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Roswell 1947 - Investigations in the 1990's

Jaime H. Shandera, 1991:

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By Jaime H. Shandera

Joe Kirk Thomas commits some of the same grievous errors that first-year journalism students and other would-be sleuths frequently commit: he takes only the evidence he wants to look at and completely ignores the rest. The "material" that Mr. Kirk "analyzed" is in the form of black-and-white photographs. Since he couldn't touch, test or even see the actual color of the original objects, he is left only with surmises and opinions based on same.

Mr. Kirk's most glaring oversight, however, is the obvious fact that the same photographs contain peoplewho could lay their hands on the material in question; yet he appears not the least bit interested in their living testimony! A simple analogy to that approach would be to remove all the square roots from a particular mathematical equation. It might be considerably easier to get an "answer" that way, but it hardly seems likely to be the right one. Mr. Thomas does, however, make a good point when he points out our improper use of the words "rigid" and "stiff." What we meant to say was that the material had greater "rigidity" and was "stiffer" than tinfoil or foiled paper. It was indeed quite flexible, but it also had a tensile strength unheard of in something so thin.

We also find it odd that while Mr. Thomas asserts early on that the Air Force cover story statements are correct, he then proceeds to conclude that the pictured object is another device altogether, demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge of radar reflectors in the process.

Finally, if Mr. Thomas wants to believe that the Roswell wreckage was a giant Wrigley's Spearmint Gum wrapper, what the heck. It is, after all, a free country.

- William Moore/Jaime Shandera Photographs taken at the Ft. Worth, Texas, Army Air Base on July 8, 1947 are of the actual Roswell Incident debris, says Brigadier General Thomas Jefferson DuBose (USAF Retired), the only living man who would know. At the time of the Roswell Incident, Gen. DuBose (then a full colonel) was Chief of Staff to General Roger M. Ramey, commander of the U.S. 8th Army Air Corps, headquartered at Ft. Worth. Now retired and living in Florida, Gen. DuBose was recently interviewed, first by telephone and later at his home, by acting Fair Witness Project Board member Jaime H. Shandera. Here is the combined text of those interviews. Shandera's questions and commentary are in bold and italic typeface, respectively; the General's answers are in plain, or roman.

[Webmaster's note: I changed this for readability purpose: Shandera's questions are in regular bold, Dubose's answers are in italics.]

This article will also appear in Focus, the quarterly newsletter of the Fair Witness Project, Inc., published by William Moore & Associates ($20/yr.). For additional information, write 4219 W. Olive Ave., #247, Burbank, CA, or call (818) 980-8758.

General, a witness recently surfaced who was the first reporter to arrive at General Ramey's office on July 8,1947 to take pictures of the crash debris sent over from Roswell. J. Bond Johnson, a reporter for the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, stated that when he asked General Ramey what this debris was, Ramey said he didn't know. You were present in that room at that time. Also, the Associated Press (AP) had carried a story indicating that General Ramey didn't know what the debris was when talking to General (Hoyt) Vandenberg in Washington...

Well, that's true. None of us knew what it was.

There are two researchers (Don Schmitt and Kevin Randle) who are presently saying that the debris in General Ramey's office had been switched and that you men had a weather balloon there.

Oh, bull! That material was never switched!

So what you're saying is that the material in General Ramey's office was the actual debris brought in from Roswell?

That's absolutely right.

So not you or anyone else ever switched that material for the cover story?

We never switched anything. We were under orders from Washington to look at that material. We wouldn't have switched anything. We were West Pointers — we would never have done that.

But General Ramey did put out a cover story that it was a weather device?

Yes. We were ordered to get the press off our backs — things were getting out of hand. I don't recall just who suggested the weather device story.

Could General Ramey or someone else have ordered a switch without you knowing it?

I have damn good eyesight — well, it was better back then than it is now — and I was there, and I had charge of that material, and it was never switched.

What happened to the material (which was photographed) in General Ramey's office?

