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Roswell 1947 - ufologists investigations in the 1990's

Death bed confessions, by Carey and Schmitt, 1999:

Source for this article:

Roswell 1999: What's new?

Part II: Death bed confessions

By Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt

In courts of law, so-called "deathbed confessions" are accorded special weight and consideration from other testimony because of the belief that when a person knows that he or she is checking out for good, that person will want, in the end, to have his or her conscience cleared and truth to be his or her lasting legacy. Perhaps the most significant "deathbed confession" to date in the Roswell investigation has been that of the former Provost Marshal at the Roswell Base in 1947, Maj. Edwin Easley. When first interviewed by Roswell investigator Kevin Randle, all Easley would say was that he couldn't discuss the Roswell Incident, that he was still sworn to secrecy.

Over and over, Easley would repeat that same phrase to each question that Randle asked. Sometime thereafter, while on his deathbed, he in fact confirmed to family members his participation in the recovery of an extraterrestrial spacecraft and crew ("Ohhhhhh, the creatures!").

Just before he passed away in 1994, the Roswell base adjutant in 1947, Maj. Patrick Saunders, wrote on a copy of The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell (1994) that he sent to the book's authors, Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt, this cathartic statement: "This is the truth, and I still haven't told anyone."

As participants in the Roswell events of 1947 expire at an increasing rate, it should be expected that we encounter more confessions of the "deathbed" variety, and such is indeed the case. A woman whose husband was an MP stationed at Roswell in 1947 relayed to us the information that her husband, on his deathbed four years ago, "confessed" to guarding the perimeter-but not picking up the debris-at the Foster/Brazel ranch site, while another woman told us that her husband, during the last year of his life, in 1995, finally told her of his involvement in the events.

After seeing a show on TV that featured the Roswell Incident, she at last asked him, "Well, Dear, is it true?" He answered, "Well, I suppose that it's time I should tell you. I've been meaning to for a long time." He had been a cook with the 509th Bomb Group at Roswell in 1947 and confirmed to her that he was simply grabbed one day and told to report to Building #84 (a hangar) on the base. He was given a gun and told to stand guard at the hangar with other similarly confiscated base personnel. While on guard duty, he stole a look inside the hangar long enough to see debris scattered about and "small bodies" being prepared for shipment elsewhere. Asked if she believed her husband when he told her this, the woman stated without hesitation or reservation, "Absolutely, he was telling the truth to me when he knew he didn't have much longer."

In another case, the granddaughter of someone involved in the Roswell events (at this point, we do not know in what capacity he was involved) contacted us to say that her grandfather had just passed away and had left "documents" pertajning to Roswell that would prove something extraordinary had happened there in 1947. As this is being written, we have been negotiating for several months to receive copies of some of these alleged documents prior to making an expensive trip for a personal interview and to review the originals.

Finally, as this is written, we are aware of a former officer who was stationed at Roswell in 1947 who is terminal and knows it. He has told his family that he would like to make a statement concerning Roswell, but at a time of his own choosing. We have been in touch with members of the family, who have assured us that they will let us know when it is time.

Reluctant witnesses

To qualify as a "reluctant witness," one must be believed to possess information about the Roswell events, either by being involved directly, tangentially, or by being a relative of someone who was, or by other means, and refuse to discuss it at all (e.g., by citing a security oath, or by giving what is believed to be false and misleading statements).

By far, the most famous (or infamous) of the "reluctant witnesses" still out there-at least according to Roswell proponents-is the former base Counter-intelligence Officer, Sheridan Cavitt, who accompanied the 509th's Intelligence Officer, Jesse Marcel, to the Foster/Brazel ranch to observe and retrieve material that Marcel would later describe as having an extraterrestrial origin.

In 1994, Cavitt confirmed his involvement in the Roswell Incident for the first time to the Air Force's Col. Richard Weaver at the same time he was still denying his involvement to civilian Roswell investigators. Cavitt told Weaver that what he saw on the Foster Ranch that day in 1947 were the immediately recognizable remnants of a weather balloon and radar target which they retrieved in short order. Cavitt's account, therefore, is in conflict with those of other credible eye-witnesses to the same events, as well as with his own prior statements of non-involvement.

[Photo caption:] "Old witness" Bill Brazel, Jr., who reportedly found scraps and pieces of strange "metal" which he kept in a cigar box until the box was allegedly retrieved by the military in 1949. He provided new details about his father's activities after the crash.

The aforementioned Edwin Easley originally qualifled as a "reluctant witness," but then ceased to be so described when he gave up his defense of, "I can't talk about it," and finally "came-clean." We currently have a number of such witnesses still out there who refuse to talk, but for whom we can only hope that they will someday relent and tell us what they know.

Such a witness is a former member of the 1395th Military Police Squadron stationed at Roswell in 1947.

When located living in Pennsylvania near one of the co-authors, he confirmed that, yes, he was stationed at Roswell in 1947 and, yes, he was indeed involved in recovery activities there: "You mean that thing that crashed into the side of a hill? Yes, I was involved, but that's all I'm going to tell you." When asked why, he replied, "I'm retired military, and I like things the way they are." End of conversation.

Another fellow's name was passed along to us as a first-hand witness still living in Roswell. According to our intermediary, he drove a truck on the base in '47, and he drove right into the recovery activities at the hangar (Bldg. #84). After seeing the debris and the bodies, he was grabbed, stood spread-eagle against the wall, and threatened with his life.

When questioned in person, all he will tell us today is that he does not want to talk about it. Asked if he would ever consider talking about it, he replied that he wasn't sure, but that he was sure that he wasn't ready to talk about it now. Wonderful.

