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Roswell 1947 - Investigations in the 1990's

The search for the archaeologists witnesses, 1994:


The Continuing Search for the Roswell Archaeologists: Closing the Circle

by Thomas J. Carey

In the November/December issue I examined and rejected the Barney Barnett story of archaeologists at the site of a downed UFO on the Plains of San Agustin in July 1947. There is no corroborating testimony for this event. But by rejecting the Barnett story, should we altogether reject the notion of archaeologists as witnesses to a 1947 crash/retrieval in New Mexico?

Not just yet. In their 1991 book UFO Crash at Roswell, Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt devoted an entire chapter (pp. 113-117) to the search for the Roswell archaeologists. In addition to discussing the Barney Barnett story (which they have since rejected along with a Plains of San Agustin UFO crash), the authors mention three other accounts, one firsthand and two secondhand, describing apparent archaeological witnesses to UFO crash/retrievals. If not for these, I would have to conclude that the search was over and go home. The remainder of this article focuses on these additional archaeological witnesses as well as the case for a crash/retrieval in southeastern New Mexico during the first week of July 1947.


A secondhand source named Iris Foster came forward as a result of seeing the Unsolved Mysteries show that featured the Roswell case and was interviewed by Randle and Schmitt for their 1991 book. The former owner of a cafe near Taos, New Mexico, she related that during the early 1970s (well before the publication of The Roswell Incident in 1980 by William Moore and Charles Berlitz) a fellow known locally as Cactus Jack used to frequent her establishment for coffee. He told a tale of being "out there when the spaceship came down" and seeing a "round object but not real big" and dead alien bodies "laid out." He described their blood as being "like tar" which stained their silver uniforms. I interviewed Iris Foster in 1991, 1992, and 1993 to learn more, if possible, about Cactus Jack. He was, according to Foster, "like a character out of a grade-B Western" with white hair and beard who could have passed for a prospector or a pothunter (an amateur archaeologist) as far as she knew. His real name was Larry Campbell and he lived out of a camper when she knew him in Taos. She did not know the where or the when of his story but assumed that it happened a long time ago, most probably in the 1940s, so it is merely an assumption that he may have been talking about the Roswell events of July 1947.

In talking with Foster, I learned that she had a sister, Peggy Sparks, also of Taos, who remembered Cactus Jack. She recalled that he appeared to be in his late 50s when he was a customer at her sister's cafe. This means that he would have been in his mid or late 30s in 1947 and, were he alive today, would be in his late 70s or early 80s. In fact, Sparks stated further that Cactus Jack may indeed still be alive because, according to a lawyer friend in Taos, he was last seen in 1990 in the town of Las Vegas, New Mexico. She understood that he was burned in a fire in his camper and wound up in a state-run nursing home there.

Using various techniques, I identified not one but two "Cactus Jacks" residing in the state of New Mexico: One living "somewhere in New Mexico" according to his Albuquerque dentist son, and the other currently incarcerated in a federal prison near the Texas border for drug running. Unfortunately (or fortunately), neither's real name was Larry Campbell. As I later found out, the name Cactus Jack is commonly used in the Southwest to describe any number of scruffy-looking characters who look like they just stumbled out of the desert or from under their favorite rock, take your pick. My own mental image of Cactus Jack falls somewhere between Walter Brennan's portrayal of Granpappy Amos on the old The Real McCoys TV show ("Li'l Luke! Li'l Luke!") and Roy Rogers' hirsute sidekick, Gabby Hayes ("You, betch'm, Roy!").

Following up on the lead that Cactus Jack may have been burned in a fire in 1989 or 1990, Kevin Randle spent a day in Las Vegas, New Mexico, checking the local newspaper for a death notice or a reference pertaining to such a fire. Nothing. After several failed attempts, I was finally able to get someone at the state-run nursing home in Las Vegas to check their records to see if a Larry Campbell was ever a resident there. After a few minutes' wait, they responded that they had no record of such a person there.

