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Roswell 1947 - Documents on the witnesses

Ann Robbins


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Please, before asking any question or sending any comment or criticism, read this.


According to an article by the Dallas Observer available in this page, Ann Robbins was born in 1919 and was 28 at the time of the Roswell incident. She is said to have been the wife of Technical Sergeant Ernest Robert Robbins, airplane repair man with an Intelligence clearance, in service at the Roswell Army Air field at the time of the incident.


I found no affidavit by Ann Robbins.


The Dallas Observer, April 3, 2003:

The following article was written by Carlton Stower and appeared on the Dallas Observer's website on April 3, 2003, archived at Carlton Stower is a regular writer of that magazine and write at least 85 articles, on sports, events, news, and a few on UFO matters.

The Dallas Observer is a Dallas, Texas, magazine (

The article was also reprinted on several websites, in Whitley Strieber's newsletter and apparently reprinted or referred to in the MUFON UFO Journal. On some websites, the article is mildly edited, and sometimes, a headline is added, such as "New proof of the Roswell incident".

The article offers more than the Ann Robbins story; however, I provide here only and all of the parts related to Ann Robbins.

It was a snow-covered December in 1995 when President Bill Clinton, visiting Northern Ireland in support of the country's new and fragile peace process, spoke to a large gathering that had arrived for a Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The president opted to dismiss politics and keep the mood of his speech light. At one point, he drew laughter as he referred to a letter he'd recently received from a 13- year-old boy in Belfast.

"Ryan," the president said, "in case you're out there, here is your answer: No. As far as I know, no spaceship crashed at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947. And if the Air Force recovered any extraterrestrial bodies, they did not tell me."

Such is the widespread and ongoing fascination attached to a legendary event that many believe actually took place on the late J.B. Foster's sheep ranch more than a half-century ago. What has transpired since that Independence Day weekend when a "flying saucer" was allegedly recovered by military personnel from Roswell Army Air Field has fueled a debate that continues 56 years later. Is it possible that such an unearthly event really occurred? The question has spawned an industry of books - well more than 100 at last count - and documentary films, inspired popular television shows and sci-fi movies, a prospering museum business in Roswell and insistence by many researchers that an ongoing government cover-up of the historic discovery puts Watergate to shame.

Perhaps Clinton should have visited with Midland's Ann Robbins before giving his answer. The widow of a career military man stationed in Roswell at the time, she might have changed his mind. She would probably have shared the description of the saucer that her husband, Technical Sergeant Ernest Robert Robbins, told her he helped recover long ago and the three small "men" - one dead, one near death and another very much alive - found outside the spaceship.


The official version of the Roswell incident thus became that a military weather balloon launched to detect wind velocity and direction at high altitudes had come crashing down on Foster Ranch. End of story.


Ann Robbins, who until now has never spoken publicly on the matter, says what her late husband saw 56 years ago was hardly a downed weather balloon. Seated in a meeting room at the newly opened Odessa Meteor Crater Museum, the 84-year-old Robbins clearly recalls a July night when her husband received a call to report to the base. She would not see or hear from him for 18 hours. And when she did, he told her bits and pieces of a bizarre story that has puzzled her for a lifetime.

"We had been to a dinner party at the NCO [non-commissioned officers] club on the base," she says, "and didn't get home until 10:30 or 11. We'd already gone to bed but weren't yet asleep when everything outside lit up like it was daylight. It was like that for what seemed like several minutes, and we both assumed that it was probably helicopters from the base with searchlights on."

Soon thereafter, the phone call came to their home and her husband told her he had to report to the base.

"I just assumed that there had been a plane crash somewhere nearby," she says. "But I couldn't figure why my husband, a sheet-metal man who repaired planes, was called in."

She was even more puzzled when he returned home the following evening, his uniform wrinkled and damp. "I asked him what had happened to him, why he was so wet, and he told me he'd had to go through the decontamination tank at the base. I asked, 'In your clothes?' and he said, 'They were what I was wearing when I was out there.'"

Still assuming that he'd been called to the site of a plane crash, she quizzed him further. "He told me, 'Well, I guess you might as well know; it's going to be in the papers. A UFO crashed outside of Roswell.'"

