Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Chasing Footnotes, Jesse Marcel and the Gouge

In the last few days I have been in communication with a number of friends about the Roswell case and what I have discovered in my reinvestigation of it. At one point I had mentioned that the description of the gouge on the debris field was problematic because there was only Bill Brazel who had reported it. The response was there were three other witnesses who had described the gouge complete with a list of sources for the information.
Bill Brazel stands on the Debris
Field. Photo copyright by Kevin
Randle,

Switching gears now, I mention that as you all know, I have been chasing footnotes to see if we can reduce it to the original source as a way of confirming that the information has been accurately reported. I have done this to several others and now it seems that it is my turn.

To bring those two divergent thoughts together, it was pointed out that Jesse Marcel had talked about the gouge and a friend quoted UFO Crash at Roswell, page 50 as his source. It said, “Marcel said that it was about three-quarters of a mile long and two to three hundred feet across with a gouge at the top end of it that was about five hundred feet long and ten feet wide.”

Len Stringfield
The footnote took me to Len Stringfield’s UFO Crash/Retrieval Syndrome which was published by MUFON in 1980. The footnote didn’t give a page number in that document but I found it was entry Case A-10 on page 16. Stringfield does name Marcel and tells us that Stringfield and Marcel had served in the same areas in the Pacific Theater during the WW II.

He then wrote, “The debris of an apparent metallic aerial device, or craft, that had exploded in the air, or crashed, was first made known by a sheep rancher… There he had found many metal fragments and what appeared to be ‘parchment’ strew in a 1-mile-square area.”

A very liberal interpretation of that could be that there had been some sort of disturbance to the soil, and when connected to what Bill Brazel had said, might be an accurate description. Marcel never actually said anything about seeing a gouge, so this is apparently a little of that literary license that has no place in this sort of report.

Looking at the newspaper articles published in 1947, there are a variety of sizes given for the debris field and Brazel, in one of those news stories agreed with the size as given by Marcel. While all that is interesting, it doesn’t give us a gouge in the middle of the field.

Robin Adair, who worked for the Associated Press in 1947, and in opposition with what Jason Kellahin claimed in a separate interview of what the two of them had experienced, said that he had flown over the area. Adair said that they were kept at a distance by soldiers waving them off and feared that those on the ground might fire on their aircraft if they got too close. He did, however, suggest a gouge without actually using that term. He said there were burned places and added, “I remember four indications… it was rather hard to line them up from the plane.”

He said, “It wasn’t too distinct – one – among the grass that was about a foot high or maybe a little more it wasn’t too distinguishable but you could tell something had been there.”

Later he said, “You couldn’t see them too good from the air – how deep they were or anything but apparently the way it cut into them whatever hit the ground…”

According to the taped interview, conducted by Don Schmitt, Adair never said that he’d seen a gouge in the sense that Brazel has seen one. To him it looked as if something had skipped creating a series of depressions (I’m trying to avoid the word gouge here to provide a somewhat more neutral impression) that, looked at from ground level would have resembled a longer cut in the soil. Frankly, it seems that he was talking about something that could be interpreted as a gouge.

Brigadier General Arthur Exon said that he had flown over the locations some months after the event. I’m not sure why he would have done that or why he would remember, but he did talk about seeing the crash sites. He wrote to me in November, 1991, that he remembered “auto tracks leading to the pivotal sites and obvious gouges in the terrain.”

He wrote about them as “gouges” which seems to confirm what Adair had said and both men were flying over the area which might explain why they used the plural when Brazel spoke in the singular.

Bud Payne describing his observations on the same bit
of high desert as identified by Bill Brazel.
Finally, there was Bud Payne who eventually became a judge in Lincoln County. He blundered into the area chasing some livestock that gotten away from him. In an interview with him in January 1990, he took a number of us including Don Schmitt, Paul Davids and me to the debris field that he had seen. Although the interview was not recorded, my notes say that he did say there had been a gouge, and we were standing on the same bit of New Mexico high desert that Bill Brazel had pointed out to us some months earlier.

