According to Walter Haut, Walt Whitmore had "practically kidnapped" Mac Brazel (Pflock)

Chapter 7: Brazel’s Final Curtain Call

By Timothy Printy 1999 Updated June 2002

On the morning of the 8th (or evening of the 7th), it appears that Walt Whitmore Sr. was on his way to pick up "Mac" Brazel for an exclusive interview. Mac found the debris and Walt was probably upset at Frank Joyce for not getting a scoop before anybody else earlier in the day. Who knows if it was the 7th or the 8th but if it were the 7th, Whitmore would have to have shown up pretty late to miss the exit of Jesse Marcel and Sheridan Cavitt. In any case, Whitmore took poor Brazel back into town. At this point, Brazel had made numerous trips to and from his ranch all over a bunch of debris he had picked up. It did not look like he would be getting his $3000 reward (if he even considered this) and it seemed like he was wasting time.

Brazel was then taken on the 8th to the Roswell Daily Record for an interview. According to pro-crash authors, this interview had been scripted by the military. However, the authors all get the date for the interview WRONG! In UFO Crash at Roswell, Randle and Schmitt say the date is July 9. In the follow-up book, Truth about the UFO crash at Roswell, they get the date right on one page (69) but then proceed to get it wrong again and say it was the 9th on another (208). The Crash at Corona authors are worse and state the interview was on the 10th. This is amazing since the story appeared in the July 9th edition of the Roswell Daily Record! This is the same interview discussed in Chapter two, "Harassed Rancher Who Located ‘Saucer’ Sorry He Told About it."

Jason Kellahin and R.D. Adair covered the interview. Both tell their versions of the story in The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell and both tell (surprise) conflicting stories. According to Adair, he flew into Roswell from El Paso based on orders from New York. He states that he had the pilot fly over the crash site and that there were two sites. Adair states, " We could make out a lot of stuff... looked like burnt places... You could tell that something had been there… Apparently the way it cut into [the ground], whatever hit the ground wasn't wood or something soft. It looked like it was metal" (Randle and Schmitt Truth 95). It seems that Adair probably has gotten his memories mixed up because, as I have pointed out by testimony of Jesse Marcel Sr. and Bessie Brazel, there was no gouge in the ground. Adair made several additional claims that seem to be in contradiction with known facts and reports by others:

  1. He flew from El Paso to Roswell - It states in the paper that Adair had driven from Albuquerque to get to Roswell and not by airplane from El Paso. Additionally there are no records of the flight (financial or otherwise).
  2. He saw FBI and policemen surrounding the area that prevented them from getting within 3/4 of a mile - There are no records of any policemen (for that matter FBI men) sent to the area on the 9th of July (for that matter on any date). It seems that only a few deputies may have gone up from Roswell to investigate but this is only substantiated by hearsay testimony. It seems that Whitmore had no problems in getting to the ranch that afternoon after the press release. Yet, Adair could not get close and he was in an airplane that could not be stopped from the ground.
  3. He could not take any pictures of the debris field because they could not fly low enough - This makes no sense since Adair was a photographer and his primary job would be take pictures of such an earth shattering story. Why would he be able to fly close enough to the debris field to describe it (even though he states they could not get within 3/4 of a mile) and see a gouge but not be close enough to take any photographs? Wouldn't he have at least taken a photograph of the police cars keeping them from getting close? How would those on the ground know he was or was not taking the photographs? Adair does not mention anybody trying to take his film away after he landed since this is what would have occurred in the event of a cover-up.

Adair’s recollections are not accurate and are, more than likely, of another event like an airplane crash. Kellahin’s story is also not in keeping with the facts. According to Kellahin, he and Adair drove down from Albuquerque and then stopped by the Brazel homestead to see the army picking up debris. The army was very cooperative with Kellahin and he recalls see Brazel, his wife and their son at the site. Kellahin describes the debris as follows: "You couldn't have picked it up and identified it. You have to have known [what it was]. It looked more like a kite than anything else" (Randle and Schmitt Truth 94). Kellahin adds that they took photographs of the debris but there are no such photographs on record. He also recollects following Mac and the military back to Roswell, where the interview was conducted. Kellahin’s memories, like Adair’s, are less than accurate and it is highly unlikely that he could have made the detour to the Foster Ranch from Albuquerque and gotten to Roswell in time for the interview. Kellahin may be mixing up his memories with bits and pieces of the story told to him by Brazel. In any case, both men’s recollections do not appear to be very accurate.