Her response? "I told him he was crazy."

"No," Sergeant Robbins replied, "I'm not." Then he showered and went to bed.

"I don't remember him being particularly shocked or very emotional about it," she says. "In fact, he seemed cool as a cucumber. He just made it clear to me that he wasn't going to talk about it."

The following morning she continued to press for details. "I asked him again if it was really true and he said, yes, it was." When she asked what the UFO looked like, he explained that "if you took two saucers and put them together, that's what it looked like." On the top layer, he told her, there were oblong-shaped windows all the way around the craft. And, no, he said, he had not looked inside the crashed ship.

"I asked him if there was anybody on it. He said, 'I can tell you this much: There were three people. One was dead and two were still alive. I can't tell you anything more.'"

It was not until several days later that Sergeant Robbins finally agreed to drive his wife out to the crash site. By then, all debris had been cleared away and neither a spaceship nor signs of military personnel was evident. "He didn't say much of anything until we got to a place where there was this big burned spot, a perfect circle so black that it was shiny. No normal fire could have made something like that." It was, she says, as if the sand had been melted and turned into a sheet of black glass.

"This," Sergeant Robbins said, "is where I was for 18 hours."

"On the drive home," she says, "I asked him what happened to the spaceship, what happened to the people who were on it. Her husband's reply: "I can't tell you that; don't ask me any more."

It was the last time her husband spoke of "the Roswell incident" until long after he'd retired from the service. Until his death of a heart attack two years ago, he never told his wife who was with him that night or what role he had played.

Following his retirement from the Air Force in 1961, they moved to Saginaw, near Fort Worth, and he worked first for General Dynamics, then LTV, as an aircraft repairman.

"It was years later, when our kids were in high school, that our son Ronald was working on some kind of report on unidentified flying objects and asked his father to tell him about what happened back in Roswell. He didn't say much, basically just what he'd told me years earlier," she says.

"But you know how kids are. Ronald kept asking questions, like what the men found at the crash looked like. Finally, Papa [as she referred to her husband throughout their 57-year marriage] got a pencil and drew this pear-shaped head with large black eyes. Their skin, he said, was brown and they had no nose, no mouth.

"When Ronald asked him what their bodies looked like, all he would say was, 'Son, you don't want to know about that.'"

The Robbins' son, now living in Arizona, could not be reached by the Dallas Observer. "He wouldn't talk to you about it, anyway," his mother insists. Neither of her children, in fact, has ever spoken publicly of their father's alleged involvement in the Roswell incident. "Barbara, my daughter, tells me, 'Daddy's dead, don't bring it up.'"

"All I remember," says Barbara Wattlington, "was Dad saying he was stationed in Roswell and that a UFO crashed there."

The last time Ann Robbins remembers any conversation about the matter was a few years before her husband's death in January 2000, when they sat in their Saginaw living room one evening, watching television. A show whose title she can't recall was on, re-creating the Roswell event and posing the question of whether it was an ageless hoax or the well-hidden truth. "I asked him, 'Was it a hoax?' and all he said was, 'It's the truth. It did land.'

"I asked him, 'Well, if it did, where is it?' He again said he couldn't tell me that."

Her husband, she says, was never one to embellish or lie; neither prankster nor teller of tall tales. "He was a good, Christian man. He loved the military and his country and never spoke bad about either." No, she says, he would never have made up such a story. Nor, if ordered not to, would he have ever talked of matters he was told to keep secret. "That's just the way he was," she says. "On the day he died, the last thing he told me was that he wanted me to promise to fly the flag in front of our house until I drew my last breath." Though she insists she has never researched the numerous theories of the Roswell crash presented in the countless books or documentaries, she does admit that she has lingering questions she hopes will one day be answered. "That UFO they found didn't just fly away," she says. "So where is it? And what happened to the people on it? I still say the Air Force knows what happened. Someday, I hope, we might find out the truth."

Two years ago she did get an answer to one question that had long bothered her. "I could never figure out why an airplane repairman would be called out in the middle of the night to participate in the investigation of a crashed UFO," she says. Only after filing her husband's death certificate with military officials in Washington, D.C., did she learn that he had intelligence clearance during his Roswell tenure.

