Thanks in no small part to the tenacious pioneering work of Stanton Friedman in the 1970s and 80s the now famous July 1947 Roswell incident is known throughout the world as the definitive crashed UFO recovery, spirited away in secret by the US military and successfully covered up for 60 years.
Plenty of books about the Roswell crash have been published and one might think that after 60 years there would be little more to add. But it turns out there is a lot more, and real meaty stuff too. Tom Carey and Don Schmitt researeched the Roswell incident separately and together for years prior to the final publication of "Witness to Roswell" and both have written previous books and articles on the case. For this book they obviously did new primary research tracking down eyewitnesses and participants and recording testimony: some 600 people in total. The result is probably the definitive evidential summing-up of the Roswell incident and, due to the passage of time and the fact that witnesses grow old and don't live forever, is unlikely to be bettered. The verdict: what came down in the desert on Brazel's ranch in early July 1947 was of non-terrestrial origin, the wreckage was recovered by the US military, the craft and ET bodies were shipped by air to Wright-Patterson USAAF base on a B-29 (all documented), and the subsequent cover-up perpetrated by the government in Washington DC and its agencies was of unprecedented ruthlessness in threatening witnesses' lives and the lives of their families should any of them ever talk about the incident.
Carey and Schmitt must be commended for their thoroughness in tracking down all these witnesses and piecing together the complex story. The result is compelling reading, and in a perfect world where evidence is examined impartially, all but the most hard-line believer would be convinced. There is an abundance of detail about every aspect of the case including descriptions of the non-human bodies recovered from the crash and exactly how they were moved and stored.
Not one witness gives any credence to the absurd cover-stories manufactured by the US Air Force about weather balloons, mogul balloons or crash test dummies in vain attempts to "explain" what really crashed and to justify why thousands of special troops, National Guardsmen, Federal Agents and high-level Government officials from Washington DC poured into the Roswell area in July 1947 following the crash and remained until the desert floor was vacuumed clean, all evidence removed and all possible witnesses comprehensively intimidated into silence.
No mention from the authors of Philip Corso or the preposterous claims of his ego-driven fantasy "The Day After Roswell"- they stick to the serious and credible stuff, like corroborative multiple-witness testimony and verifiable facts.
Minor criticisms of "Witness to Roswell" might be that the book was passed for publication with a few too many typos, and the page-design with pictures inserted into the text, a cartoon graphic of a flying saucer at the start of every new paragraph and a little gray-alien head next to the page numbers might do a disservice to the essentially serious subject matter and be too frivolous a style for some readers. But hey, Roswell town went that way years ago, with its carnival-atmosphere festival every July complete with cartoon-style alien costumes and inflatable rubber aliens decorating main street. So yes, there is a lighter side to it all but when dealing with something as serious as the US Government perpetrating a cover-up and threatening a number of its most civic-minded citizens and their families with death if they ever dare speak out on what they witnessed, is such a trivial style appropriate?
Overall I would rate the book four stars and, if the reader can look past the typos and the tabloid-style page layout, recommend it as probably the definitive work on this most celebrated UFO incident. If you want to know just about everything there is to know about the Roswell crash, this is the book to read.
on 21 June 2007
Although the below may appear as my review, it is in fact the review written by David Rudiak for UFO Updates open internet list.
Review Of Carey & Schmitt's Witness To Roswell
Tom Carey and Donald Schmitt's new book, Witness To Roswell
just came out, which I just received from Amazon.com.
As the name attests, the book focuses on witness testimony, and
Carey and Schmitt have a slew of new witnesses to report,
including a few first-hand accounts of seeing the alien bodies.
There are also a ton of second-hand alien body stories, plus a
few to seeing the spacecraft either out at the crash site or in
the Hangar 84/P-3 at the base.
The hangar is the focus of many of the accounts, seemingly being
the centralized collection point for the debris, craft, and
bodies for further processing and transport out of the base.
The number of reports on alien bodies was surprising to me,
including several of a live alien. I had no idea there was so
much testimony along these lines.
The prize witness is Walter Haut, as most of us know, the
Roswell base public information officer, who put out Colonel
Blanchard's recovered flying disc press release on July 8, 1947.
Haut in 2002 filled out a notarized affidavit, to be sealed
until after his death. Here the affidavit is revealed in full.
Haut, as he first did in an oral history with Wendy Connors and
Dennis Balthaser in 2000, reveals seeing the crash object and
several small bodies with big heads at Hangar 84, being taken
there by Col. Blanchard. This was on Tuesday, July 8 in the
afternoon, after the press release had hit the wires.
