Monday, July 16, 2007

Edwin Easley and Roswell

Let’s talk about Major Edwin Easley (seen here), who, in 1947 was the provost marshal at the Roswell Army Air Field. That is, he was the top cop, sort of the chief of police, responsible for base security, patrols of the town, investigation of crimes, and any other security measure that the base commander, Colonel William Blanchard, might have had for him. If there had been a UFO crash near Roswell, Easley would have known about it and would have had some role in the recovery operation, even if that role was only providing security on the crash sites.

The debunker triumvirate of Phil Klass, Karl Pflock and Kal Korff are quite dismissive of Easley, spending little or no time with his story. They seem to be of the opinion that he is of little value and that what he told me in several interviews is irrelevant because it is unsubstantiated and uncorroborated. Such is not the case.

(And, if I might go off on a tangent here, I use the word debunker, not in its normal connotation, but as it has become applied to the rabid disbelievers in the UFO field. Debunker means someone who will not change his or her opinion about the possibility of UFOs regardless of the evidence, just as the true believer will accept anything and everything, regardless of the evidence. Debunkers and true believers are at opposite ends of the spectrum but are equally unwilling to examine evidence.)

Phil Klass, in his anti-Roswell book doesn’t even mention Easley. Karl Pflock (seen below), in his, mentions him a number of times, mostly as identification of who he was and his job in Roswell in 1947, meaning simply that he was the provost marshal. Pflock does write in the one place, "...Roswell AAF provost marshall [sic], told Randle that Brazel ‘was kept under guard in the [base] guest house for a number of days."

Pflock also wrote, "All this [meaning the story of Brazel at the guest house and Brazel under military escort] seems quite impressive until we learn that Randle did not record his interview with Easley and has no independent verification of what he recalls the now-deceased officer told him."

Kal Korff has the most to say about Easley, but doesn’t get things exactly right. Korff wrote, "Randle claims that Easley on his deathbed eventually confessed that not only had he ‘been there,’ but that he had also seen alien bodies. Indeed, the authors [Randle and Schmitt] write, ‘Easley was reluctant to talk of bodies, but finally, before he died, said that he had seen them. He had been close enough to them to know they weren’t human. He called them creatures.’"

Korff continued, "There’s a problem with Randle’s claim about Easley’s alleged deathbed statements. To be blunt about the matter, Kevin Randle was not present when Easley was dying, only his family members were. This means that Kevin Randle is not in a position to comment about what Easley supposedly said because he wasn’t there.

"The truth of the matter is that there is no evidence other than Kevin Randle’s ‘word’ that Major Easley either said or did the things that Randle claims. And because Major Easley is deceased, he cannot be questioned on the accuracy of Randle’s comments.

"When I checked with the Center for UFO Studies, where Randle and Schmitt claim that all the interview tapes and documentation for their research are archived, it turned out that there are no tapes or forms of independent documentation or verification on file proving that Easley indeed had made the statements Randle posthumously attributes to him! Researchers Robert Todd and Stanton Friedman have also tried to obtain similar supportive evidence for many of Randle’s other claims regarding his research into Roswell but have been unsuccessful.

"Even if Kevin Randle is telling the truth regarding what Easley told him, there is a very valid reason to call into question any remarks that Easley might have made. According to Easley’s family, he was quite advanced in age when he spoke with Randle. His memory was failing him and Easley had a tendency to place himself in events at which he was not present."
Korff footnotes this with, "Kal Korff interview with Dr. Harold Granich, Easley’s physician, July 16, 1994."

In conclusion, Korff wrote, "Once again, until Kevin Randle is ever able to provide evidence and/or documentation to back up his statement, Easley’s alleged deathbed remarks cannot be considered as credible evidence for the extraterrestrial nature of the Roswell incident."

So, we are treated to two divergent views. We can ignore Phil Klass because he ignored Edwin Easley. Let’s look at what Karl Pflock has to say, remembering that Pflock never talked to Easley, never interviewed him, and is left with his impressions based on the work of others, most notably me.

Easley, in an interview with me, conducted from the offices of the Center of UFO Studies, told me that Mack Brazel, the rancher who brought in the debris had been held in the base guest house for a number of days. Is this uncorroborated?

No. Bill Brazel (seen here), Mack’s son, told me in personal interviews, including those that were recorded, that his dad had been held in Roswell for several days. Bill said that he had gone to the ranch and his father didn’t return for two or three days.

Marian Strickland, a neighbor to Brazel, told me, and is recorded on video tape, that he sat in her kitchen and complained about being held in jail. While the base guest house isn’t exactly jail, if you are not allowed to leave, it is the same sort of thing.