In looking back through my notes, transcripts, and other documentation, I found references to a gouge or gouges in the terrain that seemed to back up the original descriptions given by Bill Brazel. Granted, the interviews were conducted decades after the event, and the survey of newspaper articles which sometimes provided a description of the debris field did not seem to mention a gouge or gouges. The point here is that there are multiple sources for the idea of a gouge, even if that description wasn’t universal.

This was also about chasing footnotes, and the reference I used as a source for the information about Marcel came from the monograph that Len Stringfield published in 1980. The important sentence here said, “The area was thoroughly checked, he [Marcel] said, but no fresh impact depressions were found in the sand.”

Bob Pratt interviewed Marcel about a year later, in December 1979 and while his interest was in talking about debris, Marcel did say, “One thing I did notice – nothing actually hit the ground, bounced on the ground. It was something that must have exploded above the ground and fell.”

While it could be argued, somewhat lamely, that those impact depressions aren’t the same thing as a long gouge, Marcel seemed to be telling both Stringfield and Pratt that he had seen no gouge.

I don’t know how that line “Marcel said that it was about three-quarters of a mile long and two to three hundred feet across with a gouge at the top end of it that was about five hundred feet long and ten feet wide,” got inserted into the text. It’s not in quotation marks which means it was an interpretation of what Marcel had said. The probable answer is that it was a combination of what both Brazel and Marcel had said, which means the description is somewhat correct, based on those testimonies, but it isn’t accurate.

A better statement might have been “Marcel said that it was about three-quarters of a mile long and two to three hundred feet across and Brazel mentioned a gouge at the top end of it that was about five hundred feet long and ten feet wide.”

It turns out that the statement attributed to Marcel is one that is not found in the source I quoted. In fact, it’s not found in any of the sources I was able to access here over the last few days. The information attributed to Marcel is incorrect and the footnote is inaccurate.


I have now found references to disturbances to the soil, and I have found that Marcel never talked about a gouge. The information here is now accurate and the sources are attributed properly. I can only hope that these clarifications will make their way into the Roswell discussions.

24 comments:

TheDimov said...

That's something really good to chase up, the gouge and who mentioned it, its important. Exon immediately came to mind for me before I read the piece, and (just beside the point a bit), him even being up there in a plane looking around says a lot right there in my opinion. Lots of investigation going on for a weather balloon.

Brian Bell said...

I think it important to note that while some witnesses reported ground disturbances, burn marks, or circular depressions largely seen from the air, there can be natural explanations for these observations.

First, geological surveys of New Mexico frequently discuss depressions in the desert soil. Often cited are small depressions caused by rainwater accumulations including ancient wallows now long since dry. Other examples include pock marked ground scars from volcanic activity and meteor impacts over thousands of years.

Second, if you use a program such as Google Earth to view the reported crash location coordinates, one can see quite clearly circular depressions in the surrounding desert plains.

In fact, water runoff trails are easily seen and almost appear as roads when in fact they aren't at all.

We might suppose local people would know the difference and recognize geological variations in their own area, but things can be surprising deceiving from the air.

Personally I would lean towards Marcel's description which has neither circular skip marks or a trailing gouge.

Sure we can establish the other folks claimed to report ground disturbances in the soil, and it should be noted, but overall we have nothing to go on - no soil samples, photographs, maps, or specific coordinates as to exactly where these markings were reportedly observed.

That means they aren't verifiable. In the desert these marks would likely still be there as the soil rarely changes over time due to the climate.

It's interesting but unfortunately for me proves nothing about aliens having crashed. Rather it's just another piece of unverifiable data based on witness claims.

Craig McDaniel said...

Kevin,

I remembered something from a while back and check on the "gouge" in Wikipedia and their version of the Roswell crash. Interestingly, Wikipedia is asking for a citation on this same very subject in your section.

To Brian Bell,

Wikipedia had a link to "Telex" and this might be what printed the Ramey Memo.



starman said...

