A flying saucer crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. This
document contains testimony from people who were closely associated
with this incident.
Most of the testimony in this document is from the 1992 book
"Crash at Corona" by Stanton Friedman and Don Berliner, published
in the United States by Paragon House. That book contains lots of
other interesting material, including material regarding another
crash site in New Mexico. That book is the source of all testimony
in this document except where noted.
On July 2, 1947, during the evening, a flying saucer crashed on the
Foster Ranch near Corona, New Mexico. The crash occurred during a
severe thunderstorm. (The military base nearest the crash site is
in Roswell, New Mexico; hence, Roswell is more closely associated
with this event than Corona, even though Corona is closer to the
On July 3, 1947, William "Mac" Brazel (rhymes with "frazzle")
and his 7-year-old neighbor Dee Proctor found the remains of the
crashed flying saucer. Brazel was foreman of the Foster Ranch. The
pieces were spread out over a large area, perhaps more than half a
mile long. When Brazel drove Dee back home, he showed a piece of
the wreckage to Dee's parents, Floyd and Loretta Proctor. They all
agreed the piece was unlike anything they had ever seen.
On July 6, 1947, Brazel showed pieces of the wreckage to Chaves
County Sheriff George Wilcox. Wilcox called Roswell Army Air Field
(AAF) and talked to Major Jesse Marcel, the intelligence officer.
Marcel drove to the sheriff's office and inspected the wreckage.
Marcel reported to his commanding officer, Colonel William "Butch"
Blanchard. Blanchard ordered Marcel to get someone from the Counter
Intelligence Corps, and to proceed to the ranch with Brazel, and to
collect as much of the wreckage as they could load into their two
Soon after this, military police arrived at the sheriff's
office, collected the wreckage Brazel had left there, and delivered
the wreckage to Blanchard's office. The wreckage was then flown to
Eighth Air Force headquarters in Fort Worth, and from there to
Meanwhile, Marcel and Sheridan Cavitt of the Counter
Intelligence Corps drove to the ranch with Mac Brazel. They arrived
late in the evening. They spent the night in sleeping bags in a
small out-building on the ranch, and in the morning proceeded to
the crash site.
On July 7, 1947, Marcel and Cavitt collected wreckage from the
crash site. After filling Cavitt's vehicle with wreckage, Marcel
told Cavitt to go on ahead, that Marcel would collect more
wreckage, and they would meet later back at Roswell AAF. Marcel
filled his vehicle with wreckage. On the way back to the air field,
Marcel stopped at home to show his wife and son the strange
material he had found.
On July 7, 1947, around 4:00 pm, Lydia Sleppy at Roswell radio
station KSWS began transmitting a story on the teletype machine
regarding a crashed flying saucer out on the Foster Ranch.
Transmission was interrupted, seemingly by the FBI.
On July 8, 1947, in the morning, Marcel and Cavitt arrived back
at Roswell AAF with two carloads of wreckage. Marcel accompanied
this wreckage, or most it, on a flight to Fort Worth AAF.
On July 8, 1947, around noon, Colonel Blanchard at Roswell AAF
ordered Second Lieutenant Walter Haut to issue a press release
telling the country that the Army had found the remains of a
crashed a flying saucer. Haut was the public information officer
for the 509th Bomb Group at Roswell AAF. Haut delivered the press
release to Frank Joyce at radio station KGFL. Joyce waited long
enough for Haut to return to the base, then called Haut there to
confirm the story. Joyce then sent the story on the Western Union
wire to the United Press bureau.
On July 8, 1947, in the afternoon, General Clemence McMullen in
Washington spoke by telephone with Colonel (later Brigadier
General) Thomas DuBose in Fort Worth, chief of staff to Eighth Air
Force Commander General Roger Ramey. McMullen ordered DuBose to
tell Ramey to quash the flying saucer story by creating a cover
story, and to send some of the crash material immediately to
On July 8, 1947, in the afternoon, General Roger Ramey held a
press conference at Eighth Air Force headquarters in Fort Worth in
which he announced that what had crashed at Corona was a weather
balloon, not a flying saucer. To make this story convincing, he
showed the press the remains of a damaged weather balloon that he
claimed was the actual wreckage from the crash site. (Apparently,
the obliging press did not ask why the Army hurriedly transported
weather balloon wreckage to Fort Worth, Texas, site of the press
conference, from the crash site in a remote area of New
The only newspapers that carried the initial flying saucer
version of the story were evening papers from the Midwest to the
West, including the Chicago Daily News, the Los Angeles Herald
Express, the San Francisco Examiner, and the Roswell Daily Record.
The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune
were morning papers and so carried only the cover-up story the next
At some point, a large group of soldiers were sent to the debris
field on the Foster Ranch, including a lot of MPs whose job was to
limit access to the field. A wide search was launched well beyond
the limits of the debris field. Within a day or two, a few miles
from the debris field, the main body of the flying saucer was
found, and a mile or two from that several bodies of small
humanoids were found.
The military took Mac Brazel into custody for about a week,
during which time he was seen on the streets of Roswell with a
military escort. His behavior aroused the curiosity of friends when
he passed them without any sign of recognition. Following this
period of detention, Brazel repudiated his initial story.
[NB: In the sections of this document that contain
testimony, all text not enclosed in brackets, like those that
enclose this sentence, is verbatim testimony.]
[Loretta Proctor, Mac Brazel's nearest neighbor, was one of the
first to see pieces of the wreckage Brazel had found. She was
interviewed in July 1990.]
[Mac] had this piece of material that he had picked up. He
wanted to show it to us and wanted us to go down and see the rest
of the debris or whatever, [but] we didn't on account of the
transportation and everything wasn't too good. He didn't get
anybody to come out who was interested in it. The piece he brought
looked like a kind of tan, lightbrown plastic. It was very
lightweight, like balsa wood. It wasn't a large piece, maybe about
four inches long, maybe just a little larger than a pencil.