There matters lay for the better part of last year until, following a talk on Roswell that I gave in Alamogordo in November 1993, a member of the audience came up and introduced himself as someone who might be able help me find the Roswell archaeologists. Although he was not specific, he said that he had sophisticated sources and databases at his disposal that might be brought to bear in the search. Not wishing to give away the store by divulging any of the archaeologists on my hot list, I gave him the task of trying to locate or otherwise determine the current status of the elusive Cactus Jack/Larry Campbell. There is nothing to report as yet, but one can hope that something will turn up one way or the other. Realistically speaking, however, Cactus Jack is an investigator's worst-case scenario and a long shot at best: no known residence, no known employer no known friends or relatives, nothing. Chance may intervene as it has already done elsewhere in this endeavor, but I do not expect further developments in the Cactus Jack saga.


After viewing the Unsolved Mysteries TV show in the fall of 1989 that featured the Roswell incident, a former nurse at the St. Petersburg (Florida) Community Hospital named Mary Ann Gardner called the show to relate a story that was told to her in 1975 by a terminally ill cancer patient who was in her charge at the time. Up until the time that she saw the Unsolved Mysteries show, the startled nurse had considered the dying woman's story as nothing more than a medication-induced flight of fancy, but the woman' s story bore enough resemblances to the story on Unsolved Mysteries that she decided to call the show with it.

According to the dying woman (Gardner cannot recall her name after so many years), she was a friend of someone who was part of a group which was out rock hunting or looking for fossils. The woman related that she was not supposed to be with them but went along anyway. Gardner referred to the group as archaeologists but, based upon the available testimony, they would more likely have been geologists or paleontologists interested in rocks or fossils - not archaeologists who are interested in artifacts. Whether they were professionals, amateurs, or students cannot be ascertained from what is currently known. Also unknown is the time frame of the story, but Gardner's sense was that it must have happened in the late 1940s because the woman did say that she was a student at that time. The woman appeared to be in her 70s in 1975, which would mean that she would have been in her 40s if it occurred in the 1940s.

To continue, as the group was exploring the.landscape, they came upon a crashed craft of unknown type with bodies lying about. "They were little people!" She described them as being small in stature with "big heads and slanted eyes" and wearing silvery flight suits. While the group was examining the bodies, units of the U.S. military arrived on the scene, secured the area and swore everyone to secrecy - echoes of the Barney Barnett story. Even as the woman was telling the story in 1975, according to Gardner, she kept looking around apprehensively to see if anyone was listening. "They said that they can find you," she whispered to Gardner. "Who can find you?" the nurse replied. "The government!... So, please, please don't tell anyone that I told you." The terror that the woman still displayed, given her condition and the passage of so many years, made a lasting impression on Gardner.

The location of the crash scene, according to Gardner's best recollection of what the woman had said, was Mexico. Whether or not the dying woman meant New Mexico instead of Mexico is unknown, but Gardner is sure that the woman did in fact say "Mexico," which brings to mind another UFO crash/retrieval that allegedly occurred in Mexico just across the border from Del Rio, Texas, in December 1950. The crash supposedly resulted in a jurisdictional dispute between the United States and Mexican governments, with the United States winning out and sending military units into Mexico to recover the vehicle and bodies.

After straining several times to hear Gardner's testimony in her tape-recorded interview with Kevin Randle (dominated by an annoyingly loud buzzing noise) and after reviewing a transcript of the interview, it is my conclusion that the dying woman was herself not an archaeologist, geologist, or a paleontologist but a friend of someone in the latter category.

If the location of the crash was Mexico, then it does not pertain to the events of July 5, 1947, near Roswell but most likely to a later crash/retrieval near the Texas/Mexico border. On the other hand, if she did mean to say New Mexico, perhaps I should have been scouring the geological and paleontological literature instead of archaeological literature, a daunting task.

Don Schmitt has already taken a trip to the Community Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, to ascertain the name of women who died of cancer there in 1975 with the hope of having Gardner look at the list of names and pick out the right one. At the last minute, he was denied access by hospital administrators to pertinent records that might have provided us with the woman's name and, thus, the starting point to investigate and verify her story.

