Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Roswell Chronology

The chronology of the events outside of Roswell is sometimes very confusing, as bob koford noted in his questions about the Bessie Brazel involvement in the recovery of what she said was a weather balloon. The problem is that we must base some of the chronology on speculation because there are discrepancies in the published record, there are conflicting statements made by witnesses, and there is a confusion caused by the personal agendas of Roswell authors and the point of view of the Air Force.

If we are dealing with a Project Mogul explanation, we probably should start the chronology before Mack Brazel finds anything on his ranch. We need to start with the balloon experiments in Alamogordo.

June 4, 1947 - According to the diary kept be Dr. Albert Crary, the man in charge of the balloon experiments in New Mexico: Out to Tularosa Range and fired charges between 00 and 06 this am. No balloon flight again on account of clouds. Flew regular sonobuoy up in cluster of balloons and had good luck on receiver on ground but poor on plane. Out with Thompson pm. Shot charges from 1800 to 2400.

So we have contradictory accounts here in the only documented source. Charles Moore, who was with Crary on these tests wrote, "My examination of his original handwritten entries suggests that he copied from other notes; the entries from June 2 through the first half of June 5 appear to have been written in one sitting with the same pencil and without any corrections or false starts."

This is really unhelpful because the key Mogul launch is that of Flight No. 4, that is, the June 4 launch. The remains of the other balloon launches were recovered or spotted. The next possible culprit, Flight No. 9, turns out was not a viable alternative, leaving, for the Project Mogul crowd, only Flight No. 4.

What this means is that the flight, which Moore said he remembered got close to Arabella, NM, and which he used winds aloft data to attempt to plot a course some fifty years later, might have come down on the Brazel (Foster) ranch. It would have fallen late on June 4 or early on June 5. It must be stated here that Moore’s calculations take it no closer than 17 miles of the recovery area which, of course, only puts it in the area and not down where Brazel found debris.

June 14, 1947 - According to the article published in the Roswell Daily Record, Brazel said that he and his 8-year-old son were on the range some seven or eight miles from the ranch house when they found the debris.

This suggests that Brazel discovered the material three weeks before he reported it to the sheriff. What doesn’t make sense here is why he would leave it in the field for three weeks, then clean it up himself and then report it to the sheriff.

July 4, 1947 - Brazel, quoted in the Roswell Daily Record, said that he, his wife, son Vernon and 14-year-old daughter Bessie (identified as Betty in the newspaper) went out to the range and cleaned up the debris.

Bill Brazel, who at the time lived in Albuquerque says that the family was in Tularosa because when he arrived at the ranch, no one was there. He was there for a couple of days or so before his father returned from Roswell.

July 6, 1947 - Brazel traveled to Roswell and told local authorities of the debris, according to the time lines developed by various UFO researchers. According to wire service stories dated July 8, "Sheriff [George] Wilcox [Chaves County Sheriff] says the rancher does not have a telephone, and that he did not report finding the disc until the day before yesterday [meaning July 6 here].

This seems to document the Sunday trip by Brazel into Roswell even though later newspaper articles suggest that he didn’t drive into town until Monday, July 7.

July 6, 1947 - Major Jesse Marcel is called by the sheriff and eventually drives out to the ranch with Brazel to see the debris. Marcel would say that he went out with Captain Sheridan Cavitt, who would deny this and then confirm it.Marcel would later say he didn’t know what it was.

July 8, 1947 - Walt Whitmore, Sr., majority owner of KGFL apparently drove out to find Brazel and took him back to Roswell. There he was interviewed at length.

Jud Roberts, the minority owner of the station told various investigators and researchers that they had an hour long recording of Brazel, but before they could broadcast it, they were ordered not to. That recording has long since disappeared.

July 8, 1947 - There are a number of wire service stories. Frank Joyce, who worked at KGFL radio in Roswell at the time, kept teletype messages so that we can see what was being said over the wire.

July 9, 1947 - the Roswell Daily Record supplies office space so that two reporters from the Associated Press can interview Brazel.

Here are the problems. According to ranchers, they wouldn’t leave the debris in the field once they found it because the livestock would eat it and that could prove fatal. They would have picked it up. So, if Brazel had found it on June 14 (which, BTW negates Mogul Flight No. 9), he would have had it cleaned up around that date.

There is conflicting data about the timing of Brazel’s first trip into Roswell. This really isn’t a major concern. We have the story, told by Marcel, of remaining overnight at the Brazel ranch. Bessie Brazel said no to that. Mary Cavitt said no, basing that on her opinion that if her husband had just arrived in Roswell and then was gone overnight, she’d remember.

Clearly Brazel was in Roswell on the evening of July 8 and on July 9. He provided his story to the reporters in Roswell, there are pictures of him there, and there are witnesses to his presence there. There is no reason to reject this idea even though Bessie said that her father did not remain overnight in Roswell.