Still, if Ann Robbins had embarked on a thorough study of the massive collection of research done on the fabled Roswell crash, she would not find her husband's name among any of the "witnesses" who have come forward over the years. Yet the sketchy details he gave her generally mesh with most of the reconstructed stories found in the ever-growing volume of literature devoted to the crash investigation.


Investigators' notes and comments:

James Moseley:


The lead story in the May issue of the MUFON UFO Journal brings us still another new (although dead) Roswell witness. The 84-year-old widow of Sergeant Ernest Robbins is now saying that her late husband, though a mere sheet metal repairman, was called out to observe the wreckage of the famed Roswell saucer, in early July of 1947. His version, as told to her, gives us three aliens - one dead, one injured, and one who "seemed to be okay". These numbers differ from all other accounts.

Most interestingly, the saucer left behind a large burned area in the shape of a perfect circle. This sets your editor to recalling how, circa 1955, he used gasoline to burn a circle on the surface of the desert near Lima, Peru. A photo of said editor pointing to said circle was thereafter printed on the front page of a mass-circulation Lima newspaper called "Ultima Hora". This leads us to speculate that real UFOs don't leave burned circles behind. Case dismissed!

Gregory Guttierez:

In a copyrighted news item, Guttierez says that the latest "Saucer Smear" magazine by James Moseley, an ancient of ufology very close to Gray Barker, with the help of Karl Plock who he says write the most skeptical book about Roswell, says that a new witness of the Roswell incident was found but was already dead. He writes that the dead witness Sergeant Ernest Robbins was only a "sheet metal repairman" and that Moseley says the number of 3 aliens is in contradiction with other recovered aliens stories.

Unidentified Frenchman poll:

In 2006, an anonymous Frenchman circulated on several ufology Internet discussion lists a long questionaire where he asked people to answer by Yes or No to various questions. Most of the questions related to Roswell incident testimonies and asked if it is credible or not. Many but not all of the testimonies were incorrectly cited or out of context, part came from my website and other parts from books, and many questions were mixed together so that it was impossible to accurately answer with either a Yes or a No. I filled que questionnaire and sent it to its author's email address and have heard nothing of it again, not even a "thank you". I asked the discussion group who else answered and what the answers were, but apparently nobody had cared to answer.

In that questionnaire was:

Page 339 also, The testimony of Ernest Robert Robbins, deceased in 2000, a the time a young sergeant in Roswell.

I indicated to the author of the questionnaire that to my knowledge, Ernest Robert Robbins did not testify, but his wife apparently did according to an article in the Dallas Observer.

The indicated "page 339" refers to the Gildas Bourdais book "Roswell - Enquêtes, secret et Désinformation", JMG publisher, 2004, in which the say of Ann Robbins is correctly summarized, and in which her say is not presented as a "testimony of Ernest Robert Robbins" but very clearly as a testimony of his widow Ann Robbins.

Webmaster's notes:

This is all just typical!

One Frenchman obviously convinced that an alien spaceship and bodies were actually recovered near Roswell in 1947 presented with no information "the testimony of Ernest Robert Robbins". But there is no such testimony. It was his wife who made statements, apparently to a journalist of the Dallas Observer in 2003.

James Moseley makes some fun at the story, as usual. Some questionable statements appear: Ann Robbins did apparently not say that her late husband was a Sergeant and "a mere sheet metal repairman"; she actually said that he was a Technical Seargent with an intelligence clearance and "a sheet-metal man who repaired planes"

James Moseley's comment on how he faked a "saucer landing" by burning grass looks nice but is utterly nonsense when one refers to what was said by Ann Robbins. she did not talk of a circle of burnt grass, but of a ...

... big burned spot, a perfect circle so black that it was shiny. No normal fire could have made something like that." It was, she says, as if the sand had been melted and turned into a sheet of black glass.

This is hardly th description of a circle of burnt grass.

Gregory Guttierez then put out a French-speaking news release about Moseley's article and provided reference to Moseley's newsletter.

What seems pretty obvious here is that nobody cared to investigate Ann Robbins' say at all, at least as far as I know.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross July 27, 2006 First published.

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This page was last updated on July 27, 2006.