to stay in the White Sands area but they were now aware the balloons were going all over New Mexico and could pose a hazard. They then told the NYU project that they would have to coordinate with the commanding officer at Biggs field in El Paso, Texas (which probably included filing NOTAMS) if they wanted to continue flight operations. Based on this memo, it seems unlikely that the NYU team filed NOTAMS or coordinated with any airbases in the NM region (other than Alamogordo, where they operated from) prior to August 1947.

Despite being part of a classified project, there was nothing classified concerning the materials and operations conducted by the NYU team in New Mexico. Because of this, there would be no need for any security concerning the recovery or launching of the balloons. This was presented by Kevin Randle in one of his usual diatribes about project MOGUL at his Blog, where he stated:.

The point that the skeptics and debunkers refuse to understand is that the balloon launches in New Mexico, the equipment used and science being conducted there was not classified. Get it. There was nothing classified about what was going on in New Mexico. (Randle How)

Randle's statement would be something I would expect from a non-military man. I am not sure what kind of security procedures he learned in the military as an officer but he seems to have forgotten a common term used by the military. That is called "Operational Security" (OPSEC). Basically, OPSEC means that parts that are connected to a classified program, while not classified, need to be protected as such to prevent connection to the classified parts of the program. Randle is correct that there was nothing classified about developing constant level balloons and nothing classified about the equipment. However, trying to fly balloons at a specific altitude, where the sound channel existed with microphones and at the same time listening for nearby or distant explosions would be considered classified under project MOGUL. Somebody who was observing all the events taking place at Alamogordo could possibly put the pieces together and determine what the teams were trying to ultimately achieve, which was TOP SECRET. Saying there was nothing classified associated with the NYU flights is not being accurate and is misleading people to believe that this is true.

Contrary to what Randle writes, there were concerns about security in New Mexico according to Col. Albert Trakowski. Being the project officer, he had great concerns about security associated with the flights. For the most part nobody would notice since it was done on base and in a remote area. However, in the wake of the media news about a recovered flying disc/saucer with subsequent balloon explanation, it probably brought concerns to some associated with security. The obvious question by the media might be, "Where did the balloon and reflector come from in NM?". On July 9th, 1947, there was a balloon demonstration for the Alamogordo news media . Since none of the NYU team was involved in this demonstration, it seems likely this was an effort to divert attention from any connection to the NYU and show that such balloon flights were part of standard operations. Although Trakowski denies any knowledge of this event being staged, it seems possible that somebody at the base figured it would be a good idea to conduct this little exercise to put an end to any inquiries about the source of the balloon. Somebody seemed to be concerned about the OPSEC associated with MOGUL.

Myth #24 Jesse Marcel Sr. knew what radar targets looked like because he went to radar school.

I saw this in a program on Roswell. It was being presented by Jesse Marcel Jr. but has also been put forth by numerous UFOlogists. It was Robert Todd, who performed a great bulk of the work concerning Jesse Marcel's military career and it is best to quote him:

According to Marcel's personnel file, he attended the "Radar Intelligence Officer's Course" from 13 August to 8 September 1945. The certificate of completion lists the subjects taught in that course, which were Basic Radar AN/APS-15A; Scope Interpretation; Radar Navigation; Radar Bombing; Target Study; Mission Planning; Aircraft Recognition; Radar countermeasures; and Scope Photography. None of these subjects suggests Marcel had even an introduction to the use of radar targets for measuring the direction and speed of winds aloft, which was the usual province of weather officers. The course obviously was designed to help officers gather intelligence data, not weather data. (Todd)

Todd hits the nail on the head here. There is no reason for Marcel to be exposed to weather tracking reflectors in a course that was designed to teach about the use of a radar found on a B-29. The actual course probably was very similar to the handbook for radar bombing, which can be found on-line! A glance at the handbook shows many of the subjects described by Todd and none of them include the use of radar reflectors to determine wind speeds. The only types of targets described are the kind they wanted to bomb.

