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Roswell 1947 - Documents on the witnesses

E. L. Pyles

(E. L. PYLES).

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


I could not locate valid information about E.L. Pyles outside the ufology literature: there are simply to many "E. L. Pyles" who could be the correct one.

However, since "skeptical" researcher Karl Pflock interviewed him, there is little doubt that the E. L. Pyles interviewed by Don Schmitt indeed exists and was indeed a Corporal in the 101st Airways and Air Communications Service Squadron.


There is no affidavit by E. L. Pyles.

Investigators notes and comments:

Hal K. Korff:

The author says that Randle and Schmitt stated in "The Truth About the UFO Crash at Roswell" that Corp. E. L. Pyles was another witness who observed the spaceship who flew above the town of Roswell before it crashed.

Korff says the problem is that Randle and Schmitt make "wishful speculation", as when Pyles told his story he was unaware of both the date and time of his sighting of "the star-like object."

Korff says that the testimony being 40 years late, it was so vague that Pyles was not even certain of his location at the time of the observation, so that linking this to the Roswell incident is "pure speculation at best". The sighting is so vague and with so few details that it is impossible to determine what he observed, if he observed something.


Karl Pflock:

The author first gives the "pro-Roswell" version: Corporal E. L. Pyles of the army air forces was assigned to a radio range facility some miles southwest of Roswell AAF in 1947. According to Randle and Schmitt, on a night "early in July 1947", Pyles was at the radio range facility when he saw "an object flash across the night sky to his north, going down towards the ground." Randle and Schmitt further tell that Pyles believed it occurred on a weekend because "he was awake after the main lights had been turned out at eleven", and it was "before midnight, when he normally went to bed."

Pflock further says that in a telephone interview with him on July 24, 1994, E. L. Pyles told him he was an army air force corporal in July 1947, assigned to the 101st Airways and Air Communications Service Squadron, stationed at the army radio range facility about twelve miles southwest of Roswell Army Air Field. He visited the main base frequently on duty and to visit the post exchange, the noncommissioned officer's club and other facilities.

Pyles said to Pflock about his sighting that "What I saw one night was just a streak across the sky. I couldn't tell you what direction it was going now". He did not recall where in the sky he saw it, saying that if he were at the base he could probably pick up a direction and tell it. Pyles said "But it's just been too long ago and it would be just almost impossible to say anything about that". He added "I thought it was just a meteorite... It was in a downward motion, had a long streak back on it, kind of a tail... It looked like it went past the horizon, and then it just disappeared out of sight."

Pyles added that what he saw was larger and more spectacular than an ordinary meteor, and "that's what brought my attention to it."

Pflock asked Pyles when it occurred, and Pyles replied in was in 1947, and that he does not remember the month or the day he saw it. "It seems to me it was in the summertime". Pflock then asked if he was on the main base during the sighting and Pyles said he was, walking on a drill field at RAAF with a friend of his, also a member of the 101st whose name he did not remember. He said "We both saw it".

Pflock tried to get the hour, and Pyles said "Well, it had to have been between, say, 8 o'clock probably... (and) eleven... He "couldn't pinpoint the time but it was before midnight. I think we had been to the club, NCO club." A "few days later", he saw the "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer" story in the Roswell Daily Record and wondered if what he and his freind saw might have anything to do with it.

Pflock comments that Randle and Schmitt placed Pyles at the radio range, not RAAF. He asks to compare versions, noting that Randle and Schmitt used the word "object" and the direction "to his north". He adds that these are contradictions, that nothing in the report indicates a vehicle or any sort, and that the report contains so little pertinent information that it is useless to attempt to establish that a mysterious craft crashed somewhere north of Roswell on July 4, 1947 or any other night early in July 1947.


Tim Printy:

Tim Printy says that the last report (of the reports of an object in the sky of Roswell or the Roswell area) came from a Corporal Pyles who saw "a meteor like display from south of Roswell." He reports seeing what appeared to be "a shooting star, but larger", which "arced downward" (Randle and Schmitt, Truth 4). He said there was an "orange glow" around the object with a "halo near the front" (Randle and Schmitt, Truth 4).

Printy says that since Pyles felt it was near the weekend, the date of July 4 was added to the description.

He comments that this is again a report made 40 years after the event, which sounds very much like a meteor, as inexperienced observers often confuse brightness with size. The brightest objects in the sky, the moon and the sun, are larger than the stars and thus many people will often state the meteor "was as big as the moon." However, when questioned about what they mean by this, Printy explains, they often state they meant the object was as bright as the moon.

He adds that during his investigation, Karl Pflock stated Pyles could not remember the date and only recalled it happening during the summer of 1947.


Kevin Randle and Donald Schmitt:

In addition, a flaming craft was seen by Catholic nuns, William Woody, Corporal E.L. Pyles, and a group of archaeologists in the Roswell area (who are also named in the book), effectively eliminating the balloon hypothesis. The documented evidence, including a diary page, shows that the crash took place late on the evening of July 4, as corroborated by the eyewitnesses.

Kevin Randle:

14. Sgt. Pyles testimony establishes new site or time for crash.

Again, a complete misrepresentation of my position. Given the data received from Pyles, it tends to corroborate the information supplied by others. Pyles remembered it as early July 1947, and said that he didn't believe the balloon explanation when he read it in the newspaper. Friedman has misrepresented my position to create a fictional false claim.


Kevin Randle says Corporal E.L. Pyles was stationed at the Roswell Army Air Field in July 1947, assigned to the 101st Airways and Communications Service Squadron. Don Schmitt was the first to interview him and wrote in the notes he supplied to Randle that Pyles was off duty that night. With a friend whose name he had forgotten, he was walking across the drill field when he saw what he first thought was a shooting star, but somehow larger. According to the notes by Schmitt, it traveled across the sky, had an orange halo, and arched downward.