Over the course of the past two years, I have written Gardner several times in an attempt to set up a telephone interview with her. On the most recent occasion I provided her with a list of names, one of which might possibly be the dying cancer patient, but to date she has not responded to any of my letters. Her phone number is also now unlisted, so I cannot call her. It is clear to me that for reasons unknown she does not choose to cooperate with the investigation or be bothered about this story anymore. Barring a change of attitude on her part or the hospital in St. Petersburg, I see no way that the investigation into the dying cancer patient's identity can proceed beyond what is already known.


On February 15, 1990, Kevin Randle received an unsolicited telephone call at his Cedar Rapids home from a gentleman professing to be one of the archaeologists in the party that witnessed the crashed UFO and dead alien bodies in New Mexico in 1947. (What is interesting here is that the individual telephoned Randle, who has an unlisted number known only to a few friends and associates; callers to the Unsolved Mysteries TV show who offer information pertaining to one of the featured stories are not given numbers to call or places to write, but their names and numbers are passed on to the show's participants.) The anonymous caller said that he had gotten Randle's number from a woman in Albuquerque who had also called the show earlier to offer her assistance in trying to find the archaeologists.

The woman is the niece of a deceased Santa Fe archaeologist who had worked at Los Alamos during World War II. After the war he worked for a government agency (allegedly the Department of Energy, but this wasn't established until 1977) that assigned him to investigate UFO reports among his other duties and to travel periodically to Washington, D.C., for debriefings on the subject. The woman, an archaeologist in her own right, was interviewed by both Randle and me several times and has been absolutely no help to the investigation. It has even occurred to me that, based upon what I already know about the case with regard to the archaeologists, she has been trying to lead the investigation astray. When confronted, she has stonewalled and as a result is no longer cooperating with the investigation. Truly bizarre.

For his part, Randle, who usually tape records (the annoying buzz notwithstanding) his interviews, did not record this one - much to my chagrin, as I could have tried to match the voice of the anonymous caller against the sixty or so archaeologists that I have talked to in the course of the investigation. In fact, I may have already interviewed the anonymous archaeologist without knowing it. Randle did, however, immediately commit to paper his recollection of the interview. To date, I have read and reread the transcript of that conversation at least a hundred times. The following is taken from Randle's transcript of his conversation with the anonymous archaeologist.

According to the caller, he and some colleagues had been driving on back roads and across open country looking for signs of pre-Contact Indian occupation. At this point Randle tried to trip up the caller by asking him about the Plains of San Agustin, but the caller said that, no, they had been in the area near the Capitan Mountains, in Lincoln County in east-central New Mexico. When they came up over a rise, they saw about half a mile away in the arroyo below, something that looked like a fat aircraft fuselage without wings. He said that he saw no sign of a dome, portholes, hatch, or markings on it. He said that they then drove down toward it and stopped. There was another man already there (Barney Barnett? Cactus Jack? or another eyewitness that Randle and Schmitt have recently identified?) who was standing close to something lying on the ground.

His attention at first was drawn to the craft because it was fatter and more rounded than an airplane, perhaps disc-shaped. He couldn't be certain, however, because it was so badly damaged. He stated that he saw three bodies, and he went on to describe the one closest to the man. It was small, but had a big head for its size and big eyes. Its head was turned to one side so that it was hard to see its facial features. He did say that there was a mouth but could not recall a nose. The creature was wearing a silvery-colored flight suit and had one of its arms bent at an odd angle as if it had been broken in the crash.

Reminiscent of the Barney Barnett story, the caller then related that they had not been there very long when the military arrived, ordered the civilians away and to stand facing away from the craft and told them not to tell anyone what they had seen - that it was a matter of national security. An officer took down their names and where they were going to school and then threatened them with a loss of government-sponsored grants or funds if they talked. They were then escorted from the site and taken to a nearby road by armed soldiers and told to drive in an easterly direction.

That was all that the caller knew or cared to divulge to Randle at the time. He said that he was a professional man and feared that he would be laughed at if he mentioned this story to his colleagues, but he wanted to share it with someone who would listen. He then said that he had told Randle all that he wanted to and hung up.

We can conclude from the foregoing that the anonymous caller was not alone, that they were driving in a vehicle, probably a car, and were not on foot. Of equal importance to the ongoing investigation was the caller's statement that they had been operating in the vicinity of the Capitan Mountains in Lincoln County and not on the Plains of San Agustin in west-central New Mexico. We may also assume that in the ensuing years, he has not told the story to any of his professional colleagues.


