Major books published on
Incident (1980) Roswell
The first book on the subject, The Roswell Incident by Charles Berlitz and William L. Moore, was published in 1980.The authors at the time said they had interviewed more than ninety witnesses. Though uncredited, Stanton Friedman did substantial research for the book.The book featured accounts of debris described by Jesse Marcel as "nothing made on this earth."
Additional accounts suggested that the material Marcel recovered had super-strength and other attributes not associated with anything known of terrestrial origin, and certainly not anything associated with a "weather balloon". The book also introduced the contention that debris recovered by Marcel at the Foster ranch (visible in photographs showing Marcel posing with the debris) was substituted for debris from a weather device (visible in pictures with Gen. Ramey, Marcel and others) as part of a cover-up.
The actual debris recovered from the ranch – which, the authors claimed, was from a crashed UFO – was not permitted a close inspection by the press. Also described were efforts by the military to discredit and "counteract the growing hysteria towards flying saucers".
Additionally, various accounts of witness intimidation were included, in particular reports of the incarceration of Mac Brazel, who reported the debris in the first place.
A report of Roswell residents Dan Wilmot and his wife seeing an object "like two inverted saucers faced mouth to mouth" passing overhead on the evening of July 2 was included,as were other reports of mysterious objects seen flying overhead.
The book also introduced an alien account by Barney Barnett who had died years earlier. Friends said he had on numerous occasions described the crash of a flying saucer and the recovery of alien corpses in the Socorro area, about 150 miles (240 km) west of the Foster ranch. He and a group of archaeologists who happened to be in the vicinity had stumbled upon an alien craft and its occupants on the morning of July 3, only to be led away by military personnel.
Further accounts suggested that these aliens and their craft were shipped to Edwards Air Force Base (known then as Muroc Army Air Field) in
The book suggested that either there were two crafts which crashed or debris from the vehicle Barnett had described had landed on the Foster ranch after an explosion.
Marcel said he "heard about it on July 7"when the sheriff whom Brazel had called him, but also said that "on Sunday, July 6, Brazel decided he had better go into town and report this to someone," who in turn called Marcel, suggesting, though not stating, that he was contacted July 6. In 1947, Marcel was quoted as saying he visited the ranch on Monday, July 7.
Marcel described returning to
the evening of July 7 to find that news of the discovery of a flying disc had leaked out. Calls were made to his house, including a visit from a reporter, but he could not confirm this. "The next morning, that written press release went out, and after that things really hit the fan." Roswell
The book suggested that the military orchestrated Brazel's testimony to make it appear a mundane object had landed on the ranch, though the book did not explicitly say that the military instructed Brazel to give a mid-June date for his discovery. "Brazel... [went] to great pains to tell the newspaper people exactly what the Air Force had instructed him to say regarding how he had come to discover the wreckage and what it looked like ..."
UFO Crash at
In 1991, with the benefit of a decade of publicity on the incident and numerous new witness interviews, Kevin D. Randle and Donald R. Schmitt published UFO Crash at
Timelines were slightly altered. The date that Brazel reported the debris and Marcel went to the ranch was said to be Sunday, July 6, not the next day as some of the original accounts suggested, and The Roswell Incident had left unclear. Additionally, Marcel and an unidentified counter-intelligence agent spent the night at the ranch, something not mentioned previously. They gathered material on Monday, then Marcel dropped by his house on the way to the
base in the early hours of Tuesday, July 8. Roswell
Significant new details emerged, including accounts of a "gouge... that extended four or five hundred feet" at the ranch and descriptions of an elaborate cordon and recovery operation. (Several witnesses in The Roswell Incident described being turned back from the Foster ranch by armed military police, but more extensive descriptions were lacking.)
The Barnett accounts were mentioned, though the dates and locations were changed from the accounts found in The Roswell Incident. In this new account, Brazel is described as leading the Army to a second crash site on the ranch, where the Army was "horrified to find civilians [including Barnett] there already."
