I know that this might seem to be piling on, but in the last couple of weeks, I have been asked about the story of Lee Reeves who supposedly accompanied Dan Dwyer out to the crash site where the alien creatures were found. Reeves’ tale appears in Witness to Roswell where it says, “When the call came in to the fire station that there had been a crash north of town, Dan Dwyer and Lee Reeves were dispatched
with the station’s “tanker”
(a pickup truck with a large, cylindrical water tank in the back) to the crash
site. Arriving before the military could secure the site, Dwyer and Reeves got
to see what had crashed. It wasn’t an airplane at all, but an egg-shaped vessel
of some sort that they did not recognize. And the bodies! ...”
|Dan Dwyer and members of the Roswell Fire Department.|
From that point, Carey and Schmitt described, from Dwyer’s point of view (which is not to say they were quoting him, only using information that had been supplied by Frankie Rowe about what her father had said), that the creatures were small and that eventually Dwyer saw one that was still alive. When he got home that night, he told the family what he had seen and was asked what the creatures looked like. His “answer was succinct, ‘Child of the Earth,’” which is another name for the Jerusalem Cricket. That statement has an endnote that says, “Son (anonymity requested) of Dr. Foster’s housekeeper (anonymity requested), personal interview, 1992.”
That endnote tells us nothing and seems to reference a tale told later in that chapter of the book. It is clear from my interviews with Frankie Rowe that it was her father, Dan Dwyer, who made reference to the Child of the Earth. The
description of seeing the two dead aliens and the single survivor is also from
Lee Reeves, according to the information that I have, died in 1971 and therefore is not an original source for this information. He had been a laborer at the Malco Refinery in 1947, but he was also a member of the Roswell Police Department and had worked as a fireman at the Orchard Park prisoner of war camp south of Roswell and for the city of Roswell Fire Department at some time, so he did have a connection there.
The trouble arises when the testimony of J. C. Smith, a firefighter in Roswell in 1947 is recalled. He was first interviewed by Karl Pflock and Smith made it clear in that interview that the Roswell Fire Department had not made a run out to the crash site, even in a piece of make-shift firefighting equipment.
Later when Tony Bragalia and I interviewed Smith separately, he made it absolutely clear that the fire department had not gone to the crash site. When I asked Smith if he had known Dan Dwyer, he said that he had and that Dwyer had gone out in his personal car. Smith told me that an Army colonel had come into the fire station and told them that they didn’t have to worry about the crash. They, the Army, would take care of it.
Dwyer, however, drove on out on his own, according to Smith, and not in one of the fire station’s vehicles and not with someone else. There was no discussion of Reeves at all until his story surfaced sometime in the last decade or so and was apparently relayed by his son, though there is nothing in the Carey and the Schmitt book to tell us that. It is my deduction given the information available.
Where does that leave us? Well, with the Dan Dwyer story, we learn from family members that he did go out there and said that he did see the bodies. We learn from J. C. Smith that Dwyer did go out there, but in his own car. We learn from the fire department records that there is nothing to suggest that any of the fire station’s equipment was dispatched on a run outside the city limits in the time frame necessary to corroborate the Reeves’ part of the story. Given the nature of the log, had some of their equipment been dispatched, there was no reason not to mention it. And we see that the Reeves’ tale is contradicted by the first-hand testimony of J. C. Smith.
It is my guess that the Reeves’ tale was told by one of the Reeves children or grandchildren, most likely Lewis Lee Reeves. When confronted with this sort of problem, the best case scenario is to rely on the first-hand testimony, which is Smith and which was told some sixty years after the event (which doesn’t make it true, only that it is of a better quality). The second-hand testimony is not properly sourced, is clearly not from a first-hand source, and is in conflict with other information and documentation. It now falls into the category of a “friend of a friend” tale and we all know how that works out… (and to prevent someone from stating the obvious here, I realize that it is technically the son of the man, but then, given the way the information is published, we really don’t know that either.)