In their 1991 book, Randle and Schmitt placed the UFO crash site on the Foster/Brazel ranch in Lincoln County about 2-3 miles from the debris field, located southeast of the town of Corona. If the anonymous caller was correct, then the impact site was actually much closer to Roswell than previously thought. In the last two years, Randle and Schmitt have been able to pinpoint the exact location of the alleged impact site with the aid of separate eyewitnesses who took them there: it is located approximately 30 miles north-northwest of Roswell in Chaves County. These developments have the added benefit of answering the question as to why Chaves County sheriff George Wilcox was dispatched to the crash site and not his counterpart in Lincoln County.

There never has been, to my knowledge, any dispute as to the location on the sheep ranch near Corona where ranch foreman William W. (Mac) Brazel discovered a field full of strange, metallic debris scattered about; but nothing resembling the main body of the craft or its occupants, if any, was reported discovered there. In their 1980 book, Berlitz and Moore suggested that the impact site containing the main body of the craft and its dead occupants was located on the Plains of San Agustin, based upon the Barney Barnett story, because that was all that they had at the time to link the debris field with a story of a crashed UFO.

In 1990, Randle and Schmitt moved the impact site from the Plains to the Foster/Brazel ranch and even brought along Barney Barnett as well, based upon the lack of witnesses to a Plains event and the testimony of the anonymous archaeologist. By 1993, based upon eyewitness testimony, Randle and Schmitt have moved the impact site to its present location just outside of Roswell.


Geologically, geographically, and archaeologically, the state of New Mexico can be divided roughly in half. The western half is dominated by the high country of the Colorado Plateau and numerous small mountain ranges surrounding the hospitable Rio Grande River Valley which runs north to south through the entire state. It was here (and in eastern Arizona) that the Desert Cultures of the Southwest - the Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon - took up a more sedentary and agriculturally based way of life (800-130O A.D.) than their big- and small-game hunting ancestors.

Since the 1870s, archaeologists specializing in southwestern archaeology have concentrated their efforts in this area, a rich one artifactually and relatively speaking, to understand the chronology, diversity, and relationships between these competing cultures. Copious remains of settled villages, the pueblos, along with ancient religious artifacts make this region an archaeological feast. Thus, archaeologists working out of such notable and respected institutions as the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque), the University of Arizona (Tucson), and the Laboratory of Anthropology/Museum of New Mexico (Santa Fe) have concentrated their efforts in western New Mexico and eastern Arizona - not in eastern New Mexico. This fact became quite evident to me when I was investigating the case for a UFO crash/retrieval on the Plains of San Agustin in west-central New Mexico.

Southeastern New Mexico, on the other hand, is dominated by a vast, flat, dry and desolate plain called the Llano Estacado (staked or stockaded plain) which covers about 60,000 square miles (400 miles north to south and 150 miles east to west) in eastern New Mexico and western Texas, an area known geologically as the Permian Basin. In a recent filmed documentary about the Roswell UFO crash, this area was described as a place that is "west of lost and north of nowhere" (UFO Secret: The Roswell Crash, New Century Productions, 1993). Perhaps, more graphically, it has also been referred to as the "Sahara of North America."

Narrowing the focus even more, the area between the Pecos River in the east and the mountains to the west is semiarid country of gently rounding hills except near watercourses where they become steeper. The terrain is cut by numerous dry canyons, called draws or arroyos, which join to form wider drainages emptying into still larger drainages or rivers. These draws once had a constant supply of water, but the failure of the springs supplying them has caused them to dry up. Today they carry only flood waters after heavy rains. The region boasts sparse vegetation that consists mostly of short grasses, and various species of yucca, juniper, and mesquite - except along rivers such as the Pecos and the Hondo where walnut, cottonwood, and scrub oak can be found. Unlike the Rio Grande Valley and the mountains to the west where Indians settled and lived for centuries prior to the arrival of whites, southeastern New Mexico saw only nomadic bands of Plains Indians who came to these barren lands to hunt antelope and buffalo.