Randle says Karl Pflock interviewed Pyles some years later and the story as reported by Pflock, is not all that dissimilar to what Randle first wrote. Schmitt and him assigned a date, given what we believed were the true statements of Frank Kaufmann, but Pflock made a big deal out of one of Pyles comments about the date. Pyles, according to Pflock, said, "I don't even remember the month or the date I saw it... It seems to me like it was summertime."

Then Pyles mentioned to Pflock that a few days later he saw the newspaper article about the "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer", which was on July 8, 1947). It pinpoints the date as early July 1947 and though Pyles told Pflock that it was sometime after eight that night, and, given the confusing nature of Pflock’s statement, it could have been as late as eleven, though before midnight, so what Pyles had told Schmitt and what Randle reported were essentially the same thing that he told Pflock.


Kevin Randle discussed what Karl Pflock wrote in his book "Roswell: Inconvenient Facts and a Will to Believe" when he told his version of the story of Corporal E.L. Pyles:

He says that in his own book width Don Schmitt, "The Truth about the UFO Crash at Roswell", he wrote that fifteen miles southwest of the base, Corporal E. L. Pyles, on a detached facility, looked up and saw what he thought at first was a shooting star, but larger. It moved across the sky and then arced downward, and there seemed to be an orange glow around it, a halo near the front.

Randle says Pyles believed the event took place between 11:00 p.m. and midnight because the lights at the facility were turned out after 10:30, and he would normally retire before midnight. He thought it was near the weekend, but couldn’t be sure of the exact day.

He summarized later in the same book that Corporal E. L. Pyles, southwest of Roswell, saw a falling star. He thought it was a falling star because it was "wrapped in orange", and like the other witnesses, he believed it happened just before midnight. It clearly was something large enough and bright enough to be seen thirty or forty miles away.

He stresses that himself and Don Schmitt did not actually assign a date to the story, and did make it clear that we believed it happened in early July 1947 and given what they had been told by others, believed that the day was just before midnight on July 4.

He says Pflock wrote in his anti-alien Roswell book also reported that he had interviewed Pyles: "I asked Pyles when this took place. He replied, ‘It was in forty-seven. I don’t remember the month or the date I saw it [emphasis in original]’ It seems it was summertime.’ I then asked him if he was on the main base, Roswell AAF, when he saw the ‘streak’. He said, ‘Yes, I was... I was walking across the drill field... there on the base... [with a] friend of mine... We both saw it."

Randle says he freely admits this looks damaging for his research, as he and Don Schmitt had taken the story of a streak of light told by Pyles and put a date on it. It would seem that they were taking a story of a light in the night sky that could have been seen at almost any time in 1947 and placed it in a very narrow range without benefit of witness testimony and, in fact, in contradiction of what the witness told to Pflock.

But, he says, Pflock then wrote that he next "pursued the time of night the sighting occurred. Pyles said, ‘Well, it had to have been between, say, eight o’clock, probably... [and] eleven... [I couldn’t] pinpoint the time, but it was before midnight. I think we had been to the club, NCO club.’ A ‘few days later’ he saw the ‘RAAF Captures Flying Saucer’ story in the Roswell Daily Record, and he wondered if he and his friend had seen anything to do with it (reproduced here exactly as it appears in Pflock’s book, ellipses and all)."

Randle says that after all the fussing around, and suggesting that Pyles couldn’t even give a month for the sighting and suggesting he barely remembered the year, he then provides a signpost in the available documentation. He said it was in the days prior to the newspaper article, or in other words, it could have been July 4 as Randle and Schmitt suggested, and it certainly was in that time frame according to what Pyles told Pflock. Randle and Schmitt had pinpointed the time as prior to midnight, just as did Pyles in his conversation with Pflock.

So while Randle was charged of misrepresenting the Pyles testimony, what Pflock learned actually confirmed what Randle had reported, so that Pflock was wrong to make a big deal out of Pyles not knowing when he saw the streak of light, whereas one paragraph later, Pflock himself was limiting it to the first week in July.

Randle concludes:

"In the end, what we see here is that Pyles confirmed the time frame for Pflock, but Pflock, for some reason didn’t seem to understand that Pyles put it in the first week in July. And the skeptics didn’t bother to question this. They just accepted the idea that we were wrong and Pflock was right, when it turned out that Pflock had, basically, confirmed what we had said."


My comments:

Obviously what E. L. Pyles said he saw looks entirely like a meteor. This does not prove it was not an alien spacecraft, but absolutely nothing proves it was.

The odd discrepancy between the Schmitt and Pflock versions is not so much about the date. The date is imprecise but there should be an agreement that it was some days before the "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer" newspaper article for July 8, 1947.

Printy is misleading in that he claims Pyles only remembered it was in the Summer of 1947: Karl Pflock specifies that Pyles remembered it was days before the Roswell Daily Record article for July 8, 1947.

Kal K. Korff is very misleading when he claimed Pyles did non even remember his location. A reader my think Pyles could have been in Alabama just as well, so that the "Roswell" connection is "speculation", whereas the apparent lack of precise location was only that it is not clear whether he was at the Roswell Air Base ot ar the radio station a few miles to the south. Whatever the two location he was, it is near enough geographically to be mentioned as possibly related to Roswell, and not discarded on location grounds.

However, the location discrepancy is intriguing to me.

Document history:

Version: Created/Changed by: Date: Change Description:
1.0 Patrick Gross April 25, 2017 First published.

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This page was last updated on April 25, 2017.