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Volume 27

The Skeptics UFO Newsletter

Philip J. Klass

May 1, 1994

This volume is available as a PDF file. Download »

Randle/Schmitt Unveil New Roswell “Crashed Saucer” Scenario Based on Dubious “New Witness” Tales

If the new Roswell “crashed saucer” scenario proposed by Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt in their new book “The Truth About The UFO Crash At Roswell” is really true, much of what you've read about the incident in previously published articles and books, including their own book “UFO Crash At Roswell” published in 1991, is seriously in error. But don’t throw out the first R/S book yet. It is educational to compare different claims attributed to the same person in the two books. For example, in the new book (p. 12): “Kaufmann said that he knew what was in the crate: the [ET] bodies recovered at the impact site.” But on p. 166 of their first book (R/S #1) they wrote: “He [Kaufmann] didn’t know what was in the crate.”

To better understand the drastic change in the new R/S Roswell scenario, it is useful to recall the “time-line” originally given by rancher “Mac” Brazel, who discovered the debris that triggered the “Roswell Incident.” Brazel was interviewed in the offices of the Roswell Daily Record on the evening of Tuesday, July 8, 1947 and the resulting article was published in its July 9 edition. “....Brazel related that on June 14 he and an 8-year old son, Vernon, were about 7 or 8 miles from the ranch house of the J.B. Foster ranch, which he operates, when they came upon a large area of bright wreckage made up on (sic) rubber strips, tinfoil, a rather tough paper and sticks. (Emphasis added.) [In R/S #1, it was claimed that Brazel first discovered the debris on July 3 but this changes to July 5 in R/S #2. According to Brazel himself, it was June 14.]

“At the time Brazel was in a hurry to get his round (sic) made and he did not pay much attention to it. But he did remark about what he had seen and on July 4 he, his wife, Vernon and a daughter Betty, age 14, went back to the spot and gathered up quite a bit of the debris. The next day [July 5] he first heard about the flying disks, and he wondered if what he had found might be the remnants of one of these. [SUN Note: Because Brazel did not have a radio in the ranch house, he had not previously heard of Kenneth Arnold’s June 24 sighting.]

“Monday [July 7] he came to town [Roswell] to sell some wool and while here he went to see sheriff George Wilcox and ‘whispered kinda confidential like’ that he might have found a flying disk. Wilcox got in touch with the Roswell Army Air Field, and Maj. Jesse A. Marcel and a man in plain clothes accompanied him home, where they picked up the rest of the pieces of the ‘disk’ and went to his home to try to reconstruct it....Then Major Marcel brought it to Roswell...”

[SUN Note: R/S #2, like R/S #1 and the book “Crash At Corona,” by Stanton T. Friedman and Don Ber-liner, claims that Brazel came to Roswell on Sunday, July 6. His primary purpose for the trip was to arrange to sell wool, and dealers would be closed for the three-day holiday.]

New Scenario Claims Crashed Saucer and ET Bodies Were Recovered Near Roswell BEFORE Brazel Came, Yet Nobody Told Marcel

According to Jim Ragsdale, one of R/S’s new “first-hand witnesses,” the flying saucer crashed shortly before midnight on Friday July 4—NOT on the Brazel ranch near Corona as claimed in R/S #1, but roughly 40 miles south, only 35 miles from Roswell. Ragsdale, who claims he and his girl friend were out camping in the desert despite the danger of rattlesnakes, says they got into their jeep and managed to find a ravine where they saw the crashed craft which they assumed was an aircraft. But because of faltering flashlight batteries, according to Ragsdale, they did not go down for a closer look and returned to their campsite. Apparently it never occurred to Ragsdale to drive to nearby Roswell to report the crash and ask that an ambulance be sent to the site. At dawn the next morning, Ragsdale says he and his girl friend returned to the site and noted "bodies,” but offered no count of how many.

