A piece of the Roswell spaceship? Darrel Simms thinks so. (Hesemann and Mantle)

Chapter 27: Pieces and Parts

By Timothy Printy 1999 Updated March 2009

I have to laugh at Kevin Randle and the other authors. I have heard them state on several television programs that the overwhelming evidence points to a saucer crash at Roswell. I have just listed most of the evidence they present in all their books. There were a few witnesses I did not address because I felt they did not have anything to add and their stories were often too far out to even bother addressing. Go ahead and read the books, and I will think you will agree.

With all these soldiers going around picking up fragments of the saucer, you would think some would have a souvenir stashed somewhere. In fact numerous people are stated to be flashing these objects around for various people. Frankie Rowe, Robert Smith, John Kromschroeder and others report seeing the mysterious debris. Pappy Henderson supposedly had a piece after many years. Yet today, there is not one piece being offered for testing. Why aren’t there any fragments available? Did the US government do an exactly perfect job on the cleanup? Apparently not according to Tommy Tyree, who recalls seeing a piece in a hole and Bill Brazel, who picked bits and pieces up for two years. Even more amusing is this section in The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell:

Kevin Randle handled a small piece of material that he was told was picked up on the crash site. It looked like gray pumice, had no weight to it, some stratification, and seemed to be very tough. It didn't act like any pumice he'd ever seen. (Randle and Schmitt Truth 172)

This is another deliberate attempt to mislead the reader and the "gatekeeper" role starts to shift to "personal legend." If Kevin Randle felt it was unearthly, he would have had it tested and the results would be published (assuming it was a real piece of debris). Since he did not, then he must have felt it was "earthly" and therefore, the statement is an exaggeration! This "small piece" has never surfaced since this statement was made in the book.  Perhaps it never existed at all.

There are numerous other examples of fragments being presented as part of the "Flying saucer." On Sunday, March 24, 1996, the Roswell International UFO museum received an alleged piece of fragment from Blake Larsen. The piece was examined using scientific methods and was determined to be...a piece of artwork by artist Randle Fullbright. It did not stop with this fragment either. Another was produced on April 18, 1996, when Art Bell (a late night talk radio host who specializes in paranormal discussions) was contacted received a letter and several "fragments" of the saucer. Art Bell gave them to Linda Howe (another paranormal specialist) who had them tested by a "friend", who was to remain unnamed for "fear of ridicule" (Korff 116-7). The testing was not very conclusive and revealed that some of the pieces were almost pure aluminum but there was no indication that they were extraterrestrial in nature. The pieces themselves were somewhat thick and not flexible at all and thus do not match the description of the "memory metal."

On July 4, 1997 at the 50th anniversary of the UFO Crash in Roswell, New Mexico, we were treated to the latest, "I got a piece of the saucer" saga. Paul Davids (who produced the movie "Roswell") and Derrell Simms announced they had received a "fragment" and Jesse Marcel Jr. was given the opportunity to endorse the piece. Marcel Jr. appeared to endorse it by stating, "the chunk looked like what he saw when he was a surprised 11-year-old" (Linthicum Online). Russel VernonClark, an environmental health and safety specialist for the University of California, San Diego, stated that "the fragment was 99 percent pure silicon with traces of nickel, silver, germanium and zinc, with ratios of protons and neutrons that differ dramatically from those that naturally occur in those elements on Earth" (Linthicum Online). However, after announcing their discovery, VernonClark and Derrell Simms hastily exited the presentation (according to some, they ran out the back door!) and answered no questions giving some doubt about what was said. The Albuquerque Journal posted an article by John Fleck titled "Scientists Scoff at Chunk of Roswellian ‘Unearthly’ Silicon" at their website. In this article VernonClark steps back from his initial pronouncement and states, "In retrospect, with 20/20 hindsight, I would have been a little more careful with my language and that it was possible to construct this material on earth" (Fleck Online). When reading his report about the testing, Albuquerque Physicist Dave Thomas stated, "There's just a number of huge mistakes in that report, holes big enough to run a dump truck through" (Fleck Online). One big problem is VernonClark stated the object contained Germanium-75 which has a short half-life and would decay away to other elements in less than a day. University of Kentucky chemist Rob Toreki pointed out that this combination of elements and isotopes could easily be constructed in a university and that "There’s no validity to what he’s saying" (Fleck Online). VernonClark’s abilities to evaluate the material comes into question at this point and again highlights what Dr. Hartmann said, "...misinformed amateurs quoted as authorities..." (Condon et al. 543). It appears that VernonClark was not the expert required to conduct such a scientific test and that he was carefully selected because of pro-UFO leanings by Simms. Despite the evidence that their conclusion is incorrect, Derrell Simms and VernonClark still feel their object is extraterrestrial in nature. It seems they have either created or been misled by a hoax. Roswell enthusiasts tend to be very gullible and it is to their detriment.