Haut also reveals first hearing about the Brazel debris field
and another crash location 40 miles to the north, where the main
craft and bodies were, on Monday afternoon, July 7, after
returning to the base from home after the 4th of July weekend.
The northern site had just been found by civilians and rumors of
the two sites were beginning to break out in town and on the
The following morning at 7:30, Haut attended the senior staff
morning meeting where everybody was briefed as to what was
happening. Marcel and Cavitt described their findings at the
Brazel debris field and Blanchard filled in everybody on the
second crash site.
Haut also states Gen. Ramey and Col. Dubose were there, meaning
they had flown in from Fort Worth.
Debris was passed around for everybody to handle and nobody
could identify it. Much of the meeting was devoted to discussing
how to handle the situation and what the public should be told.
Here Haut discusses some of the rationale behind the issuing of
the puzzling press release. According to Haut, it was Gen.
Ramey's idea to divert public attention away from the closer and
more important craft/body site. Haut felt Ramey was just
carrying out orders from the Pentagon.
Haut also states he went out to at least one of the sites and
brought back some debris of his own. He was aware of two teams
that went out for months afterwards to try to uncover any
physical evidence that might have been left behind. Although he
doesn't say it, Haut is here providing some corroboration for
various tales of debris confiscation afterwards, such as told by
Bill Brazel Jr.
Haut's affidavit plus other testimony below revives the crash
site 40 miles of north of Roswell where the main craft and
bodies were found.
Haut also presents a new timeline of the discovery of the site
on July 7, which means recovery began at this site at the same
time Marcel and Cavitt were out at the Brazel debris field
Another prize eyewitness is Sgt. Frederick Benthal. He was F.B.
in Crash At Corona, but here he is identified publicly for the
first time (or to me anyway). Benthal was the Army photographer
flown in from Washington, taken out to the body site, and who
photographed the alien bodies in a tent, with everybody else
Corroborating this was a first/second-hand account from an MP at
the site, PFC Ed Sain. He stated he was taken out to the site in
one of the ambulances and ordered to shoot anybody who tried to
enter a particular tent. His son said his father didn't like to
talk about it, but had told him he had guarded the bodies in the
tent until they were transported to the base.
Sain indicated that another MP, Cpl. Raymond Van Why, had gone
out with him to the site. Van Why's widow, Leola, said her
husband first talked about it in 1954 when he got out of the
service. He told her that he had been a guard at a crash site
and had seen the round spacecraft.
Sgt. Homer Rowlette was with the 603rd Air Engineering Squadron.
His son Larry and daughter Carlene Green said he told them about
it on his deathbed in March 1988. He was part of the cleanup
detail sent to the impact site north of Roswell. He handled the
infamous "memory foil" described by many others. He described
the ship as "somewhat circular" and said he had seen "three
little people" with large heads. At least one was alive (just
one of the 'live alien' stories).
PFC Rolland Menagh was another MP at the site, according to sons
Michael and Rolland Jr. He described the ship as egg-shaped and
seamless. Michael recalled him describing three dead bodies. His
father said they loaded the ship onto an 18-wheeler and covered
it with a tarp. He escorted it in a jeep as they drove it
through the center of town to the base and deposited it in a
This brings us back to Roswell base.
S. Sgt. Earl Fulford saw his close friend, S. Sgt. George Houck,
drive off at 5:00 a.m. July 8 in a low-boy truck, which he
presumed was to pick up some wreckage, one of his standard
Fulford was an aircraft mechanic who often worked at Hangar 84.
During the day civilian mechanics from town kept questioning him
about the rumored spaceship with little spacemen. At 4:00 p.m.
as he left duty, Fulford saw Houck returning towing a lowboy
trailer and carrying a tarped object about the size and shape of
a VW Beetle. Houck refused to tell him what was under the tarp,
saying he had been ordered not to say. When Fulford tried to get
him to talk in the present-day, Houck still refused to talk
There was even more to Fulford's story. The next day he said he
was "volunteered" to be part of a work detail of 15-20 men taken
out to what we call the Brazel debris field to finish cleaning
it up. They were given burlap bags and ordered to pick up
anything "not natural".
He described an area hundreds of yards in extent and, like other
witnesses, said it was ringed with MPs. He said it had obviously
been cleaned up before, because there wasn't much left, and he
could see tire tracks from big trucks that had been there
hauling things away. He said he found only 7 pieces, and
described picking up and handling, like so many other witnesses,
the "memory foil" that returned to its original shape.