We cut on it with a knife and would hold a match on it, and it
wouldn't burn. We knew it wasn't wood. It was smooth like plastic,
it didn't have a real sharp corners, kind of like a dowel stick.
Kind of dark tan. It didn't have any grain, just smooth. I hadn't
seen anything like it.
[The following statement by Loretta Proctor suggests the
possibility that Mac Brazel had been bribed to keep quiet.]
I think that within that year, he had moved off the ranch and
moved to Alamagordo or to Tularosa and he put in a locker there.
That was before people had home freezers, and it was a large
refrigerated building. You would buy beef and cut it up and put it
in those lockers and you had a key to it and you could get your
beef out when you wanted it. I think it would have been pretty
expensive, and we kind of wondered how he could put it in with
[Here is what Loretta Proctor said on the American television
program "Unsolved Mysteries".]
Floyd [Loretta's husband] and a neighbor was in Roswell and saw
Mac surrounded by some of the Air Force people. And they walked
right by them and Mac wouldn't speak to them. They thought it was
kind of funny, I guess, really wondered what he'd got into. And
Mac, he wouldn't talk about it after he come back home. But he did
say if he ever found something else he wouldn't report it.
[Marian Strickland was a neighbor of Mac Brazel. She was
interviewed in 1990.]
[Mac] made it plain he was not supposed to tell that there was
any excitement about the material he found on the ranch. He was a
man who had integrity. He definitely felt insulted and mis-used,
and disrespected. He was worse than annoyed. He was definitely
under some stress, and felt that he had been kicked around.
He was threatened that if he opened his mouth, he might get
thrown in the back side of the jail. He gave that impression,
[Bessie Brazel Schreiber is Mac Brazel's daughter. Here is her
description of wreckage from the crash.]
[The material resembled] a sort of aluminum-like foil. Some of
[these] pieces had a sort of tape stuck to them. Even though the
stuff looked like tape, it could not be peeled off or removed at
all. Some of these pieces had something like numbers and lettering
on them, but there were no words we were able to make out. The
figures were written out like you would write numbers in columns,
but they didn't look like the numbers we use at all.
[There was also] a piece of something made out of the same
metal-like foil that looked like a pipe sleeve. About four inches
across and equally long, with a flange on one end. [Also] what
appeared to be pieces of heavily waxed paper.
[William Brazel Jr is Mac Brazel's son. Here is his description of
wreckage from the crash.]
[One of the pieces looked like] something on the order of
tinfoil, except that [it] wouldn't tear.... You could wrinkle it
and lay it back down and it immediately resumed its original
shape... quite pliable, but you couldn't crease or bend it like
ordinary metal. Almost like a plastic, but definitely metallic. Dad
once said that the Army had once told him it was not anything made
[There was also] some threadlike material. It looked like silk,
but was not silk, a very strong material [without] strands or
fibers like silk would have. This was more like a wire, all one
piece or substance.
[There were also] some wooden-like particles like balsa wood in
weight, but a bit darker in color and much harder.... It was
pliable but wouldn't break. Weighed nothing, but you couldn't
scratch it with your fingernail. All I had was a few small bits.
[There was no writing or markings on the pieces I had] but Dad did
say one time that there were what he called "figures" on some of
the pieces he found. He often referred to the petroglyphs the
ancient Indians drew on the rocks around here as "figures", too,
and I think that's what he meant to compare them with.
[Here are other remarks by William Brazel Jr.]
My dad found this thing and he told me a little bit about it,
not much, because the Air Force asked him to take an oath that he
wouldn't tell anybody in detail about it. He went to his grave and
he never told anybody.
He was an oldtime Western cowboy, and they didn't do a lot of
talking. My brother and I had just went through World War II (him
in the Army and me in the Navy) and needless to say, my dad was
proud. Like he told me, "When you guys went in the service, you
took an oath, and I took an oath not to tell." The only thing he
said was, "Well, there's a big bunch of stuff, and there's some
tinfoil, some wood, and on some of that wood there was Japanese or
[At the time of the crash, William Brazel Jr had been living and
working in Albuquerque, but returned when his father was taken into
custody and thus there was no one to run the ranch.]
I rode out there [the field where the wreckage was found] on the
average of once a week, and I was riding through that area, I was
looking. That's why I found those little pieces.
Not over a dozen pieces. I'd say maybe eight different pieces.
But there was only three [different] items involved: something on
the order of balsa wood, something on the order of heavy-gauge
monofilament fishing line, and a little piece of -- it wasn't
tinfoil, it wasn't lead foil -- a piece about the size of my
finger. Some of it was like balsa wood: real light and kind of
neutral color, more of a tan. To the best of my memory, there
wasn't any grain in it. Couldn't break it, it'd flex a little. I
couldn't whittle it with my pocket knife.
The "string", I couldn't break it. The only reason I noticed the
tinfoil (I'm gonna call it tinfoil), I picked this stuff up and put
it in my chaps pocket. Might be two or three days or a week before
I took it out and put it in a cigar box. I happened to notice when
I put that piece of foil in that box, and the damn thing just
started unfolding and just flattened out. Then I got to playing
with it. I'd fold it, crease it, lay it down and it'd unfold. It's
kinda wierd. I couldn't tear it. The color was in between tinfoil
and lead foil, about the [thickness] of lead foil.
I was in Corona, in the bar, the pool hall. Sort of the meeting
place, domino parlor.... That's where everybody got together.
Everybody was asking, they'd seen the papers (this was about a
month after the crash) and I said, "Oh, I picked up a few little
bits and pieces and fragments." So, what are they? "I dunno."
Then lo and behold, here comes the military out to the ranch, a
day or two later. I'm almost positive that the officer in charge,
his name was Armstrong, a real nice guy. He had a [black] sergeant
with him that was real nice. I think there was two other enlisted
men. They said, "We understand your father found this weather
balloon." I said, "Well yeah." "And we understand you found some
bits and pieces." I said, "Yeah, I've got a cigar box that's got a
few of them in there, down at the saddle shed."
