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upEnigma Issue 4: Roswell - The Evidence
The Roswell case represents one of the most intriguing and most investigated cases of UFO History. What exactly happened on July 2nd 1947 in a deserted part of New Mexico?

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Jesse Marcel
[Major Jesse Marcel was one of the the first two military people to visit the Corona crash site. The other was Sheridan Cavitt, who to this day has refused to even acknowledge that he was there on the ranch with Marcel.
Jesse Marcel died in 1982. He was interviewed in 1979.]

When we arrived at the crash site, it was amazing to see the vast amount of area it covered. It was nothing that hit the ground or exploded [on] the ground. It's something that must have exploded above ground, travelling perhaps at a high rate of speed, we don't know. But it scattered over an area of about three quarters of a mile long, I would say, and fairly wide, several hundred feet wide. So we proceeded to pick up all the fragments we could find and load up our Jeep Carry-All. It was quite obvious to me, familiar with air activities, that it was not a weather balloon, nor was it an airplane or just picked up the fragments. It was something I had never seen before, and I was pretty familiar with all air activities. We loaded up the Carry-All but I wasn't satisfied. I told Cavitt, "You drive this vehicle back to the base and I'll go back out there and pick up as much as I can put in the car,", which I did. But we picked up only a very small portion of the material that was there.

One thing that impressed me about the debris that we were referring to is the fact that a lot of it looked like parchment. A lot of it had a lot of little members [I-beams] with symbols that we had to call them hieroglyphics because I could not interpret them, they could not be read, they were just symbols, something that meant something and they were not all the same. The members that this was painted on -- by the way, those symbols were pink and purple, lavender was actually what it was. And so these little members could not be broken, could not be burned. I even tried to burn that. It would not burn. The same with the parchment we had.

But something that is more astounding is that the piece of metal that we brought back was so thin, just like the tinfoil in a pack of cigarette paper. I didn't pay too much attention to that at first, until one of the GIs came to me and said, "You know the metal that was in there? I tried to bend that stuff and it won't bend. I even tried it with a sledge hammer. You can't make a dent on it."

I didn't go back to look at it myself again, because we were busy in the office and I had quite a bit of work to do. I am quite sure that this young fellow would not have lied to me about that, because he was a very truthful, very honest guy, so I accepted his word for that. So, beyond that, I didn't actually see him hit the matter with a sledge hammer, but he said, "It's definite that it cannot be bent and it's so light that it doesn't weigh anything." And that was true of all the material that was brought up. It was so light that it weighed practically nothing.

This particular piece of metal was, I would say, about two feet long and perhaps a foot wide. See, that stuff weighs nothing, it's so thin, it isn't any thicker than the tinfoil in a pack of cigarettes. So I tried to bend the stuff, it wouldn't bend. We even tried making a dent in it with a 16-pound sledge hammer, and there was still no dent in it.
I didn't have the time to go out there and find out more about it, because I had so much other work to do that I just let it go. It's still a mystery to me as to what the whole thing was. Like I said before, I knew quite a bit about the material used in the air, but it was nothing I had seen before. And as of now, I still don't know what it was. So that's how it stands.

[Here is what Jesse Marcel said on the American television program "Unsolved Mysteries".]

There were just fragments strewn all over the area, an area about three quarters of a mile long and several hundred feet wide. So we proceeded to pick up the parts.

I tried to bend the stuff, it would not bend. I even tried to burn it, it would not burn. That stuff weighs nothing. It's not any thicker than tin foil in a pack of cigarettes. We even tried making a dent in it with a 16-pound sledge hammer, still no dent in it.

One thing I was certain of, being familiar with all our activities, that it was not a weather balloon, nor an aircraft, nor a missile. It was something else, which we didn't know what it was.

Jesse Marcel Jr
[Jesse Marcel Jr is Major Jesse Marcel's son. When Major Marcel returned from the Foster Ranch with a car load of wreckage from the crashed flying saucer, he stopped off at home to show his wife and his eleven-year old son what he had found. Jesse Jr is now a medical doctor, an Army reserve helicopter pilot who served in Vietnam, and a qualified aircraft accident investigator.]

The crash and remnants of the device that I happened to see have left an imprint on my memory that can never be forgotten. The craft was not conventional in any sense of the word, in that the remains were most likely what was then known as a flying saucer that had apparently been stressed beyond its designed capabilities.

I'm basing this on the fact that many of the remnants, including I-beam pieces that were present, had strange hieroglyphic typewriting symbols across the inner surfaces, pink and purple, except that I don't think there were any animal figures present as there are in true Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The remainder of the debris was just described as nondescript metallic debris, or just shredded fragments, but there was a fair amount of the intact I-beam members present. I only saw a small portion of the debris that was actually present at the crash site.