What happened to Mac during the 7th and 8th is not clear but it appears that he was always in the company of Walt Whitmore Sr. This is mentioned in the Roswell Daily Record article, "Brazel was brought here late yesterday be W. E. Whitmore" (Brookesmith 158). The authors disagree with just about everything in this article because they claim Mac had been taken to RAAF, where he was programmed to tell his story. However, when was Mac given the time for such programming? All of the authors claim that Whitmore picked him up and the earliest this could have been was the evening of the 7th. It is also known that Brazel spent at least two nights with the Whitmore’s. Walt Jr. told Karl Pflock that he recalled, "...having breakfast with him at least twice" (Pflock 90). This makes the earliest date that he left the Whitmores as the morning of the 10th! Walter Haut confirms the fact that Whitmore had Brazel with him for some time:

...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)

Confirming Whitmore’s desire to keep Brazel to himself is Jason Kellahin, who stated, "Whitmore did his best to maneuver Brazel away from the rest of the press" (Pflock 264).

Clearly, there was absolutely no time for the military to explain to Brazel what to say during the interview at the Roswell Daily Record. There are conflicting reports of who brought Mac into the newspaper office. According to Paul McEvoy, the newspaper’s editor, the military escorted him in. This is in contradiction with the newspaper article (This makes McEvoy part of the conspiracy since he did not make sure the article was correct). However, the time factor comes into play. Brazel states everything like he had been there and describes most of the debris seen in the Fort Worth pictures, which he had not seen at this point. In order to do this, the military would have to produce identical debris to that in the Fort Worth photographs for Mac to examine and agree to describe. We already know that RAAF did not have these reflectors on base. Additionally, Loretta Proctor’s recollection of Mac describing purple flower tape and Bessie Brazel’s descriptions of the same type of tape are an identical match to parts of the article. The description is too close to their recollections and, if one removes the extraordinary properties given by Marcel, is very close to Jesse’s general description of metal foil and small wooden beams. Also, many of the details described by Brazel on the evening of the 8th had already been put out on the newswires that afternoon. Sheriff Wilcox seemed to be quoted in many of these and they confirm details in Brazel’s tale. Could it be that Wilcox was part of the cover-up as well? Randle and Schmitt explain that young Dee Proctor is not mentioned for protection purposes. Why does Mac endanger his family then? According to the authors they were not even present and did not need to be mentioned. The reason they were mentioned is because Brazel was telling the truth about what he had found.

The only part of the article the authors want to believe is a closing line by Mac, which the investigators claim, is Mac telling everyone not to believe the story he just gave. At the very end of the article, Mac says, "…If I find anything else besides a bomb they are going to have a hard time getting me to say anything about it" (Brookesmith 158). What does this mean? The authors determine that Mac is saying he is lying. Nothing could be farther from the truth when one examines the events surrounding the past day and a half. Mac had to go to Roswell, drive back home, and now had to come back to Roswell. Mac normally did not make such long drives and was probably tired. According to Jason Kellahin, Mac was upset because, "He was not happy about the attention he was getting and the people traipsing around the place" (Pflock 263). Bessie claims her father said, "They made one hell of a hullabaloo out of nothing" (Pflock 278). Finally, there is the following quote by the July 9, 1947 edition of the Carlsbad, New Mexico newspaper, Daily-Current Argus, where it says that he "was amazed at the fuss made over his discovery" (Klass UFOs 280). Certainly, Mac was very tired and upset about the whole thing and was sorry he got involved. He just wanted to go back home to his ranch.