When did the debris field (and possible gouge) first appear? In WITNESS TO ROSWELL page 139, Carey and Schmitt say it was on the evening of July 3, 1947. Other proposed dates are July 2 or July 3-4. Since Brazel heard an unusual explosion, which he associated with the wreckage (seen the next day) don't meteorological records provide a definitive answer?
Btw, Carey and Schmitt also say the impact site wasn't discovered until Monday July 7. Assuming, as they do, that the sites appeared essentially simultaneously, isn't it odd that the impact site, nearer the RAAF, was supposedly not found until after the debris field, or not for almost four days?

KRandle said...

Brian -

As usual, you make an assumption that is not accurate. Both Bill Brazel and Bud Payne were on the ground, as was Jesse Marcel. Deputies from Roswell also reported the burn area and were on the ground. There is testimony that Wilcox himself also went out and observed the burn area...

In fact, the only two that mentioned seeing things from the air were Adair and Exon, so the observations were not largely from the air.

Please note that I have not rated these observations for reliability, only that most were made from the ground.

Brian Bell said...

@ Kevin:

Matters very little. And I never said all the witnesses viewed it from the air (obviously Marcel never did). As usual, you jump to conclusions.

As I said:

"Sure we can establish the other folks claimed to report ground disturbances in the soil, and it should be noted, but overall we have nothing to go on - no soil samples, photographs, maps, or specific coordinates as to exactly where these markings were reportedly observed."

That means whatever they described cannot be verified no matter what they saw, if anything.

All we have are descriptions of ground disturbances and burn marks. Those can and often are caused by very terrestrial phenomenon.

So it's nice to know people claimed to see "gouges".....but people have also claimed to see alien bodies, and even golden helmets.

These are unverifiable claims.

Craig McDaniel said...

Kevin,

Would it be possible to create a Google Map link showing the crash site? I have seen some ground level pictures but surprisingly I never saw where on the map it happened. It would also be interesting to see the relationship to the city of Roswell and the 509th base.

Thanks,

KRandle said...

Brian -

Please show where I said that you said that all observations were from the air. I quoted your statement "witnesses reported ground disturbances, burn marks, or circular depressions largely seen from the air," which was in error.

Your profound observations were nothing new and my point was that there were those who reported a gouge or gouges but I also said that "I have not rated these observations for reliability, only that most were made from the ground." Of course I do have the exact coordinates of location of where the gouges were seen. Both Bill Brazel and Bud Payne took me to the same bit of New Mexico high desert (though at opposite ends of where the gouge was reported to have been... please note the language here) and pointed out that location.

And if you want to get technical, your comment about the reports of alien bodies, golden helmets and even the "gouges" being unverifiable claims is also inaccurate. What you obviously meant was that they have been unverified which is not quite the same as the claim you make...

Didn't we all agree, at some point, that the claim of golden helmets was bogus... wouldn't have been better to suggest that a claim the "memory metal" is unverified but not that it is "unverifiable".

Brian Bell said...

@ Kevin

You wrote:

"As usual, you make an assumption that is not accurate. Both Bill Brazel and Bud Payne were on the ground, as was Jesse Marcel."

>>> Very clear you're assuming I was referring to all witnesses.

But yes, the memory foil is "unverified" unless someone comes forward with a piece, but since they haven't in nearly 70 years that remains "unverifiable".

The same is true concerning alien bodies.

To me it seems the claims of gouges or ground disturbances falls into the same category. Yes you may have been taken to a spot where someone claimed to have seen them decades later, but that doesn't verify they were actually there in the first place.

Does it?

Nor does it verify what they were caused by if indeed actually there.

So yes, nice to know we have verified claims of ground disturbances (for the record), but all we have done is verified claims - that's it.

KRandle said...

Brian -

Very clearly I was not assuming you were referring to all witnesses. I said absolutely nothing about all witnesses. I suggested that your claim "that while some witnesses reported ground disturbances, burn marks, or circular depressions largely seen from the air" ... was not accurate because more witnesses had been on the ground than in the air. You seem unable to comprehend this, though I don't know why.