Both Bill Brazel, who drove from Albuquerque to Corona, and Major Edwin Easley, the provost marshal, said that Mack remained at the base for a number of days. Neighbors report that Mack complained about being held on the base.

This then, provides a chronology of events that might help put it all into perspective. We all can see the problems. We have conflicting data from documents, from witnesses, and from various investigators, researchers and governmental officials. It seems that everyone who comments on this has some sort of agenda so all we can do is attempt to put together the best information we can.
(Be sure to watch for Roswell Revisited, coming from Fate this summer.)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Project Blue Book - Exposed

(Note: A number of years ago, I wrote a book called Project Blue Book - Exposed. It was an examination of cases that had been buried in the Blue Book files for years. Some were quite interesting, including reports of alien creatures. Many more were just misidentifications of natural or human created objects. I looked at the whole range of cases and then selected those that were representative and that would provide a perspective of that investigation. One of the chapters (one of the shorter ones), January 17, 1969: One of the Last of the Unidentifieds, is reproduced here.)

In an example of how the Air Force can’t win for losing, I thought we’d take a look at one of the last cases submitted to Project Blue Book that was labeled unidentified. The Project record (seen below at the left) card stated, "The most likely stimulus was a helicopter with an unusual lighting system. However, a check of the four airports in the area revealed that three definitely did not have any helo activity and the other had destroyed flight records for that date and was therefore unable to say if any helicopter activity originated from their airfield that night. It is also possible that a light aircraft such as an aerial advertiser, the Goodyear blimp, or an aircraft doing infrared photography may have been the stimulus of the sighting. However, because it has not been definitely established that an aircraft of this type was in the area, the sighting is being carried as unidentified."

If that isn’t a load of double-talk, I don’t know what it would be. It might be a helicopter, but we can’t find any records that one was flying that night and in that location. It might be an advertising plane, but there are no records of it, and, at the time of the sighting, about four in the morning, who would be awake to see the thing anyway? It might be the Goodyear blimp, but there are no records that the Goodyear blimp was anywhere near the location of the sighting. Or it might have been an aircraft doing infrared photography, but, again, there are no records to support that suggestion.

Using this same logic, we could suggest it was the space shuttle, though none had been built in 1969. Maybe it was an advance design fighter plane that had a single test flight. Maybe it was an Apollo capsule re-entering the atmosphere, but there are no records of such a flight. Besides, at four in the morning, NASA would miss the best TV audiences.

The case began at 3:24 a.m. on January 17, 1969 in Crittenden, Virginia when Roman K. Lupton was awakened by an unusual sound. He said it was like an electric motor about to go bad. His wife said that she, too, could hear the same, somewhat annoying hum.

According to Lupton, "I went to the bedroom window... looked in the direction of the sound for a few seconds before it came into sight... I watched this object with lights all around the bottom move slowly forward with an up-and-down motion which was also slow, 30 miles per hour, varying not more than 25 feet up and down. It went forward over yard light in my neighbor’s yard next door, a little further forward and started in a banking left turn with the same speed and motion as before. At this point the object seems to tilt and turn instead of changing elevation - except for this banking motion it was the same as it had been previously... At this time as it was turning the blinking light was clearest and possibly could have been the first time I saw it... At this point it went out of sight."

Lupton said that he had seen a series of windows around the bottom of the UFO that were all brightly lighted except one in the rear that blinked. The windows were rectangular and appeared translucent. They allowed the light out but Lupton couldn’t see in, and each seemed to be surrounded by a glow or haze. Lupton could see the center of the craft in the light and said that it was solid, apparently metallic, and reflected some of the light.

Lupton asked his wife if she had seen the object and she said she had. Next he called the operator in Smithfield and was startled when she said that she could hear the sound in the background.

When the noise faded out, Lupton decided that he should alert someone in authority and finally asked the operator to place a call to Langley Air Force Base. He was connected to an airman who took the UFO report.

The next day, Lupton tried to find the operator that he had talked to hoping to establish some corroboration but failed to find her. Finally, on January 22, he spoke to the supervisor who told him that the only thing the operator could have heard was some kind of aircraft. Lupton insisted, but the supervisor was equally insistent. The supervisor refused to supply the name of the operator or even let him talk to her.

Also on January 17, Lupton decided to try find others who might have heard the noise. According to Lupton, "When I got home I started looking for someone... The wife [of his next door neighbor]... remembered her mother saying she had heard something. Sure enough the lady and her three-year-old granddaughter both had heard it. The lady [Louise Bailey] stated ‘it had awakened the girl [Robin Harvill] and both were frightened,’ but the lady did not look out of her window to see what was making the sound... She also stated that ‘it sounded as if it were coming through the roof.’"