New witness accounts added substantially to the reports of aliens and their recovery. Glenn Dennis had emerged as an important witness after calling the hotline when an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries” featured the
incident in 1989. His descriptions of Roswell alien autopsies were the first to place alien corpses at the Roswell Army Air Base. Roswell
No mention, except in passing, was made of the claim found in The Roswell Incident that the
aliens and their craft were shipped to Edwards Air Force Base. The book established a chain of events with alien corpses seen at a crash site, their bodies shipped to the Roswell base as witnessed by Dennis, and then flown to Fort Worth and finally to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, the last known location of the bodies (accounts assembled in part from the testimony of Frank Kaufmann and Capt. O. W. Henderson). Roswell
The book also introduced an account from General Arthur E. Exon, an officer stationed at the alleged final resting place of the recovered material. He stated there was a shadowy group which he called the Unholy Thirteen who controlled and had access to whatever was recovered. He later stated:
"In the '55 time period when Exon was at the Pentagon, there was also the story that whatever happened, whatever was found at
was still closely held and probably would be held until these fellows I mentioned had died so they wouldn't be embarrassed or they wouldn't have to explain why they covered it up. ... until the original thirteen died off and I don't think anyone is going to release anything until the last one's gone." Roswell
In 1992, Crash at
, written by Stanton Friedman and Robert Wooten, suggested a high-level cover-up of a UFO recovery, based on documents they obtained such as the Majestic 12 archive. Corona
These documents were anonymously dropped off at a UFO researcher’s house in 1984 and purported to be 1952 briefing papers for incoming President Dwight Eisenhower describing a high-level government agency whose purpose was to investigate aliens recovered at
and to keep such information hidden from public view. Friedman had done much of the research for The Roswell Incident with William Moore, and Crash at Roswell built on that research. The title contains Corona Corona instead of Roswell as is geographically closer to the Foster ranch crash site. Corona
The time-line is largely the same as previously, with Marcel and Cavitt visiting the ranch on Sunday, July 6. But the book says that Brazel was "taken into custody for about a week" and escorted into the offices of the Roswell Daily Record on July 10 where he gave an account he was told to give by the government.
A sign of the disputes between various researchers is on display as Friedman and Berliner move the Barnett account back to near Socorro and introduce a new eyewitness account of the site from Gerald Anderson who provided vivid descriptions of both a downed alien craft and four aliens, of which at least one was alive.
The authors note that much of their evidence had been dismissed by UFO Crash at
"without a solid basis" and that "a personality conflict between Anderson and Randle" meant that Friedman was the author who investigated his claim. Roswell
The book, however, largely embraces the sequence of events from UFO Crash at
Roswell, where aliens are seen at the Roswell Army Air Field, based on the Dennis account, and then shipped off to and then Wright Field. Fort Worth
The book suggests as many as eight alien corpses were recovered from two crash sites: three dead and perhaps one alive from the Foster ranch, and three dead and one living from the Socorro site.
The Truth about the UFO Crash at
In 1994, Randle and Schmitt published a second book, The Truth about the UFO Crash at
. while restating much of the case as laid out in their earlier book, new and expanded accounts of aliens were included, and a new location for the recovery of aliens was detailed. Additionally, an almost completely new scenario as to the sequence of events was laid out. Roswell
For the first time, the object was said to have crashed on the evening of Friday, July 4 instead of Wednesday July 2, the date in all the previous books. Another important difference was the assertion that the alien recovery was well under way before Brazel went into
with his news about debris on the Foster ranch. Indeed, several objects had been tracked by radar for a few days in the vicinity before one crashed. In all previous accounts, the military was made aware of the alleged alien crash only when Brazel came forward. Additionally, Brazel was said to have given his news conference on July 9, and his press conference and the initial news release announcing the discovery of a "flying disc" were all part of an elaborate ruse to shift attention away from the "true" crash site. Roswell
The book featured a new witness account describing an alien craft and aliens from Jim Ragsdale, at a new location just north of
Roswell, instead of closer to on the Foster ranch. Corroboration was given by accounts from a group of archaeologists. Five alien corpses were seen. Corona
While the Foster ranch was a source of debris as well, no bodies were recovered there.
Expanded accounts came from Dennis and Kaufmann. And a new account from Ruben Anaya described New Mexico Lieutenant Governor Joseph Montoya's claim that he saw alien corpses at the
More disagreement between
researchers is on display in the book. A full chapter is devoted to dismissing the Barnett and Anderson accounts from Socorro, a central part of Crash at Roswell and The Roswell Incident. "...Barnett's story, and in fact, the Plains of San Augustin, near Soccoro scenario, must be discarded", say the authors. Corona
An appendix is devoted to describing the Majestic 12 documents, another central part of Crash at
, as a hoax. Corona
The two Randle and Schmitt books remain highly influential in the UFO community, their interviews and conclusions widely reproduced on websites.