However, Whitmore was not through with Brazel. He decided he needed to make a taping of an interview with him. Frank Joyce and Judd Roberts were involved in some way. Apparently, the tape was not very convincing to be broadcast and it was never retained. However, Frank recalls talking to Mac all alone after the interview at the paper. Was this the evening of the 8th? Frank’s recollections seem to change with the interviewers. In UFO Crash at Roswell, Joyce states, "… there were several military officers waiting in the lobby of the station. They didn't say anything and didn't accompany Brazel into the control room" (Randle and Schmitt UFO 133). However, in Crash at Corona, he contradicts himself:

The next significant thing occurred in the evening. I got a call from [Mac] Brazel. He said, "We haven’t got this story right." I invited him over to the station; he arrived not long after sunset. HE WAS ALONE (my emphasis added), but I had the feeling that we were being watched. (Friedman and Berlinner 76)

Was he alone or did the military escort him? Only Joyce can say for sure. Joyce also adds that Brazel made a reference to little green men by saying, "No, they weren’t green" (Friedman and Berlinner 77). Amazingly, the term "little green men" was not used to describe aliens in 1947. There are very few references to aliens being the drivers of these "flying discs" at the time. The term "little green men" did not come into the American lexicon until after 1947 (The first recorded incident involving little green men and a UFO was on August 14, 1947 in Villa Santina, Italy by a man named Rapuzzi Jummanis). Karl Pflock states that Joyce was just quoting something Walt Whitmore Sr. said before he died. Walt supposedly told Joyce that the aliens were not green. Frank appears to be mixing up stories and is confusing the issue. Joyce’s version of events becomes extremely questionable and Pflock doubts this interview even occurred.

At this point, Brazel’s whereabouts become questionable but it seems that he spent a few days on base. According to Edwin Easley, Mac was in the guesthouse at RAAF for some time. Easley did not elaborate on when or for how long. However, Bill Brazel recently stated, "If I recall correctly, he was released after three days" (Rodden 30). Bill also adds that he was not released until he had received a "head-to-foot army physical" (Berlitz and Moore 85). Bill, who was living in Albuquerque at the time, had read about his father in the paper (although he confuses some details such as mentioning a photo of his dad was in the paper) on July 9th. Bill wanted to go find out what was going on and felt his dad needed his help. So, Bill drove down to the Foster Ranch but found nobody there. It is not until the 15th that Mac shows back up. If one looks at the three days Bill states that Mac was with the military, then Mac did not arrive on RAAF until the weekend. This is a far cry from the story told by the pro-crash advocates, who are convinced that the military held Brazel for almost a week.

With Mac safe at home, we find that Bill went back to Albuquerque. However, Bill returned to the ranch a few months later in November of 1947. While on the ranch, Bill begins looking around for debris left by the crashed saucer. He manages to collect quite a bit of small scraps and describes them as:

Some wooden-like particles I picked up. These were like balsa wood in weight, but a bit darker in color and much harder. You know the thing about wood is that the harder it gets, the heavier it is. Mahogany, for example is quite heavy. This stuff, on the other hand, weighed nothing, yet you couldn't scratch it with your fingernail like ordinary balsa, and you couldn't break it either. It was pliable, but wouldn't break. Of course all I had was a few splinters. It never occurred to me to try to burn it so I don't know if it would burn or not...Something on the order of tinfoil except that this stuff wouldn't tear and was actually a bit darker in color than tinfoil - more like leadfoil, except very thin and extremely lightweight. The odd thing about this foil was that you could wrinkle it and lay it back down and it immediately resumed its original shape. It was quite pliable, yet you couldn't crease or bend it like ordinary metal...Then there was some thread-like material. It looked like silk and there were several pieces of it. It was not large enough to call it string, but yet not so small as sewing thread either. To all appearances it was silk, except that it wasn't silk. Whatever it was, it too was a very strong material. You could take it in two hands and try to snap it, but it wouldn't snap at all. Nor did it have strands or fibers like silk thread would have. This was more like a wire - all one piece or substance. In fact, I suppose it could have been a sort of wire - that thought never occurred to me before. (Berlitz and Moore 87-88)

This was some extraordinary stuff and later authors tried to link his material with modern day equivalents. For instance, Randle and Schmitt wanted Brazel to compare the string to fiber optics. In their book, UFO Crash at Roswell, it does sound like he is describing the wire as such. However, he is only quoted as saying, "Now there's this plastic, fiber optics. It could have been that" (Randle and Schmitt UFO 52). Randle and Schmitt write the rest of the description. It appears that based on this one statement, Randle and Schmitt want it to sound like he shown a light down one end of the wire. Brazel did not state this in earlier interviews and it appears that the authors are trying to lead him into stating this.