The point was to show that I had been in the field with witnesses who claimed to have seen the gouge as opposed to sitting at home making statements that were inaccurate about what I said. I didn't say that being there verified that the gouges existed, only that being there gave me a better perspective than the one you claim. I tried to make it clear that I was relating information provided by witnesses who claimed to have seen a gouge. I noted specifically, so there would be no confusion, "Please note that I have not rated these observations for reliability, only that most were made from the ground." You went off on another tangent.

You said, "But yes, the memory foil is "unverified" unless someone comes forward with a piece, but since they haven't in nearly 70 years that remains "unverifiable".

No, it is not unverifiable but it is unverified. You don't seem to understand the difference.

I suppose that you'll want to make another round on this, explaining what you think I said as opposed to what I actually said. But since you make the same inaccurate points over and over... and indeed missed the point of the original post, I'm not sure I'll take my turn when it comes around again. Pontificate if you must, but try for some accuracy.

Craig McDaniel said...

Brian,

I don't recall in any of your comments that you actually visit the ranch and walk the property have you? Is there something you know that Kevin doesn't?

Brian, I read your comments and you seem to contradict most of Kevin's comments and his witnesses including Brazel, Payne and Marcel.

Granted there might be a question about the exact location where the craft went down to the square yard, I am sure Kevin and his witnesses are very close having walked the area.

Brian Bell said...

@ Craig

The point here is not that Kevin has done anything unusual, but that the witnesses (from ground and aerial observations) have made claims about gouges etc. of which the disturbances cannot be verified.

Yes you can verify people made claims, you can even verify what they claim is the location of their observations (albeit decades later and possibly location wise inaccurate), but you cannot claim the gouges were actually there (that is unverified) nor what really caused them (that is also unverified).

My point was that aerial observations both then (if they actually occurred) and now demonstrate that ground disturbances are common in the desert and can be attributed to other terrestrial factors.

Hence people can be mistaken in what they see from the air, but yes possibly even mistaken from ground observation as well.

It's fine to verify that similar claims were made, but that does not verify gouges actually existed. It only verifies claims.

The same is true for memory foil or dead aliens....you can verify claims were made, but unless a physical object presents itself for examination, the nature of the object which was handled or observed remains unverified (and to date possibly unverifiable for eternity).

If I said I saw a red 2016 Ferrari at an intersection near my home, you can verify my claim, you might be able to verify the intersection (if I recall it correctly), but you can't verify that I really saw a red 2016 Ferrari....or even which one....despite my claim.

Don Maor said...

Another incredible claim made by Brian Bell is that desert soil does not change with time. I don't know from where did Brian pull that, maybe the "wrongopedia". Seems to be that Brian has not heard about sand storms and dusty winds in the deserts of the world.

KRandle said...

All -

This area is high desert, sort of a steppe area. It is not sand but soil, dry soil, but soil. It is covered by a tough grass that does not require much moisture. If it was sand, it would be damn poor pasture and there would be no livestock on it...

In fact, Bill Brazel told us that this gouge that has so many of you in an uproar, took a year or two to grass back over, which would mean if he was accurately stating the facts, the gouge was visible for a year or two... and just so those of you who have trouble understanding basic English, no one is saying that there was a gouge, only that one had been reported by one of the ranchers who worked that particular land. I simply do not know how to make it easier to understand... I have reports of a gouge but I have no pictures or documentation for it.

And for those who can't connect two thoughts, when I say one of the ranchers who worked the land, I'm referring to Brazel... Bud Payne worked a different ranch, Jesse Marcel and the other military officers didn't work the land and the AP guys, Kellahin and Adair didn't work the land either.

KRandle said...

Brian -

You said, "If I said I saw a red 2016 Ferrari at an intersection near my home, you can verify my claim, you might be able to verify the intersection (if I recall it correctly), but you can't verify that I really saw a red 2016 Ferrari....or even which one....despite my claim."