And this (I think he was a captain), and he said, "Well, we
would like to take it with us." I said, "Well..." And he smiled and
he said, "Your father turned the rest of it over to us, and you
know he's under an oath not to tell. Well," he said, "we came after
those bits and pieces." And I kind of smiled and said, "OK, you can
have the stuff, I have no use for it at all."
He said, "Well, have you examined it?" And I said, "Well, enough
to know that I don't know what the hell it is." And he said, "We
would rather you didn't talk very much about it."
[Glenn Dennis was a mortician in Roswell in 1947. His employer
provided mortuary services for Roswell Army Air Field. Dennis drove
a combination hearse and ambulance for both civilian and military
assignments. On July 9 or 10, 1947, Dennis got several phone calls
from the Roswell AAF mortuary officer, who was more of an
administrator than a mortuary technician. The officer wanted to
know about hermetically sealed caskets ("What was the smallest one
they could get?"), and about chemical solutions. Dennis was
interviewed in August 1989 by Stanton Friedman.]
This is what was so interesting. See, this is why I feel like
there was really something involved in this, because they didn't
want to do anything that was going to make an imbalance. They kept
saying, "OK, what's this going to do to the blood system, what's
this going to do to the tissue?" Then when they informed me that
these bodies [had] laid out in the middle of July, in the middle of
the prairie, I mean that body's going to be as dark as your [blue]
blazer there, and it's going to be in bad shape. I was the one who
suggested dry ice. I'd done that a time or two.
I talked to them four or five times in the afternoon. They would
keep calling back and asking me different questions involving the
body. What they were really after was how to move those bodies.
They didn't give me any indication they even had the bodies, or
where they were. But they kept talking about these bodies, and I
said, "What do the bodies look like?" And they said, "I don't know,
but I'll tell you one thing: This happened some time ago." The only
thing that was mentioned was that they were exposed to the elements
for several days.
I understand these bodies weren't in the same location as where
they found some of the others. They said the bodies weren't in the
vehicle itself; the bodies were separated by two or three miles
from it. They talked about three different bodies: two of them
mangled, one that was in pretty good shape.
[That evening, Dennis took a GI accident victim to the base
infirmary, which was in the same building as the hospital and the
mortuary. He walked the injured GI inside, then drove around to the
back to see a pretty young Army Air Forces nurse he had recently
gotten to know.]
There were two MPs standing right there, and I got out and
started to go in. I wouldn't have gotten as far as I did if I
hadn't parked in the emergency area. They probably thought I was
coming after somebody. The doors were open to the military
ambulances and that's where some wreckage was, and there was an MP
on each side. I saw all the wreckage.
I don't know what it was, but I knew there was something going
on, and that's when I first got an inclination that something was
happening. What was so curious about it, was that in two of those
ambulances was a deal that looked like [the bottom] half of a
canoe. It didn't look like aluminum. You know what stainless steel
looks like when you put heat on it? How it'll turn kinda purplish,
with kind of a blue hue to it? [Dennis later said that he saw a row
of unrecognizable symbols several inches high on the metal
devices.] I just glanced in and kept going.
When I got inside, I noticed there was quite a bit of activity.
When I went back into the lounge, there were "big birds"
[high-ranking officers he didn't recognize, though he was familiar
with all the local medical people] everywhere. They were really
shook up. So I went down the hall where I usually go, and I got
down the hall just a little way and an MP met me right there. He
wanted to know who the hell I was and where I was from, and what
business did I have there? I explained who I was. Evidently he was
under the impression that they called me to come out.
Anyway, I got past that and I went on in and then this is where
I met the nurse. She was involved in this thing, she was on duty.
She told me, "How in the hell did you get in here?" I said, "I just
walked in." She said, "My God, you are going to get killed." And I
said, "They didn't stop me." I was going to the Coke machine to get
us a Coke, and this big red-headed colonel said, "What's that son
of a bitch doing here?"
He hollered at the MPs and that's when it hit the fan. These two
MPs grabbed me by the arms and carried me clear outside. They
carried me to the ambulance. I didn't walk, they carried me. And
they told me to get my ass out of there.
[They followed him back to the funeral home.]
About two or three hours later, they [called] and told me, "You
open your mouth and you'll be so far back in the jug they'll have
to shoot pinto beans [into you] with a bean shooter." I just
laughed and said, "Go to hell."
[Dennis spoke with the nurse again the following day.]
She said there were three little bodies. Two of them were just
mangled beyond everything, but there was one of them that was
really in pretty good condition.
And she said, "Let me show you the difference between our
anatomy and theirs. Really, what they looked like was ancient
Chinese: small, fragile, no hair." She said their noses didn't
protrude, the eyes were set pretty deep, and the ears were just
little indentations. She said the anatomy of the arms was
different, the upper arm was longer than the lower. They didn't
have thumbs, they had four different, she called them "tentacles",
I think. Didn't have any fingernails. She then described how they
had little things like suction cups on their fingertips.
I asked her were these men or women? [Were their] sex organs the
same as ours? She said, "No, some were missing." The first thing
that decomposes on a body would be the brain, next the sex organs,
especially in women. But she thought there had probably been
something, some animals. Some of these bodies were badly
She said they got the bodies out of those containers [the ones
he had seen in the backs of the ambulances, on the way into the
hospital]. See, they weren't at the crash site, they were about a
mile or two from the crash site. She said they looked like they had
their own little cabins. She said the lower portion, the abdomen
and legs, was crushed, but the upper portion wasn't that bad. She
told me the head was larger and it was kind of like, the eyes were
[A few weeks later, Dennis heard from his father.]
"What the hell'd you get into? What kind of trouble are you in?"
I said, "I'm not in any trouble." And he said, "The hell you're
not. The sheriff [an old friend of the elder Dennis] said that the
base personnel have been in and they want to know all about your
[Barbara Dugger is the granddaughter of George and Inez Wilcox.
George was the sheriff who Mac Brazel contacted after discovering
the crashed flying saucer. Barbara Dugger was interviewed in 1991
by Kevin Randle.]