The archaeology of southeastern New Mexico reflects its harsh topography. Habitation sites such as those found in the western part of the state are relatively rare, far outnumbered by temporary encampments that archaeologists call "kill sites" where game animals were killed and eaten. Such sites usually contain projectile points, scrapers, and other tools left over from hunting activities, but structures such as the pueblos of western New Mexico are rare. Archaeologists who come into this area are usually looking for Clovis points and other Paleo-Indian artifacts. The Clovis site, located at Blackwater Draw between Clovis and Portales, is the earliest uncontested Paleo-Indian site in the New World (some 11,000 years ago).


Compared to the archaeological goings-on in the western part of the state, a literature search focusing on the southeastern part of the state has yielded results almost as barren as its landscape. I have had more than one archaeologist tell me that, besides containing nothing much of archaeological interest, the area was just too hot for field work. Be that as it may, a few hardy souls have ventured into the area to do archaeology. Alfred V. Kidder, Sr., of the Carnegie Institute of New York, worked in the Pecos Valley during the 1920s, while Henry Percival Mera of Santa Fe and C. B. Cosgrove conducted some investigations in the general area mostly in the 1930s. All three are long dead.

In the early 1940s a young archaeology student named Donald Lehmer conducted fieldwork on the Jornada Branch of the Mogollon in the Tularosa Basin near Alamogordo. The war interrupted, and the results of the work were not published until 1948. Lehmer has proved to be most elusive in trying to identify his whereabouts in 1947. He has worked variously in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, the Dakotas, Nebraska and Mexico. There may have been other places, but that is all that I can come up with at present. He was a faculty member at a small college in Nebraska until he died as a result of complications after an auto accident in 1975. His wife was also killed in the crash.

Although I still have not been able to pin down his whereabouts during the summer months of 1947, I did locate his daughter. A former archaeology student at the University of New Mexico, Megan Lehmer is now a practicing psychologist. When asked, she knew nothing of the alleged Roswell UFO crash/retrieval and doesn't remember her father ever mentioning such a thing. Just to be certain, however, she promised to ask other family members for me and let me know the results. She contacted me some months later to report that no one in the family had ever heard their father mention the case.

I also located and interviewed Lehmer's archaeological associates including his best friend, Bryant Bannister, and his mentor, the late Emil Haury, both of the University of Arizona. If Lehmer had confided to anyone outside of his immediate family, these would be the ones he would have told if he had been involved in the events near Roswell. Both Bannister and Haury said that Lehmer never mentioned such a thing to them at any time when they knew him. All who knew of Lehmer's activities stated that, as far as they knew, he did not return to the Tularosa Basin after World War II.

The archaeological literature revealed only one other major effort in southeastern New Mexico during the period ten years before to ten years after 1947 (my literature search encompassed this extended period to give me a better picture of which archaeologists were interested in the area both before and after the alleged UFO crash). Jane Holden Kelly, a West Texas archaeological student who would go on to get her doctorate at Harvard based upon her researches in southeastern New Mexico, conducted an archaeological investigation of the Sierra Blanca region of Lincoln and Chaves Counties. I located Kelly at the University of Calgary in Canada and have exchanged letters and interviewed her on several occasions. She acknowledged being in the area with her father, W. Curry Holden, of Texas Tech in Lubbock, in the late 1940s, but she says that she did not start her fieldwork at Sierra Blanca until 1950. Her work was published in a 1966 monograph, which enabled me to determine who helped her in the fieldwork and contact a number of them. They all verified the fact that her work did not commence at Sierra Blanca until 1950. All, including Kelly, deny knowing anything at all about a UFO crash/retrieval near Roswell.

I was able to identify a number of archaeologists who spent periods of time in southeastern New Mexico working on smaller projects during the 1940s and 1950s. Arthur Jelinek worked in both the Hondo River Valley and in the Middle Pecos. Fred Wendorff conducted salvage archaeology in Lincoln County. William Roosa worked in Feather Cave. None confessed knowing anything at all about the subject of this paper. Each told the same story. "I don't know anything, you want to talk to..." (pick your favorite archaeologist and fill in the blank).