R/S report on p. 6 of their new book that a group of archaeologists, headed by Dr. W. Curry Holden, “stumbled upon the [crashed saucer] site about dawn on the morning of July 5.” Curiously, Ragsdale does not mention seeing the group of archaeologists, nor did Holden recall seeing Ragsdale and his girl friend. Not until page 108 do R/S inform their readers that Holden was 96 years old when he was first “discovered” and interviewed: “Holden, when inter-viewed in 1992, said that he had been there. He could remember nothing about the event, other than that he had been there and seen it all....Later, both his wife and daughter said that he was easily confused. Memories from his life were jumbled and reordered, and he had never mentioned to either one, that he had been involved in a flying saucer crash.” But never mind, according to R/S #2, “Holden sent one of the students back to the main highway with orders to find a phone and alert the local authorities, either the sheriff or the police, that they had found an aircraft accident.”

Meanwhile, according to Ragsdale, shortly after dawn on July 5, a large military contingent arrived at the Impact Site and quickly threw up a cordon of military police. Under the direction of the base provost marshall, Maj. Edwin Easley (now deceased), “complete access to the impact site, the immediate area where the object had crashed, was restricted to those with the highest clearance and a real need to know,” according to R/S #2. Yet according to Ragsdale, none of Easley’s MPs spotted him and his girl friend or their jeep in the barren desert area.

Mrs. Frankie Rowe, who R/S (erroneously) refer to as a “first-hand witness,” claims that her late father (a city fireman), after receiving a call from sheriff Wilcox, was dispatched to the Impact Site where he was joined by city and state police. According to Rowe, her father not only got close enough to see the craft but also the ET bodies. Several years later, according to Rowe, a local civilian contractor told her father that he had been painting the base hospital on the afternoon of July 5 when he saw a live ET walk into the hospital—unescorted.

By noon on Saturday, July 5—according to the new R/S scenario—many Roswell civilians and dozens of military personnel who had been involved in recovery operations knew about the crashed saucer only 35 miles northwest of Roswell. Apparently nobody thought to inform base Intelligence Officer Major Jesse Maercel, or base Commander Col. William Blachard.

But two days later (or one day later by R/S’s time-line), when rancher Brazel arrived at sheriff Wilcox’s office to report the curious debris he had found, Wilcox did think to call, which resulted in Marcel coming to the sheriff’s office and his making a 3+ hour drive to the Brazel ranch to pick up a modest amount of debris. Thus Marcel, who has been the principal witness in previous accounts of the “Roswell Incident,” now becomes a secondary figure in the new R/S scenario. Although R/S #2 now claims that many of Roswell’s civilians, with no need-to-know, either visited the “Impact Site” or subsequently were told of the crashed saucer by friends or family members who had been to the site, apparently word of this startling discovery never reached Maj. Marcel through official or unofficial channels. Nor did word leak to either of Roswell’s two newspapers or two radio stations.

Frank J. Kaufmann Emerges As A Principal “First-Hand Witness” Under Pseudonym "Steve MacKenzie” In New R/S Scenario

Probably the most important “newly discovered first-hand witness” on which the new R/S scenario is based is really an old “witness” cited in R/S #1 who has come up with many new exciting details: Frank J. Kaufmann, whose new revelations are attributed to “Steve MacKenzie.” R/S claim that at the last minute this key witness requested anonymity because “of a former CIA employee who in November 1922, injected himself into the Roswell case. He traveled to Roswell to interview witnesses....and has made a number of negative statements about the witnesses he did interview.” This R/S statement might easily prompt readers to conclude that this person was acting in behalf of the CIA to discredit a key R/S witness. But this is false.

The person to whom R/S refer is Karl Pflock, a long-time pro-UFOlogist who did work for the CIA after graduating from college and who also was active in the Washington chapter of NICAP, then the nation’s largest pro-UFO group—which had its headquarters in Washington. Pflock served as a Special Assistant for Defense, Space, and Science and Technology to then-Congressman Ken Kramer, a ranking member of the House Committee on Armed Services. Later Pflock served as a Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense from 1985-89. Now retired and living in Albuquerque, Pflock has been researching the Roswell incident, partially funded by the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR), which earlier funded some of R/S’s Roswell efforts. In a closing chapter of R/S #2, the authors write: “But the real damage done by this man and his supporters at the Fund [for UFO Research] concerns the eyewitness testimony. Because of his intervention, we lost permission to use one man’s name in the text of this work.”