[My grandmother said] "Don't tell anybody. When the incident
happened, the military police came to the jailhouse and told George
and I that if we ever told anything about the incident, not only
would we be killed, but our entire family would be killed."
They called my grandfather and someone came and told him about
this incident. He went out there to the site. There was a big
burned area and he saw debris. It was in the evening. There were
four space beings. Their heads were large. They wore suits like
silk. One of the little men was alive. If she [Inez] said it
happened, it happened.
[Regarding the death threat, Barbara said Inez said:] "They
meant it, Barbara. They were not kidding."
She said the event shocked him. He never wanted to be sheriff
again after that. Grandmother ran for sheriff and was defeated. My
grandmother was a very loyal citizen of the United States, and she
thought it was in the best interest of the country not to talk
[Frank Joyce worked at the radio station KGFL. He got a phone call
from a man, presumably Mac Brazel, who reported wreckage on his
He asked me what to do about it. I recommended he go to Roswell
Army Air Base [sic].
The next thing I heard was that the PIO, [Lieutenant] Walter
Haut, came into the station some time after I got this call. He
handed me a news release printed on onionskin stationary and left
immediately. I called him back at the base and said, "I suggest
that you not release this type of story that says you have a flying
saucer or flying disk." He said, "No, it's Ok. I have the OK from
the C.O. [Colonel Blanchard]."
I sent the release on the Western Union wire to the United Press
bureau. After I returned to the station, there was a flash on the
wire with the story: "The U.S. Army Air Corps [sic] says it has a
flying disk." They typed a paragraph or two, and then other people
got on the wire and asked for more information. Then the phone
calls started coming on, and I referred them to [the airfield].
Then the wire stopped and just hummed. Then a phone call came
in, and the caller identified himself as an officer at the
Pentagon, and this man said some very bad things about what would
happen to me. He was really pretty nasty. Finally, I got through to
him: I said, "You're talking about a release from the U.S. Army Air
Corps." Bang, the phone went dead, he was just gone.
Then [station owner Walt] Whitmore called me and said, "Frank,
what's going on down there?" He was quite upset. He asked, "Where
did you get this story?" In the meantime, I got this [USAAF news]
release and hid it, to have proof so no one could accuse me of
making it up. Whitmore came in to the station and I gave him the
release. He took it with him.
The next significant thing occurred in the evening. I got a call
from [Mac] Brazel. He said we haven't got this story right. I
invited him over to the station. He arrived not long after sunset.
He was alone, but I had the feeling that we were being watched. He
said something about a weather balloon. I said, "Look, this is
completely different than what you told me on the phone the other
day about the little green men," and that's when he said, "No, they
weren't green." I had the feeling he was under tremendous pressure.
He said, "Our lives will never be the same again."
[Lydia Sleppy was a teletype operator at Roswell radio station
KSWS. The event she describes below took place around 4:00 pm on
July 7, 1947. She was interviewed in October 1990 by Stanton
We were Mutual Broadcasting and ABC, and if we had anything
newsworthy, we would put it on the [teletype] machine, and I was
the one who did the typing. It was in my office. Mr Tucker [Merle
Tucker was the station owner] was in Washington DC trying to get an
application approved for a station in El Paso, when this call came
from John McBoyle [another KSWS staffer]. He told me he had
something hot for the network. I said, "Give me a minute and I'll
get the assistant manager," because if it was anything like that, I
wanted one of them there while I was taking it down.
I went back and asked Mr [Karl] Lambertz (he came up from the
big Dallas station) if he would come up and watch. John was
dictating and [Karl] was standing right at my shoulder. I got into
it enough to know that it was a pretty big story, when the bell
came on [signaling an interruption]. Typing came across: "This is
the FBI, you will cease transmitting."
I had my shorthand pad, and I turned around and told [Karl] that
I had been cut off, but that I could take it in shorthand and then
we could call it in to the network. I took it in shorthand, as John
went on to give the story. He had seen them take the thing away.
He'd been out there [presumably at the Foster ranch] when they took
it away. And at that time, if I remember correctly, John said they
were gonna load it up and take it to Texas. But when the planes
came in, they were from Wright Field.
[Walt Whitmore Jr was the son of the owner of Roswell radio station
KGFL. Here is his description of wreckage from the crash.]
[It was] very much like lead foil in appearance but could not be
torn or cut at all. Extremely light in weight. Some small beams
that appeared to be either wood or woodlike had a sort of writing
on it which looked like numbers which had either been added or
multiplied [in columns].
[Major Jesse Marcel was one of the the first two military people to
visit the Corona crash site. The other was Sheridan Cavitt, who to
this day has refused to even acknowledge that he was there on the
ranch with Marcel. Jesse Marcel died in 1982. He was interviewed in
When we arrived at the crash site, it was amazing to see the
vast amount of area it covered. It was nothing that hit the ground
or exploded [on] the ground. It's something that must have exploded
above ground, traveling perhaps at a high rate of speed, we don't
know. But it scattered over an area of about three quarters of a
mile long, I would say, and fairly wide, several hundred feet wide.
So we proceeded to pick up all the fragments we could find and load
up our Jeep Carry-All. It was quite obvious to me, familiar with
air activities, that it was not a weather balloon, nor was it an
airplane or a missile. What it was, we didn't know. We just picked
up the fragments. It was something I had never seen before, and I
was pretty familiar with all air activities. We loaded up the
Carry-All but I wasn't satisfied. I told Cavitt, "You drive this
vehicle back to the base and I'll go back out there and pick up as
much as I can put in the car,", which I did. But we picked up only
a very small portion of the material that was there.
