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Roswell 1947 - Documents on the witnesses

Tommy Tyree

(Tommy TYREE).

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


According to Roswell incident researchers, Tommy Tyree was from the area of Corona, New Mexico, and sometimes worked as ranch help for rancher William "Mack" Brazel.

I found no other biography information about him.


There is no affidavit by Tommy Tyree.

Interviews and public statements:

There is no verbatim or public statement Tommy Tyree.

Investigators notes and comments:

"The Wanderling":

A mostly minor player that was brought forward sometime later in the overall scheme of things was a young man by the name of Tommy Tyree. In Roswell lore Tyree is usually associated with four aspects of the incident, each one bigger than the other, but none of them taken together or separately ranking very high up as being definitively earth-shaking. For one he shows up briefly in a comment by Roswell investigator and author Kevin Randle that goes something like:

"Tommy Tyree told us that during the Second World War an aircraft had crashed in the area and the teenagers from Corona knew where it had happened though the military had wanted to keep the site a secret."

There is a second brief mention of Tyree that shows up a lot --- but, for some reason, without much needed follow through. It seems that as late as August of 1947, one month after the crash and long after all of the various military contingents left, Tyree and Brazel noticed a piece of wreckage in the water at the bottom of a sinkhole and that neither tried to retrieve it. Third, is his confirmation of the size, and to later investigators, the location of the debris field. And fourth, the following below, that shows up on a regular basis in a variety of forms, presentations, and formats, AND the number one reason Tyree is most noted for:

"Tommy Tyree, a ranch-hand that worked on and off for Brazel AFTER the crash, is on record as saying that Brazel complained to him regularly over and over --- and to others as well it has been reported --- how the day he found the material scattered all over the ranch he had been forced to circle his sheep a mile or more around the area to water because they refused to cross the debris field. It doesn't make sense, nor is it likely given the average temperature in Corona is 87 degrees and rising in June, that Brazel would leave material scattered all over his ranch from mid-June to early July that frightened his fully wool-covered sheep so much they wouldn't even go to water on their own, but had to be physically driven just to get a drink. Not only would he be highly remiss in his duties, he would also be putting his livelihood as well as the sheep's lives in danger."

I met Tyree twice. Once before the crash, once after the crash. The first time I met Tyree my uncle and I were on our way to Fort Sumner to see the gravesite of Billy the Kid. We were in the general area for a couple of reasons, the main being that exactly three years before I had been a passenger on the Santa Fe Chief westbound from Chicago to Los Angeles. Around midnight of July 3, 1944, between Flagstaff, Arizona and Williams, on a high speed downhill run and behind schedule, the Chief's locomotive, bearing the Santa Fe road number #3774 hit a marked 55 mph speed limit curve at over 90 MPH, with the locomotive derailing and sliding in the dirt on it's side off the tracks for well over 500 feet before coming to a stop. The rest of the 14 car train ended up in various stages of derailment and wreckage on and off the track, some cars remaining upright with two actually staying on the tracks undamaged. The fireman and three passengers were killed. 113 passengers along with 13 train employees injured, among them the severely injured engineer. My uncle and I had stopped at the location of the wreck to pay thanks to my survival and pay homage to those injured and the deceased.

After leaving the site where the train had derailed some three years before, but before reaching Fort Sumner we stopped in Corona to get some water for the truck as it had overheated because of a broken or loose fanbelt. While waiting for the truck to cool down, with some time to spare, we sat in the shade drinking a couple of iced cold sodas. In the process, with the hood up and man and boy possibly stranded, a number of locals stopped by to see if everything was OK. My uncle, knowing a few people in the general Corona area dropped a few names and before you knew it, everybody was the best of friends. In a friendly general conversation sort of way they asked where we were headed and how the trip was going. My uncle told them we had visited Elden Pueblo where a rare meteorite had been buried by prehistoric Native Americans in a ritual style then to Meteor Crater and were now on our way to Fort Sumner to see Billy the Kid's gravesite.