Pflock is married to Mary Martinek, a senior member of the staff of Congressman Steve Schiff, who instigated the present GAO investigation into the Roswell Incident. [See SUN #26/March 1994.] FUFOR, reportedly, will soon publish a White Paper based on the results of Pflock’s investigation, which will raise doubts about the credibility of Ragsdale’s story. Despite the use of the pseudonym “Steve MacKenzie” to try to cloak the identity of their “new first-hand witness,” R/S unwittingly leave too many clues which identify him as Frank J. Kaufmann. For example, in R/S #1, Kaufmann reported that his friend, Warrant Officer Robert Thomas, had come to Roswell on a “special flight from Washington” on the morning of July 8. In R/S #2, Warrant Officer Thomas reportedly called “MacKenzie” to say he was flying into Roswell from Washington, and he arrived in Roswell on July 4—some hours before the UFO allegedly crashed. (Apparently Thomas was “clairvoyant” and knew in advance that the UFO would crash near Roswell.)

SUN Visits Roswell For R/S Press Conference And Interviews Kaufmann

SUN’s Editor visited Roswell on March 25 to cover an R/S press conference for their new book, in the hope of hearing some of the new “first/second-hand witnesses” describe their (alleged) experiences and respond to questions. But none did so, although Schmitt later told SUN that three of the new witnesses were present at the conference. However, SUN had the opportunity to talk with Kaufmann before the conference and to drive out to the Impact Site with Mrs. Frankie Rowe—daughter of the Roswell fireman who (allegedly) visited the Impact Site.

According to Kaufmann, before leaving the military service in 1945 he had been based at Roswell. When SUN asked whether he was enlisted or a commissioned officer, Kaufmann replied: “my rank fit the occasion.” After leaving the service, Kaufmann said he worked at the base “on special assignment under the command of General Scanlon.” [At the time of the “Roswell Incident,” Brig. Gen. Scanlon was the public relations officer for the Air Defense Command.] When Kaufmann was asked the nature of his work 47 years ago at Roswell, he refused to say. But he did say: “I didn’t work on radar, I wasn’t a mechanic. I wasn’t a pilot.”

When SUN mentioned a man “referred to as MacKenzie” in the new Randle/Schmitt book, Kaufmann quickly responded: “I don’t know MacKenzie.” When SUN said: “You don’t know MacKenzie,” he replied: “No, my name is Kaufmann.”

According to R/S #2, “MacKenzie” played a vitally important role in the “Roswell Incident.” On July 2, “MacKenzie” (allegedly) “received a call from Brigadier General Martin F. Scanlon of the Air Defense Command, ordering him to report to the radar sites at White Sands” [Army Base, roughly 100 miles southwest of Roswell]. The reason was that a mysteriously acting unidentified craft reportedly had been detected on its radar. “MacKenzie was to monitor the object’s movements and report them directly to the general. MacKenzie could not leave the scope unattended for even the shortest of times. In fact, once his watch had been established, he set up a system of mirrors so that he could see the screen even when he needed to use the latrine.” (Emphasis added.) [SUN Comment: Obviously “MacKenzie” is a very inventive fellow.]

“MacKenzie” (allegedly) was told by Gen. Scanlon to abandon his 24-hour radar watch on July 4 and return to Roswell. According to R/S, only nine men “with the highest clearance and real need to know” were allowed full access to the Impact Site. Naturally, VIP “MacKenzie” was one of them. He told R/S he saw one live ET with a “damned serene look on its it was at peace with the world.”

“MacKenzie” claims he also accompanied one shipment of bodies in a C-54 which left “at two or three in the morning” for Andrews Army Air Field near Washington D.C. When the C-54 arrived, “the crate was unloaded, again under the cover of darkness.” [SUN Note: The C-54 could not possibly have flown that distance in time to reach Andrews before daylight.]

According to R/S #2, the pilot who flew the ET bodies to Washington was Capt. Oliver W. ("Pappy”) Henderson. But according to R/S #1, “Captain O. W. ‘Pappy’ Henderson flew a C-54 load of wreckage on to Wright Field.”