One thing that impressed me about the debris that we were
referring to is the fact that a lot of it looked like parchment. A
lot of it had a lot of little members [I-beams] with symbols that
we had to call them hieroglyphics because I could not interpret
them, they could not be read, they were just symbols, something
that meant something and they were not all the same. The members
that this was painted on -- by the way, those symbols were pink and
purple, lavender was actually what it was. And so these little
members could not be broken, could not be burned. I even tried to
burn that. It would not burn. The same with the parchment we
But something that is more astounding is that the piece of metal
that we brought back was so thin, just like the tinfoil in a pack
of cigarette paper. I didn't pay too much attention to that at
first, until one of the GIs came to me and said, "You know the
metal that was in there? I tried to bend that stuff and it won't
bend. I even tried it with a sledge hammer. You can't make a dent
I didn't go back to look at it myself again, because we were
busy in the office and I had quite a bit of work to do. I am quite
sure that this young fellow would not have lied to me about that,
because he was a very truthful, very honest guy, so I accepted his
word for that. So, beyond that, I didn't actually see him hit the
matter with a sledge hammer, but he said, "It's definite that it
cannot be bent and it's so light that it doesn't weigh anything."
And that was true of all the material that was brought up. It was
so light that it weighed practically nothing.
This particular piece of metal was, I would say, about two feet
long and perhaps a foot wide. See, that stuff weighs nothing, it's
so thin, it isn't any thicker than the tinfoil in a pack of
cigarettes. So I tried to bend the stuff, it wouldn't bend. We even
tried making a dent in it with a 16-pound sledge hammer, and there
was still no dent in it. I didn't have the time to go out there and
find out more about it, because I had so much other work to do that
I just let it go. It's still a mystery to me as to what the whole
thing was. Like I said before, I knew quite a bit about the
material used in the air, but it was nothing I had seen before. And
as of now, I still don't know what it was. So that's how it
[Here is what Jesse Marcel said on the American television
program "Unsolved Mysteries".]
There were just fragments strewn all over the area, an area
about three quarters of a mile long and several hundred feet wide.
So we proceeded to pick up the parts.
I tried to bend the stuff, it would not bend. I even tried to
burn it, it would not burn. That stuff weighs nothing. It's not any
thicker than tin foil in a pack of cigarettes. We even tried making
a dent in it with a 16-pound sledge hammer, still no dent in
One thing I was certain of, being familiar with all our
activities, that it was not a weather balloon, nor an aircraft, nor
a missile. It was something else, which we didn't know what it
[Jesse Marcel Jr is Major Jesse Marcel's son. When Major Marcel
returned from the Foster Ranch with a carload of wreckage from the
crashed flying saucer, he stopped off at home to show his wife and
his eleven-year old son what he had found. Jesse Jr is now a
medical doctor, an Army reserve helicopter pilot who served in
Vietnam, and a qualified aircraft accident investigator.]
The crash and remnants of the device that I happened to see have
left an imprint on my memory that can never be forgotten. The craft
was not conventional in any sense of the word, in that the remains
were most likely what was then known as a flying saucer that had
apparently been stressed beyond its designed capabilities.
I'm basing this on the fact that many of the remnants, including
I-beam pieces that were present, had strange hieroglyphic
typewriting symbols across the inner surfaces, pink and purple,
except that I don't think there were any animal figures present as
there are in true Egyptian hieroglyphics.
The remainder of the debris was just described as nondescript
metallic debris, or just shredded fragments, but there was a fair
amount of the intact I-beam members present. I only saw a small
portion of the debris that was actually present at the crash
[Here is what Jesse Marcel Jr said on the American television
program "Unsolved Mysteries".]
When [Dad] came back to the house he had a bunch of wreckage
with him at the time, and he brought the wreckage into the house.
Actually wakened my mother and myself out so we could view this,
because it was so unusual. This was about two o'clock in the
morning as I recall, and he spread it out so we could get some
basic idea what it looked like, what it was....
We were all amazed by this debris that was there, primarily
because we didn't know what it was, you know, it was just the
This writing [on a short piece of I-beam] could be described as
like hieroglyphics, Egyptian-type hieroglyphics, but not really.
The symbols that were on the I-beams were more of a geometric-type
configuration in various designs. It had a violet-purple type color
and was actually an embossed part of the metal itself.
Years after this incident happened, we would talk privately
among ourselves about what the possibilities of this, what this
thing was. And I feel that we, well I know that we came to the
conclusion it was not of earthly origin.
If I had not actually held pieces of it in my hand, I would not
think that it would be possible. But because I happened to see
this, that's the only reason I believe it....
My dad said obviously it [the weather balloon story] was a
cover-up story, it was not a weather balloon. He was a little
disturbed about that, but he had his own security classification to
protect. He could not really go public with, hey this is not the
real thing, I mean this is not a weather balloon. So he had to keep
that to himself.
[Second Lieutenant Walter Haut was a public information officer at
Roswell AAF in 1947. Colonel Blanchard ordered Haut to issue a
press release telling the country that the Army had found a flying
saucer. Here is the text of Haut's press release.]
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 Chaves 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 Maj. Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group
Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the
rancher's home. It was inspected at Roswell Army Air Field and
subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters.
[Here is what Haut said on the American television program
I took the release into town. And that was one of the things
that Colonel Blanchard told me to do, take it into town, because if
there was any validity to this, he didn't want the news media to
feel that we had jumped over their heads and were not cooperating
[Here is what Haut said in an interview for an article in "Air
and Space/Smithsonian" magazine, Sep-Oct 1992, when asked what he
thought really happened back in 1947.]
I feel there was a crash of an extra-terrestrial vehicle near
[Bill Rickett was a Counter Intelligence Corps officer based in
Roswell. He had an opportunity to examine some of the wreckage
recovered from the Foster Ranch. He escorted Dr Lincoln LaPaz, a
meteor expert from the New Mexico Institute of Meteoritics, on a
tour of the crash site and the surrounding area.]
[The material] was very strong and very light. You could bend it
but couldn't crease it. As far as I know, no one ever figured out
what it was made of....
It was LaPaz's job to try to find out what the speed and
trajectory of the thing was. LaPaz was a world-renowned expert on
trajectories of objects in the sky, especially meteors, and I was
told to give him all the help I could.