The next day, Lupton did the same thing and found another neighbor who said that she had heard the sound. Adrienne Carron (or Corbor, it’s spelled both ways in the Air Force file) said that "the sound was loud and varying and it was coming from almost right on the roof top" and it also frightened her four-year-old daughter, Evelyn.

In the letter that Lupton wrote to the Air Force about the experience, he listed all those who had heard the sound. What is interesting about the list is that the Air Force officers who reviewed the file left in all the names except a Sunday-school teacher, and a hint that someone else had reported the sound to Langley AFB.

The Air Force eventually decided to investigate the case. Almost two months after Lupton filed his report which included the standard Air Force Form 117, that is the UFO form, a NICAP form, a post card, and a road map, the Air Force got into it. Lieutenant Colonel Everett M. Worthington wrote, "After discussing this sighting with Mr. Lupton, I attempted to bring into focus the similarity between his UFO sighting and a jet-powered helicopter. He was not receptive to this line of reasoning."

On April 7, after Lieutenant Colonel Worthington had completed his investigation and suggested a helicopter, Lieutenant Colonel Hector Quintanilla (then chief of Project Blue Book) wrote to a number of agencies around the Crittenden, Virginia area asking if they had any helicopter traffic flying at that time of the morning. All the agencies except one responded they had no traffic in the area. The lone exception was the FAA which reported that such records were destroyed after fifteen days. They didn’t know if there had been any helicopter traffic in the area because they no longer had their records.

The response from Fort Eutis was the most interesting. Not only didn’t they have helicopters flying, Lurlene Martin, the flight scheduling clerk at Felker Army Air Field, said that poor weather conditions had grounded all their aircraft at 9:30 p.m. and they did not resume flying until the following morning. That would seem to suggest poor weather throughout the region that would have kept all helicopter, and other aviation activity such as flying advertisements on the ground.

This one note, in the files, could be quite important only because it suggests that the weather was bad. The poor weather could have been localized and therefore not apply to a larger region. Air Force investigators didn’t bother to find out. They had decided that Lupton saw a helicopter and tried to convince him of it.

The other question is, "If it had been a helicopter, what kind was it?" There was obviously a strange lighting configuration, and it would seem to me, that an investigation could have attacked the problem from that direction. Had they been able to locate a helicopter with a strange lighting configuration on it, that would have gone a long way to solving the case. Even if they couldn’t prove the aircraft was flying at the time of the sighting, the configuration of the lights would have been persuasive evidence. However, there is no indication in the file that the Air Force investigators even tried to do that.

In the end, we are left with a case where one man and his wife apparently saw a strange object and about a dozen others heard the sound it made. That would, of course, rule out hallucination. It does not prove that Lupton saw a flying saucer, just that he did see something strange.

It is too bad that the one of last unidentified UFO sightings in the Project Blue Book files had to be so non spectacular. There were no photographs, radar tracks, or movies taken. It was just a sighting in the early morning caused by a low-flying, and very noisy object.

What might be more important in this is the reaction of the military. Rather than investigate the case, they spent their time trying to convince the witness he had seen a helicopter when the evidence showed that no helicopters were flying in his area at the time of the sighting. And even with those negative results, they noted on the Project Card that a helicopter was the most likely answer.

To that, all I can say is, "Did I miss something?"

And now for the sales pitch. I have a limited number of the hardback copies of the book, Project Blue Book - Exposed, that originally sold for $22.95. For those interested in a copy, I would send it to you for just $10.00 plus shipping and handling of $5.00 (yeah, you have to pay the postage and for the envelop, but hey, you get the book for less than half price and if you tell me how you’d like it inscribed, why, I’d even sign it). For those interested, send a check or money order to:

Kevin Randle
PO Box 10934
Cedar Rapids, IA 52410-0934


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Warren Smith: UFO Investigator or Hoaxster

by Tim Banse

(Blogger's Note: I too knew Warren Smith (seen standing near the Mississippis at the left, photo courtesy Tim Banse) and I too was told many of the same things by Smith that Tim Banse mentions in this article. Smith once told me that he knew a Texan whose wife had been at a dude ranch when the Del Rio UFO crash happened. Smith said that the wife had written to her husband about it and that the letters still existed. This would be a tremendous piece of corroboration, if true. In the end, Smith was never able to produce the letters and based on other things he said about it, I have concluded that this too, was not true.

Since Tim knew Warren better than I, it seems only natural that he provide this insight into the man who once had some influence in the UFO field...)