Randle and Schmitt claimed to have "conducted more than two thousand interviews with more than five hundred people" during their
UFO community schism
By the publication of The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell in 1994, a serious split had emerged within the UFO community as to the true sequence of the events and the locations of the alleged alien crash sites.The Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) and the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), two leading UFO societies, were at odds over the various scenarios presented by Randle/Schmitt and Friedman/Berliner, so much so that several conferences were held to try to resolve the differences.
One of the issues under discussion was where, precisely, Barnett was when he saw the alien craft he was said to have encountered. A 1992 conference tried to achieve a consensus among the various scenarios as portrayed in Crash at Corona and UFO Crash at Roswell, but the publication of The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell in 1994 "resolved" the Barnett problem by simply ignoring him and citing a new location for the alien craft recovery, including a new group of archaeologists not connected to the ones the Barnett story cited.
This fundamental disagreement over the location of the alleged crash sites still exists within the UFO community today.
"Alien autopsy" footage
Film footage claimed to have been taken by a
U.S. military official shortly after the incident, and purportedly showing an alien autopsy, was produced in 1995 by Ray Santilli, a London-based video entrepreneur. Roswell
The footage caused an international sensation when it aired on television networks around the world. In 2006, Santilli admitted that the film was mostly a reconstruction but continued to claim that it was based on genuine footage now lost, and that some frames from the original remained. The view of many, however, is that the film was a hoax in its entirety. The story was retold in the comedy film Alien Autopsy, released in 2006.
Air Force reports on the
UFO incident Roswell
In the mid-1990s, the United States Air Force issued two reports which, they said, accounted for the debris found and reported on in 1947, and which also accounted for the later reports of alien recoveries. The reports identified the debris as coming from a top secret government experiment called Project Mogul, which tested the feasibility of detecting Soviet nuclear tests and ballistic missiles with equipment on high-altitude balloons. Accounts of aliens were explained as resulting from misidentified military experiments which used anthropomorphic dummies, accidents involving injured or killed military personnel, and hoaxes perpetrated by various witnesses and UFO proponents.
The Air Force report formed a basis for a skeptical response to the claims many authors were making about the recovery of aliens, though skeptical researchers such as Philip J. Klass and Robert Todd had already been publishing articles for several years raising doubts about alien accounts before the Air Force issued its conclusions.
While books published into the 1990s suggested there was much more to the
incident than the mere recovery of a weather balloon, skeptics, and even some social anthropologists Roswell
Instead saw the increasingly elaborate accounts as evidence of a myth being constructed. After the release of the Air Force reports in the mid-1990s, several books, such as Kal K. Korff's The Roswell UFO Crash: What They Don't Want You To Know, published in 1997, built on the evidence presented in the reports to conclude "there is no credible evidence that the remains of an extraterrestrial spacecraft was involved."
Critics identified several reasons for their contention that the
incident had nothing to do with aliens Roswell
The Problems with witness accounts of the
UFO incident Roswell
Hundreds of witnesses were interviewed by the various researchers, a seemingly impressive figure, but a comparable few were true "witnesses" who claimed to have actually seen debris or aliens, critics point out. Most "witnesses" were in fact repeating the claims of others, and their testimony would be inadmissible hearsay in an American court, says Korff. Of the 90 witnesses claimed to have been interviewed for The Roswell Incident, says Korff, the testimony of only 25 appear in the book, and only seven actually saw the debris. Of these, five handled the debris.
Karl T. Pflock, in his 2001 book
Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe, makes a similar point about Randle and Schmitt's UFO Crash at . Some 271 people are listed in the book who were "contacted and interviewed" for the book, and this number does not include those who chose to remain anonymous, etc., meaning more than 300 "witnesses" were interviewed, a figure Pflock said the authors frequently cited. Roswell
Of these 300-plus individuals, said Pflock, only 41 can be "considered genuine first- or second-hand witnesses to the events in and around
or at the Fort Worth Army Air Field," and only 23 can be "reasonably thought to have seen physical evidence, debris recovered from the Foster Ranch." Of these, said Pflock, only seven have asserted anything suggestive of otherworldly origins for the debris. Roswell
As for the several accounts from those who claimed to have seen aliens, critics identified problems with these accounts ranging from the reliability of second-hand accounts (Pappy Henderson, General Exon, etc.), to serious credibility problems with witnesses making demonstrably false claims or multiple, contradictory accounts (Gerald Anderson, Glenn Dennis, Frank Kaufmann, Jim Ragsdale), to dubious death-bed "confessions" or accounts from elderly and easily confused witnesses (Maj. Edwin Easley, Lewis Rickett).