At one point LaPaz interviewed the farmer [Mac Brazel]. I
remember something coming up during their conversation about this
fellow thinking that some of his animals had acted strangely after
this thing happened. Dr LaPaz seemed very interested in this for
LaPaz wanted to fly over the area, and this was arranged. He
found one other spot where he felt this thing had touched down and
then taken off again. The sand at this spot had been turned into a
glass-like substance. We collected a boxful of samples of this
material. As I recall, there were some metal samples here, too, of
that same sort of thin foil stuff. LaPaz sent this box off
somewhere for study; I don't know or recall where, but I never saw
it again. This place was some miles from the other one.
LaPaz was very good at talking to people, especially some of the
local ranch hands who didn't speak a lot of English. LaPaz spoke
Spanish. I remember he found a couple of people who had seen two --
I don't know what to call them, UFOs I suppose -- anyway, had seen
two of these things fly over very slowly at a very low altitude on
a date, in the evening, that he determined had been a day or two
after the other one had blown up. These people said something about
animals being affected, too....
Before he went back to Albuquerque, he told me that he was
certain that this thing had gotten into trouble, that it had
touched down for repairs, taken off again, and then exploded. He
also felt certain there were more than one of these devices, and
that the others had been looking for it. At least that's what he
said. He was positive the thing had malfunctioned.
The Air Force's explanation that it was a balloon was totally
untrue. It was not a balloon. I never did know for sure what its
purpose was, but it wasn't ours. I remember speculating with LaPaz
that it might have been some higher civilization checking on us.
LaPaz wasn't against the idea, but he was going to leave
speculations out of his report.
[F.B. was an Army Air Forces photographer stationed at Anacostia
Naval Air Station in Washington DC when he and fellow photographer
A.K. were flown aboard a B-25 bomber to Roswell Army Air Field
sometime during the second week of July 1947. F.B. was interviewed
by Stanton Friedman.]
One morning they came in and they said, "Pack up your bags and
we'll have the cameras there, ready for you." We didn't know where
we was going.
[After a few hours' flight, they arrived at Roswell.]
We got in a staff car with some of the gear they had brought
along with us in trucks, and we headed out, about an hour and a
half, we was heading north.
We got out there [one of the crash sites in the Corona area] and
there was a helluva lot of people out there, in a closed tent. You
couldn't hardly see anything inside the tent. They said, "Set your
camera up to take a picture fifteen feet away." A.K. got in a truck
and headed out to where they was picking up pieces. All kinds of
brass running around. And they was telling us what to do. Shoot
this, shoot that. There was an officer in charge. He met us out
there and he'd go into the tent and he'd come back and tell us,
"OK." He'd stand there right besides us and [say], "OK, take this
There was four bodies I could see when the flash went off, but
you was almost blind because it was a beautiful day, sunny. You'd
go in this tent, which was awful dark. That's all I was taking,
bodies. These bodies was under a canvas, and they'd open it up and
you'd take a picture, flip out your flashbulb, put another one in
[take another picture] and give him the film holder (each holder
held two sheets of four-by-five inch cut film) and then you went to
the next spot.
I guess there was ten to twelve officers, and when I got ready
to go in, they'd all come out. The tent was about twenty by thirty
foot. The bodies looked like they was lying on a tarp. One guy did
all the instructions. He'd take a flashlight and he'd come down
there. "See this flashlight?" Yes sir. "You're in focus with it?"
Yes sir. "Take a picture of this." He'd take the flashlight away.
We just moved around in a circle, taking pictures. Seemed to me
[the bodies] were all just about identical. Dark complected. I
remember they was thin, and it looked like they had too big of a
head. I took thirty shots. I think I had about fifteen [film]
holders. It smelled funny in there.
A.K. came back in a truck that was loaded down with debris. A
lot of pieces sticking out that wasn't there when they took off. We
got debriefed on the way back to the airport [Roswell Army Air
Field]. About four the next morning, they woke us, they took us to
the mess hall, we ate, we got back on the B-25 and headed back.
When we got back to Anacostia we got debriefed some more, by a
[It was made clear to both F.B and A.K. that whatever they
thought they saw in New Mexico, they hadn't seen.]
[M/Sgt Robert Porter was a B-29 flight engineer with the 830th Bomb
Squadron. He happens to be Loretta Proctor's brother. He was
interviewed by Stanton Friedman.]
We flew these pieces. [Some officers in the crew] told us it was
parts of a flying saucer. The packages were in wrapping paper, one
triangle-shaped about two and a half feet across the bottom, the
rest in smaller, shoebox-sized packages. [They were in] brown paper
with tape. It was just like I picked up an empty package, very
light. The loaded triangle-shaped package and three shoebox-sized
packages would have fit into the trunk of a car.
On board were Lieutenant Colonel Payne Jennings [deputy
commander of Roswell] and Major Marcel. Captain Anderson said it
was from a flying saucer. We got to Fort Worth, they transferred
[the packages] to a B-25 and took them to Wright [Field]. When we
landed at [Fort Worth], Colonel Jennings told us to take care of
maintenance, and after a guard was posted, we could eat lunch. We
came back, they told us they had transferred the material to a
B-25. They told us it was a weather balloon. It WASN'T a weather
[First Lieutenant Robert Shirkey was assistant operations officer
of the 509th Bomb Group. He was interviewed by Stanton Friedman.]
A call came in to have a B-29 ready to go as soon as possible.
Where to? Forth Worth, on Colonel Blanchard's directive. [I was] in
the Operations Office when Colonel Blanchard arrived and asked if
the airplane was ready. When told it was, Blanchard waved to
somebody, and approximately five people came in the front door,
down the hallway, and onto the ramp to climb into the airplane,
carrying parts of the crashed flying saucer. I got a very short
glimpse, asked Blanchard to turn sideways so [I] could see too. Saw
them carrying pieces of metal. They had one piece that was eighteen
by twenty-four inches, brushed stainless steel in color.