At just about this point in the search, I was starting to get that familiar depressed feeling that one gets when effort is not rewarded with success. Hours and hours of library research, hundreds of phone calls, and nothing to show for it. All the while knowing that the "anonymous archaeologist" was out there somewhere, perhaps chucking to himself. Surely, somebody had to know something. Either that or I had to face the inevitable conclusion that archaeologists - professional, amateur, or student - were not involved in the Roswell crash/retrieval. I was convinced that something happened close to Roswell. Unlike the Plains of San Agustin scenario, there were too many firsthand witnesses on and off the record to conclude that something of major significance did not occur in southeastern New Mexico in early July 1947.

In science, the simplest hypothesis is the one that must be accepted by the scientific community until new data forces a reevaluation. Of all competing theories put forth to explain the twin events that took place near Corona and Roswell, the explanation that accounts for most of the known facts is that an alien spaceship with crew partially exploded, crashed, and was recovered by units of the United States Army. All other posited explanations (V-2 rocket, Japanese fugo balloon bomb, experimental aircraft) have been investigated thoroughly and found lacking. The least credible of these was the military's explanation that it was nothing more than a weather balloon.

They say that effort breeds luck. Well, if that is true I was long overdue for some. In the fall of 1992, I received a phone call from a new MUFON member in my area. She was a Temple University student whose main ufological interest was the abduction phenomenon. We talked for a while and were just about to conclude the conversation when she asked, "Are you interested in the Roswell case?" At first I only professed a mild interest in it. I thought that I must be dreaming when she said that she worked part-time with a friend in Philadelphia (as it turned out, she works two blocks from my city office!) whose father "has pictures of a crashed UFO taken in New Mexico." I asked how he came by these pictures. She said, "He was there!" I asked in what capacity. "My friend said that her father was an archaeologist." My head was spinning. Surely this was a setup for the Bloopers and Practical Jokes TV show?

I have had false leads before that, after checking them out, made me feel foolish. As it turned out this one was less than promised but more than I had before. A telephone interview with my MUFON friend's coworker cleared it up. There were no pictures, of course, but the woman's story had a ring to it that I felt was promising. She told me that when she and her sister were children growing up in Nebraska in the early 1950s, her father (not an archaeologist but a vertebrate paleontologist) told them on several occasions a story about a crashed UFO in New Mexico. He also told them of a big government coverup about it that included photographs, hardware, and alien bodies. The sisters did not think much of their father's story until they saw the Roswell case portrayed on the Unsolved Mysteries show a few years ago. The woman then related her reaction to me as one of jumping up from her seat and exclaiming, "Look! That's what Daddy was talking about!" I was able to confirm her account with her sister who still lives in Nebraska. Was their father still alive, and could I talk to him?

C. Bertrand Schultz, professor emeritus of geology (paleontology) at the University of Nebraska, is now 86 years old. His academic credentials are impressive, and I would categorize him as a heavyweight in the field of New World paleontology, especially with regard to faunal remains associated with Paleo-Indian archaeological sites. He proved to be one of the most difficult people I have ever interviewed. Not that he was a hostile witness - he wasn't, but, as with some people of advanced years, it was hard to keep him focused on the subject at hand. In order to get a minute's worth of testimony relating to the reason for the interview, I had to endure an hour's worth of his life's story, which was certainly an interesting one (among other adventures, he served as a scientific adviser to novelist James Michener). I interviewed him over the telephone several times in 1992 and 1993, and Kevin Randle videotaped an interview with him in 1993.

In 1947, according to the literature, Schultz and his cohorts at the University of Nebraska were commencing excavation of a promising new Paleo-Indian site located in southwestern Nebraska called the Lime Creek Site. Schultz was able to tell me that he recalls driving down to Roswell that summer to conduct some business. He said that as he approached Roswell he noticed military personnel standing by certain roads which were cordoned off. Other than a mild curiosity as to what was going on, he did not pay much attention to this because, "I had other things on my mind." He continued on to Roswell where, he says, he met up at some point with an archaeologist who was well known in that area of New Mexico and who told him the reason for the military cordon. In fact, the archaeologist told him the entire story of the Roswell UFO crash/retrieval, because he had been there! The archaeologist told him that everyone at first thought that it was a Russian device, but that it wasn't. Schultz also said that he remembers hearing about the case on the radio and reading about it in the newspaper at that time.