Actually, depending on a variety of factors we might be able to verify such a claim. Were there traffic cameras monitoring the intersection? If so, we might be able to see that Ferrari. How about traffic enforcement cameras? Are there any ATMs with security cameras facing the intersection? How about businesses with security cameras or parking lots? Home security systems? Maybe there is a Ferrari dealer nearby who might be able to tell us if there are any red Ferraris around which might lead to the owner who could confirm his presence there. Maybe the police or the DMV might be willing to share information with us (though in these times, I doubt we'd get far unless we knew someone). An ad in the newspaper asking for anyone who had seen said Ferrari at that intersection at that time which might also lead to the owner.

The point, you have made a claim but without further research it is impossible to say that said claim can't be verified. After all this, we might end up with nothing but your tale, at which point we might want to establish your credibility for spreading false information and that might lead us to the conclusion that you didn't see the Ferrari.

Craig McDaniel said...

Brian,

In a more apples to apples comparison, I saw a cylinder/cigar shaped UFO over Tulsa. Here is the report/story:
http://www.ufo-hunters.com/sightings/search/51439b5d0ad2e1e9be45242c/UFO%20Sighting%20in%20%20Tulsa,%20OK%20on%20Wednesday%2012%20March%202003

In comparison to your Ferrari, I first didn't see the UFO but the reflection from it. It was that close. For you this would be the Ferrari headlights in comparison.

The point here is (assuming your read my report) this viewing of something so unexpected and magnificent is burnt into your mind forever. You never forget a traumatic event like seeing a big cylinder/cigar UFO that is close to you. It's a part of you that stays with you the rest of your life. I am absolutely sure this also happened in the same way to Marcel and Brazel and Payne. I am also sure they remembered the details, like myself, the rest of their lives.

You wonder why I follow Kevin and believe in his lifetime work of achievement, this is why. So what if the color of the Farrari is red or white or yellow, it still a Farrari. The cylinder/cigar shape UFO I saw was very real.

Tommy Bahama said...

@ Craig

I appreciate your honesty in putting forward your experience. If I understand correctly, you reported the incident two years later (2005), and after eleven years (2016) you amended the date of the sighting.

Here is the thing, I believe what you are recalling from memory is an accurate representation of your memory at that point in time of the recall. Unfortunately our memories are subject to bias over time, even a short period of time. Just to be clear, I am not saying you did not see a cigar shaped object moving through the air.

Rather my question to you is, are you sure that an alien was driving the Ferrari.





Neal Foy said...

@ Tommy Bahama

you said: Here is the thing, I believe what you are recalling from memory is an accurate representation of your memory at that point in time of the recall. Unfortunately our memories are subject to bias over time, even a short period of time. Just to be clear, I am not saying you did not see a cigar shaped object moving through the air.


In my opinion you are falling for another of the debunker's tricks. On the surface what you are saying is true. The problem becomes just how it applies to the witness.

Taking one end of the memory spectrum as people claimed to have total recall/photographic memory and at the other people with CRAFT Syndrome (Can't Remember A Freaking Thing) you have to determine where a particular witness falls in the spectrum in order to make anything but a generalization. Even then, memory is selective, how do you determine which elements of the story are true and which are false?

I can relate to what Craig said about having an experience like this and having the memory stick to you. I had an up close encounter with a BT in 1997 and reported it a year later. I did have an advantage of having made notes and a drawing of the lighting configuration as soon as I got home.
But to this day I see that thing just as clearly as on the day of the sighting.

Getting to the gouge, we have other things coming into play. That would include the length of time someone saw the gouge, how often they saw it, if they were they paying attention to the gouge or were they distracted by debris, etc. The time of day they were there would be important, early morning and late afternoon light would make the gouge easier to see. At noon it might be more difficult. And I'm sure other factors should be considered as well, one of those being influence from investigators. CDA just spilled his tea when I said that and I would probably differ in the degree of influence. I do agree with CDA that it might be a factor.



Brian Bell said...

@ Craig

"You never forget a traumatic event like seeing a big cylinder/cigar UFO that is close to you. It's a part of you that stays with you the rest of your life."

No doubt this is true, however I would suggest what you recall (what sticks with you) are the emotions from the experience, not necessarily every last detail. You say it was "traumatic" which is a clear indication of the emotional response and memory you retain, fueled by your reaction to the incident.