Pflock, writing in 2001, noted that only four people with firsthand knowledge of alien bodies were interviewed and identified by Roswell authors: Frank Kaufmann; Jim Ragsdale; Lt. Col. Albert Lovejoy Duran; Gerald Anderson.Duran is mentioned in a brief footnote in The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell and never again, while the other three all have serious credibility problems, said Pflock.
A basic problem with all the witness accounts, charge critics, is that they all came a minimum of 31 years after the events in question, and in many cases were recounted more than 40 years after the fact. Not only are memories this old of dubious reliability, say the critics, they were also subject to contamination from other accounts they may have heard.
Finally, the shifting claims of Jesse Marcel, whose suspicions that what he recovered in 1947 was "not of this world" sparked interest in the incident in the first place, cast serious doubt on the reliability of what he claimed, critics charge.
In The Roswell Incident, Marcel stated: "Actually, this material may have looked like tinfoil and balsa wood, but the resemblance ended there." And, "They took one picture of me on the floor holding up some of the less-interesting metallic debris...The stuff in that one photo was pieces of the actual stuff we found. It was not a staged photo."
Timothy Printy points out that the material Marcel positively identified as being part of what he recovered is material which skeptics and UFO advocates agree is debris from a balloon device.
After that fact was pointed out to him, Marcel changed his story to say that that material was not what he recovered.Skeptics like Robert G. Todd argue that Marcel had a history of embellishment and exaggeration, such as claiming to have been a pilot and having received five Air Medals for shooting down enemy planes, claims which were found to be false, and his evolving Roswell story was another instance of this.
Questionable research about
as a myth Roswell
Critics point out that the large variety of claimed crash flights suggest events spanning many years have been incorporated into a single event and that many authors uncritically embrace anything that suggests aliens, even when accounts contradict each other. Said Karl Pflock, a one-time advocate of an alien incident at
Roswell: "[T]he case for is a classic example of the triumph of quantity over quality. The advocates of the crashed-saucer tale... simply shovel everything that seems to support their view into the box marked 'Evidence' and say, 'See? Look at all this stuff. We must be right.' emphasis in original Never mind the contradictions. Never mind the lack of independent supporting fact. Never mind the blatant absurdities." Roswell
Kal Korff suggests there are clear incentives for some to promote the idea of aliens at
, while many researchers are not doing competent work: "The UFO field is comprised of people who are willing to take advantage of the gullibility of others, especially the paying public. Let's not pull any punches here: The Roswell UFO myth has been very good business for UFO groups, publishers, for Roswell Hollywood, the town of , the media, and UFOlogy ... The number of researchers who employ science and its disciplined methodology is appallingly small." Roswell
Gildenberg and others said that, when added up, there were as many as 11 reported alien recovery sites and these recoveries bore only a marginal resemblance to the event as initially reported in 1947 or recounted later by the initial witnesses. Some of these new accounts could have been confused accounts of the several known recoveries of injured and dead from four military plane crashes which occurred in the vicinity from 1948–50.
Others could have been recoveries of test dummies, as suggested by the Air Force in their reports.
Charles Ziegler argued that the
story has all the hallmarks of a traditional folk narrative. He identified six distinct narratives, starting with The Roswell Incident (1980) and a process of transmission via storytellers with a core story which was created from various witness accounts and was shaped and molded by those who carry on the group's (the UFO community) tradition. Others were sought out to expand the core narrative, with those who give accounts not in line with the core beliefs repudiated or omitted by the "gatekeepers." Roswell
Others retold the narratives in new forms, and the process would repeat.
One of the immediate outcomes of the Air Force reports on the Roswell UFO incident was the decision by some prominent UFO researchers to view the
incident as not involving any alien craft. Roswell
While the initial Air Force report was a chief reason for this, another was the release of secret documents from 1948 which showed that top Air Force officials did not know what the UFO objects being reported in the media were and their suspicion they might be Soviet spy vehicles.
