We have always thought of the new investigation as transparent… oh, I have refused to answer Lance’s questions about the Nuns and how we obtained that information, but that is only because Lance seemed to believe I somehow owed him an explanation. Had he not been so nasty about it, I would have given him what he wanted long ago, but I’m not going to be manipulated in such a transparent way. He’ll just have to wait to learn what I know about this and how the information was originally obtained… and from whom we got it.
That said, I was reviewing the video interview of Marian Strickland on Friday as I looked for some information about the “strange thunderclap” during that July 1947 storm. I knew that she had said something about it and wanted to quote her exactly. In that interview, which was conducted by Don Schmitt, Don Berliner and me at Strickland’s home in Roswell, she said (about something else), “Mack thought it was a weather balloon or some sort of experiment. He was glad to do the government a favor to bring them the pieces.”
(I will note here that this interview, along with several others has been posted to YouTube by someone else. This interview had been arranged by me, recorded on my equipment, with questions by Schmitt and Berliner as well as me. Since this material is copyrighted, I’m tempted to have it taken down because whoever posted it had no right to do so… On the other hand, I think everyone should have access to the interviews so that they can see that we have quoted from them accurately and we don’t get into these meaningless little fights about the source and hints of some kind of conspiracy to hide information.)
This one sentence seems to suggest that Brazel knew it was a balloon and if you had a period after he said, “…balloon,” then you’d have a very good case for it. But she adds “or some sort of experiment.” That suggests he didn’t really know what he had found, and other information, from those who actually handled the debris could be cited to eliminate the balloon answer.
I could also mention a story appeared in the Roswell Daily Record on July 9 where he first seemed to describe balloon-borne debris but then takes it back when he said that he had found other weather observation devices and this didn’t resemble them.
In other words, a single sentence in a single interview, said by a woman talking about this in 1991, some 44 years later, doesn’t really give us much. She, as one of those who had been tangentially involved in 1947, meaning she didn’t really see anything, and according to her description, she wasn’t part of the discussion around her kitchen table in the days that followed Brazel’s return to the ranch.
She said, “They were around my table… Mack and I don’t know whether Bill Brazel was there. I don’t remember that. Mack and my kids and Lyman. I was busy carrying the coffee pot. I really heard my sketches [snatches?] of the conversation.”
So, she wasn’t privy to the entire conversation, and I suspect the weather balloon was something that came about later, after the newspaper articles, after The Roswell Incident, after Unsolved Mysteries, and after a host of other discussions about Brazel and what he might have found. Or, in other words, as our skeptical friends so often remind us, these sorts of memories are the result of other influences.
Karl Pflock (whose book it seems some of the skeptics don’t believe I have read… I actually have an autographed copy) only mentioned Strickland twice and in neither case, he didn’t mention that one line. He had access to the tape because Don Berliner had been with me and I had given a copy of the tape to the Fund for UFO Research and Pflock was a member of the FUND. He even mentioned the tape in a footnote, suggesting that the interview was available on the FUND’s Recollections of Roswell. Pflock ignored this little nugget that would have furthered his case.
This is, of course, the sort of thing that we’ve been looking for because it might help us understand what was going on in 1947. But it also has to be put into context because something taken out of context can be twisted around so that it means nearly something else… and if you don’t believe that, you don’t live in a state that is under constant bombardment with political ads.