[Here is what Jesse Marcel Jr said on the American television program "Unsolved Mysteries".]

When [Dad] came back to the house he had a bunch of wreckage with him at the time, and he brought the wreckage into the house. Actually wakened my mother and myself out so we could view this, because it was so unusual. This was about two o'clock in the morning as I recall, and he spread it out so we could get some basic idea what it looked like, what it was....

We were all amazed by this debris that was there, primarily because we didn't know what it was, you know, it was just the unknown....

This writing [on a short piece of I-beam] could be described as like hieroglyphics, Egyptian-type hieroglyphics, but not really. The symbols that were on the I-beams were more of a geometric-type configuration in various designs. It had a violet-purple type colour and was actually an embossed part of the metal itself.

Years after this incident happened, we would talk privately among ourselves about what the possibilities of this, what this thing was. And I feel that we, well I know that we came to the conclusion it was not of earthly origin.

If I had not actually held pieces of it in my hand, I would not think that it would be possible. But because I happened to see this, that's the only reason I believe it....

My dad said obviously it [the weather balloon story] was a cover-up story, it was not a weather balloon. He was a little disturbed about that, but he had his own security classification to protect. He could not really go public with, hey this is not the real thing, I mean this is not a weather balloon. So he had to keep that to himself.

Walter Haut
[Second Lieutenant Walter Haut was a public information officer at Roswell AAF in 1947. Colonel Blanchard ordered Haut to issue a press release telling the country that the Army had found a flying saucer. Here is the text of Haut's press release.]

The many rumours regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the Intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff's office of Chaves County.

The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff's office, who in turn notified Maj. Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office.

Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher's home. It was inspected at Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters.

[Here is what Haut said on the American television program "Unsolved Mysteries".]

I took the release into town. And that was one of the things that Colonel Blanchard told me to do, take it into town, because if there was any validity to this, he didn't want the news media to feel that we had jumped over their heads and were not cooperating with them.

[Here is what Haut said in an interview for an article in "Air and Space/Smithsonian" magazine, Sep-Oct 1992, when asked what he thought really happened back in 1947.]

I feel there was a crash of an extra-terrestrial vehicle near Corona.

Bill Rickett
[Bill Rickett was a Counter Intelligence Corps officer based in Roswell. He had an opportunity to examine some of the wreckage recovered from the Foster Ranch. He escorted Dr Lincoln LaPaz, a meteor expert from the New Mexico Institute of Meteoritics, on a tour of the crash site and the surrounding area.]
[The material] was very strong and very light. You could bend it but couldn't crease it. As far as I know, no one ever figured out what it was made of....
It was LaPaz's job to try to find out what the speed and trajectory of the thing was. LaPaz was a world-renowned expert on trajectories of objects in the sky, especially meteors, and I was told to give him all the help I could.

At one point LaPaz interviewed the farmer [Mac Brazel]. I remember something coming up during their conversation about this fellow thinking that some of his animals had acted strangely after this thing happened. Dr LaPaz seemed very interested in this for some reason.

LaPaz wanted to fly over the area, and this was arranged.
He found one other spot where he felt this thing had touched down and then taken off again. The sand at this spot had been turned into a glass-like substance. We collected a boxful of samples of this material. As I recall, there were some metal samples here, too, of that same sort of thin foil stuff. LaPaz sent this box off somewhere for study; I don't know or recall where, but I never saw it again. This place was some miles from the other one.

LaPaz was very good at talking to people, especially some of the local ranch hands who didn't speak a lot of English.
LaPaz spoke Spanish. I remember he found a couple of people who had seen two -- I don't know what to call them, UFOs I suppose -- anyway, had seen two of these things fly over very slowly at a very low altitude on a date, in the evening, that he determined had been a day or two after the other one had blown up. These people said something about animals being affected, too....

Before he went back to Albuquerque, he told me that he was certain that this thing had gotten into trouble, that it had touched down for repairs, taken off again, and then exploded. He also felt certain there were more than one of these devices, and that the others had been looking for it.
At least that's what he said. He was positive the thing had malfunctioned.

The Air Force's explanation that it was a balloon was totally untrue. It was not a balloon. I never did know for sure what its purpose was, but it wasn't ours. I remember speculating with LaPaz that it might have been some higher civilization checking on us. LaPaz wasn't against the idea, but he was going to leave speculations out of his report.