So, in reality, we have Easley’s statement and we have the recorded statements of others. Clearly Brazel was held in Roswell, and the importance of what Easley said, was that he was held in the guest house (seen below). This seems to be corroboration of what Easley told me.

Pflock also laments that I didn’t record one of the interviews with Easley and in reality, that was a serious mistake. At the time I talked to Easley, he was in good health and I planned to meet with him in person to corroborate all those things he had said. Dr. Mark Rodeghier of the CUFOS asked me to arrange a meeting between him and Easley and I attempted to do just that. Unfortunately, this was after Easley became seriously ill and a very good opportunity was lost.

Korff is the one who takes this the farthest, but his reporting is as flawed as the others. First, he is worried because I wasn’t there, in Easley’s room, to hear his statements. This, he believes, somehow negates them. But, if this is true and we are not allowed to interview others about their experiences, then historical research has been eliminated. Walter Lord was not on Titanic when it sank, so why should we believe anything he wrote about that. Because he talked to those who were there.

I might add, as an aside, that Lord interviewed the survivors some four decades after the sinking but no one has rejected his work because memories are flawed and dimmed by time. This is only a criticism that is raised in relation to UFO sightings, and then only about those claiming to have seen something strange and unusual. If the witness is saying that the event didn’t happen or there is a prosaic explanation for it, then that witnesses memories are fine.

Korff then suggested that there is no evidence that Easley ever said the things I said he said, forgetting that there are audio tapes of some of the interviews. Later, on the same page, Korff suggests that even if Easley did say these things, it doesn’t matter because, "According to Easley’s family, he was quite advanced in age when he spoke with Randle. His memory was failing him and Easley had a tendency to place himself in events at which he was not present."

Korff references this to the interview with Dr. Harold Granich, Easley’s physician, July 16, 1994. Not to the family so we don’t really know if the family said that or not. In fact, in all my communications with the family, this is the only place that this particular question has been raised.

On the other hand, we learn from an interview that Mark Rodeghier conducted with the same doctor, though Rodeghier spells the name, "Granik" that he had something different to say about it. According to this interview, Granik is an eye surgeon and not an oncologist. Granik told Rodeghier, according the notes I have from him, "A few weeks before he died of cancer... his granddaughter asked him about the events at Roswell. He broke his vow of silence long enough to say, ‘Oh, the creatures,’ before lapsing into silence. Other family members were present when he said this. Granik believes that Easley was lucid when he made the remark, because the disease did not cause any general deterioration of his mental faculties."

This is quite a contrast to what Korff reports he learned from the same man. But more importantly, this conversation does not rest on my shoulders. It comes from a different source so it is corroboration of what I wrote about Easley. It also means that Korff’s statement, "Once again, until Kevin Randle is ever able to provide evidence and/or documentation to back up his statement, Easley’s alleged deathbed remarks cannot be considered as credible evidence," can be reevaluated because there is other evidence available. By the way, I didn’t offer then as deathbed remarks.

Now, just for fun, let’s take a look at Korff’s statement, "Researchers Robert Todd and Stanton Friedman have also tried to obtain similar supportive evidence for many of Randle’s other claims regarding his research into Roswell but have been unsuccessful." This isn’t exactly true.

Mark Rodeghier called me and said that Robert Todd wanted copies of everything the Center had on the Roswell case. Knowing Todd, I’m sure that he would have paid the costs of copying the material. He always did, at the very least, make a token effort to acknowledge these costs.

I told Mark that I had no objection to his reviewing that material in the Chicago office but I would prefer that it wasn’t all copied and handed out. A lot of work and expense had gone into obtaining it and I wasn’t keen on handing it out to anyone who asked. Of course, Mark could have done it anyway because I had supplied it to the Center for its research library. So, it wasn’t that the Center didn’t have the material, it was that they wouldn’t copy it all and send it along to Todd. Not quite the same thing as Korff suggests.

The Friedman statement is a little strange because, in 1992, as we all discussed the various witnesses and the credibility of those witnesses, a conference was scheduled to be held in Chicago. All the parties were requested to supply their tapes, notes, transcripts and other materials to the other side for review prior to the conference. In other words, I had copied the stuff and sent it on to Friedman, so he had a great deal of it, not to mention the stuff that I had already shared with him. Some of it appears in his book, sometimes without attribution.