According to R/S #1, Master Sergeant Lewis S. Rickett was dispatched to the Brazel ranch on the morning of July 8 to collect more of the debris. But in R/S #2, Rickett goes instead to the Impact Site—three days after it had been "cleaned and secured.” On p. 139 of R/S #2, the authors write: “By the time Rickett arrived [at the Impact Site] on July 8, the vast majority of the debris had been collected, but there were still some pieces scattered around.” Yet on p. 9, R/S report that Rickett “said that the craft had a curved front and a wide wing with a batlike trailing edge. There was a rip or hole in the left side.” Rickett is widely quoted in R/S #1, but there is no mention anywhere in the first book that he (allegedly) had seen the crashed saucer. (Perhaps his memory was sparked by R/S’s search for more “first-hand witnesses.”)

In the first book, based on information obtained from Beverly Bean, daughter of the late Sergeant Melvin E. Brown who had been based at Roswell, R/S reported that ET bodies found on the Brazel ranch “were loaded into the back of one of the trucks....About dusk, Sergeant Melvin E. Brown and one other soldier were stationed in the truck with orders not to look under the tarp.” (Emphasis added.) But this version was at odds with the tale of mortician Glenn Dennis, that the bodies were brought to the base hospital in old military ambulances. So, in R/S #2 the script is conveniently changed: “The bodies were placed [in body bags] in the rear of old box-type ambulances to be driven to the base hospital. Sergeant Melvin E. Brown was ordered to climb into one of the ambulances but to leave the body bags alone.” (Emphasis added.)

R/S seem intentionally vague about the relationship of the debris found by rancher Brazel and the ET craft (allegedly) found 40 miles to the south. If the material found on the Brazel ranch had the remarkable strength claimed by Marcel in his later years, the large number of small fragments found would suggest that they resulted from a horrendous explosion on board the craft. If so, presumably the pilot would immediately have attempted an emergency landing near the Brazel ranch. Instead the (dum-dum) ET opted to fly the badly disabled craft for 40 miles over largely flat terrain only to crash into a high cliff.

If a crashed saucer had been found 40 miles south of the debris field on the Brazel ranch, the “retrieval team” surely would have spent many days searching along the 40-mile flight path between the two sites, looking for more debris and perhaps even an ET who might have parachuted to safety. Yet no such search effort is reported by R/S’s “witnesses.”

According to “MacKenzie,” who emerges as R/S’s most important “first-hand witness,” there were five ET bodies (p. 10). But according to Mrs. Frankie Rowe, her late father (the fireman) told her he saw one live ET and two ET bodies at the Impact Site (p. 17). According to the brother of Mary Bush, secretary to the base hospital administrator, she and her boss saw only one ET body (p. 18). However, Roswell mortician Glenn Dennis says a nurse friend told him she had assisted in autopsies on three ETs (p. 22). According to another R/S witness, there were “four little was alive.” But his wife recalled “just two” (p. 19).

At the recent press conference, Schmitt said that “none [of the witnesses] referred to this as an Alien spacecraft. None referred to the bodies as being Aliens, or beings from outer space.” But a few minutes later, Kevin Randle said: “The people who were on the site said the bodies were not human. They were Aliens.” Later Randle said that (now-deceased) base provost marshall "Edwin Easley told me personally it was extraterrestrial.” At another point Randle said Easley “said he couldn’t talk much about it because he had promised the President he would never reveal what he had learned.”

Randle noted that descriptions of ETs given by “first-hand witnesses” are significantly different from those offered by “UFO-abductees.” Randle said: "They [ETs] do not have the big black tear-drop eyes....The beings were about 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 feet tall. Their features were close to human, but not exactly human. The head was slightly larger than...on a human body....The [skin] color was described as sort of pasty white or gray-white....No hair on the head but a sort of peach fuzz.” Randle said: “We have six first-hand witnesses to the bodies. Their stories are different enough that it’s obviously not rehearsed testimony. But they corroborate one another.”

Schmitt, who is director of special investigations for the Hynek Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), characterized the Roswell incident as “the most important, the most significant of all UFO cases of all time.”

SUN’s Unified Covert Crashed ET Saucer Scenario (SUCCESS) Explains Many Incongruities, Loose Ends In Randle/Schmitt’s New Scenario

Randle and Schmitt admit there are some loose ends in their new scenario, such as why nobody (seemingly) ever informed Maj. Marcel about the crashed saucer and ET bodies only 35 miles north of Roswell. Using “Cover-up Conspiracy Logic” learned from R/S and other UFOlogists, SUN has devised a new scenario which explains (almost) everything.