While our society may revere writers in general and UFO writers in particular, it’s important to remember they are only human, of flesh and blood. As a species, freelance writers struggle in a literary ghetto. Most do not share the status or the income levels of best selling novelists like Stephen King or Tom Clancy. Instead, writers struggle at the job of living, enduring long hours at the keyboard. At the end of the day publishers pay us a pittance for our blood.
Writers put up with bill collectors, shabby clothes and a rusted out, oil-burning automobiles because being a writer is a calling, like being a priest or a politician. We’re helpless to do anything else. Noted UFO author Warren Billy Smith said more than once that if he had invested half of the effort he put into his writing career into a pizza franchise, he would be a millionaire.

In his long career Warren published dozens of novels, non-fiction books and magazine articles. In the UFO field, he was best known for his reporting on the Shirmer, Del Rio, Texas, and Stoughton, Wisconsin cases. The problem is that his research has always been suspect. Too many times no one has ever been able to locate Smith’s conveniently transient witnesses.
But here today, in this article, the whole truth will be revealed for the first time. On more than one occasion Warren Billy Smith fabricated entire UFO incidents from beginning to end. I know this because Warren Billy Smith told me so on more than one occasion over the course of our 25-year friendship. This gives rise to the salient question: Why on earth would he fabricate? The answer is as simple as the sea is salt. Necessity was the mother of invention.
As he told the story, one wintry morning, Warren had a UFO book contract to finish and he was one chapter short. The deadline loomed large. He needed the back half of the book advance in order to pay bills and to buy Christmas presents for his four kids. In order to fulfill the terms of the contract, the manuscript absolutely, positively had to be on the editor’s desk in New York by week’s end. There was no time for further research. So Smith did what he had to: He knowingly committed falsehoods to paper. Using his well-honed fiction writing skills, Smith created two eyewitnesses to a supposed UFO event in Missouri.

As I mentioned earlier, Warren related this and other stories of deception more than once over coffee in his hometown of Clinton, Iowa. He liked to hold court at the Village Inn restaurant with its bottomless cups of coffee. The truth of the deception was corroborated by Glenn McWane, who worked as a researcher for Smith and a number of other UFO authors in the 60s and 70s. Glenn confided in me that Warren had admitted to him the deception. That was about the time and the reason why Glenn ended his professional relationship with Warren.

Coincidentally, it was also in Clinton, Iowa that the budding UFO author Brad Steiger met Warren Smith. Back in the 60s Brad Steiger was a high school teacher who wanted to become a writer. To hear Warren Smith tell the story, he showed Steiger how to write and sell his work. For the record, while it’s true Warren and Brad Steiger collaborated on a number of books, Brad’s research and writing is now and has always been renowned for its accuracy and truth.

Understanding exactly why Warren fabricated UFO testimony comes easier when you delve deeply into his background. Warren was a child of the Great Depression. His stepfather was a veritable conman from the hills of West Virginia who shamelessly used Warren to lend legitimacy to his scams. One favorite ruse involved parking their old Ford motorcar within sight of a farmhouse. Methodically the stepfather stepped out of the car, took off his suit jacket, neatly folded it in half and laid it across the front seat of the car. He looked like a dandy, a man with money. Dutifully father Smith jacked up the car and changed the tire, pretending it was flat.

Finished with part one of the ruse, he and little boy Warren would casually stroll up to the farmhouse, knock on the door and ask whoever answered for a cool drink of well water. The charming, well-dressed stepfather made polite conversion for a moment or two, rattling on about the weather, the depression, and the flat tire. Then, like TV police detective Colombo, the stepfather would turn to walk away, stop in mid stride and do an about face.

"By the way," he would tell the farmer. "Took off my signet ring before I changed the tire. Stuck it in my pocket. Musta fallen outta my pocket." He sighed at the imagined loss. "Family heirloom. Find it, I’d pay a $100 reward." With that the stepfather would scribble a phony telephone number and address on a scrap of paper and hand it to the farmer.

Some weeks would pass before the partner in crime would show up at the farmer’s door. Unshaven and ragged, looking like a drifter, the partner would also ask for a glass of water. He too made small talk. In the midst of pleasant conversation he’d pull out a cheap paste ring and show it to the farmer. "Found it down there by the side of the road. Figure it’s worthanything?"

Greed is the essential element in any con. How much money the ersatz bum got for the cheap ring was only limited by how much money the farmer had in his cookie jar. Sometimes it was five dollars, sometimes six. In the depression, when hamburgers cost a quarter, that was a lot of money. Warren learned at a young age how to get money for nothing.

Another piece of puzzle relates to Warren Smith’s early writing career and his association with author James Jones. After his return from the fighting in the Pacific islands during the Second World War, James Jones met a married woman named Lowney Handy. Long story short, she became his writing teacher and his lover (her husband approved of the liason). With the blockbuster success of the novel From Here to Eternity the two of them founded the Handy Colony for struggling writers.