Bill kept his little shoebox full of pieces and even showed the neighbors on one occasion. Then nine-year old Sallye Tadolini recalls:

...What Bill showed us was a piece of what I still think was fabric. It was something like aluminum foil, something like satin, something like well-tanned leather in its toughness, yet was not precisely like any of those materials... It was about the thickness of very fine kidskin glove leather and a dull metallic grayish silver, one side slightly darker than the other. I do not remember it having any design or embossing on it...Bill passed it, and we felt of it. I did a lot of sewing, so the feel made a great impression on me. It felt like no fabric I have touched before or since. It was very silky or satiny, with the same texture on both sides. Yet when I crumpled it in my hands the feel was like that you notice when you crumble a leather glove in your hand. When it was released, it sprang back into its original shape, quickly flattening out with no wrinkles…I remember some of the others stretching it between their hands and "popping" it but I do not think anyone tried to cut or tear it. (Pflock 285)

Bill then began talking. While in Corona, he seemed to be talking a lot about his little collection and the military heard about it. According to Brazel’s recollections, a "Captain Armstrong" came out with his group and they asked him to hand over the materials he had in his possession. The problem with Bill’s story is that there was no Captain Armstrong at RAAF between 1947 and 1949. Despite searches of records, nobody has been able to locate the individual.

Bill’s story seems to include some exaggerations and faded memories. He even mentions talking to some guy in Alaska telling stories about crashed saucers. However, looking at the general description of the debris, we find that Bill is confirming much of the descriptions by Bessie, Mac, and Jesse Marcel Sr. There were materials that consisted of indestructible wood or wood-like small beams (although nobody explains how they broke into all those pieces), string, and a metal foil that seemed to have exotic properties (although nobody can explain how it was also in many pieces).

The last person to talk about concerning this portion of the Roswell "story" is a man by the name of Tommy Tyree. He started working at the ranch after the incident and had spoken to Mac Brazel many times. At one point, he told people that Mac said it was a Japanese Balloon bomb. However, when Schmitt and Randle showed up for the interview, they state this story changed and he felt Brazel found something unusual. Tyree does not explain any more than that but there is no mention of a huge gouge by Tyree. All Tyree mentions is that one day, he and Brazel saw a piece in a hole but did not bother to pick it up because Brazel did not want to deal with that matter anymore. All Tyree does is confirm that some metal like debris was still sitting around the ranch and that there was no gouge in the earth.

In conclusion, it appears that Mac was not abducted by the military at all and his story was an accurate description of what he had discovered. Mac probably did spend time at RAAF because, after tiring of dealing with a dead story, Whitmore turned him over to the base. The base, not knowing what to do may have put him up in the guesthouse. After the weekend, Mac was driven home by the some of the staff. The doctor, to ensure nothing wrong happened to him, may even have exposed him to a quick check while he was on base. That is just a guess and it appears that Mac was not exposed to any form of conditioning. He may have been told that the materials were part of a top-secret project but nobody really knows. As Bill Brazel gathered his scraps, one can only surmise that he eventually threw them away. There are no facts behind his tale of Captain Armstrong. The military could have come out but this is unlikely considering the debris Bill had found. Amazingly, Bill never kept one scrap hidden for the future. Certainly, he could have done that without the military being aware of it. Sallye Tadolini’s story mimics Bill Brazel’s description from The Roswell Incident. She was nine at the time and it seems that her memories are being contaminated by the descriptions Brazel and Marcel gave over a decade before her affidavit.

The materials were there and nobody denies that something was found on the Foster Ranch. However, what turned out to be the culprit would polarize the debate even more and it would split opinions in many UFOlogical circles.

Works Cited

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

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

Friedman, Stanton and Don Berlinner. Crash at Corona. New York: Marlowe & Company, 1997.

Klass, Philip. UFOS:The Public Decieved. Amherst: Prometheus, 1997

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

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

---. UFO Crash at Roswell. New York: Avon, 1991.

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

 

Chapter 8 - Not a Simple Weather Balloon

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