When he got back to the base, he was awakened at 2:00 a.m. the
next morning and ordered out to Hangar P-3. He was also a
forklift operator and was ordered to load a wooden crate, 7 feet
square, into an idling C-54. It handled as if whatever was
inside weighed very little.
Back at Roswell base, everything centers on Hangar 84/P-3.
Another eyewitness MP, PFC Elias Benjamin, described being
ordered to pick up his gun and go out to Hangar P-3 for guard
duty on the morning of July 8. He noticed unusually heavy
activity around base headquarters.
When he got to the hangar, the officer who had ordered him there
was being subdued by MPs. He later found out he had been to the
crash site, but when he saw the bodies at the hangar he had
Benjamin said he was placed in charge of escorting 3 or 4 bodies
covered with sheets to the base hospital. One of them appeared
to be moving. One of the sheets slipped and he saw a grayish
face and large hairless head of something that wasn't human.
When he got to the hospital and the sheets were removed, he got
a much better view of one of the bodies and gave a familiar
description of small body, large egg-shaped head, slanted eyes,
slit mouth, and two holes for a nose. He thought it was alive
and saw the doctors working on it.
Afterwards, he was debriefed, forced to sign a non-disclosure
statement, and told if he ever talked about it very bad things
would happen to him and his family. He still feared he would
lose his pension. His wife, who encouraged him to go public,
said he first told her the story in 1949 when they were married.
At the hospital, Miriam 'Andrea' Bush, 27, was a secretary to
the hospital administrator Lt. Col. Harold Warne.
According to her brother George and sister Jean, she came home
one night in a state of total shock. Finally she said that there
were a lot of strange medical personnel at the hospital she
Later Warne would take her to an examination room and she saw
several small childlike bodies. One was moving. (Another live
alien story) Their skin was greyish to brown and they were
covered in something like white linens. Their heads and eyes
The next day she came home and said nobody was ever to say
anything further about it. The family thought she had been very
heavily threatened. They said the event so traumatized her that
it ruined her life.
She died under suspicious circumstances in 1989, with bruises
covering her arms, but ruled a suicide by suffocating herself
with plastic bag tied round her head.
It is conceivable that mortician Glenn Dennis' "Nurse X" is
based in part on Miriam Bush, who would have been about the
right age and physical description.
There are several more MPs described guarding the hangar, to go
along with some previous accounts, such as from Sgt. Melvin
Brown. Pvt. Francis Cassidy told his wife, Sarah Mounce, of
seeing the bodies inside. Wanda Lida said her husband, Cpl.
Robert J. Lida, said he guarded the hangar and observed wreckage
and small bodies inside being prepared for shipment.
Several more witnesses to the heavily guarded B-29 crate flight
from Roswell to Fort Worth are provided.
We already knew about Robert Slusher and 'Tim', here publicly
identified as Lloyd Thompson.
One, S. Sgt. Arthur Osepchook, like the other men, was sure
something very important was inside the crate. One interesting
statement of his is that when they got back to Roswell they were
debriefed and told there were no such things as flying saucers
and that a crash of one didn't happen.
Two MPs described how they had guarded the plane as it was being
loaded over the bomb pit. One described how the pit was wrapped
with a double layer of fabric to prevent anyone from seeing in.
He had to patrol blind between the inner and outer layer of
Perhaps the most interesting new B-29 flight account came from
Blanche Wahnee, daughter of Capt. Meyers Wahnee. She said her
father told the family that the Roswell Incident was true in the
last year of his life.
A high-level security officer, he was flown in from Fort Simmons
in Colorado to Roswell to oversee the transport of a "Top Secret
item" from Roswell to Fort Worth on a special B-29 flight.
The item was a single, large, wooden crate that Wahnee was to
accompany as a security guard in the bomb bay. He said it
contained the alien bodies recovered near Roswell. As did a few
other witnesses in the book, he also said there were three
Three sites? Well of course the Brazel debris field, the
body/craft site north of Roswell described by Haut and other
witnesses, but what was the third site?
According to Carey and Schmitt, this was yet another body site
near the Brazel debris field. The evidence for this is thinner.
There is the Frank Joyce story of Brazel coming to town in a
highly stressed state and describing very smelly non-human bodies
to him in addition to the large debris field.