I can add to this my personal knowledge of my radar training. Prior to attending nuclear power school, I spent over six months with my initial electronics training as an Electronics Technician, which included three weeks of basic radar training (Marcel's was about four weeks).The course was designed to teach how radar works and it is duplicated what can be found in NEETS module 18, which is found on-line. It is not the same course Marcel took but using the same saucer logic employed by Marcel Jr. et. al., I should have been exposed to the use and types of radar targets. The course then split into radar or communications. My path was the communications training and I was never exposed to the radar units at the school even though it was the same building, shared the same classrooms, and one could easily walk into the radar labs. However, using saucer logic that if radar targets were in use I should have seen these radar targets being sent up and tracked by radar at the school. Nothing could be further from the truth. There were no radar targets being used even though the radar sets were in operation. Therefore, having radar training has nothing to do with being exposed to radar tracking targets, which are used by weather personnel.

A final myth being created has to do with the fact that Marcel must have been exposed to weather officers using these targets. It is highly unlikely that senior officers would have been involved in tracking weather balloons. This was more than likely be performed on a routine basis by junior officers and enlisted men. Additionally, there was no radar at RAAF in 1947 and the weather personnel would not use such targets. Of course, the next suggestion would be he would have seen them in use for the "Operation Crossroads" exercise the year before. Again, why would the intelligence officer go out and monitor menial tasks being conducted by enlisted men and junior officers. Perhaps, it was expected for Majors to go out and watch people dig latrines to familiarize themselves with the process? I am sure Major Marcel had his hands full with his other duties and responsibilities.

In fact, when I found a book on the official photographic record for Operation Crossroads, there was a photograph of a weather balloon launch. Do you notice that something is missing?

Weather balloon launch during Operation Crossroads (Office)

I am sure they used some radar targets during Crossroads but it is clear from this photograph, that not all weather balloon launches employed such equipment, which lowers the odds that Marcel could have stumbled across a balloon launch that actually employed an ML-307 reflector.

The idea that radar school or Operation Crossroads taught Marcel about radar reflector targets is nothing more than another myth generated by UFO proponents in order to eliminate this likely explanation for the Roswell incident.

Myth #25 The reflector/balloon material in the photographs was switched with the real alien spaceship debris.

This is a cornerstone of the Roswell myth and it has some rather interesting history. In the original book, The Roswell Incident, Jesse Marcel Sr. stated:

Just after we got to Carswell, Fort Worth, we were told to bring some of this stuff up to the general’s office - that he wanted to take a look at it. We did this and spread it out on the floor on some brown paper. What we had was only a very small portion of the debris there was a whole lot more. There was half a B-29-ful outside. General Ramey allowed some members of the press in to take a picture of this stuff. They took one picture of me on the floor holding up some of the less-interesting metallic debris. The press was allowed to photograph this, but were not allowed far enough into the room to touch it. The stuff in that one photo was pieces of the actual stuff we had found. It was not a staged photo. (Berlitz and Moore 75).

Marcel implied that some of the photographs were staged but never mentioned how or which photos. Additionally, several investigators have stated that the Moore had incorrectly recorded what was said. This does not explain what Marcel said on film in the movie UFOs are real:

The newsman saw VERY LITTLE OF THE MATERIAL, VERY SMALL PORTION OF IT (My Emphasis). And none of the important things, like these members that had these hieroglyphics or markings on them. (Klass 26).

This sounds a lot like what Moore quoted in the book. That being that some of the debris was brought into Ramey's office and displayed to the press. Marcel appears to be complaining that none of the "good stuff" was seen by the press but the press did see some of the debris.

Eventually, the actual photographs would surface from the archives and shown to Marcel. Marcel would state these were the staged photographs but it still does not explain his early statements that at least some of the debris was seen by the press. He also never explained how they became "staged" or if a "switch" had occurred.

In the book, UFO Crash at Roswell, Walter Haut is the source of the statement:

Marcel said that he had brought it to Ramey's office, where the general examined it and then decided that he wanted to see exactly where the object crashed. Marcel and Ramey left for the map room and while they were gone, someone carried the wreckage out, replacing it with the weather balloon long before any reporters were allowed into the office. (Randle and Schmitt UFO 75-76)

Haut supposedly heard this from Marcel in the 1980s but there is no way to confirm this. One would think that Marcel would have told this to those interviewing him and not off the record.