[S/Sgt Robert Slusher was assigned to the 393rd Bomb Squadron. On
or about July 9, 1947, he was on board a B-29 that carried a single
crate from Roswell AAF to Fort Worth AAF. Also on board were were
four armed MPs. He said the crate was twelve feet long, five feet
wide, and four feet high. Upon arrival at Fort Worth, the crate was
loaded onto a flatbed weapons carrier and hauled off, accompanied
by the MPs, who later rejoined the crew for the return flight.
Robert Slusher was interviewed in 1991.]
[There was an implication that the contents of the crate was
sensitive to air pressure, which suggests that the crate contained
something other than pieces of metal. The plane flew at the
unusually low altitude of four to five thousand feet. Usually on
such a trip a B-29 flies at twenty-five thousand feet, as its cabin
is pressurized and the B-29 flies better at high alititude.
However, the bomb bay where the crate was stowed cannot be
The return flight was above twenty thousand feet, and the cabin
was pressurized. The round trip took approximately three hours,
fifteen minutes. The flight was unusual in that we flew there,
dropped the cargo, and returned immediately. It was a hurried
flight; normally we knew the day before there would be a
There was a rumor that the crate had debris from the crash.
Whether there were any bodies, I don't know. The crate had been
specially made; it had no markings.
[Robert Smith was a member of the First Air Transport Unit, which
operated Douglas C-54 Skymaster four-engined cargo planes out of
the Roswell AAF. He was interviewed in 1991.]
A lot of people began coming in all of a sudden because of the
official investigation. Somebody said it was a plane crash, but we
heard from a man in Roswell that it was not a plane crash, it was
something else, a strange object. There was another indication that
something serious was going on. One night, when we were coming back
to Roswell, a convoy of trucks covered with canvas passed us. When
they got to the [airfield] gate, they headed over to this hangar on
the east end, which was rather unusual. The truck convoy had red
lights and sirens.
My involvement in the incident was to help load crates of debris
into the aircraft. We all became aware of the event when we went to
the hangar on the east side of the ramp. There were a lot of people
in plain clothes all over the place. They were inspectors, but they
were strangers on the base. When challenged, they replied they were
here on Project So-and-So, and flashed a card, which was different
from a military ID card.
We were taken to the hangar to load crates. There was a lot of
farm dirt on the hangar floor. We loaded [the crates] on flatbeds
and dollies. Each crate had to be checked as to width and height.
We had to know which crates went on which plane. We loaded crates
on three [or] four C-54s. We weren't supposed to know their
destination, but we were told they were headed north.
All I saw was a little piece of material. You could crumple it
up, let it come out. You couldn't crease it. One of our people put
it in his pocket. The piece of debris I saw was two to three inches
square. It was jagged. When you crumpled it up, it then laid back
out. And when it did, it kind of crackled, making a sound like
celophane. It crackled when it was let out. There were no
There were armed guards around during loading of our planes,
which was unusual at Roswell. There was no way to get to the ramp
except through armed guards. There were MPs on the outskirts, and
our personnel were between them and the planes.
The largest [crate] was roughly twenty feet long, four to five
feet high, and four to five feet wide. It took up an entire plane.
It wasn't that heavy, but it was a large volume. The rest of the
crates were two or three feet long and two feet square or smaller.
The sergeant who had the piece of material said [it was like] the
material in the crates. The entire loading took at least six,
perhaps eight hours. Lunch was brought to us, which was unusual.
The crates were brought to us on flatbed dollies, which was also
Officially, we were told it was a crashed plane, but crashed
planes usually were taken to the salvage yard, not flown out. I
don't think it was an experimental plane, because not too many
people in that area were experimenting with planes. I'm convinced
that what we loaded was a UFO that got into mechanical problems.
Even with the most intelligent people, things go wrong.
[The C-54 into which I helped load the single twenty-foot crate]
would have been Pappy Henderson's. I remember seeing T/Sgt Harbell
Elzey, T/Sgt. Edward Bretherton, and S/Sgt. William Fortner.
[Sergeant Melvin Brown was a cook at Roswell AAF in 1947. One day,
he was called out to help guard material retrieved from the Foster
Ranch. His daughter Beverly was interviewed by Stanton Friedman in
When we were young, he used to tell us stories about things that
had happened to him when he was young. We got to know those stories
by heart and would all say together, "Here we go again."
Sometimes, but not too often, he used to say that he saw a man
from outer space. That used to make us all giggle like mad. He said
he had to stand guard duty outside a hangar where a crashed flying
saucer was stored, and that his commanding officer said, "Come on,
Brownie, let's have a look inside." But they didn't see anything
because it had all been packed up and [was] ready to be flown out
He also said that one day all available men were grabbed and
that they had to stand guard where a crashed disc had come down.
Everything was being loaded onto trucks, and he couldn't understand
why some of the trucks had ice or something in them. He did not
understand what they wanted to keep cold. Him and another guy had
to ride in the back of one of the trucks, and although they were
told that they could get into a lot of trouble if they took in too
much of what was happening, they had a quick look under the
covering and saw two dead bodies, alien bodies.
We really had to giggle at that bit. He said they were smaller
than a normal man, about four feet, and had much larger heads than
us, with slanted eyes, and that the bodies looked yellowish, a bit
Asian-looking. We did not believe him when we were kids, but as I
got older, I did kind of believe it. Once I asked him if he was
scared by them, and he said, "Hell no, they looked nice, almost as
though they would be friendly if they were alive."
[Captain Oliver Wendell "Pappy" Henderson was stationed at Roswell
AAF in 1947. He had flown thirty missions in B-24 Liberator bombers
in Europe. He had participated in the postwar A-bomb tests in the
Pacific and earned major commendations for his flying.
Unfortunately, he died before any UFO investigator could interview
him, but near the end of his life he old some of the people closest
to him about what he had seen in July 1947.]
[Sappho Henderson was Pappy Henderson's wife. She was interviewed
by Stanton Friedman.]
