Thursday, July 29, 2010

Roswell, Ron Regehr, and Me

At the most recent MUFON Symposium, I had a chance to talk with Ron Regehr (seen here), who, at one time was working with the late J. Bond Johnson. Now I had seen Regehr at other conferences, but I had never brought up Johnson and neither had Regehr. This time I asked some questions about this and got an interesting answer or two.

Johnson was the reporter/photographer from the Fort Worth Star–Telegram who had taken the pictures of Brigadier General Roger Ramey in his office with what was alleged to be the debris found outside of Roswell, New Mexico. Given the style of the pictures, it seemed that Johnson had taken six. Two of Roger Ramey, two of Ramey and his chief of staff Colonel Thomas DuBose (seen next) and two of Major Jesse Marcel (seen last). A seventh picture, of Warrant Officer Irving Newton was taken by someone else at a later time.

Johnson had, at one point, claimed that only he had been in Ramey’s office and only he had taken pictures. He seemed to be hung up on this and suggested that the picture of Newton didn’t count and that it hadn’t appeared in any newspapers. This would prove to be wrong, though Johnson seemed to have a difficult time understanding this.

Johnson told me, during our first interviews he was confused by the photograph of Marcel. He didn’t think he had taken it, yet the negative was in an envelop with a picture of Ramey. Many of us, including Johnson, concluded that he must have taken the pictures, but didn’t remember doing it.

Not so, Regehr told me. He said that photo analysis suggested the picture was taken with a different lens than those of Ramey and Ramey and DuBose. The difference in the lens size was so insignificant that it made no sense for Johnson to have switched lenses to photograph Marcel.

That meant a third photographer in the room at some point. Johnson was one, another who took two pictures of Marcel, and because the negatives ended up in the same envelop, that would suggest the photographer was from the Star–Telegram... though that makes little sense. They already had the pictures of Ramey and Ramey and DuBose so why send someone else out there to take two of Marcel.

And, of course, the picture of Irving Newton, which is so different from all the others it is obviously from a different photographer and a different camera.

What does this bit of minutia mean? Well, we have, in the past, come across information that suggested that the material on the floor in Ramey’s office got there before Marcel arrived with the stuff from Roswell. Johnson said that he was the first photographer out there and I have no reason to discount that.

So, Johnson took four pictures of the stuff and went back to the newspaper. Marcel arrived and someone else took pictures of him with the stuff, which were printed all over the next day. Later, Newton arrived, identified the weather balloon... after the Dallas Morning News had talked to Major Kirton who said it was a weather balloon, and someone took his picture.

But the point here is that Regehr said that his analysis of the pictures of Marcel showed that there was a third photographer who has never been identified. Interestingly, Regehr told me that Johnson, once he had seen the math, believed Regehr.

I confess I don’t know if this is an important addition to the Roswell story, but it certainly is an interesting one. It suggests a time frame for the photographs in Ramey’s office, and coupled to other information, suggests the balloon arrived before Marcel, which might be the most important outgrowth of this. A suggestion of duplicity by the Army Air Forces, but one that remains, at the moment, speculation.


Lance said...

Did he supply the photo analysis or is it online?



Keith Chester said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Rudiak said...

The "analysis" was comparing the angles of slant of the stripes on the rug and getting 2 different values over multiple stripes (plotted out as increase in angle from stripe to stripe and comparing the slopes of the resulting lines). From this it was claimed that two different photographers were present with two different cameras with two different focal lengths.

What's wrong with this "analysis" is that it fails to take into account simple perspective. The various photos were taken either from a crouching position (probably one knee down) or standing up. Crouching down the rug stripes spread out more angle-wise than standing up.

I believe the "analysis" was not carried out by Regehr but by Canadian Andrew Lavoie, who has made many outrageous and erroneous statements about the photos in the past, such as the photos don't show a radar target and weather balloon but real flying saucer debris.

Incidentally, by comparing various details in the photos, it seems that the Marcel and Newton photos followed one another. My best guess, the two Ramey alone photos were taken first, followed by the two Ramey/Dubose photos, then the two Marcel photos, and then the single known Newton photo (different photographer, probably military).

The Newton photo was the least published photo and generally didn't appear until two to three days later, but there is an exception in the Philadelphia Inquirer that carried the Newton photo the next morning.

Lance said...

Thanks David!

Ron Regehr also proudly proclaims his involvement with Derrel Sims, which for me puts a full stop on my interest in most anything he has to say.


David Rudiak said...

I first heard about the alleged second camera and photographer when Regehr spoke at the crashed retrieval conference in Las Vegas in 2004. Although he didn't go into detail, the more detailed proceedings writeup had the graphs that LaVoie had done where he compared the splay angles of the carpet stripes in the two Ramey/Dubose photos with the one of Marcel looking to the right.