[F.B. was an Army Air Forces photographer stationed at Anacostia Naval Air Station in Washington DC when he and fellow photographer A.K. were flown aboard a B-25 bomber to Roswell Army Air Field sometime during the second week of July 1947. F.B. was interviewed by Stanton Friedman.]

One morning they came in and they said, "Pack up your bags and we'll have the cameras there, ready for you." We didn't know where we was going.
[After a few hours' flight, they arrived at Roswell.] We got in a staff car with some of the gear they had brought along with us in trucks, and we headed out, about an hour and a half, we was heading north.

We got out there [one of the crash sites in the Corona area] and there was a helluva lot of people out there, in a closed tent. You couldn't hardly see anything inside the tent.
They said, "Set your camera up to take a picture fifteen feet away." A.K. got in a truck and headed out to where they was picking up pieces. All kinds of brass running around. And they was telling us what to do. Shoot this, shoot that. There was an officer in charge. He met us out there and he'd go into the tent and he'd come back and tell us, "OK." He'd stand there right besides us and [say], "OK, take this picture."

There was four bodies I could see when the flash went off, but you was almost blind because it was a beautiful day, sunny. You'd go in this tent, which was awful dark. That's all I was taking, bodies. These bodies was under a canvas, and they'd open it up and you'd take a picture, flip out your flashbulb, put another one in [take another picture] and give him the film holder (each holder held two sheets of four-by-five inch cut film) and then you went to the next spot.

I guess there was ten to twelve officers, and when I got ready to go in, they'd all come out. The tent was about twenty by thirty foot. The bodies looked like they was lying on a tarp. One guy did all the instructions. He'd take a flashlight and he'd come down there. "See this flashlight?" Yes sir. "You're in focus with it?" Yes sir. "Take a picture of this." He'd take the flashlight away.
We just moved around in a circle, taking pictures. Seemed to me [the bodies] were all just about identical. I remember they was thin, and it looked like they had too big of a head. I took thirty shots. I think I had about fifteen [film] holders. It smelled funny in there.

A.K. came back in a truck that was loaded down with debris.
A lot of pieces sticking out that wasn't there when they took off. We got debriefed on the way back to the airport [Roswell Army Air Field]. About four the next morning, they woke us, they took us to the mess hall, we ate, we got back on the B-25 and headed back. When we got back to Anacostia we got debriefed some more, by a lieutenant commander. [It was made clear to both F.B and A.K. that whatever they thought they saw in New Mexico, they hadn't seen.]

Robert Porter
[M/Sgt Robert Porter was a B-29 flight engineer with the 830th Bomb Squadron. He happens to be Loretta Proctor's brother. He was interviewed by Stanton Friedman.]

We flew these pieces. [Some officers in the crew] told us it was parts of a flying saucer. The packages were in wrapping paper, one triangle-shaped about two and a half feet across the bottom, the rest in smaller, shoe box-sized packages. [They were in] brown paper with tape. It was just like I picked up an empty package, very light. The loaded triangle-shaped package and three shoe box-sized packages would have fit into the trunk of a car.

On board were Lieutenant Colonel Payne Jennings [deputy commander of Roswell] and Major Marcel. Captain Anderson said it was from a flying saucer. We got to Fort Worth, they transferred [the packages] to a B-25 and took them to Wright [Field]. When we landed at [Fort Worth], Colonel Jennings told us to take care of maintenance, and after a guard was posted, we could eat lunch. We came back, they told us they had transferred the material to a B-25. They told us it was a weather balloon. It WASN'T a weather balloon.

Robert Shirkey
[First Lieutenant Robert Shirkey was assistant operations officer of the 509th Bomb Group. He was interviewed by Stanton Friedman.]

A call came in to have a B-29 ready to go as soon as possible. Where to? Forth Worth, on Colonel Blanchard's directive. [I was] in the Operations Office when Colonel Blanchard arrived and asked if the airplane was ready. When told it was, Blanchard waved to somebody, and approximately five people came in the front door, down the hallway, and onto the ramp to climb into the airplane, carrying parts of the crashed flying saucer. I got a very short glimpse, asked Blanchard to turn sideways so [I] could see too. Saw them carrying pieces of metal. They had one piece that was eighteen by twenty-four inches, brushed stainless steel in colour.

Robert Slusher
[S/Sgt Robert Slusher was assigned to the 393rd Bomb Squadron. On or about July 9, 1947, he was on board a B-29 that carried a single crate from Roswell AAF to Fort Worth AAF. Also on board were were four armed MPs. He said the crate was twelve feet long, five feet wide, and four feet high. Upon arrival at Fort Worth, the crate was loaded onto a flatbed weapons carrier and hauled off, accompanied by the MPs, who later rejoined the crew for the return flight. Robert Slusher was interviewed in 1991.]

