Roswell Finale


By Stanton T. Friedman and John A. Keel

September 1991

When John Keel wrote {Beyond the Known, FATE, March 1990) that the object which crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, more than 40 years ago was probably a World War II Japanese Fugo balloon bomb, howls were heard throughout the UFO community. Specifically, some people who have written books and are lecturing on UFOs—and especially on the idea that the object which crashed at Roswell in 1947 was an alien vehicle—disagreed. We gave them a chance to give their comments in an article {The Roswell Furor, FATE, January 1991) and let John Keel respond to those comments. Even so, the article ruffled enough feathers that there was a demand for one more—and final— article on the subject at this time. To try and be fair, both of the following writers were given the same amount of space, and their articles are virtually unedited. Neither writer had the chance to see the other's comments.

All of the columns in FATE are the opinions of the writers. The article that appeared in January 1991 was also the opinion of its writers. So, too, are the opinions given in the following article. They are not necessarily the opinions of FATE. FATE would like to make the following corrections to opinions which previously appeared: 1) Mr. Friedman has earned only part of his living for over two decades by lecturing about the ETH and UFOs. 2) Contrary to Mr. Keel's claim, Mr. Friedman claims that he presents both the ETH and the anti-ETH in his lec­tures and books. However, Mr. Friedman's basic focus is pro-ETH. 3) Although Mr. Friedman has not been a member of the government or armed forces, he has worked on classified government sponsored research and development activities for 14 years at five companies, visited different research and develop­ment facilities and spent "weeks" at government archives. 4) Robert Goddard did not work in Aztec, New Mexico, as written by Mr. Keel. He did his rocket research in Roswell, NM.

The first writer is Stanton T. Friedman who is a lecturer on UFOs and "a major contributor" to the book The Roswell Incident by Berlitz and Moore. Because we are not cen­soring anything he wrote, some of our readers may be a bit confuseda few of his comments refer to infor­mation and articles which appeared elsewhere. He stresses that his infor­mation comes from numerous inter­views.


THE REAL ROSWELL STORY

By Stanton T. Friedman

I would never have believed that more than 15 years after my first conversation with Lydia Sleppy about a crashed saucer in NM, that I would still be pursu­ing the biggest story of the centu­ry, the recovery of at least two crashed saucers in New Mexico in July 1947. It has been a long, rewarding, and sometimes frus­trating quest. Some key people have died. Others remain to be found. But there is no question that there is overwhelming evidence that at two different sites, about 160 miles apart, two differ­ent sets of wreckage were recov­ered by the US government. Many witnesses, civilian and mil­itary, were strongly intimidated by government agents.

Despite the initial official press release about recovery of a crashed disc, the weather balloon radar reflector cover story was success­ful right from the beginning about the Brazel ranch site 75 miles Northwest of Roswell. It effectively threw a blanket in the morning newspapers of July 9, 1947, over the crashed disc story that made it into many evening papers on July 8. It came from General Roger Ramey, Head of the 8th Air Force based in Ft. Worth, Texas, of which the 509th Composite Bomb Wing stationed at Roswell was a very important part.

Naturally the noisy negativists have been attacking the story almost from the first time it sur­faced in my documentary movie UFOs Are Real in 1979 and in the 1980 book to which I was a major contributor The Roswell Incident (Berlitz and Moore). Moore, whom I had brought into the picture, and I had done 95% of the re­search, but the book included a great deal of undocumented material from Berlitz and had essentially no public impact. By 1985 Moore and I had published six more papers. The number of directly involved witnesses had increased from 60 to 90 but ex­cept for a small community of UFO buffs, most people were blissfully unaware of the story.

The treatment in the tabloid TV movie UFO Cover Up? Live! in October of 1988 did little to help the cause even though it includ­ed brief appearances by Moore, heavily involved in its produc­tion, myself, and Jesse Marcel M.D., son of Major Jesse Marcel (Intelligence Officer for the 509th) who had with his father, handled pieces of the wreckage. Dr. Marcel is a pilot and has served on a number of military aircraft acci­dent investigative teams and is well qualified indeed to evaluate the strange wreckage and the very unusual symbols, not Japan­ese, seen on some of the pieces of very lightweight, very strong wreckage. Probably what most recall is the Falcon and Condor nonsense about strawberry ice cream and the bits and pieces from early science fiction movies —ugh!