If it is assumed that the recently discovered “first-hand witnesses” are being truthful, that an ET craft and ET bodies were discovered and recovered by base personnel on Saturday, July 5, then Government and Pentagon officials would have been promptly informed. Assuming President Harry Truman decided that news of this startling event should be kept secret from the public, Col. William Blanchard, Roswell AAF base commander would have been so informed, as would his chief intelligence officer—Maj. Marcel. Afterwards Blanchard and Marcel would have discussed the near impossibility of keeping the crashed saucer secret because dozens of local civilians and military personnel were “ffirst-hand witnesses.” Even with the use of “threats,” Blanchard recognized the difficulty of keeping the crashed saucer secret and would have encouraged Marcel to see if he could come up with any novel ideas.

On Monday, July 7, when sheriff Wilcox called to report that rancher Brazel had discovered mysterious debris some 40 miles north of the Impact Site, Marcel naturally assumed that the debris had come from the crashed saucer at the Impact Site, so he drove to the ranch to investigate. Once Marcel examined the debris, he quickly recognized that it was only a balloon-borne radar-target of a type being launched from the air base at Alamogordo, N.M.

But it was then that an ingenious idea occurred to Marcel for keeping the crashed saucer secret—an idea that might be called a “Diversionary Cover-up.”

A Clever “Diversionary Cover-up”

Marcel would bring the Brazel ranch debris back, and instruct the base’s public affairs officer, Lt. Walter Haut, to put out a news release announcing that a flying disk had been recovered “on a ranch near Roswell,” which was literally true. He knew that the news media would leap to the false conclusion that this was the Brazel ranch because Roswell radio station’s Frank Joyce had talked with the rancher about the unusual debris when Joyce called the sheriff’s office on Monday, July 7. Thus, without resorting to any falsehoods, the media’s attention would be focused on the Brazel ranch rather than the Impact Site. Then, the Brazel ranch debris would be flown to Ft. Worth, where a high-ranking AAF official—Brig. Gen. Roger Ramey—could truthfully identify the debris as a balloon-borne radar target and even allow it to be photographed.

Maj. Marcel must certainly have been proud of himself for devising this "diversionary cover-up,” especially when it worked so perfectly. True, Marcel had to suffer ridicule for his seeming failure to recognize the prosaic nature of the Brazel debris, but he accepted it as the price of being a patriot. To the very end, “good soldier” Marcel kept up the charade, claiming that the Brazel ranch debris was “not from this earth,” and even convinced his son, Dr. Jesse Marcel, to perpetuate the same story.

Later, an equally ingenious “diversionary cover-up” idea was devised which involved Grady ("Barney”) Barnett, a civil engineer who lived in Socorro and worked for the Government. Barnett agreed to circulate a story that he himself had stumbled upon a crashed saucer and ET bodies on the Plains of San Agustin. The objective was also to divert attention away from the real Impact Site near Roswell. If any word of a crashed saucer and ET bodies leaked out, UFOlogists naturally would assume this was Barnett’s Plains of San Agustin incident. For more than 40 years the ruse worked and fooled a number of prominent crashed saucer investigators, including Stanton Friedman and William L. Moore.

As part of this “diversionary cover-up,” the Government encouraged its disinformation agents to feed numerous spurious crashed saucer reports to long-time pro-UFOlogist Leonard Stringfield. These saucer crashes were said to have occurred in many different parts of the country over a period of several decades. Stringfield’s list included the Brazel ranch debris. For nearly half a century this “diversionary cover-up” worked well, until R/S discovered a few "first-hand witnesses” who were willing to reveal “the truth.”

But are their tales really true? Or are they just another part of the Government’s “diversionary cover-up?” Would Government “cover-up experts” be so foolish as to select the Brazel ranch which was only 40 miles away from the real Impact Site? This would bring investigators such as Randle, Schmitt, Moore and Friedman to Roswell where they would talk to many residents—risking that they might discover the few who could reveal the location of the REAL Impact Site. It would be foolish to focus attention on the Roswell area UNLESS the true crashed saucer site were many hundreds of miles away, in a different part of the country. But where?