Speaking of gullibility, it was the 1995 release of an "Alien Autopsy’ film that caused a big stir in the Roswell crowd. Broadcast on television (FOX network), it showed an autopsy performed by "doctors/pathologists" on one alien that came from the Roswell spacecraft. While the faithful appeared to and still feel that it is authentic, one of the authors (Friedman) immediately dismissed it as a fake and Kevin Randle declared it as a fake in one of his books. There is plenty of documentation on why it is a hoax. Many have to do with the failure to properly test the film, out of focus shots when taking closeups, too short of a time to perform a proper autopsy, improper labels on the film cans, and many others. The alien itself appears to have been a dummy and lays on the table like one. Nothing sags or is limp. It is a very rigid structure to the body. These and other major flaws (there are many) shoot the 'Autopsy' film down. This and the alien fragments demonstrate to what extent the Pro-UFO Crash crowd will go to in order to sell the Roswell crash to the general public and prove their case! Kevin Randle participated in the FOX - TV special (which, essentially, is a candid endorsement of this film even though he does not believe it). So even one’s integrity can be considered forfeit for the almighty dollar and another few hours of fame.

The Autopsy film brings up one interesting point. The GAO found no photographs of the debris, despite Frank Kaufmann’s, Edwin Easley's (supposedly), and Lewis Rickett’s claim that this occurred. Despite seeing this amazing event and handling some amazing debris, nobody took one single photograph (although home photos were common in 1947) of this object. Walt Whitmore Sr., who supposedly went out to the ranch and should have seen the massive operation did not take any photos either. Even Loretta Proctor, could have taken some home photos of Mac with his sliver of debris. She had plenty of pictures that were used in the books. One even included Mac. It’s as if the entire town of Roswell did not have one simple camera! Even more astounding is the claim by Bill Brazel that the gouge existed for two years.  It is amazing that nobody bothered to take a picture of it. Is it because it might not have existed? I doubt that the events in Roswell that July were that special at all and the lack of ANY (Government or personal) supporting documentation or physical evidence has clearly demonstrated this. Still the "faithful" continue their pilgrimages to the crash site hoping to find that one "holy relic".

When the Sci-Fi channel decided to jump into the Roswell game, they acquired the services of Dr. Bill Doleman from the University of New Mexico.  He dug up a lot of the New Mexico desert at the Foster Ranch site looking for pieces of debris that were left behind. He found nothing but an anomaly in a trench he had excavated. The anomaly could easily be explained as a burrow dug by a coyote and Dr. Doleman stated so in his writings.  This was never mentioned in the Sci-Fi channel's show. Instead, they indicated it was a sign of a possible impact furrow. Additionally, anything anomalous that was found at the site was bagged up and examined. Not one of these items recovered was demonstrated to be anything unusual or from an alien spaceship. One can draw some conclusions from this information.  That being they were digging in the wrong place, there never was an alien spaceship crash, or the US military was able to do something they have never done before or since. That being they took every last scrap and speck that indicated anything happened on the Foster Ranch and left no trace of their efforts. Aviation Archeologist, Peter Merlin has investigated several "top secret" crashes and have managed to find debris and impact marks from these events. He has found that no "sweep" of an area is 100% effective no matter how thorough the effort. Based on Merlin's knowledge of the issue, it seems extremely unlikely that the military personnel at Roswell in 1947 were experts in finding every last scrap of material and hiding impact depressions.

