Since we’ve reached a point where evidence has evaporated into opinion, let’s take a look at what Edwin Easley told me. I don’t believe anyone else ever talked to him, so while what is read in the cold prose on the sterile page, I listened to his inflections, his hesitations, and what he said based on my experience as a military
First, nothing he said takes us directly to the extraterrestrial in the first interview. He said he was sworn to secrecy, but you could say that this is what is told to those in classified briefings about almost anything. Classified briefings frequently open with a warning that the contents are classified and disclosure to those not cleared can result in a prison term and hefty fine.
Second, he said that he had promised the president that he wouldn’t talk about it. Does that mean he talked to Harry Truman personally, or did Truman send a representative to Roswell to learn what those officers knew and tell them that it wasn’t something they could talk about openly. I believe that Easley told the president’s representative that he wouldn’t talk about it.
Third, that the president was involved moves us from the really mundane. In other words, it suggests that Mogul, for example, is not the answer. The balloon launches in Alamogordo were detailed in the newspaper on July 10, 1947. Clearly, the recovery of the remains of a balloon array wouldn’t have caught the president’s attention, and no one would care if anyone talked about it. True, the purpose was classified, but no one was talking about the purpose, only the activities in New Mexico.
Fourth, is there a terrestrial explanation for this sort of response? In 1947, the size and shape of the atomic bomb was classified. If the 509th Bomb Group had dropped a mock up somewhere in the desert, that might have required some sort of higher level response. I’m not sure what the intelligence value would have been just by seeing the mock up and estimating the size, but it was classified.
So, we have an explanation for the effort to conceal what had been found near Roswell that isn’t of alien manufacture. It is something that would have been concealed, though you would think that Jesse Marcel, Sr., would know what the bomb looked like, and would have known what it was, but that’s an argument for later.
What else did Easley say during that conversation?
Well, he said he was the provost marshal, or rather confirmed that he was. But, heck, I had that information from the Yearbook and the Unit History, and from some of those who served at Roswell in 1947. No great revelation there.
When I asked if he had been out to the crash site, he said, “I can’t talk about it. I told you that.”
Well, that does, sort of, suggest he had been out to the crash site, but doesn’t move us to the extraterrestrial. We all know that something fell in 1947, it’s the identification of it that has us somewhat confused.
Later, however, when I mention that Colonel Briley had said that the provost marshal had been out to the crash site, Easley said, “He doesn’t know what he was talking about.”
So, that sort of suggests that he wasn’t out to the crash site. However, as the provost marshal, he would have had the ultimate responsibility for the security at the crash site. He certainly could delegate it to another of his officers, but since it is his responsibility, he would have gone out at least once. Whatever happened, Easley going out or not, doesn’t take us to the extraterrestrial.
He does suggest that we talk to the rancher, but doesn’t really remember the name. He suggests we talk to Breece, though he called him Freeze. We learned that Breece had died before any of us got deep into the investigation.
In the end, the important point here is that he mentioned having been sworn to secrecy and that he promised the president, or the president’s representative that he wouldn’t talk about it. This merely suggests that something important had happened, but nothing that takes us to the extraterrestrial.
I talked to him three more times about this. The second was on June 23, 1990. The first thing that I asked him was, “How are you doing?”
He said, “Pretty good.”
I asked about Blanchard’s staff meetings and Easley said that he attended those, but didn’t remember much about the meeting held on July 8, 1947. My thought here was that had it been a normal meeting, he probably wouldn’t remember anything, but then, had they discussed the material that Marcel found, if it was of alien manufacture, that
would have made the meeting special.
I asked if his MPs would have guarded the airplanes involved in transporting the debris, and he said they guarded all the airplanes, meaning all those assigned to the 509th. He did say that none of the MPs were on the flights to Wright Field. That didn’t mean much because they were never used as guards on the flights anyway.
He told me that he hadn’t talked to anyone else about this, meaning, none of the people he knew in 1947 or any other investigators. That means that my interviews with him are unique.
I had thought that if I could arrange for a general officer to call to tell him that he could speak with me candidly about these events, it might free things up. His response was, “I don’t think so.”
He confirmed, again, that he was in Roswell in July, 1947, but we’d already had the documentation to prove it.
He said again, that he really couldn’t talk about it. In fact, at one point I suggested that he seemed to be uncomfortable about talking about this and he said, “Yeah. Sure do.”