Still another fellow, a former MP stationed at Roswell in '47 (confirmed by the base yearbook), gave us a preliminary statement one evening after a lecture about being shown one of the recovered bodies. Later, when contacted by telephone for a follow-up interview, he denied being the person we were seeking (because of his peculiar voice inflections, we knew we had the right person). Nice.

There is yet another witness, still living at the relatively young age of 58 years-old, whose identity is known to all Roswell investigators. He saw everything and could solve this case for everyone tomorrow.

The problem is: we know who he is and where he is, but no one has interviewed him as yet. Not for lack of trying, however. He has the knack of being able to "disappear" every time an investigator gets near, sofar with a 100% success rate. How long can his luck continue? We keep trying and hoping and are open to suggestions. Finally, we received an e-Mail from a gentleman who claimed that his wife is friends with a woman whom she met when both worked at Walker AFB (formerly Roswell Army Air Field) in Roswell in 1960.

According to the gentleman, his wife said that the woman told her that she had been a nurse stationed at Roswell AAF in 1947 and was there "when the little bodies were brought in to the base hospital." In a follow-up phone call to the gentleman and his wife, the wife made it clear to us that her friend, who is still living, will deny everything if ever confronted with this information. As things now stand, we only know the alleged nurse's first name and the name of the town in which she resides: Frustration City.

Witnesses and a new crash scenario

In addition to locating new witnesses to the Roswell events of 1947 (about 20 in number and still counting), our investigation has made a special effort to keep in touch with "old" witnesses, such as Bill Brazel, Jr., Walter Haul, Glenn Dennis, Frank Kaufmann, Frank Joyce, Frankie Rowe" and Jack Rodden, people who have already gone on record with their stories.

By revisiting their testimony when we are in Roswell, we have been able to glean new bits of information from them concerning those long ago events which, when combined with the new information that we are developing from the "new" witnesses, is causing us to reconsider some prior conclusions as to what occurred, where it occurred, and when it occurred. Without giving the store away here, a future article will suggest a new Roswell crash sequence while answering the nagging question as to why the military kept "Mac" Brazel in "custody" for so long.

The smoking gun?

Mention must be made here of a recent development in the case which is not a result of our own investigation (although we are now participating-but more about that at another time).

It concerns several photographs taken of Gen. Roger Maxwell Ramey in his Ft. Worth office on the afternoon of July 8, 1947, at his hastily-convened press conference during which he announced to the world that what was recovered on the J.B. Foster Ranch the day before by the Roswell AAF's Intelligence Officer was "really" a misidentified weather balloon and an aluminum-foil radar target.

It has been known by Roswell investigators for years that, in all of the Ramey photographs that were taken that day, he is shown in each as kneeling on one knee beside the remains of a decaying weather balloon and a ripped-up (but an otherwise pristine, off-the-shelf) radar target strewn about the floor of his office. In each photo, Gen. Ramey is shown holding what appears to be a teletype message in his left hand as if it had just been given to him prior to the start of his press conference. In all but one of the Ramey photos (did he realize his mistake?), the hand-held teletype appears to be blank, but in the one photo (the first one taken?) it is obvious that, although somewhat crumpled in his hand, the memo appears to contain writing. Under low magnification, it can be seen that individual sentences are distinguishable from one another on the memo, but their constituent letters or words cannot be made out. It is interesting to point out that we had already attempted to interpret the text of the Ramey memo in 1990 when we requested Richard Haines to computeranalyze the photograph, but back then Dr. Haines was only able to identify a few individual letters.

Today, combining extreme magnification with the latest computer-enhanced analytical techniques, several teams of photographic analysts remarkably claim to have been able to "decipher" parts of sentences [i.e., actual words] on the exposed portion of the Ramey teletype. [See Page 15 of this issue of the Journal.] While the teams are not in total agreement at this time as to what the entire memo says, a single, glaring phrase is clear to all who have had an opportunity to view an enhanced picture of the memo, and in our opinion constitutes a "smoking gun."

[Photo caption:] "New witness" Vennie Ragsdale described strange pieces of metal with "hieroglyphic writing" on them brought home by her husband in 1947 and kept in their trailer for years until they were stolen.

There is no dispute whatsoever that the phrase "... victims (emphasis ours) of the wreck... forwarded to Ft. Worth, Tex." can be seen on the Ramey memo and, to us, indicates that a weather balloon-Project Mogul or otherwise-was NOT what crashed and was recovered at Roswell in July of 1947. The memo, in our opinion, appears to have originated with Gen. Ramey and probably went to either Col. William Blanchard, commander of the 509th Bomb Group based at Roswell, which was under Ramey's direct command, or to higher authorities in Washington, D.C.

The apparent "Ft. Worth connection" is also especially interesting to us now, since a new source to our investigation had been leading us in that direction before news of the Ramey memo analyses surfaced.

What is needed now is for at least two independent investigations with no affiliations to Roswell, Roswell witnesses, or the various Roswell investigations to conduct their own objective and impartial analyses of the Ramey photo/memo and to publicly present their findings, whatever they may be.

Interestingly, the usual cast of Roswell debunking characters, including the U.S. Air Force (all of whom accept the Project Mogul balloon "explanation" for Roswell), has, to date, been strangely silent concerning the Ramey memo. Who "in the know" back in 1947 could have ever imagined that Roger Ramey, "pointman" for the Roswell coverup, might one day a halfcentury later have unwittingly provided us with the key to unlock the door to the ultimate secret? Oh, irony of ironies.

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This page was last updated on May 23, 2017.