General McMullen ordered me to send that stuff off and then wipe it out of my mind and never talk about it again — ever.

Well, General (Clements) McMullen in Washington, he was under Vandenberg, but the actual head of the SAC as designated by General Kinney, he ordered me by telephone to take that debris in Roger's (Roger Ramey's) office and put it in a container, lock it, and send it to him in Washington by courier.

Let me get this straight — General McMullen ordered you personally to take the debris in General Ramey's office and lock it in a container and send it to him by courier?

That's exactly right, and he said "choose a courier you trust." So I selected (Colonel) Al Clark who was the Base Commander at Carswell (Ft. Worth). I put the debris in a heavy mail pouch, sealed it and locked it. I then sealed it to the wrist of Al Clark and escorted him to a B-25 out on the runway and sent him to General McMullen in Washington.

Have you ever talked about this aspect of the Roswell story before?

No, not until you asked me.

(Note: When Stanton Friedman and some members of the Fund for UFO Research conducted a videotaped interview with Gen. DuBose in the summer of 1990, they unfortunately failed to ask these very important questions; presumably because Friedman, along with Schmitt and Randle of CUFOS, had already made public their mistaken conclusion that the material in the photos had to have been debris from a weather balloon which had been substituted for the actual Roswell wreckage for the benefit of the press.)

(Continuing) You see, General Retired General Thomas Jefferson DuBose McMullen — now you couldn't have known this man like I did — why he would bypass any channel or procedure if something was important to him — he'd do whatever it took to get the job done, and clearly he was right under Vandenberg there in Washington, so this was important to Vandenberg — General McMullen ordered me to send that stuff off and then wipe it out of my mind and never talk about it again — ever.

Now that all sounds like awfully strange treatment for any kind of weather device.

We didn't know what it was. It just looked like junk.

Now you say there was no switch of material — but could the material that came in from Roswell have been any type of weather balloon?

Absolutely not. There was no weather balloon there. The balloons had certain markings so we would have been able to identify it.

Could it have been any type of radar reflector device?

No. This stuff was dark gray. We didn't know what it was.

Were you familiar with weather balloons and radar reflectors?

Why certainly. Both Roger (Ramey) and I were very familiar with them.

Do you remember Major Jesse Marcel?

Oh yes, very well. And I'll say this — whatever Marcel said about this material is what you can go by. He was a very honest, straightforward type of individual. And besides, he was the one who had been at the crash site. I was never at the crash site, so I couldn't assess all that was going on. But you can go by whatever Marcel said because he had the most information.

When I began to ask questions about the photographs from General Ramey's office (the ones taken by J. Bond Johnson and others on July 8, 1947) of the Roswell debris, it became clear that DuBose didn 't know which pictures I was talking about. It also became clear that he probably had not seen the pictures since 1947. (Why Friedman et al. did not show them to the General during their interview with him is difficult to imagine. One can only presume that they saw no need to, since they had already reached their own conclusions about the matter. At the very least, this failure constitutes shoddy journalism and must be considered a gross error of omission on their part.) In any case, having gotten a clear story from the General before showing him anything Bill Moore and I had written, it was time to send him the ' "Three Hours That Shook the Press'' article from both FOCUS with its accompanying ' 'Roswell Revisited'' article (FOCUS, June 30, 1990), and from the MUFON Journal with accompanying photographs from Ft. Worth (MUFON Journal #269, September 1990). After more than a week, I contacted General DuBose again:

General, did you receive the articles I sent you?

Yes, I did. Thank you.

Did you get a chance to read the material and look at the pictures?

Yes, and I studied the pictures very carefully.

Do you recognize that material?

Oh yes. That's the material that Marcel brought inito Ft. Worth from Roswell.

Is that the same material you sent to General McMullen?

Yes, that's it.

Now, I know I told you before, but there are a couple of researchers saying that that's a picture of a weather balloon.

Well, they're full of it! That's no damn weather balloon! There wasn't one there.

Did you read the "Three Hours That Shook the Press" article that Bill Moore and I wrote?