After several interviews with Schultz, I am not convinced that he met the archaeologist in Roswell when he said he did, right after the crash/retrieval. During his visit with Schultz, Kevin Randle was able to locate Schultz's field notes, which place him at the Lime Creek site, in Nebraska, on July 10, 1947, or only a few days after he says that he was in Roswell. Unfortunately, Randle was not able to find any notes for the prior week's activities that might have confirmed his whereabouts one way or the other. However, our investigation has been able to place both Schultz and the archaeologist in question at a meeting of the American Anthropological Association, December 28-31, in December in Albuquerque. It was during the course of that meeting that Schultz may have been told about the Roswell events by the archaeologist. A connection between the two was not only established but documented. Could Schultz tell us who the man was?

W. Curry Holden, professor emeritus of history at Texas Tech University, was born in 1896. Although his degrees were in history, he had an interest in the ethnology and archaeology of his native West Texas. As a result, he was a primary figure in the development of anthropology in West Texas during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s and developed the combined History and Anthropology Department at Texas Tech. Although his main interests were West Texas history and prehistory and, later, the Yaqui Indians of Sonora, he was also no stranger to eastern New Mexico where he conducted excavations in the 1930s and 1940s in the Pecos area near Santa Fe. After World War II, his attention turned to southeastern New Mexico when he was shown an archaeological site (the Bonnell site) in the Hondo River Valley by his good friend Peter Hurd, a world-renowned western artist. In 1950 Texas Tech moved the headquarters of its archaeological field school to Roswell under the direction of Holden, to better supervise and coordinate the excavation of the Bonnell site. A check with Holden's colleagues leaves no doubt in my mind that Curry Holden was known to have been in southeastern New Mexico on a regular basis during the late 1940s doing archaeology. This was also confirmed by Holden's archaeologist daughter, Jane Holden Kelly, mentioned above, who was usually with him at that time.

Having linked Holden to Bertrand Schultz and placed him in the general time frame of the late 1940s, it was time to seek an answer to the critical question: Was Curry Holden in the area about 30 miles north-northwest of Roswell on the morning of July 5, 1947, where he made the discovery of his life? He certainly could have been there, but was he, as Schultz claimed, actually there? Jane Holden Kelly thought that he would have been near Pecos at the Arrowhead Ruin that summer. Holden's closest colleagues, such as Texas Tech's William Pearce and William Meyer-Oaks, seemingly confirmed this by stating that not only did Holden never mention this story to them, but they had never heard of the Roswell story at all before I called them.

This made me uneasy because just about everyone that I talked to in New Mexico, eastern Arizona, and western Texas had at least heard of it. It should also be noted that when I was talking to Pearce his entire tone of voice changed when I mentioned the word "Roswell." He began answering my questions with a simple "yes" or "no" as if he did not want to offer anything further and be drawn into a discussion about it. Mrs. Holden, who usually accompanied her husband during his field excavations in a support role, said that we were mistaken.

Kevin Randle, during one of his many trips to New Mexico, took a detour to Lubbock to visit the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech which houses Curry Holden's papers. Randle discovered a number of interesting documents, among them a course listing for the Summer Session of 1947 at Texas Tech which clearly shows that Holden was not, as his daughter stated, at the Arrowhead Ruin near Pecos that summer but rather was in Lubbock teaching a history course that ran from June to July. Actually, William Pearce was leading the dig at Arrowhead that summer. It is not too big a leap in logic, in my opinion, to postulate that he could have made the relatively short trip from Lubbock to Roswell (about 150 miles), especially on a long weekend (4th of July), to conduct an impromptu, brief field trip for whatever purpose. No problem at all.