In January 1997, Karl T. Pflock, one of the more prominent pro-UFO researchers, said “Based on my research and that of others, I'm as certain as it's possible to be without absolute proof that no flying saucer or saucers crashed in the general vicinity of Roswell or on the Plains of San Agustin in 1947.
The debris found by Mac Brazel...was the remains of something very earthly, all but certainly something from the Top Secret Project Mogul....The formerly highly classified record of correspondence and discussions among top Air Force officials who were responsible for cracking the flying saucer mystery from the mid-1940s through the early 1950s makes it crystal clear that they didn't have any crashed saucer wreckage or bodies of saucer crews, but they were desperate to have such evidence "
Kent Jeffrey, who organized petitions to ask President Bill Clinton to issue an Executive Order to declassify any government information on the
incident, similarly concluded that no such aliens were likely involved. Roswell
William L. Moore, one of the earliest proponents of the
Roswell incident, said this in 1997: "After deep and careful consideration of recent developments concerning ...I am no longer of the opinion that the extraterrestrial explanation is the best explanation for this event." Roswell Moore was co-author of the first book on , The Roswell Incident. Roswell
Witnesses suspected of hoaxes
Around the same time, a serious rift between two prominent
authors emerged. Kevin D. Randle and Donald R. Schmitt had co-authored several books on the subject and were generally acknowledged, along with Stanton Friedman, as the leading researchers into the Roswell incident. Roswell
The Air Force reports on the incident suggested that basic research claimed to have been carried out was not carried out,a fact verified in a 1995 Omni magazine article.
Additionally, Schmitt claimed he had a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and was in the midst of pursuing a doctorate in criminology. He also claimed to be a medical illustrator. When checked, it was revealed he was in fact a letter carrier in
, and had no known academic credentials. At the same time, Randle publicly distanced himself from Schmitt and his research. Referring to Schmitt’s investigation of witness Dennis’s accounts of a missing nurse at the Hartford, Wisconsin base, he said: "The search for the nurses proves that he [Schmitt] will lie about anything. He will lie to anyone ... He has revealed himself as a pathological liar ... I will have nothing more to do with him." Roswell
Additionally, several prominent witnesses were shown to be perpetrating hoaxes, or suspected of doing so. Frank Kaufmann, a major source of alien reports in the 1994 Randle and Schmitt book “The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell” and a witness whose testimony it was charged was “ignored” by the Air Force when compiling their reports,was shown, after his 2001 death, to have been forging documents and inflating his role at Roswell. Randle and Mark Rodeigher repudiated Kaufmann’s credibility in two 2002 articles.
Glenn Dennis, who testified that
Roswell alien autopsies were carried out at the Roswell base and that he and others were the subjects of threats, was deemed one of the “least credible” witnesses by Randle in 1998. In Randle and Schmitt’s 1991 book “UFO Crash at Roswell ,” Dennis’s story was featured prominently. Randle said Dennis was not credible “for changing the name of the nurse once we had proved she didn't exist.” Dennis’s accounts were also doubted by researcher Pflock. Roswell
Photo analysis; documentaries; new claims Roswell UFO
UFO researcher David Rudiak, and others before him, claimed that a telegram which appears in one of the 1947 photos of balloon debris in Ramey's office contains text that confirms that bodies and a "disc" were recovered. Rudiak and some other examiners claim that when enlarged, the text on the paper General Ramey is holding in his hand includes key phrases "the victims of the wreck" and "in/on the 'disc'" plus other phrases seemingly in the context of a crashed vehicle recovery. However, pro-UFO interpretations of this document are disputed by independent photoanalyses, such as one facilitated by researcher James Houran, Ph.D., that suggest the letters and words are indistinct. Other objections question the plausibility of a general allowing himself to be photographed holding such a document, raise issues with the format of the memo, and ponder the logic of Ramey having in his possession a document he, as Rudiak argued, has sent which says "...the wreck you forwarded..." yet is supposedly addressed to the Headquarters of the Army Air Force in Washington, not the Roswell Army Air Field.
In 2002, the Sci-Fi Channel sponsored an excavation at the Brazel site in the hopes of uncovering any missed debris that the military failed to collect. Although these results have so far turned out to be negative, the
archaeological team did verify recent soil disruption at the exact location that some witnesses said they saw a long, linear impact groove. Gov. Bill Richardson of University of New Mexico , who headed the United States Department of Energy under President Clinton, apparently found the results provocative. In 2004, he wrote in a foreword to The Roswell Dig Diaries, that "the mystery surrounding this crash has never been adequately explained—not by independent investigators, and not by the New Mexico government." U.S.