That hasn't stopped anybody from continuing the search. In 2008, the television show UFO Hunters, decided to promote a piece of interesting material somebody recovered out in the desert near the crash site that supposedly happened on the plains of San Agustin.  When the debris was examined, it was determined to be high density polyethylene (HDPE). While that sounds impressive, it is nothing more than thick plastic that can be found in ordinary products (like milk jugs and tupperware). To me, the debris looked a lot like a plastic bottle somebody threw in a microwave.  Since the UFO Hunters had to have something to present, they decided to point out that HDPE was not developed until after 1947.  I guess they wanted to suggest the aliens used advanced plastic to create their spaceship.  Maybe NASA's next spaceship will be made from Tupperware now that this information is available! It certainly would be a cost saver. What UFO Hunters failed to mention was that there is no evidence that this piece of material even was deposited on the ground in 1947!  It seems more likely the material was deposited there many years later.  This is just another case of UFOlogy attempting to put "lipstick on a pig" and trying to make it appear like something else.  It is not science and only the gullible individuals with no scientific training are willing to accept such nonsense.  

The failure of any of these items to pass scrutiny indicates the evidence presented so far is not very compelling. According to a recent book by Donald Schmitt and Tom Carey, almost every farmer or rancher near the Foster ranch was able to acquire a souvenir.  This required a massive military response that included ransacking farms and terrorizing more civilians. The materials retrieved were then secreted away for study, which brings up another problem.  The scientists assigned to study these materials would have to write about it and report it to military superiors.  However, there is not one iota of paperwork that supports the claim that such materials were ever studied. Despite thousands of FOIA requests and documents that have been released, there is not one mention or hint that any study of exotic materials was being conducted. Carl Sagan put it best in his book The Demon Haunted World,

Such a discovery would be momentous. If there were real artifacts, physicists and chemists would be fighting for the privilege of discovering that there are aliens among us - who use, say, unknown alloys, or materials of extraordinary tensile strength or ductility or conductivity. The practical implications of such a finding - never mind the confirmation of an alien invasion - would be immense. Discoveries like this are what scientists live for. Their absence must tell us something. (Sagan 187)

The counter argument is always the secret is too great and is still being kept.  Over 60 years have elapsed and we still have not seen any results from the study of these materials. It is certain that the Space Shuttle Columbia would have benefited in its design had it been made of the lightweight indestructible materials found at Roswell.  I guess it is not important for the most advanced spacecraft in the world to have access to any of the technology obtained at Roswell. This is why such claims of top secret studies fail to convince anyone but the conspiracy-minded proponents of the crashed spaceship scenario.

There have been numerous searches of each of the crash sites over the years. Some were organized and others were people just wandering about looking for that piece left behind.  Not one scrap of the indestructible materials has been produced despite all these efforts. Perhaps there was no extraterrestrial materials at all. Perhaps it was simple tin foil, wood, tape, and string as Mack and Bessie described. These are things that would blow away, decompose, or disappear over the years without a single person noticing. If found, they would be ignored as mundane and not worthy of study. Until someone produces a piece of the spaceship, it is likely that the debris found at the Foster Ranch was what Brazel described in 1947 to the media, which is consistent with materials used by the NYU team in Alamogordo.

Without any physical evidence, one must go back to the documentation in government files. Are there any documents that state there was a UFO crash and cover-up. If you ask Stanton Friedman, he will tell you that he has plenty of government documents showing a cover-up and what group was performing this dastardly deed.

Works Cited

Condon, Edward U., et al., eds. Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects. New York: Bantam, 1968.

Fleck, John. "Scientists Scoff at Chunk of Roswellian ‘Unearthly’ Silicon." Albuquerque Journal. Online. Internet. Available WWW: http://www.abqjournal.com/roswell/

Hesemann, Michael and Philip Mantle. Beyond Roswell. New York: Marlowe & Company, 1997

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

Linthicum, Leslie. "Alleged UFO Fragment Unveiled." Albuquerque Journal. Online. Internet. Available WWW: http://www.abqjournal.com/roswell/

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

Sagan, Carl. The Demon Haunted World. New York: Ballantine Books, 1996


Chapter 28 - The Shoemaker and the Elves

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