His wife would not have been with him for such a short trip, especially since she was preparing for a wedding to take place the following week. Randle also found receipts for Holden's bank deposits. They also lend support to our conclusion that he was in Lubbock that summer and not off on an extended dig somewhere. The bank statements also show that Holden made a huge deposit of $4,834 to his account on July 15, 1947, which makes one wonder how he came by such a large sum compared to his other bank deposits. Just as interesting as what he found was what Randle didn't find. The archive included all of Holden's income tax records for all the years from the 1930s through the 1970s - except for one year, 1947! Income tax records can reveal much about a person's lifestyle, contacts and associates, and activities during the course of a year. The archivist thought it was odd that only one year was missing but could offer no explanation other than "the family still controls what goes into and what comes out of the collection." During one conversation with the archivist, I noticed that his voice was lower than usual and asked him if he felt uncomfortable talking about Curry Holden for some reason. He answered: "Yes, Mrs. Holden is sitting twenty feet away." We had in hand enough circumstantial information to suggest that Holden could have been where Schultz said he was on that fateful day, but nothing definite.

In November 1992, Kevin Randle made another trip to Lubbock, Texas, for the express purpose of interviewing W. Curry Holden in his home. Prior to all of this, I could only associate Lubbock with the Lubbock Lights of 1951 and with Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Randle had called prior to his visit and had found Mrs. Holden defensive and unresponsive. But there was something in the way she answered his questions that indicated to Randle, an experienced interviewer, that there might be something worth I pursuing further. To his credit as an intrepid interviewer, Randle showed up at the house unannounced and was granted an interview with the professor. At age 96, Curry Holden was frail but alert. Mrs. Holden, if not hostile, was protective of her fading husband. During the interview, Randle brought up the subject of Roswell on three separate occasions in different ways to try to elicit, perhaps, different responses. On each occasion, Holden replied as coherently as possible, given his advanced age: "I was involved... I was there and I saw everything." Randle was not able to "flesh out" the details of Holden's experience at the impact site during this interview, so he made plans to return in the spring of 1993 to tape-record a more extensive interview when the couple would be more comfortable.

W. Curry Holden passed away on April 21, 1993, at the age of 96 before Randle had a chance to return.

There it was: firsthand confirmation by an archaeologist of his participation in the crash/retrieval events taking place outside Roswell in early July 1947. Kevin Randle was the only investigator to interview Holden about Roswell and it is upon his notes, recollections, and impressions of that interview that we must rely to judge the veracity of Holden's revelation. According to Randle, Holden knew exactly what he was being asked and each time responded clearly and concisely. "Did you believe him when he said that he was involved in Roswell?" I asked Kevin. Without hesitation, his reply was a resounding "Absolutely."

No doubt, there will be those who will contend that, because of his age, anything that Holden said in the last years of his life is suspect as to its basis in reality. In fact, it has already started. His daughter, who has lived in Canada for many years and who was wrong about where her father was in the summer of 1947, feels that he may have made up the story just to please Randle. Her stepmother, Mrs. Holden, with whom she was never on speaking terms, feels that her husband may have been "confused." I was not there, so I must rely on Randle, as we all must in the end.

I can say this, however, with conviction. The archaeologists involved in this story did not have to be threatened to remain silent. They would have remained silent anyway, and have done so to protect their academic and professional reputations. The "anonymous archaeologist" alluded to this when he said that his colleagues would laugh if he told them, and I have recently located a source at the University of Pennsylvania who is familiar with the story but refuses to name names to protect professional reputations, even among the deceased. He says that he would like to have a future in archaeology.


There are still a number of loose ends. I am focusing my effort on trying to obtain various corroboration for Curry Holden's involvement in the Roswell story. What was he doing that day? Who was with him? Where were they from? What exactly happened? Was Curry Holden the anonymous archaeologist? No, he wasn't, but that individual is still out there somewhere, laughing perhaps, but I am working on a scenario that includes both Holden and him. If and when I find him, I must also square the anonymous caller's account with those of other firsthand eyewitnesses, military and civilian, at the impact site. However, I am running out of both time and archaeologists. As my list of people to contact dwindles, many of them pass on to that Great Kiva in the sky. There is no more time left to lose.

Thomas J. Carey, a CUFOS field investigator and state section director for MUFON, has a master's degree in physical anthropology. The author wishes to express his sincere appreciation to William Moore for sharing his investigative notes and to Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt for their encouragement and help in the ongoing search for the Roswell archaeologists.

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