I have spent too much time recently looking for a specific report and thought that maybe someone here could help out. I think I have found a case of one witness co-opting the testimony of another.
In UFO Crash at Roswell, we wrote about Norma Gardner (not to be confused with Mary Ann Gardner) who told of her experiences cataloging UFO debris. Len Stringfield was the one who supplied this information that appeared in his paper, “Retrievals of the Third Kind,” at, I believe, the 1978 MUFON Symposium. He wrote:
Mrs. G worked in the Foreign Materials Division with a top security clearance rating at Wright-Patterson AFB in the 1940’s and 1950’s, before her retirement in 1959 for health reasons. Charles Wilhelm, who as provided me with some first hand reports, got this one from Mrs. G. in 1959. She had known Charles very well as a teenage on two counts: he was a good honest working in performing yardwork for her, and for his intense interest in UFOs. When she developed cancer, and knew of her impending death, she decided to relate to him some startling information about her secret duties at Wright-Patterson and what she saw in the performance of these duties.
In 1955, according to Wilhelm, she was assigned to a post to catalogue all incoming UFO material, during which time approximately 1,000 items were processed. These included items from the interior of a recovered UFO brought to the air base. All items were photographed and tagged.
In her cataloguing duties, Mrs. G. also was witness to the conveyance, by cart, of two dead humanoid bodies from one room to another. The bodies, preserved in chemicals, were four to five feet tall, had generally human features except that the heads were large relative to their bodies, and their eyes were slanted. There was no word as to whether or not the bodies were brought from a recent crash or had been at the base morgue from an incident occurring in previous years.
After telling Charles Wilhelm some of the barest facts she knew, she commented, “Uncle Sam can’t do anything to me once I’m in my grave.” Six months later Mrs. G. passed away.
Len suggested that these were important, he said, “Vital,” facts and that he accepted the story told by Wilhelm who had believed in Mrs. G. I’m not going to argue that point for two reasons… First, this is second hand at best and second, that’s not the point here.
Sometime in the last few months I have read a similar story about someone having a high level security clearance and having to catalog the remains of a UFO crash. The details stuck with me but it wasn’t until I revisited the story told by Norma Gardner (have you all figured out that Mrs. G. is Norma Gardner?) that I remembered that similar tale. I can’t seem to find it and thought maybe someone else might have come across it and could supply the name of that other witness.
If nothing else, if that other account exists and we can find it, and if it was told after Len’s paper was published and after UFO Crash at Roswell was published, then we probably have a case of contamination if not outright confabulation. We then could eliminate that later tale from our databases so it doesn’t confuse an issue that is already confused.