"I took this pouch to Ramey's office. In it, was a bunch of trash. We unbuckled it and laid it out on the floor. It was cold potatoes as far as I was concerned."

Oh, yes.

Can you comment on it for me?

Well, I thought it was very well written. I think you did an excellent job.

Thank you. But can you point out any areas where we might be off base or might be mistaken?

No, I think you've done a good job and I can't think of anything else where I might be able to add anything.

General, I'm going to be in Florida in another week. Can I stop by and see you?

Why yes, I'd be happy to meet with you.

The remaining portion of this interview was conducted at the home of General DuBose. In person. I found the general to be affable, intelligent, vitally concerned about many issues, including the deplorable state of our educational system, and, in his own words, in "hellacious good health." He stands erect and leads an active life, all very admirable for a man swiftly approaching the age of 89.

General DuBose graduated from West Point with the class of 1929. He's had a colorful career and interacted with many of the notable Air Force and Army legends. General Hoyt Vandenberg was his flight instructor.

Assigned to General "Hap" Arnold in Washington early in World War II, he was in charge of training for the Air Corps. Following charges of "favoritism" by news commentator Drew Pearson, General Arnold ordered then Colonel DuBose to give actor Jimmy Stewart a combat assignment. DuBose, a longtime friend of Ste\vart's, has always held him in very high regard. He felt Pearson was "all wet," that Stewart was doing more than any dozen other men for morale and recruitment — but no matter. Stewart went on to distinguish himself in Europe. DuBose was also a longtime friend of General Roger Ramey, and happily took the assignment as his Chief of Staff at Ft. Worth in 1947.

Now as to this Roswell business — let's begin when Jesse Marcel came over from Roswell with this material.

Yes. Well, as best I can recall, I met the airplane that came in from Roswell and I took a canvas mail pouch with this debris in it over to General Ramey's office.

What type of plane was it?

A B-29.

Did you see additional debris on the plane?

No, I was just handed this canvas mail pouch with the stuff in it, and (I) headed straight to Roger's office.

Wasn't it unusual to take material like this to the chiefs office?

Well, not unusual because this (the order to do so) had come from Washington — somebody had said there was something unusual that had gone on out at Roswell in General Ramey's territory. General McMullen had bypassed us and told (Colonel) Blanchard in Roswell to put this stuff on a plane and get it over to Ft. Worth for Ramey to get a look at it. They were told to put some of this stuff in a mail pouch — you know those canvas mail pouches and you could seal them — and they were told to seal it and bring it in to us. The airplane came and I met the plane and the pilot said "this is the material picked up outside Roswell and Colonel Blanchard said I was to deliver it to General Ramey," and I said "OK," and I took it to Ramey's office so we could take a look at it.

Now was Marcel with you at that point?

No, he wasn't. Nobody was. I had met the airplane.

So Marcel didn't come with that bundle?

Not at that time. If he was there, I was unaware of it — perhaps he wasn't on that plane.

(Note: The suggestion that there was more than one plane from Roswell is consistent with statements made by other witnesses.)

I took this pouch to Ramey's office. In it was a bunch of trash. We unbuckled it and laid it out on the floor. It was cold potatoes as far as I was concerned. Like what's in the pictures? Yeah, that's it. That's it. Sure, the picture doesn't lie. And this is what we're talking about.

(Indicating the brown wrapping paper laid out on the floor beneath the wreckage in the photo) It was wrapped in this brown paper inside the pouch?

I wouldn't swear that it was put there — but I think it was put there to keep the stuff from getting on the rug. We looked at it and I said, "This is just a bunch of junk." So did Roger.

Did you feel this stuff — I mean, did you test it, did you try to tear it, or anything?

No, I just looked at it. We sat there and talked about it.

But this wasn't anything you'd recognize — like a weather balloon, or radar reflector, or whatever?

No. Hell no. It was debris. And you can see how much of it there was and that it would all fit in a mail pouch. Now this brown paper, I won't make a sworn statement, it may have come with it. It may have been in the pouch.