They also mention young Dee Proctor, who the Proctor family said
was with Brazel when he made his debris field discovery, but
also reported he had seen something else that had severely
traumatized him. He never said exactly what it was, but he took
his mother Loretta to the spot in the 1994 when he thought she
might be dying.
C & S say the story of the Brazel debris field had already
circulated widely in the Corona area and many ranchers and
rancher kids already knew about it before Brazel reported it.
One of these kids was Sydney 'Jack' Wright. He told them that he
and two other rancher children had gotten there too. They
finally got him to state that, "There were bodies small bodies
with big heads and eyes. And Mack was there too. We couldn't get
away from there fast enough."
Another perhaps related account came from the widow of Sgt.
LeRoy, another MP. She said he was called away one evening to
go to a crash site outside of Corona "to help load the bodies."
When he returned home the next morning, he had a horrible stench
on his clothes. She burned the clothes, but the horrible smell
lingered on his body for another two weeks.
Carey and Schmitt feel that under the circumstances, Jesse
Marcel must have seen the bodies too when Brazel took them back
to the ranch and debris field.
They cite two witnesses who said Marcel did briefly mention
seeing the bodies, one a relative, Sue Marcel Methane, who said
he told her shortly before he died in 1986.
Another was Tech Sergeant Hershel Grice, a ground maintenance
crew chief, but who also was a member of Marcel's intelligence
team. Grice described Marcel as a "straight arrow." (Haut
described him to me this way also. Grice said Marcel described
the bodies as "white, rubbery figures."
There are numerous other witness accounts presented in the book,
some already well-known in the Roswell literature, some new.
I've covered most of the major new ones here.
One of the more interesting remaining ones came from four sons
of Lt. Col. Marion M. Magruder, a legendary WWII Marine aviation
According to them, on his deathbed, he confessed to seeing crash
wreckage and a live alien at Wright Field two weeks after the
incident in mid-to-late July 1947.
He had just started Air War College at Maxwell Field,
Montgomery, Alabama, attended by elite high officers who the
various services considered to be the future military leaders.
They were flown up to Wright Field to get their opinion on an
urgent matter. They were then told about the recovery of an
extraterrestrial spaceship that had crashed near Roswell,
examined wreckage, and then were led to another room and shown a
Mike Magruder said his father described the "creature" as under
5 feet tall, "human-like" but with longer arms, larger eyes,
and an oversized, hairless head. It had a slit for a mouth and
two holes but no appendages for a nose and ears - the standard
'grey' description. There was no question in his mind that it
"came from another planet."
A number of other military witness accounts center around rumors
running rampant at the base of the flying saucer and bodies, of
something very big going on, a lot of security, severe warnings
to keep their mouths shut, and the base being in lockdown.
Some examples were other members of the 603rd Air Engineering
Squadron that witness Fulford was in.
PFC Eugene C. Helnes:
"It was definitely not a balloon. ...I know fellows who were out
at the site to clean it up. All the talk was of a crashed saucer
- right up to the time that I left the base in mid-1949."
Sgt. Harvie L. Davis:
"Stories were going around, and I don't doubt the people
involved. I believe that it was a UFO."
"Everything was hush-hush. We all knew something was
going on, but we didn't know what. A lot of planes were coming
in and going out, and the airstrip was shut down for a period.
The base went into lockdown, and they checked us real close
going in and out."
So there you have it, a whole bunch of witness stories to chew
over, including various live alien ones. The description of the
main crash object is different here, having changed from a heal-
shaped or bat-wing shape into an egg-shape from several
witnesses, and also appearing to be a little smaller than
Haut, e.g., in his affidavit described it as about 15 feet long,
and Fulford described the tarped object on the truck as about
the size of a VW Beetle.
Alien body descriptions are impressive in their consistency:
large heads, large eyes, small bodies, slit for mouths, two
holes for nose and ears, usually greyish or brownish.
I am also very impressed with the consistency of the accounts as
they often neatly fit together into a cross-corroborating
narrative of what happened, which I've tried to indicate in the
presentation of the various witness accounts.
It is also hard not to be impressed with the shear numbers of
witnesses that have been compiled. Can all of them be lying?
Would a Mogul balloon cause this?
I have some quibbles about the organization and writing up of
some accounts in the book. Tables summarizing witnesses would
have been very useful. There are very large numbers of them to
keep track of and they are often scattered throughout the book.
However, in general this is a very impressive body of testimony
that Carey and Schmitt have collected and has given me a lot of
things to think about.