The way Handy saw it, "There is no more than a hair's breadth between the artist and the criminal. The artist graduates out of the criminal class and looks into his heart and writes, or else he watches those around him with a cold clinical eye and writes about himself as he sees them." Over its 20 years, the Handy Colony attracted some 70 drifters, rebels and struggling writers. One of them was Warren Smith.

Handy forbade alcohol and rich food, and prescribed enemas for writer's block. Once a month she'd haul her troop of students across the border to a Terre Haute, Indiana brothel.

One particular technique Lowney taught was copying. Copying meant beginning each and every day by copying ten or twenty pages, verbatim, from one author or another. Who it was didn’t really matter. At the end of the exercise, the pages were unceremoniously tossed into the wastebasket. Obviously this wasn’t plagiarism. Instead, the exercise was intended to burn the principles of grammar, syntax and metaphor into a beginning writer’s subconscious mind. Copying also breeds discipline. You write every day, ten or twenty pages. Period. No matter what. Warren Smith learned his lessons well.

Once he became a selling author, Warren Smith created a large body of original work. Non fiction credits included books on UFOs, the hollow earth, clairvoyance, the abominable snowmen, Edgar Cayce and satanic worship. His articles appeared in True, Argosy, Fate and dozens of other magazines. He also authored dozens of historical romance and western novels, writing under his own name and a dizzying array of pseudonyms such as: Eric Norman, Robert E. Smith, Joanna Warren, Norma Warren, David Norman, Barbara O'Brien and Barbara Brooks.

Often he copied-slash-rewrote other author’s works and sold it as his own. He used to brag over coffee how he rewrote novels by Stewart Edward White (circa 1900). If you didn’t know the source of the original material, then the massaged work and the original appeared to be written by entirely different authors.

Don’t misunderstand. There’s no question Warren Billy Smith was a talented author. There’s also no question that in at least some cases his non-fiction books and magazine articles were in reality fiction. That is, if you can believe the autobiographical accounts of a man whose father was a con artist. In his heart of hearts, Warren took great pride in being the son of a con man.

Warren Billy Smith passed away on May 9, 2003. He was 72 years old and had been in ill health for some years. He was never a step away from his oxygen bottle, having never been able to kick the cigarette habit that ultimately killed him.

Without a doubt there will be some readers who are angry, and wondering why a supposed long time friend would write this expose. The answer is that Warren would be amused by it all. Knowing him and his personality as well as I do, my guess is he’s laughing at the UFO scams he successfully pulled off nearly 30 years ago. Also, the man who published more than a million words loved what he did for a living, deep down to his bones. Even if he never did invest in
Pizza Hut.

UFO hoaxster or investigator, Warren will be missed.

(Blogger’s Note, Part Two: I have known Brad Steiger for a number of years, hell, decades. We’ve talked about UFOs and when I hosted a radio program, he was a guest I could count on. He also helped arrange other guests. He has been a friend for a long time, so it is only fair that I provide him with a little bit of a forum here.

He wrote, "I chuckled at Tim's comment that Smitty taught me all I knew about writing. We shared an office in Clinton for a year or so. I wrote articles and short stories for the men's magazines. I was young then. I remember one day when I wrote a total of 20,000 words.

"Smitty [Warren] wrote trade journal articles. He was very well established in the trade journal field and was an excellent photographer.

"The only reason Smitty ever wrote about UFOs and the paranormal was because of my introducing him to a NY agent in 1966, who asked him if he could write books on the kooky subjects with which I was having so much success. Ever the opportunist, Warren said, yes, of course. Thus his career was launched."

The point here, would be, that there is little doubt that Smith told Tim that he got Brad started in writing, and I think the choice of words by Tim suggests that he didn’t really believe the story. It is now just another example Smith bending the truth as it fit him.

I will note here that some believe that Brad Steiger and Warren Smith are the same man. I tell you that I knew Smith and I know Steiger and they certainly weren’t and aren’t the same. I do know that Steiger came up with the name Eric Norman and used it on one of his books. Smith liked the name and without consulting with Steiger, highjacked it. Other than the first of the Eric Norman books, all other belong to Smith, and those written by Smith suffer from the same problem... a lack of credibility.)