[There was an implication that the contents of the crate was sensitive to air pressure, which suggests that the crate contained something other than pieces of metal. The plane flew at the unusually low altitude of four to five thousand feet. Usually on such a trip a B-29 flies at twenty-five thousand feet, as its cabin is pressurized and the B-29 flies better at high altitude. However, the bomb bay where the crate was stowed cannot be pressurized.]

The return flight was above twenty thousand feet, and the cabin was pressurized. The round trip took approximately three hours, fifteen minutes. The flight was unusual in that we flew there, dropped the cargo, and returned immediately. It was a hurried flight; normally we knew the day before there would be a flight.

There was a rumour that the crate had debris from the crash. Whether there were any bodies, I don't know. The crate had been specially made; it had no markings.

Robert Smith
[Robert Smith was a member of the First Air Transport Unit, which operated Douglas C-54 Skymaster four-engined cargo planes out of the Roswell AAF. He was interviewed in 1991.]

A lot of people began coming in all of a sudden because of the official investigation. Somebody said it was a plane crash, but we heard from a man in Roswell that it was not a plane crash, it was something else, a strange object. There was another indication that something serious was going on.
One night, when we were coming back to Roswell, a convoy of trucks covered with canvas passed us. When they got to the [airfield] gate, they headed over to this hangar on the east end, which was rather unusual. The truck convoy had red lights and sirens.

My involvement in the incident was to help load crates of debris into the aircraft. We all became aware of the event when we went to the hangar on the east side of the ramp.
There were a lot of people in plain clothes all over the place. They were inspectors, but they were strangers on the base. When challenged, they replied they were here on Project So-and-So, and flashed a card, which was different from a military ID card.

We were taken to the hangar to load crates. There was a lot of farm dirt on the hangar floor. We loaded [the crates] on flatbeds and dollies. Each crate had to be checked as to width and height. We had to know which crates went on which plane. We loaded crates on three [or] four C-54s. We weren't supposed to know their destination, but we were told they were headed north.

All I saw was a little piece of material. You could crumple it up, let it come out. You couldn't crease it. One of our people put it in his pocket. The piece of debris I saw was two to three inches square. It was jagged. When you crumpled it up, it then laid back out. And when it did, it kind of crackled, making a sound like cellophane. It crackled when it was let out. There were no creases.

There were armed guards around during loading of our planes, which was unusual at Roswell. There was no way to get to the ramp except through armed guards. There were MPs on the outskirts, and our personnel were between them and the planes.

The largest [crate] was roughly twenty feet long, four to five feet high, and four to five feet wide. It took up an entire plane. It wasn't that heavy, but it was a large volume. The rest of the crates were two or three feet long and two feet square or smaller. The sergeant who had the piece of material said [it was like] the material in the crates. The entire loading took at least six, perhaps eight hours. Lunch was brought to us, which was unusual. The crates were brought to us on flatbed dollies, which was also unusual.

Officially, we were told it was a crashed plane, but crashed planes usually were taken to the salvage yard, not flown out. I don't think it was an experimental plane, because not too many people in that area were experimenting with planes. I'm convinced that what we loaded was a UFO that got into mechanical problems. Even with the most intelligent people, things go wrong.

[The C-54 into which I helped load the single twenty-foot crate] would have been Pappy Hendersons. I remember seeing T/Sgt Harbell Elzey, T/Sgt. Edward Bretherton, and S/Sgt. William Fortner.

Melvin Brown's Daughter
[Sergeant Melvin Brown was a cook at Roswell AAF in 1947.
One day, he was called out to help guard material retrieved from the Foster Ranch. His daughter Beverly was interviewed by Stanton Friedman in 1989.]

When we were young, he used to tell us stories about things that had happened to him when he was young. We got to know those stories by heart and would all say together, "Here we go again."

Sometimes, but not too often, he used to say that he saw a man from outer space. That used to make us all giggle like mad. He said he had to stand guard duty outside a hangar where a crashed flying saucer was stored, and that his commanding officer said, "Come on, Brownie, let's have a look inside." But they didn't see anything because it had all been packed up and [was] ready to be flown out to Texas.

He also said that one day all available men were grabbed and that they had to stand guard where a crashed disc had come down. Everything was being loaded onto trucks, and he couldn't understand why some of the trucks had ice or something in them. He did not understand what they wanted to keep cold. Him and another guy had to ride in the back of one of the trucks, and although they were told that they could get into a lot of trouble if they took in too much of what was happening, they had a quick look under the covering and saw two dead bodies, alien bodies.