Most of the people we talked to that day were what I would call adults. However, in those days, anybody twice my age at 19 or 20 years old was "old" or a "grown up," although to adults, say my uncle's age at the time, it wasn't unusual for 20 year olds to still be cast in a "kid" catagory --- especially in conversations being carried out between older adults. Mostly because of that, a young man who was, as I look back now, in his late teens or possibly maybe 20, turned his attention in conversation to me. He told me that in a couple of weeks he was going to go to work on a nearby ranch. He also told me, connecting the story to Billy the Kid --- in that I was on my way to visit the Kid's gravesite --- that Sheriff Pat Garrett, the man who killed Billy the Kid in 1881 was shot and killed in 1908 by the uncle of the ranch foreman who hired him. The ranch foreman, actually a lease holder, was William W. Mac Mack Brazel, the man that first discovered the material spread all over the Foster ranch he leased, that would become, in later years, famous in Roswell lore as the debris field. The man who killed Garrett, Jesse Wayne Brazel, was the brother of Mac Brazel's father.(see) The young man who told the Billy the Kid story was Tommy Tyree, although at the time I didn't know such was the case. I only learned who he was days later when the two of us met for a second time on a hill above the debris field.

Within days of Brazel's discovery, but before any military presence had the wherewithal to seal off the area to outsiders, my uncle, with me tagging along, accessed the debris field --- as did apparently a number of other people. One of those people, although he isn't known for having done so, was Tommy Tyree.


The morning I met Tyree, my uncle, leaving me in our secure spot at the hay shelter, departed before dawn to be on the debris field at sunrise and did not return until ten or so. Sometime before his return, needing to dump, I walked some distance down the hill from where we had been concealing ourselves to an outgrowth area of taller underbrush and did my business. Just as I was about to go back I heard a slow moving vehicle grinding away transversely across the hill toward where I was. I layed flat in the brush as an Army 3/4 ton truck passed between me and the area where my uncle and I had been holing up. I heard a noise in the bushes and just as I was about to turn around someone pushed me back down from behind and put their hand over my mouth. It was Tyree. Then I saw why. Coming up some distance behind the truck and following in it's tracks were four armed soldiers on foot, basically just bullshitting and route-stepping their way along the hill. Had I stood up or walked out of the underbrush I would have run right into them. He had hobbled his horse some distance back in some wadi and was on his way to meet a couple of buddies hoping to scope out the debris field when, like me, he heard the vehicle. It was just by coincidence he stumbled across me. We stayed there for awhile, until we felt it was safe. I thanked him for saving my life, we shook hands, he told me his name was Tommy Tyree, then we went our separate ways, never to see each other again.

A few paragraphs back I mention the four main things Tyree is known for relative to the Roswell incident. The one most cited is the one about him reporting that Brazel needed to drive his sheep around the debris field to get to water because, as according to Tyree, the sheep would not cross the area. Interesting enough, two of the lesser things about Tyree and Roswell are interelated or interconnected to each other in a bigger, more macabre sort of way. The plane crash in 1941 near Corona he talks about actually went down near the now-not-there onetime community of Lon. Lon was abandoned in the 40s and all that remains now of a onetime general store, a two-room school house, and a few other buildings that existed in 1943 is just the barely discernable outline of the adobe walls of the school house.(see) Near where Lon used to be is a crudely made headstone put up by a woman that lived in the area at the time of the plane crash. The headstone reads "5 U.S. Boys" refering to the five crew members on the doomed flight. Her grandson writes:

"My grandma and grandpa, along with their kids and grand kids, began to find body parts scattered over a large area that the military had missed. One cousin, who would have been about ten at the time, says he still has vivid memories of finding a portion of a leg. The family decided the respectful thing to do was to give the men a proper burial in the family cemetery. My grandmother inscribed the marker."