- Bibliography of books by Warren Billy Smith

- Warren Smith & Eugene Olson. The Menace of Pep Pills. Merit Books, 1965. P.
Johnny Shearer. Sodom, U.S.A. Brandon House, 1965. P.
----. The Male Hustler. Brandon House, 1965. P.
Warren Smith. Finder's Keepers. Belmont, 1965. P.
Warren Smith with Brad Steiger. Treasure Hunting. Ace Books, 1965.
Warren Smith w Gabrial Green. Let's Face Facts About Flying Saucers. Popular Library, 1967.
Warren Smith. Strange Women of the Occult. Popular Library, 1968. P.
----. Strange & Miraculous Cures. Ace Star Books, 1968. P.
----. Strange Powers of the Mind. Ace Star Books, 1968. P.
----. Strange ESP. Popular Library, 1969. P.
----. Into the Strange. Popular Library, 1969. P.
----. Abominable Snowmen. Award, 1969.
----. Strange Murderers & Madmen. Popular Library, 1969. P.
Eric Norman. The Under People. Lancer Books, 1969. P; also 1997 Japanese edition.
----. Buried Treasure Guide. Award, 1970. P.
Warren Smith. Strange Abominable Snowmen. Popular Library, 1970. P.
----. Strange Hexes. Popular Library, 1970. P.
Robert E. Smith. The Man Who Sees Tomorrow. Paperback Library, 1970. P.
Eric Norman. Gods, Demons & UFOs. Lancer Books, 1970.
Warren Smith & Brad Steiger. What the Seers Predict for 1971. Lancer Books, 1970. P.
Warren Smith. Talking to the Spirits. Pinnacle, 1971.
Warren Smith & Brad Steiger. Satan's Assassins. Lancer, 1971. P.
----. Predictions for 1972. Lancer, 1971.
Paul Warren. The Sensual Male. Pinnacle, 1971.
Robert E. Smith. We Live Many Lives. Paperback Library, 1971. P.
Warren Smith. Bitter Harvest. Delton Press, 1971.
Warren Smith. The Strange Ones. Popular Library, 1972. P.
Eric Norman. Beyond the Strange. Popular Library, 1972. P.
Robert E. Smith. The Healing Faith. Lancer, 1972. P.
Eric Norman. This Hollow Earth. Lancer, 1972. P in 1997 Japanese edition.
Warren Smith. Predictions for 1973. Award, 1972.
----. Chains of Fear. Delton Press, 1972.
Eric Norman. Gods and Devils from Outer Space. Lancer, 1973. P.
Warren Smith. Predictions for 1974. Award, 1973. P.
Barbara O'Brien Martinis, Manhattans or ME? Zebra, 1974. P.
Barbara Brooks. High Society. Pinnacle, 1974.
Warren Smith. Predictions for 1975. Award, 1974. P.
----. Triangle of the Lost. Zebra, 1975. P.
----. Myth & Mystery of Atlantis. Zebra, 1975. P.
----. Predictions for 1976. Award, 1975. P.
----. Secret Forces of the Pyramids. Zebra, 1975. P.
----. Authentic Directory of CB. Award, 1976. P.
----. UFO Trek. Zebra, 1976. P.
----. Predictions for 1977. Award, 1976. P.
----. The Hidden Secrets of the Hollow Earth. Zebra, 1976. P.
----. Lost Cities of the Ancients--Unearthed! Zebra, 1976. P.
----. Secrets of the Loch Ness Monster. Zebra, 1976. P.
----. Ancient Mysteries of the Mexican & Mayan Pyramids. Zebra, 1977.
----. The Book of Encounters. Zebra, 1977. P.
----. The Secret Origins of Bigfoot. Zebra, 1977. P.
Joanna Warren. The Conrad Chronicles: Belle Mead. Zebra, 1978. P.
David Norman. The Frontier Rakers. Zebra, 1979. P.
----. The Frontier Rakers #2: The Forty Niners. Zebra, 1979. P.
Joanna Warren. The Conrad Chronicles #2: The Dreamers. Zebra, 1980. P.
----. The Conrad Chronicles #3: The Destined. Zebra, 1980. P.
David Norman. Frontier Rakers #3: Gold Fever. Zebra, 1980. P.
----. Frontier Rakers #4: Silver City. Zebra, 1980. P.
----. Frontier Rakers: Montana Pass. Zebra, 1982. P.
----. Frontier Rakers: Santa Fe Dream. Zebra, 1983. P.
Norma Warren. Trails West. Zebra, 1985.
Jake Logan. High, Wide, and Deadly. Berkley Western, 1987. P.
----. Gold Fever, Berkley Western, 1989. P.
Warren B. Smith. "Dreams of Darkness, Deams of Light." In Dragon Lance Tales, Volume 1: The Magic of Krynn edited by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. TSR, Inc., 1987.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The DuBose Affidavit

In the last few days, those on the UFO UpDates list have been talking about the affidavit made by Colonel (later brigadier general) Thomas DuBose (seen at the left), who had been the Chief of Staff of the Eighth Air Force in 1947. DuBose, along with Brigadier General (later lieutenant general) Roger Ramey were photographed with a balloon remains in Ramey’s office that was supposedly what was found at Roswell.

On September 9, 1991, when DuBose was 90, he provided an affidavit for the Fund for UFO Research. Since many have asked about it, I decided to publish it here. It says:

(1) My Name is Thomas Jefferson DuBose.

(2) My address is redacted.