We really had to giggle at that bit. He said they were smaller than a normal man, about four feet, and had much larger heads than us, with slanted eyes, and that the bodies looked yellowish, a bit Asian-looking. We did not believe him when we were kids, but as I got older, I did kind of believe it. Once I asked him if he was scared by them, and he said, "Hell no, they looked nice, almost as though they would be friendly if they were alive."

Pappy Henderson
[Captain Oliver Wendell "Pappy" Henderson was stationed at Roswell AAF in 1947. He had flown thirty missions in B-24 Liberator bombers in Europe. He had participated in the postwar A-bomb tests in the Pacific and earned major commendations for his flying. Unfortunately, he died before any UFO investigator could interview him, but near the end of his life he old some of the people closest to him about what he had seen in July 1947.]

Pappy Henderson's Wife
[Sappho Henderson was Pappy Henderson's wife. She was interviewed by Stanton Friedman.]

We met during World War II when he flew with the 446th Bomb Squadron. He flew B-24s [on] thirty missions over Germany.
After the war, he returned home and was then sent to Roswell. While stationed there, he ran the "Green Hornet Airline", which involved flying C-54s and C-47s carrying VIPs, scientists, and materials from Roswell to the Pacific during the atom bomb tests. He had to have a Top Secret clearance for this responsibility.

In 1980 or 1981, he picked up a newspaper at a grocery store where we were living in San Diego. One article described the crash of a UFO outside Roswell, with the bodies of aliens discovered beside the craft. He pointed out the article to me and said, "I want you to read this article, because it's a true story. I'm the pilot who flew the wreckage of the UFO to Dayton, Ohio [where Wright Field is].
I guess now that they're putting it in the paper, I can tell you about this. I wanted to tell you for years." Pappy never discussed his work because of his security clearance.

He described the beings as small with large heads for their size. He said the material that their suits were made of was different than anything he had ever seen. He said they looked strange. I believe he mentioned that the bodies had been packed in dry ice to preserve them.

[Here is what Sappho Henderson said on the American television program "Unsolved Mysteries".]

My husband Oliver Henderson, otherwise known as "Pappy" in the Air Force, he was entrusted with many of this country's top secrets. And they were safe with him. He never told anything that he wasn't supposed to. And therefore it was 34 years after this incident happened that I heard about it....

My husband told me the bodies were smaller than human bodies. The heads were larger and the eyes were rather sunken and a little slanted. Clothing was of material unlike anything he had seen before. They were strange, they were not of this earth.

When my husband, who was a man of truth, who was trusted with 29 different Army aircraft planes, first pilot aircraft commander, tells me this story, I believed him.

Pappy Henderson's Daughter
[Mary Kathryn Groode is Pappy Henderson's daughter.]

When I was growing up, he and I would often spend evenings looking at the stars. On one occasion, I asked him what he was looking for. He said, "I'm looking for flying saucers. They're real, you know."

In 1981, during a visit to my parents' home, my father showed me a newspaper article which described the crash of a UFO and the recovery of alien bodies outside Roswell, New Mexico. He told me that he saw the crashed craft and the alien bodies described in the article, and that he had flown the wreckage to Ohio. He described the alien beings as small and pale, with slanted eyes and large heads. He said they were humanoid-looking, but different from us. I think he said there were three bodies.

He said the matter had been Top Secret and that he was not supposed to discuss it with anyone, but that he felt it was alright to tell me because it was in the newspaper.

Pappy Henderson's Relatives
[Stanton Friedman spoke with Pappy Henderson's son and cousin, both of whom told of having heard Pappy quietly tell his story after the newspaper article appeared.]

Pappy Henderson's Friend #1
[John Kromschroeder is a dentist and a retired military officer. In 1977, Henderson told Kromschroeder that in 1947 he had transported wreckage and alien bodies. About a year later, Henderson showed Kromschroeder a piece of metal he had taken from the collection of wreckage. Kromschroeder and Henderson shared an interest in metallurgy. Kromschroeder was interviewed in 1990.]

I gave it a good, thorough looking-at and decided it was an alloy we are not familiar with. Gray, lustrous metal resembling aluminum, lighter in weight and much stiffer. [We couldn't] bend it. Edges sharp and jagged.

Pappy Henderson's Friend #2
[In 1982, Pappy Henderson met with several members of his old bomber crew during a reunion. One of these men was later interviewed.]

It was in his hotel room that he told us the story of the UFO and about his part. All we were told by Pappy is that he flew the plane to Wright Field. He definitely mentioned the bodies, but I don't recall any details except that they were small and different. I was sceptical at first, but soon saw that Pappy was quite serious.

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