Exactly what happened at Fort Worth might have been resolved by Col. Thomas Dubose. Like Marcel, Dubose's record is not much better. He contradicts himself depending on the interviewer. According to Randle and Schmittt, Dubose declared that the debris in the photographs was not the debris that came from Roswell. He also declared that a cover-up was in place:

The material shown in the photograph taken in Maj. Gen. Ramey's office was a weather balloon. The Weather Balloon explanation for the material was a cover story to divert the attention of the press (Pflock 153).

However, Dubose said many things depending on the interviewer.

An associate of William Moore, Jamie Shandera, interviewed Dubose about the same time Randle and Schmitt were talking to him. Shandera apparently took notes and there are no audio or video of what he had said. Shandera claimed that he showed Dubose the photographs and asked some very pointed questions. For instance, he asked where the material in the photographs came from. Dubose responded, "That’s the material that Marcel brought into Ft. Worth from Roswell" (Korff 130). This is in contradiction to what he told Randle and Schmitt. To add more confusion to the mix, Dubose contradicted himself again by telling Billy Cox:

McMullen said, ‘Look, why don’t you come up with something, anything you can use to get the press off our back?’” DuBose recalled. “So we came up with this weather balloon story, which I thought was one hell of a good idea. Somebody got one and ran it up a couple of hundred feet and dropped it to make it look like it crashed, and that’s what we used. (Cox)

Of course, this statement to Cox is again contradicted by Dubose in an interview with Schmitt where Dubose stated he "didn't know where Ramey got the debris displayed on his floor" (Klass 94). Additionally, the statement by Dubose to Cox does not explain the photographs .The material in the photographs could not have been simply dropped from a few hundred feet as stated. This was done on the Discovery Times Channel episode of Best Evidence. While trying to demonstrate that an NYU flight could not create the debris field, the program inadvertently demonstrated that one can not simply drop a reflector from a few hundred feet and produce the tattered remains shown in the photographs.

Dubose wasn't through in contradicting himself. According to Don Schmitt, "Dubose also emphasized that the substituted balloon "couldn't have come from Fort Worth. We didn't launch balloons!" (Carey and Schmitt 94). So where did the material in the photographs come from?

  1. He told Randle/Schmitt that the weather balloon explanation was a cover-up to divert the press's attention
  2. He told Randle/Schmitt that the debris in the photographs was not the debris from Roswell
  3. He told Randle/Schmitt that the only debris from Roswell came a few days before via a B-25/B-26 in a sealed pouch. He never looked inside and this debris was flown to Washington D.C. He seems to have never been questioned on what happened to the debris Marcel brought from Roswell.
  4. He told Shandera that the debris in the photographs came from Roswell
  5. He told Cox that they dropped a weather balloon and reflector from a few hundred feet and put it out for the press to photograph
  6. He told Schmitt he did not know where the debris in the photographs came from.
  7. He told Schmitt that the debris in the photographs did not come from Fort Worth.

These are just a few items to be considered when wondering exactly what Dubose was trying to say in all these interviews. Recall that Dubose was well into his 80s when these interviews occurred and it is likely he was just mixing up his memories of the events in question. Establishing facts from ambiguous questions can result in ambiguous answers. Perhaps Shandera's questions were the best since they appeared to ask for specifics:

Q. There are two researchers who are presently saying that the debris in General Ramey's office had been switched and that you men had a weather balloon there.

A. Oh Bull! That material was never switched!

Q. So, what you're saying is that the material in General Ramey's office was the actual debris brought in from Roswell?

A. That's right. (Korff 129)

There is one other individual who can add to the witness list of what happened at the time of the press conference. That is photograph, James Bond Johnson, who took the images of Marcel and the debris. Johnson also has contradicted himself over the years making one wonder what is considered accurate. In 1998, he stated that he opened up some of the packages in which the debris was located. This implies it was sealed prior to reaching Ramey's office. Sgt. Porter described sealed packages being loaded onto Marcel's plane. One can draw the conclusion that these were the packages Porter described. According to Haut, Marcel stated that after being in the map room, he returned to see the material already spread out, which contradicts Johnson's recollections.