(3) I retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1959 with the rank of Brigadier General.

(4) In July 1947, I was stationed at Fort Worth Army Air Field [later Carswell Air Force Base] in Fort Worth, Texas. I served as Chief of Staff to Major General (sic) Roger Ramey, Commander, Eighth Air Force. I had the rank of Colonel.

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

(6) After the plane from Roswell arrived with the material, I asked the Base Commander, Col. Al Clark to take possession of the material and to personally transport it in a B-26 to Gen. McMullen in Washington, D.C. I notified Gen. McMullen, and he told me he would send the material by personal courier to Benjamin Chidlaw, Commanding General of the Air Material Command at Wright Field [later Wright-Patterson AFB]. The entire operation was conducted under the strictest secrecy.

(7) The material shown in the photographs taken in Gen. Ramey’s office was a weather balloon (Ramey crouched, with DuBose seated and the wather balloon). The weather balloon explanation for the material was a cover story to divert the attention of the press.

(8) I have not been paid anything of value to make this statement, which is the truth to the best of my recollection.

It was signed and dated by DuBose. His signature was witnessed by three people, including a notary public which made this a sworn affidavit.

For those interested a photo of the affidavit follows.

(And for those interested, look for Roswell Revisited, an examination of some of the latest information about the Roswell case, coming from Galde Press this summer.)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bessie Brazel and the Roswell Case

The skeptics believe they have a slam dunk on the Roswell, coming at us with information that simply is not proven as we look at it. Much of it is single witness and contradicts that given by many others. One of the best examples of this is the testimony provided by Bessie Brazel, who seems to be a very nice woman but who stands nearly alone in her testimony.

In the early 1990s, the Fund for UFO Research, FUFOR, initiated a program to gather testimony and affidavits from Roswell witnesses. Naturally, one of those was Bessie Brazel. In her affidavit, she said:

William W. "Mack" Brazel was my father. In 1947, when I was 14, he was the manager of the Foster Ranch in Lincoln County, New Mexico, near Corona. Our family had a home in Tularosa, when my mother, my younger brother Vernon, and I lived during the school year. The three of us spent the summers on the Foster place with dad.

In July 1947, right around the Fourth, did found a lot of debris scattered over a pasture some distance from the house we lived in on the ranch. None of us was riding with him when he found the material, and I do not remember anyone else being with him. He told us about it when he came in at the end of the day.
Dad was concerned because the debris was near a surface-water stock tank. He thought having it blowing around would scare the sheep and they would not water. So, a day or two later, he, Vernon and I went to the site to pick up the material. We went on horseback and took several feed sacks to collect the debris. I do not recall just how far the site was from the house, but the ride out there took some time.
There as a lot of debris scattered sparsely over an area that seems to me now to have about the size of a football field [or about an acre]. There may have been additional material spread out more widely by the wind, which was blowing quite strongly.
The debris looked like pieces of a large balloon which had burst. The pieces were small, the largest were small, the largest I remember measuring about the same as the diameter of a basketball. Most of it was a kind of double-sided material, foil-like on one side and rubber-like on the other. Both sides were grayish silver in color, the foil more silvery than the rubber. Sticks, like kite sticks, were three inches wide and had flower-like designs on it. The "flowers" were faint, a variety of pastel colors, and reminded me of Japanese paintings in which the flowers are not all connected. I do not recall any other types of material or markings, nor do I remember seeing gouges in the ground or any other signs that anything may have hit the ground hard.
The foil-rubber material could not be torn like ordinary aluminum foil can be torn. I do not recall anything else about the strength or other properties of what we picked up.

We spent several hours collecting the debris and putting it in sacks. I believe we filled about three sacks, and we took them back to the ranch house. We speculated a bit about what the material could be. I remember dad saying "Oh, it’s just a bunch of garbage."
Soon after, dad went to Roswell to order winter feed. It was on this trip that he told the sheriff what he had found. I think we all went into two with him, but I am not certain about this, as he made two or three trips to Roswell about that time, and we did not go on all of them. (In those days, it was an all-day trip, leaving very early in the morning and returning after dark.) I am quite sure that it was no more than a day trip, and I do not remember dad taking any overnight or longer trips away from the ranch around that time.

Within a day or two, several military people came to the ranch. There may have been as many as 15 of them. One or two officers spoke with dad and mom, while the rest of us waited. No one spoke with Vernon and me. Since I seem to recall that the military were on the ranch most of a day, they may have gone out to where we picked up the material. I am not sure about this, one way or the other, but I do remember they took the sacks of debris with them.

Although it is certainly possible, I do not recall anyone finding any more of the material later. Dad’s comment on the whole business was, "They made one hell of a hullabaloo out of nothing."

