I suppose this could be called another of my “Chasing Footnotes” posts, but that isn’t quite right. Many will remember that Lance Moody was annoyed with me for the Catholic Nuns story as outlined in The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell. I won’t dwell on that and those who wish to read about it can use the search engines supplied or look at:
What brings this up is that I found another reference to the nuns in a publication that I had no hand in. According to that booklet called, The Jim Ragsdale Story:
Mother Superior Mary Bernadette and Sister Capistrano reported seeing a bright object plunging toward the ground late in the evening of July 4, 1947. The two Sisters were on duty at St. Mary’s Hospital, located on South Main Street in Roswell, New Mexico. Many points of concurrence do fit the reports of others, especially Jim Ragsdale’s eye witness account of a UFO crash, during this rather short time frame. Be assured that the nuns told it exactly like it was on that 4th of July night in 1947.
The author, who is unidentified in the booklet but is probably Max Littell, then, wrote, “Let us do some speculating together with established facts and figures.”
He suggested that some might believe the nuns could have been watching fireworks set off by Roswell residents celebrating the nation’s birthday. But he also wrote that the nuns would have known the difference between the fireworks and the bright object they saw. He uses the location of the hospital as a way of suggesting that the nuns were looking toward the west and would have been able to see the object fall near Boy Scout Mountain some fifty miles away where Ragsdale, in later years, claimed he was camping. This was some of the new corroboration for the Ragsdale tale, according to Littell.
While I could suggest this is also independent corroboration of the nun’s story, I don’t actually know that it is. Littell worked very hard to remove all trace of Don Schmitt and me from the Ragsdale tale and I have no doubt this extended to his coverage of the nun’s story.
In a chapter called “Max Littell Meets Jim Ragsdale,” he wrote, “In 1993, shortly after opening the Museum, we did have an investigator/author visiting us, and when his partner took the car on another errand, he needed a ride to his motel. I offered, and the individual said, ‘Great, but I need to go by and see a party on the way… This party turned out to be Jim Ragsdale.”
So, let’s put this in a different perspective. The investigator/author was Don Schmitt and, of course, the partner was me. I had to go out to interview a witness west of town, who, it turned out, had nothing to add to the Roswell case. Don, with Littell and Mark Chesney, drove over to see Ragsdale.
In the same vein, Littell wrote after Don had completed the interview, “Getting out of the car, the writer said…” Once again, Littell has referred to the person as the writer, but it was still Don Schmitt. In fact he never identifies either Don or me as those involved in this first telling of the Ragsdale tale or that we were the ones who found him in the first place.
Littell then wrote, “The investigator had apparently recorded the interview, or had taken enough notes [the interview was recorded so that it can be verified that Ragsdale changed his tale] that he could prepare a statement from Ragsdale. He asked if I could get the statement signed and notarized. Since I have been a notary for fifty years, I said that this could be easily accomplished.”
And here’s where the tale again slips off the rails. Littell wrote, “Within a few days, the instrument [affidavit] arrived, and I met Ragsdale for the first time. The instrument was read to him, he signed it, and I mailed it back to the investigator. Notaries do not make copies of the instrument, so I do not remember any of the statements made.”
Well, the interview took place on January 26 and the statement was signed on January 27, not a few days later. In an unsigned note on the letterhead of the International UFO Museum and Research Center, Littell wrote, “Kevin: Three Notarized copies exist. This one [sent to me], One left with the Ragsdales and one in our file…”
Or, in other words, Littell did make copies for us and sent them to us, but kept one for their files at the Museum. Therefore, Littell knew exactly what it said and it did not agree with the longer one he obtained in 1995.
What all this tells us that we can’t trust Littell’s version of these events and that he was working hard to remove from the record any mention of Don’s January 26 interview and my April 24, 1993 interview. Copies of the interviews were supplied to the Museum. If those were mentioned, then questions would be raised about the validity of Ragsdale’s later version of events and the new affidavit because it would be clear that Ragsdale had significantly changed his story and that we had quoted him accurately in our reporting of the first version.
This was all a long-winded way to suggest that I believe the information about the nuns was lifted from The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell. It seems from the way it was worded that Littell had interviewed the nuns or someone associated with them, but there is nothing there that Don and I didn’t already know. Littell is dead and Ragsdale is dead so I can’t ask where the information originated. It is possible that Littell talked to one of the nuns who was still in Roswell, the one that Bill English told us about and Sister Day told us about, but I simply don’t know. If Littell did, the criticism is the same because he used the same source we did, no one has been able to locate the alleged diary entries after years of trying and there is no other corroboration for the tale.
While the information in Littell’s booklet about Ragsdale could be seen as confirmation of the nun’s story, I simply can’t tell if it was newer and better information or if he simply used the material that Don and I had gathered and shared with him. This is a dead end and it is in no way corroboration for the nun’s story.