The conversation was fairly short, but friendly. I learned very little from it, though his reluctance to talk about it suggested something big had happened. It doesn’t mean that it was extraterrestrial, only that it was something that had been classified in 1947 (not necessarily meaning covered up). He knew that I was thinking of extraterrestrial, but he wasn’t giving me much in the way of information.
The last recorded conversation was on August 13, 1990. It was a wide-ranging conversation that wasn’t really an interview. In fact, the first ten or fifteen minutes was just that, conversation. I did mention that we, meaning Don Schmitt and I, might be down in Fort Worth and wondered if we might stop by. He said, “Fine by me.”
I finally said, “I haven’t asked any specific questions.”
Easley said, “I noticed that.”
We did finally move onto some questions, but it was more about the people who had been assigned to the Roswell Army Air Field in 1947. I asked if he was aware of the guards used outside of town had been transferred out of Roswell not long after this event. He said, “No. Just not aware of it.”
But he did say that the entire 1395 MP Company had been transferred not long after everything ended. My impression here was that the transfer had been planned prior to July because the company wasn’t needed in Roswell. Easley had the 390th Air Service Squadron whose job it was to patrol the base, mount the guard, and the like. In other words, their duties mirrored those of the MP company.
I then began to look through the Yearbook index that George Eberhart had prepared. We’re just chatting about the people he might have known and where they might have gone after leaving Roswell. I’m looking for people that Easley would have known such as the senior officers and NCOs and who might have been involved in the recovery.
He then volunteered, without a real question from me, “There weren’t too many of them involved in that.”
This suggested that the number of officers and men involved in the operation, whatever it might have been, was limited. You can mount a guard, create a perimeter around something but the men standing guard are far enough away, or the object is masked in some fashion, that they don’t know what it is all about. They just know that they had been given a guard assignment on that day. Again, an interesting little piece of information, but not one that takes us to the extraterrestrial.
The next time that I talked to Easley was from the office of the Center for UFO Studies and was the last time. Since I was spending a couple of hundred dollars a month on telephone bills (back before cell phones and unlimited talk), the chance to follow up on some calls without having to pay for them was important. One of those I called was Edwin Easley. Since I didn’t have a recorder on the telephone, I took notes.
Interestingly, one of the things he said was that he didn’t remember the MPs being transferred after the event, other than the whole 1395th. In the Unit History, there is a letter in which he mentions that there had been a high turnover in the 390th Air Service Squadron. They were being transferred in large numbers. I thought, based on the letter, it was a “train the trainers” type situation. In other words, these men were now trained in dealing with atomic weapons and security and since other units were now going to become part of the atomic strike force, more trained MPs were required. Those in Roswell were transferred so that they could train other MPs at other bases in the procedures related to atomic weapons.
He also said that the material had been sent to Dayton, but then, there is the FBI document which made that suggestion back in 1947. This does not take us to the extraterrestrial. It merely means that the debris, whatever it might have been, was sent to Dayton and the Air Materiel Command for identification as far as he knew. Easley said that this had been a verbal order from Colonel Blanchard, the 509th commander, which would be a little unusual, but not overwhelming so. Paperwork to cover the flight could be created later.
The shipment to Dayton also fits in with some of what those who were working the balloon projects had said about the events in 1947. They had been asked to identify the debris that came from Roswell, according to them. It might have been from one of their balloon projects that was responsible. Easley said nothing about balloon projects.
|The Roswell Guest House. Photo copyright by
Easley also said that Brazel had been brought to the base for several days. Easley was not involved in the interrogation of him. He just said that Brazel had been held in the guest house, which is not as bad as being in jail, but if you’re not allowed to leave, it is sort of, the same thing.
He also said that all the paperwork had been sent on to the Pentagon, though I confess, I’m not sure what all that paperwork might have been. Patrick Saunders, the base adjutant in 1947, did tell family members that they had been able to bury the paperwork on all of this. Neither of these points leads to the extraterrestrial.
At the end of the conversation is where I asked him the one important question. I asked if we, meaning Don Schmitt and me, were following the right path. He asked, “What do you mean?”
I said, “We think it was extraterrestrial.”
Easley said, “Let me put it this way, it’s not the wrong path.”
This is the one point in which we moved from the terrestrial to the alien. It is actually the only point in my interviews with Easley that anything like that had come up. Since I was the one talking with him, and I was listening carefully to him, there is little doubt about what he meant.
But let’s look back on some of this. I’d made it a point to mention that I was a fellow military officer and that I had been a pilot in the Army and an intelligence officer in the Air Force. I told him that one of the things that I found funny was that when I went to Dayton, to Wright-Patterson AFB to meet General Exon, we had gone to lunch at the officer’s club. Exon had told me to park in one of the three spots reserved for general officers.