Now Marcel came along later?

Yeah, he came in. He may have been in the same room...

But what I'm asking is, he wasn't on the same plane?

If he was, I don't remember. I couldn't say that he was or was not. I would be dishonest with you if I said so.

But the only thing you remember clearly is this mail pouch?


There wasn't more in the cargo hold or anything?

If there was, I didn't know anything about it.

Wouldn't Colonel Blanchard have contacted General Ramey before he contacted Washington?

Apparently, someone in Washington contacted General McMullen. Now you don't know McMullen like I do. He would cut through anything to get a job done. Proper channels and procedures didn't mean anything to him — nothing got in his way. Now if my recollection is right, McMullen told Blanchard to pick this stuff up, secure it, and deliver it to Ramey to look at and see what it was, and then to give him a call. Then he called me and said it was coming in. "You meet the airplane, see what it is, and call me," he said.

And you must bear this in mind. In the final analysis, when all of this was said and done — (there was) a lot in the newspapers about it, Washington and the chief had gotten ahold of it and a few other things — McMullen told me in no uncertain terms, he said, "You take this and see that it is shipped to me, and don't you ever mention this to a soul, living or dead, to your wife, to your son, forever. Do you understand? And that's an order." And that, to me, is an order, and I forgot it. He said, "You forget it. Just wipe it off." Told Ramey the same thing.

Now that's when he ordered you to put it in the pouch, seal it...

Yeah. I put it in the canvas pouch, put on lock and key and sent it with the commander of Carswell under lock and key to McMullen.

That was Colonel Al Clark, right?

Al Clark took it. He took it in a B-25 to McMullen. What he did with it, but I can't swear to it, as I later found out, was he sent it to Wright Field to examine it and see what it was all about. But when McMullen told me directly on the telephone, "You forget about this: I don't want to hear about this from you," and then he said "Get Ramey on the phone," and he said "You listen," and he told Ramey the same thing — we had an intercom — "This material, whatever it is, is none of your business. You forget about it. Don't ever mention it: don't talk about it to anybody from the newspaper or elsewhere. Just forget it."

Now this was after the press people were already there, right?

This was after it had gone: after Clark had it on its way to McMullen.

Balloon Order

At some point, I think in an interview early on, I believe you told Bill Moore that it was McMullen that ordered you guys to tell the press it was a weather balloon to get them off your back?

Oh, Yeah. I can't give you exactly who it was, but we had to have a cover-up. This was getting out of hand and we had to stop these headlines. It was used to quiet the press. When this... well, this was a cover-up. When McMullen... well, I don't know whose idea it was to call it a weather device, but that was a cover-up, to quiet the press.

Since this stuff just looked like junk, everyone bought it?


Even Marcel said when he had his picture taken with what is clearly the same material, that it was the actual Roswell debris, but that Ramey had told him he couldn't talk to the press or anybody — "just have your picture taken and I'll do the talking" — then Ramey told the reporters that this was a weather device?

I just know the weather balloon idea was used as a cover-up for this thing. When I was told to keep my mouth shut and forget it, I did. And that was the end of it until you asked me about this stuff." Yeah. You see, there was nothing you could do.

Marcel said all the press saw was this debris, but they didn't see the more impressive stuff — the stuff that had the markings on it and the bigger pieces he said were still on the plane under guard. He said he was ordered off the plane (i.e. flight) and sent back to Roswell and he couldn't talk about it.

Yeah, that's right.

Now again, these other researchers (Schmitt, Randle and Friedman) are saying that you guys switched this stuff and that this stuff was some kind of a weather balloon, and that you did that to fool the press and the press never saw any of the real stuff.


But what you're saying is that the stuff was never switched — that this is the stuff that came in from Roswell?

That's right. I know that because, goddam it, I'm still alive. The story about the weather balloon was to allay the press — there was a tremendous amount of press about this — and as I told you, there's got to be something to all this. I don't know... Well, it's too important...

Too many people...