On October 26, 2007,
Richardson (at the time a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for U.S. President) elaborated when he was asked about releasing government files on . Roswell Richardson responded that when he was a Congressman, he attempted to get information on behalf of his constituents, but was told by both the Department of Defense and Los Alamos Labs that the information was classified. "That ticked me off," he said "The government doesn't tell the truth as much as it should on a lot of issues." He promised to work on opening the files if he were elected as President. New Mexico
In October 2002 before airing its
documentary, the Sci Fi Channel also hosted a Washington UFO news conference. John Podesta, President Clinton's chief of staff, appeared as a member of the public relations firm hired by Sci-Fi to help get the government to open up documents on the subject. Podesta stated, "It is time for the government to declassify records that are more than 25 years old and to provide scientists with data that will assist in determining the true nature of the phenomena." Roswell
In February 2005, the ABC TV network aired a UFO special hosted by news anchor Peter Jennings.
Jennings lambasted the case as a "myth ... without a shred of evidence." ABC endorsed the Air Force's explanation that the incident resulted solely from the crash of a Project Mogul balloon. Roswell
Top Secret/Majic (2005 edition)
Stanton T. Friedman continues to defend his view that the Majestic 12 documents which describe a secret government agency hiding information on recovered aliens are authentic. In an afterword dated April 2005 to a new edition of his book Top Secret/Majic (first published in 1996), he responds to more recent questions on their validity and concludes "I am still convinced
really happened, [and] that the Eisenhower Briefing Document i.e., Majestic 12 ... and others are the most important classified documents ever leaked to the public." Roswell
While the bulk of the book discusses the documents in detail, mention is made of the Barnett alien site, near Socorro,and Friedman has self-published as recently as 2003 articles which defend his view that aliens were recovered there and at a second site at the Foster ranch, seemingly the same sites as detailed in Crash at Corona.
In June 2007, Donald Schmitt and his investigation partner Tom Carey published their first book together, Witness to
In this book, they claim a "continuously growing roster of more than 600 people directly or indirectly associated with the events at
who support the first account - that initial claim of the flying saucer recovery." Roswell
New accounts of aliens or alien recoveries were described, including from Walter Haut who wrote the initial press release in 1947.
A new date was suggested for a crash of a mysterious object—the evening of Thursday, July 3, 1947. Also, unlike previous accounts, Brazel took debris to
, where he showed fragments to local residents in the local bar, hardware store and elsewhere, and to Capitan to the south, while portions of the object ended up at a 4 July rodeo. Corona
Numerous people are described as visiting the debris field and taking souvenirs before Brazel finally went to
to report the find on July 6. Once the military was alerted to the debris, extensive efforts were undertaken to retrieve those souvenirs: "Ranch houses were and ransacked. The wooden floors of livestock sheds were pried loose plank by plank and underground cold storage fruit cellars were emptied of all their contents." Roswell
The subsequent events are related as per the sequence in previous books, except for a second recovery site of an alien body at the Foster ranch. This recovery near the debris field is the same site mentioned in 1991's UFO Crash at
. The authors suggest that Brazel discovered the second site some days after finding the debris field, and this prompted him to travel to Roswell and report his find to the authorities. Roswell
Neither Barnett nor the archaeologists are present at this body site. While noting the earlier "major problems" with Barnett's account which caused Schmitt and previous partner Randle to omit Barnett's claim in 1994's The Truth about the UFO Crash at
, the new book further notes another site mentioned in the 1994 publication. This site closer to Roswell "turned out to be bogus, as it was based upon the testimony of a single, alleged eyewitness [Frank Kaufmann] who himself was later discovered to have been a purveyor of false information." Jim Ragsdale, whose alien account opened that book and who was claimed to have been present along with some archaeologists, is not mentioned in the new book. Roswell
The book includes claims that Major Marcel saw alien bodies, a claim not present in the previous books mentioned. Two witnesses are cited who say Marcel briefly mentioned seeing bodies, one a relative and another a tech sergeant who worked with Marcel's intelligence team.