The second of the lesser things Tyree is known about, that I mentioned above, is that in August of 1947, one month after the crash and long after the military folk left, Tyree and Brazel spotted a piece of wreckage in the water at the bottom of a sinkhole and that neither tried to retrieve it. Now, all you hear about is how the military scoured every square millimeter of the debris field picking up pieces of the alleged saucer. Although I am not in agreement with it, it has even been reported that houses were searched, floors torn up, and people intimidated by authorities searching for more pieces. Yet, here is a piece sitting in plain sight in a sinkhole a month after the crash, apparently overlooked --- that Tyree or Brazel wouldn't even get off their horses to retrieve. Six years before the military wasn't even able retrieve all the body parts of the crew of a downed aircraft, no wonder pieces of the Roswell object could still be found in a sinkhole one month later. What happened to that piece is unknown.


David Rudiak:

This researhcher indicates that Tommy Tyree was a ranch-hand hired by Mack Brazel soon after the incident, who said sheep detoured a mile around debris field.

He said that Randle and Schmitt indicated that Tyree said that Brazel had been annoyed because the material formed a barrier that the sheep refused to cross. Brazel had to drive them around the debris field to get them to water.


Sci-Fi Channel:

The book says that in August 1947, after a rainfall near the debris field, Mack Brazel and a young ranch hand, Tommy Tyree, spotted a piece of debris in a sinkhole; which they lefte here, moving on.


Tim Printy:

The last person to talk about concerning this portion of the Roswell "story" is a man by the name of Tommy Tyree. He started working at the ranch after the incident and had spoken to Mac Brazel many times. At one point, he told people that Mac said it was a Japanese Balloon bomb. However, when Schmitt and Randle showed up for the interview, they state this story changed and he felt Brazel found something unusual. Tyree does not explain any more than that but there is no mention of a huge gouge by Tyree. All Tyree mentions is that one day, he and Brazel saw a piece in a hole but did not bother to pick it up because Brazel did not want to deal with that matter anymore. All Tyree does is confirm that some metal like debris was still sitting around the ranch and that there was no gouge in the earth.


Note: Tim Printy is a "skeptical" researcher, advocating that the Roswell incident is not the crash of an alien "saucer" and generally, thy all UFO sighting reports are best explained by misinterpretations and hoaxes.

Kevin Randle:

This researcher says that Tommy Tyree was an occasional ranch hand of Mack Brazel and said he has seen a piece of the debris, but did not retrieve it. He was riding with Mack Brazel when they looked into a sink hole and there was a shiny bit of the debris floating on the water at the bottom. It was too far down for them to get to, so Tyree just looked at it.


Randle says Tommy Tyree was interviewed by himself and Donald Schmitt in Corona on August 12, 1989, and they learned that Tyree was not exactly a ranch hand for Mack Brazel but worked with him on occasion, who had not seen the debris field before it was cleaned but had heard Brazel complain about it.

Tyree also said that Brazel had told him that the debris was so light that it stirred in the wind, but so strong that pieces of it would not flex.


Kevin Randle says that Tommy Tyree, who worked for Brazel, told him and Donald Schmitt of riding the range with Brazel when he pointed down into a sinkhole that had water in the bottom. Floating on it was a bit of debris.

He says they did not find the sinkhole, as Tyree did not know precisely where it had been, and the water would have been long gone and the hole probably filled in. But Tyree gave them directions out there and it was on the same bit of range as that shown to them by Bill Brazel.

He adds that when they did the site survey, they dug around the roots of plants that looked old enough to have been there when the crash happened, that they looked into animal burrows, hoping to find a scavenger that had found a bit of the debris, that they used metal detectors and even tried an aerial survey in a rented plane, and found no debris.


Additional information:

Kevin Randle also specified in 2006 on the "UFOudpates" mailing list that the reason the sheep would not cross the field had nothing to do with any "odor". Tommy Tyree told him and Don Schmitt that the sheep refused to cross the debris field because of all the shiny metal and trash scattered around. Only the debris frightened them.

On the same list in 2002, he added that there also had been aircraft accident in the area: Tommy Tyree told Randle and Schmitt that during WWII an aircraft had crashed in the area and the teenagers from Corona knew where it had happened though the military had wanted to keep the site a secret.

Document history:

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1.0 Patrick Gross April 12, 2017 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 12, 2017.