Too many people, and even this situation became too important to Washington and everybody — so there had to be a whole lot more stuff than just this.

Oh, yes.

The stories out of Roswell said the debris covered close to a square mile. Now these other researchers are claiming that reporters were barred from the base — that only one reporter was allowed on the base. Where? At Roswell?

No, at Ft. Worth.

Were there any orders to that effect?

No. That's bullshit! I don't recall any such thing. I would have known. I know there were a lot of reporters. We knew all the folks there.

Do you remember Bond Johnson, a young reporter for the Star Telegram?

You can't ask me to remember everyone's name.

I understand. We're talking over 40 years ago and about someone you might have seen only a few times.

Col. Kalberer was the intelligence officer and Ramey used him to herd the press around or get rid of them, or what have you. He wasn't the press officer, but Ramey leaned on him.

(Note: This is consistent with what Kalberer told Moore in an interview just before he died, and it is backed up by a brief statement found in the historical records of the 8th Army Air Force.) Do you recall the weather man, Warrant Officer Irving Newton? He claims he was ordered by Ramey to leave his post and get over to talk to the press to tell them how a weather balloon worked?

Could be. I don't know.

Now that weatherman, Newton, he told me in a recent interview that "Johnson actually took a primary and a back-up exposure of each set-up, thus bringing the total number of known pictures of the Roswell wreckage in Ramey's office to seven."

There was a weather balloon laid out all over that room, Ramey's office. This room here?

(Pointing to the picture of Ramey and himself with the debris in Ramey's office.)


At this point, the general looked at me almost scoldingly, and then we both laughed.

What I said to him was, "I don't understand, Mr. Newton, if there was a weather balloon in that room, why isn't it in the pictures. You are shown with the same debris as everyone else."

No goddam weather balloon was ever in that room!

And I asked the photographer who shot this picture of you and Ramey, and the one of Ramey himself, "Was there anything else in that room that you didn't shoot?" He said no.

Hell no.

He said he was there to shoot what was in the room, that he wouldn't have shot only a part of what was there. "I would only have shot everything that was there," he said.

I just know the weather balloon idea was used as a cover-up for this thing. When I was told to keep my mouth shut and forget it, I did. And that was the end of it until you asked me about this stuff.

Had you seen these pictures since?

Oh, yeah. I'd seen them. But not since what, 1947 or so? No, I haven't — but there can't be any doubt about who it was.

Have you ever told that story before about what McMullen said to you?

No. No, because when someone told me to do something, I'm a good soldier and I do what they tell me. Outside of you asking me about it, no, I haven't told anyone. Now when I tell you that, there may have been over 40 years someone who would call and I would brush them off, or say I don't remember.

"New" Pictures

General DuBose's statements now sync-up perfectly with the testimony given earlier by J. Bond Johnson, the Ft. Worth Star Telegram photographer whose statements to Bill Moore and me opened up the spectre of a revised view of what occurred in Ft. Worth. Ttiey are also in agreement with statements attributed to General Ramey by the Associated Press, and with testimony gained by Moore in several interviews with Major Jesse Marcel before his death in 1986 — the accuracy of which was attested to by Marcel in a signed statement to the publisher of Moore & Charles Berlitz's book, The Roswell Incident.

The statements by each of these people interconnect, overlap and add new information, giving us the most definitive view of what transpired at Ft. Worth on July 8, 1947. Indeed, the only out-of-sync information in the entire picture is to be found in recent statements made by ex-Warrant Officer Irving Newton (the weather man at Ft. Worth); and when Newton's current version of the story is compared to what he told Moore during interviews in 1979, it can be readily seen that his story has undergone considerable change since that time. Why this is, we do not know. All that can be said is that the details in his earlier account compare much more favorably with the DuBose/Johnson/Marcel testimony than do those of the story he is presently telling. Newton's revised version of events came to light after he was recently reinterviewed by Schmitt and Randle. Apparently they did not trouble to ask him why, if Moore's earlier reporting of Newton's testimony in The Roswell Incident was incorrect, he did not contact Moore and ask that a corrected version be published.