Much additional new testimony is presented to support notions that alien bodies were found at the Foster ranch and at another main crash site along with a craft, then processed at the base in a hangar and at the hospital, and finally flown out in containers, all under very tight security. The book suggests Brazel found "two or three alien bodies" about two miles east of the debris field and describes the rest of a stricken alien craft along with the remainder of the crew remaining airborne for some 30 more miles before crashing at another site about 40 miles north/northwest of Roswell (but not the same site described by Kaufmann). The authors claim to have located this final crash site in 2005 where "an additional two or three dead aliens and one live one were discovered by civilian archaeologists," but offer no more information about the new site.
Walter Haut, as the Roswell Army Air Field public affairs officer, had drafted the initial press release that went out over the news wires on the afternoon of July 8, 1947, announcing a "flying disc". This was the only direct involvement Haut had previously described in public statements and signed affidavits. The book presents a new affidavit that Haut signed in 2002 in which he claims much greater personal knowledge and involvement, including seeing alien corpses and craft, and involvement in a cover-up. Haut died in 2005.
Another new first-hand account from MP Elias Benjamin describes how he guarded aliens on gurneys taken to the
base hospital from the same hangar. Roswell
Similarly, family members of Miriam Bush, secretary to the chief medical officer at
base, told of having been led into an examination room where alien corpses were laid out on gurneys. In both accounts, one of the aliens was said to be still alive. The book also recounted earlier testimony of the Anaya family about picking up New Mexico Lt. Governor Joseph Montoya at the base, and a badly shaken Montoya relating that he saw four alien bodies at the base hangar, one of them alive. Benjamin's and Bush's accounts, as do a few lesser ones, again place aliens at the Roswell base hospital, as had the Glenn Dennis story from almost 20 years before. The book notes that Dennis had been found to have told lies, and therefore is a supplier of unreliable testimony, but had nevertheless told others of incidents at the Roswell base long before it became associated with aliens in the late 1970s. Roswell
Walter Haut controversy
The publishing of the Walter Haut affidavit in Witness to
, wherein Haut described a cover-up and seeing alien corpses, ignited a controversy in UFO circles. While many embraced his accounts as confirmation of the presence of aliens from a person who was known to have been on the base in 1947, others raised questions about the credibility of the accounts. Roswell
UFO researcher Dennis G. Balthaser, who along with fellow researcher Wendy Connors interviewed Haut on-camera in 2000, doubted that the same man he interviewed could have written the affidavit he signed. "The 2000 video shows a man that couldn't remember where he took basic training, names, dates, etc., while the 2002 affidavit is very detailed and precise with information Haut couldn't accurately remember 2 years after he was video taped." Witness to
co-author Don Schmitt, he notes, admitted that the affidavit was not written by Haut, but prepared for him to sign, based on statements Haut had made privately to Schmitt and co-author Tom Carey over a period of years. And further, notes Balthaser, neither he nor Carey were there when Haut signed the affidavit and the witness' name has not been revealed, casting doubt on the circumstances of the signing. Roswell
He had further questions about what he saw as problems with the 2002 account. If the cover-up was decided at a meeting at
Roswell, he asked, "why was it necessary for Major Marcel to fly debris from to General Ramey’s office in Ft Worth, since they had all handled the debris in the meeting and apparently set up the cover-up operation?" He also wondered which Haut statements were true, a 1993 affidavit he signed, the 2000 video interview, or the 2002 affidavit. Roswell
Bill Birnes, writing for UFO Magazine, summarizes that whatever disagreements there are about the 2000 video and the 2002 affidavit, "I think Walter Haut's 2002 affidavit really says it all and agrees, on its material facts, with Walter's 2000 interview with Dennis Balthaser and Wendy Connors. Dennis said he agrees with me, too, on this point."
A comparison of the affidavit and interview shows that in both Haut said he saw a craft and at least one body in a base hangar and also attended a
staff meeting where General Ramey was present and where Ramey put a cover-up into place. Roswell
Birnes also says that Carey told that while Haut may not have written the affidavit, "his statements were typed, shown to him for his review and agreement, and then affirmed by him in the presence of a witness... The fact that a notary was present and sealed the document should end any doubt as to the reality of its existence."
Julie Shuster, Haut's daughter and Director of the
International UFO Museum in , said that Schmitt had written the affidavit based on years of conversations he and Carey had had with him. Writing in the September, 2007 MUFON newsletter, she said she and Haut reviewed the document, that "he did not want to make any changes," and in the presence of two witnesses, a notary public from the museum and a visitor, both unidentified, he signed the affidavit Roswell