Another piece of evidence concerning a switch has to do with the photographs. They show something that was not just created out of thin air. In addition to the tattered remnants from at least one radar reflector being present, there is a pile of black material at Marcel's feet. This pile are the remains of several neoprene weather balloons, which have been exposed to sunlight for a long time. To create this weather balloon material, would have taken days and not hours. It was not something that could have been produced readily unless Fort Worth retained all the downed weather balloons they found for just such a situation.

If you couple all this information with what Marcel stated in his earliest interviews, one must question the supposed switch at Fort Worth. There is no evidence that a switch occurred other than the faded and confused testimony of Marcel and Dubose.

These are some of the more popular myths floating about. When one looks closely at the Roswell case, it rapidly becomes apparent that there is no "smoking gun" evidence. There are no bodies, no crashed spaceship, and no alien materials. The Roswell story is dead and if UFOlogy had any serious peer review it would have dismissed this case long ago and moved on to greener pastures.

 

Works Cited

Albuquerque Journal. Online. Internet. Available WWW: http://www.abqjournal.com/roswell/

Berlitz, Charles and William Moore. The Roswell Incident. New York: Berkley, 1988.

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

Broyhill, Marvin T. SAC History. Online. Internet. Available WWW:http://www.strategic-air-command.com/history/history-02.htm

Cox, Billy. "There are worse reasons to party". The Blog | De Void. July 6, 2007 Online. Internet. Available WWW:http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20070706/BLOG32/70706004

Official Road Map of New Mexico. Map. The H.M. Gousha' Company. Chicago, Ill. 1946.

HQ USAF, The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert. Washington D.C.: US Government, 1995

Kimball, Lorenzo. "The 1947 Roswell incident: a personal perspective". Online. Internet. Available WWW: http://www.roswellfiles.com/Witnesses/CaptKimball.htm

Klass, Philip, "What Maj. Marcel Really said in Gen. Ramey’s Office On July 8, 1947." Skeptic’s UFO Newsletter, May 1999.

-. The REAL Roswell Crashed Saucer Cover-up. Amherst: Prometheus, 1997.

Korff, Kal. The Roswell UFO Crash: What They Don't Want You to Know. Amherst: Prometheus, 1997.

Martin, Robert Scott. "New words from Marcel on Roswell crash." SPACE.COM. Online. Internet. Available WWW: http://www.space.com/sciencefiction/phenomena/marcel_990930.html

McCarthy, Paul. "Roswell: The Case of the Vanishing Nurses." Omni Magazine. Fall, 1995. Online. Internet. Available WWW: http://www.omnimag.com/archives/open_book/roswell/nurses.html

Newton, Tom. Air Police History. Online. Internet. Available WWW:http://community-2.webtv.net/Hahn-50thAP-K9/AirPoliceHistory/

Office of the Historian Joint Task Force One. Operation Crossroads: The official pictorial record. Wm.H. Wise and Co., inc. New York. 1946.

Pflock, Karl. Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe. Amherst: Prometheus, 2001

Randle, Kevin and Don Schmitt.UFO Crash at Roswell. New York: Avon, 1991.

Randle, Kevin. "Re: Korff on Roswell (2)." 27 May 1997. UFO Updates Mailing List. Online posting. Available WWW: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/1997/may/m28-013.shtml

- " Re: Last Nights Tragedy." 27 June 2002. UFO Updates Mailing List. Online posting. Available WWW: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/updates/2002/jun/m17-015.shtml

-. The Roswell Encyclopedia. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2000.

- "How secret was MOGUL". A different perspective. 7 July 2008. Online posting. Available WWW: http://kevinrandle.blogspot.com/2008/07/how-secret-was-mogul.html

Rodden, Jack. "The Ranchers Son." UFO Magazine and Phenomena Report November, 1998: 30-31.

US Government. The GAO Report on Roswell. Washington D. C.: Online. Internet. Available WWW: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Corridor/8148/gao.html

United States Zone Constabulary Troopers Handbook. HQ US Zone Constabulary. 15 February 1946

War Department. FM 19-5 (Change 2) Military Police . US government printing office Washington 15 June 1945.

War Department. FM 19-10 Military Police in towns and cities. US government printing office Washington 15 June 1945.

War Department. FM 21-100 Soldiers handbook. US government printing office Washington 23 July 1941

Back to the Roswell main page

Back to My skeptical opinion about UFOs