Since she gave that affidavit, she has been interviewed by others. The story told to them is substantially the same as that in the affidavit, though, when interviewed by John Kirby and Don Mitchell told them, "I wasn’t terribly excited or interested in it [the debris recovery] when it happened and I haven’t really gotten any more interested in it."

She did said that her father had found the debris sometime before July 4 and that she, her father and her brother Vernon, collected it. She said, "We had three or four sacks... we stuffed the sacks and tied [them] to the saddle... Dad just stuck it [the sacks of debris] under the steps."
It was the following week that her father took the debris into Roswell. She confirmed to Kirby and Newman that she, her mother and brother had gone with him. While he was in the sheriff’s office, they were in a nearby park. She said, "He was there quite a while because it was late afternoon or early evening when we started back to the ranch."

According to her, when they returned, they were not followed by any military vehicles. That means that the testimony of Jesse Marcel was in error. It also means that Sheridan Cavitt and his testimony is in error, if we accept that of Bessie.

She said, "They didn’t go with us. They came up, I don’t know, if it was the next day or a couple of days later."

She also said that they had cleaned the field and picked up all the debris. She said that they had it all. There was nothing for Marcel or Cavitt to see when they went to the field. In fact, in talking with ranchers in the area about this debris, whether from a Mogul balloon array or an alien spacecraft, I learned that they would not allow this sort of thing to remain out there. The animals had a habit of eating things like that as part of their grazing and if the animals eat it, it would make them sick. Brazel would clean it up as quickly as possible.

If we believe Bessie, then her father did not clean it up right away, but did within a couple of days. Yet, we know that when Marcel arrived, there was a large field filled with debris. And, if we want to reject the testimony of Marcel, there is Cavitt. While his description of the debris field suggests it was smaller than that suggested by Marcel, he still said there was debris out there for them to find and for him to identify as the remains of a balloon.

So, Bessie’s story is contradicted by both Marcel and Cavitt, one who thought it was a spacecraft and one who said it was a balloon. It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you come down on, there is testimony to contradict what Bessie remembers. She is stand alone on this.

Bessie also said that her father didn’t return to Roswell a day or so later and there is nothing in her affidavit to suggest otherwise. She added, telling Kirby and Newman that if he had gone to Roswell and didn’t return for three or four days, there would have been hell to pay. There was no reason for him to return to Roswell after they all had gone there earlier in the week.

But once again, there is evidence that such is not the case. First, and probably best, is the article that appeared in the Roswell Daily Record on July 9. Mack Brazel was photographed while there. He gave an interview to two AP reporters at the newspaper office in Roswell. Clearly, he returned to Roswell at some point. Bessie’s memory of the events is wrong about his not returning.

Major Edwin Easley was the provost marshal in Roswell in 1947. He told me that Mack Brazel had been held in the guest house for several days. Brazel said he was in jail and I suppose that if you’re not allowed to leave without escort, and that the doors are locked, then being in the guest house is about the same thing.

Bill Brazel, Bessie’s older brother told me that he saw an article about his father in one of the Albuquerque newspapers and realized that his father needed help. When Bill arrived at the ranch, his father was not there and didn’t return for three or four days. In fact, according to Bill, there was no one at the ranch at that time.

Neighbors like Marian Strickland told me that Mack had complained to her about being held in jail. Although she didn’t see Mack until after the events, she did say that he sat in her kitchen complaining about being held in Roswell. While there is some second-hand aspect in this, Strickland was telling me that Mack complained to her and her husband that he had been held in Roswell.

Walt Whitmore, Jr., son of the KGFL radio’s majority owner, told me that he had run into Brazel early in the morning after Brazel spent the night at his father’s house. This was before Brazel was taken out to the base. Whitmore claims that Brazel told him about the debris an Whitmore said that he then drove out there to see the field. He claimed to have picked up some of the debris, which he said was part of a balloon. He kept it for years, he said, but when the time came to produce it, he could not.

Here’s another important point. Bessie said that she recognized the material as a balloon. So, we have a 14-year-old girl who knows a balloon when she sees one, but the air intelligence officer, not to mention several others, are incapable of this. If the material was so readily identifiable to some, especially civilians, why were so many in the military fooled? And why the high powered effort to recover it, if it was only a balloon?

What this means, simply, is that there are a number of witnesses and a newspaper articles that shows that Mack was in Roswell overnight. It means that Bessie’s memories of July 1947 agree with nothing else. It means that when all the evidence is aligned against a specific claim, we must reject the claim.

I’m sure that Bessie was trying to help and I’m equally sure that she is mistaken about these events. There are too many facts and too many witnesses who contradict her story. It is possible that she is right and everyone else is wrong, but it’s not very likely.
For a more comprehensive look at the latest information about the Roswell case, watch for Roswell Revisited, a book length examination of the case, coming this summer.