This week’s guest was Tom Carey. He had emailed me about the interview I had conducted with Don Schmitt. He was concerned about Don’s comments about the Glenn Dennis testimony. I thought I would bring him on to talk about his perspective of what Dennis had said over the years. You can listen to that interview here:
For a long time, I have been worried about the viability of the Dennis testimony. He had been caught in telling a number of lies and giving us all a false name for the nurse. That element of the story completely broke down as I, as well as others including Vic Golubic, attempted to find the nurse, or to even verify her existence in Roswell. When all that failed, meaning we had actually proved a negative (that
she didn’t exist under the name provided), Dennis changed the
story and the name.
Tom’s position is that while Dennis did lie about many aspects of his involvement, there was a core element that was true. That is, there had been telephone calls from the base to Ballard Funeral Home asking about child-sized caskets. I wondered about the necessity for child-sized caskets. Wouldn’t an adult size casket worked since the apparent reason was to provide a hermetically sealed coffin? The size didn’t really matter. Although I didn’t say it, I was wondering if the idea the coffins were child sized didn’t appear later in the tale… if, indeed, there had been such a request.
The validity of the Dennis tale had been reduced to this single point and it seemed that both Tom and I agreed that Dennis might not have been a participant in these events, but heard about them from his colleagues. At any rate, it seems to me, that the Dennis tale should be reduced to a footnote in the history of Roswell.
Although I didn’t say it was clearly as I would have liked, I was suggesting that this tale told by Dennis, and the idea of a nurse involved in a preliminary autopsy at the base, simply doesn’t have any first-hand testimony to back it up. I was talking about the level of the evidence to support the theory. That there was no documentation for it and that I didn’t understand why the military would have found it necessary to involve a civilian doctor when there were doctors or equal or
better qualifications assigned to the base. Why bring in civilians which
would tend to compromise security?
I was looking for something a little more solid than the children of those involved telling the story that their parents might have told. At best, all this is second-hand testimony, and might be third-hand. I didn’t make the point that we were treading on very thin ice when we moved into the realm of Glenn Dennis’ missing nurse, and the civilian doctor brought into the tale. Not to mention that the original story by Dennis was that he had something going on with the nurse, that she was military, and that she had been transferred off the base in the days that followed the recovery. Tom did say that the name of the nurse would appear in his book Roswell: The Ultimate Cold Case – Closed, which will be available on June 15, for those who wish to follow this thread to its ultimate conclusion.
I looked at the Dennis testimony at length in Roswell in the 21st Century, which would provide, well, a different perspective. You can also read more about this controversy here:
The one question that I shouldn’t have asked was if the failure of the Dennis testimony reflected on the veracity of the Walter Haut tale. Haut, because of who he was in 1947, should have known if Dennis had been involved or not. After all, it was Haut who had given us Dennis’ name. I didn’t really have time to explore this fully and that turned out to be something of a distraction to the overall conversation.
In the end, Tom said that he believed the story, had the name of the nurse (which would be, at the very least, the third name associated with the tale), and that while Dennis might not have been involved, he had heard the story from those who had been, and that he, Dennis, then injected himself into the tale. That’s not the first time that we, meaning Don Schmitt, Tom and I had run into that sort of thing.
At any rate, we did get a different perspective on the tale of the missing nurse and Tom’s reasons for accepting it. I find the testimony weak, but that’s just my opinion on all of this. Tom was much more impressed with it.
Next week, I’ll be wrapping up the Flight 19 disappearance and what I have learned about the Bermuda Triangle, including my nearly first-hand experience (well, I was assigned to the unit that lost a C-119 in the Triangle, though at the time I was still in high school) and the competing theories about what had happened to the flight. If you have a question, as always, plug them into the comments section, and I’ll try to address them during the show.
I love it. You assess the testimony and how it has advanced/changed or stayed solid or not over time and how the testimony of other 'witnesses' compares with it. A detailed, difficult task no doubt requiring the patience and cool heart of a real invesigator. As usual, Kevin, I am humbled by your work. Time seems to tell so much doesn't it ?
As I mentioned in a previous post, listen to Tom talk about this Doctor and Nurse and him putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 47 was exactly like hearing him talk back when the Roswell slides fiasco happened. His will to believe is on display for anyone with a Braincell to see.
You should have another conversation with him regarding Haut, as he was the man who basically vouched for both Glen Dennis and Frank Kauffman. Tom seems unable to accept that it is possible for someone to embellish their involvement with a case yet still be a nice person. I'm sure Mr Haut was an honourable man yet you can't dispute the fact that he did say Frank Kauffman's word was "golden".
OK, it appears we all agree (or so it seems) that Glenn Dennis needs to no longer be debated. It's dead. However, should Tom be correct that the nurse in question was actually the wife of another embalmer, should we now try to take that lead and see where it follows? Do you believe that there would be any merit in seeing whether there is any fresh fruit to be picked?
All the best -
I know I discussed this with you some years ago Kevin, but I'm still absolutely baffled as to why Glenn Dennis, if he wanted to send you and Don on a wild goose chase, didn't give you a more common name (like Sue Smith, for example) that would have kept you busy for decades. You'd think he'd try keeping you off the scent of his lies.
I'm pretty well traveled, but in my life I have never come across anyone with the surname of Self, or Selff. The occasional Naomi and plenty of Mary's (but that's enough now of my sordid past as a sailor)...but never a Naomi Mary Self.
What was he thinking, giving you a name that would be so easy for you to track down?
I have often wondered how Dennis came up with the name h fed us. However, I will point out that I found four women with the name Naomi Self, so, no matter how "strange" the name might seem, there is always someone else with it. BTW, her middle name was alleged Marie.
And, no, it wasn't so easy to track down the name, not to mention that, according to Dennis, she was unmarried in 1947, which meant that she might have married and changed her name... besides, he tried to stop all that by telling us she had died in a plane crash with five other women.
Remember, this was the early 1990s and the Internet didn't exist in the form it has today. Tracking down people and newspaper articles was much more difficult.
Finally, just last week, I was attempting to find a woman with a somewhat unusual name. I came up with more than 1700 hits, which told me the name wasn't all that unusual. Had to figure out a way to narrow the search, and yes, I did find the right one.
Post a Comment