The problem is the two R/D photos were taken with the photographer standing up and looking down on the two men (e.g., you can easily see the tops of the chair seats), whereas the Marcel photo with Marcel kneeling is obviously down around eye level (you are staring into Marcel's eyes and can just see the tops of the chair seats).

Unless you correct for the effects of perspective, saying the Marcel photo has rug stripes with a much greater splay angle, and therefore two cameras and photographers were involved, is a totally invalid conclusion.

Before I had a chance to see the graphs, however, and figure out what LaVoie had done, I spoke a little bit with Regehr afterward about his talk and LaVoie's various claims, as well as Bond Johnson's.

Despite Johnson's many changes of story in his later years, where he was obviously trying to turn himself into the hero of the hour as the Roswell flying saucer debris photographer, instead of just the guy who photographed Ramey's weather balloon, Regehr continued to defend him. He then said he had no reason to defend Johnson, and then (unsolicited) related a shocking bit of personal betrayal by Johnson against him, which I don't feel at liberty to repeat the specifics in public. Suffice to say, people have been murdered in revenge for much less, so I couldn't understand why Regehr would think Johnson would be necessarily trustworthy about anything else he did or had to say on the subject.

Ron is a friendly and sincere guy who isn't trying to deceive anybody, but I don't think he has thought everything through. This also seems to be true of other members of Johnson's RPIT (Roswell Photointerpretation Team), for reasons that escape me, seemed eager to push Johnson's egocentric and squirrelly later accounts of what had happened. Maybe he was just a charismatic guy in person, but I always tried to keep him at arms length.

cda said...

To David Rudiak:
Re Johnson, are you saying Johnson claimed, in his latter days, that he had photographed real ET spaceship debris? This is news to me. Did/does anyone agree with him?

KRandle said...

I took another look at the seven pictures. We all agree that the Newton picture was taken last and by another photographer... either the PIO or someone who worked for him.

The other six pictures look like they were all taken by the same guy at the same time. We have Regehr's comments to me, which I interpreted to mean that he had worked the math. I also know that Johnson said to me that he had been confused by the Marcel pictures because he didn't believe he had taken them. He was surprised to find one of the Marcel negatives in the envelop with the Ramey negative.

Now, we can believe that there were three photographers... Johnson, the PIO and someone else or there were only two. The visual evidence seems to argue for two. And here's why. In those six pictures, Ramey's overseas cap and his tie are on the radiator, but is gone for the Newton picture. I believe the Newton picture was taken last, but not much after 6 p.m. (1800 hrs for you military types).

Johnson arrived somewhere around 1700 (or 5 p.m.), so there isn't a lot of time to get another photographer there to take more pictures. It seems most logical for Johnson to have taken the six prior to six (p.m.) and someone else to have taken the last just after six.

Lance, it seems to me that Regehr said the results of his analysis (or whoever's) was published in the MUFON JOURNAL... I don't have the reference at hand but they are currently available on line and you can search them easily.

Gilles. F. said...

Greetings Kevin,

You wrote : "I took another look at the SEVEN pictures."

Seven emphazed by me.

I believed concerning the 2 pictures with Ramey alone, only one have survived ? It seems I have a wagon late ^^

The one I know with Ramey alone is this one :

I'm very interrested to have a link or something concerning the second one with Ramey alone. I have never seen it :(

Thank you very much if you can help or somone else.

Best Regards, very nice blog as usual ;)

Gilles F.

cda said...

There are 6 photos whose originals were found plus a 7th that appeared in the evening edition of the Fort Worth Star Telegram of July 9. Unfortunately nobody has ever found the original of this. It shows Ramey alone, looking at the debris. The one you are probably talking about shows Ramey alone with one hand in front of his face. This 7th photo is different (but not much). The only copy is what was printed in the newspaper.

Gilles. F. said...

TY Christopher to reply so fast.

Very much appreciated. Thank you very much, again.

I have a wagon late then ! I learn each day ^^ I hope one wagon only late and not more ^^

So, the "7th I'm lacking", is one "with Ramey alone" in FWST newspaper, July the 9th.

I'm very curious to have a link or a copy of this 7th picture.

Again "merci beaucoup".

Best Regards,

Gilles F.

Para said...
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Para said...

This is somewhat off-topic but since it deals with Roswell and you were a part of it, who better to ask the following:

It's treated as conventional wisdom in ufology that the Walt Disney infomercial for "Tomorrowland" was a not-so-subtle propaganda piece geared toward easing us into disclosure. I'm wondering three things:

1.) Did you believe that when you were filming for this?

2.) If not, did you believe that when you saw the finished product?

3.) Do you believe that now?

For anyone wondering, you can watch the video/get the back-story here:

Thanks, Kevin!