I have said, repeatedly, that I will name names and provide documentation about what they have said. One of the most interesting of those who spoke about the Roswell crash was Patrick Saunders, and he provided information about both the recovery of an alien craft, with the bodies of the pilots, and about the threats made to those involved in the events of July 1947.
Patrick Saunders, the Roswell Army Air Field adjutant in July 1947, died in 1995, but not before leaving a legacy of information about his role in the retrieval and cover up. Had something happened in Roswell, no matter what it had been, as the adjutant and a member of Colonel William Blanchard’s primary staff, Saunders would have been in on it. And, according to the information I have, he was not only in on it, he played a major role in it by orchestrating a significant part of the cover up.
Saunders was born in Alabama in 1919 in Florida. He attended the University of Florida and graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the Air War College. During the Second World War he flew 37 combat missions and was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. Patrick Saunders died in November 1995, after a fall that put him into the hospital.
I first talked to Saunders on June 14, 1989, as I was beginning my research into the Roswell case. I have the notes taken during that conversation but there is no recording of it. There was nothing in that conversation that was contradicted later, other than his somewhat sarcastic remarks about the alien bodies.
He told me he had just gotten out of the hospital after a heart attack, which, had I known, I would have waited several weeks before calling him. That didn’t mean he wasn’t up to a telephone conversation and when I asked about the possibility of the UFO crash, he said that he knew nothing about the little green bodies and said that the whole thing was a big joke. He did confirm that he had been the 509th adjutant for only a few weeks when the events of July 1947 transpired.
On September 12, 1996, I received a letter from Evelyn P. Smith, who had known Saunders well. She wrote that while discussing these events with her, he said, “I never saw the little men. The creatures are in deep freeze at Wright-Pat.” Clearly, this was meant as something of a joke by Saunders. He would later contradict that statement in talking to his son, Tim Saunders.
During my 1989 telephone call, he said that there had been many rumors flying about the base at the time. I asked if he could remember any good rumors and which of those might have some truth to them. He said, simply, "I can't specify anything." Saunders, it seemed, was suggesting that he was not a witness to the story. Or rather, that was what he led me to believe at the time.
We did talk, briefly, about the events on the Brazel (Foster) ranch and he responded that he just couldn’t help. Not that it wasn’t true or that he didn’t know anything, just that he couldn’t help, which suggested there was another factor in play. He would explain that to one of his daughters in the mid-1990s.
But that wasn’t the end of it. I learned that later, after both UFO Crash at Roswell and The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell were published, he bought copies. In fact, he bought lots of copies to send to both close friends and family.
A quotation, in his own handwriting, "Here's the truth and I still haven't told anybody anything! Pat," is on the flyleaf in The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell, which was labeled, "Damage Control." His comment is presumed to refer to that specific page but could refer to more of the information printed in the book. It said:
Files were altered. So were personal records, along with assignments and various coding and code words. Changing serial numbers ensured that those searching later would not be able to locate those who were involved in the recovery. Individuals were brought into Roswell from Alamogordo, Albuquerque and Los Alamos. The MP s were a special unit constructed of military police elements from Kirtland, Alamogordo, and Roswell. If the men didn’t know one another, or were separated after the event, they would be unable to compare notes and that would make the secret easier to keep.
|Saunder's note on the flyleaf to The Truth|
about the UFO Crash at Roswell.
Tim Saunders, on July 13, 2023, confirmed that the writing, and the signature were those of his father. In a comparison with notes and signatures in Patrick Saunders personal flight logs, it was obvious that the same hand had written both those flight log notations and the inscription on the flyleaf.
|Tim Saunders. Photo copyright by|
On the flyleaf to UFO Crash at Roswell, and sent on to his daughter, he wrote, "You were there! Love, Dad." It said:
Rickett, the senior counterintelligence man and the Provost Marshal walked the perimeter of the debris field examining the wreckage scattered there. Most of the pieces were small, no more than a few inches long and wide, but some measured a couple of feet on one side.
