CHENNAI: The person you really ought to talk to is Major Jesse Marcel. He handled pieces of one of those crashed UFOs.” This is not the first time Friedman is hearing statements like these about crashed UFOs, but usually they turn out to be false leads, but not this time. Next day Friedman calls Marcel expecting nothing big, but what Marcel laid on the table was more than he could bargain for.
It all started on a rainy night with heavy thunderstorm. On July 3 1947, an UFO crashes on a ranch near Roswell, Army Air Force Base situated near the Trinity test site, where the first atomic bomb was tested in 1945. What led to the crash is not clear, maybe it was struck by lightning or it was affected by the powerful radar that was used in that area, to monitor the missile tests in the nearby White Sands missile test range.
Next day Mac Brazel who was the foreman of the ranch, goes to check for damages after previous nights violent thunderstorm, but finds the field full of bits and pieces of metal, plastic I-beams, foil and string-like shiny materials unlike anything he has ever seen before. Immediately he informs Chaves county Sheriff George Willox, who, quickly realising that something unusual has occurred, calls the Roswell Army Air Force military base under the command of Colonel William Blanchard. Military intelligence officer Major Jesse Marcel and counterintelligence officer Sheridan Cavitt go to the crash site and pickup a carload of crashed saucer debris and return to the base. Two days later 1st Lieutenant Walter Haut, who was the public information officer at 509th bomb group at Roswell Army Air field, the same group that dropped atomic bombs on Japan, issues the initial press release on the direct orders of base commander Col William Blanchard:
“The many rumours regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the Intelligence office of the 509th bomb group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the Sheriff’s office of Chaves County. The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the Sheriff’s office, who in turn notified Major Jesse Marcel of the 509th bomb group intelligence office. Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher’s home. It was inspected at the Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters”.
Later, Air force Brigadier General Roger Ramey convened a press meeting where he told the newsmen that Major Marcel and other military intelligence officers had been ‘mistaken’ and the flying disc was nothing more than a weather balloon. It is hard to believe that a military intelligence officer like Major Marcel stationed at the only base in the US at that time, where live nuclear weapons were stored, missiles and powerful radar were tested, cannot differentiate between parts of a weather balloon and a craft not made by the hands of man.
In 1978, Major Marcel told Stanton Friedman, the UFO pieces were extremely strong and they could not even be dented with by a sledgehammer, the I-beams had odd symbols on them, the foil exhibited unusual characteristics, when crumpled it would return to its original shape without wrinkles. He added “It certainly wasn’t anything built by us”.
Lieutenant Haut who wrote the initial press release in 1947, shortly before his death in 2005, signed a sealed affidavit which was opened after his death. In that affidavit he stated; “I saw samples of Roswell wreckage, which was unlike any material I had or have ever seen in my life. I am convinced that what I personally observed was some type of craft and its crew from outer space”. Later many eye witnesses came forward to state they also saw three feet tall alien dead bodies. This made the Army change its story from weather balloon to crash test dummies. But these were no ordinary crash test dummies. They were Time Travelling Dummies.
To be continued...
(The writer is director of INSETS-Indian Society for Extraterrestrial Studies and author of Accidental Apocalypse)