Recall that private pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying in the Pacific Northwest on June 24, 1947, when he reported seeing nine strange craft zipping through the mountain ranges. If one of the Arnold UFOs had crashed into one of the mountains, it would probably have been a few days later before the crashed saucer was spotted, and another few days before the crashed saucer and ET bodies could be recovered—during early July. If this occurred in the Pacific Northwest, a “smart diversionary cover-up” would have suggested creating a spurious crashed saucer incident many hundreds of miles away. New Mexico would have been the logical choice in view of its numerous military bases and nuclear weapons facilities. At least some of their military personnel and Government employees could be drafted to become disinformation agents, if only to protect their jobs and veteran’s benefits. It’s really very logical!

If the Government did indeed devise a “smart diversionary cover-up,” then Congressman Steve Schiff’s request that the GAO try to locate the Roswell crashed saucer file is doomed to failure. GAO should be looking for a report on a crashed saucer in the Pacific Northwest. One must consider whether the new R/S “first-hand witnesses” might really be Government disinformation agents. And what about Roswell crashed saucer book authors? William L. Moore, who co-authored the first book on the Roswell crashed saucer, has publicly claimed that he has carried out UFO disinformation in behalf of a Government agency. And Kevin Randle, who formerly served in the Army and later the Air Force Reserve, enjoys Government benefits as a veteran. MORE AND MORE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE FIT TOGETHER.

If you (or a deceased member of your family) witnessed the recovery of a crashed saucer and ET bodies in the Pacific Northwest (or other location far distant from Roswell) in early July of 1947, please contact SUN. (If you wish anonymity, you may use the pseudonym “Steve MacKenzie, Jr.”)

New Data Debunk Claim That Abduction Tales Are All Very Similar

Numerous books and many articles on what is called the “UFO-Abduction Phenomenon” have been published which claim abduction tales must be true because they are all so very similar. But there has been a notable lack of hard data to support this claim—until recently. A two-part series in the February and March 1994 issues of the MUFON UFO Journal offers the first analytical examination of the abduction tales told by 95 different subjects: 27 males, 58 females and 10 cases involving both.

The raw data come from transcripts of 317 tape recordings supplied by 13 different “abduction therapists,” including David Jacobs, John Carpenter, Richard Hall, Richard Haines, and John Miller, M.D. The data analysis was performed by Dan Wright, manager of MUFON’s Abduction Transcription Project. Financial support was also provided by the Fund for UFO Research (FUFOR). Wright acknowledges that “Abduction cases involve widely varying descriptions of entities, surroundings, medical and other procedures....However, similarities among many accounts are striking.” (Emphasis added.) Consider the following:

In approximately two-thirds of the cases, the subjects reported that the ETs communicated with them, almost always via “telepathy.” But when ETs communicated among themselves, 20% of the subjects reported they used “audible voice.” Only 13% of the subjects reported that the ETs collected tissue or other samples such as locks of hair. And barely half of the subjects reported events involving their sexual/reproductive systems. [SUN Comment: It must be very traumatic for an “abductee” if ETs opt not to take sperm/ova, indicating that ETs find the subject to be genetically deficient for cross-breeding.] Wright, who formerly served as MUFON’s Deputy Director for Investigations, reports that he now has acquired tape recordings for roughly 200 new cases. Although he admits that “a majority” of the 95 initial subjects “had read at least one or two best-selling books related to abductions,” Wright concludes that “numerous entity types have been visiting our planet with some regularity. What is not very evident from the data herein, but somewhat clearer from the transcripts per se, is that entities are grouped into two or more types working together in the same craft, usually with a strict ranking of duties.” (Emphasis added.)


NOTE: Opinions expressed in SUN are those of its Editor—unless otherwise noted—and do not necessarily represent the views of any organizations with which he is affiliated—-nor his spouse. We thank Dr. Gary Posner for help in proofreading.

Philip J. Klass

Phil Klass was a UFO researcher with a background in electrical engineering. He was author of seven books on UFOs, including UFOs Explained and UFO Abductions: A Dangerous Game. He was also editor of the SUN newsletter, a UFO-related publication.