The came to one piece that was about two feet by two feet. According to Rickett, it was slightly curved. He locked it against his knew and tried to bend it or break it. The metal was very thin and very lightweight. Rickett couldn’t bend it at all. As they prepared to leave the crash site, the senior CIC agent turned to Rickett. "You and I were never out here," he said. "You and I never saw this. You don’t see any military people or military vehicles out here either."
"Yeah," Rickett agreed. We never even left the office."
Of course, it could be argued, and probably will be, that the messages are opened to interpretation. Here is a man who was at Roswell during the critical weeks suggesting, obliquely, that the information about the crash, retrieval and cover up is real. According to one letter I received from one of his children, Susan Saunders Simmons, her father had "At one point... bragged to me about how well he had covered the ‘paper trail’ associated with the clean up!"
|Susan Saunder's letter about the Roswell UFO Crash.|
And as happens all too often in this case, she wrote that they, Saunders’ children, were looking for his flight records. According to them, those records contained some relevant information but she didn’t tell me what, and it seems that the records provide no real clues about what had fallen near Corona.
In the months before he died, he confided in several close and lifelong friends that suddenly, the officers of the 509th Bomb Group were confronted with a technology greater than that of Earth. They, meaning the creatures in the flying saucers, had control of the sky. The Air Force was powerless against them. And they, the members of the Army Air Forces, had just seen the power of control of the sky. It was one of the factors that defeated the Axis Powers in the Second World War.
Saunders went on, telling people that military officials had no idea about what their, the pilots of the UFOs, intentions might be. Their technology was more advanced than that of the United States. Top military leaders didn't know if the alien beings were a threat so the government was reluctant to release anything about them.
He did warn those he talked with to be careful. He was aware of the threats that had been made and he believed that those making them were serious. Here was a retired Air Force officer who was warning his family to be careful about what they said and who they said it to. One of his daughters wrote, "...he asked me a lot of questions probably to see if, in fact, I had read [UFO Crash at Roswell] carefully. Then he wanted me to understand that he felt the threats to people who ‘talked’ were very real..."
|Confirmation that Saunders talked about threats.|
Tim Saunders reinforced this as well, telling me that his father was concerned about those threats. He suggested that his father sharing the information with the family could endanger them. He suggested his initial reluctance to talk about what he had seen in 1947.
So, once again, I’m confronted with information, from a reliable source, Patrick Saunders, through family members, that suggests that threats were made. The people who heard those threats believed them to be real, though I know of no instance when any of the threats were carried out.
I’ll note one other thing. When the Air Force was making their Roswell investigation, they did not interview Saunders, though they certainly had the chance. He wasn’t all that old, only 76, and while his heart might have been weakened, he certainly had the strength to sit through an interview with another Air Force officer.
There is another aspect to this as well. While Saunders did suggest that tales of little green men bogus, he provided a different take on it to family members. Tim Saunders told me that in the months prior to his father’s death, he did talk, briefly about alien bodies. According to Tim Saunders, his father said that there had been four bodies recovered and that he, Patrick Saunders, had seen them.
What's important here is that Saunders did not share this information with UFO researchers or outsiders at all. He kept it to himself, telling close friends and family only after the story had been told by so many others. It can't be said that he was seeking fame or fortune by creating a tale to put himself in the limelight. He told only his closest friends and family and cautioned them about revealing too much.
Saunders, when he prepared for his own funeral, added a note to his list of accomplishments, mentioning his role in Roswell. It was there beside the notes of his Air Force service, flying "the Hump" in the Chinese-Burmese-Indian Theater in the Second World War, and the list of the awards and decorations he acquired during his military service. Clearly the events in Roswell were important to him.
What we have now are several statements, written in his own hand, and shared with friends and family. Statements that suggest that Saunders was deeply involved in the Roswell events and they had nothing to do with a balloon, regardless of the mission of that balloon or who was claiming that it was a balloon.