This sad spectacle led me to give up on letting Moore and Berlitz control the release of the story that I had worked so hard on, as the first to talk not only to Sleppy who tried to put the phoned-in story from Roswell on the Newswire from radio station KOA in Albuquerque, but to Major Marcel and to Vern and Jean Maltais who told of their good friend Barney Barnett's story of being next to a crashed, essentially intact saucer with alien bodies in the Plains of San Augustine in New Mexico in the late 1940s. I pushed very hard, apparently successfully, to get the producers of Unsolved Mysteries to do the story and helped find some of the people they used beside being on briefly myself. The show ranked 12th on Sept. 20, 1989 and 7th for the week on January 24, 1990 being seen by more than 30 mil­lion people. Many new witnesses came forth with bits and pieces of the story. Essentially none were aware of the book or our early papers or the movie scenes with Jesse. New flight crew members came forth as did many others.



Of special interest was Gerald Anderson of Missouri who had been at the Barnett site with his brother, uncle, father and cousin, and touched one of the alien bod­ies before the archaeological group showed up just before the military came along in usual threatening fashion. He made site drawings after a hypnosis session with John Carpenter, a psychi­atric social worker who was trained at the Menninger Clinic and has used hypnosis, in this case for memory enhancement, for a decade. Thanks to a spon­sor, John and I and Gerald and my co-author Don Berliner, an old hand at ufology, were able to locate the actual site matching the drawing with a location in NM even to the windmill that was indeed there.

A very active and initially independent effort to evaluate the Roswell incident has also been conducted by Don Schmitt of the Center for UFO Studies and former Air Force Captain Kevin Randle, initially a skeptic. Don had asked me if there was more to do. I gave an enthusiastic "yes," but pointed out that I could not afford to spend the money on phone calls and travel that was required. When I was hot and heavy on Roswell in 1979, my phone bills frequently ran over $500 per month as they have most months the past 2 years. Don S. and Kevin R. have found many more crew members and have made many trips to New Mexico. They have a book due out this year as do Don Berliner and I. We all cooperated on a project with the Fund For UFO Research that involved bringing witnesses to Washing­ton D.C. for a closed conference. I and either Kevin or Don Schmitt jointly interviewed and taped other important witnesses unable to go to D.C.

Not surprisingly the noisy negativists have had their knives out since 1980 and are still attacking. Noisy negativism has been characterized as one might ex­pect by an almost complete lack of investigation, by ad hominem attacks, by proclamations, by false reasoning, by very selective choice of data. These tricks of the propagandists have character­ized the intellectual bankruptcy of anti-ufology for decades. Book reviewers attacked The Roswell Incident for the garbage and con­veniently ignored the good stuff. Even earlier, Ted Bloecher in his book on the 1947 UFO wave had dismissed the Roswell story though not getting it right. Frank Edwards in Flying Saucers Serious Business used one paragraph, mostly factually in error, to pretty much dismiss the story. Neither of the two UFO encyclopedias published around 1980 even mentioned the story. Phil Klass [of CSICOP] naturally made more than 20 factual mis­statements in a three-page treat­ment of Roswell in his book UFOs: The Public Deceived as I have noted in my 1985 paper Flying Saucers, Noisy Negativists and Truth. Klass had, of course, not talked to any of the witness­es, reviewed none of the evidence and hadn't been to Roswell or the Plains of San Augustine. Henry Gordon of Canada viciously attacked the story and me in arti­cles in the Toronto Star. Naturally he had done no research.

John Keel is the latest to jump on the anti-Roswell bandwagon. As with Klass and Gordon, he has talked to none of the witness­es, not been on the scene, ignored all the published data, and made proclamations totally unverified by any documentation. The bash­ers have, of course, completely ignored the fact that the 509th was the only atomic bombing group in the world, that the sto­ries taken independently have been consistent including testi­mony from General Thomas Jef­ferson DuBose, General Ramey's Chief of Staff who was told directly to cover up the story by SAC boss in D.C.

Perhaps out of a perverted sense of humor, Keel has tried to convert a load of small pieces of wreckage almost weightless but extraordinarily strong into a Japanese Fugo balloon somehow with witnesses supposedly stim­ulated by rockets launched by Robert Goddard in Aztec, NM, which was also the site of sup­posed crashes described by Frank Scully in his long dismissed book, Behind the Flying Saucers. Keel's sole contribution seems to have been a possible phone conversa­tion with an unnamed historian in Roswell in the 1960s. He claims the story was revived by loads of UFO buffs periodically beating the bushes in Roswell and that all accounts tell of brown paper as the main constituent. Great science fiction debunking but without a shred of supporting evidence.