In The Plains of San Agustin Controversy, July 1947, published by the Center and the Fund for UFO Research in June 1992, we learn, from Dr. Michael Swords, "Regarding supplying the requested information to all parties... unlike the other more mechanical or schedule-driven areas of protocol, there were serious problems in this area. Unfortunately, in my view this was the most significant area of protocol to the fact-finding and case-discussion mission of this summit. One cannot discuss the facts or documentation of the case unless one can examine them personally and in a timely manner [emphasis in the original]. To my best estimation, Randle and Schmitt were asked for many things that they supplied in a highly organized and professional form to conference attendees in a timely manner. I heard no complaints about their manner of submission nor about the materials prepared by Tom Carey.

"Materials requested of Friedman and Berliner (and associates) were a different manner. Many, apparently most, of the specific requests were not supplied prior to the conference. On the initial evening of the meeting, Fred Whiting, Mark Rodeghier, and myself attempted in a friendly executive manner to rectify this problem by creating a mechanism for photocopying documents, dubbing video and audiotapes for the conferees’ use on the following two days. Friedman agreed to this, but nothing substantial came of it. Berliner, God bless him, located one tape he was carrying, and when it was brought up for discussion immediately loaned it for dubbing."

What is the point of mentioning all this. Well, it demonstrates that Friedman had gotten cooperation from us, I had sent him tapes and transcripts, so this suggestion in Korff’s book is slightly misleading.

What this all means is that the information I reported about Easley is accurate and has been corroborated by other members of the family, by others who had some sort of information that was relevant, and even by one of the sources Korff mentioned. Also interesting are the contradictory statements by Dr Granik, who said that Easley was lucid in the last days of his life (or that he tended to place himself in events when he hadn’t participated).

But there is one other, interesting fact. Easley told me he had been sworn to secrecy about this event. If true, one wonders why, if the answer about the UFO crash is mundane, Easley would have been ordered not to speak about it. (And no, Project Mogul doesn’t work here because, two days after the press release claiming that the RAAF had captured a flying saucer, pictures of a Mogul array were printed in the newspapers... the equipment and launches weren’t classified, just the name and the purpose, something slightly different than the debunkers tell you. Pictures ofMogul in the newspaper in July 1947.)

I have a statement written by Easley himself that says, "This is information on the 1947 incident north of Roswell, New Mexico, AFB. Being sworn to secrecy, I could not and did not give any information to the investigator. This case was presented on T.V. Unsolved Mysteries in September 1989." It’s quite clear here what Easley meant and this is another bit of corroboration and documentation. Stan Friedman can confirm this.

Here’s where we are. No one interviewed Easley except me. I have tapes of some of the interviews, but I don’t of the one where Easley confirmed the extraterrestrial nature of the craft. Family members did hear him say things about the craft and bodies, and some of this discussion took place prior to his eventual decline and death in the hospital. Believe me or don’t, but this doesn’t rest on my shoulders alone. There are others who heard the statements and have reported on them. Attempts to dismiss Easley’s testimony are simply that, attempts to dismiss his testimony. They are without substance and are made because we all know that a UFO didn’t crash at Roswell and anyone who says it did must by lying, deluded, or both.


Bob Koford said...

Thank-you again.

With your last two entries, especially, you are illustrating the very points and methods that are required of this case.

Since the official release of information given to us by the Armed Services, via the Air Force PBB info, appears to contain "0" bits of data pertaining to it (but plenty on the LaPaz stuff), whatever backing up of each portion of the evidence that is available is all that we have.

The only parts of the information that can be used are be the ones that have verification, of any kind... such as you have provided.

All other information should and will be discarded, or held off vending further corraboration.

kensolar said...

I met Edwin Easley when he retired. 1978? He would not give interviews to the press but in his own home it was different. I spoke with him at length about those few days in 1947. He said there were two craft, one that exploded and a second that crashed on a ledge about 2 miles away. The smaller, maybe a probe of the larger craft had exploded. Since there was a violent thunderstorm it's possible that as it approached the larger craft possibly to be retrieved, it was hit by lightning. Exploding into the manned craft sending debris onto the field from the probe and the manned craft out of control. It then dug the trench as it skipped off the field and finally crashed for good on the ledge. He stated there was a gaping hole in the side of the craft large enough for him to poke himself through to his belt buckle. He described the interior in reasonable detail. He also drew a picture of the craft, it looked remarkably like the one in 'Independence Day'. He immediately burned it. He then later got to see the 'bodies' including one hanging on for life. When I asked him "They allowed you to see everything?" he replied, "What were they going to do? Call security? I was security. I had an entire company that had followed me through the Battle of the Bulge, armed with rifles. They had a couple of officers with a sidearm that had probably never even fired the things. So yeah, I stuck my face wherever I wanted to, until the big brass showed up later." I will never forget him saying that. It was obviously his moment of pride.