We met during World War II when he flew with the 446th Bomb
Squadron. He flew B-24s [on] thirty missions over Germany. After
the war, he returned home and was then sent to Roswell. While
stationed there, he ran the "Green Hornet Airline", which involved
flying C-54s and C-47s carrying VIPs, scientists, and materials
from Roswell to the Pacific during the atom bomb tests. He had to
have a Top Secret clearance for this responsibility.
In 1980 or 1981, he picked up a newspaper at a grocery store
where we were living in San Diego. One article described the crash
of a UFO outside Roswell, with the bodies of aliens discovered
beside the craft. He pointed out the article to me and said, "I
want you to read this article, because it's a true story. I'm the
pilot who flew the wreckage of the UFO to Dayton, Ohio [where
Wright Field is]. I guess now that they're putting it in the paper,
I can tell you about this. I wanted to tell you for years." Pappy
never discussed his work because of his security clearance.
He described the beings as small with large heads for their
size. He said the material that their suits were made of was
different than anything he had ever seen. He said they looked
strange. I believe he mentioned that the bodies had been packed in
dry ice to preserve them.
[Here is what Sappho Henderson said on the American television
program "Unsolved Mysteries".]
My husband Oliver Henderson, otherwise known as "Pappy" in the
Air Force, he was entrusted with many of this country's top
secrets. And they were safe with him. He never told anything that
he wasn't supposed to. And therefore it was 34 years after this
incident happened that I heard about it....
My husband told me the bodies were smaller than human bodies.
The heads were larger and the eyes were rather sunken and a little
slanted. Clothing was of material unlike anything he had seen
before. They were strange, they were not of this earth.
When my husband, who was a man of truth, who was trusted with 29
different Army aircraft planes, first pilot aircraft commander,
tells me this story, I believed him.
[Mary Kathryn Groode is Pappy Henderson's daughter.]
When I was growing up, he and I would often spend evenings
looking at the stars. On one occasion, I asked him what he was
looking for. He said, "I'm looking for flying saucers. They're
real, you know."
In 1981, during a visit to my parents' home, my father showed me
a newspaper article which described the crash of a UFO and the
recovery of alien bodies outside Roswell, New Mexico. He told me
that he saw the crashed craft and the alien bodies described in the
article, and that he had flown the wreckage to Ohio. He described
the alien beings as small and pale, with slanted eyes and large
heads. He said they were humanoid-looking, but different from us. I
think he said there were three bodies.
He said the matter had been Top Secret and that he was not
supposed to discuss it with anyone, but that he felt it was alright
to tell me because it was in the newspaper.
[Stanton Friedman spoke with Pappy Henderson's son and cousin, both
of whom told of having heard Pappy quietly tell his story after the
newspaper article appeared.]
[John Kromschroeder is a dentist and a retired military officer. In
1977, Henderson told Kromschroeder that in 1947 he had transported
wreckage and alien bodies. About a year later, Henderson showed
Kromschroeder a piece of metal he had taken from the collection of
wreckage. Kromschroeder and Henderson shared an interest in
metallurgy. Kromschroeder was interviewed in 1990.]
I gave it a good, thorough looking-at and decided it was an
alloy we are not familiar with. Gray, lustrous metal resembling
aluminum, lighter in weight and much stiffer. [We couldn't] bend
it. Edges sharp and jagged.
[In 1982, Pappy Henderson met with several members of his old
bomber crew during a reunion. One of these men was later
It was in his hotel room that he told us the story of the UFO
and about his part. All we were told by Pappy is that he flew the
plane to Wright Field. He definitely mentioned the bodies, but I
don't recall any details except that they were small and different.
I was skeptical at first, but soon saw that Pappy was quite
* If what crashed was a weather balloon, there would have been no
need for secrecy. According to the testimony, military officers
admonished subordinates and civilians not to talk about what they
* If what crashed was a weather balloon, Major Marcel would have
recognized the material Mac Brazel showed him as weather balloon
material, and would not have journeyed far out on a remote sheep
ranch with an officer from the Counter Intelligence Corps to
examine the crash site.
* The wreckage described by Marcel and others was too
voluminous, and spread out over too large an area, to have been the
wreckage of a crashed weather balloon.
* There is no reason the Army would transport the wreckage of a
weather balloon from the remote desert outside Corona first to
Roswell AAF, then on to Fort Worth AAF.
* Most of the witnesses who saw or handled the wreckage would
have recognized the remains of a crashed weather balloon.
6.2 Secret Rocket or Airplane
* If what crashed was any kind of secret military apparatus, one
would expect at least some of the pieces to have recognizable
letters or numbers on them. Many of the witnesses say that some of
the wreckage bore a very strange kind of writing, but not one
witness has said that any of the wreckage bore any recognizable
* If what crashed was any kind of secret military apparatus, the
Army would have said simply, "This is secret, and no more questions
will be answered, period." The Army would not have concocted the
flying saucer and weather balloon stories. In 1947, Americans were
less skeptical about the motives of their government, and the
people of New Mexico, including journalists and other civilians,
were dependent for their livelihood on secret military
* If what crashed was any kind of secret military apparatus, the
Army would not have waited for a rancher to inform them of the
crash before sending military personnel to examine the wreckage,
five days after the crash.
* Rockets and airplanes that were secret in 1947 are not secret
now. If what crashed was a secret rocket or airplane, it would have
been revealed as such years ago. (Incredibly, the Army is sticking
to its weather balloon story, even though nobody believes it
* By July 1947, rockets launched from White Sands were fitted
with self-destruct mechanisms so that an errant rocket could be
destroyed before leaving the test range. The Corona crash site is
about 75 miles from the nearest border of the test range.
* They did not fly secret airplanes in New Mexico in 1947. There
was plenty of room for that in California, where all the secret
airplane projects were carried on.
* There is no reason the Army would transport the wreckage of a
crashed rocket or airplane to Fort Worth AAF, then to Wright AAF in
Ohio. The wreckage of a secret rocket would stay in New Mexico, and
the wreckage of a secret airplane would be sent back to California,
* Most of the witnesses who saw or handled the wreckage would
have recognized the remains of a crashed rocket or airplane.
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