I had built up a rapport with Easley. He was comfortable talking to me and I was careful to keep the conversation light. We had talked about keeping secrets, and at one point he asked me what I would do in his position. I told him, frankly, that I like to think I would have shared the information, but I told him that I probably wouldn’t. The oath took precedence over what feelings I might have about telling what I knew to those who wanted to know but had no authorization to know it.
I had asked him again that if I knew a general who had been involved in some fashion, who had talked to us, and who had, at one time, been the base commander at Wright-Patterson, would that be helpful. He didn’t think so and I think he knew that the base commander was not necessarily the senior officer on the base. He functioned more as the mayor of a city, overseeing the daily operations that would have included policing the base, maintenance of the facilities and the like. In the Army, they now call that the “Mayor’s Cell.”
In those discussions with Easley, I got the impression he wanted to help as much as he could without violating what he thought of as his promise to the president. No, as I say, I don’t think he actually talked to Harry Truman, but to a representative of Truman, which is, sort of, the same thing.
He didn’t give away much, and I think that most of what he said wasn’t what he considered to be part of the great secret, whatever that great secret might have been. The only slip was the comment that “There weren’t too many involved in that.”
When I asked about following the right path and he mentioned that it wasn’t the wrong path, that was the closest that he came to giving away anything important. Again, in was in the context of a larger conversation that dealt with some of the trivia about Roswell. We had been talking about Brazel being on the base. I believe that he wanted to help as much as he could without violating the oath, which explains the wide-ranging conversations we had which only, occasionally, touched on important, relevant topics.
This explains why I hadn’t made transcripts of these conversations. There are only one or two things that are relevant and the rest were just talks between two former Air Force officers… true, he retired in 1962 and I wasn’t commissioned into the Air Force until some thirteen or fourteen years later, but we did have the bond. I guess it was more of a link than a real bond.
A couple of other things to come out of this. I asked him, at the beginning of each conversation, how he was doing. He always said, “Fine” or “Pretty good.” Can’t believe how those statements have become relevant in the world today.
And I always asked if I had additional questions, would it be all right to call back, and being the gracious individual he was, he always said, “Sure.”
When all is said and done, there isn’t much here for any of us. Clearly, as we all know, something happened. There was an event that was classified. Some of the people at the base were involved and others were not. Easley, as one of the senior officers and the provost marshal, was one of those who were. He only said one thing to me that suggests that the event was extraterrestrial, and that was his round about comment that it was not the wrong path. Not really an admission of much of anything.
If we wish to plug in the statement that comes from Dr. Granik, we have to remember it is, at best, second hand. At worse, it’s probably third hand. If he was not in the room when Easley said, “Oh, the creatures,” then he heard it from family members. He had a professional relationship with one of Easley’s daughters who worked in the same hospital as he did. And please don’t read anything into the comment about professional relationship. I mean that they knew each other, might have taken a lunch together, but had only that professional relationship. I know how the minds of those in the UFO community work… or in reality, disfunction.
I will also note that I have been rejecting, in the last ten years or so, this type of second-hand testimony because it is, well, second hand. Doesn’t mean it is wrong or inaccurate, it just means that there is no way to verify the validity of it, we can’t ask the original source, and what they thought they heard might not have been what was actually said.
I am a little annoyed that Edwin Easley’s reputation had been muddied up slightly. I don’t think he did anything to deserve that and I have said as much in the comments section of the posting found at:
The original source of those comments has been caught lying about all sorts of things. Add to it his confusion between the family of Curry Holden and Edwin Easley, we can reject all that he said about this. Especially when it is remembered that he never talked with Easley.
That leaves back where we started, which is, there isn’t a lot here on which to hang a hat. A couple of comments that can be interpreted in a number of ways and one that suggests, indirectly, the extraterrestrial. In the great scheme of the world, I know that Easley’s one comment doesn’t carry much weight. To make it worse, it was the one time that I didn’t record the conversation. I planned to follow up on it, didn’t know that the time was running out, and tried to arrange things too late. He became ill not long after we talked.
That’s where we are here. An interesting comment, heard only by me and no way to prove he said it. I have my notes, but that doesn’t really do us much good because, as we have seen way too often, notes can be whatever the writer wants them to be.
Easley tells us something happened, some of the personnel on the base were involved, but he doesn’t give away very much. It proves he was an honorable man, trying to keep the secret but wanting to help me in my research. It doesn’t prove much of anything else, when you look at it dispassionately.