This is a different post than I had planned. After reading James Carrion’s The Roswell Deception, I was planning to do a short article about one tiny aspect of it. It was something that seemed to undermine his premise, but as I was searching for additional information, the tone changed and I made a discovery or two that I thought important.
|James Carrion. Photo copyright by
To bring everyone up to speed on this, let me say, “This isn’t a review of The Roswell Deception. It is an analysis of a single statement that seems to be at odds with the facts, but it is an important discrepancy.”
For those who haven’t read the book, Carrion proposes that the flying saucer craze of 1947 including the crash of something near Roswell was a grand deception. It had two purposes. One was to convince the Soviets that we, meaning the United States, had an airplane that was far superior than anything the Soviets had. Military strategists had learned during the Second World War that control of the air was an important part of winning the war on the ground.
The second was to either expose Soviet spies in the United States, or to gather through the use of deception, information that would help break the codes that the Soviet Union was using. In time of war, not to mention during time of peace, being aware of the other side’s strengths, weaknesses and worries would help in any sort of negotiations. Knowing the enemy’s goals in advance would help to blunt them and, by extension, improve our position in the world.
These were the reasons for creating the aerial deceptions and the activities designed to keep it going. Carrion believed that the Roswell crash, and more importantly, the stories around it were necessary for the deception.
With that in mind, he wrote, “Lieutenant Warren Haught [Walter Haut… I don’t know why he couldn’t get the name right] delivered two entirely different press releases to the local Associated and United Press outlets – a purposeful decision that will make sense later in the story.”
The most obvious problem is the assertion that there were two different press releases and that it was purposeful. There is no evidence to support the idea that there was any sort of purposeful decision here. The evidence suggests otherwise and here’s why.
Simply, I have found more than two versions of the press release. There was one version that appeared on the United Press wire service, one that appeared on the Associated Press service, and still another version that appeared in The Roswell Daily Record. Many of the newspapers printed their own versions, rewritten by their reporters or editors to fit their formats and style.
For those interested, George Walsh of radio station KSWS was the first to get his version of the press release on the AP news wire at 2:26 p.m. (MST). It said:
The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff’s office of Chavez County.
The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff’s office, who in turn notified Major Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office.
Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher’s home. It was inspected at the Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters.
Frank Joyce, at radio station KGFL, followed about fifteen minutes later with the United Press version. It said:
|KGFL Radio Station in the late 1940s.
The Intelligence office reports that it gained possession of the “Dis:” [sic] through the cooperation of a Roswell rancher and Sheriff George Wilson [sic] of Roswell.
The disc landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher, whose name has not yet been obtained, stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the Roswell sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office notified a major of the 509th Intelligence Office.
Action was taken immediately and the disc was picked up at the rancher’s home and taken to the Roswell Air Base. Following examination, the disc was flown by intelligence officers in a superfortress (B-29) to an undisclosed “Higher Headquarters.”
The air base has refused to give details of construction of the disc or its appearance.
Residents near the ranch on which the disc was found reported seeing a strange blue light several days ago about three o’clock in the morning.
The last of the versions was published by the Roswell Daily Record. It is different than the other versions. It said:
The intelligence office of the 509th Bombardment group at Roswell Army Air Field announced at noon today, that the field has come into possession of a flying saucer.
According to information released by the department, over the authority of Maj. J. A. Marcel, intelligence officer, the disk was recovered on a ranch in the Roswell vicinity, after an unidentified rancher had notified Sheriff Geo. Wilcox, here, that he had found the instrument on his premises.
Major Marcel and a detail from his department went to the ranch and recovered the disk, it was stated.
After the intelligence office here had inspected the instrument it was flown to higher headquarters.
The intelligence office stated that no details of the saucer’s construction or its appearance had been revealed.
Articles in other newspapers, especially those on the west coast, offered variations of the press releases. The Oroville, California Mercury-Register, for example, reported, “Possession of a ‘flying disc’ was disclosed today by the intelligence office of the 509th bomb group of the Roswell army airbase.”
|Walter Haut. Photo copyright
by Kevin Randle.
