On July 7th, 1947, a crash near Roswell, New Mexico may have been the greatest find in human history, an incredible hoax, or a really simple misunderstanding. Whether it was an alien flying saucer that crashed with grey aliens inside, or a simple weather balloon, the story has not gone away. As a matter of fact, the crash story has only picked up steam over the years. The following are ten people who may have had direct contact with the saucer and potential aliens within. Of course, they all might just have been really mistaken about an experimental weather device.
10. Phillip J. Corso
In 1997, Lieutenant Colonel Phillip J. Corso released a book called The Day After Roswell. Corso claimed to not have seen the artifacts, but also that extraterrestrial materials were used in many of the greatest scientific breakthroughs of the twentieth century, such as microchip technology and fiber optics.
Naturally, Corso’s claims have come under considerable fire. This would not only include his claims about Roswell, but also misgivings about Corso’s military service. There are disputes whether Corso even held the positions that he claimed to, or whether he even served in the areas in which claimed to.
9. Walter Haut
Walter Haut was interviewed in the year 2000 by UFO researchers Dennis G. Balthazer and Wendy Conners. In 2002, Haut signed a written affidavit stating that he had been at the scene, and had access to the artifacts. This was in his capacity as an assistant to Jesse Marcel. The affidavit appeared in the 2007 book Witness to Roswell: Unmasking the 60 Year Cover-Up by Thomas J. Carey and Donald R. Schmitt.
The basic problem with Haut’s story is the difference between the interview and the affidavit. Haut is clearly not sure on details in the interview, details which are clearly spelled out in the affidavit. The controversy concerns the circumstances of the signing, and if Haut supplied the details which appeared in the affidavit. In the interview, however, Haut does seem to believe every word that he says about how he saw both the aliens and the debris.
8. Jack Trowbridge
Jack Trowbridge was a Lieutenant working in Intelligence with Jesse Marcel at the time of the 1947 crash. Trowbridge claims that their game of Bridge was interrupted by the crash, as they went outside to investigate and collect look at alien debris. Trowbridge stated in an interview that the lightweight material would not stay crumbled, making it clearly not of the world.
He also curiously stated that the term “flying saucer” was unknown in 1947. While he may not have been aware of the term, several newspapers had used the term in their headlines regarding the incident. Trowbridge did not specifically refute any details given by other witnesses.
7. Eli Benjamin
Eli Benjamin’s story appeared in the book The Roswell Incident: An Eyewitness Account by Donald Schmitt and Thomas Carey. Benjamin was a Private First Class stationed at Roswell at the time of the crash. Benjamin claims to have been a first-hand witness inside the hanger, before the debris and aliens were transported. Benjamin also claimed that he signed a non-disclosure agreement about the entire incident.
However, other than the fact that Benjamin was there, and there was a hanger at an Air Force Base, there is little of Benjamin’s story which can be corroborated. A copy of that non-disclosure agreement would go a long way towards verifying Benjamin’s story. On a side note, Benjamin seemed to remember an especially pungent stench around the creatures, and in the hanger in general. If Futurama is to be believed, Benjamin might have encountered Zoidberg himself.
6. Sheriff George Wilcox
Sheriff George Wilcox was the Sheriff who received the initial crash report. Being near an Air Force Base, Wilcox had seen debris before. The strange part is that, upon seeing the debris, Wilcox immediately contacted the military; according to Wilcox’s family, this was not standard practice at all. Wilcox’s family also reported that Wilcox was visibly affected and changed after the whole experience. This event appears to have affected not only Wilcox, but also his children and grandchildren.
5. General Roger M. Ramey
For his part, General Roger M. Ramey never actually admitted to anything about Roswell. As a matter of fact, Ramey put out the story that the Roswell crash was a “weather balloon,” despite being photographed with the “debris.”
The main controversy surrounding Ramey (other than various sources indicating the story was less-than-truthful) is that Ramey was holding a memo when the debris photos were taken. The writing on the memo is disputed, even after attempting to digitally correct and read the writing. There are those who believe that the memo talks about a “wreck” and “victims.” Keep in mind, Ramey was holding this memo while actively denying the existence of Roswell UFOs.
4. Glenn Dennis
Glenn Dennis first detailed his story during an interview with Stanton Friedman in 1989, and his claim was made public in the 1991 book UFO Crash at Roswell by Kevin Randle and Don Schmitt. Dennis was working at the Ballard Funeral Home at the time of the crash. He states that he received a call asking about the smallest-possible hermetically-sealed caskets available for purchase. Dennis’ story goes on to state that he went to a hospital at the Roswell Air Force base, caught a glimpse of the alien bodies, and was manhandled out of the area by military police.
The primary issue with Dennis’ story is a lack of corroborating witnesses. He claims that he talked to a nurse, only known as “Nurse X,” who supposedly saw everything. Dennis stated that the nurse was “sent to England” after the incident. Even though Nurse X has never officially been found, a woman named Mary Lowe was tabbed as a potential candidate in the late 1990’s. She denied everything.
3. William H. Blanchard
William H. Blanchard gave the initial press report about the Roswell crash and flying disks. William Haut personally stated that Blanchard gave the history-making news in a very straightforward, matter-of-fact report, showing no indication that he had any doubt in his story.
His story was quickly refuted by superiors, including General Ramey. Luckily, considering Blanchard’s eventual promotion to General himself, his military career was not derailed by his “mistake” in identifying the crash as a flying saucer, and not a mere weather balloon.
2. William W. “Mac” Brazel
William W. “Mac” Brazel was a rancher in New Mexico who first discovered the debris, and brought them to the attention of Sheriff George Wilcox. Brazel stated that the materials seemed unusual, but mostly appeared to be “sticks” and metal or paper. He never really talked about the matter again before his death in 1963. One possible reason for this, is that according to reports, Brazel spent an undetermined amount of time under military supervision.
Brazel’s son eventually started talking about the properties of the debris that they found. This included a “foil” type of material that, as also mentioned in Trowbridge’s report, would not stay bent. There were also “sticks” which could be bent, but not broken. The writing on the objects were also discussed, which were described as Chinese, Japanese, or hieroglyphic in nature.
1. Jesse Marcel
Major Jesse Marcel was the central figure in the Roswell controversy, and the original source for the “flying disk” story. Marcel reportedly handled the debris, and helped in the transport of materials and possibly bodies from the site. Marcel confirmed much of this story in an interview with Dr. Stanton Friedman, a nuclear physicist and UFO researcher, in 1978. Despite inconsistencies in his story, and the firestorm of controversy it ignited, Marcel maintained the story until his passing in 1986.