As Tommy explained, these details get lost over time and "enhanced" through repeated memory recall, pondering the event in your mind, retelling the tale, and simple biological aging. Psychological studies have proven this.

This explains why so many Roswell witnesses embellished their stories over time. The stories morphed and enhanced themselves as time goes on, coupled by other people adding additional ideas through books, discussions, interviews, conferences, and so on. Marcel Jr. is reported to have passed away while reading a UFO book just as an example.

You describe your incident as "traumatic", while others who might have seen it could have had no emotional reaction at all, or perhaps even a sense of elation at the sight of such a thing.

I too have seen odd things in the sky in daylight and dark, but my reaction was not based on fear but curiosity.

Tommy Bahama said...

@Neal

Here is an article by a neuroscientist that will provide further details - https://www.technologyreview.com/s/520156/memory-is-inherently-fallible-and-thats-a-good-thing/

Here is an article regarding using hypnosis to aid recall - http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/01/hypnosis.aspx

The point is, we believe our recalled memories as being a 100% representation of the first memory of the event because we have emotions or being comfortable that we have arrived at the right answer. This is an illusion we must be cautious of with ourselves when recounting our memories. As for falling into the debunker's trap, my goal is only to separate out the facts, so I can come to an accurate conclusion.

Last point, if no extraterrestrial craft crashed/ landed it still remains interesting how people's stories changed overtime. If we separate out the minority that were intentionally trying to deceive, we are still left with a majority for which their memories changed.

Craig McDaniel said...

Hello all,

Your comments are appreciated. I mentioned my UFO sighting story because anyone who experienced anything this special and extraordinary is traumatic when the event is totally unexpected. In relation to Brian's witnesses, I am sure having either held parts of the craft or seen indications where it crashed had to be extraordinary and traumatic to them also. I have no doubt about each remembering details of the event many years later.

for myself, I can remember details of this sighting better than some of my own relatives. Some of the relatives I have not talked to about the same time of the sighting. The difference? The Cylinder/Cigar UFO was more special in my mind.

A couple of points of correction about my original report. This was filed with MUFON, at least I thought I did and not NUFORC, I had not heard of NUFORC then and I didn't even know of UFO Hunters until this year.

I contacted MUFON about my original report and they couldn't find it on their servers. It took a heck of lot of searching the net to even find it once.

At the time I wrote the original story, it was on the same night after I returned from the gym. It was fresh in my mind and I typed it out. I did hold off sending it for other reasons. I am happy to go into detail but if you wish but I was using the seeing a Ferrari comparison with real UFO sighting to show the psychological aspect of a real UFO sighting and to what I feel sure Brian's witnesses also felt.

Craig McDaniel said...

Correction to my last comment: I said Brian's witnesses when I meant to say Kevin's witnesses.

Lorrie Causey said...

..on the subject of how people "remember" things; it can vary widely based on IQ, education, age and many other factors. I tend to believe that not one size fits all when it comes to how a person recalls a particular event regardless of whether it was traumatic or euphoric (an example of the latter: a "first love" experience). I think each person ought to be vetted as an individual and the experience as well. And let's face it, we all know people with outstanding recall, decades after an event, and we all know folks who can't remember what they did last week....:)...

Lorrie Causey said...

Brian states: "...No doubt this is true, however I would suggest what you recall (what sticks with you) are the emotions from the experience, not necessarily every last detail. You say it was "traumatic" which is a clear indication of the emotional response and memory you retain, fueled by your reaction to the incident..."

Well of course; our emotions are part of every experience we have. They are not separate from it but intertwined. I would argue that it's impossible to recall any event without some level of emotion. And sometimes it works in reverse; an emotional reaction causes us to recall certain events. I was raised on a crop farm in South Carolina and the forests here are covered with yellow jasmine, honeysuckle, pine and pecan trees just to name a few; every Spring the aroma of those scents triggers an emotional response and often makes me recall events I'd long since forgotten....