An analysis from all these sources show that the same information is the basis for all of them, but there are subtle differences. This happened, I believe, because Walter Haut phoned it in, so to speak. Haut told me, as he had many others, that he wasn’t sure if he had hand carried the press release to the four media outlets in Roswell or if he telephoned each of them and read it to them. That would account for the subtle differences, at least partially.
Art McQuiddy, who in 1947, was the editor of the Roswell’s Morning Dispatch told me (see UFO Crash at Roswell, pp. 70 – 71; Pflock, Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and the Will to Believe, p. 266), “I can remember quite a bit about what happened that day. It was about noon and Walter [Haut] brought in a press release… By the time Haut had gotten to me it hadn’t been ten minutes and the started ringing. I didn’t get off the hone until late afternoon.”
On the other hand, Karl Pflock in his book wrote (p. 244), “Among other things, they [teletype messages retained by Frank Joyce of the information communicated by the United Press] confirm Roswell AAF did not [emphasis in original] distribute a written press release on the Brazel discovery.”
Can we resolve this?
Yes. I think the answer is in the subtle differences found in each of the versions. Had Haut taken the press release into the various offices, then the content would be virtually the same. The big difference is with the version published in the Roswell Daily Record. It smacks of the local newspaper being familiar with the players, the locations, and the situation. Had they had a printed version of the
press release, their
version would have followed those others with, of course, the local
|Roswell Daily Record. Photo copyright by
There is another aspect of this. As I was looking for copies of both the AP and the UP versions, I was struck by a thought. I had been given, by Frank Joyce, copies of the wire service copy from 1947. There were Joyce’s notes written on it. I wondered, if in the early 1990s, after we’d talked to Joyce, and Moore had talked to Joyce, if maybe, Joyce had cobbled this together. He would have been familiar with the style of the news wires in 1947, he had moved from Roswell radio station, KGFL, up to Albuquerque’s KOB. He knew Haut and the boys in Roswell, so there was a possibility that he had been able to create something in coordination with Haut and the others that none of us would challenge.
And, more importantly, Joyce had told us, that is Don Schmitt and me, that within the days, possibly hours of the original press release, the military had come by KGFL and swept the office for any paper or evidence of the crash. Given that we were hearing about military attempts to suppress the information from a number of people, that just seemed to be a part of the larger picture.
It wasn’t until recently that I had another thought on this. If the military had searched the radio station, why hadn’t they taken the teletype messages that Joyce had saved. If he had hidden that material, why wasn’t the press release with it? And, why was the military even bothering with this? The story was out and the press release, maybe not verbatim, but close enough to the original had already been circulated so that it was of no importance. We knew, pretty much, what it said.
Given all this, I believe that we can conclude that Haut didn’t visit each place, but used the telephone. Art McQuiddy might believe that Haut visited him, but he would be wrong about that. When I interviewed Jud Roberts about running into the military cordon of the area, he told me that there had been a blue staff car parked by the side of the road. In July 1947, the staff cars would have been green, given this was the Army. It wasn’t until after the Air Force became a separate service that the staff cars would have been painted blue. Was Roberts lying? No, he had just spent decades looking at Air Force blue cars. The point is that he might have actually remembered the staff car by the side of the road, but in his mind it was blue.
We can conclude, then, based on the evidence, based on Walter Haut’s vague memory, and the information printed in the newspapers, that there might have been a written press release that Haut read to the media sources over the telephone. However, if he was working from notes rather than a completed release, then we can see that there would have been other, subtle differences interjected in the press release.
As for the original reason to begin this rather esoteric look at that one paragraph that Carrion wrote, we conclude that Carrion was wrong as well. There weren’t two different press releases issued as a way of exposing Soviet spies or as a means of cracking Soviet codes. There was a single press release, delivered over the telephone that created the differences. And from that point, the newspapers updated, edited, and added to the press release meaning that there weren’t two versions, but many. On this point, Carrion’s theory about two press releases, fails.