In our article titled "Three Hours that Shook the Press," Bill Moore and I reconstructed the time frame and presented clear evidence of what General DuBose adamantly supports. In further working with J. Bond Johnson and careful examination of the photographs, another development occurred. When I sent Johnson a copy of the MUFON Journal which contained the reprinted photos from Ft. Worth, he called back to say that the Ramey picture wasn 't his — or so he thought. He didn't think so because it was different from what ran in the Star Telegram on July 9, 1947. Continued examination and recollection of the mechanics of the camera Johnson had used revealed to us that he had in actuality shot four pictures rather than two as originally thought.

His earlier assertion of two photos was based upon his clear recall of having had only two frames with him at the time, and that there were only two setups: one with Ramey alone and a second with both Ramey and DuBose. But now, with a second picture of Ramey being evident and the existence of two pictures of Ramey and DuBose — each in the same basic set-up — it was remembered that each frame for that particular camera held two shots, the second one of which was exposed by pulling the frame out, turning it over, and putting it back in the camera. So Johnson actually took a primary and a back-up exposure of each set-up, thus bringing the total number of known pictures of the Roswell wreckage in Ramey's office to seven. Schmitt and Randle had earlier reported that there were only five such pictures, while our "Three Hours" piece had reported six. Further supporting Johnson as the photographer of four pictures is that both the University of Texas photo archives (they have the Star Telegram collection) and the Bettmann Archives give photo credits to Johnson. The photo in the Bettmann collection is the second (or back-up) photo of Ramey and DuBose. The credit line indicates it was an International News Photo (INP) Soundphoto. INP was a subsidiary of International News Service (INS). The only way they could have gotten the photo was from Johnson himself, meaning that someone from INS came to the Star Telegram on July 8, 1947 and secured permission to use the photo. We know the relative time frame because the credit line indicates that the picture was transmitted at 7:59 CST, July 8, 1947.

Since it would have been transmitted out of Dallas, nearly an hour away by car at that time, that supports the afternoon time for Johnson's return to the newspaper as reported in our "Three Hours" piece. This is a classic example of how continued diligent work with an open witness can continue to produce results.


Jaime Shandera was a Los Angeles television producer, who became involved in the investigations on the Roswell incident. Along with Bill Moore and Stanton Friedman, he promoted the infamous "Majestic 12" documents he had started to receive in December 1984, documents that pretended to show a US Government conspiracy through a high-level policy making group overseeing UFOs and extraterrestrials. These document were later found to be fraudulent.

My notes:

This article is one of the most stunning ones about the Roswell incident, because of the perplexing contradictions shown.

The debris shown on the photos, claimed here to be the "real Roswell debris", are very obviously the debris of a weather balloon radar target. (The discussed photos can be seen here.) (See this reply to Shandera by Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt.)

We have the testimony by Gen. DuBose that says the debris of on these photos are the "real" Roswell debris, we have his statement that it is not "a weather balloon", and we have pictires that show the debris of a radar target. This seems to mean that DuBose would have recongized a weather balloon, but no debris of a radar target; which is not entirely impossible.

However, we also have his statement about the debris being a matter of high concern. They have to be sealed in a bag and transferred to Gen. McMullen, and Dubose was, according to his statement, ordered to never speak about it anymore. This just does not seem to make any sense: these debris were shown to the Press, photographed, explained as radar target debris, nobody questioned this explanation, the newspapers told the explanation to the general public, and yet, these same debris seemed to keep a high importance. DuBose ordered to never speak about it anymore makes no sense, the order to send them to Gen. McMullen makes no sense. Why would he need to get this "junk", these debris? If they were not weather device debris, it would make sense, but the photos show they are weather device debris, DuBose and Marcel said they were the real Roswell debris, that no switch had occurred. The whole plot just makes no sense to me, and leaves me with the feeling that something was misunderstood entirely by the military here. But how, and what?

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